"Revelations": Still Awful After All These Years|
A review by Recall317
Over the years, I find myself softening my opinion on many episodes that I formerly completely despised. I am even finding positive moments in episodes as low quality as "Slither" and "El Sid." The more I watch any episode, the more I find to like about them. I guess that's normal as at heart, I really like this show.
But there are a few "gems" that get worse and worse with each repeated viewing. "Time Again and World" loses value with each airing as I find thirty more things wrong with it each time. But the highest on the hitlist is "Revelations." It may not be the worst episode of all time (that honor truly belongs to "This Slide of Paradise") but it is the most disappointing ep ever. Why? Because it is so goddamn pointless. Join me, as we journey through the mundane mediocrity that is "Revelations."
- The prop people clearly knew something we didn't, as the story opens with a shot of a "No Dumping Allowed" sign. Strangely enough, it appears people have been dumping here. Right then and there, we should have known the effort would be next to nothing on this episode.
- The vortex is on edge, horizontal to the ground. When this happens, the Sliders typically fall out from under it. (See "The Pilot".) Instead here, they're spit out like a water fountain. Thank God they don't fall back in (although Quinn actually does. Nice editing job.)
- "Any idea where we are?" How stupid a question is that?
- But this teaser gets better! We're treated to Quinn in a 'wife-beater' and Colin in overalls. Where did they slide to? Millinocket, Maine?
- The utterly pointless scene where the man fills up his tank. It serves no dramatic purpose. It foreshadows nothing. Why is it here? Because it pads the script.
- Quinn makes love to that Coke bottle. Cringe.
- I see Maggie is back in 3rd season form. Over enunciating and overacting.
- And the teaser ends with Maggie whining about how boring this world is. You want to know just how undramatic this scene is? THERE'S NOT EVEN ANY INCIDENTAL MUSIC. Just a line about how the Kromaggs are at least exciting. OOOOOH! What a teaser! Kromaggs in a Season Four Episode? I'm shocked beyond words. Well, not quite. THIS IS THE WORST FUCKING TEASER OF THE SERIES. Hands down. This is your SEASON finale and this is all you can deliver? Pathetic.
- Yes, we get the point that this is BORING world, don't belabor it! It's boring the viewers too!
- We get some pointless and completely unrelated alt-history about this world. It appears Jackie Robinson was a blues player and Chuck Norris stars in "Touched by a Ranger." And those are the ONLY divergences we learn. I guess we should be pleased they even ruled this world out as Earth Prime.
- The "Psycho" reference is not only not funny, but it's misplaced. Quinn's comments insinuate that this is the first shower Maggie takes here. THEY'VE BEEN HERE SIXTEEN DAYS. At least, I hope Maggie has showered. Judging by Colin's appearance, I doubt he has.
- It appears the "Psycho" reference is an in-joke as this scene was filmed at the Bates Motel exhibit at Universal Studios (I know this thanks to SpaceTime.) OK, let's make this clear. The extensive use of the Studios is a WEAKNESS of the show. Let's not brag about it!
- Gromaks? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Personally, I prefer the Ggamorks. :)
- Whiz kid Colin needs a pencil and paper to decipher that anagram. Way to go, Columbo! Hell, even Maggie could see they were obviously Kromaggs.
- Sliders trivia: Where does Maggie keep her extra cash? If you said her pockets, you really don't know Maggie all that well, do you? Well, technically I guess you could call it a pocket of sorts...
- Gormaks? You just said they were Gromaks! Get your silly obvious anagrams straight!
- Even if the telephone records where accessible...and that's one BIG if...the match game to find Isaac Clark wouldn't have been that easy. Typical Sliders though. Just punch it up in a computer and voila, instant results.
- They 'bought' the reverse directory? Maybe I'm in the dark, but these things even exist?! Oh wait, it's a parallel earth! Who cares?
- Catherine is really, really dumb. Like she wouldn't notice 4 people in a pickup truck hanging out by the payphone in broad daylight watching her.
