Shut Up and Dance ( Black Mirror )

” Shut Up and Dance ” is the third episode of the third series of British science fiction anthology series Black Mirror . It was written by series creator and showrunner Charlie Brooker and William Bridges, and premiered on Netflix on 21 October 2016, together with the rest of series three. [1]

The episode tells the story of Kenny ( Alex Lawther ), a teenager who is suddenly blackmailed by a mysterious hacker who owns a compromising video of him. One day, the hacker gives him strange tasks to do; As Hector ( Jerome Flynn ), are also blackmailed into strange actions by the hacker.

The episode received very positive reviews.


A woman ( Susannah Doyle ) drives a car into a car park, nervously leaving the keys in one of the wheel arches, before receiving a text and leaving.

Teenager Kenny ( Alex Lawther ) returns home from his busboy to get his sister has borrowed his laptop and infected it with malware , which he attempts to remove. However, an unseen hacker gains access to the laptop’s camera and later records Kenny masturbating to a video played on it. The hacker emails Kenny, demanding his mobile phone number, threatening that otherwise the video of him masturbating will be sent to everyone in his contacts list. Kenny reluctantly complies. The hacker further instructs Kenny to keep his phone’s rented services enabled, so the hacker can track him at all times, and to be prepared for later instructions.

When Kenny arrives at work the next day, he receives a text from the hacker, directing him to a location 15 miles away, and giving him only 45 minutes to get there. Feigning sickness, he leaves work and frantically pedals his bicycle to the coordinates, arriving with seconds to spare. ( Ivanno Jeremiah ), also nervously acting on instructions from the hacker, who gives Kenny a box with a cake inside, and confirms the transaction on his phone before leaving.

Hector ( Jerome Flynn ). The hotel is located in the north-east section of Hector, at only 5 minutes by car distance from the center . As Kenny tries to explain why he is there, hector receives blackmail messages of his own, along with instructions for the two of them to take the car had before to a specific location out of the city.

On the way, Hector reveals that the hacker caught him in flirting with and hiring a prostitute, and he is determined to fulfill the hacker’s demands as well as his custody of his children. Kenny tearfully answers that they recorded him masturbating. They are delayed by the need to stop for fuel, and a chance encounter with an acquaintance of Hector’s ( Natasha Little ), and must drive recklessly to their destination on time.

Upon arrival, they are directed to use a gun, hat, and sunglasses. Kenny says he can not do it, but with the justification that he’s the experienced driver, Hector coerces him to take the role of robber. A nervous wreck, Kenny urinates himself during the robbery, but succeeds in getting a full bag of cash, and they get away.

Hector’s final instruction is to destroy the car, and Kenny is instructed to carry the money to a drop-off point. They leave ways and Kenny walks the rest of the way into a nearby wood . Kenny meets a man ( Paul Bazely ), also a thrall of the hackers, with a camera-equipped drone . The man explains what they are to fight to the death while the hackers watch through the drone, with the money going to the winner as a prize. Observing that his life is “over” if he does not go along, the man asks Kenny what the hackers are blackmailing him for. Kenny tearfully protests that he has just been looking at child pornography .

As they are ordered to start the fight, Kenny pulls out the gun. He first points it to the man, then puts it under his chin and pulls the trigger, but it is not loaded. The two fight hand to hand, as the drone looks on.

Hector returns home to his family, and receives a final message from the hackers (a trollface ), and finds that they have already reneged on the deal, and feels his wife the evidence of his infidelity with the prostitute. The other victims have also had their sensitive information released complying with instructions, receiving the same trollface.

Kenny, bloodied from the fight, staggers from the woodland with the money. He receives an hysterical call from his mother, who is shocked by the video she’s been sent from him masturbating to pictures of children. Stunned, he ends the call, then receives the trollface image, as the police arrive. He offers feeble resistance as they apprehend him.


In an interview, Brooker revealed that the story went through many different iterations, and some did not include the final twist. [2] He That Revealed in One Version of the story, There Was no reason why the events Were happening, and in the Search Reviews another Were reversed, with Jerome Flynn ‘s character HAVING the extremely dark secret. [2]

Critical reception

Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter praised Alex Lawther’s performance in the episode, calling it “one of the best things of 2016”. [3] Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph rated the episode 5 out of 5, describing it as “soul-scorching [and] relentlessly riveting.” [4] Matt Fowler of IGN similarly praised the episode, saying that it leaves the viewer “utterly shaken”, and that it was a remarkably heart-pounding episode. [5] In the Daily Mirror , Suchandrika Chakrabarti gave the episode 5 out of 5 stars, summarising que la episode is “very simple, incredibly effective purpose” and ”

Sophie Gilbert of the Atlantic is the episode to ” White Bear “, another episode in the series where it seems to be a criminal. [7]

Zack Handlen of The AV Club Give the episode a B + rating, complimenting Black Mirror ‘ s “willingness to force moral issues that make everyone feel awful”, and never been that boring […] not all that Engaging, either “. [8] Adam Chitwood of Collider stated that it was a “bad episode”, it was a “frustratingly tense one […] [and] a bit too long and has one of the darkest passages of the season” . [9]


  1. Jump up^ “Black Mirror Season 3 Will Premiere Sooner Than We’d Thought” . The Verge . 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b “Black Mirror postmortem: Showrunner talks season 3 twists” . Entertainment Weekly . 21 October 2016 . Retrieved 24 October 2016 .
  3. Jump up^ ” ‘ Black Mirror’ Season 3: TV Review” . The Hollywood Reporter . 15 September 2016 . Retrieved 19 September 2016 .
  4. Jump up^ “Black Mirror, season 3, Shut Up and Dance, review: ‘soul-scorching, dark and riveting ‘ ” . The Daily Telegraph . 6 October 2016 . Retrieved 20 October 2016 .
  5. Jump up^ Fowler, Matt (October 19, 2016). “BLACK MIRROR: SEASON 3 REVIEW” . IGN . Retrieved October 20, 2016 .
  6. Jump up^ Chakrabarti, Suchandrika (December 16, 2016). “Shut Up and Dance review: Black Mirror’s present-day tale of shame, blackmail and the corroding power of secrets . ” Daily Mirror . Retrieved April 23, 2017 .
  7. Jump up^ Gilbert, Sophie (October 21, 2016). ‘ ‘ Black Mirror ‘Is Back:’ Shut Up and Dance ‘Is a Horrifying Thriller ” . The Atlantic . Retrieved October 23, 2016 .
  8. Jump up^ Handlen, Zack (October 23, 2016). “No one’s watching the watchmen on so-so Black Mirror ” . The AV Club . Retrieved April 22, 2017 .
  9. Jump up^ “‘Black Mirror’ Season 3 Review: The Future Is Slightly Sunnier on Netflix” . Collider . 4 October 2016 . Retrieved 4 October 2016 .

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