NOTE: This review was rushed and is not as good as my previous ones, I am afraid. On top of rushing this one, I just couldn't get into the episode and the review suffers as a result. Hope you enjoy something in this.
A dismal end for Arturo and a terrible start for the Rickman arc. And this isn't even the worst episode of the season! Even scarier, this is about the best performance we see from an actor playing Rickman!!
|NAME THAT RIP-OFF:|
Again there is no discernible rip-off. Unfortunately, this is one of those episodes that might have actually benefited from being a rip-off.
|THE CRINGEE AWARD:|
- Rickman wins by a nose, just edging Maggie out of the number one spot she held onto so tenaciously with her performance in Part One. Roger Daltrey redefines the term, "SPECIAL guest star" with his inability to blink or change his only apparent facial expression! His line delivery leaves much to be desired as well.
- Runner up: Dr Jensen with his tiresome performance. He should have been cast as coma victim #2 with that manner of line delivery. This guy makes Malcolm look like he's having a manic episode by comparison.
|SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS OUT BETTER:|
- The entire plot.
- Rickman displays his trademark genius by now jabbing people in public places. In this case, he takes brain fluid from a guy in church, then injects himself right afterwards, risking being seen. He goes as far as making a weird growling noise as he morphs, apparently unconcerned that someone may hear him and look to see what is going on. Did we really need to have him say "Amen" and cross himself as well?
- Why take coma patients? This implies that he can go back and get brain-fluid from people more than once. If so, all he'd have to do is jab healthy people and go back to them. It would make more sense to take along 10 fit people than 10 coma victims who would be unable to do anything to get the new settlement established. He could also avoid the problem of getting new victims by just going back to the hospital to re-inject the people already in a coma. Aiiieee!
- Arturo picks up Quinn's panache for snappy one-liners at the expense of other people when he hears a radio transmission of someone saying "I live in Delaware" and he remarks, "Not anymore you don't."
- Jensen gives us a half-hearted "Maggie" when she is brought back unconscious from the slide. Does this guy care about anything?
- "You never let me," says Quinn referring to Rembrandt's reminder that Quinn got them in the whole sliding mess to begin with. However, I don't recall Remmy pulling that guilt trip since season 1. I may be wrong.
- Wade stays perfectly in character with "Sometimes you can be such a bastard."
- Is it really necessary for me to mention the discussion Quinn and Maggie have while watching the natives of the new world? Well, I'm going to anyway because it IS so bad. I'd even go so far as to say that this is the equivalent of the previous episode's "flattery to escape" brainstorm.
All that's missing for this scene is the theme from EYES WIDE SHUT ("Maggie did a bad, bad thing . . ." - hey, I got another parody!)
First, Quinn says the world they are on is "a few hundred thousand years" behind them in development. That's a wacking big assumption based on seeing some people dancing around a fire. And why such a large estimate? Is he aware of how long a period of time a few hundred THOUSAND years is? On THIS earth, a few hundred thousand years ago Homo Sapiens looked different than modern man.
"It looks like some kind of mating ritual," says Maggie, drawing the most obvious conclusion that anyone would come to upon seeing people dancing around a fire. I suppose someone toasting marshmallows would be deduced to be making out.
Quinn again demonstrates his anthropological "genius" by agreeing to her loopy assessment, encouraging the next line from Maggie: "It looks so fluid, so smooth."
Now I ask you, how many people cringed when they heard this cornball line? Is Kari trying to sound seductive, analytical, both, or - most likely - just failing to do any of the above?
"Like each body is telling a separate story."
Well, if Quinn is referring to the writers of this episode, he'd probably be right on the dot. However, from what we're shown, we rather have to take his word for that.
Of course, this dialogue then prompts them to almost kiss. Action-Hero Quinn must have reasserted himself and tried to exercise his overwrought libidinous desires. But when did he stop caring that the other person has a husband already?
Maybe it's just me, but I wasn't exactly rushing to take a cold shower after that sequence either.
- Rickman turns into Sylvester the cat when he splutters the last word of his line, "The clock is running PEOPLE."
- Maggie's "No" when she learns her husband is dead is not very believable. Sounds like she's repaying him for the lame-duck "Maggie" she got when she was carried back by Quinn half-dead.
