Black Mirror : Shut Up and Dance

Re: Shut Up and Dance

My problem with this episode that I don't know if he was masturbating to kids.
He could have just been a very inhibited and shy teenager. If someone had told me at that age that they recorded me masturbating I've would have freaked out too.
My other problem is what you mentioned in the op. Even if he was masturbating to kids how can they prove it? And even if they can wouldn't he have checked it out first before beating a man to death?
The whole episode was unnatural.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

I was of this opinion, but there are several reasons to believe that Kenny was looking at kids. The biggest reason for me was his lack of reaction to the question "How young were they?" Any normal person would be shocked and deny any suggestion that they might be a paedophile. Kenny didn't deny it because he realised the hacker had the same on this other guy as they had on him.

The same with when his mum phoned and said he'd been looking at kids. Anybody who isn't a paedophile would be shocked at the suggestion and instantly deny it. To me, Kenny's silence on the matter was as good as a confession.

There's no conclusive proof in the epiode that Kenny was a paedo, and there are arguments for and against, but to me that's the charm of the episode. You have to think about several things and decide for yourself what happened and who's guilty of what.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

It's exactly his silence that bugs me the most. If he had been been guilty he might have said something. It's the inoccent ones that stay silent, because they don't have an answer.
To them, a question "How young were they?" doesn't even interpret the same way.
He might have been a paedeo but I just don't like how the scenario played out.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

He does not answer because if he would just lie, there would apparently not be any reason for him to play along in the blackmail game. That he has played that game so far makes it clear that there is something to it and his lack of an answer then shows that it must have been this reason.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

I can see the argument that he was just watching regular porn. At first he thought he just had to cycle across town and deliver a cake. That's surely worth doing to stop a video of you masterbating from being shown to all your friends and family. Notice that when it came to robbing the bank, he was originally going to refuse. He only agreed to do it after the speech from Hector. And when it came to killing the man in the woods, he had very little choice. It was a case of kill or be killed.

So no, it's not as if every decision he made was solely to try to cover up his secret.

Despite this, I prefer to interpret his lack of denying it at the end as a confession. But I do believe it was left deliberately ambiguous so the viewer has to make up their own mind.

Re: Shut Up and Dance


And when it came to killing the man in the woods, he had very little choice.
Je made the choice right at the beginning: he wanted to kill himself with the gun. Who would do that to protect a child abuser?

Had he not done anything punishable, why would he have gone into the bank at all? Hector had his reasons to convince him, but if at that point there would have been the line between something embarrassing and something criminal, it would have taken more than Hector to make him do it.

Add to that all the hints, like him talking to the child at the beginning. That would have been an unnecessary scene, had there not been this context.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

I don't think he was going to shoot himself to protect the other man. If he simply wanted to die and let the other man live, he would have let him win the fight. I guess when he was in that situation, it was only natural to fight back, despite having tried to kill himself earlier.

Also, if he had been watching child porn, why was he originally going to refuse to rob the bank? In fact, whether you believe he was or was not a paedophile, the fact that he wasn't going to rob the bank, and then he agreed after the speech from Hector, doesn't make a lot of sense. If he's not a paedophile, being known as a bank robber is worse than being known as somebody who masterbated. And if he was a paedophile, why was he originally not going to rob the bank? Going to prison as a bank robber is better than going to prison as a paedophile. In my mind this scene is neutral in the argument whether he was or wasn't a paedophile.

I guess the scene with the child in the beginning serves as a bit of foreshadowing, although in itself I didn't see anything creepy or inappropriate about it.

Bare in mind that I'm playing the devil's advocate. I do believe that he was a paedophile, I'm just explaining why, imo, it's left deliberately ambiguous.

Re: Shut Up and Dance


I don't think he was going to shoot himself to protect the other man.
He knew the other one was not better than him. Which is exactly the point: why should he try to kill himself, if the other one is clearly not a better person? Why should he accept punishment for having done nothing wrong?

Also, if he had been watching child porn, why was he originally going to refuse to rob the bank?
Because it is his character. He is a passive person. If it was just about himself, he would have given up at that point. Which is most likely why the trolls put him together with someone who had something to lose. It makes a lot of sense this way. People are not clockworks. In fact him not hesitating at that point would have made the episode feel constructed.

