Review: The Prisoner - Part Two: Harmony
by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 15th 2009 11:02PM
(E02) The whole strategy behind the Village has been turned on its head and it's certainly interesting to watch. Two is bound and determined to have everyone who lives there believe that the Village is all there is, there is no world outside of the Village and the Village is all they've ever known. He's even got tangible proof to back that up.
It's an interesting change from the original, and again makes you wonder just who would be willing to invest this kind of money into a bizarre prison like this. Is the citizenry drugged, or just brainwashed? Why is Six so adamant that he is not a number, he is a free man, if no one else in the village is so sure? Or are they just being more quiet about it?
We've even reached the point in the series where as a viewer I'm not sure if what I'm seeing is real, much less what Six is seeing and experiencing. But it was nice to meet his brother and see that he has a family in the Village. "Uncle Six" indeed.
When his supposed "brother," 16, revealed that he wasn't his brother at all and that "they" had put him up to pretending, I started wondering about the children. They jumped all over calling Six their Uncle. Are they part of whatever "they" are up to, or do they truly believe that Six is their uncle? If so, how did Two and whoever is running this place pull that off?
Throughout the episode, we got these strange flashes of stark imagery that made me question what was really happening. A key moment came in Six's flash of himself in the desert tied to a post near the extraneous rusty anchor. Did this scene really happen? Did Two really put a grenade in his mouth and pull the pin out? He had a grenade handy to throw at the therapist, 70, so it's established that he has access to them and even utilizes them from time to time.
So is the Village a drug-induced delusion, or are parts of Six's experience being erased from his memory? At the same time, I'm now wondering if Six's reality, his New York, is the same as ours. In a surprise move, Six revealed what he resigned from and even why he resigned.
The ongoing narrative of the night before he awoke in the desert is certainly a powerful tool. I'm assuming we're seeing these events as Six is struggling to recollect them. Rather than being a government agent, our Six is a corporate data analyst for Summakor. His job was to interpret and see patterns in human behavior, but he started noticing "too many people" changing.
When he reported that, a department called Solutions gave him a cease and desist order. Somehow from there we got to the resignation, followed by the mysterious woman, Lucy, who didn't make a phone call and apparently is a corporate mole for Summakor. So is this our reality, because that all sounds a bit strange. What kind of work was he a part of? And why would resigning from it lead to the Village?
Once at the Village, what is the point of all of this. He's got a life, a job (and he does seem to know how to drive a bus, and like foods he doesn't think he likes), a family ... for a bit. What would Summakor gain with all this subterfuge? In the original series, it was all about why Number Six resigned. Here, Six basically revealed why he resigned to Lucy before any of this even happened.
When his new "brother" died much as he remembered his real brother dying, it got me wondering about these realities. I'm starting to suspect, they're going to turn this whole concept on its ear by the time we're done. Maybe the Village truly is the reality. Maybe there is no reality. Maybe Neo is running the whole show and it's all part of the Matrix. How else can you explain an ocean appearing long enough to drown 16 and then being gone the next day.
You know what, though? I'm absolutely thrilled that I have so many questions and that I have no idea what's going on. I'm becoming more and more convinced they're going in an entirely different direction than the original even while sharing so many elements with it, and I appreciate them all the more for it. And if they surprise me and bring it back full circle by the end, props to them for such an enjoyable ride along the way.
2 - Ian McKellan
1112 - 2's lackey who mistrusts him
6 - Jim Caviezel
93 - Old man who died but remembered
147 - Lenny James, cab driver
553 - Waitress who was a confidante of 93, and also remembered
16 - Supposedly 6's brother
313 - Nurse
70 - Therapist
6 is a bu driver, while his brother is the tour guide in the identity crafted for him here. Why would people go on scenic tours?
Analyst for Simcorp. Data analyst of CCTV, looking for patterns on the way we live. Started noticing too many people changing, so he sent in a report. "Cease and desist." She revealed herself by saying, 'If you could find out why Solutions wanted you to stop." She then warned him that it wasn't over. They still control you.