Okay, so I skipped a couple Black Mirror episodes, sue me! I absolutely hated S3:E1 (blech) and couldn't get into S3:E2 (Playtest) but I heard the smart money is on San Junipero. I couldn't get San Junipero yet, so we're at S3:E3 Shut Up and Dance because I'M SURE THAT'S NOT CONFUSING AT ALL. Rolling after the break!
We open in a parking garage with an extremely scared woman (Susannah Doyle) who is clearly on the edge of passing out from terror. She hides something in a wheel well and stares everywhere and we shift to a fast food restaurant where shy Kenny (Alex Lawther) cleans up spills with a smile. He helps a mum out with her little girl, guess who left a toy behind!?
He gets ignored by boorish coworkers then heads home to find his laptop locked up because his sister tried downloading a bunch of free movies. He makes up for that by downloading a malware remover tool, but he just chooses the first one listed and it is itself malware.
My IT guy would slap me.
The new malware turns on the camera, hullo Kenny! Go on and leave your laptop open for a bit, as nobody does.
Work is boring except for the one female coworker who is friendly, soon he's back home with a lock on his bedroom door and a mum going out for the evening with a new hair colour.
Time for a solo wank then! Just Kenny and his computer.
Kenny washes his hands and then SMELLS THEM, as you do, then heads back to his room to check his email, where there is a video of himself shaking hands with himself very quickly.
Instructions follow quickly: he's to email his phone number or they'll send his home movie to all of his contacts. The sheer shame/terror on his face is masterful, he caves and is given notice that he has been activated.
What does THAT mean?
He finds out at work the next day when he gets a text as soon as he gets there: he has 45 minutes to bike 12 miles (Google maps says that will take 57 minutes) ...to where? Or the video will be leaked.
A harrowing ride across London later and he's waiting on a rooftop, for a wee Vespa to approach. The Moped Man (Ivanno Jeremiah) hands our Kenny a box with 4525 on the top and takes his picture holding it.
He seems almost as stressed out as Kenny, is this part of his activation too? A lot of solo computer wankers in this town. He has good news for Kenny; if he does his part, he's done and they'll leave him alone. Kenny and I will believe that when we see it.
He just has to take the box to a hotel and room 121 and then he's done, easy peasy!
Quick question: why wouldn't they activate someone with a car? Surely those guys need stress relief and PronHub just as much as our slender cyclist?
Poor Kenny can't even ride his bike with this big box in hand, he's going to have to walk. At least there's no time limit this time, so far.
Okay so he takes the bus and sneaks a peek in the box: it's a cake covered in hearts that says "I Love You." That seems totally legit.
One problem: the guy in room 121 won't open the door. He didn't order a cake, he doesn't want the cake, he will shove that cake up Kenny's arse if he doesn't stop knocking. Kenny texts, the Them tell him to say Mindy sent it.
The door opens:it's Bronn from Game of Thrones! In a suit and tie no less! That looks WEIRD.
Okay, he's Hector (Jerome Flynn) and he wants to know what this is about Mindy? Poor wee Kenny is almost hyperventilating by this point so Hector asks to see his phone, not that it makes much more sense after he sees the texts.
Then Hector's phone starts chiming and it's one massive stressball in that room, Hector dripping with sweat while staring at his phone in horror.
Kenny wants to know if he can go now?
He's got to take Hector's photo first but Hector isn't likely feeling all that photogenic, with all the puking. A quick photo, then..Kenny is not done. He and Hector have to deliver the cake together, using a car in a nearby carpark. I bet I know the one!
They find the car left by the scared woman and head out of the city, drinky Hector driving and Kenny navigating using his satnav on his phone.
They told him to turn off location services, though, yeah?
Hector wants to talk, he doesn't know what They have on Kenny, but he was in that hotel room waiting for a prostitute and HE IS NOT LOSING HIS KIDS, hear him now and believe him later!
I honestly don't think cheating would affect your child custody arrangements unless there was something illegal involved, *coughSubwayJaredcough*
Hector and I don't get why the wanking is such a big problem for Kenny, everyone does that, yes? "Even the f*cking Pope does THAT."
