100 Things I Hate About "Roads Taken"
A review by Recall317

Four years ago, I had a roommate - let's call him Jean-Claude - who I barely spent any time with at all. For eight months we lived one room apart, and yet I can't even remember his last name. That's how much of a nonentity this fella is to me. My only real memory of him is the two of us watching this episode of Sliders - and me completely giving up on trying to sell him on the merits of the series. I mean, how could I?

Roads Taken may not be as profoundly stupid, phoned in, or flat out insulting as some of the worst of the lot - but it's still stupid, phoned in, and insulting in its own ways. For example:

  1. Been Down This Road Before, Part I: Despite a 400 mile radius and even an entire back lot to simulate those 400 miles, the sliders land in the same frigging alley they arrive in almost every week.

  2. Rembrandt states he's had worse slides than this one. Name one.

  3. Rembrandt seems more upset that they've lost the timer than losing Quinn and Maggie.

  4. Been Down This Road Before, Part II: "Let's see what kind of world this is." Like you had to ask? Cue explosion.

  5. A second wormhole opens in the exact same place...but Quinn and Maggie land in the dumpster.

  6. Quinn and Maggie display no interest in Colin and Rembrandt's very real claim that the slide went very, very wrong. Maggie's intellectual disinterest is well-established, but Quinn?

  7. Quinn's forced sincerity over Maggie's treatment on the previous world. It's stated the way it is to give the viewer an idea of what happened, but it comes off stilted because that's exactly what it is-stilted dialogue wedged in where it doesn't belong.

  8. All right, so you're moving through a war zone and you see a bunch of soldiers fighting a battle. How big of an ass are you to ask "What seems to be the trouble?" Quinn was lucky the soldier didn't shoot him for being stupid.

  9. Even more incredible, the soldier answers the question and begins to carry on a conversation, going so far as to offer directions, all while continuing the firefight.

  10. Been Down This Road Before, Part III: Hey, it wouldn't be a 4th season episode without the Chandler Hotel. How I loathe this set.

  11. Though I like that the clerk is a recurring character, this character shouldn't be Gomez Calhoun - a distinctly different character who lives in a different city played by a different actor.

  12. The technology is wind-up, but the reporter has a cell phone and a laptop. Just one of many schizophrenic bits of alt-history on this world.

  13. I bet President Bush wishes every reporter he met was as docile and uncritical as the one Remmy encounters in the bar. "Uh...yeah, I'm a marine biologist...in Japan...when did this war start?"

  14. Just think about that a moment. Shouldn't that have set off an alarm or two? Who returns to a country unaware it's been invaded and conquered?

  15. Maybe it does make sense considering the idiots who must reside in this world. Microsoft's stock collapses...and the entire economy tanks? If Microsoft's lousy products crashed, maybe...

  16. As a result of the stock crash, Mexico invades. Hey, it's an alt-world and there may be circumstances that could have led to this. That doesn't make it any less stupid.

  17. The Willie Nelson suicide brigades. Conductor, please stop this alt-history. I'd like to get off now.

  18. Good for us those ignorant Mexicans didn't know about Texas's mandatory gun possession laws! I can believe Texas would mandate ownership of automatic rifles; I refuse to believe Mexico wouldn't know about it.

  19. I wonder if the automatic weapons are wind-up.

  20. Enough of this boring alt-history, let's get on to the real action! Which is of Maggie and Quinn taking a nap. Enthralling!

  21. I'm not a physicist, but I'm fairly confident that the voice on the wind-up radio would not go slower because it was being wound up. That's because it's a RADIO.

  22. Been Down This Road Before, Part IV: Why does every Spanish character on this show come straight out of a Cheech and Chong routine? If the camera switched to the radio station, we'd probably see our DJ in a sombrero while his production manager shook maracas and downed tequila.

  23. Bob Dornan may be governor of California, but why is he directing the war? Is another part of this alt-history the secession of California? Otherwise, wouldn't the United States President remain Commander-in-Chief?

  24. Act One is over and all we have are two sleeping sliders and a nonsensical alt-world. Don't touch that dial!

  25. Over the commercial break, Quinn and Maggie have fallen ill. Except they're both still sleeping. So how would anyone know they've fallen ill?

  26. Our first glimpse of the bubble universe - which turn out to be cut scenes from Act Three. The music is so horrendous it make me long for the scoreless "Revelations."

  27. Colin notes that Maggie looks yellow, and wonders what that means. Isn't it obvious? The bubble universe is inhabited by the Simpsons! Better check to see if she's still got five fingers.

  28. Quinn's feet are swaying in the background. Guess he's getting down to that groovy bubble world soundtrack.

  29. You know what I like in a story? Slow, random violence. I mean, really, really slow violence. Film it all. Don't spare us a moment of this gripping action.

  30. How are these snipers moving across the city? Are they jumping from rooftop to rooftop? That might be exciting. Better not film it.

