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Recap / Red Dwarf Season II Stasis Leak

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A guy walks into some sleeping quarters, and meets three Rimmers, three Listers, a Fake Shemp Kochanski, and a strange man with large teeth...

Holly discovers a stasis leak in the lower decks of Red Dwarf, which opens into the men's showers three weeks before the radiation leak occurred.

At first, they think to try and bring someone back, but their first attempt to bring back a bar of soap has it turn into powder. Their next plan: convince someone to get into the second stasis pod and therefore, be safe from the radiation leak that kills the crew. Rimmer, naturally, wants to save himself. Lister is determined to save Kochanski—or, failing that, to remain in the past with her in spite of the pending disaster.

"Stasis Leak" contains examples of:

  • Aesop Amnesia: Rimmer is delighted with the idea of bringing himself back to the present and having some decent conversation for a change, apparently forgetting how well that worked with a duplicate holo-Rimmer in "Me2".
  • Ass Shove: Rimmer threatens Captain Hollister:
    Now kindly cluck off before I extract your giblets and shove a large seasoned onion between the lips you never kissed with.
  • Brick Joke: On arrival in the past, Lister and the Cat see people dressed up for a costume party. This becomes important a few minutes later.
  • Can't Take Anything with You: As proven with the soap.
  • Colonized Solar System: When off the ship, the gang go to a Holiday Inn on Jupiter's moon, Ganymede.
  • Comedic Sociopath: On learning the stasis leak can only take things back in time, and that going forward makes them crumble to dust, the Cat asks who Rimmer wanted to save. Rimmer says it's himself, and the Cat eagerly declares he's onboard for bringing Rimmer through the portal.
  • Cryonics Failure: A likely unique variation with the malfunctioning stasis booth acting as a time machine rather than killing its occupant.
  • Delayed Reaction: It takes Rimmer several seconds to realise the Cat is all for potentially killing him.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Rimmer's first attempt at warning himself. "You won't die, so I won't die, because you won't be dead, and neither will I!"
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Zig-zagged. For having been drugged, Rimmer wanted Lister to serve 15 years in prison. Hollister gave Lister two weeks Painting Duty instead. Rimmer objects heavily and when he's given eight weeks PD, he wonders what he did to deserve that.
    Lister: You stuck your pencil up his nose.
    Lister: You ripped up and ate his wife's photograph.
    Rimmer: I didn't know it was his wife, I thought it was a still from Planet of the Apes.
  • Expospeak Gag:
    Cat: (to Rimmer) What is it?
    Rimmer: It's a rend in the space-time continuum.
    Cat: (to Lister) What is it?
    Lister: The stasis room freezes time, you know, makes time stand still. So whenever you have a leak, it must preserve whatever it's leaked into, and it's leaked into this room.
    Cat: (to Rimmer) What is it?
    Rimmer: It's singularity, a point in the universe where the normal laws of space and time don't apply.
    Cat: (to Lister) What is it?
    Lister: It's a hole back into the past.
    Cat: Oh, a magic door! Well, why didn't you say?
  • Fake Shemp: Clare Grogan was accidentally released from the production without filming the final scene, so assistant floor manager Dona DiStefano stepped in to double as Kochanski, wearing a large hat to disguise the fact.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The Stasis Leak not being used again is justified as that in three weeks, the past end's Red Dwarf will be heavily irradiated and on its way out of the solar system. Though the method of time travel used in Give & Take seems to be something similar.
  • For Want of a Nail: Neither Rimmer nor Lister considers that remaining in the past or altering it would prevent the failure of the drive plate—whether Lister might have spotted the error had he still been on duty, or that Rimmer's stasis would have resulted in a competent technician being put on the job.
  • The Future: This episode is the first time we're told what year Lister and Rimmer lived in. A clock in the past says "2 March 2077". This gets retconned to centuries later in later seasons due to the writers realizing that a Colonized Solar System was probably a lot further off.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Future-Lister turns out to be a complete smeg-head.
  • Get Out!: The episode ends with three different-timeline versions of Lister and Rimmer arguing with each other while the Rimmer from that day stomps towards the camera, screaming "GO AWAY!"
  • Groin Attack: Rimmer knees Captain Hollister "right in the chicken nuggets" (per Danny John-Jules on the DVD commentary), mistaking him for a hallucination.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: Olaf Petersen is rather blunt when trying to pick up two women:
    "My name is Olaf Petersen. I am very good in bed."
  • Idiot Ball: Present-day Rimmer fails to realize that trying to deliver a message to himself the day after an accidental mushroom trip won't work, no matter how many times he tries it. In fact, it makes things even worse for his past self. It'd also help if he actually thought his message through a little. Past!Rimmer isn't exactly floored by the news that in three million years, he'll be dead.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Lister runs into Petersen trying to pick up two women and is so excited to see his best mate alive that he grabs him in a big hug and promises to visit his quarters later.
