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Shut Up and Dance is the third episode of season three of Black Mirror. It was written by Charlie Brooker and William Bridges and was released on October 20, 2016.

Short Summary[]

After a virus infects his laptop, a teen faces a daunting choice: carry out orders delivered by text message, or risk having intimate secrets exposed.

Full Summary[]

Georgina Tarrington parks a car in a parking garage and gets out. She gets a text and puts the key to the car on the back tire. She gets another text message and leaves.

Kenny scrapes food off plates. Melissa comes in and tells him there's a big spill on table four. He grabs a mop.

Kenny is cleaning up a table when he sees a mother and daughter leaving the next table. He stops them and hands the little girl a toy she'd left behind.

Kenny is eating out behind the restaurant when two other employees, Tom and Red, come by talking about a video Red got from a woman. They see Kenny and make him leave.

Kenny rides his bike home. Once he's home, he goes upstairs to find his computer is gone. He calls for Lindsay and then goes into her room to take his laptop back, telling her to use her own. She says hers is broken and now his has frozen. She was trying to use a program that lets you watch movies for free. Kenny tells her not to take his computer again and takes it back to his room. She asks him to fix hers then.

Back in his room, Kenny reboots his computer. It's been infected with malware, and he searches for how to remove it. He downloads a program called Shrive to remove malware. While it works, he's unaware that his camera has been turned on and is recording him as he goes to get a drink.

Kenny is cleaning up a table at work when Melissa comes up and teases him.

Kenny takes a picture of his work schedule. Melissa thanks him and says she'll see him tomorrow. Red and Tom tease him about it.

Kenny installs a lock on his door. When Lindsay questions him, he says she's a thief. Once the lock is installed, Kenny locks it.

Downstairs, Kenny's mom, Sandra, asks what he thinks of her hair. She's getting used to the colour. He says it's nice. She asks him to watch Lindsay while she goes out. She rushes out when her date says he's outside.

Kenny eats dinner and watches television. Nearby, Lindsay is on her phone.

Kenny goes up to his room and locks the door behind him. He's unaware that his camera is recording him as he undoes his pants.

Afterward, Kenny washes his hands and then smells them to make sure they're clean. He goes back to his room and sees that he has an email from someone claiming that they saw what he did. In the email is a video of him. When he realizes what it is, he closes his laptop and locks his door. Then he goes back and covers his camera lens. He gets another email saying to reply with his number or they'll send the video to all his contacts. He replies with his number. He immediately gets a text message telling him to leave his location services on, keep his phone on and charged, and he'll be activated when the time comes. He asks them who they are and if they want money. They just reply that he should tell no one because they're watching. Kenny sits on his bed holding his phone in his hands.

The next morning, Sandra checks on Kenny as she's getting ready for work. He tells her he's fine.

Kenny rides his bike to work. Melissa greets him as he goes in. His phone chimes as he goes to put his things away. It's the hacker, telling him he's been activated, and he has to obey, or they'll leak the video. The next message has a GPS link and instructions to get there by noon. He replies that he's at work, but the hacker doesn't care. He only has 45 minutes to get there, and the GPS estimates 57 minutes to bike there. Kenny tells Melissa he's feeling sick and needs to leave.

As Kenny goes to leave, Tom taunts him. Kenny rides as quickly as he can toward the location. He gets another text warning him he only has 90 seconds left and not to be late. He makes it to the pin and texts the hacker. The hacker tells him to wait. Moped Man pulls up next to him and gives him a box, telling him it's fragile. He takes a picture of Kenny and says they told him to do that. Kenny asks what he does next, but Moped Man can't help him. Moped Man tells him to do whatever they say and then he'll be done. Once Moped Man is gone, Kenny gets a text asking him to confirm that he got the package and the number on the box. He gets a location to deliver the box. Kenny struggles to balance the box on his bike and has to leave on foot.

Kenny has boarded a bus and opens the box to find that it contains a cake that says, "I LOVE YOU."

Kenny arrives at Wayhaven and finds the right room. The occupant tries to get him to leave, but he says it's a cake. The occupant says they didn't order a cake and don't want it. Kenny texts the hacker that the occupant won't open the door and they tell him to say that "Mindy" sent him. Hector finally opens the door and asks him where Mindy is. Kenny explains that that's just what they told him to say. Hector has Kenny come into the room and questions him, but Kenny doesn't know anything. Kenny shows Hector his phone and then Hector gets a text on his own phone. It's the hacker. Hector goes to the bathroom and vomits, and Kenny asks the hackers if he can go. They say he has to take Hector's picture first. Hector drinks alcohol from the mini-bar and then says they just have to follow the directions, and everything will be okay. They have to take the cake somewhere. They sent Hector a map and they have to get to a car. Kenny gets a text telling him to go with Hector and take the package.

Hector and Kenny leave together and find the car in the parking garage. Hector says Kenny should drive as he has had a drink, but Kenny is still learning and hasn't passed his test yet. Hector tells Kenny to navigate. They barely have enough time to get where they're going.

As they drive, Hector realizes they must have something on Kenny to get him to obey. Hector says with him, he was waiting for a sex worker to cheat on his wife. He found Mindy on a website. He sent her pictures, and the hacker has all of them. If his wife finds out, she'll leave and take the kids. She'd win custody and he doesn't want to lose his kids. Kenny starts crying and says they filmed him masturbating through his computer. Hector says everyone does that and doesn't understand the problem. He notices they're almost out of gas. He pulls into a station to fill up and sends Kenny in with his wallet to pay to save time.

