100 Things I Hate About "The Chasm"
A review by Recall317

My VCR has an innate sense of taste that I can't quite explain. It just seems to know how to differentiate between a good episode of Sliders and a bad one. In the past, it has tried to eat "El Sid" and "Paradise Lost." But it flat out refused to play "The Chasm." It just stopped after "My Brother's Keeper" and refused to move a single frame forward. I had to trick it by giving it Monty Python before it consented to air "The Chasm" for me.

By now, I should just trust in my VCR to protect me. This episode isn't as flat out horrible as "Paradise Lost", but it's not for lack of trying. Pretty much, it left me with a host of unanswered questions as you will see in my review. Questions such as: What is the point of this episode? Why was this tripe even made? If I felt compelled to murder the scriptwriter, would a jury find the homicide justified?

  1. It Would Be Funny If It Weren't True, Part I: "Don't worry, Rembrandt, she'll be fine... I know I should be upset, concerned, but for some reason, I'm not at all." Quinn's talking about Amy, but it could go for Wade just as well. This is the first of many great Quinn lines in this episode.

  2. Sheriff Kangaroo, at your service.

  3. Maggie's hair. She needs to stop going to the salon with Marilyn Quayle.

  4. Amy. I know I shouldn't have huge expectations from a child actor on a cable television show, but it looks like she's been studying from Jerry O'Connell's book on emoting.

  5. The Middletown-Paradise Connection, Part I: Any one else notice an eerie similarity between Middletown and Paradise of "Paradise Lost?" Both are small out of the way towns with a dark secret…that no one on the outside seems to notice despite the fact it is so blindingly obvious that Ray Charles can see it!

  6. The Church of the Chasm. I've heard of some bizarre cults, but this one takes the cake. How does the initiation go? 'Do you take this hole in the ground as your personal savior?'

  7. They've got a sign out front too! "Temple of the Chasm." At least they make no effort to conceal their horrible, horrible secret.

  8. "This is how it's been and always will be." Yeah, since 1974... It's like a sandwich shop declaring itself "Established in 1986."

  9. Revisionist History Lesson, Part I: Maggie jokes about Quinn becoming a mindless optimist. Little does she know- Quinn's entire character used to be based around optimism. Just one more of those subtle remarks in this episode that highlights how far this series has fallen.

  10. The Middletown-Paradise Connection, Part II: It appears the Chasm requires a sacrifice to bestow its gift upon the populace. Sound like any freak, mutated earthworm we know? At least the Chasm doesn't secrete its gifts.

  11. The Chasm uses "the force" according to Mrs. Meadows. George Lucas showed us the dark and light sides of the force; David Peckinpah shows us the incredibly stupid side.

  12. "We don't get many visitors anymore." Gee, you worship a hole in the ground, is it any wonder?

  13. Maggie actually follows up on this. Is Maggie showing signs of cognitive thought? Damn these discontinuities!

  14. Colin's insistence on finding the grandfather is rather pointless. He fell into a deep, smoking hole. He's not alive! (Well, at least he shouldn't be by any REASONABLE standard.)

  15. "I'm going to catch a nap," says Quinn. Yes folks, JOC's tendency to sleep on the set is so well known that the writers have given up and have just started writing his siestas into the script.

  16. I could have done without the gratuitous overhead shots of Quinn and Colin's areas.

  17. I notice a lot of people driving around. Where are they going? This town is comprised of just one set! Suck it up and walk, people!

  18. "Noooooo! Nooooooooooo! Noooooooooooo!" Now, Amy is taking acting lessons from Shatner.

  19. As opposed to her father's, "Amy, no." His daughter is about to fling herself into a hole and he sounds like he's asking for an extra pickle at the deli.

  20. Amy must be screaming really, really loud for Rembrandt to hear her in the temple from the square.

  21. Rembrandt has really fallen out of shape this season. He can't even catch an 11-year-old over 400 meters.

  22. Or how about her father? He's even slower than Rembrandt.

  23. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part I: Why isn't the Chasm roped off? Or at least guarded? Are animals allowed to roam in and out of the cave? What happens if squirrels and raccoons start sacrificing themselves?

  24. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part II: Since we're on this ridiculous train of thought, might as well ride it to the station. If "the force" flows through all living things, what kind of sordid effect is the Chasm having on the rest of the environment. Depressed blades of grass? Joyous mosquitoes? Or is this pseudo-science strictly limited to humans?

  25. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part III: How exactly is one "chosen"? Just what are the qualifications? Do you have to pass an exam?