- Arturo apparently anticipates the commercial break too early with his last line, "Sliders." He should have waited for the letters to appear on the screen first.
Really, why would THAT be his last line anyways? After Quinn's ever-so-funny response to the death of the cosmologist in Part 1, it's a wonder he didn't make some joke about not attending any more of Arturo's lectures as well. Even so, the line we DID get wasn't much better.
- "I'm going after him," declares Action-Hero Quinn, determined to "take down" Rickman once and for all. *snicker*
- Quinn succinctly expresses the horror and sadness of Arturo's sarcifice, summing up the situation with, "He shouldn't have done that." Words to remember. LOL! I said it once and I'll say it again: This guy should be a funeral director.
- Quinn asks Maggie for her gun, and rather than announce that she can't/won't give her weapon to a civilian, she asks "What for?" like some child asking why she can't go out to play with her friends! Quinn's silly-looking (and feeble) attempt to get the gun from Maggie is also pretty funny. Maybe Quinn should have tried to flatter her like he did in Part One . . .
- "Do you want answers, or do you want justice?"
"I want revenge." utters Maggie in response to Quinn's question.
Sounds like what I thought when I decided to do these reviews. :) Unfortunately, her tone makes this line come out as though she was ordering chicken nuggets and a large strawberry milkshake from McDonalds.
- After Quinn states he didn't shoot Rickman because he didn't want to hit Maggie (who wasn't even in the way), he says, "I know, I know. If the situation was reversed, you'd shoot me." Sure, if Rickman knocked Quinn into a tree, was standing far away and Maggie had a gun handy, she'd shoot Quinn instead of Rickman. Considering that she seems to know how to trick herself into letting prisoners escape, that's probably not much of a stretch, I suppose.
- Maggie's answer to the previous quotation, ("I'm not so sure") really fits with the course of events that have just transpired. Rickman pounded Quinn and ran off about 3 seconds ago (therefore is still nearby), and probably has a weapon . . . and she starts hitting on Quinn!!!
To make things worse, her husband's body isn't even cold yet (metaphorically, of course) and she's already moved on!
- We get another "RICKMAN!!!" from Quinn before he turns into Superman and apparently develops the ability to leap over tall buildings. When he leaps for the wormhole, he looks like he's going for an Olympic long jump record and succeeds in winning it!
- Wade says "I don't believe in goodbyes" and ends with "Goodbye." Tracy Tormé points out that the cast was hung over (from JRD's farewell party the night before) when filming this travesty of a memorial service.
- The paper-towel roll pulsars that blow up the earth look nice, even if they're completely unrealistic.
- As before, Maggie is wearing a skin-tight shirt and equally tight camouflage pants.
- Peckinpah apparently was unhappy with everyone being so fully clothed in the last episode, so we get some shots of half-naked natives dancing around a fire, allegedly doing a "mating ritual"!
- In the last scene, Maggie is wearing a tight-fitting white shirt under her camouflage outfit.
|STUPID ACTIONS TO ADVANCE THE PLOT:|
- How long does it take to transfer those home co-ordinates? Jensen is slower than the Second Coming of Christ. It took him almost no time to get the timer to track wormholes, yet when it comes to putting the coordinates in, it conveniently "takes longer than expected".
- There's no reason why Quinn couldn't use Rickman's timer to send Wade and Rembrandt home. Wade could just slap Malcolm on the list, give it to Rickman and they could leave. Quinn seems to be keeping them all there for the fun of it.
- Arturo says they'll be home in a few days, though it is only hours before the pulsars hit. Where's he getting this number from? Maybe he's uses the Quinn Mallory Time Scale of Science like Quinn used to assess the level of development of the new world's natives.
- Why does Rickman not take along the extra 100 people Arturo says can go along? He'd have more people to choose from, and after all, he does need some people to build the new society. Pretty hard to do if everyone is in a coma (a true testament to his wonderful planning abilities). This was obviously used to give Arturo a reason to say "You are unfit for command and I'll see you removed" (or words to that effect), to give Rickman a reason to jab him with the needle.
- Rickman leaves copies of articles describing what happened to his platoon in the Gulf War lying around for Wade to conveniently find. Worse still, she finds the the right article in the right box on her first try in a room full of boxes.
