15 TV episodes we’ll never get tired of watching

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Black Mirror, “San Junipero”

We couldn’t make a list of TV episodes we’ll never get tired of watching without including our favorite gut-wrenching lesbian love story from Black Mirror.

“San Junipero” is an episode of the anthology series’ third season, and it’s one of the most talked about from the whole series. It even won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. The episode takes place in 1987, where a shy girl named Yorkie heads out to a nightclub in a beach town named San Junipero. The outgoing party girl Kelly strikes up a conversation with her, pretending to be old friends in order to ditch the guy who’s talking to her.

You immediately realize something is off about Yorkie, whether it’s her aversion to alcohol or the fact that she runs out of the club after dancing with Kelly because she seems uncomfortable. Kelly, who is bisexual, propositions her, but Yorkie says she’s engaged, and leaves.

Yorkie returns the next week to find Kelly and confesses that she ran away because she was scared of developing feelings for Kelly. The two end up having sex in Kelly’s beach house. Then we find out — in true Black Mirror style — that everything is not as it seems.

San Junipero isn’t a real place, it’s a simulated reality for elderly people to visit and for deceased people to live out their afterlife. Yorkie is a woman who was shamed by her family when she came out as a lesbian, and when she fled in her car, got in a car accident that paralyzed her at age 21. Yorkie wants to be euthanized so she can live in San Junipero full-time, but her family won’t allow it.

She decides to marry her nurse, Greg, so that he can approve the euthanization until Kelly offers to marry her in real-life instead. The next time Kelly visits Yorkie in San Junipero, she asks her to stay there with her, but Kelly, who doesn’t believe in an afterlife, has no plans to be uploaded to a simulation.

Just when you think this will be another lesbian heartbreak story, when Kelly eventually dies, she returns to San Junipero, and the two women live happily ever after, in the afterlife. “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” by Belinda Carlisle — which played at the beginning of the episode — plays once more, and then you realize that the song was a hint about the true origins of San Junipero.

Not only was “San Junipero” TV done so right, it was also a great representation of lesbian and bisexual characters who got their happy ending (even if they had to die to get it).