Arnold Rimmer has created his perfect partner - an identical hologram duplicate of himself - but not everything turns out the way Rimmer expects it to. As things get quite metaphysical, Rimmer realises that it is actually impossible for him to get on with himself, and one of them must be deleted.
The two Rimmer duplicates decide to move in together in another bunkroom leaving Lister, who is all too happy to be rid of them, alone in his and Rimmer's previous quarters. The first Rimmer gloats to Lister that creating his clone was the best idea of his life. He doesn't have to put up with Lister's disgusting habits. Meanwhile the Cat has a microphone calling out to any lady Cats, as he is "courting".
However, the two Rimmers are so alike in pettiness that they cannot get along and continually insult and berate each other. The flash point is which shade of gray they should get the skutters to paint the corridors in (ocean gray or military gray). The arguments gets nastier and nastier, with the clone even bringing up their mother, saying that she never liked him.
Going through Rimmer's things, Lister finds the Cat defecating in Rimmer's shoes in his locker. Lister soon finds Rimmer's diary, although it is mostly empty except a mysterious mention to gazpacho soup. Searching further, Lister discovers a very long, rambling and self-pitying video eulogy Rimmer had recorded in memory of his own death in the radiation leak. Lister takes the video back to his own quarters to watch it, and has the skutters bring him popcorn.
In his video eulogy, Rimmer blames all the people around him for his own failures, especially Lister. At the end is the recording of his death, on which Rimmer mysteriously screams the last words "Gaspatcho Soup" before his demise. Lister is determined to discover what this means. The two Rimmers eventually have a blazing row, the Rimmer duplicate being exceptionally cruel to his doppelganger, and the original Rimmer comes back to live with Lister.
The childish behavior between the two Rimmers comes to a head as Lister and Cat try to watch a Mugs Murphy cartoon in the ship cinema, forcing Lister to put his foot down and demand that one of them be erased, and he chooses by playing the "ippy dippy" game. Lister tricks the original Rimmer into believing that he will be the one erased in order to make him explain what 'Gazpacho Soup' meant. Rimmer turns up in the Drive Room dressed like an Admiral, adorned with his medals for three years long service, six years long service, nine years long service and twelve years long service. He is ready to be switched off for good, and after Holly simulated a few shots of whiskey, Rimmer explained the humiliating story behind gazpacho soup.
It was the day that Rimmer's desire for public respect finally came true, as he was invited to the captain's table for dinner. Unfortunately, he did not know that gazpacho soup is meant to be served cold, and he publicly embarrassed himself in front of the Captain and other guests by demanding it be served hot. He believes that the event caused him to never advance his career.
When Lister explains he has already wiped the other Rimmer, the first Rimmer is relieved, but shocked that he has bared his soul. Lister reveals that he would never have found out the soup story otherwise. Lister promises he will never mention gaspatcho soup, and ends the episode by saying "Souper" as they go for a drink.
Deleted scenes Edit
- The Cat enters the sleeping quarters on roller skates with a loudspeaker announcing that he "feels sexy" to any female Felis sapiens in the area. Since Rimmer has moved out to live with his hologram clone, Lister asks the Cat to move in with him. However the Cat says that he isn't interested, because a cat shouldn't cohabit with monkeys - what he calls humans - and also that he would prefer to bunk down wherever he feels like (see Cat's sleeping quarters).
- Lister muses over the signage the two Rimmers have put up outside their bunk.
- Extended scene of the two Rimmers winding each other up in the cinema.
- In the original script, it was Lister who had a hologram clone, not Rimmer. The script was later story-boarded and reconstructed as "Bodysnatcher".
- In the video of the accident, Rimmer's last words ("Gazpacho Soup"), combined with a shot of a snow globe smashing, are an homage to the "Rosebud" opening of Citizen Kane.
- The Red Dwarf crew were apparently killed in early-mid January. In Rimmer's diary, it refers to Gazpacho Soup day as November the twenty-fifth. Then Lister verbally notes that that was six weeks before the crew got wiped out. This however is later contradicted by Stasis Leak, that indicates the accident happened in March. This may simply be an error in the character's figuring.
