Quinn, Maggie and Rembrandt are on the run from a tribe of primitives. Quinn was dancing with the chief’s daughter, which didn’t go over so well with the tribe. Sliding into the next world, Rembrandt remarks that this might be Quinn’s Earth Prime, and that the rubble they see is from the Kromagg-Human war. Maggie remarks it’s more like a demolition site.
Suddenly, there’s an explosion, and Maggie goes flying into the air. She wakes up and is shoved onto a hospital bed, and a pair of glasses is put over her face.
Maggie wakes up on the couch of the Kromagg-Earth Operations headquarters. Quinn and Rembrandt are milling around in the background. Brigadier General Randall Simmons walks out and happily announces that the Sliders have returned to Earth Prime, and that the resistance of EP cracked the Kromagg codes and used their technology against them, driving them from their world. Simmons also says that the military has adapted the sliding technology and has begun freeing other Earths under Kromagg rule.
Simmons then asks Maggie if she’d like to fly again for the military, and tells Rembrandt he’s got a Naval field commission if he’d like it. Maggie suspects something is wrong and confronts Simmons, who twitches and momentarily disappears, like bad TV reception. Maggie says she knows this is a Kromagg mind trick.
Suddenly, Maggie wakes up. It seems she’s been under VR therapy to help cure her of injuries brought on by the explosion. Simmons shows her the timer and she runs to Quinn and Rembrandt and shows them that the timer is now counting up — they’ve missed the slide. Quinn says this isn’t the first time it’s happened and tells Maggie and Rembrandt that he’ll simply build another sliding machine. The Sliders confide in Simmons their identity, and he cheerfully agrees to bankroll their research, providing the Sliders access to a laboratory filled with state-of-the-art electronics. Simmons also provides Quinn, Maggie and Rembrandt with VR headset in case they wanted to indulge in some recreation.
Back in Simmons’ office, we learn the Simmons is using his resources to unwittingly have the Sliders build him a sliding machine.
Quinn admits to Maggie that he’s having trouble remembering what it takes to construct a sliding machine. He asks Maggie for help, but she balks. Quinn assures her that she must know something about sliding since her husband worked on it for so long. Maggie remembers something about Tesla coils, a conduit for electromagnetic energy, and a musical sequence. Figuring Rembrandt can tell them what the sequence is, Quinn and Maggie walk into the sleeping area and see Rembrandt jacked into the VR mainframe. Maggie follows him into VR and finds Rembrandt’s fantasy — a world where he is successful, raising a family with the respect of his mother. Maggie exposes the fantasy and convinces Rembrandt to come back to reality with her.
Outside of the VR, Maggie and Rembrandt walk into the lab and see Quinn jacked into VR. Maggie follows Quinn in and sees him in a sexual situation with a virtual simulation of herself. Maggie yells at Quinn and pulls him out of VR. Rembrandt and Quinn start going through withdrawal, and Maggie breaks all of the VR headsets, something that upsets Rembrandt greatly.
A while later, Rembrandt helps Maggie decode the musical sequence and helps Quinn with the sliding initialization sequence. Meanwhile, Simmons’ plan to steal sliding technology continues. Quinn asks Maggie for forgiveness, and when the two decide to consummate their relationship, Quinn disappears — the whole thing has been a virtual fabrication built by Simmons for the secret of sliding. Rembrandt and Quinn liberate Maggie from her captivity and plan to figure out how to recover the timer. Maggie sorts her feelings out as she recovers from a VR hangover.
Quinn manages to break into the real VR mainframe and “sour the milk,” upsetting the workers in the laboratory and buying the Sliders time to enter the building. Maggie destroys the sliding equipment Simmons has built and recovers the timer, and the Sliders slide out after souring the entire VR mainframe.
On the next world, Rembrandt fixes Maggie a hangover cure, and Quinn and Rembrandt welcome Maggie back to the group.
Don’t look too longingly at the native population, especially if they’re the chief’s daughter.
Video interactivity takes on a whole new term on this world, where the populace is subjugated by virtual reality headsets that control their lifestyle.
Rembrandt makes a mean hangover remedy.
The following information is from Maggie’s VR fantasy and is thus not 100% confirmable:
Simmons calls the recovery ward part of Chandler Federal Hospital, which should have tipped Maggie off that her recovery was a little less than real.
From the Inside Slide:
Of the many technical marvels spawned by America’s technological revolution in the nineteen-sixties, none has had a greater impact than that of VIRTUAL REALITY. And what an impact it was. We here at the Sonmaha Corporation could never have anticipated just what our VR and all its innovations would mean to the world and, of course, the world order.
Sonmaha first delved into the world of VR when our government was seeking a more cost effective way to train its military jet and helicopter pilots. With the price of advanced aircraft on the rise and the bodies of trainees stacking up like cord wood, it soon became apparent that an alternative less lethal way of preparing our airborne forces was needed. The flight simulators of the time were ineffective, cumbersome and less than realistic. Something new and innovative was needed. Hence, the concept and base technology for the RealMan was born. Virtual flight simulators revolutionized combat fighter training. The early RealMan devices, though bulky and primitive by today’s standards, paved the way to new and exciting virtual worlds in its many forms and spin-offs.
The decade that followed saw numerous innovations for RealMan technology. As the headsets got smaller, the scope of its applications became broader. Soon VR was being used in medicine, industrial robotics and, of course, recreation. The crowning achievement of its use was in the first virtual mission to Mars. It was then that we at Sonmaha realized that the sky was truly the limit.
But it was not until the stock market crashed in 1980 that Sonmaha realized its true worth to the people of the world. With the onset of the second great depression our founder Steven Gates envisioned a mission for our company. In much the same way the motion picture industry provided a means of escaping our day to day woes in the thirties, Sonmaha was ready to meet the challenge of providing that same service in the eighties.
To answer Mr. Gates’ call to arms, the price of the RealMan was drastically reduced. Vast new escapist programs were created and marketed at considerable discounts. When sales still went through the roof despite the near at cost prices, it became apparent that Sonmaha was on the right track. But we needed to do more. We turned to the Federal Government. A historic merger was proposed and quickly ratified. Sonmaha became an arm of the Executive Branch.
Soon new programs were put into effect. Free RealMan devices and programs were distributed to the disadvantaged. The nation’s schools were hard-wired into a central educational mainframe. Soon labor unions, medical professionals and the entertainment industry were persuaded to come on board. Everyone was doing their part for national recovery. But as the depression spread to the rest of the world we realized we needed to do more. Sonmaha and the U.S. merged with the United Nations. We began to disseminate our VR technology on a global level. The rest is history.
The past five years has seen a number of new innovations introduced to by Sonmaha. Among those are the completion of the world mainframe run from our own corporate headquarters. Newer more realistic programs designed to cloak even the most grueling and laborious tasks are seeing wide use. We have even been able to increase the levels of the pleasure stimulating sub-routines, leading to a more enhanced experience and fewer incidents of user rejection. As the depression continues into its eighteenth year the Sonmaha Corporation will continue to strive to maintain the excellence that have forged this new world order.
|Written by||Keith Damron|
|Directed by||Mark Sobel|
|Music by||Danny Lux|
|Edited by||Casey Brown|
Simply put, if you can look past the fact that everything good in “Virtual Slide” was a fabrication that never happened within the canon of the show, you’ll enjoy this episode.
Feelings for Quinn are brought to the surface and the secrets of sliding are stolen when Maggie finds herself immersed in an addictive virtual reality simulation.