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Monday, 7 March 2016

The Final Chapter!

    FALL OUT - the final chapter of that enigmatic television series ‘the Prisoner.’ And what does Fall Out gives us, a James Bond style of ending, which McGoohan always said was not what his intention to give the audience. But he did so anyway, depending on how you look at it, but bound it all up in a fancy pink ribbon and called it an allegory! More than that, much more than that, we finally get to meet Number 1 as Number6 did, if every so briefly, and it turned out to be himself all along. Oh what a cop-out it all was! But it may be supposed, as Patrick McGoohan supposed, who else could it have been? Suggestions on a postcard please!
    Whether you like it or not, what you see is what you get. Number 6, like all of us at one time or another, turned out to be his own worst enemy. {In other words a monotheist} He was responsible for his incarceration in The Village, that’s the physical Village which we the viewer sees. But the struggle against Number 1, against himself, takes place in Number 6’s mind. Perhaps it’s his conscience which is playing on his mind. The fact that the decision he took to resign his job did not lie well upon his conscience. After all, despite having resigned his position, he was still loyal to the department and the secrets of that department. Perhaps part of him wanted to give those secrets away. After all, he had resigned and therefore part of him no longer felt any loyalty to his former employees. And in that lay the struggle within himself. He was not about to give anything away, he would die first. And as it happened Number 6 was the stronger part of his nature, and finally he overcame Number 1, he didn’t beat him. The struggle would always go on, at least until the Prisoner discovered the peace of mind he was looking for.
    And yet it could all be a delusion, a further manipulation of the Prisoner. It wouldn’t be the first time a double had been used against him, remember The Schizoid Man? And originally ‘A Change of Mind’ called for a look-a-like for the Prisoner to have undergone the process of Instant Social Conversion {a Leucotomy} instead of the Prisoner. So two look-a-likes or doppelgangers, what price a third? Number 1 might well have been Curtis himself. It’s a possibility that even though Curtis had been suffocated by the Guardian, they could have resuscitated him, in the same way they resuscitated Number 2 that time in ‘Fall Out.’ That might account for Number 1’s insane like behaviour, having been suffocated by the Guardian, resuscitated from death, and held in seclusion until…….well in this case ’Fall Out.’ But who is to say Curtis was dead in the first place, Number 6. Did he bother to check Curtis for signs of life, his pulse, his breathing? And even if he wasn’t dead, only rendered unconscious, Number 6 could have finished him off in order to take his place!
   It’s all a question of interpretation, and perhaps reading too much into something which is simply not there, nor was ever meant to be there. In that case we are left with Number 6 and Number 1 being one and the same person. That being the case, ‘the Prisoner’ must have ended in despair for Number 6, finding out that he is Number 1, and has been all the time, and therefore responsible for his own incarceration in The Village. And do we not share in the Prisoner's despair? Do we not also struggle with ourselves, to suppress the Number 1 within us? Perhaps there are those who choose to be Number 1. And those that do, who do they face when they look themselves in the mirror?

I'll be seeing you.

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