In the Embryo Room life can be lived from the cradle to the grave. It is unknown how many prisoners before Number 6 experienced this recognized method used of Degree Absolute, possibly none as who else would have taken such a desperate measure? The decision to take such drastic action during this episode was, I feel, forced on Number 2, because there was no other way to deal with such a different calibre of a man as Number 6.
“I am a good man, I was a good man. But if you get him he will be better, there’s no other way, I repeat no other way.” So ‘Once Upon A Time’ is the ultimate test. Does that then mean that after this test there will be no more “tests?” Perhaps it also means that Number 6 has been sought out as a possible replacement for Number 2, and should he survive, then the position is his. Always providing Number 6 accepts it of course.
‘Once Upon A Time’ was originally to have been the final episode of the first series of ‘the Prisoner.’ What if there had been a second series, and what if it had commenced with them having got the better man….Number 6 as the new Number 2! That would have put a new aspect on the series. They might even have been a new Number 6 in The Village!
In this episode Number 6 refuses to kill, because he’s afraid to step over the threshold, according to Number 2 that is. And no amount of provocation will make Number 6 kill. In 'Living In Harmony' as a Sheriff the Man With No Name, hands in both his badge and gun, this in an act of resigning his job. And when he finally allows himself to be recruited by the Judge, but only for the sake of Cathy, he still refuses to wear a gun. He refuses to pick up a gun when challenged by the Kid. And yet, when the Man with No Name does put on his gun, overcoming his reluctance to take up the gun in the name of vengeance, the result is quite devastating. He takes on three of the Judges gunslingers in a fire-fight, and the Kid, who he stands against in the street, leaving all four dead. Finally proving to the Judge that the Man With No Name is the fastest on the draw he’s every seen, is ever likely to see. Because the Man With No Name has a conscience, and already regrets what he’s done, and he resigns. There is armed insurrection in ‘Fall Out,’ and the former Number 6 has no qualms about indiscriminately gunning down the armed security guards. It would seem that in certain situations, and according to circumstances, that the Prisoner will step over that threshold, and is as capable of killing as anyone else.
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