Some dire astronomy precipitates this adventure and is the genesis of quite possibly the stupidest story arc in the history of television - the Rickman Arc. A boring adventure with glaring scientific inaccuracies and a real letdown for JRD's penultimate episode.
|NAME THAT RIP-OFF:|
Nothing comes to mind for this episode, making it rather unique for season 3.
|THE CRINGEE AWARD:|
And the recipient for the CRINGEE in EXODUS part 1 is:
- Captain Maggie Beckett! Completely unconvincing as a military . . . well . . . anything (and definitely as a Captain). Her movements and line delivery are woeful at best. She accentuates words - seemingly at random - and does so too much to look like anything other than a bad actress trying to play a part beyond her ability. Well, technically anyways. Maggie is never written in such a way that she'd be believable to begin with, but the military training that is allegedly part of her background rather necessitates certain characteristics, even if the scripts don't give much incentive to bother trying.
- Runner Up: The paranoid homeless guy, who thankfully only had a couple lines before his cart got crushed and everyone forgot about him.
|SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS OUT BETTER:|
- Rickman, with all his military intelligence, takes the brain fluid from Lieutenant Eastman WHILE SHE'S AT HER POST, TALKING ON THE PHONE!!!! No wonder nothing ever gets done around that place!
- An Englishman is leading the US military. What nationality is the president of the US? German? Chinese? Russian?
- Setting the timer for 30 minutes seems a bit longer than necessary considering what a rush everyone is in to find a habitable world before the pulsars arrive.
- The woman who reports the pulsar (Lieutenant Eastman) spouts her lines on the phone like she was told to improvise them and was having a difficult time thinking of what to say while waiting for Rickman to finally jab her. You could say she 'phoned in' this performance (sorry), so let's be glad she was promptly disconnected.
- We see the genesis of "Compassionate Quinn" when Arturo states he attended the lectures of the dead cosmologist (Yarabek) and Quinn callously throws in "Well you won't anymore." This guy should be a funeral director.
- Kari blows her very first line with the way she jumps out of the car. Needless to say, her movements and speech pattern do not suggest someone with military training, a sure sign of things to come. "STEP AWAY FROM THE SUSPECT! NOW" sounds particularly forced. We then get the line, "I see you people need a little motivation," perhaps referring to all the regular characters from this point until the end of the season.
- Quinn goes 007 with, " . . . Mallory, Quinn Mallory."
- Rickman describes what many people were thinking by the end of season 3 when Maggie says "You wanted to see me?" and he says, "No, Captain, I did not, but you gave me no choice." Wade goes a step further and says, "Make that everything about that girl I don't like."
- "Airman Cooper says you gave him orders to SHOOT Yarabek on sight," says Maggie, over-emphasizing the word "SHOOT".
- "Iiiiiit's... Mallory, right?" I can't put my finger on how Kari blew a three word line, but she manages it nonetheless.
- Maggie rhymes her way through her interrogation of Quinn with "The survival of this country is at STAKE. It's OB-vious you're not willing to co-OP-erate." LOL.
- Dr Jensen's, "Are you from a parallel dimension?" is so casual that he may as well be asking Quinn who his hairstylist is.
- Rickman sounds like he has a southern accent when he says "I have just spoken to the president." Perhaps the director thought the two accents sound similar enough that we wouldn't know the difference. It wouldn't be THE most intelligence-insulting thing that's pulled in this story.
- "We're a good team, we know each others' moves," says Wade, who apparently thinks they're being recruited for a dance recital.
- Rembrandt gives a speech about believing in yourself. When did this turn into an after-school special?
Promo: "Next week, on a very special SLIDERS, Rembrandt helps a young boy develop the inner strength to believe in himself."
- "Then you'd better join me in praying you're wrong," says Rickman in his typical (at least for the EXODUS episodes) gruff, stilted speech pattern. And what is with Roger Daltrey's face anyway? HE NEVER BLINKS!!! His eyes are always open wide like he just saw something he couldn't believe (such as the lines he'd be forced to read if he stayed on playing the part) and his facial expression only changes when they do that stupid morph effect!
A better idea might have been to have Maggie contract a throat fungus that forced her to inject herself with other people's voices so they could deliver her lines for her. :)
- Quinn asks Maggie (to escape her double) how she'd be fooled into letting two intruders escape. Based on what we've seen, my response would be, "All too easily." Come to that, it's pretty sad that Maggie CAN tell him how she could be fooled into letting two prisoners escape, but I digress.
