We begin in Io Polytechnic, where Lecturer Rimmer is teaching peer pressure, in a class where his son, a younger Arnold Rimmer, is a student. He proceeds to use Rimmer as a guinea pig for said peer pressure class. One of the students tries to tell Rimmer this but he proceeds to insult her.
Fast forward to three million years into the future, and a rogue droid named Hoguey has come to the ship for a duel to the death across space and time for killing his brother. However, he and his kin have been doing this song and dance so often that the crew is absolutely bored with it, suggesting alternative activities such as a ping-pong or mini-golf tournament, before agreeing on a Dwarfers vs rogue nutters cooking competition. However, trouble strikes when Hoguey reveals that he took a map of the galaxy from a Simulant deathship. And you know what they say about Simulants...
It's not long before the ship is under attack by said Simulants. Taking Hoguey's molecular destabliser, (and a mysterious device that belongs to Rimmer), they flee the ship on Blue Midget and hide in a nearby asteroid belt. As the Simulants search, the Dwarfers, having no other choice, allow Rimmer the duty of creating a battle plan. Rimmer, being Rimmer, has difficulties creating such a plan, however. This is until the Cat comes in, who tells him that he is still being haunted by his father and that he needs to face his demons. Inspired, Rimmer plays his holo-lamp, where he finds out something from his father.
Lecturer Rimmer is not his actual father. That identity actually belongs to Dungo, the gardener that the Rimmer family had.
Although the Dwarfers are concerned about the impact that this will have on Rimmer, he turns out to be happy with this development - his true father would have been proud with him for achieving the job of Second Technician after all. This inspires him to come up with a battle plan, which he is determined to see to the end despite the other's protests. This involves going out in front of the Simulant's ships, allowing them to fire, and using Hoguey's destabliser to allow the missiles to pass harmlessly through Blue Midget and into the ship. This plan is a success and the Dwarfers are saved, with the episode ending with Rimmer happily saying that "The slime's coming home" as they return to Red Dwarf.
This episode contains examples of:
- Bigger on the Inside: Blue Midget's interior was always consistent with the outside. Now it has a supply room that's bigger than the rest of the ship.
- Book Ends: The first episode had Lister proclaiming that "The slime's coming home!" as he prepares to start the long journey back to Earth. This episode (which is the last episode of Series X) again ends with a character saying the same line, only now it's Rimmer as he and the rest of the Dwarfers prepare to head back to the ship.
- Chekhov's Gun: Before the Dwarfers leave the ship pursued by Simulants, they take Hoguey's Molecular Destabilizer with them. This proves to be important in Rimmer's plan to defeat the Simulants (since it involves destablizing Blue Midget so that the Simulants weapons pass harmlessly through it and attack them instead).
- Dumbass Has a Point: The Cat actually plays a significant role in helping Rimmer get over his issues by pointing out that Rimmer's father is the demon that is destroying him and Rimmer should accept that he will never receive his praise (and that the approval of such a cruel man isn't worth having anyway).
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The simulants inadvertently blow themselves up.
- Hypocrite: Rimmer tries to surrender to the Simulant General, citing several treaties and agreements including the Geneva Convention, to be taken as prisoners of war. The simulants reply with several missiles. When the Dwarf crew is redirecting these towards the Simulants, the Simulant General realizes he's royally screwed, and tries to surrender, citing the same treaties and agreements including the Geneva one.
- Mythology Gag: Rimmer's meticulous, colour-coded and completely useless battleplan timetable is a reference to the first novel, which explains that part of the reason he consistently fails the officer exam is because he spends so long designing his revision schedule, he never actually revises.
- Noodle Incident:
- Rimmer managed to save Red Dwarf from the microscopic corrosive organism, somehow. Whenever he tries to claim credit for it, the others insist that it was a total fluke, whatever he did.
- We're never told the detalils of how and why (or, given his erratic nature, if) the Dwarfers killed Hoguey's brother.
- Remember the New Guy?: Hoguey the Roguey has apparently been challenging the crew to duels across time and space so often that they're bored with it, but this is the first and only time he appears or is mentioned.
- The Reveal: Arnold Rimmer is actually the illegitimate son of his mother and the family's gardener, making him no relation to his psychotic, abusive father. This actually is hugely uplifting for Rimmer.
- Screw the Rules, They Broke Them First!: Rimmer's reaction to the Simulant's attempt to surrender. Truth in Television, as it is a general acceptance that once you are in violation of the Geneva Convention, no one will trust you with upholding them anymore.
- Self-Punishment Over Failure: Subverted. For letting the Dwarfers get away one simulant has his captain shove a sword down the table toward him and assumes this is his punishment. After he's started disemboweling himself the captain tells him that as punishment for his failure he will have to polish the sword and write a letter of apology. Not stab himself to death.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Rimmer actually manages to come up with a brilliant plan that saves the Dwarfers from the simulant fleet, seemingly having had a huge upsurge in confidence after learning he doesn't have to give a damn about what Mr. Rimmer might think of him.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Hoguey, the rogue droid comes to challenge Lister to a challenge across time and space for killing his brother. Cat barely bothers to wake up to send him to Lister's quarters, Kryten doesn't look up from mopping the floor giving him directions, Rimmer thinks it's "fine by me!", and Lister just finds it tedious because all of Hogey's droid brethren always challenge them to duels across time and space and it was alright the first time, but it's been several hundreds of years doing it now.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Hoguey speaks with ... some kind of an accent. It helps he is a rogue (and defective) droid.
- Yes-Man: All of the Simulant General's war council are these. When he challenges them to be more assertive, to debate him, and disagree with him, because it'd be better for them. One of them disagrees with this because the last simulant who did got killed. The Simulant General promptly has him killed.Council member: SEE!?