- Some fans have noted that Rimmer simply squaring himself, as is implied by the episode title, would not result in two Rimmers, as one times itself can only ever result in one. Others have pointed out that this does actually in some ways fit with the episode, as it shows that no matter what you do with him you will always just end up with Rimmer.
- In the opening S.O.S. distress message of the episode, Holly says that the cargo decks of Red Dwarf have enough food to last 30,000 years. This is curious, since in a previous episode, Holly says that the cargo decks are beyond his "supervision field" (and that is why Holly couldn't look into Supply Pipe 28).
- Another curiosity in this is that there is still so much food aboard after three million years, although stasis would be the logical explanation. However it doesn't explain what the evolving Felis sapiens ate in the preceding three million years, since the Cat race clearly weren't eating the food in the cargo decks (although space weevils and grown food from the botanical gardens could be an explanation).
Noteworthy Dialogue Edit
- Holly: We have enough food to last 30,000 years, but we've only got one After Eight mint left, and everyone's too polite to take it.
- Cat: [through a megaphone while on roller skates] Hello, hello, testing, testing, one one one, me me me! Attention all lady cats! I am feeling very very sexy! Can you hear me, lady cats? My body is available! Please form a queue. No squabbling. This is your lucky day.
- Cat: [through his megaphone in the cinema during the Mugs Murphy cartoon] SHUT UP!
Lister: Will you stop doing that?
Cat: I'm trying to watch the film!
Lister: I'm only eatin'!
Cat: No, eating's when food goes in your mouth!
- Holly: [on the two attack fighters tracking Red Dwarf] They're from Earth.
Lister: That's 3 million years away.
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, 3 million years ago, you left two half-eaten German sausages on a plate in your kitchen. 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-eights 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: [wearing a silly face mask] April fool.
- Lister: Hang on, hang on. Are you saying you never became an officer because you shared your quarters with someone who hummed?
Rimmer: Obviously not just that, Lister. Everything! Everything you ever did, you did to pull me back and annoy me.
Lister: Like what?
Rimmer: Like using my Mother's photograph as an ashtray.
Lister: I didn't know. I thought it was a souvenir from Titan Zoo.
Rimmer: Exchanging the symbols on my revision timetable so instead of taking my engineering finals I went swimming.
Lister: The symbols fell off. I thought I put them back in the right place.
Rimmer: Swapping my toothpaste for a tube of contraceptive jelly.
Lister: That was a joke.
Rimmer: Yes, Lister. The same kind of joke as putting my name down on the waiting list for experimental pile surgery.
- Lister: It's not only one-way, Rimmer. You're hardly Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. Easy-To-Live-With.
Rimmer: What are you talking about?
Lister: I'm talking about playing your self-hypnosis tapes all through the night. "Learn Esperanto While You Sleep." "Learn Quantum Theory While You Sleep."
Rimmer: Oh come on, we both got the same benefit.
Lister: Yeah. Neither of us got any sleep.
- Lister: What about the time you tied my hair to the bed-post and then sounded the fire alarm?
Rimmer: Lister, I did that because I was sick of you annoying me. I don't have to explain it.
Lister: I nearly needed brain surgery.
Rimmer: What brains?
- Lister: Why are they painting it the same colour it was before?
Rimmer: They're changing it from Ocean Grey to Military Grey. Something that should've been done a long time ago.
Lister: Looks exactly the same to me.
Rimmer: No. No, no, no. (pointing at one section of the wall) That's the new Military Grey bit there, and that's the dowdy, old, nasty Ocean Grey bit there. (The two parts are indistinguishable) Or is it the other way around?
- Rimmer: Lister, we don't have to take this anymore. We don't have to put up with your snidey remarks, your total slobbiness, your socks that set off the sprinkler system.
- Rimmer: [on his death video] If you put Napoleon in quarters with Lister, he'd still be in Corsica peeling spuds.
