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Black Mirror: Season 3, Episode 4. San Junipero


Maggie Mae

1,366 views

The credits tell me this is a Netflix Original, but I thought it was a BBC Show? Whatever. It's probably something they bought and added another season. 

For some reason there is a 50s style car, 70s style architecture, 80s music, and 80s movie fashion. It also appears to be American, and what I'm guessing is the main character is entering into a bar called Tuckers.  Main character girl can be best described as movie star plain. She's tall, thin, dressed in boxy clothing and has glasses and a ponytail. Obviously she just needs Freddie Prince Jr to take out her pony and give her contacts. 

She finds an arcade in the bar (???) and immediately goes to put a quarter in a pac-man knock off called Bubble Bobble. A nerdy guy hits on her. She's like "fuck no." She is drinking coke out of a glass bottle with a straw. I love her. She is me in the 90s. Except for the hair. And I got rid of those glasses in 7th grade. 

An 80s stereo type girl sits down next to her and gets rid of the guy who is hitting on her by pretending they are friends and the main character is dying. They have NAMES! Kelly and Yorkie! Oh, Yorkie sounds like Willow in season 2 of BtVS. They talk about some place called the Quagmire. I bet that will be important later. They are majorly flirting right now. Turns out Yorkie doesn't need the glasses. 

Commentary I've heard a thousand times before about authenticity. Every hipster, every teenager, so much angst about being authentic. This is different for an episode of Black Mirror. So far it's in the past, it's appearing to be a love story. Who is going to die? 

Kelly is a pretty good dancer, for an 80s stereotype. Yorkie appears to be overwhelmed. Is this a gay bar? I just realized there are a million women and like, 4 dudes. Kelly is so bedazzled I love her too. Yurkie runs off the dance floor. Kelly follows her into the rain. They talk. Yurkie is worried about people's reactions. Kelly is like "this is a party town!" The word bodacious is used. They flirt. This is a nice representation of what appears to be a fairly normal relationship. Although Kelly is kind of creeping me out with her forwardness.  She asks Yurkie to go to bed with her. Yurkie claims to be engaged. Kelly doesn't believe it and asks her to to bed. Yurkie says no, reluctantly, and runs off. They shake hands. 

The camera lingers on the moon's reflection in a puddle for a very long time and we cut to "one week later" and an 80s music montage where Yurkie changes music and clothes, like, a thousand times. She's totally not plain, except for movie star plain. Where is Freddie Prince Jr to force her into a makeover. 

Kelly has a dreamcatcher hanging on her rear view mirror. I don't know why that amuses me but it does. She gets out of her car and argues with some guy she had sex with. His name is Wes. He looks like Jean Ralphio's father in the 80s. 

Kelly is wearing a sequined blazer. It's green and sequined. She dances with a guy wearing a globe tee-shirt under a grey suit with an almost mullet. Kelly and Yurkie make eye contact throughout the night. This is so far NOT anything like Black Mirror. Where is the technology? Yurkie and Kelly have a discussion in the public bathroom. They leave the bar and go for a drive. 

My boyfriend distracted me, and I looked up and they are having sex. There are waves crashing. It's the most California of California shows. Kelly apparently has a beach house. Who is this person??? I wonder if she is evil or a robot or what. This is Black Mirror. Is it an illusion? Yurkie tells her that she "deflowered" her. And the fiance is "complicated."  

Kelly was married and always knew she was attracted to girls, coworkers, waitresses. It's pillow talk so I get up to get another drink. At 11:59, Kelly says that "time is nearly up." I miss my rewind button. Clock hits 12 and the screen goes black and the graphic says "one week later" again. There's a guy at Tuckers dancing in a tennis sweater. The hit "lean on me" is playing. Yurkie asks the bar tender for Kelly. He hasn't seen her. She says something I don't hear and now she is walking up a stair case to the other part of the 80s. The part with sterotypical drug use and a girl wearing a snake. The kind with chainlink fence inside. Grrrrl power punk. Mohawks and people fighting in a cage. 

Some guy recognizes Yurkie as Kelly's friend. Wait. That might be Wes. Oh. Now we are getting sci-fi. He says to try a different time. he's seen her in 80s, 90s, and 2002. The stupid graphic says "One Week Later." What are these people doing the rest of the week? 

Walk Like and Egyption is playing again at Tuckers. Yurkie goes into the arcade and talks to the same guy who is now playing actual Pac Man. He looks different. 

One Week later. 

Commercial on TV shows that it is 1979. 

