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September 5, 2015

Review: The Prisoner - Part Five: Schizoid

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 18th 2009 12:58AM
The Prisoner: Schizoid
(E05) So I'm feeling a little more confident as the fifth installment wraps that The Village isn't as real a construct as perhaps the original was. At the same time, I have a hard time in a show like this just taking something that I'm told to be the truth and accepting it. Maybe I'm like Six in that way.

In this episode, both Two and Six experience time outside themselves, while 1112 learns more about himself than any of us realized. And if what he learns is anything close to the truth, it can do a lot to explain much of what has happened, and how the Village can be as comprehensive as it appears to be.

Particularly in regards to the children. If 1112's mother is the orchestrator of the Village, if it is her dream-state that gives it life, we've got a convenient explanation for the sudden appearance of the holes last episode, and again in this one, and we have an explanation for the children.

She told 1112 that the only people who can exist outside of the Village are those people who exist outside the Village. In other words people, like Six and Two and all the other dreamers, who were brought to the Village are able to leave. People who were born there, like 1112, are unable to do so.

Perhaps 1112's mother is infertile, or his father. Perhaps the Village was the only way they could even conceive a child. Does that mean the legacy of Twos we learned about in "school" in a prior episode was a lie. Should we be surprised if it was.

Two's walkabout as "UnTwo" was reminiscent of when rulers of olden times would disguise themselves and walk about their kingdoms as lowly peasants so as to understand the experiences of their subjects, or just to escape the rigors of rule. Two's walkabout seemed to serve both that purpose and afford him a reason to be absent when 1112 awakened his mother.

As for the flashbacks to New York, it now looks as if they may be flashforwards of some sort, as the exchange Six/Michael has with the man in charge of the keycards (the same man from the map shop) is a memory trigger of their encounter in the Village. A trigger that both seem to remember.

Or they're something else entirely, and the people in the Village are both existent in the real world as well as the Village. How can Michael look out a window in Summakor and see himself in the Village? Is it not a window at all? Only one way to find out.

I'll see you here shortly to see if they were able to pull all of this together cohesively.

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I'm a fan of the original Prisoner and yet I love the mini-series. Unlike some of the lazy remakes we've seen these past years (in series and movies), this actually takes the show in a different direction. It's not as philosophical as the original but it is twisted and the mystery behind the village and its inhabitants is engaging, especially when it comes to 2 and his wife.

Anyway, I think the mini-series had me when it hinted that 93 was the original 6. From that point on, I stopped comparing the two shows and just enjoyed the ride.

November 19 2009 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If they had called it something other than 'The Prisoner,' maybe I'd like it more. But this show is without the intelligence, humor, and sheer verve of the original - which is what made it (and still makes it) such an extraordinary viewing experience. The best part of the original Prisoner was 6's ongoing battle of wits with whatever #2 was facing off with him. This is just slow and witless. Caviezel just has a constant look bewildered angst - maybe he's eaten a bad clam? And the music - plinky plinky piano and dullsville electronica. Ugh. The one saving grace is Sir Ian...oh - and the use from time to time of songs from Brian Wilson's (and The Beach Boys') magnum opus 'Smile.' Perhaps a nod to the original's finale's brilliant use of the Beatles' 'All You Need Is Love' (in the midst of a raging gun battle - take that 'Good Morning Vietnam' and 'What a Wonderful World!'). Nice try, no cigar.

November 18 2009 at 2:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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