The Chasm

This episode first aired in the UK on 24th August 1998 on Sky 1.

Writer:William Bigelow
Director:Robert A.Hudecek
Guests:Angela Paton, Michael Sabatino, Antoinette Picatto, Kurt Knudson, Harrison Young (Henry Nichols), Zander Rice (Adam Meadows).
* When Maggie first joined the sliders (The Exodus),it was when her husband had been murdered by Colonel Rickman and soon after, her world was destroyed by pulsars. Some survivors were relocated to another world uside a wormhole.
* At the end of season 3, Wade and Rembrandt returned to Earth Prime, but Quinn and Maggie didn't. When they finally returned to Earth Prime in season 4's Genesis , they found it had been taken over by Kromaggs and both Rembrandt and Wade had been captured. Rembrandt was rescued, but Wade had already been shipped to another world.
Additional Notes
* This was filmed the week after My Brother's Keeper.
* The Director of this episode has been the director of photography at Sliders for several years.
The episode begins in a forest. They hear a girl screaming and go to find her. They find her with her grandfather. He jumps into a big pit and disappears, while Amy is hit by an electricity bolt. The Sliders take her back to the town. On the way, she explains that she is a "Chosen One" (for the good of all the others) and the pit is the "Chasm". Quinn seems to have no negative feelings and he thinks everything's gonna be fine. The world looks old-fashioned - Late 19th Early 20th Century clothes.The locals don't seem to be bothered about the death of Amy's Grandfather. The Sliders and Amy talk to an old lady called Mrs. Meadows. She says that Middletown never gets any visitors anymore. Amy's father works at the Temple of the Chasm. Amy talks to her father. He says that the offering fuels the calm. He then sends them away. When the others worry about everything, Quinn thinks they are just being paranoid. All of them feel content, but Quinn is the worst affected. Maggie and Rembrandt go to do some research while Quinn and Colin 'hang.' Maggie and Rembrandt go to Mrs Medows' 'Sweet Shack' where she tells them the chasm is responsible for all the contentment.

In the park, Quinn decides to stay on this world because he's sick of sliding and he feels so content here. He gives Colin the Timer and then has a map. Maggie and Rembrandt return and they hear Amy screaming. Rembrandt runs off to find her. Amy is having a vision/hallucination of her father taunting her with a knife. Rembrandt reache sher just before her father appears. Amy runs off and Rembrandt follows her. They go to the chasm.

Rembrandt is at the edge of the chasm, about to jump. The other sliders come and pull him back. Rembrandt thinks back to what happened.

Amy jumps and Rembrandt takes the electrical bolt. Amy's father comes and realises that Rembrandt is the next, "chosen one." He now has the sadness. Rembrandt returns to the others, very sad. He keeps getting visions/hallucinations of Quinn taunting him. The others don't understand. Rembrandt runs to the chasm, very depressed.

The Sliders stop him jumping (again), but he breaks away and Maggie takes the electrical bolt. She is now very upset, but Quinn feels nothing for Rembrandt's "death." Maggie goes out of the cave.

Amy's father goes to the Sheriff and tells him that the strangers are chosen.

Maggie is now very depressed and seems jealous of Wade, even though she's not there. Quinn stops her. Colin has gone back to the town. As Quinn approaches Maggie, he feels happier and she feels worse.

In the town, Colin takes some rope and climbing equipment.

Maggie hallucinates that she is in a white room alone and she can't get out. Quinn keeps appearing and disappearing, taunting her.

The local decide they have to stop the Sldiers becoming chosen ones and jumping.

Maggie is depressed and wants to jump. Colin returns and they all set up the equipment to jump together. Just before they jump, they are shot at by the locals. They jump together, leaving the locals at the top of the chasm.

The Sliders land in an industrial area. Quinn decides that he wants to slide with them again, but Maggie is still depressed. They walk through the area and come across Mrs. Meadows. She says that she is the keeper of what she explains is actually a theme park. She uses the service entrance. The place was built by her great-great-grandfather. Rembrnadt "crossed over" into cryogenic suspension. She explains that the chosen ones take on the problems of everyone else and the others benefit of the "transmigration of bioenergy" which is transferred by a parallel energy field. It started as a ride to temporarily take on the problems of the wealthy, but after a while, no-one left. They go to the storage area. Only the chosen can get in and the controls are on the inside. Maggie goes in and shoots the controls before she freezes. They all wake up and are normalized. Mrs. Meadows sees her son who was one of the chosen and Amy finds her mother who was also one of the chosen. The Sldiers go out using the service entrance and slide from there.

