From Your Lips to God’s Ears (Time Again and World).

This is the first episode I’ve watched since starting this where I had basically no memory or opinion of it. Sure, I remember its existence, and that people generally don’t like it.  But other than remembering that “The Cops Wear Skirts” and “The Constitution Is Something,” (also of course women with beards), I didn’t have anything in my head when I thought about it.

Which is to say that usually, when I’m getting ready to write these posts, I know what I’m going to say beforehand pretty much completely. It is now that I admit that I didn’t even watch “Luck of the Draw” again until after I’d already posted the review. But that episode is the best episode.

This might be (so far) the worst.

Anyways, I had no idea what I was going to write about. Production orders? Haircuts? Theme song? I didn’t know. So I decided to take notes while watching the episode, and go from there.

After finishing the episode, I realized it was so bad that I should just use those notes without editing them at all.

So, here you go:

TIME AGAIN AND WORLD:

wade’s diary

And/or, "San Francisco Stock Footage"

everyone is mad

can we talk about arturo’s hair?

Two weeks, and no time for a trim? (So Grumpy).

getting drunk THEYVE MADE IT HOME YOU GUYS SUCK

If you took a shot every time they started drinking in this episode, you'd be dead.

WHAT IS WITH THAT GOATEE THIS IS NOT FEASIBLE

Whatever you need to do to earn that SAG card, honey.

CONSPIRACY DOG

Yes, I feel "tense" thanks to "tense" demonstration song being played on the Casio.

CONSPIRACY PIEGONS

There must be a conspiracy because that old woman is NOT FEEDING THE PIGEONS.

CONSPIRACY MOUSTACHE

What on Earth(s) would the evolutional use be for this?

‘nag nag nag’

Wade’s hair I guess is good

I was going for "hair flip" but instead got "maximum neck."

UGH MESSING WITH THINGS YOU WERE JUST COMPLAINING ABOUT MISSING THE SLIDE

I guess I'd rather see "worried" Wade than "angry at the Dudes" Wade?

‘elsie, the rock. 5-4.’  what-ever.

If it was so important that she go see someone named "LC," wouldn't you make sure to annunciate so it didn't sound like "Elsie?"

why did they run so far away! they are always sliding in front of everybody all the time.

what! that’s the teaser?!

-that isn’t gripping because as far as we know, the events of that previous world won’t have any bearing on the next world they go to. why would they? so to us at this point, it basically is like two different episodes.

thats not a chip. its a floppy disk.

OR MAYBE IT IS DRUGS

whoa, wade. chill out.

like, seriously she is so shrill all of the sudden?

But seriously, Arturo is being totally reasonable and she is GOING OFF.

ALL OF THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE

Tryin' to score tix to the Oasis show.

CONSPIRACY DOG

They reused the same shots, so why wouldn't I?

CONSPIRACY PIGEONS

But I bet it saved A TON OF MONEY.

CONSPIRACY NO MOUSTACHE

GOTCHA.

that razor gag was pretty good.

UM.

CONSPIRACY DRESS!

Boogie.

well that didn’t work out very well, i guess?

GOOD JOB WADE YOU GOT A DIFFERENT DUDE KILLED

‘elsie, the rock, 5-4. 8:00″

THAT IS TOTALLY YOUR FAULT.

One dude dead if you do, another dude dead if you don't.

now, that’s where you stop your teaser, amirite?

nice tape outline?

No connection at the Junk.

CONSPIRACY DRESSES.

YEAH WRITE THAT CHECK REMMY (why is he writing a check)

Write it, Cash it, Ring the Bell, Kiss that Ring.

CONSPIRACY SASSO.

Just in case you guys forgot who Will Sasso was.

actually, remmy, she can and SHOULD beat herself up.

WHY IS SHE FIGHTING WITH HIM!?

It seems like I'm being hard on her, or just picking the 'meanest' screencaps. But no, she's really mean.

UGH SHE IS BEING SUCH A RAGING whatever.

ha ha ha quinine spilled the ice.

I should point out that TextEdit's 'instant spellcheck' changed "Quinn" to "Quinine."

CONSPIRACY HAIRCUT

She's still nicer than Wade is being.

i wish arturo would get his hair cut again.

Wade just looks angry all the time. why is she angry?

