In the 1980s California town of San Junipero, a young woman named Yorkie walks down the streets. Another woman, Kelly, walks into a bar-Tucker's-- and her boyfriend Wes follows her despite her complaints about him. Yorkie goes in and nervously makes her way through the crowd, and stops to play an arcade game. A man, Harvey, comes over and tries to start up a conversation about the game. He invites her to play with him, but she hastily says no and tells Harvey that she wants to get her bearings.
Yorkie sits down in a booth and Wes comes by. Kelly looks around, and then sits down next to Yorkie and tells her top go along with whatever she said. Wes comes over and warns her that there's two hours, thirty-five minutes left. He reminds Kelly that they had a good time a week ago, but Kelly says that was a week ago and she wants to talk to her "friend", Yorkie. She claims that Yorkie has six months to live, and Kelly jokingly corrects her, saying five months.
Once Wes leaves, Kelly introduces herself and says that Wes isn't a bad guy and she met him at the Quagmire. When Yorkie asks what the Quagmire is, Kelly warns her that she doesn't want to know,. They go up to the bar and Kelly orders drinks for both of them. She then looks at Yorkie and asks why she wears glasses. Yorkie says that she used to wear them in school and now they're a comfort thing, and Kelly says that they're authentically her when everyone dresses up like a movie. They drink their alcoholic drinks and Yorkie chokes briefly, and she admits that it's her first night there.
A new song starts up and Kelly drags Yorkie out to the floor to dance. Yorkie finally dances with her, smiling, but then runs outside into the rain when she notices everyone looking at them. Kelly goes after her and apologizes for pushing her into it, but she gets impatient on Saturday nights. When Yorkie says that everyone was looking at the two of them dancing, Kelly assures her that it's a party town and nobody cares. Yorkie finally admits that she's never been on a dance floor, and her family doesn't let her do anything. Her new friend says that it's from a place of love, but Yorkie tells them that they hate the concept of her enjoying herself. Kelly asks her what she'd like to do that she's never done, and tells her that midnight is two hours away and the town is up for grabs. She puts her hand on Yorkie's leg, and Yorkie stutters and says that she's engaged to a man, Greg. Kelly confirms that he's elsewhere, and asks Yorkie if she wants to go to bed with her. The other girl says that she can't, and says that it's been great to meet her. Yorkie starts to walk off, and then turns back to Kelly... and discovers that she's gone.
One Week Later
At her apartment, Kelly takes off her glasses and tries on dresses and hairstyles. Uncomfortable, she finally puts on her regular clothes and glasses before going out.
Kelly drives to San Junipero and finds Wes waiting for her. She threatens to "red-line" him, and tells him that there are plenty of other girls for him. Wes complains that they're like dead people, and he doesn't want a boring relationship. She tells him to hang out at the Quagmire if he wants a relationship, admits that they had fun, and tells him to enjoy the town before going into Tucker's.
At the bar, a man approaches Kelly and offers to buy her a drink. Yorkie comes in and sees Kelly at the bar. Kelly sees her and invites the man, Davis, to dance. After a moment, Yorkie goes to a booth and continues to watch Kelly talk with Davis after they finish dancing. Kelly sees her and smiles, and Yorkie smiles back. When Kelly goes into the bathroom, Yorkie goes in after her and says that she doesn't know how to do it. She asks Kelly to help her by making it easy for her, and Kelly invites her to get in her car.
The two women drive out of San Junipero and Yorkie asks Kelly how long that she's been there. She says a couple of months, and explains that she's a tourist like Yorkie. They swerve to avoid an oncoming car and go off onto the beach. They continue on to Kelly's house and go inside, and Yorkie sees a photo of an older woman named Allison. She asks Kelly if it's her mother, and Kelly kisses her. After a moment, Yorkie kisses her back. They end up in bed making love.