- Catherine is really, really dumb. Like she wouldn't notice 4 people in a pickup truck following her home at a distance of about two car lengths.
- Catherine is really, really dumb. I guess that's why Quinn plays the "we're not from this earth" card immediately.
- The timer doesn't appear to be on this episode. Couldn't afford batteries for the last ep? [shakes head]
- Rembrandt's shirt. I mean, look at it! Couldn't afford a decent wardrobe for the last ep? [shakes head]
- As Act One ends, FINALLY we have some incidental music. Sure it's just one key being held down, but it's something!
- The Quinn coffee continuity quandary continues. Does he drink it or not? It appears we've chosen "Summer of Love" continuity over "Weaker Sex" continuity for this scene. Oh, who are we kidding? Like any writer from Season Four has even SEEN either of those eps.
- Wow, Maggie made it all the way to Page Three of Clark's book! Maybe even to the title page!
- Maggie asks Clark, "And you became a writer?" I tell you, nothing gets past the finely honed observation skills of this former marine.
- Catherine is really, really dumb. She is the prototype Chick of the Week. Can't act, but looks mighty good. I'm glad this tradition has yet to be abandoned.
- Charlie makes his move. I too shared the expressions on Maggie and Remmy's faces. The expression that says, "Who is that guy trying to fool?"
- Charlie gets the COW?! Flag on the play! COWs are the property of Quinn Mallory and Quinn Mallory only!
- Despite being really, really dumb, Catherine does make a good point about Colin blindly following Quinn at first. Considering what's coming, burning at the stake doesn't seem so bad retrospectively.
- Pointless scenes between Catherine and her father. It's bad enough Catherine makes Maggie look like she's ready for Broadway by comparison, but this is all information not relevant to the plot. You don't create subplots independent of the main four characters. That's bad writing. If an anvil killed both of them before the slide, no one would bat an eye.
- "My home was destroyed," Maggie says, conveniently forgetting all the people from her homeworld who relocated. Aw, fuck them anyway.
- 37X vs 39X. Since when did co-ordinates get letters? This is forgiving the notion that co-ordinates to an infinite number of worlds could be expressed alpha-numerically without any original point of reference in a twelve character readout.
- When did they learn how to beat the slidecage? If they knew that, what the fuck have they been waiting for?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
- Clark later claims he provided the co-ordinates, so his betraying them was a fair deal. He didn't provide jack squat! Quinn clearly already had the numbers. Clark just screwed them up. So why is he important at all? Man, this is infuriating. To know that Quinn could have prevented both "The Chasm" and "Roads Taken" and he didn't do it? That's worse than his complete abandonment of everyone he ever loved. But more on that anon.
- Upon arriving on Quinn's homeworld, it looks like they've slid into Toronto.
- Gee, it's mighty lucky they slid within a half-mile of Quinn's parents' house considering that 400 mile radius.
- Gee, it's fortunate Quinn's parents moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco in the interim.
- Gee, it's miraculous that Isaac just happens to have the address of the Mallory's Los Angeles address still on him, despite the fact they must have moved while he was exiled.
- They all seem really excited to be home, don't they? In his best monotone, Colin declares, "Let's go."
- Colin tells Catherine he'll see her around, as "We're home now. We're not going anywhere." Excuse me? Wasn't the entire point of this putrid season to find home, get a weapon, AND RETURN TO EARTH PRIME TO LIBERATE IT? Gentlemen, let's please flip our scripts back to "Genesis." Oh yeah...NOW I remember...Ugh....
- The incidental music, when it makes its rare appearance, is so low and so banal that it's insulting. This is a SEASON FINALE. Pick it up a bit.
- In many ways, "Revelations" is the fourth season's answer to "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome." The parallels are never more evident than when the four sliders and Mallory parents are celebrating the return home with champagne. Instead of Arturo being toasted, it's Rembrandt. And with "PTSS"'s shadow prevalent, you see just how lousy this episode really is. But it gets much, much worse momentarily.