You'd think that if his whole platoon was documented as having died from a brain fungus that Rickman would have been inspected for it and relieved of duty as well. And while I'm on the fungus issue, how exactly do you suppose Rickman learned that injecting himself with the brain tissue of others would help him? I suppose he accidentally jabbed someone and sucked out his brain fluid, then accidentally injected it into the back of his head. It could happen. *grin*
- Rickman also left syringe vials in his office for any passer-by to locate. Did he think the medical crews wouldn't figure out what was happening by finding the puncture wounds in the backs of peoples' necks? Well, as it so happens, the medics are as dumb as the rest of the military there and didn't notice a thing, but still . . .
- Maggie again proves her gross ineptitude by being overpowered by Rickman when she looks down at his case of brain tissue. (Why would he just leave that lying around like that anyways? He needs the fluid to live, yet he seems to not pick it up later.)
- Rickman's assertion that Dr Jensen was a victim of bad timing would have been more believable if he said "He was a victim of bad writing."
- Action-Hero Quinn leaps into the fray, popping up out of nowhere and tackling Rickman before he can kill Maggie. He's even smart enough - after having managed to get close without making a single sound - to yell as he dives at Rickman. Rickman then repays Quinn for the way he treated the Earth Prime doctor in part 1 and knocks him silly.
- Maggie actually has the right idea. She asks why Quinn didn't shoot him and Quinn says he was afraid he'd hit her. How bad a shot is this guy? She was lying on the ground with her back against a tree while Rickman stood some distance away. Quinn was able to tackle him from the side, but he wasn't able to shoot him?
|DEFIANCE OF PHYSICS/BIOLOGY/LOGIC AWARD:|
- The 'different lungs' thing is not only a bit too convenient, it also begs explanation. Perhaps they did the best thing by never explaining what it was that set off Maggie's reaction for certain, but it is interesting that this problem has never occurred before and that Quinn and friends can breathe the air of Maggie's world, but not the other way around.
- Arturo is lucky that he didn't have enough brain fluid sucked out to put him into a coma. It would have been less cringeworthy had he actually BEEN in a coma instead of having him slurring his words and acting like an imbecile. I felt embarrassed for JRD having to do that. I think he based his performance on Peckinpah.
- All right. What is it with Quinn blowing up pressurized containers of gas? He uses one in DINOSLIDE to kill the T-Rex and he uses one here to open the door. This is a joke! He could have kicked that door in with Rembrandt's help. Putting that container on a trolley and having it ram the door wouldn't work! He's lucky the thing didn't explode in his face when he smashed it with the fire extinguisher!
- OK, just how fast do these EXODUSites move? Rickman opens the vortex and has to move 150 people PLUS all the equipment and vehicles. We see the light from the vortex in the room with Quinn and friends as soon as it is opened. Quinn runs after Rickman (I'm surprised he didn't yell Rickman's name in true action-hero fashion. Oh wait, he does do it later when Rickman's about to slide, doesn't he?). He reaches Rickman after everyone has already left!!! He couldn't have had to run far since we could see the light from the vortex earlier, so either the settlers move faster than a speeding bullet, or Jerry runs like his brother.
Another problem is that we get to see Maggie directing people into the vortex 6 or 7 at a time as well. When we see the next world, we get to see trucks, tents, equipment and lots of people in the camp. If that is how people were conducted through the wormhole, there's no way they could have all made it through in the timeframe given.
- Arturo's death scene apparently operates on a different time scale than the rest of the episode. Rickman pulls the gun out (in super slow-motion just to heighten the already dramatic tension *haha*). Arturo pushes Quinn back and walks towards Rickman. Next shot shows Rickman still pointing the gun as Arturo keeps walking towards him interminably. Rickman fires the bullet (supposedly to hit Quinn, though he is well out of the way by this time) and we get the scene where the bullet speeds towards Arturo. The problem is that the apparently slow-mo speed of the bullet doesn't match up with the relative speed that is shown by how fast Arturo's hair is blowing (looks almost like real time). Thus, we'd have to assume the bullet is travelling at such a speed that everyone could have stepped aside and it would have missed!
- Quinn also changes positions. When the slow-mo bullet is going towards Arturo, Quinn is standing erect (e.g.: not like he'd just been shoved out of the path of the bullet, but like he was just standing around normally) off to Arturo's right side. When the bullet hits, Quinn is standing BEHIND Arturo, on his LEFT side (closer than he was in the previous shot as well).
