EPISODE REVIEW: The Prisoner (Remake): “Schizoid” (Episode 5)

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This episode is named after “The Schizoid Man,” probably my favorite episode of the original show, in which Six is abducted, renamed, his appearance modified and his habbits altered, then told he’s another person, brought in to impersonate Six. Meanwhile, an actual other person has been brought in and is acting as six. This is supposed to make Six (Who’s being told he’s another person) question his own identity, and thereby “Go fuzzy ‘round the edges” and crack. It’s not their best plan, but it’s certainly one of the most fun ones to watch (Even with the goofy Kosho battle in the middle), and you just can’t top the fun of having Patrick McGoohan spar verbally and physically with himself.

Of course since this is THE NEW PRISONER, there’ll be no fun had by anyone.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six goes and yells at Two’s house about killing Lucy while another Six goes and puts the moves on The Pretty Doctor, but she throws him out. That’s right, there’s two sixes. I don’t know why, it’s never really explained. To keep ‘em straight there’s our normal Six and there’s “Two Times Six”, the new angry one, who buys an illegal knife from the shopkeeper, picks a fight with the cabby, and is generally a jerk. Six runs around trying to figure out what 2x6 is doing.

Two, meanwhile, tells his son to go wake up his mother so they can spend the day together. He points out that The Village is all in her mind, and her dreams are their bland reality. He then takes off his tie and wanders around town in a disheveled state, taking the day off and slumming, alternately claiming he has no number, or that he’s “Un-2.” He and the shopkeep share a smoke. Six warns Two that 2x6 is trying to kill him, but Two feigns disbelief.

Two’s son wakes up mama, and holes start popping up in the village. As we suspected, if she’s conscious the illusion breaks down. The kid wants to visit the real world, which mama admits is possible, but not for him as he doesn’t exist there. Only people brought to the village from the real world can go back. People created in the village only exist there. He gets very upset and runs off, then comes back, and Mama goes to sleep.

The Pretty Doctor, meanwhile, wants to see the real world, so Two makes it possible. She wanders through the desert (Which always appears to be comfortably room temperature) and finds a glass door, which she goes through in to summakorp or whatever the hell the MacGuffin corporation is called in this show. The cabbie and his wife take in two, thinking he’s a bum who just happens to look like two, but then he runs off when the cops show.

2x6 attempts to kill Two, but Two explains the purpose of the village: since the world sucks, it’s actually an attempt to make a new, better world. This calms 2x6 for a bit, but he recovers his rage when Six shows up and talks him out of killing Two as it would violate his/their moral code, which is the only thing that gives them superiority over him. 2x6 disappears and appears in the Summakorp building, sees the pretty doctor, briefly, and then pounds on the windows trying to attract the attention of Six. The mostly-invisible towers are the Summakorp building in New York, I guess.

Two goes back to the palace, is roughed up by his own guards (“I do like their enthusiasm, though! I thought they were going to slam my face in the ground and stop on my brain!”) and then blames this week’s nefarious plot on the shopkeep. What nefarious plot? What the hell? Was there even a plot going on? What? Hello?

Intercut with all this, we have a cameo by dead, chesty Lucy repeatedly warning six (Real name “Michael”) to stay away from Summakorp and not try to get back in, and there’s also the aftermath of last week’s bomb.

The End.

OBSERVATIONS

I’ll be the first one to admit I don’t really understand this episode. Upon reflection, it would appear that 2x6 was the “Real World” six (or Michael) let in to the village, and he got in to a moral argument with his village counterpart. The confirmation that the Village is a dream world should come as no surprise to anyone who’s managed to stay awake through the series thus far.

The scenes of “Un-Two” were pretty good, and McKellen is, as always, a lot of fun to watch, but it took a long time to suss out what was going on here when he insists he has no number. Was it the real-world iteration of Two come for a visit, or really the local one, just taking a day off?

As usual, there were a lot of scenes that go nowhere, and seem to serve no point. For instance, is there a reason for Two’s long, rambling speech about Two imposters “Who you will know are not two because they are not Two?” Once again, most everything that happens in this episode appears to be a lot of random wandering about and padded scenes. It’s never entirely clear what’s going on, nor why it’s happening. Is this yet another of Two’s plots? Probably, but what the hell is the point?

The only real revelation to come out of this is that the ‘Flashback’ stuff we’ve been seeing isn’t really a flashback at all, in fact, it’s taking place at the same time as what we see in the village. Six - and presumably others - are in two locations at once, there and here, the real world and the fake world. The question, of course, is why? To what end?

Not to be overly terse and snarky, but my patience for this show has pretty much run dry. “Schizoid” was, of course, intended as an homage to the title of an Original 1960s prisoner episode called “The Schizoid Man,” as I said above. A more representative title for this episode might better be “A Schizoid Mess.”

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