Did You Notice?
* Quinn hasn't felt content since he was a kid in San Fransisco (presumably before his father died).
* Mrs. Meadows' shop is called "the Sweet Shack."
* Maggie and Rembrandt each drink a chocolate malt.
* When Quinn and Colin sit on the bench, both have their heads right back, but at different times.
* Colin eats popcorn in the park then throws it on the ground when Quinn decides not to sldie. It's still there when Maggie and Rembrandt return.
* Maggie thinks that meeting her husband Steven was the best think in her life.
Cool Quotes:

"Quinn Mallory: Scientist, objective realist turned mindless optimist?" - Maggie about Quinn's strange behaviour
"I think that's a good idea, but frankly,I think everything's a good idea right about now." - Quinn
"You can't just take, take, take." - Mrs. Meadows
"We're here. Then again, maybe we're not." - Maggie's hallucination of Quinn
"Fairly industrial for Holy Grounds." - Quinn about the bottom of the chasm
* I'm not going to describe every little (or major) logic prblem I have with the main plot. Suffice it to say, I have loads. In fact, I have problems with the entire thing. There are big continuity problems with the scrpt when Rembrandt is jumping and around then.
* Who was the little girl getting the depression from? The sliders weren't near her until long after she started crying and she was supposed to last for years otherwise.
* Why was there climbing equipment in the shop if there aren't any mountains around? It seems like a plot device to me that's not very well thought out.
* For that matter, why did they need the climbing equipment? They just jumped together; They weren't attached to any when they landed.
* What was all that green flashy light stuff when Quinn, Maggie and Colin jumped in? It didn't actually do anything or even really 'transfer' anything.
* Why was Quinn suddenly decide to slide after all when at that point he should still be under the influence of the chasm, especially since Maggie was.
* Why would anyone base a religion around a theme park?
* Colin (Charlie O'Connell) says "friends" instead of "friend" when asking to be taken to Rembrandt. Unless of course he counted Amy as a friend as well.
* There wasn't actually anywhere for Maggie (or any who came after her) to stand in the cryogenic storage.
* What stupid, stupid person would ever put controls on the inside of a cryogenics chamber? No one would be able to turn it ON without getting frozen, let alone off. And when people used to be let out to return the worries to people. How did they do it then? Shoot it every single time? Big, big, big logic problems with this.
* I really don't see Remmy agreeing to go into cryogenic storage, unless of course his depression led him to.
* How come the little girl didn't know she was in the chasm if she'd already been seen to by the woman like Maggie was and she would have agreed to go into cryogenic storage. They don't freeze as soon as they jump into the chasm, otherwise Maggie, Quinn and Colin would have frozen.
* If all the chosen ones go through to cryogenic storage on the trolly and get frozen then, how come they're standing up?
* The thing that Maggie shoots is shown with two different numbers on. At first I thought they were different, then I noticed this: When Quinn and Colin smash the glass, the control panel is fine. When Mrs. Meadows comes through the broken glass, the control panel is smashed to pieces.
* Who was the chosen after Maggie? It wasn't shown to be anyone in the cave, but it should have been active since the mechanism wasn't destroyed yet.
* Why were the lights going funny at the end? They didn't destroy the power, just the cryogenic controls.
* When walking down the tunnel, the sliders are in this order left to right:
Colin, Rembrandt, Maggie, Quinn.
When they come out of the tunnel, the sliders are in this order left to right:
Rembrandt, Maggie, Colin, Quinn.
* How were the chosen selected? There seemed to be no connection between all of them.
My Opinion:
This would definately get the award for oddest, most complicated and most confusing episode of the season were there such an award. The plot was actually far more suited to a season 3 episode rather than a season 4 episode, even if it did try to get some science into it. It was a good effort, and the parts concentrating on Rembrandt's anguish at abandoning Wade and Maggie's loss of her husband and world as well as her frustration that Quinn doesn't love her in the way she wants him to gave us valuble insight is to their emotions, but they didn't show us enough of Quinn and Colin's emotional problems which let it down a bit. I would have thought they could have got Quinn's responsibilities in there somewhere and they should have at least mentioned Colin's love Susanna. While those bits are compelling, the main plot which feeds those scenes is odd, complicated and rather fantastical, including an emotion transferring machine AND suspended animation cryogenics stuff. I think the complexity of this episode could have been one on the reasons few plot synopsises appeared on the internet prior to it's showing. The plot is so strange and complex going back and forth that even I had trouble working it out, and I'm known for being able to make sense of things. The other thing was that is was fairly predictable. Still, there were so many logic problems within the plot (see Season 4 Mistakes for a few of them) I'm not surprised I couldn't work it out.
Jerry O'Connell, Kari Wuhrer, Cleavant Derricks and the little girl playing Amy all acted superbly. I would say the same about Charlie O'Connel, only he wasn't really given any real acting scenes to do, and so cannot really be considered outstanding in this episode. However, even the brilliant performances were not enough to bring up the quality of the plot.
If this had been a season 3 episode, I would have called this a good episode, but fankly, like The Dying Fields, it's not up to the standard I've come to expect of season 4. I think that both my worst episodes of Season 4 have been wriiten by the same author, William Bigelow, so it could be that I just don't like his style.

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