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Recap / Red Dwarf Season VII Epideme

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When Lister catches a sentient, mind-absorbing virus, he is forced to make some hard decisions about how to escape its infection with his life.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The Epideme Virus, evil though it may be, is pretty polite.
    Epideme: David, c'mon. You caught a virus, it's fatal. It happens. Doesn't mean we can't be friends.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Kochanski cuts off one of Lister's arms in an attempt to cure him of Epideme.
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    • Zigzagged when it seems Kochanski has done the same to herself to kill Epideme once and for all, but subverted when she was actually using a corpse's arm injected with bio-fluids as a decoy.
  • Big "NO!": The Virus, after realizing Kochakski has fatally tricked it.
  • Brutal Honesty: Epideme bluntly tells Lister that absorbing him won't be a career highlight.
  • Continuity Nod: Lister's appalling guitar skills do him no favors re: his continued existence.
  • Evil Gloating: "And the big showbiz news today is that, as expected, the long-running virus, Epideme, has been renewed for another season!"
  • Fainting: The Cat's reaction to Kochanski cutting off "her" arm. He points incredulously then keels over, and is left lying on the floor still frozen in that position.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • To get rid of Epideme, Lister first concedes to having his arm cut off, and then to letting the others stop his heart and medically kill him.
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    • "They flamed the entire planet to try and stop me..."
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Epideme virus was intended to be a replacement to the nicotine patch. Unfortunately, it not only stops the brain thinking it needs nicotine, but also from thinking it needs oxygen. Plus, it absorbs the intelligence of whomever it kills, making it that much harder to stop.
  • Hope Spot: The Virus lets Lister know about a potential cure, so that Starbug will make the effort to go to it, rather than let Lister kill himself to get rid of it.
  • Kill It with Fire: An entire planet was flamed by the Starcorps to get rid of the virus. And it would've worked, if it hadn't left on a medical engineer.
  • Large Ham: Epideme. You'd be forgiven for thinking it kills its victims by overacting.
    Kryten: Who was the fourth Marx brother?
    Epideme: Zippo! Eeeeeasy. Ask me a hard one.
    Kryten: A hard one?
    Epideme: A HAAAAAAAAAAARRRRD ONE-UH!
  • Not Hyperbole:
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    • Kochanski tells Lister she wouldn't sleep with him if he was the last man alive. Which in fact he is. "I rest my case."
    • Kochanski tells Lister she'll never speak to him again if he goes ahead with his Heroic Sacrifice. Lister just grins and walks out the airlock.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Kochanski and Kryten flub up flushing the virus, making it go into the wrong arm. The effort buys Lister a few hours more life, but he's still down his favourite arm.
  • Not So Different: Epideme tries to claim as such to Lister. After all, Lister kills another living being to go on living himself, in his case, a chicken he curried. Lister tries in vain to prove he has more worth to the universe than a chicken.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Kochanski's response to the above-listed Evil Gloating: "Wrong, bughead! You're axed!"
  • Shout-Out: Epideme briefly taunts Lister by singing a snippet of "God Save The Queen".
  • Something We Forgot: After Kochanski defeats the Epideme virus, she and Kryten walk out triumphantly discussing what they just accomplished... only to remember Lister is dead and needs to be revived.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Even when Kochanski and Kryten come up with a way to save Lister, they still can't help bickering with one another.
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