Arnold Rimmer has created his perfect partner - an identical hologram duplicate of himself - but not everything turns out the way Rimmer expects it to. As things get quite metaphysical, Rimmer realises that it is actually impossible for him to get on with himself, and one of them must be deleted.
The two Rimmer duplicates decide to move in together in another bunkroom leaving Lister, who is all too happy to be rid of them, alone in his and Rimmer's previous quarters. The first Rimmer gloats to Lister that creating his clone was the best idea of his life. He doesn't have to put up with Lister's disgusting habits. Meanwhile the Cat has a microphone calling out to any lady Cats, as he is "courting".
However, the two Rimmers are so alike in pettiness that they cannot get along and continually insult and berate each other. The flash point is which shade of gray they should get the skutters to paint the corridors in (ocean gray or military gray). The arguments gets nastier and nastier, with the clone even bringing up their mother, saying that she never liked him.
Going through Rimmer's things, Lister finds Cat defecating in Rimmer's shoes in his locker. Lister soon finds Rimmer's diary, although it is mostly empty except a mysterious mention to gazpacho soup. Searching further, Lister discovers a very long, rambling and self-pitying video eulogy Rimmer had recorded in memory of his own death in the radiation leak. Lister takes the video back to his own quarters to watch it, and has the skutters bring him popcorn.
In his video eulogy, Rimmer blames all the people around him for his own failures, especially Lister. At the end is the recording of his death, on which Rimmer mysteriously screams the last words "Gaspatcho Soup" before his demise. Lister is determined to discover what this means. The two Rimmers eventually have a blazing row, the Rimmer duplicate being exceptionally cruel to his doppelganger, and the original Rimmer comes back to live with Lister.
The childish behavior between the two Rimmers comes to a head as Lister and Cat try to watch a Mugs Murphy cartoon in the ship cinema, forcing Lister to put his foot down and demand that one of them be erased, and he chooses by playing the "ippy dippy" game. Lister tricks the original Rimmer into believing that he will be the one erased in order to make him explain what 'Gazpacho Soup' meant. Rimmer turns up in the Drive Room dressed like an Admiral, adorned with his medals for three years long service, six years long service, nine years long service, and twelve years long service. He is ready to be switched off for good, and after Holly simulated a few shots of whiskey, Rimmer explained the humiliating story behind gazpacho soup.
It was the day that Rimmer's desire for public respect finally came true, as he was invited to the captain's table for dinner. Unfortunately, he did not know that gazpacho soup is meant to be served cold, and he publicly embarrassed himself in front of the Captain and other guests by demanding it be served hot. He believes that the event caused him to never advance his career.
When Lister explains he has already wiped the other Rimmer, the first Rimmer is relieved, but shocked that he has bared his soul. Lister reveals that he would never have found out the soup story otherwise. Lister promises he will never mention gaspatcho soup, and ends the episode by saying "Souper" as they go for a drink.
- Cat enters the sleeping quarters on roller skates with a loudspeaker announcing that he "feels sexy" to any female Felis sapiens in the area. Since Rimmer has moved out to live with his hologram clone, Lister asks Cat to move in with him. However, Cat says that he isn't interested, because a cat shouldn't cohabit with monkeys - what he calls humans - and also that he would prefer to bunk down wherever he feels like (see Cat's sleeping quarters).
- Lister muses over the signage the two Rimmers have put up outside their bunk.
- Extended scene of the two Rimmers winding each other up in the cinema.
- In the original script, it was Lister who had a hologram clone, not Rimmer. The script was later story-boarded and reconstructed as "Bodysnatcher".
- In the video of the accident, Rimmer's last words ("Gazpacho Soup"), combined with a shot of a snow globe smashing, are an homage to the "Rosebud" opening of Citizen Kane.
- The Red Dwarf crew were apparently killed in early-mid January. In Rimmer's diary, it refers to Gazpacho Soup day as November the twenty-fifth. Then Lister verbally notes that that was six weeks before the crew got wiped out. This however is later contradicted by "Stasis Leak", that indicates the accident happened in March. This may simply be an error in the character's figuring.
- Some fans have noted that Rimmer simply squaring himself, as is implied by the episode title, would not result in two Rimmers, as one times itself can only ever result in one. Others have pointed out that this does actually in some ways fit with the episode, as it shows that no matter what you do with him you will always just end up with Rimmer.
- In the opening S.O.S. distress message of the episode, Holly says that the cargo decks of Red Dwarf have enough food to last 30,000 years. This is curious, since in a previous episode, Holly says that the cargo decks are beyond his "supervision field" (and that is why Holly couldn't look into Supply Pipe 28).
- Another curiosity in this is that there is still so much food aboard after three million years, although stasis would be the logical explanation. However it doesn't explain what the evolving Felis sapiens ate in the preceding three million years, since the Cat race clearly weren't eating the food in the cargo decks (although space weevils, space food and grown food from the botanical gardens could be an explanation).
View quotes from this episode here.
- The vision of Rimmer's death video with Captain Hollister was filmed at the same time as The End to save Mac McDonald the trouble of returning to the set.
- The Gazpacho Soup incident was based on a real life incident involving Rob Grant and Doug Naylor; while in a meeting with Thames Television, the two were served gazpacho soup and were baffled as to why it was served cold. However, unlike Rimmer, they chose not to complain and were later relieved to find it was indeed meant to be served cold.
- The Series I DVD deleted scenes contains the full uncut version of the Rimmers' last argument in the cinema in which a small section was originally removed due to running time. Viewing the entire scene explains why, in the aired version, Lister appears to select the wrong Rimmer for deletion (the Rimmers exchange places one last time, placing the correct Rimmer in the right position to be selected).
- The circumstances of the crew's death don't seem to jibe with what has been stated previously. A radiation leak is blamed for their deaths, yet on video it appears they were killed in an explosion (however when Lister is revived there was no apparent damage anywhere).
The force of the leak was explosive only in the human-inhabited regions of the ship. It is likely the skutters and/or the garbage droids would have cleaned up the debris, just leaving the dust pile remains of the crew, possibly programmed to not touch such a thing. It is also possible in the preceding three million years, one of the evolving Cat people may have found the Drive Room, taking what they felt like.
Rimmer would later enjoy the idea of saving himself in the past and having two of him in the Series II episode "Stasis Leak". Apparently he forgot that even he cannot stand himself (although he may have wanted to copy his memories since being a hologram and put them into the living version). His self-hatred, first covered in this episode, manifests itself physically in the Series V episode "Terrorform". Lister also seemed to be perfectly willing for there to be a hologram of him in a deleted scene for "Holoship", which seems to indicate that he felt that what happened between the two Rimmers was due to it being Rimmer, and not a universal truth of human nature.