San Junipero is the fourth episode of the third season. It was written by Charlie Brooker and was released on October 20, 2016, together with the rest of the series.
Welcome to San Junipero
In 1987, a shy young woman, Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis), visits San Junipero (a so-called party town) for the first time. One of the first people she sees is Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a vivacious party girl trying to lose Wes, a man she had a fling with. Kelly talks to Yorkie to ditch Wes, pretending they are old friends, and then compliments her "authentic" look and invites her to dance. Embarrassed to be seen flirting with Kelly, Yorkie runs away. When Kelly comes after her and propositions her for sex, Yorkie is intimidated, tells Kelly she is engaged, and reluctantly leaves.
The following week Yorkie tries to dress up, before settling on similar clothes to the week before. She again spots Kelly, this time flirting with a different man, and follows her into the bathroom. The two kiss, and then go to Kelly's bungalow where they have sex. Yorkie reveals it was the first time she'd had sex, with anyone. Kelly shares that she is bisexual and was once married to her husband. The scene ends abruptly when the clock hits midnight.
The following week Yorkie searches for, but cannot find, Kelly. Spotting Wes at the sex club Quagmire, Yorkie asks him where she is, but he tells her he doesn't know although she should try looking "at the 80s, 90s, and in the 2000s".
Yorkie continues searching for Kelly in San Junipero, seeming to have traveled time. She eventually finds her in 2002, playing Dance Dance Revolution. Kelly brushes her off, and Yorkie is hurt and leaves. Feeling bad, Kelly goes back and finds Yorkie on the rooftop. She confesses that she is dying and that she only meant to have fun, and not make connections while in San Junipero. The two sleep together again, and Kelly tells Yorkie she wants to meet her "in real life", implying that they are actually in an alternate reality. Yorkie begs her not to, but after some persuasion, she tells Kelly where she is in California.
In reality, the consciousnesses of the dead are uploaded into a newly developed virtual reality system, where they can live in a simulated place called San Junipero as their younger selves forever. Elder people can visit San Junipero for a trial period, but are limited to 5 hours a week, ending at midnight.
An aged Kelly (Denise Burse) goes to visit Yorkie, and discovers that she is a quadriplegic elderly woman living in an assisted living facility. The nurse tells her that Yorkie became incapacitated over forty years earlier following a car accident almost immediately after coming out to her deeply religious parents. Her nurse Greg shares that she communicates via a comm box and that she has been trying out San Junipero's five-hour weekly trial, but is now ready to be euthanized and spend her afterlife in the virtual reality system.
Due to her family has staunch religious objections to signing the papers allowing her to die, she plans on marrying Greg (her aforementioned fiancé), so that he may legally override their authority. Not wanting Yorkie to marry someone she doesn't love, Kelly enters San Junipero with her for 5 minutes, and proposes, which Yorkie enthusiastically accepts. They marry, and Kelly authorizes Yorkie's euthanasia, effectively "passing over" her consciousness to San Junipero forever.
Yorkie is happy in San Junipero, but frustrated that Kelly is only able to join her for 5 hours a week. She impulsively asks Kelly to join her in the afterlife, but Kelly is torn as she was married to a man she loved previously for 49 years, and he did not want to live in San Junipero. When Yorkie accuses Kelly's husband of abandoning her, Kelly reveals that they had a daughter, Allison, who died at 39, before the technology of San Junipero was available. Rather than live in a San Junipero that didn't contain Allison, Kelly's husband chose not to be uploaded; although he wasn't convinced there was an afterlife, he hoped he might be reunited with his daughter. Though Kelly doesn't believe in an afterlife, she decides she doesn't want to be uploaded to an eternity without her husband and daughter, especially since she promised her husband she wouldn't. Frustrated by Yorkie's request, Kelly drives away and purposely crashes her car. Just as Yorkie appears and tries to help her up, Kelly's weekly expires, and she disappears.
Heaven Is A Place On Earth
Eventually, Kelly's condition in real life worsens. She finally decides to be euthanised and have her body buried with her family; however, she also decides to "pass over" her consciousness to San Junipero, where she and Yorkie continue to live happily ever after.
In the real world, robots maintain the consciousnesses of those that now live permanently in San Junipero in a massive server room.
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Kelly
- Mackenzie Davis as Yorkie
- Denise Burse as Elder Kelly
- Raymond McAnally as Greg
- Gavin Stenhouse as Wes
- Cheryl Anderson as Laura
- Jackson Bews as Harvey
- Annabel Davis as Elder Yorkie
- Billy Griffin Jr as Davis
- Paul Lawrence Kitson as Barman
- Jeff Marsh as Doctor
- This was the first episode written for Series 3.
- This episode was critically acclaimed by critics, many considering it to be the best of the third series. It also won numerous accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards.
- This episode's soundtrack was later released on CD, vinyl and digital.
- The hospital in Bandersnatch is named Saint Juniper's Medical Practice.
The episode features a lot of music from the different times, not all are authentic, some are anachronisms
- The Art Of Noise with Max Headroom - Paranoimia
- Robbie Neville - C'est La Vie
- The Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian
- Alexander O'Neal - Fake
- The Smiths - Girlfriend In A Coma
- Simple Minds - Don't You
- T'Pau - Heart And Soul
- Robert Palmer - Addicted to love
- Terence Trent D'Arby - Wishing Well
- Living in a box - Living in a box
- INXS - Need You Tonight
- Club Nouveau - Lean On Me
- T'Pau - China in your hand
- The Pixies - Something Against You (the song plays in the Quagmire club and is actually released in 1988 on Surfer Rosa)
- Lipps Inc - Funkytown
- Alanis Morissette - Ironic
- Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out Of My Head
- Belinda Carlisle - Heaven is a place on earth
Spotify has a playlist of the tracks including a few additional ones created by Charlie Brooker
|Episodes in "Black Mirror"|
|Season 1||• The National Anthem • Fifteen Million Merits • The Entire History of You •|
|Season 2||• Be Right Back • White Bear • The Waldo Moment •|
|Season 3||• Nosedive • Playtest • Shut Up and Dance • San Junipero • Men Against Fire • Hated in the Nation •|
|Season 4||• USS Callister • Arkangel • Crocodile • Hang the DJ • Metalhead • Black Museum •|
|Season 5||• Striking Vipers • Smithereens • Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too •|
|Specials||• White Christmas • Bandersnatch •|