Recap / The Prisoner E 17 Fall Out

After his victory over Number Two, Number Six is offered a chance to meet the secret rulers of the Village, and have all his and our questions finally answered.

This episode provides examples of:

  • As the Good Book Says: Number Forty-Eight sings - almost obsessively - the song "Dem Bones," which refers to the Book of Ezekiel where Ezekiel preached to the dead and resurrected them.
    Number Forty-Eight (keeps ringing a bell): Now hear the word of the Lord...
  • Book Ends: The show ends as it began, with Number Six driving towards us, implying he's caught in a loop or stuck in the same identity as The Prisoner.
  • Discontinuity: Maybe. A lot of what we find out at the end doesn't jibe with some of the clues we saw in earlier episodes. Which was probably MacGoohan's intent.
  • The End... Or Is It?: This is why we can't claim this has a Bittersweet Ending or Downer Ending. The Village itself falls after the rebel force of Six, Two, Forty-Eight and the Butler destroys the command room and launches Number One's rocket, but the episode ends with Forty-Eight seeking a vagabond life on the street, Number Two returning to Parliament, and Number Six returning home - where the door opens for the Butler just like the doors did at the Village - to just get back in his customized car to go driving off as he did at the series' beginning. It doesn't help that the end credits doesn't name MacGoohan, it simply calls him "The Prisoner" implying he still hasn't escaped.
  • Funny Background Event: During the return to London, Number Six and the Butler are approached by a curious policeman who confronts Six while the Butler (and the camera) are on the other side of a zebra crossing. While the Butler silently looks on, Number Six pantomimes the entire escape sequence from the Village while the soundtrack for "Dem Bones" plays in the background.
  • Gainax Ending: This was actually the Trope Codifier long before Gainax showed up on the scene, as its Mind Screw ending confused and enraged audiences and left people guessing for decades afterward.
  • Grand Finale: One of the first in television history, and certainly the first to throw everyone a huge curveball about the entire show.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Number Two, who turns against his masters and is labelled as one "who bites the hand that feeds him."
    • The Butler, who already turned to serve Number Six in the previous episode and continues to serve him now.
    • Number Forty Eight, who was brought before the Village in judgment for his open cultural rebellion as a youthful offender. When Number Six encourages the young man to not "wear himself out," Forty Eight immediately sides with him.
  • Mood Whiplash: We go from the sparse, minimalist and intense episode "Once Upon A Time" to this gaudy, action-packed and intense episode.
  • The Reveal:
    • We finally get one answer with this episode: outdoor filming was done at the Portmeirion Resort in Gwynedd, North Wales. Which explains how the Butler is able to drive the heroic Number Six, Number Two, and Number Forty-Eight straight from Wales to London.
    • Number Six unmasks Number One... to reveal a monkey's mask. And then he removes that mask to reveal... himself, that he had been Number One the whole time. That sound you heard back in 1968 was everyone's heads exploding from the Mind Screw.
  • Rule of Symbolism
  • The '60s: Symbolized by Number Forty Eight, a young man dressed in the counterculture and rebelling against the norms "because he must."
    • The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" is playing on jukeboxes along the ramp that the Supervisor escorts Number Six and the Butler. And during the dramatic shootout at the end during Number Six's final(?) escape.
  • The Unreveal: We still don't know why the Prisoner resigned.
  • Wham Episode: Damn.
  • You Look Familiar: Number Forty Eight looks exactly like The Kid from "Living in Harmony" and as a photographer from "The Girl Who Was Death." Unavoidable because the last set of episodes (covering all three) were rushed to production and actor Alexis Kanner was simply on hand to fill needed roles. MacGoohan did want Kanner to play the role of Forty Eight.
    • Actor Kenneth Griffith was just in "The Girl Who Was Death" as both the mad scientist of Six's children's story and as Number Two. In this episode he's the authoritative President of the secret Council running the Village.