Greatfellas


The crew crash a wedding, but walk away in one piece thanks to the fame of Rembrandt’s double in a Vegas-styled San Francisco. Believing he’s being paid for the appearance, Rembrandt takes payment from one of the guests. Quinn discovers it was a mob wedding and that the money was a bribe. Here, Rembrandt’s double is a crusading FBI agent and now it looks like he’s on the take. Quinn attempts to return the money, but gets his pocket picked by a busty con artist. He tracks her down after she’s blown through most of it at a blackjack table and Quinn puts his knowledge of advanced number theory to the test. As this is going on, the bride of the wedding seeks Rembrandt out looking for protection. Wade and Arturo track down the real Rembrandt only to find him completely disinterested in anything they have to say. Disgusted, they turn over the bride’s info to the district attorney — and promptly find themselves tied up in a warehouse with Quinn and Rembrandt as the mob exacts retribution. Only Rembrandt is FBI Rembrandt, and this was an elaborate sting to smoke the crooked district attorney out.

Worlds Visited

Lawyer World

A suit-happy populace has driven law school attendance up to 84%.

Read the full Travelogue entry »

Gangster World

Organized crime rules the west coast in a world where Prohibition was never repealed.

Read the full Travelogue entry »

Details

  • The Lost in the 50s Drive-In serves Whammy Burgers, Double Whammy Burgers, a Carnivore burger and a Super Carnivore burger.
  • The lawyer (who is actually Mr. Gale from Into the Mystic) works for a law firm called “Silverberg, Thompson, Katzoff, Klein, O’Leary, Phelps and Manning.”
  • Number of guns being aimed at the Sliders when they interrupt the wedding: 11.
  • The billboard of Ronald Reagan reads “You loved him as President, you trust him as governor. Reagan [96].
  • At the Dominion, the Sliders stay in suite 42, which is upstairs and to the left.
  • A sign above the slots in the hallway of the Dominion reads “25¢ Movies.”
  • As Quinn and June exit the Doubloon Hotel and Casino, the posters on the wall read “Reagan ’96” (they are stuck next to a number of “Vote” Biacchi signs though those are off camera and revealed later).
  • June gets into cab #151 from the Golden Bay Cab Company 555-0188.
  • The poster at the Doubloon reads “Country & Western Star Mel Tormé singing his greatest hits. Also Appearing Wynonna Judd; 2 Nites Only.”
  • The FBI’s regional headquarters are located at 1170 William Street. The office is housed in Mario’s Used Furniture Warehouse.
  • District Attorney Biacchi’s limo is a Lincoln Town Car.
  • The license plate of Biacchi’s “safe house” truck is UPP395.
  • The Sliders leave Gangster World at 3:45 a.m.

Character Information

  • Rembrandt says he once worked with Mel Tormé.
  • Rembrandt says that he has a cousin who’s a security guard in Vero Beach, Florida.
  • Quinn is adept at counting cards, which he relates to advanced number theory.

Money Matters

  • Thanks to Gomez Calhoun, The Sliders stay at the Dominion for free.
  • Tommy Greenfeld gives Rembrandt $100,000 in cash.
  • Quinn is then later fleeced out of all that money, but wins it back (and then some) with some high-stakes blackjack.
  • Quinn buys a suit and then forks over two bills (one is a $20) to the Doubloon bartender for information.
  • At the end of the episode, Quinn gives Leah $5,000 to give to June

Cultural References

  • The title of this episode is a play on the title of a 1990 Martin Scorsese gangster movie called “GoodFellas” starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci. The term itself is used to describe someone who is “okay,” that is, “on the level” when it comes to being a crook. Q: “Have you met Vinnie?” A: “Ya, he’s a goodfella.” i.e.: one of the family.

Notable Quotes

  • “Rumor has it that the groom’s family called up Sinatra. Who cares, we got Mel.” — Greenfeld family gloating, at the wedding.
  • “You’d think in a world of high-stakes gambling, they’d want to get you as drunk as possible.” — Wade, who can’t understand why there is no alcohol on Gangster World.
  • “Oh, kid, this gets better and better.” — Mel in response to Quinn’s admission that he was robbed.
  • “Just remember the cooler the cat, the harder he is to kill.” — Mel’s parting words to Quinn.

Nitpicks/Errors

  • Obviously, Cleavant Derricks isn’t going to perform his own stunt when the Sliders get spit out of the vortex over the pool, but his stunt double looks more like John Shaft than Rembrandt Brown.
  • When the Sliders pop in on the wedding, one idiot asks aloud “How’d you get through security” when the vortex was extremely visible to everyone, hovering over the pool.
  • In the climax, in an otherwise understandable editing error, one of Greenfeld’s henchmen (the one with the dark blue suit and the sideburns) takes eleven bullets (as seen from different camera angles), falls once, is standing again and falls once more before he finally keels over. The error was obviously made in an attempt to make the shoot-out more dramatic, with more bullets and more bodies.

Neatpicks

As the Sliders set to enter the vortex, our Rembrandt (in the black jacket) is actually being played by Clinton-Derricks Carroll who runs toward the vortex for the slide. Then, the camera angle changes and it’s Cleavant Derricks who turns to give the okay sign back to his double.

Rewind That!

  • Look for executive producer Tracy Tormé’s wife as one of the bridesmaids in the Greenfeld-DeBello wedding.
  • After Quinn uses the Pacific Bell public telephone, he pulls the lever of the slot machine it’s attached to, the first two windows spin but the third just sits there.

