Shut Up and Dance is the third episode of the third season. It was written by Charlie Brooker and William Bridges and was released on October 20, 2016.
You are the master of your destiny: No one and nothing can come in between you and your destiny except you. Take destiny by the horns and have fun.”
A woman drives a car into a parking lot, leaving the keys in one of the wheel arches, before being texted and leaving.
Kenny (Alex Lawther), a socially awkward teenager arrives home from work to find his sister has borrowed his laptop and has accidentally downloaded a virus. He goes to his room to install an anti-malware program called "Shrive", he manages to clean up the virus. However, an unseen hacker uses the camera to record Kenny masturbating to an image on his computer, though the image on his computer is not shown. Getting an email from the recorder, Kenny realizes to his horror that he has been hacked and turns off his laptop. The hacker emails Kenny again to give him his phone number or the video of him masturbating will be released to everyone he has in his contacts. Kenny reluctantly does so. The hacker tells him to keep his phone on and charged at all times and to keep his location services on so the hacker knows where he is. The hacker also tells Kenny to wait until he is "activated".
While Kenny is at work, he receives a text from the hacker, who demands him to go to a rooftop car park at 12pm or they will release the video. Feigning sickness to his boss, Kenny manages to get there in time, meeting a motorcyclist with a package. The motorcyclist is also a victim of the hacker, having been told to come there too. The motorcyclist gives Kenny a package with a cake inside, and takes a photo of him, verifying he has given the cake to him. Kenny is told to deliver the cake to a man in a hotel room. Eventually being let in after informing the occupant that "Mindy" sent him, Kenny meets Hector (Jerome Flynn). A panicking Kenny tries to explain his situation to Hector, when Hector is texted by the blackmailers. Hector panics and obeys the hacker's demands. Kenny is told to take Hector's photo to confirm the delivery. The pair is then told to go to the hotel car park and use the car that the woman dropped off.
The pair are ordered to drive to a specific location out of the city, just barely managing to reach it. Hector and Kenny talk about why they are being contacted. At a petrol station, they bump into a friend of Hector's wife who wants a lift. They reluctantly agree. When they drop the friend off, Hector reveals that he is married but is bored and decided to order a prostitute. Since he has children, he is afraid of not seeing them again. Kenny breaks down and reveals he was filmed masturbating. They are then told to look inside the cake, where they find a gun, a hat, and sunglasses. They are then told to rob a nearby bank, one to actually commit the robbery, one to be the driver. Deciding that Kenny should go, Hector waits in the car. Kenny manages to rob the bank, who wets himself in sheer internalized terror and the pair escape; told by the hacker to go to a field.
Hector is told to destroy the car alone, whilst Kenny is told to go into a nearby woodland park to deliver the cash alone. The pair part ways. Kenny makes his way into the park, meeting a man with a large box containing a drone. Revealing himself as another victim of the hacker, he tells Kenny that they must fight to the death and the winner takes the money, as the drone that the hacker controls watches them from above. The man asks Kenny what he did, and when Kenny says that all he did was look at pictures. The man says that he did the same and then asks "How young were they?", revealing himself to be a pedophile. Kenny does not answer, which hints at him also possessing pedophilic tendencies. Kenny, still having the gun, points it at the man, then turns it on himself, but finds that it was empty all along. The two engage in a brutal fight, as the drone looks on.
Hector returns home, getting another text from the hacker: a picture of a troll face. Hector then finds that his wife knows the name of the prostitute he hired. The other victims of the hacker who complied with their demands have also had their sensitive information released, getting text messages of the picture. Kenny walks away from the forest, bloodied and with the bag containing the stolen money. After being sent the troll face picture, he receives a call from his mother demanding to know what he has done, having been told he was looking at kids. It is revealed that Kenny had been masturbating to child pornography, and his status as a pedophile is cemented. The video of his masturbation has been sent to everyone he knows, including Lindsay and her friends. Kenny hangs up the phone as the police arrive, and offers little resistance as they arrest him.
- Alex Lawther as Kenny
- Jerome Flynn as Hector
- Susannah Doyle as The CEO
- 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 (Kenny's mum)
- 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 Woods
- Leanne Best as Penny
- According to Charlie Brooker, this episode's script went through many different versions, some of which included Hector being the one to harbor 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.
|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 •|