  • Mushroom Samba: The stasis leak opens onto the day after Lister served Rimmer breakfast with magic mushrooms, which resulted in Rimmer going on a rampage to save everyone from hallucinated threats. Naturally, when his own holographic self steps out of a table, Rimmer thinks it's the hallucinogen at work again.
  • My Future Self and Me: Lister attempts to re-kindle a relationship with his former girlfriend and in doing so encounters a future version of himself who has already married her.
    • And Rimmer runs into the original him, who he went into the past to try and save, and thus runs into a future version of himself who has an unconvincing moustache.
    Past Rimmer (In the process of having a mental breakdown yelling at present and future Listers, Cat, Kochanski and present Rimmer, all of whom he thinks are hallucinations brought on by a breakfast of space mushrooms. It Makes Sense in Context): Perhaps Lister here would like to go over to the fridge and open a bottle of wine for Lister and Lister. Rimmer here doesn't drink, because he's dead, but I wouldn't mind a glass.
    Future Rimmer (after appearing unexpectedly through a solid object): I don't want anyone to get into a flap here, but I'm from the Rimmer from the double double future. I'm the Rimmer who's with the Lister who married Kochanski. Now from this point on things get a liiiiiittle bit confusing.
  • Noodle Incident: The whole episode, in the end. "Our" Cat, Lister and Rimmer show up in the past, then an AU Lister, Rimmer and Kochanski show up, and "Past" Rimmer shouts at everyone to go away...and end credits. What happened??
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Present Lister and Five-Years-Later Lister. Mainly because Present Lister asks if he can kiss Kochanski (since they're getting married in five years anyway).
  • Poor Communication Kills: Present-day Rimmer tries to warn his past self that "in three million years you'll be dead" and never manages to salvage it.
  • [Popular Saying], But...:
    Holly: What I'm saying, Dave, is that it's better to have loved and to have lost... than to listen to an album by Olivia Newton-John.
    Cat: Why's that?
    Holly: Anything's better than listening to an album by Olivia Newton-John.
  • Ridiculously Successful Future Self: Mild example in that Future Lister has married Kochanski.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the past, Lister and Rimmer's quarters is decorated the same as it is in the present, despite the fact that it features many things that didn't appear until Season II — not least of which being the small poster by the door (it's hard to make out, but it bears the "TOMORROW IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR DEATH" slogan from Me2) which Rimmer obviously wouldn't have had up while he was still alive.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The stasis leak presents an opportunity to do this. Either Lister can try to save Kochanski or Rimmer can try to save himself if they get one to go into the spare stasis tube.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Holly trying to explain what a stasis leak is:
    Um, well, very, very basically, putting it as simply as I can for your average layman to comprehend, a stasis leak is a leak, right, in stasis, hence the name "a stasis leak."
  • Shout-Out: The chrome robot employees at the hotel are referenced from the chrome robot police officers in THX 1138.
  • Suicidal Lemmings: Rimmer recalls having a pet lemming as a boy. He states that he built the lemming a little cliff for him to hurl himself off of.
  • Take That!:
    • Holly claims an IQ of six-thousand is "only" the same as twelve thousand car park attendants.
    • Holly also believes that it's better to have loved and lost than to have listened to an album by Olivia Newton-John. Because anything's better than that.
    • Future Lister's advice to his current self:
    Three years from now, you'll go through a cosmic storm and end up in a parallel universe. You'll materialise on an exact replica of Earth in the year 1989. You'll want to go to the theatre. Whatever you do, don't go and see Run For Your Wife.
  • Technobabble: Parodied. The Cat asks "What is it?" when confronted with a doorway into the past. Rimmer and Lister both blurt out technobabble of varying thicknesses before getting a straightforward explanation of what the doorway does, to which The Cat replies, "Oh! A Magic Door! Why didn't you say so?"
  • Teeny Weenie: Heavily implied when the Cat runs into a naked man in the shower and looks down. He tries to compliment him.
    Cat: Don't worry, it's personality that counts.
  • Time and Relative Dimensions in Space;
    • The Stasis Leak is entered through a stasis booth and exited through a random shower.
    • Future Lister mentions that a cosmic storm is going to transport Lister to a parallel universe version of 1989 Earth.
  • Time-Passage Beard: The Future Lister has a beard and a moustache. The future Rimmer seen at the end also has a moustache.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Future Lister tries to invoke a Stable Time Loop so he can later go back and marry Kochanski but advises his past self not watch Run for Your Wife. Rimmer does manage to set up a bootstrap paradox by naming the stasis leak after it is called that by his future self, who heard it in the past from his future self, etc...
  • Wine Is Classy: Discussed when Lister complains about "total smegheads" who always drink wine. "It's never beer, is it? It's always wine. 'What do you want on your cornflakes, darling?' Oh, I'll have some WINE, please!".
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: A sign in "Future Echoes" said that Lister and Rimmer's quarters were on level 348. Here, the lift's in-flight video says they'll be traveling 2,567 to reach floor 16.