By now, we're guessing pretty much everyone has watched Season 3 of Black Mirror, had their mandatory existentialist breakdown after them and are now in a position where they can look at technology again without being frightened.
Good? Great. So, the San Junipero episode was undoubtedly a highlight of the series (our Fiona Flynn definitely thought so, anyway) and it's clear that many, many people felt the same way as it's becoming one of the most talked-about episodes since White Christmas.
(Spoilers ahead, obviously)
In all the grim, dark and genuinely unsettling moments in Black Mirror, San Junipero felt like a warm ray of sunshine - especially its incredibly uplifting ending, which saw Yorkie and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis) ride off into the '80s sunset in a MX-5 in the cloud consciousness thing where most of the episode was set.
However, this being Black Mirror, people couldn't accept a happy ending and one fan theory suggests that it might not be so. The theory, posted by user bgrizz101 on Reddit's Black Mirror subreddit, postulates that it wasn't all pastel goodness at the end of the episode.
Quite the opposite, in fact. Here's the theory, in full:
Kelly never 'passed over'. The Kelly that Yorkie sees is a computer generated copy. This would be the type of mental projection of people seen in both 'Playtest' and 'Man Against Fire' - or more generously, the 'Cookie' in 'White Christmas'.
I'd say this is supported by the following:
- We don't see a forehead widget on Kelly's head when she is given an intravenous feed to euthanize her.
- The downer shot of Kelly being lowered into her grave to be with the husband and daughter she has 'abandoned' in death - this could instead signify that she has actually joind them in death.
- Why would TCKR allow loads of dead souls to dwindle for eternity without loved ones that they meet in the same way Yorkie does? That wouldn't be the Paradise that San Junipero promises.
- TCKR can make anything seem incredibly real, can't they simulate Kelly too?
- The ambiguous meaning of 'for the rest of it'. The normal meaning of this would be that she wants to die.
- The final shot of the server room is supposed to be unsettling. Could we really trust the facts of the simulated universe we are in which is generated on a level of reality we don't have access to?
- The modules inserted into the mainframe by the robot arm only have random serial numbers - they are not marked by the names of the individuals. Who knows what those modules actually are? The narrative tells us to believe they are Kelly and Yorkie #love4eternity but that's exactly the lie that might be being sold to Yorkie.
So, yeah, not exactly the shiny, happy ending we all thought it was.
However, there's no need to panic. It really isn't like this at all and Charlie Brooker's even commented on the fan theory in a recent interview with Vogue. His take on it? "They have the happiest ending imaginable." Oh, thank God.
"What they are facing is a potentially difficult future because it could be, like Kelly says, it’s potentially forever. But as Yorkie points out, they can end it at any time. So it’s not a big rainbow sandwich, but what appears to be happening there, is happening there. It’s them, they drive off into the sunset together - because, why not?"
Well, that's a relief.
Via Reddit / Vogue