2: Applied Physics
Written by Chris Black
Directed by David Eagle
June 18 1999
Episode two of the fifth season demonstrates pretty much the same strengths and weaknesses as the season opener. On the plus side is the cast. Newcomers Robert Floyd and Tembi Locke both get an oppertunity to shine, in a story that finds Mallory tortured by residual flashbacks of Quinn, while Diana comes to terms with meeting herself as a single parent in an alternate universe. Both performers grasp hold of the material and deleiver the goods; Floyd is charismatic but vulnerable, Locke is bright but flawed.
It all develops nicely, as Diana's well-intentioned attempts to help her alternate changes her life, turns her into a snooty professional and wipes out her daughter. It's kind of Sliders meets Sliding Doors , until Chris Black throws too many ingredients into the mix, resurrecting the 'unstuck' Dr Geiger. Peter Jurasik is a fine actor, but he desperately deserves better material than this. Geiger is evil in it's dullest form: despite his plight, he fails to engage our sympathy and once again, as soon as he appears, so does the technobabble.
The downbeat ending comes as a surprise, but all told this is a somewhat fragmented rambling affair, punctuated with some moments of fine character study.
*** (out of a possible 5)