Red Dwarf “Entangled” Review

Spoilers for Red Dwarf below

I hate to say it but this episode was…….stupid. I was bored most of the way through and by and large the jokes weren’t terribly funny. “Entagled” stoops so low as to reuse a gag we saw just last week, Kryten drying cutlery with his ass-vent. It wasn’t terribly funny the first time, and it wasn’t terribly funny on the second go, but the studio audience/laugh track seem to have found it just hilarious.

Rimmer becomes obsessed with the Health and Safety regulations he’s made up for everyone to follow, demanding that everyone fill out accident reports over every little thing. Granted, Lister spilling beer and soft taco filling on one of the consoles and starting a fire is a problem, and one of the few funny moments early in the episode, but I don’t really see the comedy here. Rimmer’s an uptight guy who likes rules and annoys everyone else. We know. We’ve known this since 1988. Har har fuckin’ har.

Kryten and Cat become semi-entangled on a quantum level so that when they become emotional they tend to say the same things simultaneously and have coincidence turn in their favour. Why two actors speaking bog-standard dialogue at the same time elicits gales of laughter from the laugh track I’ll never guess.

Lister eating
That wrap does look delicious.

Three quarters of this episode just drag on and on and on and I was continually looking at the clock wishing it were over. Lister finds life signs on a nearby moon, which turn out to be a bunch of creatures genetically engineered to eat garbage. He plays poker with them and loses both Starbug and Rimmer during the course of the game. He’s fitted with a testicle-detonator to make sure he coughs up within 24 hours. Cue thirty unfunny euphemisms for balls.

Upon jetting back down to the moon to try and weasel out of it (with some decent CG effects) we get to actually meet the garbage-munchers and holy fuck are these hairy rat people annoying. Their costumes and make up are awful and cheap even by Red Dwarf standards. It’s  an absolute treat when they all finally end up choking to death.

Thankfully after this things finally, mercifully start to pick up, as the crew travels to the space station where the ball-bomb was made, the Erroneous Reasoning Center. There’s some quite witty dialogue indeed when Kryten explains to the others that it was staffed entirely by people who were selected for their excellence at being wrong, such as weathermen and television critics (oy!).

Upon recovering the creator of the nut-buster from a stasis tube, we find she’s managed to “devolve” herself into a monkey in an experiment gone wrong and I’m bashing my head against the wall because evolution does not work that way. There is no such thing as an “evolutionary ladder.”  One cannot get more or less evolved. One creature is not more “highly evolved” than another. Evolution is simply adaptation to an organism’s environment. No more, no less.  GOOD LORD.

a naked lady!

This nonsense is at least done away with as Kryten easily changes her back. Rimmer gets a holo-boner over the lady, and deactivating the crotch-explosives is a simple matter of inputting the opposite code of what she tells them. Lister’s glad his balls are intact and I’m glad this is almost over.

The most fun to be had with “Entangled” is airlock related, oddly enough. The airlock is used rather well as a fountain for comedy throughout the episode, with nice moments like Kryten scrambling to let Lister back in before he drifts off into space because he forgot his key, and later Lister throws Rimmer’s stupid accident reports out into space.

The crowing achievement in “Entangled” however, is some pretty dark humor at the very end of the episode. Rimmer’s just about talked Ms Scientist into sleeping with him, but she trips on a stack of crap and tumbles out the airlock. Being a complete moron, she then ends up blowing herself out into the void. And good riddance I say.

Not every episode this season has been a comedic gem, but this is a new low. I don’t think I’ve every been as bored by any of the other stories this year, but here I just found my mind drifting off because almost nothing interesting happened at all until the last five or ten minutes. I’m starting to wonder if the Red Dwarf production crew are alumni of the Erroneous Reasoning station, because just about everything here is wrong.