Later, the two women lie in bed and Yorkie admits that she's a virgin. Kelly assures her that it was awesome, and Yorkie says that her relationship with her fiancé is complicated. She wonders when Kelly knew that she was bisexual, and Kelly says that she was married to a guy for a long time. Despite that, she had crushes and liked women as well, but never acted on any of it because she was in love with her husband. He finally left her, and before she leaves San Junipero she's going to have a good time. It's one minute to midnight and Kelly warns that their time is almost up.
One Week Later
Yorkie goes to Tucker's and asks the bartender if he's seen Kelly. He suggests that she try the Quagmire, and Yorkie wonders what it means. Later, Yorkie leaves San Junipero and finds the Quagmire: a heavy-metal factory turned bar. She goes inside and makes her way through the crowd. Two men are fighting in a cage, and Yorkie starts to leave. She bumps into Wes, who recognizes her and says that Kelly was his friend. Wes says that Kelly hasn't been there, and tells her to look for Kelly in the 90s or 2002 because she's worth a shot.
One Week Later
Yorkie goes to Tucker's and finds Harvey at the arcade games. She says that she's looking for someone and walks off.
One Week Later
It's 1996, and Yorkie goes to Tucker's. There's no sign of Kelly, and she goes to Kelly's house and knocks at the door. There's no answer, and Yorkie sits on the beach alone.
One Week Later
It's 2002, and Yorkie goes to Tucker's. Harvey is playing a dance-style video game with Kelly, and the two women stare at each other. Kelly excuses herself to go the ladies room and Yorkie goes after her. She says that she was looking for Kelly, and Kelly says that she was looking for a chance of music. Yorkie accuses her of hiding from her, and Kelly says that she wasn't and doesn't owe her anything. In the bathroom, Yorkie says that Kelly doesn't know what it means. Kelly says that San Junipero is fun, and what they have isn't fun. Yorkie says that she should feel something and walks out. Kelly looks at herself in the mirror and then punches it with her hand, breaking it... but her hand is undamaged.
Kelly goes outside looking for Yorkie, and finds her sitting on a nearby roof. She goes up after her and asks if she has her pain-slider set to zero. Yorkie thinks that she does, and asks how many of the residents are dead. Kelly figures that it's 80-85%, and apologizes. She explains that doesn't do feelings, and Yorkie freaked her out. Kelly warns that she doesn't know how long it is, and she wasn't prepared for someone like Yorkie. Yorkie kisses her and after a moment, Kelly kisses her back.
Later at Kelly's house, the two women sit out on the porch and look at the ocean. Yorkie says that she's getting married in a week because she has to go through with it. Her family doesn't approve but they can't stop her, and Yorkie figures that Greg pities her. She asks what Kelly meant when she said she doesn't know how much time there is, and Kelly says that they've told her three months and it's spread everywhere. Yorkie wonders if she'll stay in San Junipero afterward, and Kelly says that when she's done she's done. When Yorkie wonders why, Kelly says that her husband's name was Richard and he died two years ago. He had the opportunity to stay in San Junipero and pass over, but didn't want to take it. Yorkie wonders why no one wouldn't take it, and Kelly says that Richard didn't believe in San Junipero or visit it. Surprised, Yorkie says that she never would have met someone like Kelly outside of San Junipero. If they had really met then Kelly wouldn't like her. Kelly says to try her, but Yorkie doesn't see the point when they're not even in the same city. Her lover says that she's in Carson City, and asks where Yorkie is. Yorkie says that she's in Santa Rosa and doesn't want Kelly to see her, but Kelly tells her that she's dying and nothing can scare her. She asks Yorkie to let her come visit and say hi, and Yorkie agrees. The clock strikes midnight.
An elderly Kelly leaves Sienna Trust Assisted Living and goes to Santa Anna with a caregiver, Laura. When they arrive, the doctor says that Yorkie is waiting for her. He takes her to Yorkie's room and says that she can't respond but can hear them. A quadriplegic Yorkie is lying in a bed on life-support, just as old as Kelly. Kelly takes her hand and says that it's good to see her, and gently kisses her on the forehead.