Her real answer is laughable given what we've seen of her competence so far, and is hysterical when one has seen the rest of the season. Let's try this cornball character summary she gives (I suppose it was easier than having Kari try to portray these characteristics):
"She's logical, to the point of myopia."
I definitely never saw this characteristic present itself. I wonder what she's basing it on.
"She'd never think that there is a chance for escape. So if we can get her in here, we can get her defences down."
Which pretty much supports my previous comment.
"Then . . . you flatter her. You tell her how impressed you are with her decisiveness, her strength. She'll like hearing that from a man . . . especially someone like you."
Now THAT'S really subtle. Rather than try to convey her abruptly developed feelings for Quinn through her acting, the audience is assumed to be so stupid that the writer uses the "double" as a device to explain to us - because we're not as smart as the writers - what Maggie feels towards Quinn. No wonder she is such a nympho this season: she's taken in by a little obvious flattery.
"Only because you intrigue her. She thinks you're bold, dangerous. You'd have to be to do something this daring. But, lucky for us . . . she doesn't know the real you."
Could anyone imagine saying that to someone in real life? "I like you. You're so bold and dangerous." LOL! I guess it's just a part of Quinn's "daring" lifestyle (remember: "Mallory, Quinn Mallory").
- Quinn's flattery is painful to watch for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it is obviously insincere. Only an idiot would be taken in by that. Heck, an idiot WAS taken in by it. Secondly, because as the person conducting the interrogation, Maggie should be on the look-out for such attempts to curry her favour. Thirdly, because it just sounds stupid. "If we could've duplicated your mind we would have been smart enough not to get caught." UGGHHH!!!
- "Of course, that's the, uh - smart thing." More of Quinn's flattery, though he points to the timer when he says it, implying that he means the timer is the smart thing and not Maggie. I'm inclined to concur with his assessment.
- When the car flips at the beginning of the episode, it flies into the air before it even hits the car in front of it!
- The GIANT world Maggie and Quinn slide to has a sky that is obviously a bad projection (or CSO, or something) placed on a monocolour screen. Watch when the camera zooms in on Quinn and Maggie and see how the sky moves with it. The grass and golf ball don't look too hot either.
- That giant rabbit and its fangs!!
|STUPID ACTIONS TO ADVANCE THE PLOT:|
- The scientist on the run just happens to:
1. Go to the same street the Sliders landed on and
2. Flip his car right in front of them.
- OK, perhaps it is just me, but I have a hard time swallowing Quinn, Rembrandt and Arturo overpowering three soldiers (with their weapons trained on them) all because Quinn threw down the timer. Are we really to believe that Maggie would take the time to pick up the timer while her guards are being beaten up, rather than pointing her gun at one of the sliders and getting them to stop? Are we really to believe that these officers are so stupid that they'd actually let themselves be overpowered so easily?
With the level of incompetence exhibited by the military in this and future episodes, they deserve to get barbecued by the pulsars.
Quinn doesn't seem overly worried about damaging the timer by throwing it on the ground either.
- The sliders go to the office of Dr Yarabek. Is it any wonder they get caught? It seems like it never occurred to them that the military would have confiscated all the relevant materials, or would stop by to get them at some point.
- Why the #$%^&* did parallel Maggie bring the timer with her when she went to interrogate Quinn and her double? I mean, apart from the obvious answer of "so Quinn and Maggie could take it from her and escape." Had she bothered to look at the countdown on the timer, she would have realized why they asked to speak to her (at least generally enough to know that the timer was counting down to something. Even that idiot Rickman knew that much and used it to his advantage). Having realized the countdown was important, she wouldn't have been stupid enough to enter the room unguarded and then proceed to turn her back to OUR Maggie while questioning Quinn.
You'd expect that she be at least a bit worried about the countdown. For all she knows, it could be a bomb!
|DEFIANCE OF PHYSICS/BIOLOGY/LOGIC AWARD:|
- After flipping his car and having it erupt into flames, the driver is found lying outside the vehicle with his clothes in pristine condition. All he got was a couple scrapes on his head! The position and proximity in which he is found to the car is suspect as well (how'd he get there? Was he thrown? Did he crawl out really fast? Hard to say, so I can't state definitively if there is something wrong with this aspect). The sliders also don't seem concerned about the possibility of the burning car exploding while they stand around it talking.
