Recap / The Prisoner E 5 The Schizoid Man

Number Two uses a double for Number Six in a complex plan to make the Prisoner doubt his own identity. Removing a mole from his hand, brainwashing him into being left-handed, and impairing his fighting skills, they proceed to make him believe he's actually someone sent to replace the real Number Six while the Fake Number Six pretends to be him to his face.

  • Ass Pull: The type of cigarettes Number Six smokes is a major plot point, and he's seen indulging (or attempting to). Which is fine except at no point in any other episode of the series is he ever seen smoking. (Indeed, the entire Village would appear to be a No Smoking zone.)
  • Face–Heel Turn: Number Twenty-Four, a young woman Number Six was helping test her psychic abilities, is in on the plot to convince Six he's not who he thinks he is. It's revealed later on she regrets it and when she realizes the real Six is trying to escape she helps him.
  • Failed a Spot Check: How Number Six's escape ploy falls apart; Number Two asks him about Fake Six's wife/girlfriend and the real Six answers incorrectly due to not knowing the correct fate.
  • Heroic Willpower: How Six eventually regains his memories of being tampered with.
    • That and a few minutes zapping himself with a wall outlet.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Fake Number Six gets killed because Rover assumes he's the real Six.
  • Hope Spot: The real Six realizes he can escape by pretending to be the Fake after Rover kills the Fake. He didn't know enough about the Fake's identity to get away with it.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Six delivers one of these to Fake Six after he regains his sanity.
  • No Name Given: Averted with Number Twenty-Four, who is identified by the given name Alison throughout, making her one of the only Village residents in the entire series to be referred to by name rather than by either a number or a title.
  • Sanity Slippage: Six suffers some of this in the middle of the episode, starting to doubt his own identity.
  • Spotting the Thread: Number Two picks up on Six's impersonation of Fake Number Six fairly early, although he isn't too sure until Six fails to pick up on a clue.
    • The real Six realizes he's not imagining things when he notices a bruise growing and moving under a fingernail that had happened early on. It clues him into the fact he'd been sleeping - what he realizes was a prolonged brainwashing session - far longer than the passage of time he's been told.
  • The Reveal: This is the only episode where Rover is mentioned by name. It's actually at odds with some of the marketing (including the tie-in novels) that give it the name Guardian.
  • Title Drop: The episode title is also the real password.
  • Wham Line: "I am Six!" It is the first time Six ever refers to himself as his number instead of his name.
    • "Susan died a year ago."