- Lister: [revelling in having the room to himself] Ecstasy! We're talking mega ecstasy bliss! I can hum as loud as I like, as long as I like! I'm a free man... And you see those socks? See 'em? They're going right where they belong, all over the floor where any self-respecting bachelor would keep 'em! I'm gonna have the bottom bunk, the big bunk! I'm gonna leave the top off the shampoo. I'm gonna squeeze the toothpaste right from the middle! In fact I'm gonna do all the things that drove him bonkers! I'm gonna crack me knuckles, I'm gonna grind me teeth, I'm gonna live for a change! Hee-hee! (sniffs)....Aw, smeggin' hell... (puts socks back in their basket)
- Rimmer: [to his hologram clone] STOP YOUR FOUL WHINING, YOU FILTHY PIECE OF DISTENDED RECTUM!
- Lister: [recited like Eeny meeny miny moe to choose which Rimmer] Ippy dippy my space shippy / on a course so true / past Neptune and Pluto's moon / the one I choose it you.
- Lister: Yo, I didn't know you had any medals. What are they for?
Rimmer: Three years long service. Six years long service. Nine years long service... Twelve years long service.
- Lister: Holly, give 'im a whiskey.
Holly: How would you like it?
Rimmer: Straight. With ice and lemonade, a cherry and a slice of lemon.
- Rimmer: [drunkenly telling the story behind his last words "gazpacho soup"] It was the greatest night of my life; I had been invited to the Captain's table. I had only been with the company FOURTEEN YEARS. Six officers and me... they called me "Arnold!" We had gazpacho soup for starters... I didn't know that gazpacho soup was meant to be served cold. I called over the chef and told him to take it away and bring it back hot! So he did... the looks on their faces still haunt me today! I thought they were laughing at the chef, when all the time they were laughing at me as I ate my piping hot gazpacho soup! I never ate at the Captain's table again. That was the end of my career. If only they'd mentioned it in basic training! Instead of having us climbing up and down ropes and crawling on your elbows through tunnels--if only just ONCE they would've mentioned that gazpacho soup was served cold--I would've been an admiral by now!...instead of a nothing, which is what I am, let's face it... I never got off the bottom rung, and do you know why? It's because I didn't have the right nobby parents! I'll bet Todhunter was fed gazpacho soup as soon as he was on solids! No, I'll bet he was breast-fed on it! One side gazpacho soup, the other side freely-dispensed chilled champagne!
Background Information Edit
- The vision of Rimmer's death video with Captain Hollister was filmed at the same time as The End to save Mac McDonald the trouble of returning to the set.
- The Gazpacho Soup incident was based on a real life incident involving Rob Grant and Doug Naylor; while in a meeting with Thames Television, the two were served gazpacho soup and were baffled as to why it was served cold. However, unlike Rimmer, they chose not to complain and were later relieved to find it was indeed meant to be served cold.
- The Series I DVD deleted scenes contains the full uncut version of the Rimmers' last argument in the cinema in which a small section was originally removed due to running time. Viewing the entire scene explains why, in the aired version, Lister appears to select the wrong Rimmer for deletion (the Rimmers exchange places one last time, placing the correct Rimmer in the right position to be selected).
- The circumstances of the crew's death don't seem to jibe with what has been stated previously. A radiation leak is blamed for their deaths, yet on video it appears they were killed in an explosion (however when Lister is revived there was no apparent damage anywhere).
The force of the leak was explosive only in the human-inhabited regions of the ship. It is likely the skutters and/or the garbage droids would have cleaned up the debris, just leaving the dust pile remains of the crew, possibly programmed to not touch such a thing. It is also possible in the preceding three million years, one of the evolving Cat people may have found the Drive Room, taking what they felt like.
Rimmer would later enjoy the idea of saving himself in the past and having two of him in the Series II episode "Stasis Leak". Apparently he forgot that even he cannot stand himself (although he may have wanted to copy his memories since being a hologram and put them into the living version). His self-hatred, first covered in this episode, manifests itself physically in the Series V episode "Terrorform". Lister also seemed to be perfectly willing for there to be a hologram of him in a deleted scene for "Holoship", which seems to indicate that he felt that what happened between the two Rimmers was due to it being Rimmer, and not a universal truth of human nature.