One Week later. 1996; Alanis Morrisette and Scream. Dear God. I think I had her outfit. Oh, nope. I didn't wear mom jeans. Just oversized army green coats. 

One week later. 

2002. Her hair is long. 

DDR!!! 

What is going on? 

She found Kelly in 2002. They sort of fight in the bathroom. a reminder that this is a party town. Kelly punches a mirror, it breaks, camera pans to her non bleeding hand and then back to the mirror which is not broken. WHAT. 

Kelly looks for Yorkie. Finds her on the roof. 

85 people are dead because of Kelly, I think. Something about "full timers." Kelly doesn't "do" feelings. It freaked her out. She doesn't know how long there is, and she's unprepared. I don't know. It seems like she's genuine. But who knows. This is a show where she's probably some sort of killer robot. 

Yurkie is getting married in a week. She "has" to go through with it. What is San Junipero? God I hate this show sometimes. There are still 26 more minutes. Which I am both excited for and stressed out about. 

Kelly says she has 3 months and it spread. But that was before 6 months ago. The cigarette she's smoking doesn't taste like anything. She says when she's done, she's done. She won't stay in San Junipero. Her huband's name is Richard and he died 2 years ago. He had the opportunity to stay in SJ, but he didn't take it. He didn't believe in it. 

Yurkie thinks that if they met somewhere else that Kelly wouldn't like her. 

Oh. Sad. Kelly is from Carson City NV. 

Yurkie is from Santa Rosa. They talk about looking up each other. Yurkie is scared for her to see her. And Kelly is dying. They stare at each other longingly. Cuddles on the beach. Clock turns to 12. 

We cut to an assisted living facility. A woman, who i suspect is Kelly, is elderly and helped into a vehicle. She is helped into some sort of facility. A hospital? It's all white. Kelly is wearing a yellow coat that stands out nicely. 

A white woman in a coma on a ventilator. 

Some guy name Greg tells Yurkies' story. She's a quadriplegic. He's known her 3 years. Sad story. 21 years old, comes out, they don't like it. Fight. She runs her car off the road. That was 40 years ago. So San Junipero ... she gets 5 hours a week. It's there for Immersive nostalgia therapy. Oh, Greg... going to marry her so she can use state euthanasia. Her religious parents are a no, so she is going to marry the orderly on his coffee break. 

Kelli begs Greg to give him 5 minutes in SJ. She proposes. They get married. All systems are suspended. Yurkie dies. 

Then she is on a beach. She's basically Mallory Pike. OH, then she takes off the glasses and puts the min the sand. Kelly is on her way back to Assisted Living. The instrumental music makes me sad as she struggles up the stairs and coughs and either dies or just takes her five hours (I see she has the dot on her head.) They wear wedding dresses. 

Yurke wants Kelly to pass over and stay. Kelly seems hesitant. It's ... sad. I think she wants to be with her husband? They fight. Kelly's husband of 49 years, and she's not going to San Junipero. Oh. Yurke never asked about kids. They had a child. Oh god I might cry. 

Their daughter didn't cross over to San J. 

They fight, Kelly speeds off in a car, hits a barrier. Clock read 11: 59. She is thrown from the vehicle. I think she might be ... nope, she's back in the "real world."  Old lady Kelly is sleeping in a chair. Yurkie is wandering in a brides dress but no glasses. 

Sad music plays in "real world" while old Kelly looks out at the world from a mountain side. She coughs and nurses rub her back. She decides she's ready. She decides she's ready for "the rest of it." 

1980s Yurkie gets in a corvette and "Heaven is a place on earth" close the episode. It also opened the episode. OH KELLY DECIDED TO GO TO SAN J. 

This episode is heart wrenching. So far my favorites are (in order of most to least favorite) 

  1. 15 Million Merits. 
  2. White Bear
  3. Be Right Back
  4. Nosedive
  5. White Christmas
  6. The Waldo Moment
  7. San Junipero
  8. Shut Up and Dance
  9. National Anthem 
  10. The Entire History Of You

 

 

 

 

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This is the episode of Black Mirror that I'm currently watching, and I can't get through it.

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Maggie Mae

Posted

8 hours ago, keen23 said:

This is the episode of Black Mirror that I'm currently watching, and I can't get through it.

I started it three times before I just watched it. The internet reviews all rank it really high on the lists of "best black mirror episodes" so I thought I should get through it. Granted, almost everyone I've ever talked to online about this show also thought "The Entire History of You" was the BEST THING EVER and it's one of the most boring episodes and I didn't even finish it. So who knows? 

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