CALIFORNIA REICH (reviewed by Paul Jennings)

The general plot of the episode was Remmy is kidnapped by a group of extremist purists who wish to cleanse the country of anything that's not American.

Of course they're all endorsed by the government, so the team can do little to save Remmy, who is taken to a concentration camp where he befriends Howard, another black man imprisoned there. The rest of the team discover how the soon to be president of the country has plans to eradicate all non-American elements of the country. While Quinn tries to infiltrate the Racial Police, he gets Chandler Hotel manager Vanessa in trouble and she is taken to hospital where she is found to be not totally of American descent, so the team must go on the run, with Vanessa's son Kirk, who happens to be a Racial Police officer.

Together they infiltrate the camps and free Remmy, and also Vanessa who they discovered has been partially turned into an Eddie (a group of what were thought to be synthetic life forms who perform the menial tasks in everyday life). Since he can no longer be a Racial Police officer because of his heritage Kirk plans to kill Governor Schick, the man in charge of the agenda, but the team take over the satellite broadcast of a presidential rally and show what has happened to Vanessa (she is no longer technically human), shocking the populace. With no way to resume his old life, Kirk slides with Vanessa and the team. They arrive in a hospital where a black doctor believes he can save Vanessa, and two minutes later the team slide out, leaving Kirk and a strange acting Vanessa on a new world.

This was a pretty good episode, though not the best this season, probably because I had much higher hopes for it. The supporting cast were average at best and it was obvious from the beginning that the Eddies were in fact the migrants the Racial Police were catching. Also this episode proved to be particularly violent, especially a scene which sort of shocked me. The Rodney King beating of the early 1990s was copied almost exactly here where Remmy is severely beaten by the Racial Police.

However, there were some higher points to the episode. The Universal Studios set seems to have expanded slightly, with a town hall setting used here and more of the Chandler Hotel on display. Also the condos were a new set, giving a great long view of what I imagine was California, since the series is filmed there.

There was one huge product placement in this episode for USA Today, which is good since Sliders may finally be getting more recognized by advertisers, and this allows the crew to spend more money on more sets and location shots. As we have progressed there are far more location shots, especially those seen in "The Dying Fields" and "Asylum." I was hoping for a more Nazi America in this episode, which would have made a much better story than what we got here, not that it wasn't good.

Overall an enjoyable episode, but after a run of some of Sliders' best it was a slight letdown.

Asylum The Dying Fields