June 15, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Black Mirror “Shut Up And Dance”

Series Three, Episode Three.

Man, this may be the darkest episode yet…

Meet Kenny.  He seems like a normal enough kid.  Oh sure, he seems to have nothing to do with the nervous, middle-aged woman leaving a car in a parking garage, but Kenny has a nice job at a fast food type restaurant, but his only real problem seems to be some co-workers don’t like him and his sister “borrows” his laptop without permission.  When she gets it infected with malware, he downloads a cleaner program and that would be that.

It isn’t.

A day or so later, when Kenny decides to, er, pleasure himself in front of his computer, he gets an e-mail from a mysterious unknown person.  They got video of Kenny through the camera on his laptop, and if he doesn’t do as they say, they will leak the video to everyone on his contact list.  Kenny, in a panic, agrees to do whatever by sending out his phone number.

And that’s when his life goes to hell.

Kenny finds himself given a brief amount of time to get to a parking garage where another man, another blackmail victim, gives him a box.  Kenny needs to deliver it to a hotel room.  What’s in the box?  A cake.

At the hotel, he tries to hand it to a businessman, Hector (Game of Thrones‘ Jerome Flynn).  It takes some doing, and then Hector is being blackmailed since he was there to meet a prostitute and he doesn’t want his family to find out or else he’ll lose his kids.  Now Kenny and Hector are an unwilling team.  What do they need to do?

Find the car the woman at the start of the episode left behind.

Drive out to a faraway town.

Pull something out of the cake, a plastic bag which contains a hat, sunglasses, and a gun.

Kenny has to rob a bank while Hector drives the car.

They get away.  Hector needs to ditch and destroy the car.

Kenny needs to deliver the money into the woods, where another man is waiting with a drone.  He’s also being blackmailed.  What did he do?  He looked at child pornography.

And it looks like that’s what Kenny did too, hence his total fear at getting caught.

Now they have to fight to the death for the drone’s camera.  Kenny tries to use the gun to kill himself first, but it isn’t loaded.

Kenny lives, by the way.

But then the hacker releases all the blackmail information anyway.  Hector’s marriage is ruined.  Kenny’s mom is screaming at him over the phone.  And then the cops show up to arrest Kenny.

See, that was dark, particularly how it shades Kenny’s actions from earlier in the episode…