As Kelly leaves, a man named Greg approaches her and introduces himself. He thanks Kelly for visiting Yorkie before she passes over, and suggests that they get a coffee. As they do, Greg explains that Yorkie was sampling the trial version of San Junipero. They talk on the comm box, and Yorkie told him that after a fight with her parents over her sexuality, Yorkie drove off a car and ran off the road. That was 40 year ago, and until she goes over permanently, Yorkie is on the five-hour limit. Kelly is the same, because the people in charge think people go crazy if they spend too much time in the virtual reality. She says that the Immersive Nostalgic Therapy puts you into a world of memory and helps with Alzheimer's.
Kelly asks about Greg and Yorkie's marriage, and he says the state requires the signature of a family member to approve euthanasia so that someone can pass over permanently to San Junipero. Yorkie's family is religious and won't sign, but a spouse can sign. A pastor is coming to marry them the next morning, and then Yorkie will pass over in the afternoon. Kelly tells him that he's a good man, and Kelly asks him to hook her and Yorkie up to the system. Greg warns that it's all carefully monitored, but Kelly says that se only wants a moment and Greg agrees.
In Yorkie's room, Greg hooks the two women up to San Junipero and warns that they have five minutes. In the virtual reality, Kelly runs out of the house and finds Yorkie on the beach during the day. She says that she talked to Greg and learned that Yorkie is passing over the next day. Yorkie starts to apologize, but Kelly stops her, kneels, and proposes to Yorkie. Laughing, Yorkie accepts and kisses her.
Later, the pastor arrives and pronounces Yorkie and Kelly a wedded couple. They then terminate Yorkie's life, and Kelly sees a single tear fall from Yorkie's eye.
In the virtual reality, Yorkie stands on the beach in the waves. She can feel the sand and ocean on her feet, and sits down and enjoys the sensations.
Laura takes Kelly back to her assisted care facility. She then hooks her up to San Junipero, and Kelly drives up to the beach and picks up Yorkie, wearing her wedding dress. Yorkie's clothing becomes a wedding dress to match her spouses, and the two women hug and then drive off. They park on the rise over the town and look down on San Junipero, and Yorkie revels in the sensations that she can feel now that she lives there. She asks Kelly to pass over when it's her time, and says that she can have forever. Yorkie insists that it's real, not a trap, and Kelly says that she just married her to help her pass over. When Yorkie says that they have a chance and she wants to share it with her, Kelly tells her that it's her choice. Yorkie says that Richard chose not to stay there, and Kelly should be mad instead of blaming herself.
Kelly slaps her and says that she was with Richard for 49 years. They shared everything, including the heartbreak when their daughter Allison died at the age of 39. Before Richard died, he said that he couldn't live in a graveyard when Allison missed out. Kelly hopes that Richard and Allison are together, but figures that they're just gone. She tells Yorkie that she pitied her, and says that Yorkie can try to feel things like the people at the Quagmire but she's gone. With that, Kelly drives off.
Driving down the road, Kelly speeds up as the clock approaches midnight. She comes to a road closure and tries to brake, but they fail. The car crashes and she goes through the windshield onto the beach. Coughing, Kelly gets up and finds Yorkie there, reaching for her. They start to take each other's hands...
...and midnight arrives. Kelly finds herself back in the real world.
Yorkie walks away from the crash site, alone.
Later, Laura checks on Kelly, who insists that she's fine. However, that night, Kelly's condition worsens. The next day, they go out to sit on a bench overlooking the city. Kelly finally says that all things considered, she's ready for the rest of it.
In San Junipero, Yorkie gets into her car and drives off. She drives through the countryside.
The doctors quietly end Kelly's life .Later, she's buried with her husband and daughter.
Yorkie pulls up to Kelly's house and honks the horn. Kelly comes out and gets into the car, and they drive off kissing and whooping.
At TCKR Systems, a robot puts implants into permanent storage.
At Tucker's, Kelly and Yorkie dance.
At TCKR Systems, the devices containing Kelly and Yorkie's minds sit next to each other, among millions more.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 5, 2016