The Sliders emerge from the wormhole in the cloister of a religious sanctuary and are observed by someone during their entry. Walking through downtown Los Angeles, Quinn talks about finding a library or some technology that will allow his to modify the timer so that they can find his brother’s world. Rembrandt remarks that that is a lot of information to absorb.
Maggie finds a newspaper that talks extensively about something known as the Oracle and Welcomers. The Sliders find an Oracle ceremony and are invited to watch by Jane, a follower of the Oracle. Inside, Quinn and Rembrandt are startled to see that the Oracle employs sliding technology, and even more surprised when Quinn reads about the scientific limitations the Oracle places on Americans.
On this world, the Oracle is a blend of religion and politics, and the only other political party that is of much influence is known as the Rationalists. The Oracle has broad powers over the people.
At the Chandler Hotel, Quinn tells Rembrandt and Maggie that he’s going to examine the portal equipment the Oracle uses. Inside the temple/church, the Sliders find that the Portal is an incinerator and that the Oracle is sending Welcomers to their deaths unknowingly. However, right after this, the Sliders are apprehended by Cadmus, chief counsel of the Oracle and the man who saw the Sliders enter this world. The timer is confiscated.
Upon interrogation, the Sliders learn that any kind of scientific pursuit is a felony and the three are locked up. Quinn and Rembrandt learn from a cell mate that the reconfiguration that the Oracle uses is a chemical mind-wipe. Maggie is visited by Jane and despite her attempts to convince Jane of the destructive nature of the Portal, Jane brushes Maggie’s concern off.
Cadmus and Chief Oracle Gareth decide that the Sliders need to be reconfigured but are liberated by the RadRats, Radical Rationalists that seek upheaval of the present political system. The RadRat leader, Samson, agrees to help the Sliders retrieve the timer but they are recaptured in the attempt. Cadmus and Gareth choose to make Quinn, Rembrandt, Maggie and Samson Welcomers.
As they are about to be burned in the Portal, Cadmus returns the timer to the Sliders and reveals himself as a mole. The Sliders slide but decide to return so that Samson can carry on the fight. Samson begins talks on the Oracle and the Rationalists, and Quinn, Rembrandt and Maggie make a quiet exit.
Rembrandt’s double has some unexpected withdrawals.
A blend of right-wing politics and extreme fundamentalist religious dogma serves as the seat of government.
Far-east trappings are so prevalent on this world they even decorate their alleys.
Become a faithful servant of the Oracle. Find your true being as we become one with the leaders of our master until the Day of Accounting. The gathering will take place at the Chancellor Center in Los Angeles. We welcome newcomers to our assembly, so join us in our time of prayer.
Deviation occurred thousands of years ago, as Samson cites a quote from Julius Caesar, the Second. What bearing this has on the development of culture in the New World is unknown, but interesting to cite nonetheless.
The current system that the United States of this world subscribes to came about by voter apathy, allowing right-wing fundamentalists to take power. However, these beliefs may have been more deep-rooted than that. Abraham Lincoln is unknown on this world.
The Oracle controls all manners of lifestyle. Clothing, education, scientific pursuits, identification, travel and sexual relations are all strictly regulated by the Oracle. The Oracle also bilks their followers out of money and sends them to their death thinking they are traveling to another world.
Not to be outdone by the fourth season premiere, the first airing of “Prophets and Loss” netted The Sci-Fi Channel a 2.4 rating, impressive considering its lead in was Genesis, which it beat by two-tenths of a rating point. The episode became the highest rated regular series episode that the station had ever received up until that point and represents about 1.2 million homes.
|Written by||Bill Dial|
|Directed by||Mark Sobel|
|Music by||Danny Lux|
|Edited by||Casey Brown|
Make no mistake; you walk away from this episode knowing exactly what the production staff thinks about the fundamentalist movement creeping through Christian communities (hint: it’s not positive).
When Quinn, Rembrandt and Maggie land on a world dominated by religious fundamentalism, their research into the Oracle's sliding technology reveals extortion and genocide of the people in return for passage to Paradise.