NO?!?! YOU’RE NOT GOING?!?!?

a man is dead, rembrandt— why are you the worst?

also then they just leave her?

The next half hour is just Wade drinking herself to death, alone.

ha ha then they come back. this episode is really bad.

Not that it looks like they really wanted to.

EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL— then she SMILES!

CONSPIRACY HOOVER.

The slow pan up Hoover's dress was abhorable.

cool you solved the case. ha ha feel better.

CONSPIRACY JEWS.

I wrote that because this dude was talking about the Rosenbergs, OKAY?

CONSPIRACY AMERICA.

whoops. you must feel stupid.

CONSPIRACY COPS.

"When is she going to do MY hair like that?"

(what does this have to do with alternate dimensions?) i think this is the first time i can thnk of that i legitimately have to ask this question.

god save judge nassau. CONSPIRACY NASSAU.

Judge Nassau is the dude that didn't die in this world but did on the other one.

IT’LL JUST GIVE YOU A HEADACHE.

IT CAME FROM ANOTHER WORLD.

the post production dubbing is totally awful.

CONSPIRACY CONSTITUTION

62-63, they outlawed the constitution. OKAY SURE WHY NOT

THEY ARE DRINKING SO MUCH ON THIS WORLD.

All of the drinking. They are doing it.

SERIOUSLY YOU ARE REUSING THIS SHOT?

THIS SHOT. FROM THE PILOT.

why can’t it just be a normal CD ROM?

All the money they saved reusing those earlier shots was blown on making this fake computer shit.

ha ha ha WADE IS HACKING, SORT OF.

Kurt Cobain’s christmas album WHAT YEAR IS IT ANYWAYS

ugh.

don’t be so sassy. WHAT IS THIS BULLSHIT HACKING.

CONSPIRACY CONSTITUTION

Hack the Planet. (ugh).

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

ERRYBODY LOOK SO GLUM AT THIS SHITTY ASS CONSTITUTION.

SOUR FACE ACTIVATED.

HA HA HA READ THAT ALMANAC DOOD

that book is so tiny.

Also saving dollaz on tiny book. BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET

so seriously no one remembers the constitution?

no one? anywhere?

after thirty years?

GO TO DA CLUB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY

LOL that skirtcop's got a machine gun.

WTF IS THAT PURPLE MONEY

HOW DO THEY GET IT

No, but seriously what is Rembrandt holding?

HA HA THIS CLUB SUXXX

A WHOLE NATION OF SQUARES

)”]THE AVERAGE AGE WAS DECEASED.

WADE IS 23! SHE IS SO YOUNG!

LOL ELSIE IS RIGHT THERE.

what is with this weird long shot?

A) the dubbing during this shot sounds awful B) where do they get all this money for taxis?

CONSPIRACY DRAG

WHY DO THEY CARE IF THEY RUN OUT OF TIME

RADIO FREE AMERICA

i have zero investment in anything they do?

THIS MAKES NO SENSE no shit.

no but seriously why do they bother getting involved? ‘elsie the rock 54 ten o clock’ IT WAS EIGHT O CLOCK DUMBASS.

It doesn't even look like they're in the same room.

YEAH THE COOL PARTY PUMP DA JAMS

ITS STILL THE 90s!!!!

"90s fuckin' sucked."

the professor is right— quinn got shot earlier. why risk it again.

OH NOW YOU DONT LIKE THIS? WHATEVER I DONT CARE STUPID ASS.

CALLING ALL IN TRANSIT CALLING ALL IN TRANSIT RADIO FREE EUROPE RADIO

“YEAH SURE ITS THE US CONSTITUTION”

ha ha ha ha this is so stupid.

OH SHIT SHOOTOUT

I wish I could show a picture of how unconcerned I look.

so we’re in a conspiracy episode. i really just don’t care, though. like, i can’t make myself care at all.

HA HA THEY ARE SO BAD AT GETTING INTO CARS.

I DONT CARE ABOUT THIS CAR CHASE IT IS SO DUMB.

I would make an 'upskirt' joke, but this is too boring.

broadcast it over the radio. ha ha ha. sure why not.

CONSPIRACY SASSO BETRAYS EVERYONE.

was that part with the car not starting supposed to be tense?