  31. The good guys and the bad guys are dressed alike. Social commentary or wardrobe mix-up?

  32. Oh, I see. The good guys wear blue hats whereas the bad guys do not.

  33. Just who are these good guys? They seem to be of the Latino persuasion. That doesn't necessarily make them the Mexicans, I know, but it's kind of confusing. Perhaps the Lieutenant will clear things up for me.

  34. Ah, the sniper shot at Remmy because he thought he was Latin. Wait, that would make the good guys the invading forces and the bad guys the American resistance fighters. I ask again, social commentary or total lack of caring?

  35. No, no, no, the good guys are UN forces. See? Blue hats. Maybe they're just from the Mexican peacekeeping unit.

  36. The soldiers won't help Remmy out until one of them gets shot and is pulled to "safety", otherwise known as "really exposed position where it will be much easier to kill him."

  37. It's worth noting that Rembrandt rushing into a firefight to help an injured man is true Remmy. This will make a later contrast all the more striking.

  38. Look everyone! It's Ricky Martin M.D.! Ole! Ole! Ole!

  39. To summarize Act 2, the mystery guy came back...and left again, Quinn and Maggie suffered through an 80s montage, and Remmy followed the army around until someone got shot. Riveting!

  40. Our med guy looks like Ricky Martin, but sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why isn't this guy a superstar!

  41. What? No "I'll be back" from our Austrian friend? Just as well, as he never does return.

  42. Colin speaks of manipulating the coordination of something, something, yada, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? And how is he getting a printout?!

  43. "The electron field of your friends' physical composition..." See #42.

  44. Hate to Break Your Bubble, Part I: Both things are leading to this bubble universe. I have lots of problems with the bubble universe and the first is its creation. Something hit the vortex or happened to the vortex during the slide, and they think it's electrical. We've already seen what happens in that instance - the slider gets launched into the astral plane. Yeah, I don't buy that either, but it's selling a lot better than the bubble universe.

  45. Thomas Mallory is the son of Quinn and Maggie? AAAAAAAA!!!!!

  46. Remmy just says U.S. soldiers are securing the hotel. Great. Now we've got Mexicans, guerillas, UN troops, and US soldiers! At least we do if we're paying attention to what's being said, cause it's evident no one on the production team was paying attention to what was being filmed.

  47. Thomas declares that unless Quinn and Maggie are united with their bubble selves, they'll die. What if their bubble selves are united with their non-bubble selves? Will they live?

  48. Remmy figures out exactly what's going on with virtually no instruction. I've watched this thing three times and still don't have a frigging clue as to what's going on.

  49. Hate to Break Your Bubble, Part II: Why is the past being rewritten? Shouldn't this bubble start at the point in time it was created? Or did this entire bubble universe begin 16 billion bubble years in the past and work all the way to the bubble present just for Quinn and Maggie?

  50. Other things are wrong here in the bubble. Quinn and Maggie didn't go to high school together. They're not even the same age. More bubble magic!

  51. Speaking of age, these two look really old for high school. 90210 looks pre-school by comparison.

  52. In a stunning bit of role reversal, it's Quinn asking where the relationship is going and Maggie's the one interested in sex. Proof positive that this is Maggie's bubble and no one else's.

  53. At least Quinn doesn't fall asleep.

  54. Quinn's basic - and possibly inaccurate - physics lesson is just a set-up for a terrible pun on Quinn's heavy mass and Maggie's curved space. It just drips with the famed Peckinpah wit. Excuse me, I need to vomit.

  55. Professor Feynman? Richard Feynman? I guess he's not dead on this world.

  56. If he's not dead, maybe Quinn's father isn't dead either. Quinn created this world, right? It's supposed to be everything he wants. His father ought to be alive. And Maggie's father ought not to be a jerk. And they should win the lottery.

  57. Oh God, these scenes are painful. Never has love been so smarmy.

  58. Just destroy this universe already! It's all I can stand.

  59. Wait a minute! Did they just get married at the Church of the Chasm?!

  60. So they're not duplicates...and yet they are duplicates. The bubble Quinn and Maggie are in every sense doubles. They've had different experiences and different histories. It's double defined.

  61. Thomas does a turn as Willy Wonka. I almost expect him to break out in song as he explains how to wish a world into existence.

  62. Nice copout, by the way. "How the $%#^ did this universe come into being?" They wished it so...and so it was! Where's that bucket of vomit again?

  63. Thomas says he heard a lot about Uncle Colin. Which begs the question - why has he never met Uncle Colin? Is he dead? Estranged? Lives on the South Pole? No, no that would be Thomas. My mistake.

  64. Uncle Colin is such a bastard he can't even attend his brother's wedding. Maybe he stopped talking to Quinn over a religious dispute. Maybe Chasm-worshipping.

