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Recap / Red Dwarf Season VIII Cassandra

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After accidentally signing up himself and his friends for the Canaries, the suicide squadron of convicts, Lister finds himself confronting a sunken ship and the mysterious fortune-telling AI "Cassandra" housed within it.


  • Accidental Murder: Cassandra was trying to get back at Lister for killing her in the future, but he never actually was intending to kill her in the first place. See Disaster Dominoes.
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  • Brutal Honesty: Cassandra really doesn't hold back on how she tells the future to whoever she meets. Subverted, in that she lies a lot too.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Lister leaving some chewing gum on the wall results in a series of improbable events that culminates in Cassandra's death. She's quite bitter about this.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Surprisingly, Rimmer has a plan to get out of dying. It seems to work. For a time.
  • Exact Words:
    • After being told that Rimmer was going to die of a heart attack, Arnold asks if anyone ever referred to him as Rimmer.
    • Used again when Knott dies of a heart attack. Rimmer's jubilant, until Cassandra declares he's still going to die as well. She said only Lister, Kryten, Kochanski and the Cat would survive.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Rimmer wonders how Lister didn't know what the Canaries were before he signed up as they got recruitment posters all over the men's bog.
    Lister: When I'm in the men's toilet in prison, Rimmer, I tend not to look around, you know what I'm saying? It's like golf, keep my eye on the ball and try not to veer off to the side.
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  • Fun with Acronyms: According to Rimmer, the name Canaries is short for Convict Army Nearly All Retarded Inbred Evil Sheepshaggers. This is according to Rimmer, of course.
  • Got Volunteered: When Lister signed up for the Canaries, he forged Rimmer's signature as well. And Kochanski. And the Cat. And Kryten. He thought he was doing them all a favor.
  • Groin Attack: Inflicted on Rimmer by Knott, after being told to "man up" by Warden Ackerman. Knott grabs Rimmer's crotch, and there's a very loud crunch.
  • Head Desk: While Rimmer is explaining to Lister that the latter has accidentally signed himself (and, unbeknownst to Rimmer, the other main characters) into a suicide squad, partway through the explanation, Lister starts banging his head on a table.
  • Jerkass: Rimmer takes a malicious glee at Lister signing up to the Canaries, and the thought of getting to sleep with Kochanski.
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  • Large Ham: Kill Crazy.
    Kill Crazy: LET'S GO KILL SOMETHING!!!!!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: As Rimmer's taunting Lister about unwittingly joining the Canaries, Lister informs him he signed Rimmer up as well. Rimmer's laughter stops dead.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Kill Crazy works himself into such a psychotic frenzy that he knocks himself out trying to leave the diving bell. Ironically, this ends up being of benefit to him, as he's the only Canary who isn't a member of the main cast to survive the mission.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Rimmer's reaction to what Cassandra said how he would die.
    Rimmer: Let me just repeat what you said: Arnold - that's me - and Kochanski, - that's the woman. The really attractive one you saw earlier - we're in bed, giving it rizz, and then Lister - that's the short dumpy one with the stupid haircut - walks in and shoots me through the head while I'm making love to Kochanski?
    Cassandra: That is what happens.
    Rimmer: FANTASTIC!!
  • Meaningful Name: The Canaries. Rimmer explains it rather well.
    Rimmer: In the 19th century, when mining coal, they would lower a little canary in a cage.
    Lister: Wha, so it could do some mining? They must have been daft in the 19th century! I mean, how much coal could a little canary get?
    Rimmer: And if the air was noxious, guess what the canary did.
    Lister: Complained to the foreman?
    Rimmer: It died, Listy. See, the canary's job was to get into the worst, most smeggy, and most inhospitable situations, and see if it could stay alive. Then they knew it was safe to send in the important people.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The ship Cassandra's on is found at the bottom of the ocean, with no sign of any crew, or even the remains of any crew. And the Canaries get to go find out what happened to them. Subverted, when it turns out there never was any crew to begin with.
  • Out with a Bang:
    • Lister is informed his death comes at a hundred and eighty-one, trying to take a bra off with his teeth. Lister's impressed, until Kryten and the Cat point out A: at that age, it could easily be his own bra, and B: the teeth might not necessarily be in his mouth at the time.
    • Rimmer is told that he'll die mid-coitus with Kochanski by way of Lister with a harpoon gun.
  • Plot Armor: The Dwarfers both have and attempt to exploit this. When the titular precognitive computer predicts that everyone in the main cast but Rimmer will survive the destruction of the shipwreck that they're on, they form human plot armor for him by standing around him as they get to their escape ship. He manages to fall down a hole on the way, but it turns out that the computer was lying all along.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Cassandra has a 100-percent accuracy when it comes to telling the future. Which is why she ended up on the bottom of an ocean on a distant moon in the middle of the desert. But there's nothing preventing her from telling a lie about them.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: This episode explores this trope. When Lister and the others are told that Rimmer is gonna die, they buy it. Justified because they have learned the hard way of what happens when you try to change it yourself. Arnold doesn't buy it because he hasn't learned the lesson, and engineers for someone else to die, because Cassandra sees only pictures of the futures, instead of passively knowing the future, and had seen someone she believed to be Rimmer die of a heart attack. Thing is, Cassandra already foresaw that the only survivors would be Lister, Kryten, Kochanski, and the Cat, not Arnold. Since the four were already immortal for the duration of their stay, they try and shield Arnold from harm while trying to get to the diving bell they arrived in, only for Arnold and Kochanski to get trapped. Arnold learns what his death was going to be and he seems okay with it. Only it was a lie because Cassandra tried and make it happen just to spite Lister because she has always known when she dies; Lister kills her. Lister originally refuses and tries to walk out. But he had left a chewing gum on the wall, which fell down a lamp, which leaned down on the button to start a fan, which sent the gum flying into a glass of Scotch that toppled over on impact, onto Cassandra's power cables. Guess what.
    Lister: ...Smeg.
  • You Don't Want to Know: Inverted. Lister learns of his final death and he's messed up knowing that's how he'll go out.
    Lister: It's completely spoilt the surprise!