Me2

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SummarY

Rimmer moves into a new bunk with his duplicate while Lister discovers that Rimmer's final words were "gazpacho soup" while being hit by an atomic blast. Rimmer's life with himself quickly turns sour and the two begin constantly heckling each other, prompting Lister to erase one of them, who explains the gazpacho soup ordeal only to discover it was the other Rimmer who was removed. Satisfied, Lister vows to never mention the subject again.


HighlightS

HOLLY: They're from the NorWeb Federation.
LISTER: What's that?
HOLLY: The North Western Electricity Board. They want you, Dave.
LISTER: Me? Why? What for?
HOLLY: For your crimes against humanity.
LISTER: You what?!
HOLLY: It seems when you left Earth, three million years ago, you left two half-eaten German sausages on a plate in your kitchen.
LISTER: Did I?
HOLLY: Do you know what happens to sausages left unattended for 3 million years?
LISTER: Yeah, they go mouldy.
HOLLY: Your sausages, Dave, now cover seven eighths of the Earth's surface. Also, you left 17.50 in your bank account. Thanks to compound interest, you now own 98% of all the world's wealth. And because you've hoarded it for 3 million years, nobody's got any money except for you and NorWeb.
LISTER: Why NorWeb?
HOLLY: You left a light on in the bathroom. I've got a final demand here for 180 billion.
LISTER: 180 billion? You're kidding?
HOLLY: April Fool.
LISTER: ... but it's not April.
HOLLY: Yeah, I know, but I can hardly six months for a red-hot jape like that under my belt.

[YouTube]

LISTER: No problems, then?
RIMMER: No, no... things couldn't be hunky-dorier.
LISTER: Because I thought I heard, y'know... raised voices.
RIMMER: It's quite an amusing thought, isn't it? Having a blazing row with yourself.
RIMMER 2: [to Skutter] Hit the wall, yeah! Hit the wall! Go on, yeah, yeah! [to Rimmer] Will you shut up, some of us are trying to sleep!
RIMMER: Obviously we have professional disagreements. But I mean, nothing with any snide to it, nothing malicious.
RIMMER 2: Shut up, you dead git!
RIMMER: ... excuse me a second, Lister. [to Rimmer 2] STOP YOUR FOUL WHINING, YOU FILTHY PIECE OF DISTENDED RECTUM! ... Lister... there's no point concealing it anymore. Rimmer and me... we've had a bit of tiff.

RIMMER: I never got off the bottom rung. And do you know why? Because I didn't have the right nobby parents! I bet Todhunter was served gazpacho soup the moment he was on solids. No, I bet he was breastfed with it! One side gazpacho soup, the other side freely dispensing chilled champagne!


RevieW

A very simple but very fun story, and faced with living with himself and encountering what appears to be impending doom, we see another side of Arnold Rimmer, beginning a look into the man that would be explored further over the series. Red Dwarf may have changed focus and fluctuated in quality over the series, but one thing's for certain, it has always explored Rimmer and his plethora of personality defects in a brilliant manner, and this episode is no exception. The strong writing between Rimmer's conflicting relationships with himself and Lister makes this a very good episode.

Of course, to complain about a perfectly fine plot, it's odd that the previous episodes had Lister asking to activating Kochanski's hologram and Rimmer appeared to be implying that the ship could only support one hologram at a time, hence his constant complaints about Lister never turning him back on again, yet two Arnolds are shown existing just fine without even a complaint from Holly. You could say that since it's technically just loading the same data, it's no strain on the systems, or that it was later retconned (despite, again, why would a five mile long ship with a crew of a thousand people only have the power to support one hologram?), but given the fact it makes for an excellent story, I'm hardly complaining.

The Cat's participation in the episode is smaller than usual, and admittedly doesn't have any show-stealing gags; his attempts at courting are amusing, along with crapping in Rimmer's cupboard, but otherwise he makes tiny appearances in only, what, five scenes? Still, it's an interesting observation how the crew more or less keep themselves sane.

