|Luck of the Draw|
Sliders' first season certainly went out with a bang. The last offering to the fans was extremely well executed... no pun intended. The suspenseful ending makes a great lead-in to the next season.
The episode begins as Wade and the others observe how content everyone around them seems to be. The citizens are polite and helpful, and the price of consumer goods is considerably low. The Sliders then discover an alt-culture quirk unlike any other they've ever seen: ATM machines that freely distribute money to anyone! Insanely, every withdrawal you make increases your odds of taking home an even bigger jackpot courtesy of the state lottery. Quinn abstains and Arturo takes only five dollars, but Wade and Remmy each grab thousands.
As long as they're staying on such an idyllic Earth, why not go in for some R&R? Quinn and Wade go horseback riding while Remmy and Arturo try fishing. After their afternoon out comes to an abrupt halt, Wade broaches the topic of staying on this world to Quinn. She dreads the possibility of the timer giving out and stranding the group someplace terrible, and urges him to consider settling down while he can.
Later that night, the lottery winners are announced. Wade is one of twelve lucky entrants who receives an unimaginable bounty of riches. The next day, she is treated like a queen. The Sliders are chauferred around town and watch as Wade is pampered. Fed up, Quinn leaves in search of some fresh air but agrees to return for the Winners' Ball that evening.
Arturo escorts Wade to dinner, where she meets Ryan, another lottery winner. The two hit it off and spend the rest of the evening dancing. Rembrandt meets someone new as well, another winner named Julianne. Quinn finally arrives, but with stunning news: he's just discovered that the lottery is a form of population control. It's no wonder there's so little pressure on resources... the winners have one day of luxury, and "make way" the next morning!
Upon learning the truth, Rembrandt tries to convince Julianne to leave with them, as does Wade with Ryan. Neither has much luck: Ryan reacts to the idea of Sliding with disbelief, while Rembrandt is turned in and sentenced to death for trying to tamper with the lottery.
Quinn and Arturo go on a rescue mission, leaving Wade with the timer and instructions to leave if they don't make it back. Shortly afterwards, Ryan reappears and saves her from a close encounter with the Lottery police. "You'd better be telling the truth about parallel worlds," he warns.
Meanwhile, the van carrying Rembrandt to his "processing" has been held up by Right To Life protesters. Quinn breaks him out and they escape amidst all the confusion. At the last minute, they make it back to the hotel with a squad of furious cops on their heels. Everyone -- including Ryan -- makes it through the gate, but Quinn takes a bullet as he leaps. The final shot is of Wade weeping, holding the bleeding Quinn in her arms.
This was a superb episode! Probably one of my favorite elements of the episode was the addition of Henry the dog. I also thought highly of Nicholas Lea's character, Ryan. Finally, this is a great cliffhanger ending that kept all of the fans guessing.
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