Revelations

"We're home now. We're not going anywhere." — Colin. Guess again, sucker.

Review by Mike Truman


F
Awful

To my growing horror, I have watched season four come off the rails almost as completely and despairingly as the third season’s miserable march through monster of the week plots and half-dead guest “stars.” Citing a need for a fresh start, Sliders has asked me to accept and endure many things; I have swallowed the premise that our home earth has been destroyed and Quinn is not really one of us. I have bought that he has a brother. I have grit my teeth and bared it as Wade was sent to a Kromagg rape camp. I sat through The Chasm. I watched Charlie O’Connell run. For all this, I want a payoff, a huge payoff that justifies the last ten weeks of steadily diminishing returns provided me. Instead, I’m given a poorly constructed midseason episode that can’t even fill the time allotted to it. It boggles the mind.

We open with the worst teaser of the series to date. I’ll forgive the vortex opening on the wrong side, Jerry O’Connell missing his mark and landing back in the vortex, and even the giant hand trying to pull Maggie back in. This is the kind of minor league production I’ve grown accustomed to; it’s what comes next that I can’t quite fathom. Our team ends up lazing around in an off the beat motel complaining about how boring it is. That’s our teaser. In this episode, you will be bored. I can’t wait to get back from commercial.

What can I say? The teaser may be pathetic, but you can’t call it a liar. The listlessness continues throughout the first act as we play on computers, read pulp novels, and stake out phone booths. The source of all this action is Rembrandt’s discovery of a book that seems to detail the war between Quinn’s world and the Kromaggs, cleverly disguised as Gromaks. (Or is it Gormaks? If the actors can’t get it straight, you can’t expect me to, either.) While Colin’s busy deciphering the anagram, the others determine only a refugee of that war could know such details. This is someone they might want to contact.

Because computers are all knowing and everyone lives in or around Los Angeles, the four track down author Isaac Clark (Jerry Hardin) and his beautiful halfwit daughter Catherine (Kristanna Loken.) We’re then treated to an entire act of scintillating exposition, where we learn some mundane details about Isaac, Catherine, and that Quinn and Colin figured out how to bypass the Slidecage. Wait, Quinn and Colin figured out how to bypass the Slidecage? When did this happen?! Are you trying to tell me we could have gone to their home world for weeks? The Chasm didn’t have to happen? You bastards!

Clark corrects their coordinates and off we go! Finally, we’re going to get some action! Let’s get that weapon from Quinn’s parents and do what we set out to do — liberate Earth Prime!

Well… we could do that, but that’s sort of expensive and might require lots of CGI and you know, effort. Writer Bill Dial’s got a much better idea. Instead, let’s just walk away and abandon everyone we ever knew. That’s Quinn’s heartless choice.

Borrowing from Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome, the boys celebrate their reunion with their parents (John Walcutt and Marnie McPhail) over champagne. After gushing about Rembrandt’s enduring loyalty, Quinn shows his by declaring his part in the mission is over. If Rembrandt wants to try and go save what’s-her-name, he won’t get in the way, but he’s staying put. Maggie too abandons the cause and decides to stick around on the offhand chance she’ll get to make it with Quinn. Colin? I don’t know, probably off admiring a fountain pen.

Just like that, in the closing act of the season, the premise they labored so hard to create over the first half of the season is abandoned, and Quinn’s likeability is cratered. Up until now, I’ve let Quinn’s decision not to pursue Wade go because of the needs of the many — freeing an entire world from the clutches of the Kromaggs — outweigh the needs of the one. No more; it was all a selfish ploy to escape his own burdens. We’d been building toward this with both The Chasm and Roads Taken, this temptation to give up and start anew with Maggie, but I never thought he’d do it. Foolish me.

