When Moses Delivered Them From The Pharaoh (Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome).

Home.

The threat of home hangs over these people every day. Every time these people enter a new world, whether we hear it or not, the question is asked: “is this our home?” And the more they never get there, the larger they realize this roulette wheel really is, and the more hopeless the journey becomes.

We, of course, know, that you can’t go home again. They’ve been gone so long (18 months, according to Rembrandt in this episode, which is actually kind of incredible) that they wouldn’t know home if they saw it, if it smacked them in the face.

So then what if they did make it home? What if the concept of home waltzed up and made it clear the journey was over? What would these people do? 

“Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome” is a high-concept episode. Sure, you can have dinosaurs and you can have psychics, but this is something else— to have an episode where the plot is “the end.” Because for all intents and purposes, an episode where the sliders get home is the end of the show.

Look, everybody. There’s a (pretty short) list of episodes that pretty much everybody agrees are the best episodes of Sliders. “Luck of the Draw” is one of them. “El Sid” is not. This episode is one of those episodes that you’re supposed to absolutely love if you’re a Sliders fan.

Now it’s time for me to tell you how I came up with the idea for this blog: I watched this episode whilst high and thought it was the worst ever. The next day I was stunned— this is Sliders! My favorite show! What’s supposed to be the best episode! Is the entire show as bad as this? Answer: no, it’s not (mostly). More complicated answer: Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome isn’t that bad either.

But, in honor of my initial re-watch, I present this episode with the Time Again & World method of blog post— the ‘journal entry’ approach. This time I’ll augment it from time to time, as this is an episode that deserves at least a little bit of respect. But it’s also worth it to treat this ep with a bit of fun, no?

Sure, why not. Here we go:

-high concept- rembrandt in therapy!

All this episode is missing is a shot of the therapist playing tic-tac-toe.

-quinn’s mom thing

As in, they recast Linda Henning with a half-melted Auton.

-how cute they are! greatest hits of sliders, so cute so cute.

B F F Z // Q T Z

“to friendship” —SEE GUYS I WAS RIGHT

I'm also right about all the drinking they do.

full of nice scenes, slow pace at first, let them (and us) acclimate (to ‘the end’). oh hey, remmy hasn’t seen the batcave!

Rembrandt wastes no time making jokes about Quinn's Penis.

keep it quiet. an interesting (and wise) idea

The rest of the episode is them watching TV and eating chips. Forever.

“all the things we’ve done, the things we’ve seen. it’s all because of you. thank you.” KISSY KISS KISSM KISS

NOM NOM NOM

also New Quinn’s mom is the WORST.

Like, did they hire her as a favor? She is the worst.

ha ha everyone is going to tell EVERYONE

Well, that took all of five minutes.

OH SHIT BETRAAAAYYYYYYEED

BETRAYED FACE ACTIVATED

DOLLA DOLLA DOLLA

GREED FACE ACTIVATED

WADES DIARY (bar scene)

Wade's Diary, as in, "Here's to Remembering that she has one."

Quinn’s evidence: I’m a nerd/I’m a jerk

Seriously, it may as well have been "this dog I ran over with a car when I was 15 is still alive on this world."

Well, now you’re being robbed, so no biggz/

FINISH HIM

Wade is SUCH a bizzy lady

Where is this loft/office? How does Wade afford it? Where does it come from? She had time to make all this happen? How long have they been here? NITPICKS!

Arturo’s press conference:

More like Arturo's GRUMPY conference!

nice model i am sure you couldn’t turn it yourself, max

OH OKAY NOW I UNDERSTAND HOW THIS WORKS OF COURSE

Rembrandt spends his time at home RE-RECORDING HIS OLD HITS IDENTICALLY

I mean, I understand things like "budget" and "time constraints," but this is a little ridiculous.

quiet moments without Quinn— character gold, right?

I mean, as long as no one is complaining.

LOL WORST STATUE EVER

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA

“The Father of Inter Dimensional Travel”

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA, pt. ii

LOL WORST WINDOW CGI EVER

But seriously, you're pinning the entire episode on a piece of CGI this bad? Dudes, please.

“i’m nothing!” wait, IM nothing? that’s weird.

"Iceman" Mallory up in here.

Quinn is saying the right thing, but daaamn. (By this I am referring to how ridiculous Wade’s reaction is. Not the fact that she is upset that she is not home- that’s understandable. I’m really just bewildered about the “my career” bit. She really cares that much? Are these people so near-sighted and greedy that they’re more disappointed about cashflow than emotional stability? Food for thought, or not.)

man, WHYYYY is the professor such a DOUUUCHEEE

Number One Douche up in heeah!

YOU MUST DO WHAT YOU MUST DO

...in bed.

BUT THEN SO WILL I

...baby.

