[ EARTH 69 ]

Episode 2.1 | GeneSis

    After the worldwide uproar that followed the airing of last season's infamous finale, Peckinpah was forced to consider moving filming to Switzerland. After all, the Swiss are probably the only people in the world neutral enough to not shoot the guy on sight. Instead, he picked Los Angeles, California... home to the only people in the world deranged enough to accept the guy on sight.

    The teaser has Quinn and the gang attending Wade's funeral. Quinn can't be bothered to deliver a eulogy, as he's too busy making out with new slider Ryanne Stylish (who was not introduced in the Season One finale, but appears out of nowhere.) Remmy delivers a touching rendition of "Another One Bites the Dust." Maggie claps her hands and declares, "Well, that's all we can do here. Anyone hungry?"

    Shockingly, as they walk away from the gravesite, Wade's hands reach out of the pit and claw frantically at the dirt. The Sliders rush back, club their late comrade into the ground for good, and stomp on the grave several times to make sure she stays under. Maggie spits on it for good measure.

    And no, that was not even a dream sequence.

    We next land on a world of rubble and wrecked cars - minus Ryanne of course - where the timer is strangely malfunctioning. Inexplicably, Quinn instantly intuits that this is Earth Prime and that it has been taken over by nose-eating killer apes called Ggamorks. (Peckinpah denied ripping off Tracy Tormé's Kromagg idea, asserting "Look at the name! The letters are arranged in the exact opposite direction... how much more different can you get?!")

    When a Mork Manta Ship fires its deadly "Sting Ray" (nudge! wink!) at the Sliders, Quinn switches the timer to "Shoot Down Alien Spaceship" mode and soon finds the Ggamork Dynasty seeking revenge for the pilot's death. Remmy is captured by a raiding party, so Quinn and Maggie go underground and hack into the Mork mainframe. Prompted for a password, Quinn correctly guesses "Nanu! Nanu!" (Peck, defensively: "That was an homage.")

    Now armed with a map of Mork HQ, the duo team up with resistance fighter Marta to bust Remmy out of prison. Meanwhile said Cryin' Man is undergoing harrowing psychological torture, such as being confronted with a double of his estranged father (who simply straps him to a chair and hits him in the face a whole lot.)

    As the reunited trio is about to leave the ruined Earth Prime to slide aimlessly, a Ggamork soldier approaches Quinn and hands him a microdot, telling him to place it on his forehead. Following instructions, Quinn sees a woman who looks nothing at all like his mother (actually, she appears to be a Mork under heavy makeup) declare that she is his real mother, and that he has a sister somewhere on a parallel world, and that he is actually from a world where humans co-evolved with Morks, but then exiled them following a war, guarding their Earth by means of a "Slidecage" prison world, which is deactivated Tuesdays, but the Morks don't have Tuesday on their calendar, so they can't figure out how to reclaim their home dimension, and now they're trying to learn the secret of Tuesday's location from humans, oh and also Wade is actually not dead but has somehow ended up in a Ggamork rape camp (Peck never tires of Wade bashing.) It's rumoured that at one point in this speech Alt-Mom tells Quinn that Darth Vader is his father, but no-one has ever stayed awake long enough to make sure.

    Marta is pointlessly killed, dying in Quinn's arms as he delivers a speech with more bromides than a warehouse full of photographic printing paper.

    Blindly trusting what the Morks have told them, Quinn and Remmy next set out to find Quinn's sister and homeworld. Maggie insists on accompanying Quinn, because she knows she'll never find another guy with such low standards in her lifetime.

Episode 2.2 | The Dying Game

    Apparently bent on making the audience get fed up with Ggamorks, Peckinpah ensured that the very next week's episode features them as well. Would he find a way to make the nose-eating monkeys yet more obnoxious? Three words... "Jar Jar Morks."

    In another pointless teaser, the sliding threesome lands on a luxury 747 on the verge of crashing, which turns out to really be a flight simulator inside someone's house, which is inside a digital (or not? It's never made clear) mockup of Los Angeles, in which the Morks set loose noseless human slaves to serve as cannon fodder in war games, that are used to train vicious "Hu-Mork" hybrids (who, in a fine example of reprehensible scripting, the audience is encouraged to cheer for.)

    The gang teams up with Nikki, a human who believes that if she makes it to the finish line, the Morks will set her free and hand her five million dollars for being such a good sport. For no good reason, Nikki hands the Sliders a valuable keycard for access to a safe haven but refuses to accompany them.

    Remmy stupidly decides to engage in a game of hopscotch, and is almost killed when Quinn lapses into another "I have a sister! ...I have a sister!" trance, leaving him incapable of warding off the attacking robot zebras.

    Following encounters with robot buffalo, robot giraffes and robot weasels, the Sliders at last reach the final level. Maggie shoots the remaining players, including Nikki, to be sure that the Morks will award them all of the prize money. This brings the year's Dead Blonde Count to 2.

    It turns out the Ggamorks have an insidious trick up their collective sleeve: rather than simply shoot a human who reaches the finish line, they award him a cheque for $5,000,000 which is actually a bomb they can remotely detonate at will. The sheer pointlessness of this finally provided something to equal the "Babylon 5" episode where Garibaldi is shot by a poison dart fired through the eye of a talking ventriloquist's dummy.

    Fortunately, Maggie refuses the cheque because it isn't a giant one like you get on game shows, and the trio departs.

    Did I mention the meaningless plot twist revealing that Nikki was actually...

    ...Never mind, just think about that title.

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