The Cat and Lister go through some of their inventory, and find Rimmer's old belongings, which Lister refuses to throw out. He recounts some of their old exploits, like going through the lockers on Red Dwarf, or playing gold on an asteroid. Alarmingly, Lister recounts these times with old goal-post head as "fun". An alarmed Kryten sets the Bug's rubber room on stand-by.
Later, as Lister's relaxing in the cockpit, who should return but Rimmer himself. Seems he got bored of being Ace, with the heroism and the being worshipped, and came back to the old gang. He and Lister talk about the new girl, Lister remarking that the woman he's been holding a torch for the last three million years isn't as good as Rimmer. And then things get weirder. Lister and Rimmer embrace, amorously, as David asks Rimmer never leave again. They lean in.
And then Lister wakes up screaming (as do the shippers, but for different reasons).
Having determined there is now something very wrong with Lister, Kryten tries helping him forget Rimmer, but his initial hypnotherapy idea doesn't exactly work. As he goes off to find something more suitable than Hitler's speeches, Kochanski comes into the medbay looking for some medicinal alcohol, to erase the memory of everything she ever loved. Talk between the two comes to those they miss, and Kochanski quickly figures out Lister misses Rimmer (in fairness, the comment about flared nostrils was a dead giveaway). She manages to assure Lister that it was okay to hate the guy, because it was what kept him going. And the guy was a smeghead. Kryten enters, and gets all green-eyed again. Once Kochanski's gone, he's mortified to learn Lister's feeling better. Not because she tried helping Lister, but because she's succeeded.
Some time after, Kryten calls everyone up to the AR machine, having found a way to cure Lister of any lingering nostalgia for Ol' Iron Butt completely: The Rimmer Experience, a tribute to the pain in the ass, derived from Rimmer's own diaries, allowing them to experience the man, the memory, the ego (what little he couldn't tone down). What follows is a jolting roller coaster ride, depicting Rimmer as a (supposedly) brilliant man surrounded by cowards and incompetents, who owe their life to Rimmer's greatest and magnificence. And then, just as everyone's either sick or ready to kill Rimmer, it gets worse...
A song sung by tiny Rimmer munchkins starts up, expounding upon the virtues of Rimmer, as the four can only stare in bewildered shock. As the song ends, they leave the ride. And Lister's takeaway?
- Lister: I never want to see or hear from that lying, weasel-minded smegger in my entire life!
Kryten: Sigmund Freud, eat your heart out!
This episode contains examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Kochanski found the Rimmer Experience quite funny, at the end of it.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Between Lister and Rimmer. Lister's reaction mimics that of most of the audience.
- Catapult Nightmare: Lister wakes up screaming after a dream of Rimmer returning takes a turn for the homo-erotic.
- Character Shilling: All over the place with the Rimmer Experience, as the Cat and Lister stop to declare how Rimmer's a really great guy.
- Crazy-Prepared: Someone on Red Dwarf left a flamethrower trap in their locker, just in case anyone ever tried stealing from it.
- Department of Redundancy Department: All over the place in the Rimmer Experience, just to reinforce how lacking in wit Rimmer is.
- Flanderization: Inverted. Kryten mentions he had to tone down Rimmer's egotistical portrayal of himself a lot. Given what we see is still monstrously self-serving...
- Gay Moment: Lampshaded, Played for Laughs, exaggerated and Up to Eleven, Lister is quite unhappy with the gay aspect of his dream.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Kryten, to Kochanski, once again. The Rimmer Experience comes about all because he wants to show up Kristine's attempt at consoling Lister over Rimmer's absence.
- The Power of Hate: A suggestion raised by Kochanski is that Lister had to hate Rimmer, because it was the only thing keeping him going (which according to Lister back in "Kryten" is true).
- Series Continuity Error: Not that Red Dwarf has ever been big on consistency, but Rimmer in the flashbacks to the early days has his blue uniform on.
- There's No Kill Like Overkill: The Rimmer Experience. For when simply reminding everyone how much of a smeghead Old Ironbutt was just isn't enough, but reminding them just how much they hate him.