Oop, they're short time and out of gas, a quick stop at a Quick Stop is in order. Kenny gets out to pay while Hector pumps, a big old three-pack of condoms falling out of Hector's optimistic wallet in front of some ladies.
He pays and heads out to find Hector engaged in very uncomfortable conversation with a local PTA mum, can they give Karen (Natasha Little) a lift on the way? Hector caves first, yeah, yep, IN THE CAR, KAREN! Time's a wasting!!
Text after text rolls in as Karen chatters on in the backseat, what are they going to do? How can they turn around?
Hector goes grand prix, that shuts Karen up! And gets them to their destination on time, which is? A bank? It's time to look in the cake! Inside is a packet with a gun, sunglasses and a hat. They have five minutes to decide who's the driver and
They have to rob a bank together? I mean.
Talk about amateur hour, how completely random.
Hector calls Driver immediately, he's much better at grasping the realities of life. He has to talk Kenny into it, in the most Bronn profane way possible. I have to wonder if Jerome Flynn's ever had a job he doesn't have to say "c*nt", I'm guessing no.
The best line: "there's no cure for the internet" and true that.
So he does it. Poor Kenny the french fry cook robs a bank while literally pissing himself in what must be the worst disguise ever.
He comes out to find: nothing. Hector is gone. But a screeching of tires helps us breathe again and we're off, speeding away with Kenny's ill-gotten bootle.
A quick pee-inducing brush with the law and it's time for another destination. Hector is to destroy the family stationwagon and Kenny will be heading to the drop point.
Kenny straggles through the woods until he finds another stressed fella, this one has a drone! And a flask of vodka, which is good since now Kenny has to fight him. The Man in the Woods (Paul Bazeley) says whomever wins the fight on camera (as the drone is recording them) gets the "prize money" i.e.: the bank robbed funds.
Kenny weighs maybe 95 pounds, soaking wet
Kenny is trying very hard not to throw up.
Kenny could probably use some of that vodka, Man in the Woods.
Oh and now we know the full shape of it. Kenny wasn't just "looking at pictures" online and wanking, he was looking at children, and so was his partner in this death match.
That does seem like the kind of thing society could get behind, pedophiles beating each other to death on camera.
I don't feel so sorry for Kenny any more.
Kenny has the gun, though! He only wants to use it on himself, but it's not loaded. Nope. The other man attacks as the drone watches and Hector goes home to find Penny (Leanne Best - Teresa Fenchurch from Home Fires!) crying over Mindy on Hector's laptop.
There aren't going to be any happy endings on this here show. Not even for an extra twenty for Mindy.
We see the scared woman at the beginning receive her ending text message, everything in her racist emails has gone to press.
Kenny lurches out of the woods (REALLY??) as the Moped Man deals with his angry family. Kenny's mum calls, oh yes, it was kids after all and the police are here, Kenny.
Well. As always Black Mirror blew my mind, I was feeling quite protective of our wee Kenny, so slight and so ignored. The first time we saw him, he was making friends with a little girl who'd lost her toy in the restaurant, we all thought he was making a play for the mum, didn't we?
So. They took two pedophiles off the street, much like in Mr. Robot, but as though Kenny were Ron in E1. YOU SHOULD WATCH MR. ROBOT.
Do you agree with how that happened? I'm still kind of reeling, everyone looked scared because they'd done something super duper wrong using their computers, not because they were being unfairly persecuted as it appeared. I almost want to go back to the beginning and watch Kenny in that restaurant and watch every single interaction he had with anyone underage to see if there was a sign, but I think it was just that handing over the toy to that little girl first thing.
Really: we all should have known after S2:E2 White Bear were we thought that poor woman was being harassed when she was just getting a massive creepy photographed version of her own medicine.
As for Hector and his Mindy, I don't even know what to say about that. It seems so cliche, although I found his honesty refreshing about wanting to knock off a piece of a 20 year old for old time's sake. Can people be faithful and happy forever with the same person? Not in anything I've watched lately, damnit.
Goodnight, y'all, enjoy your computers, but always cover your camera. Cheers!