Welcome to my favorite show! Now I know a lot of people are going to point out I say the same thing about Buffy and Firefly and that is fair, I do. But I came to Firefly through Buffy and long before I feel in love with the Slayer and her journey I fell for Sliders. It was the show that captured my imagination as a kid and never let it go. This show means everything to me. I use to track every episode that I had seen, that's how much I loved this show. Also how nerdy I was and still am.
The first episode that sets up everything is written by Tracy Torme with a story by both Torme and Robert K. Weiss. The episode starts with Quinn freaking out about his anti gravity device, well not working. It did something completely different than what it was supposed to.
The opening credits for the episode is a master class on character development. With just a slow pan/tilt from the roof to where Quinn is sleeping in his bed we learn everything we need to about the man. Everything that he loves and helps to make him who he is. This scene is the very definition of show don't tell.
We meet his mother who nags him about working too hard and learn all about how his father was hit by a car. It fills us in on everything we need to know without feeling like we are learning anything. He watches tapes showing him discovering the wormholes. It's cut short by him having to run to class.
We meet a crazy homeless man ranting about communist taking over the world and the USA falling, as he believes it should.
Quinn is in Professor Arturo's class. Quinn plays dumb but knows all the answers. Arturo seems to really hate his students, he feels like they don't try and aren't smart enough to understand what he is teaching them. Quinn makes it t work where we meet Wade Welles who clearly has the hots for Quinn. We see once more that Quinn is smarter than most the people that he is around.
He gets home and we see that he has a creaky gate, this is very important because it is how he always tries to find out if he is home or not. He has already created the timing device and has started using it to send other things into the vortex and having them return. He wants to know what is on the other side, the only option he has is to go through the gate himself.
He films a goodbye to his mother incase he doesn't make it home. He then jumps through the vortex, changing his life and mine forever. He ends up back in his basement and thinks that it didn't work. If only he knew how well it works. It's simple at first, he drives past a green light not knowing that on this world green means stop and red means go. It is a very small difference but still a difference. We also hear that JFK is stepping down from the office of President, Americans are sneaking into Mexico for better jobs and Elvis is still alive. The last clue? His gate doesn't make a sound as he opens it. Oh and his mother is married to the gardener. The vortex opens and pulls him in, returning him back to his house.
He figures out what had happened and runs to hug his mom. He is so happy to be home. He rushes to class to tell Arturo what he has discovered but Arturo hates him, telling him ever to talk about him that way again. What did Quinn miss? The hippie in the class, we see him on many worlds and he is always a dumbass, well a smart dumbass but still. Quinn also got fired from his job. He had a double come to this world and messed everything up for him.
His double kissed Wade and Quinn says that she is like his sister, why would he kiss her. Thus breaking her heart, poor guy. He freaks out and Wade tries to comfort him. He goes home and finds the on his board finished. He asks himself who finished it and meets his double. He thinks that he was split in half like James T. Kirk but his double explains to him about sliding and the parallel worlds. This double will trouble him again. The double tries to warn him about something before vanishing into the vortex but our Quinn can't hear him. Arturo and Wade show up at Quinn's house, Arturo is under the impression that Quinn wants to apologize.
At the same time Rembrandt "the Crying man" Brown is getting ready to make his big return to the spotlight. Arturo is beyond impressed by Quinn's discovery. I almost forgot how much Arturo detested Quinn in the early episodes, he doesn't believe that Quinn could have built the timer or that it could work. So Quinn shows him. He opens the vortex for him and both Arturo and Wade are in shock.
Arturo doesn't want to go but Wade talks him into it. Quinn increases the power, the very thing that his double had tried to warn him about. Rembrandt and his beautiful car gets sucked into the vortex with everyone else. He ends up separated from the others and with no idea what has happened. It seems that this world is froze over with no life on it other than the four of them.
They run into Remy and hide out in his car as things get worse weather wise. Remy demands he forces the timer to reopen early but Quinn says it is a bad idea, the weather gets worse forcing his hand. He ends up opening the vortex and they all go through it. Quinn helps everyone through but falls backward into the car as the vortex starts to close. The others worry that he didn't make it and Wade wants to go back but Arturo talks her out of it. They wouldn't be able to control it. At the last moment before it closes he falls out of the vortex. They all made it.
They believe they made it home and Remy takes off trying to make it to the baseball game so that he can restart his career. He gets picked up by he cab driver, the same one that is on a great deal of universes. Wade takes off to check in with home. Quinn and Arturo talk about why the timer sent them to the wrong place. It is a few seconds later that Arturo finds that the wrong statue is in the park. They aren't home.
Remy pays the cab driver in American money and gets himself in trouble. After all the country is owned by Russia and American's are the evil underground. Remy is placed under arrest. Poor Remy has no idea what is going on. Wade catches up with Quinn and Arturo and the three of them make their way through the city, seeing how messed up everything is. They are stuck there till the timer recharges itself. None of them seem all that worried about where Remy is or what happened to him. He is being interrogated. His double was killed 12 years ago so they think that he is an American spy. He is sent to the people's court. Things are not looking good for him.
Quinn and co see how messed up the city is in this world and they finally decide to go find Remy. Arturo goes for a hotdog and uses American money, how did he not know that it would be different here? The phone company comes looking for Wade, lucky the hotdog vender helps them hide. It seems that on this world Wade is someone important who was just captured a few days ago.
The three of them meet the underground resistance. Wade has a boyfriend there, she doesn't know him but oh he knows her. Arturo's double is one of the bad guys on this world. The resistance didn't believe them at first but Wade's lover knows she isn't the real Wade and it makes him believe them.
They find Remy on a judge show. He tries to explain to the judge what happened but no one believes him. He gets sent to Alaska for 15 years. The resistance's Wade is in the same holding camp as Remy so they can save them at the same time. If the resistance doesn't succeed in this mission than it all over and what is left of America dies.
Arturo gets them into the camp. Wade goes off to find her double while Quinn and Arturo free Remy. The alarm goes off and they have to take off before reconnecting with Wade. Everything goes to shit. The resistance escapes but Wade is dead. Quinn freaks out, after all she is his best friend. Everyone is in shock, lucky for us it wasn't our Wade, it was her double. Our Wade is safe and sound.
Remy gets to sing the anthem like he has been trying to the whole episode, but instead of doing it to fix his career he is doing to send off the dead. Not the way he wanted but hey, it's something. Arturo and Quinn fix the timer and if they return to the spot they slide in on they could increase their chance to get home.
Someone tries to stop them and Wade knocks him down and they set off running. The cops close behind, the timer won't work. They are doomed. . . . at the last second he gets it working and they waste no time going through the vortex.
Once again they think they are home, even find the homeless man from the start of the episode sleeping. Quinn uses his gate to test if they are home or not, it squeaks. They go inside, all seems well. His mother is even worried about him as if he had been gone for a long time.
Arturo tells Quinn they should destroy the timer, it is too dangerous for them to keep it. It could fall into the wrong hands. The four friends are so happy, it's the perfect ending, until Quinn's father walks into the house. There goes the perfect ending.
This episode is so perfectly crafted it's just a masterpiece. If it was a movie it would go down as a classic like Back to the Future. Sliders should get more love!
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The show that got me into TV, Sliders!!!