This post was originally published in May 2019, but with everyone being like “WTF, HARPER?!” now that Happiest Season is out, it feels like a great time to revisit Mackenzie Davis in another iconic LGBTQ+ role! (WILL SHE EVER LAND A PART THAT SKIPS PAST THE COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET TROPE?! Only time will tell.)
I think Black Mirror‘s “San Junipero” episode should’ve been called “U-Haul 2.0”; the series just released a trailer for its fifth season, but I already feel confident that nothing will surpass those glorious six episodes from 2016’s S3 thanks in no small part to Yorkie and Kelly’s (somewhat illogical) love story.
I say “(somewhat illogical)” because it is indeed SOMEWHAT ILLOGICAL. I overlooked a lot of that the first (and second and third and fourth) time I watched the episode, but after a while, I started to realize that Yorkie and Kelly’s connection was flimsy AF. Apart from the fact that they are both V. GOOD-LOOKING, and happen to exist inside the same corner of a digital afterlife, I don’t really see a reason why they should have fallen in love with one another. (I get that there are only so many minutes in an episode, but underdeveloped dot com.)
At first I felt a little annoyed, almost like I had been living a lie during my honeymoon phase with “San Junipero”. But then I realized that I (and Yorkie and Kelly) had been living the greatest truth of all – they were just U-Hauling in an intensely futuristic way! For anyone raising their hand to ask what I mean about “U-Hauling”, I’ll take a page from The L Word – “It’s the lesbian urge to merge,” or the thing that happens (to many queer women, but not all, and especially not me!) when two ladies pretty much move in together after like, the first date. This entire episode was just that concept on steroids –
Yorkie: “Hey, I know I have known you for like five minutes and we haven’t even had much time to discuss anything that substantial about ourselves apart from that your family is dead and my family sucks, but would you like to upload your consciousness to the cloud and exist with me forever in this weird beach town? (We can get a cool car once I overcome my motor vehicle trauma! Also please don’t say ‘no’ because I am getting very tired of stalking you through multiple digital eras!)”
Kelly: “I have my doubts, but obviously the answer is ultimately going to be yes, yes a thousand times yes!”
Like, what do you think they’re doing right now? If they continue to live out queer stereotypes, that puts them with about sixteen digital cats, their individual fashion styles have likely melded into one (I’m envisioning bedazzled khaki shorts), and now they completely skip the bar scene and spend most nights happily on the couch. (Lesbian Bed Death may have even kicked in by now, though Yorkie had some serious catching up to do re: sexual awakening, so WHO KNOWS.)
I do genuinely wish them permanent happiness, and I hope that (with more time to reveal personal details than a 61-minute Black Mirror episode initially allowed) they’ve discovered more common ground. (Or at least more things of interest.) All I know is that U-Hauling in an eternal capacity sounds like a GODDAMN NIGHTMARE, and I think this particular chapter of Black Mirror JUST squeaked by as an optimistic romance rather than a terrifying cautionary tale. (Here’s hoping we get a “San Junipero/U-Haul 2.0” update sometime in the future to find out for sure.)