Whoa, Quinn lays it down: I’m not sure I can ever get us home.

Quinn admitting this is actually kind of a really really big deal.

SEE GUYS? GUILLLLT?

but wade is the nicest:

We’ll make it.

Wade Welles, breakin' hearts again.

(Yeah, right)

Kudos for actually getting Maurice FIsh (and the pastor from Last Days? no wonder Remmy was so smug around him).

d be so nervous around FIsh, though.

Like seriously, I would be so worried the dude was going to try to gut me.

CRACK COMMANDO UNIT

I should really make a Sliders Drinking Game. New Rule: a shot every time they break & enter.

BUSTADDOOOOO

No one saw THAT coming.

OH SHIT REMMY U GOIN TO THA LOONY BIN

BUT REALLY WE SHOULD CALL THE COPS ON THAT HAIRDO

BFFZ

Bros.

CRACK COMMANDO UNIT PART TWO

sliders so crazy breakin people’s windows

SEE? It's already two shots for breaking & entering (three if you count Alt-Turo stealing the Timer), and two for everyone drinking! We are so drunk now!

WUZZAT

URRR?

IZZAT A DAWG BARKIN

RRRUH-ROH!

a really big dog

Woof.

“of course” ha ha, when quinine says “Of course” he is the dumbest dude

"Of course" yourself!

“now I know how the isrealites felt when Moses delivered them from the pharaoh”

…right.

'COS THERE'S A THRILLER IN (wade's eyes)

OH SHIT OH SHIT

Shoot 'em from behind the shoulder, save them dollaz.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Trouble Double?

OH MY OH MY

Is it cheaper not to focus or something?

WHOS WHO BATTLE OF THE BULGE (get it?)

Joe Smarm up in here.

Back and forth of knowledge!

This scene is just riveting.

…and HEADBUTT

FINISH HIM, pt. ii

“you better be the right one, man”

Peace out, bro.

like, really? this is all the looking into it they do? isn’t this a REALLY BIG DEAL?

and because WHY WOULD WE SPEND TIME DELVING INTO WADE’S PAST, her parents are no more than extras.

Because her non-character isn't frustrating enough.

i hate quinn’s mom, guys.

I mean, I'm not trying to be mean (I sort of am, though), but what is wrong with her FAAACE?

BUMMER TAXI PUMP THAT MUSIICCCCC

Seriously, it might as well be "Eye of the Tiger" at this point.

OH SHIT ARTURO ON ARTURO

The worst CGI ever, pt. ii.

The worst CGI ever, part iii. (Seriously though really bad OOH NEW DRINKING GAME RULE)

“oh my god.”

No one ever mentions how he says "confound it" right before this.

and with those words, sliders fanfiction is born.

EXTEND THAT

and then, a funny little coda where the sliders break into the therapist’s office and make him CRAYZEE

like a robin’s egg.

Yeah, actually, it is "Robin's Egg." Sounds better than "Vortex Blue," I guess?

Okay, so an addendum: we’ve had some crazy endings before (all roads lead to “Luck of the Draw”), and this one sort of plays down how insane it is. But we’ve got to stop (especially if you’ve never seen it before [and I’m assuming that at least ONE of you hasn’t seen the show before]). But we truthfully don’t know if the right Arturo slid with them. Sure, you can play shell-games and educated guesswork or just ask Tracy Tormé, but if you’re not that kind of fan, you’d be forgiven for freaking the fuck out.

And like I said, this is the moment Sliders fanfiction is born (slight hyperbole). Because if there’s an alternate Arturo who happens to be the real Arturo, then said Arturo would be having his own adventures trying to get home (one assumes). And, should something terrible happen to the Professor travelling with the sliders, then there’s a backup copy stuck on Azure Gate world. So, in a way, this Alt-Turo Shell Game amounts to an easy 1-Up. An extra life. We know he’s out there. Waiting.

I take it back. This isn’t a horrible episode. But what it represents is more important than what actually happens in it. It is, however, a fantastic example of the ‘anything goes’ approach to the show being an incredible success. This show doesn’t have to be either Dinosaurs or This— it can be both.

Next week: Like a Velvet Fog Plugged with Lead (Greatfellas).

11 thoughts on “When Moses Delivered Them From The Pharaoh (Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome).

    • The whole “anything goes” policy is certainly a part of what makes both of those shows A) amazing, and B) truly limitless— the difference is that the people who make Doctor Who understand that fact and run with it. The team(s) behind Sliders very rarely know what they’re doing with the show.

      • I’m looking forward to you reviewing “Slither.” I often find reviews more enjoyable than actually watching the episodes from Seasons 3 – 5.