MORE DRINKING DRINKING ALL THE TIME

I wonder what a trip through an INTERDIMENSIONAL WORMHOLE does for a hangover.

FROM YOUR LIPS TO GOD’S EARS

I RESENT YOU HAVING THAT THOUGHT

this episode is STILL GOING ON.

UGH SASSY FACE

Whoa, dial back that sass, girl!

Arturo i am so with you. FACEPALM.

Internet, make it happen.

if there are no rules, why don’t they just shoot Rembrandt?

can they shoot Wade instead?

MY FRIENDS ARE AT A COMPUTER TERMINAL AT THIS VERY MOMENT.

OKAY WAIT BUT SERIOUSLY THE INTERNET.

MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF COMPUTER HACKERS

or, y’know, MOMS CHECKING THEIR EMAIL.

i know that everyone talks about it, but it is really dumb that they try to read the constitution on the radio when there’s an INTERNET TO USE. AN INTERNET.

ONLY ONE GENERATION EVER CREATED THE US CONSTITUTION

and only one braindead moron wrote this episode

SORRY 2 B SO HARSH BRO THIS EP BLOWZ.

‘tension,’ again. every time this episode tries to be ‘tense’ it is instead so boring. this is by far the most boring episode I have yet to watch. I’d rather watch paint dry. And I don’t want to even watch Wade because A) her mullet’s gone B) her belly shirts aren’t anywhere and C) she is so shrill and irritating.

“”I’ve noticed the difference in Wade already — she is being written much stronger this year,” says Sabrina Lloyd. “In the very first episode, she saves the day. It’s something I really wanted, and it made me realize my voice was being heard, that the writers believed in me. Through these adventures, I think she has become a bit of a wild woman. She’s getting more and more daring.”

Part of Wade’s new found strength comes from her belief in her womanhood, Lloyd believes. “I think she’s much more comfortable in her sexuality now. She has really changed. I think she’s one of the strongest characters in the show in the sense that she knows what she wants, she’s a fighter. She now goes into these parallel worlds and tries to help when she can, and learns from the experiences. Before I think she was more of an observer.”

Ugh no because you re so irritating. If by Fighter you mean Shrew, than yes.

KEEP HOPE ALIVE.

INSPIRATION!? HE WAS TRYING TO USE THE RADIO.

this is bullshit they don’t even know this guy. he must be so confused.

No but seriously, who the hell is Judge Nassau anyways? This is the first time he's spoken.

AGE BEFORE BEAUTY.

ha ha they just slide in front of them NO BIGGIE.

THEY TAKE IT LIKE CHAMPS.

Seriously, though. If a huge hole in SPACE opened up in front of me, I'd be WIGGING OUT.

WHY ARE THEY SO INVESTED.

WILL I EVER SEE YOU AGAIN? WHO CARES YOU DONT KNOW HIM

DURRRRR

UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH

But seriously, this world doesn’t look so bad, know? it doesn’t look all facets and stuff.

hey, it’s “that guy?”

Right? Isn't this a 'guy'?

HA HA HA HACK THE PLANET

ITS THE CONSTITUTION.

LETS READ IT IN UNISON!

This is an extremely unsettling image.

NERDS

HA HA HA ITS LIKE THEY’VE JUST LEARNED TO READ.

AH AHA HA HA AHHA WHAT IS THAT GRAPHIC?!

...*thud*

OH GOD thank the lord it is over now.

love this theme song.

i kind of wish i had just made up this episode and wrote about that instead.

IN A WORLD WHERE THE CONSTITUTION IS ON A LITTLE RUBBER THINGY.

JUDGE NASSAU: THE ANIMATED SERIES.

okay, I’m done here.

I feel like adding a little extra thought. I’m not going to try to summarize the episode. That’s literally impossible. The plot makes less sense the more I think about it. No one’s performance stands out enough for me to even remember their name. The only thing that’s really noteworthy is Wade.

Obviously, we’ve talked about Wade at length. Now, in Season Two, she’s finally starting to really stand out, be a presence… and it’s a disaster! She’s suddenly the most unlikable person EVER. So shrill! So harsh! So manipulative and hurtful and awful to be around! No wonder the dudes spend LITERALLY THE ENTIRE EPISODE drinking.

Why the change? Well, that extended quote I threw into my notes is the answer. Apparently Sabrina Lloyd asked that they give Wade a more robust presence on the show, and this is how they complied.