History Lesson

The 17th Amendment was probably one of the dumbest ideas in America. Unfortunately for this world, politicians didn’t listen to their constituents and the ban on alcohol continues to this day.

The result? Organized crime. Yes, Earth Prime has the Mafia, too, but nothing quite like this. With figures like Al Capone and Meyer Lansky smuggling booze in and amassing outrageous fortunes from the sale, crime empires sprang up all across the country. Northern California is the territory of the Greenfeld syndicate, and Nevada is owned by the DeBellos.

The layers of organized crime have seeped into everyday life. San Francisco has become a gambling Mecca much like Las Vegas — the Transamerica building is coated in pulsing neon.

Unfortunately, as crime and its influences grew, the federal government became a Libertarian’s dream — no power. Without the power, the FBI, headed by deputy director Rembrandt Brown, has no jurisdiction and the aforementioned crime families are looking to secede California and Nevada from the United States.

Who’s governor of California? Well, San Francisco district attorney Joe Biacchi was running against former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and with mounting corruption charges against Biacchi, it’s a safe bet the Gip is up in Sacramento right now.

The Disney channel shows GoodfellasCasinoThe Return of Goodfellas and other wholesome family fare.

The Inside Slide

One of the joys of Tracy Tormé’s second season of Sliders, in which he had the opportunity to cast his famous father, Mel Tormé, as a Bible-thumping, whiskey-swilling, country-music-singing government informant. “Everything he’s not,” Tormé says, “in this life. This show was special to me obviously, because my dad was in it, and my wife also has a cameo in it. She’s one of the bridesmaids at the beginning of the show. I was there for the whole shoot, and I wrote the song for my dad. Writing a country music song for my dad was definitely a trip.”

The appearance of Mel Tormé in this episode began its genesis on the Internet, according to an article inUSA Today on June 13, 1996. Mel was in a chat session on America Online when someone asked if he would consider appearing in an episode of Sliders. Mel told Tracy about the cyber encounter later and the seed was planted for a cameo.

“It was great to work with my dad, and I wrote some music for him, a little country and western song,” Tormé explains. “The whole concept of casting him as everything he hates — country and western music, drinking, Bible thumping — and to turn him into a character who keeps wanting to get back to his ranch in Nashville; I got a great kick out of that.”

For a long time, Tracy had toyed with ways to work his father into his show before settling on this anti-icon in an alternate Vegas-styled universe. “He was originally going to be the Prime Oracle in Obsession. He was going to do the Isaac Hayes part. And then I thought that was kind of dull. I thought, ‘if we’re going to use him, let’s really use him.’ He enjoyed it, and the cast really liked him. But he kept trying to change my song. I kept saying, ‘Will you do the song? Will you do the damned song like I wrote it?'”

Tracy was particularly happy to have had this experience with his father, because shortly after he was greeted with the bittersweet promise of a third season, his dad got dangerously ill. “I wanted to spend the time I needed to with my family,” he says. “It took me away from the show also. So with all those things happening at once, I made a very conscious decision that not only was I going to leave the show, but I could not be simply half-involved with what was going on, because that would be too frustrating, especially since I didn’t agree with a lot of the decisions that were going to be made.”

Ultimately, “that show was very close to me,” says Tormé.

· · ·

There was also more to the song than the viewer saw. “[It was] a very long song which was shot in, like, a four-minute version of him doing it … It ends up that by the time the show was [edited] it was 30-45 seconds of it but … somewhere there’s a long version of that song.”

· · ·

Why is Hrothgar Matthews in this episode? If you remember, a double of his follows the Sliders through the three worlds in Into the Mystic. Initially, the beginning of this episode was supposed to be the beginning of Into the Mystic when FOX refused to let Tracy Tormé wrap up the season one cliffhanger. That’s why the season 2 premiere jumps from a world in the middle of the day to a night world. When FOX announced Into the Mystic would be the season premiere, this bookend world was moved back to “Greatfellas” and a new wrap-up world was commissioned. Same guy.

Guest Stars

With

Unaccredited

  • Also, the actress who plays the little old lady on Attorney World
  • The actor who plays Eddie DaBello, the intended groom.
  1. Clinton Derricks-Carroll is Clevant’s twin brother and doubles for him in The King is Back and The Prince of Slides.
  2. Will Sasso also plays the venerable Gomez Calhoun in Fever, The King is Back, Time Again and WorldTime Again and Worldand Gillian of the Spirits.
  3. Ted Cole also plays a friendy citizen in Luck of the Draw.
  4. Hrothgar Matthews appears as three incarnations of Mr. Gale in Into the Mystic.

In Brief

Teleplay by Scott Smith Miller
Story by Sean Clark and Scott Smith Miller
Production # K0804
Network # SL-212
Directed by Allan Eastman
Music by Stephen Graziano
Edited by Casey Brown

Chronology

Previously:
Next:

In Review

B
Really Good

Mel Tormé steals the show as a hard drinkin’, country singin’, government informant. I’ve never been a big fan of guest stars on television shows, but Mel’s presence elevates an otherwise OK episode to a thoroughly enjoyable one.

Read the review »

Logline

In a U.S. where Prohibition was never repealed, the Sliders find themselves embroiled in a vicious struggle among warring organized-crime families, corrupt government officials, and dedicated G-men — one of whom looks exactly like Rembrandt.