        It’d be fun if you applied your review style for some fanfics as well, like Nigel G. Mitchell’s “Slide Ruler” and his SLIDERS/X-FILES crossover. Or mine… 😛

  1. I was seriously laughing out loud at this the whole time. BFFZ!

    I think I see PTSS the same way you do. The concept is phenomenal. The things it brings up are phenomenal. The execution as a TV episode? Not so much. It’s not bad, it’s just not as strong as it should have been given how good the material was. Wade’s freak out always bothered me (as did the horrifically cheesy piano that came with it…) But at least Arturo vs. Arturo was fun. I get why people love the episode, and I still love the episode to be honest, but it’s not perfect. This is the one that (if by some chance in this barrage of reboots we get a reimagined Sliders TV show) I would really like to see be remade. Because if a few of the elements were polished, it would be a wonderful episode of television beyond just the concept.

  2. I totally agree. But the thing about that argument is that it’s true of pretty much every episode of Sliders ever. I’m sure I’ll talk about this again on the blog sometime, but I remember once reading as essay that dealt with how much Star Wars fans hate Star Wars. The point being that what they love isn’t the actual filmed movies as much as the idea of Star Wars and what it represents.

    The same holds true for us Sliders fans. The only thing we have is a mediocre-on-a-good-day TV show that somehow strikes a perfect nerve. But, of course, my extended argument for that I should probably save for when I finish this blog…

    • I do have to wonder — could any show withstand such thorough and intensive scrutiny?

      SLIDERS isn’t perfect, but it’s a product of its time. I appreciate it on its own merits: I feel the first two seasons are beautifully shot and create alien cultures that look mundane but contain people who behave in a genuinely alien manner. The characters have terrific chemistry on paper and in performance. Despite the constraints preventing the show from reaching its full potential, Jerry, John, Cleavant and Sabrina command my attention. Every time I watch “Eggheads” or “Into the Mystic” or “As Time Goes By,” I’m swept away.

      I do wish the show had been better, but mostly, I wish the show had died a quick death with “As Time Goes By.” Instead, it dragged on, ruining its legacy and the fans’ memories of the show.

      • Because I would be kind of insane if I didn’t feel this way, I’m going to argue that there are good things to say about Seasons 3-5. If for no other reason than that they tried. Sure, they fall off the deep end by the end of the season every single time. But even Season 5, having to deal with the impossible task of replacing Jerry O’Connell, does a remarkable job.
        But you’re right— the original cast had a chemistry together that elevated even the worst of Season 3. Once those characters start leaving the show, you can watch the light going out in their eyes.

  3. Late to the party, because I just discovered your blog around a week ago, but re: the Azure Gate Bridge – I didn’t even read that as a window when I first saw this episode. I thought it was supposed to be a photograph or a painting or something. In fact, looking at that still, it STILL looks like something hanging on the wall, but now I genuinely can’t tell if that’s because I was right and it was supposed to be ‘art’ or because the FX team was just that clumsy. I rewatched it recently but (mercifully) the shot of the Azure Gate Bridge doesn’t really last that long. (You would think they’d have noticed that the bridge was blue before now – this is television San Francisco, after all, where you can see the Golden Gate from anywhere in the city. But perhaps they were too busy marveling at the fact that downtown San Francisco looks EXACTLY like Vancouver.)

    Love the blog, incidentally, though it’s making it clear that I’m missing a hell of a lot whilst watching Sliders on Netflix – not only are the episodes missing, but some of the first season installments don’t seem to be there at all! Blast and damn.

    • Netflix is a criminal! I think at the time I was writing this episode’s post, I was forced to resort to less-than-legal means to watch the episode (I mean, I own the DVDs, but goodness knows where they are…). I think most of the episodes are on Hulu? But I think you’re still going to be missing some first season gems.

      In any case, I too have thought that maybe it was supposed to be a photo of the Bridge. But I’m pretty sure it isn’t a static image? Also, they’re in a museum, aren’t they? I guess it’s a science museum, but if it’s a picture, it could just as well be a pop-art photo of a Blue Bridge?

      I think, as much as we can try to make up weird reasoning for it, at the end of the day, the fact that it’s a Blue Golden Gate Bridge that’s the ‘big reveal’ of the fact that they aren’t home is completely stupid. I mean, I know it had to be something HUGE, but Azure Gate is ridiculous.

      I hope you persevere through the missing episodes and keep on the blog-bandwagon! It’s only getting more fun from this episode on!

      • Yeah, I checked Hulu and it appears that The Weaker Sex is on there, as is Last Days, supposedly…maybe they cut out the problematic musical number. I’ll certainly be keeping up with the blog!

      • Also, I meant to say “not only are the episodes in the wrong order” in that last comment, rather than redundantly pointing out that not only are episodes missing, but also there are missing episodes. Bit of a brain fart there.

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