- Well, we get some carry-over from Part 1 with the ridiculous pulsar appearances.
- The Earth explodes from the pulsars!!!!!
- Let's see here. The slide was supposed to be at 8:30 pm . . . yet when Rickman says "Our world just ended, Captain" it's a sunny late afternoon. Maybe the Sliders managed to breathe vacuum for a few hours.
Does anyone get the impression that somebody doesn't like JRD? I mean, they gave him one heck of an over-the-top death. He gets his brain fluid sucked out, he gets shot, he gets zapped by radiation from a pulsar, then the planet his remains are left on explodes!! It's a wonder they didn't drop an anvil on him, kick him in the groin, throw sand in his eyes and burn him with scalding hot water in between getting jabbed with the needle and being shot.
|WHERE DID THAT GO?:|
- The bullet hole in Arturo. No hole, no blood. His reaction to being shot also looked more like he coughed than had a bullet rip through him.
- Likewise, none of the dead people outside the compound have bullet holes in them; nor is there any blood anywhere to be seen. Has this been sanitized for the kiddie set, or could Peck and Co. not afford to splurge on ketchup?
- The electricity in that high-voltage fence that Wade flew right into, somehow without getting hurt.
- Rickman's not the only one morphing. Apparently inspired by the way Quinn punched out a doctor on the previous world, Remmy morphs into Action-Hero Quinn and punches out the REAL Quinn when Quinn decides to not let anyone go home.
- Quinn and Maggie get to watch a mating ritual in between scenes of gazing at each other and almost kissing. Subtle.
- After Rickman has given the order for people trying to get in to be shot, we later get another scene of a mob trying to get into the compound and all the soldiers do is stand around dumbly pushing on the gate. Worse still, even with rifles, the mob easily overcomes the armed soldiers. What is it with this military? They have weapons and they keep getting beat up by unarmed civilians!
- Jensen wheels up towards Rickman, thinking nothing unusual about his posture and the syringe he stuck in the back of his neck. Jensen's head does appear to be tilted downwards, suggesting he wasn't looking at Rickman as he approached, but how smart does that seem?
- Before Rickman does the world a favour and shoots Jensen, he decides to go to the church, stand in the isle looking at the crucifix as he injects himself with his arms extended (like the stiffness of his performance has spread to his outermost extremities). Was this some cracked way for the director to portray Rickman as a Christ figure? Alas, I wouldn't be surprised.
- Rickman didn't bring along anyone he considered capable of building a city (he says nobody who's made the trip is used to manual labour) when he clearly had plans to build one. Maybe he should have brought along some more coma patients to do it for him. :) Lucky for him they landed on an earth with natives to use for slave labour. Still, it would make a lot more sense to try and befriend them and get their help than to go to the trouble of subjugating them. This guy has the planning skills of a lobotomized slime mold.
- Rickman's watch beeps and he announces that their world has just ended. This guy actually set his alarm for that! Was he afraid that he'd forget about it? Did he write it on his calendar too?
- Quinn's forced tears when he's making his speech about Arturo. He looks more like he just ate a lemon. Quinn also looks really chunky in this shot. His chin seems to morph into his neck!
- What are they looking at when they're mourning the professor? The sliders stare down, but we never see at what. We get a shot of the sea, but they appear to be looking down at the rocks.
- Malcolm's reaction when Quinn opens the wormhole (either time, but especially at the end). He looks as bored by it as I was by watching this episode.
- That AWFUL last shot. The sliders stand in a square formation with Quinn marking the edge closest to the camera and Maggie way off in the back. Rickman's victim gets to lie in the middle of the square. Who knows what they were trying to convey with this shot...
No matter how many times I see it, this episode is just bad. And not so much "funny" bad, like BREEDER, but "uninvolving" bad. I feel this is my weakest review for the reason that I am certain I missed a lot because I couldn't get "into it" in the least (and I think it shows by the slapdash manner I've made this. I can barely bring myself to even look it over). Everything is handled in a very flat manner, from Jensen and Rickman's inability to convey any emotion all the way through to the anticlimactic handling of Arturo's death. So, the episode gets a very flat and anticlimactic rating of zero out of four.
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