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Nicholas Debwany
Nicholas Debwany

[S3E4] The Worst Couple

[S3E4] The Worst Couple =====

[S3E4] The Worst Couple

Miss Scarlet & the Duke Season 3 has been a roller coaster of episode quality. "Arabella's" was one of the series' best recent installments, while "Hotel St. Marc" was one of its worst. And now there's "Bloodline," an installment that sits somewhere uncomfortably in between. At least the hour is thematically interesting, even though Miss Scarlet's traditionally feminist perspective is largely absent. (Or, at least, it doesn't take the form we expect.)

Sinjin invites the gang to a rehearsal for his new couples' game show, called Queries For Couples. However, when the rehearsal starts, the producer is unhappy with the couples Sinjin chose because of their looks. Desperate to go on with the rehearsal, Sinjin asks André, Cat, Robbie, Tori, Beck, and Jade to compete in their stead. They are paired off, the couples being André and Cat, Robbie and Tori, and Beck and Jade.

Things start out alright with the first two pairings, but when Sinjin tries to ask Beck and Jade their query, Jade's contrarianism causes her and Beck to get in an argument, culminating with Beck screaming that he's not happy with their relationship. As a result, the two, despite being the only real couple, are considered "The Worst Couple". Now questioning their relationship, Beck drags Jade into the janitor's closet to discuss this with her the next day, the two even drag Cat into their fight, but Jade refuses to take him seriously, leading to another fight.

The episode is set in a beach resort town named San Junipero, where the introverted Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) meets the more outgoing Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). The town is part of a simulated reality the elderly can inhabit, even after death. "San Junipero" was the first episode written for series three of Black Mirror; initial drafts were based on nostalgia therapy and designed as a 1980s period piece. The first script was about a mixed-sex couple and had an unhappy ending; the final version was about a same-sex couple and had a happy ending. Filming took place in London and Cape Town across a few weeks. The soundtrack interweaves 1980s songs with an original score by Clint Mansell.

Brooker has said that he wrote the script for the episode in four days.[8] In the initial draft, the love story was about a heterosexual couple, but Brooker changed it to give the episode an extra resonance, as same-sex marriage was not legal in 1987.[11] He has said that having a twist makes the writing process easier, as "when you know that 85 percent of what's happening you can't reveal till later on, it actually sort of narrows your options in a useful way".[13] One draft of the episode contained a scene where Kelly visits a kindergarten in San Junipero, full of children who had died, but it was removed because "it was too sad and too poignant of a note to hit in that story".[14] Brooker chose the setting of California, a location in America rather than Britain, as a way to "upend" people's preconceptions of Black Mirror.[6] One reviewer noted that all of the characters in "San Junipero" are American.[5]

Reviewers have described "San Junipero" as a highly optimistic,[29] emotionally rooted[30] love story and a work of science fiction.[31] It features the first same-sex couple in Black Mirror.[31] Rebecca Nicholson of The Guardian wrote that it "leaves you believing in the power of love to fight pain and loneliness".[29] Some reviewers noted that the love story "transcends consciousness".[32][33] The episode also has unhappy elements[31][34] and has been called "bittersweet".[35] It evokes nostalgia for the 1980s with its soundtrack and its style,[36] and can be considered a period piece.[11][37] It also raises questions about death and the afterlife.[38] Esquire reviewer Emma Dibdin called it a "modern fairy tale".[39]

Mbatha-Raw's and Davis's performances were universally praised.[b] Sims lauded the couple's chemistry and said the pair concisely communicate "a whole lifetime of angst and desires"

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