Three seasons on and they finally managed to approach a subject very close to my heart: nostalgia, love, death and whatever comes after.
It wasn’t the story itself that moved me, although brilliantly written by Charlie Brooker. It was the concept of technology being used for good, for comfort, as a solution to something that terrifies most of us – the sheer nothingness that comes after we cease to exist. All those memories, moments, the feelings we had for the people we love, all gone. Zap. What San Junipero proposes is a device that connects us to an imagined, albeit very real, world, where we can choose from multiple decades to live in and where we can stay forever after we die. Not corporeally, of course, but in… I guess, spirit? Anyway, the main plot is about two girls who meet in San Junipero, a party hard town. They fall in love. Cut back to reality and they’re two old ladies, terminally ill. I won’t say much besides this because the ending is obvious; I mean, not Black Mirror obvious (it’s rather too happy for the overall darkness the series has gotten us used to). But can you imagine this sort of paleative care that lets your mind slip away to a happier time when you were young? And not just that, with the option to stay connected to that place forever? To, actually, live forever with those you love?
Of course “forever” is such an overwhelming notion. Would I really want to be with those I love for an unending period of time? Wouldn’t I get tired of being in a place with no possible way out? Maybe. It’s pretty possible. But this episode came a year after my grandmother died. She was like a mother to me. She took care of me every day when I was little, played with me, taught me the basis of everything I know. Whenever I think of her I feel this black hole inside my chest, sucking me in. What if I had the chance to see her again? How good would it be to have the technology illustrated in San Junipero right now? She could have signed in for the programme and I could just stick a little device on my temple, activate it and there she would be. And when I died, there she would be again. With my mother and everything I have lost so far and will lose in the future, because life’s just like that. It would be such a good reward for all our trials, something like “Keep struggling because in the end they will all be waiting for you.”. I wouldn’t really care about the drawbacks, to be honest.
Amazing episode, amazing writing and, I have to say, amazing choice of songs.