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Characters / Black Mirror: Shut Up and Dance

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Portrayed By: Alex Lawther

  • All for Nothing: His secret gets revealed anyway.
  • Asshole Victim: Whether you think he deserved what happened to him or not, he's still a paedophile willing to go to extreme lengths not to be outed as such.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: One possible reason for why he tries to shoot himself rather than go through with the fight. Although he ultimately wins anyway.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's not the innocent victim he seems to be.
  • Blackmail: He's the victim of this.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: When he's forced to rob a bank, the sheer panic and fear results in him wetting himself.
  • Bungled Suicide: He tries to kill himself, only to find the gun is empty.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Probably unintentional but everything about Kenny is a striking contrast to the previous episode's lead Cooper. Cooper was an adult while Kenny is a teenager. Cooper was tall and had an athletic build while Kenny is slight and frail. Cooper was laid-back and gregarious while Kenny is nervous and uptight. Cooper had long blonde hair while Kenny has short black hair. Cooper was an American tourist while Kenny is a native Brit. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Cooper was a genuinely good person who didn't deserve the bad things that happened to him while Kenny is revealed to be a paedophile willing to kill to make sure his secret doesn't get out.
  • Driven to Suicide: He attempts suicide, it's just that the gun isn't loaded.
  • Duel to the Death: His final task is to fight a fellow blackmail victim to the death...which he does.
  • Empty Shell: The clear implication of him wandering down the road in dark, still splattered in a lot of blood, in the final scene.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Whatever happens to him after the end, he's still been outed as a paedophile to his family and everyone he knows so his life is ruined.
  • Friend to All Children: His first scene shows that he loves children and gets along very well with them. Horribly subverted when we later find out that he enjoys looking at child pornography, which makes his seemingly cute interaction with a little girl at the beginning very creepy in hindsight.
  • It's All About Me: It's subtler and arguably more sympathetic than most examples, but it's there. Kenny is so desperate to prevent the fact that he's a pedophile from getting out that he resorts to doing other horrible things like robbing a bank and even murdering another person (who is also a pedophile).
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Despite his skinny frame, he was able to fight and kill a much older, taller and more muscular man with nothing but his bare hands.
  • Nervous Wreck: He spends much of the episode on the verge of a panic attack.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: His face is locked into an epic one at the end of the episode.
  • Tragic Villain: There are implications that he hates himself for what he's done, most notably his attempt to kill himself with the gun he used in the robbery.
  • Trauma Conga Line: By the end, he's been forced to rob a bank and kill another person, leaving him traumatized, and will likely got a jail for a very long time for both. Worst of all, the trolls reveal his secret anyway so now everyone, including his mother and sister, know he's a paedophile, meaning his life is destroyed.
  • Villain Protagonist: Yep. Doesn't really matter how sympathetic they seem to be trying to make him, there's still the fact that he's a pedophile who possesses child pornography. If that's not enough, there's the fact that he's desperate enough to murder somebody (who is also a pedophile) just because he thinks it will help keep this information from getting out.
  • Walking Spoiler: A hugely important aspect of his character is part of The Reveal, hence the large amount of spoiler tags.
  • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: He seems extremely harmless and innocent. But he's still a paeodphile and, if his conversation with the girl was any indication, he poses a very direct risk to children.


Portrayed By: Jerome Flynn

  • Blackmail: Like Kenny, he's a victim of it.
  • Break the Haughty: He's honestly kind of a dick, and he did try to cheat on his wife with a prostitute. But he also goes through the horrific experiences of being blackmailed, robbing a bank (as a getaway driver anyway), and then has his misdeeds exposed anyway.
  • The Driver: Acts as one unwillingly for Kenny at the behest of the blackmailers.
  • Driven to Suicide: He tells Kenny that he'd kill himself if he lost his children. Seeing how his big secret is revealed to his wife, there's little room for doubt their marriage is over and his wife will inevitably leave with their children.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: It's revealed that Hector made plans to meet a prostitute for sex, despite being a married man. However, this is something of a gray area, as Hector, for the most part, is portrayed as a fairly decent guy who loves his children and had become bored with his wife.
  • Nice Guy: Claims to be one when he's not under pressure. For the most part, he does seem like one, except for the fact that he tried to cheat on his wife.
  • Papa Wolf: He absolutely loves his kids and his main reason for keeping his infidelity a secret is because he knows his wife will take them with her when she leaves.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: He has quite a foul mouth. Understandable given the shit storm he's found himself in. And consistent with Jerome Flynn's Game of Thrones character Bronn, who's quite the potty-mouth himself.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He was intending to meet a prostitute for sex because he's become bored with his wife.

    The Blackmailers 

The Blackmailers

Portrayed By: N/A

  • Ambiguously Evil: They blackmail a lot of people into doing some very bad things, including robbing a bank and fighting one another to the death. However, we later find out that many of their victims are nowhere near as innocent as we're led to believe, as they range from racists, to pedophiles.
  • Everyone Has Standards: They make sure that the gun they give Kenny isn't loaded. Whether this was to keep him from hurting anyone during the robbery or to make sure he couldn't escape his final fight by pulling a gun or escape his ultimate fate by killing himself is debatable. Given the series, it's safe to assume the latter.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: We never learn who they are.
  • Karmic Trickster: Implied by the fact that all of the people they go after are guilty of things such as pedophilia, adultery, racism, etc.
  • Troll: What they are revealed to be. They even send a picture of a trollface to their victims when they reveal their secrets.

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