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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.

Overview Edit

Welcome to San Junipero Edit

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 and Yorkie reveals it was the first time she had sex with anyone, male or female. Kelly shares that she was once married. The scene ends 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 70s, 90s, and in the 2000s".

Yorkie continues searching for Kelly in San Junipero, seemingly 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 at the rooftop. She confesses that she is dying and that she only meant to have fun and not have a connection 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 that she is in California.

Passing over Edit

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 tetraplegic elderly woman living in an assisted living facility. The nurse tell her that Yorkie became incapacitated over forty years earlier following a car accident 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 5-hour weekly trial but is now ready to be euthanized and spend her afterlife in the virtual reality system. Because her family has religious objections to signing the papers allowing her to die, she plans on marrying Greg (her aforementioned fiance), 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 and she enthusiastically accepts. They marry and Kelly authorizes Yorkie's euthanasia, effectively "passing over" her consciousness to San Junipero forever.

49 years Edit

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 angered as she was married to a man she loved previously for 49 years and he did not want to live in San Junipero. Yorkie accuses Kelly's husband of abandoning her, but 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 and 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. Angry with Yorkie, Kelly drives away and purposely crashes her car. Yorkie appears and tries to help her up, but Kelly's weekly time is up and she disappears.

Heaven is a place on earth Edit

Eventually Kelly's condition in real life worsens. She decides to be euthanised and her body buried with her family, but in the end, still, decides to "pass over" in San Junipero where she and Yorkie continue to live happily. In the real world, robots maintain the consciousnesses of those that now live permanently in San Junipero in a massive server room.

Cast Edit

  • 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

Trivia Edit

  • 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.

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