- Despite Arturo's explanation, we see that someone has no idea what a pulsar is or should look like. The spinning, light-emitting paper towel rolls look nice, but look nothing like real pulsars.
- Dr Jensen was crippled because he "severed a neurotransmitter" some time ago !!!!!!!!!! The glaring stupidity of this line comes from the fact that neurotransmitters are chemicals. Severing a chemical is about as possible as "blowing a few frequencies" as Wade later says in STOKER. "I've fallen and I can't get up! I've severed my acetylcholine!" Even more surprising is that they found a way to "reconnect" his neurotransmitter using the brain tissue of others (gee, I wonder if the technique is as high tech as the one Rickman uses . . .). That takes some skill to repair a problem that can't possibly exist in the first place. The numbskull who wrote this apparently thinks a neurotransmitter is like a radio transmitter!
- The pulsars are part of a globular cluster coming from a "collapsing galaxy". ARGGHHHH!!
- When Quinn says "Don't I get a say in this" he stands up and turns towards Maggie, then in the next shot (while he's still saying this line) he is closer to her than should be possible given where he was in the previous shot.
- The land of the giants. That's all I'm saying on that topic!
- Maggie survives even though she's been breathing the air for 20 minutes after she collapsed, coughing and grasping at her throat. Given the severity of her reaction, I'd say that seems quite unlikely.
- Maggie gets a skin-tight shirt and equally tight camouflage pants.
- Maggie's skirt seems a bit shorter than one might expect for standard military issue. Ally McBeckett this isn't. (Watch when parallel Maggie gets up after Quinn and Maggie leave the cell. It looks really short).
|WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?:|
- Earth Prime. Quinn finally gets the ability to track wormholes/store coordinates and manages to randomly find Earth Prime using someone else's timer and it just happens to be the only time he doesn't have Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo with him AND he just happens to have along with him the only parallel Earth instance of someone who can't breathe the air! With the sliding radius, this is even more unlikely.
- Action hero Quinn is no longer content to just punch out the bad guys. Now he punches out a doctor for trying to help!! "Thanks for the help" *punch* "Gotta go".
|WHERE DID THAT GO?:|
- The population of Russia. Quinn mentions the irradiation of a million innocent lives when in fact the population of Russia is FAR more than that. Of course, he may just be using the first large, round number that comes to mind.
- Arturo. His role is almost non-existent beyond defining what a pulsar is and telling everyone what technological wonders he'll be working on before Quinn slides with Maggie. Not good for his penultimate episode and terrible for his last story. Instead of doing something worthwhile with the character about to bite the dust, the writers waste time on some goofy 90210-style romance between Quinn and Maggie, ignoring the fact that she has a husband back home.
- Quinn's memory. His methods of determining that he has arrived home are flimsy at best. He doesn't seem to think that his double may have also wrapped his mom's gift in silver wrapping before sliding. You'd think after PTSS he'd be more skeptical of such things.
- Of all the stuff for the looters to take, they decide on a sofa. The way they're moving is more reminiscent of professional movers than someone who just stole something and is in a rush to get away.
- After overpowering the two guards and locking Maggie in a trunk, the sliders go for a leisurely walk down the middle of the street, without a care in the world. What exactly did they do with the guards? They don't seem all that worried about being caught at this point in the episode. Maybe Action-Hero Quinn beat them unconscious.
- Maggie's supposed to be interrogating Quinn, yet within five sentences Quinn has turned it around and is interrogating her! "Are you denying you blew Yarabek away?" Worse still, she's getting mad and answering his questions! Is it any wonder she's (in her own words) getting nowhere?
- The way Rickman whips out the timer and says "Tell us about this" looks ridiculous as he pulls it out from behind his back and leans forward robotically. Judging by his lack of facial expression and flat line delivery, imagining him to be a robot wouldn't seem like such a stretch. It would also be more plausible than the REAL explanation for what he is.
- Maggie seems obsessed about going towards the giant rabbit. So much for keeping her mind on her work.
- Maggie thoughtfully throws her coat over the monitor her husband is using for his work.
Well, that's Part 1 in review. Some incredibly lame pseudoscience accompanied by flat directing, uninspired performances and horribly contrived situations top off JRD's second-last episode. The scary thing is that THIS is the better of the two episodes!