I don’t know. Again, I’m at a loss for words. With “good bad” television, there’s generally something to say, because I’m at least laughing at the screen. Thoughtless dreck like this doesn’t even elicit a chuckle, let alone an essay.

But I’ll leave you with the question that bears repeating: what does this episode have to do with alternate dimensions/is it okay that we’re veering off into territory like this?

Next week: an angry man gets angry, and I may or may not tell you about me and Sliders fanfic!

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Of Course, I Knew It (Into The Mystic).

There are really two things to discuss about “into The Mystic,” and sadly, those two things only refer to about a total of 7, maybe 8 minutes of the episode.

Let’s start with some real world discussion. As I’m sure you remember, season one of Sliders ended with Quinn face up in a pool of blood, with Wade’s screaming face as the last image aired. That came very, very close to being the last shot of the entire series.

FOX never loved Sliders. It did well, but not that well (in 1995 terms. In 2011 terms, that shit would be on for years). It wasn’t big enough, wasn’t flashy enough. In fact, in reality, this isn’t even season two, this is just the back end of season one. (And, since I can’t figure out how to get my links page to show up, this is where I tell you that any factual/historical facts I glean about the show I get from either Earth Prime or Dimension Of Continuity, which are, if you’re interested, the two best sites about the show on the internet). FOX, having watched the first few episodes, saw such TERRIFYING things as “continuity” and “character development,” and, god forbid, “IDEAS.” So they took the show off the roster for a ‘retooling,’ so they could throw some more action/adventure in there. The cliffhanger at the end of “Luck of the Draw” was a last-ditch attempt by the production team to make sure that FOX didn’t forget about the show. Which was smart, because the ‘re-tooling’ was basically the network’s excuse for canceling the show if they had to. Sliders was juuuust popular enough that if they’d just pulled the plug, there’d be actual people who would be cheesed by it.

But Sliders, even ‘retooled’ as it was (and we’ll see how this ‘retooling’ ends up rearing it’s ugly head throughout the season), still was a pretty weird show, and FOX had no idea where they wanted to put it, so they sat on the show for an entire year.

But there was still the tricky problem of that pool of blood Quinn was left in. It had been an entire year since “Luck of the Draw” aired, would anyone remember what happened?

FOX’s standpoint was “no, no one will remember.” Which is really dumb, of course. It’s insulting to the letter-writing fans of the show, and it’s damaging to any chance of the show gaining anything close to ‘critical respect.’ Obviously, this deserve a slight tangent-TV in 1996 is totally different from TV in 2011. Serialized television is still generally left to soap operas or mini-series at this point. Even on something like The X-Files, a ‘big-deal’ event like Scully getting abducted by aliens only lasts, like, (spoilers!) three episodes. So it’s a different time— less (or at least just different) chances are being taken.

But still, you don’t just shoot your main character and pretend it didn’t happen. Tracy Torme also felt this way, and went to war with FOX. For the longest time, the best ‘compromise’ that FOX would make was this: “just have someone say ‘good things that bullet didn’t hit your heart,’ and leave it at that.” Which, of course, is ridiculous. Torme wouldn’t have it, and thus his reputation as “difficult to work with” was set in stone.

Eventually, Tormé strong-armed FOX somehow into a better, but still ridiculous, compromise. The network told him “if you can deal with it in a pre-credits teaser, you can deal with it.” Which, of course, is also ridiculous. Though probably not as ridiculous as the ‘solution’ we got, a dream sequence that includes this:

MASTER OF PUPPETS I'M PULLING YOUR STRINGS

And, because part of the ‘re-tooling’ means less continuity, Alex Krychek, who if we recall also slid with the team last season, simply disappears (taking Henry the Sliding Dog with him, presumably). So here we have the first notably instance of “sliders stories that never came to be,” as the production team actually had a multi-episode story-arc planned out for Krychek— one that would climax with something ‘dramatic and terrible’ happening to him. I can only imagine that he would die, sacrificing himself valiantly for Wade or some bullshit. I can’t imagine that the show (at this point, in this season) would stick the landing of something like that, but in a perfect world (ha), I can see how they could work it out to be about the true perils of sliding, a ‘nothing is safe’ kind of lesson, much like the end of “Luck of the Draw,” but, y’know, more serious.