The show uses its devices very clearly to implicitly make clear what Kenny is, before his mother explicitly states it. This is brilliant writing.
On the other hand, if he is really just a victim, all of this falls apart, and leaves the episode as an astonishingly bad straight-forward narrative which fails to ask any questions and essentially has nothing to do with what the show usually is about. Which makes it pretty clear to me, that this could not have been the intention.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

I agree with your last point entirely, and about Kenny being a passive individual.

As for why he was going to shoot himself, teenagers commit suicide in real life unexpectedly for unknown reasons, especially if they have emotional issues or are victims of bullying or even cyberbullying. You could call this an extreme case of cyberbullying. Add to that the fact that Kenny probably thought he had nothing left to live for. He was either going to go to prison as a paedophile, go to prison as a murderer, go to prison as a bank robber (all of which would probably lose him the repect of all his friends and family), or be beaten to death by somebody twice his size. I guess shooting himself there and then looked like the easy way out.

Re: Shut Up and Dance


As for why he was going to shoot himself, teenagers commit suicide in real life unexpectedly for unknown reasons, especially if they have emotional issues or are victims of bullying or even cyberbullying.
But that does not happen like spontanious combustion. It piles up. It would have been a weird moment, as it was in a situation of a direct exchange of lifes and he acted intuitivly.

He was either going to go to prison as a paedophile
That would only be the case if you accept that this was the case. And why shouldn't he shoot some pedophile? At that point it would be self-defence.

There is really just one way all his actions add up, whereas if he has done nothing wrong, everything would just be a random string of events without direction and without any credible dilemma. What would the episode be working towards if not that revelation?

Re: Shut Up and Dance

Yeah you are right. I guess he didn't shoot the other paedophile because he wasn't a cold-blooded murderer. He'd rather shoot himself than shoot somebody who was unarmed. He only killed the man in the end because it was self-defense.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

It shows that he hates himself. There has to be a reason for that.
The fight is not necessarily just self-defense, I guess being beat to death is a more unconfortable thought than shooting oneself. And the trolls wanted to see that, which once more shows the perversity of those vigilantes.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

Being that he was a minor himself,I don't think he would have been punished harshly in terms of the legal ramifications. But it would have been humiliating to his family and he would have been very scared about what his mother thought.


The irony is the hacker probably knew he couldn't legally be punished so he set it up to where he would most likely do the bank robbery and kill or be killed.Because that certainly means he is going to be persecuted.



He should have stayed home and let the video leak.Would have been better in the long run.


But I wonder was he masturbating to kiddy porn ,kiddy pictures or just regular pictures of kids.

"I think I liked it better when I thought Sylar ate brains." -Warriorrenegade

Re: Shut Up and Dance

He's not a minor he's 19.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

omg he was 19 ! Im sorry I thought he was a teen.






"I think I liked it better when I thought Sylar ate brains." -Warriorrenegade

Re: Shut Up and Dance

what you wrote;


Being that he was a minor himself,I don't think he would have been punished harshly in terms of the legal ramifications. But it would have been humiliating to his family and he would have been very scared about what his mother thought.








last time I checked you are still a teenager at 19, you are also (by UK law) no longer a minor.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

Yeah im not disputing what you said im saying im sorry for my previous statement.












"I think I liked it better when I thought Sylar ate brains." -Warriorrenegade

Re: Shut Up and Dance

None of it matters FFS.

All it takes is the mear suggestion that he was wanking to kids and he would ALWAYS be that guy.

Does not matter if the photos can be linked to his actions.

All it takes is the mear accusation to ruin a person's life. Even if it is entirelty untrue.

Which in this case, it is true.

Re: Shut Up and Dance

Curious, how do we know he's 19? All i recall is that he said he didn't have his driver's license yet.

I think, in the episode, he had to be a pedophile because that "makes the episode work". Otherwise, he doesn't become a villain and "get what's coming to him" in the end. As a viewer, we would find Kenny's fate just sad if all he was masturbating to was something "socially acceptable". So it was a necessary plot device to have him masturbating to something unequivocally unacceptable.

What was the motivation of the "malware company"? After this hits the news (and it surely would) not only will people put tape on their cameras, but the blackmailer could never do this again. So if he was a "moral avenger" he's done ("shot his load", if you will)
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