Inside, Kenny opens Hector's wallet and condoms fall out. He gets the PIN wrong as he attempts to pay for the gas and has to try a second time. As he goes back out, he sees Hector talking to Karen. He gives Hector his wallet and Hector claims that Kenny is his nephew. Karen explains that she's head of the PTA at Hector's kids' school. When Karen hears that they're heading to the train station, she asks for a ride home. It's on the way. Otherwise, she has to take the bus. Hector reluctantly agrees and they leave.

Karen makes small talk with a distracted Hector, who gets messages from the hacker about him going the wrong way. The hacker warns that they have 20 minutes to get to their location. Hector accelerates and nearly hits a pedestrian in the rush. He stops at Karen's street, and she gets out. As soon as she's out, Hector takes off.

Kenny directs Hector to the location. The hacker tells them to look inside the cake, where they find a hat, sunglasses, and a gun in a plastic bag. Kenny gets a text saying they have five minutes to decide which of them will drive and which will rob the bank across the street. Hector says he'll be the driver since Kenny can't drive. He says he'll wait with the engine running. He tells Kenny that staff are trained to hand over the cash in case of robbery. To get Kenny on board, he reminds him of the consequences of not doing it. Kenny is worried that Hector will leave, but Hector promises he won't. He gets Kenny ready and Kenny walks toward the bank.

Inside, Kenny pulls out the gun and pees himself as he tells the clerk to give him money. He hands her the bag to fill it up. When she's done, she hands it back and Kenny leaves.

The car is gone when Kenny comes out, but then Hector pulls up and Kenny gets in the car. Hector explains that there was someone standing nearby freaking him out, so he moved. Kenny tells Hector to drive faster, but Hector doesn't want to get pulled over for speeding after robbing a bank. They get to a roadblock and hear a police siren in the distance. As they go through, a police car passes them and continues on as they sigh in relief. Kenny tells the hacker they got the money. The hacker tells them to take the money somewhere.

They arrive at the location, which is out in a field. Hector gets told to take the car and destroy it while Kenny has to take the money to another location. Hector apologizes for taunting Kenny and they part ways.

Kenny finds the spot, where a man is waiting for him. The man pulls a drone out of a box and turns it on. It hovers above them. He asks if Kenny has the money. He tells Kenny they have to fight to the death and the winner takes the money. The hacker is watching through the drone. The man says his life is over if it gets out anyway. Kenny says he just looked at some photos and the man says he did as well and asks how young they were. They're in the same boat. They both get texts telling them to fight. Kenny pulls out the gun and after pointing it at the man, puts it under his own chin. He fires, but nothing happens. The man tackles him as he tries to run, and they fight.

Hector goes home and checks on his kids. He gets another text from the hacker, a picture of a troll face. In his room, his wife, Penny, is waiting for him. The hacker sent her everything.

Kenny stumbles out of the woods.

Georgina gets a picture of the troll face and sees that the hackers leaked her emails, which included many racist jokes.

Kenny keeps walking.

Moped Man gets the troll face as well and his family are angry with him.

Kenny gets a call from his mother. His face is bruised and bloodied. Sandra asks him what he did. People are saying he was looking at kids. She begs him to tell her it's not true. He also gets the troll face text. Several police cars approach him.


  • Alex Lawther as Kenny
  • Jerome Flynn as Hector
  • Susannah Doyle as Georgina Tarrington
  • Frankie Wilson as Tom
  • Jimmy Roye-Dunne as Red
  • Hannah Steele as Melissa
  • Sara Beck Mather as Restaurant Mother
  • Beatrice Robertson-Jones as Restaurant Daughter
  • Maya Gerber as Lindsay
  • Camilla Power as Sandra
  • Ivanno Jeremiah as Moped Man
  • Mariam Haque as Petrol Station Attendant
  • Natasha Little as Karen
  • Nicola Sloane as Bank Clerk
  • Paul Bazely as Man in the Woods
  • Leanne Best as Penny

Notes and Trivia[]

  • According to Charlie Brooker, this episode's script went through many different versions, some of which included Hector being the one to harbour an illegal secret.
  • This is the second episode after The National Anthem to involve only the technology that existed in real life at the time of its initial release.
  • The little girl in the restaurant to whom Kenny returns the toy is played by Annabel Jones' daughter. She was cast due to difficulties with finding parents who were willing to let their child appear in an encounter that takes on perverse undertones once the final twist is revealed.
  • The news site browsed by the CEO at the end of the episode mentions Michael Callow's impending divorce (The National Anthem), Victoria Skillane's trial (White Bear) and an advertisement for 'cookies' (White Christmas). There is also a banner item for a new TV show, 15 Million Merits.
    • In another reference to White Christmas, the restaurant Kenny works at is 'Barnies' which was listed as part of Greta's schedule.
  • The song played at the end is "Exit Music (For a Film)" by Radiohead.
  • Georgina Tarrington, the hacker target who is revealed to have exchanged racist emails, is the CEO of Wayhaven Hotels. Hector stays at a Wayhaven Hotel property before meeting Kenny.


Episode Stills[]