Recap / The Prisoner E 4 Free For All

There is an election for a new Number Two, and Number Six decides to stand. But will the powers behind the Village really allow a rebel to be elected governor?

  • Democracy Is Flawed: The entire episode is about this.
    • The entire election process is staged by those already in power, who merely use the illusion of choice to make people play along.
    • Those who run for office are cajoled - even brainwashed - into campaigning using simple platitudes and meaningless promises.
    • The media covering the campaigns write their own stories to fit pre-existing narratives, and never report on the real problems - such as the fact that everybody in the Village are prisoners - that need reporting.
    • The election results don't change anything because the institutions in control of the Village remain in control, and nothing a new Number Two can do to shut it down will work.
  • Meet the New Boss: Same as the old Boss.
  • The Mole: Number Fifty-Eight is actually the real new Number Two, manipulating Number Six as his apparent potential ally.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The Village drugs Number Six into believing he's actually a democratic candidate who can free the Village once elected.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: It's implied the Village answers to one of these but there's no indication this isn't part of the Mind Screw.
  • Religion of Evil: Only briefly seen but there's a group of Villagers apparently worshiping Rover. May also qualify as a Cargo Cult.
  • Speaking Simlish: Number Fifty-Eight speaks only an incomprehensible vaguely-Slavic language. Apparently.
  • Take That!: The entire episode is one gigantic one to the way democracy really functions with most candidates spouting platitudes while being pawns of special interest groups.
  • Wham Episode: According to MacGoohan, the fourth in correct chronological order of the seven episodes that "really count".