One imagines those alternate "Ryan" episodes would have had MORE MAKING OUT ALL THE TIME.

But, hey, that’s an alternate dimension version of this blog! Wah-wah.

Big Grateful Dead fans up in here.

Before I talk about the other important part of the episode, I’ll just briefly run through some of the parts of the episode I do enjoy. I’m not, and couldn’t even pretend, to say it’s a great episode, but has some merit. I don’t much care for this ‘occult world,’ as much as I might chuckle at the “golden gargoyle gate” bridge joke. I admire things like the Witch Doctor, or the Grim Reaper Subpoena— the elements of the world that show how the brass tacks would operate. It’s nice to see both Pavel the Cab Driver and Lawyer Ross J. Kelley, even if they don’t get to do very much.

They see me rollin...

...they hatin'.

I also admire the fact that they at first want nothing to do with any of the “Sorcerer” products and services in the paper (those zany antidisestablishmentarianists!), especially because of who this wicked “sorcerer” turns out to be:

I love how every time they run into an Alt-Quinn, he's just got glasses and a frumpy wig on.

And Quinn’s response to this revelation is perfect: “Of course.” It’s an incredibly egotistical thing to say (right, there’s a megalomaniac entrepreneur who hides behind smoke and mirrors and lives in a castle and hires scary midgets— OF COURSE it would be ME!), but somehow Jerry O’Connell sells it with a form of youthful bravado that it comes off as if we’re watching Quinn get a boost of confidence more than anything. It ends up being endearing, rather than annoying.

HEY GRRRLLLLS

There’s also the matter of Arturo’s ‘secret son,’ which Arturo takes grumpily (as he sort of takes everything in the episode). It’s an interesting ‘revelation,’ but at this point, even in the ‘season two’ ‘premier’ (god this show), we already have the feeling that this is something that probably won’t ever be mentioned again ever for all time. With things like this, it almost seems like Tracy Tormé is saying “yeah, think about what we could be doing if this show had it’s shit together. Which is fine, but until this show actually does get its shit together, it’s at best distracting, and at worse, depressing (spoiler alert: the show never gets its shit together).

But all this pales in comparison to the ending. I don’t really want to beat around the bush, so I’ll just say it: they get home. Like, they actually get home. The journey is over.

And then they leave.

They do Quinn’s patented “Gate-Squeak” test, and it fails because the Mallory’s gardener just oiled it.

Read it again: they get home, and leave.

In the last episode, we left with Wade screaming bloody murder. Now it’s us as an audience screaming at the television. I have to ask, why end the episode like this? It’s bleak and ridiculously disheartening.

RIP Wade's Mullet.

Let’s go through all that this is, one at a time. First, it’s sad, depressing, and cruel. Let’s face it, as an audience who watches the show, we aren’t exactly rooting for them to get home— if they did, the show would be over. But the fact remains that we’re the audience, and we will always remember this moment— that they’ve made it home. Every time from now on that they say “is this home?” we’ll know that it isn’t, it can’t be, they’ve already been home. Their hope, for us, becomes hollow, becomes false. Every slide now is sad, and the more terrible things that happen to them, the more cruel it becomes.

But if we think about it, we can understand that it really couldn’t have happened any other way. Rembrandt picking up a paper and reading about OJ Simpson’s trial is spot-on: a lot of seemingly ‘crazy’ things have happened since they left. Any number of things could have happened, and they wouldn’t know anything about it. As sad as it is to admit, that dimension, ‘our’ dimension, ‘their’ dimension, just isn’t their Home anymore. They’ve been detached from it for too long— there’d be a disconnect, something missing. In a way, this is hopeful— it proves that they’re their only home— Friendship is their House.

But this endearing revelation is lost to them, because we the audience are the only ones who know it. This is really the worst part of this because it denies the Sliders a realization that would only further strengthen their bond. Basically, they’re denied character growth, which is the worst slap in the face to serialization ever.

So, due to a mix of network interference, inhospitable TV trends, and a lack of creative balls, our heroes end up— at the end of this episode, following up on the powerhouse of “Luck of the Draw”— exactly where they started.

And it’s really nothing else than a damn shame.

Next week: something happens, then it happens again (with skirts).