  65. That mustache of Quinn's is just wrong.

  66. Middle-aged Quinn and Maggie look like extras from the set of "Just Say Yes."

  67. This is not a problem exclusive to this episode, but I'm dismayed with Colin's knowledge. It's simply beyond him to be answering such technical problems. Ben Franklin was a brilliant man, but if you just dropped him in front of a laptop it would still take him a long, long, long time to catch up.

  68. Hate to Break Your Bubble, Part III: If Quinn and Maggie are saved, the bubble universe will die. What happens if they're not saved? Does the bubble universe go on?

  69. Hate to Break Your Bubble, Part IV: If it does go on, then who the hell is Thomas Mallory to destroy this bubble? This bubble contains an entire universe, filled with people who believe they are real and in every sense are real. They don't deserve this.

  70. Hate to Break Your Bubble, Part V: The bubble is not impregnable. If Thomas Mallory could slide out of it, others can slide in and vice versa.

  71. Hate to Break Your Bubble, Part VI: If the bubble is created entirely by Quinn and Maggie, then what forms its backdrop? Hate to say it, but two people do not make a universe. There will be gaping holes. For example, how do things they don't know function or come into being at all? If they never visit Asia, does it still exist?

  72. I see the US/UN/Mexican forces are in no hurry to quarantine this place. I guess they figure we all have to die sometime. Might as well be of rapid aging.

  73. The reporter managed to acquire a cameraman during the quarantine.

  74. Oh good, the UN is in charge of this operation. I'm glad that was made clear - finally.

  75. Thomas declares this could be risky for Rembrandt as he was never a part of the bubble world. How would he know? While this Rembrandt was never in the bubble, 'a' Rembrandt likely was. It is built out of Quinn and Maggie's fantasy. They'd leave Remmy out?

  76. Besides, this world needs some six billion extras. Odds are good for Remmy.

  77. They had twelve hours until the slide. There's no way twelve hours have passed. How does Thomas activate the timer?

  78. All this discussion over whether it would be safe for Rembrandt and Colin is rendered moot when Thomas slides the entire room.

  79. I can't begin to describe how unrealistic the bubble world appears. This looks more like a Star Trek purgatory than a universe. Cheesy artistic license trumped common sense. Again.

  80. Could someone have please put a shirt on Quinn? Classy.

  81. Ah, Quinn and Maggie have grown British in their old age.

  82. They've also had massive surgery as they look nothing like themselves. It must have been cheaper to bring in other actors than do the make-up work on Wuhrer or O'Connell.

  83. Old Quinn is concerned that the universe might not be able to hold the extra mass. This actually is an interesting point as our Sliders have been making countless universes hold extra mass. However, seeing as Old Quinn is planning on destroying the universe momentarily, what does he care?

  84. I see no reason at all why Quinn and Maggie should remember the bubble universe. It either existed, or it did not. If it did, Remmy and Colin ought to die with the bubble. They have no escape.

  85. Typical Sliders. "Yes, we're going to kill six billion people, but don't feel bad!"

  86. Why is Quinn lecturing himself?

  87. Better yet, why is Quinn taking crap from himself?

  88. Spare me these final scenes. I don't know this Quinn and Maggie. I don't care about this Quinn and Maggie. I'm starting to not care about my own Quinn and Maggie...

  89. I have been here before... every goddamn episode this season...

  90. The sighing sound... I make as this continues to drag on...

  91. Has this been thus before... every week, Thomas, every week.

  92. According to earthprime.com, they even got the poem wrong. So I guess Thomas didn't know how it went after all.

  93. They hold hands and the bubble collapses, a shining example of the stuff you'll try when you've written yourself into a corner.

  94. And the episode starts over again. There's no good explanation for this. Quinn's rambling about the bubble dimension's space and time never existing does not explain how they could return to a world they had already been on, seven hours or so in the past. Sliding is never time travel, right? RIGHT?

  95. Even if we buy Quinn's explanation and we assume time has resumed as it should, the memory of all experiences on this world - which was never in the bubble - should be gone. Quinn and Maggie would suddenly have these extended memories they could not place.

  96. Instead, we go through the motions of Act 1 again, which wasn't terribly exciting to begin with. Quinn even bothers the soldier during a firefight...presumably for kicks now.

  97. Rembrandt, knowing the future, offers the lieutenant a cryptic warning about being careful. Then he just wanders off with his pals. See #37.

  98. Quinn and Maggie now have an extensive shared history. It's not real, but those memories are going to be hard to tear apart. This instantly changes their relationship. How much you wanna bet it's never mentioned again?

  99. You know what's also fun about those memories? Most of them conflict with their actual histories. You think your grandparents tell tall tales about when they were young? You have no idea the nightmares Quinn's kids are gonna be in for.

  100. Finally, our moment of Zen - Quinn's standing orgasm.

Time to empty the bucket.