  26. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part IV: What if someone sacrifices themselves without anyone nearby? If Rembrandt hadn't been around when Amy took the diving header, would the episode have simply ended?

  27. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part V: What would happen if you simply left town? Surely, the negative energy from Middletown itself couldn't possibly trail you? I mean, 'strong in the force is the Chasm…but not that strong.'

  28. Interesting technique having Rembrandt flash forward and then back again. Either that or really bad editing.

  29. Rembrandt's "Nestea plunge" into the Chasm.

  30. What exactly is the population of Middletown? It must be getting pretty sparse what with people jumping down the hole every two hours.

  31. Oh, they're not supposed to jump every two hours. Quinn drove them over the edge. Strangely fitting I suppose.

  32. "The chosen must serve for years…" Well, next time don't choose an 11-year old, padre.

  33. Revisionist History Lesson, Part II: Rembrandt reveals that his greatest fear is depression. That's new. It has also been at various times... spiders, water, everything from "Into the Mystic", and let's not forget Kromaggs! Nope, turns out they were all minor fears.

  34. Quinn states that the nap he took was the best sleep he had in years. Yes, six of the best minutes of sleep of all time.

  35. JOC does a pretty good job portraying Quinn as a jackass when Remmy's hallucinating. He might be able to make a career out of those kinds of roles.

  36. Wade is affiliated with this episode? Sending her to a breeder camp isn't enough, you have to involve her in The Chasm?! Peckinpah is an evil, evil man.

  37. We learn that it takes years and years before the 'Chosen One' submits to the anguish and sacrifices himself. Rembrandt lasts 8 minutes.

  38. Why can't anyone chase after anyone else in this episode? "Should we follow?" "Nah, let's just yell from afar."

  39. Between you and me, I think Rembrandt jumped into the Chasm so he could get out of this episode. I'm sure you didn't hear Cleavant complaining!

  40. "No. Think it through." If Colin had showed any less emotion, he'd be Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

  41. It Would Be Funny If It Weren't True Part II: After Rembrandt throws himself into the Chasm, Quinn states, "Remmy was a good friend. I'll miss him." Laugh now, but just wait until "Revelations" comes along...

  42. The director must have had a bitch of a time deciding who would have to act after Cleavant exited. Kari drew the short straw.

  43. The priest is not content after Rembrandt is sacrificed. Is he immune to the Chasm's effects or is he vulnerable to plot contrivances?

  44. How does the priest know Maggie has been chosen? Last time I checked he wasn't there and no one bothered to inform him.

  45. The Middletown-Paradise Connection, Part III: Both share exceptionally lazy sheriffs who won't do anything until the situation has gone way beyond the point of no return. Come to think of it, why would either town even NEED a sheriff?

  46. It Would Be Funny If It Weren't True, Part III: "I'm just excess baggage he has to drag through the vortex." -- Maggie. I couldn't have summed her up better myself.

  47. JOC gets carried away playing the bastard, staying in that character even when Maggie is not tripping on the Chasm spasm.

  48. Thankfully there's a 'Ye Olde Abandoned Hardware Store' for Colin to ransack for supplies.

  49. I hope Coleman feels it got its money's worth from the product placement in 'Ye Olde Abandoned Hardware Store.'

  50. What exactly does Quinn hope to accomplish by sticking his head in the Chasm and yelling for Remmy?

  51. There's more smoke in this episode than at a Phish concert.

  52. Revisionist History Lesson, Part III: Maggie declares that Steven was the best thing in her life. Oh clearly, that's why she cheated on him with Rickman. That's also why she mourned for about three minutes before going back to trying to seduce Quinn.

  53. Hey, just because the people of Middletown are content doesn't mean they're not up for a good lynching!

  54. A gun-toting priest? Mississippi must run this world.

  55. They've got guns? Like Janet Reno wouldn't have stormed this cult by now.

  56. Colin has one tone of voice: monotone.

  57. Colin's not the idiot he sounds like. When trying to convince Maggie not to jump, he tells her "I won't abandon you, you won't abandon Rembrandt." Pointed emphasis on how he left Quinn out of the argument.

  58. "Take no prisoners!" That's right. Shoot first, don't bother to ask questions.

  59. Colin goes through all the trouble of tying this ridiculously complex knot…only to toss it in the hole.

  60. Is jumping into the Chasm…even to escape gunfire…really a good idea? I mean, haven't you been trying to PREVENT people from doing this ALL episode!

  61. What slowed the three down as they fell through the Chasm? Remarkably soft landing considering it appeared they plunged the equivalent of ten stories.