- Quinn leaves Rembrandt to his fate. Nice fucking guy. After all you've been through, you just hand him the timer and say good luck. If you hadn't turned on Quinn by this point, this has to put you over the edge. Forget Wade. Forget the woman you thought was your mother. Forget everyone you ever knew. What a jackass. This is why very few mourn Quinn's merging and abandonment the following season. He had it coming.
- Remmy's pretty resourceful. He found Clark's brother and he wasn't even using a 'reverse directory.' Still, mighty fortunate this Clark was also a scientist...and living in Los Angeles...
- This world doesn't match Clark's book, which does portray the Kromaggs as the fun loving Nazis of Season Four. Guess his book truly was fiction, or we're looking at yet another glaring continuity error.
- You gotta love how twenty years after the fact, Robert Clark still keeps his Kromaggs in their internment camp uniforms.
- World Court, my ass. You are such a twit, Isaac. The Mallorys seem pretty brazen about the fact they killed the Maggs. The rest of the world isn't complaining. It's like taking the United States being brought before the United Nations or the Hague. It doesn't matter if the U.S. nuked Canada, they're not being found guilty!
- Remmy panics as they'll be stuck here if they miss the slide. Rembrandt, this world has the technology. It is literally in Quinn's living room. No worries, bro.
- What's the biggest alt-history moment in all of "Revelations?" On this world, minivans have their engines in the back! Aw hell, that van was so old, the engine probably really was in the back. It is a VW after all.
- Rembrandt says they slide in an hour. Moments later on the sidewalk, it's 22 minutes. That's one loooooong walk outside.
- Has Quinn ever thought of writing a book? No, he hasn't. Although I seem to recall someone writing a book on sliding when she got home. Her name was Wade. Remember her, you jackass? And yet another subtle reminder of why "PTSS" was vastly superior to "Revelations." Helpful hint: when you're writing a shit episode, stop referencing one of the best of all-time. If you want to make yourself look good, draw comparisons to "Paradise Lost."
- And now for the loooooooooong chase that takes up the rest of Act 4. Sorry, the script was apparently only 7500 words long. Gotta fill it some way!
- Quinn: "We've got another two minutes to kill." Peckinpah: "We've got another sixty minutes to kill. Oh why did we sign that 22 episode contract? It's so loooooooong."
- Two minutes? Mightly slow two minutes. In that time they run from the park, enter the subway station, board a train (either it's free or they stopped for some tokens), run through the train, climb on top of it, whine a little bit, and finally slide.
- At least Catherine doesn't slide with them. I'd hate to have another person thrown into the abyss, never to return.
- Rembrandt to Quinn: "This isn't the best idea you've ever had." His reply: "It's the only one I've got right now." Those are Bill Dial's actual words in defense of this episode.
- To put this episode completely over the top, we need to at least violate a law of physics or two. Hence, the final scene. Quinn, supposed genius, aims the vortex off the back of a moving train. Go ahead. Read that again. Let it sink in. Off of the back of a moving train. What should happen? Seconds later the vortex will be a quarter of a mile behind them while the four quickly watch it disappear. But not the magic Season Four vortex! It somehow keeps pace with the train! It makes me want to scream.
- And it ends. Nothing is revealed. Nothing is resolved. Not even a dramatic conclusion. It just ends. Season Four is done. How fucking terrible is that?
I'm not going to dignify this episode with 100 flaws. That would require me watching it again, which I hope to avoid. You'll have to settle for these 60. I have never been this enraged after watching a show I liked. It tops out even "The Exodus, Part II," which despite its hundreds of technical and production flaws, was at least somewhat exciting.
"Revelations" is a mid-season episode. Had it aired thirteenth, it would have gone down as a forgettable episode akin to "State of the ART." But they aired it last, gave it an important place in continuity, and completely choked.