The Cat exclaims that if he believed there weren't any women on board he'd go crazy, while Lister goes on a long tangent of satisfaction over the things he could now do without being berated by Rimmer - nothing he would revel in otherwise, but solely for the enjoyment that Rimmer no longer complains about it. Similarly, what's considered productive on the ship is amusing, with Rimmer repainting the walls in a shade that is different only in name, while Lister measures the size of the bubbles he can blow with his chewing gum. A fine little look at lonely life in deep space.



Holly's "NorWeb" ruse is just utterly fantastic, and I'd have to say it's the best joke of the episode. The sheer absurdity of it, much like the raining fish from the last episode, evokes a vibe of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The relentless pursuit of tax collectors is a theme that would be used again in series 2's Better Than Life, but the scene presented in the joke itself is just brilliant, and a great show of just how crafty Holly can be when he's looking for a bit of amusement; another theme that would be revisited in series 2, inQueeg.

Of course, it's quite sad in hindsight, as by series 3 with the introduction of Kryten, the roles of the characters were shifted a lot, and Holly got a major shaft, rendered effectively useless with Kryten's knowledge and portability, and was more or less restricted to announcing the opening of doors - not even his return at the end of series 7 would restore the status quo, now limited to providing decent but throwaway gags without any other significance to the plot. It's a shame we never saw more of this side of Holly.

Rimmer's tape of his death is a hilarious idea, and in a society where the dead can still function to a limited extent, it's kind of understandable, Rimmer himself reasoning that it's just as important as a birth or a wedding to anyone else. His statement "my death is the most important thing that's ever happened to me" is just fantastically accurate.
While I'm on the subject, I'd like to say that Rimmer's death is just hilarious. Seriously, that's all that needs said, no further explanation.



The core of the episode is, obviously, Rimmer now living with a duplicate hologram of himself, under the pretension that it'll be the best thing that's ever happened to him. It's amusing how it takes practically no time at all before he begins to loathe himself, but still tries to convey that it's all cupcakes and roses to Lister, just so he won't have to state that he was wrong, again, as usual.

The very concept of living with yourself is a great psychological one, and practically everyone's said that living with yourself would only make you witness all of your flaws, but knowing that it's yourself and observing it with an outsider's view, it would give you some serious self-loathing emotions. Or it could just be I'm a massive pessimist.

The antics of the two of them really shows just how childishly competitive Rimmer is in his war for superiority, beginning with a dare on how early they can get up (essentially settling for no sleep at all, it seems), but then escalating to personal insults, shouting at each other, banging the walls, and then their little argument in the cinema. "Oh, look at this: Mister Maturity." It's hilarious stuff, if just a little depressing about what a warped view of the world the guy has, but nobody's perfect and no view is necessarily right.

Rimmer's lament in the final scene over his gazpacho soup incident is just ridiculous in his tear-filled recollection over something so fickle, and is another fine display of him blaming everyone but himself. He could have been so humble as to ask how gazpacho soup is served or to just lighten up and laugh over the matter, but neither action would have been in-character for him, and Rimmer being his usual antagonizing Rimmer self is a joy to watch. If anything, it's another satisfaction to see him humbled over his long war with his duplicate self and to just open up to Lister, even to a minor extent, and aside from that one joke, Lister is indeed kind enough to never refer to gazpacho soup again.


Commentary highlightS

[coming soon!]


Fanbase opinionS

Given the Japanese opinion loving Rimmer, it's no surprise that the poll ranks this as the best episode of the series. English consensus also holds it in high regard; very strong character writing and a great exploration of Rimmer's character, with a superb performance from Chris Barrie, who effectively had a double workload to deal with. Much like the series starts with a great sci-fi story, this episode is applauded for its human portrayal of someone who'd just been a big ol' dick for the most part so far.