  62. The falling effect was really, really lame.

  63. What happens when the nonchosen jump through the hole? Apparently nothing. One Mystery of the Chasm solved.

  64. The Chasm leads to a hallway? This is a fourth season Sliders episode; you were expecting something COOL?

  65. Mrs. Meadows: malt clerk by day, forklift driver by night.

  66. Speaking of Mrs. M, she really gets around for an extra. How many other roles can we assign her? How about notary, pizza delivery girl, and Madame Meadows at the Happiest Little Whorehouse in all of Middletown?

  67. The Chasm has a service entrance.

  68. The Middletown-Paradise Connection, Part IV: The Chasm keeps its victims in SUSPENDED ANIMATION. At least the Chasm uses the freezer technique over the Saran Wrap look.

  69. The Chasm is an amusement park ride?!?! I repeat, ?!?!?!

  70. If no one ever comes here anymore, why does Mrs. M still carry brochures? Let it die! The dream is over!

  71. So that's why there's popcorn and cotton candy everywhere. Of course, once the place ceased to be a functioning amusement park, I suppose they could have stopped doing that. Then again, this town isn't big in the brains department.

  72. And when was the Chasm created? Oh, "a long, long time ago." Probably in a galaxy "far, far away."

  73. If it's a ride, why do people live here? Even the slaves…I mean, employees of DisneyWorld get to go home at night.

  74. "The transmigration of bioenergy…." Bullshit.

  75. "It's all very scientific…" My ass! That's script-talk for "I majored in American Studies in school. Thankfully my uncle knows Bill Dial."

  76. The Chasm works off of transfers of parallel energy fields… and Quinn seems to accept this.

  77. Oh look. Another gun in HappyLand.

  78. Good fight, Mrs. Meadows. Just be thankful Quinn didn't punch you.

  79. OK, they've got cryogenic technology but their automobiles haven't advanced beyond a '42 Packard.

  80. They put the controls to the Chasm inside the enclosed area. Brilliant design!

  81. Amy's not doing a very good job being "suspended." Of course, she hasn't done a good job all episode, why start now?

  82. In fact, you can all see them swaying back and forth. This might have been the appropriate time to linger on a still shot.

  83. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part VI: Who stands them up nice and neat if no one can get inside?

  84. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part VII: What's keeping them up in the first place? You ever try standing someone up who doesn't have the power to do so on their own? It ain't pretty.

  85. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part VIII: Frozen or not, why stand them up at all? What if there's an earthquake and they fall over? Why take the unnecessary risk?

  86. Mysteries of the Chasm, Part IX: Does the Chasm have visiting hours? You know, for family members to come down and say hello to the popsicles from time to time?

  87. How does that energy field differentiate between the Chosen and the nonchosen? Quinn and Colin did fall down the hole too. Must be that magical transmigration of bioenergy.

  88. "You will know nothing, see nothing, feel nothing…" Kind of the way the viewer feels after being exposed to this crap.

  89. Maggie couldn't hit the side of a house with a beach ball through most of season three, now she can pick off a control box while lying down half-frozen?

  90. The panel is shot! One second later, the panel is not shot! Nice editing…

  91. Why would you need to shoot the glass out from the inside? It's clearly not bulletproof! What was there to stop them from just kicking it in?

  92. "Is this the Chasm?" Wouldn't you already know? Isn't it Mrs. Meadows' job to escort the fully conscious victims to the freezing chamber?

  93. Ahhh…the panel's broken again.

  94. Amy, you're not dead and neither is any of your family! What are you going to do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

  95. Shouldn't there be a lot more than a dozen or so people if this has been going on a hundred years? We went through four people in just one day!

  96. It Would Be Funny If It Weren't True, Part IV: After the Chasm is broken, Mrs. Meadows screams at Quinn, "Who are you to come in and destroy our lives?" Lady, you don't know the half of it.

  97. The wormhole just isn't as big as it used to be. If the professor was still alive, he'd have to be wedged through.

  98. This was one cheap episode to film. One set and the rest are shots of a hole in the ground.

  99. Now that the Chasm is gone, where did all the negative energy go? It's been stockpiled for years. There must be enough for a Republican convention by now!

  100. Big moral to the story. You can't pass off your negative emotions through science. Yeah, like that's applicable in reality.

The worst part is that this episode isn't amusingly bad like "Paradise Lost" where it's so obvious no one is trying that you have to laugh. They made an effort in this one and THIS is the stinking, steaming result.