Rembrandt is shockingly okay with this. Rather than seething with outrage, he politely asks for design plans to build his own weapon against the Kromaggs. I don’t know. Perhaps Rembrandt is so numb from this horrible betrayal he can’t process it. Fortunately for the now vindictive viewer, Isaac’s a liar; this isn’t Quinn and Colin’s homeworld at all. He rigged the co-ordinates to take them to his homeworld, where the humans are the bad guys and the Kromaggs have suffered a holocaust.

Wait a second. Clark’s description of them in his book matches the Kromaggs we all know and hate. But on his world, the Kromaggs are docile and peaceful. So what possessed him to write a story where they are the villains? As Homer Simpson would say, “Urge to kill… rising.”

Now that he’s been found out, Clark takes umbrage with Rembrandt when he accuses him of using them. He provided the co-ordinates, didn’t he? Um… no. Quinn already had the coordinates to his home world. It was the Slidecage that was stopping him. When Quinn brought up that problem, Clark had never heard of it. So if Quinn had the coordinates and beat the Slidecage, what did Clark contribute? Nothing.

Quinn’s parents come at them packing heat, and the four escape in the longest, most uneventful chase scene ever captured on film. Ever so slowly, our crew make their getaway through the streets and finally on to a moving train. Here’s la piece de resistance — Quinn, supposed genius, aims the vortex off the back of a moving train. Go ahead. Read that again. Let it sink in. Off the back of a moving train. The vortex ought to be a quarter of a mile behind them while the four quickly watch it disappear. But not the magic Season Four vortex! It somehow keeps pace with the train!

So ends the fourth season of Sliders. I am so angry right now I can say without any hyperbole that I don’t care if the show returns for a fifth. All the promise and excitement that opened this season was systematically undercut until we reached this appalling conclusion. We deserved better. The only thing “Revelations” reveals is how gullible I was to think that this season would be any different from the last one.

 

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8 responses to “Review: Revelations”

  1. Guest says:

    They started to wrap it up, and then decided with 5 minutes to go, that everything they had just created was wrong. Whoops.

  2. Michael Burke says:

    anyway they could have used that magical virus they found a few worlds back.

  3. Joe Hawkins says:

    I can see the angst and frustration shown by fans with Revelations. Since Genesis, we had this big build up all the shocking truths regarding Quinn and then to come to this finale. We all felt so cheated.
    Let me back up some. Jerry Hardin is a fine actor and he delivers here, Kristiana Loken is very attractive and hot. Regarding the magical vortex, I just don’t get why the production teams on this show seem to find some delight in insulting the fans’ intelligence. Gene Roddenberrry never pissed on Trekkies and Michael Stryzinski never tolerated such disrespect on Babylon 5. Like most fans of the show, we just let them kick us in the ass and we kept tuning in. We still watch the DVD’s over and over. Face it we love the show.
    I never thought this was a bad episode. The season had started with so much promise before devolving into the likes of The Chasm, Roads Taken and this finale. There were some good thought provoking episodes like My Brother’s Keeper, Califfornia Reich, Prophets and Loss, etc. Somewhere between then and the finale episode the writers crossed over to the dark side.

  4. lovelypeace says:

    It just surprised me how nobody could say Wade’s name when talking about going back to Earth Prime. I thought that she and Quinn were “best buds”. I thought that she and Remmy were supposed to have a “brother-sister” relationship. I just don’t care about these characters anymore.

  5. Amy says:

    It’s just a tv show. Who cares? Get a life.

  6. james42519 says:

    i don’t get how you don’t like a lot of these. there is really nothing wrong. you are jsut wanting something else then what these are. this is what the show is to me. not what you you seem to try and see it should be.

  7. NDJ says:

    “Clark’s description of them in his book matches the Kromaggs we all know and hate. But on his world, the Kromaggs are docile and peaceful. So what possessed him to write a story where they are the villains?”

    Hello- A man’s gotta eat! On a world where he was exiled (or perhaps he had been on an earth- after his home but before his current- where it was controlled by demon Kromaggs), he told the story everybody wants to hear. How was he to know that people would slide in, look him up, and ask for help?

    Also, I didn’t think the episode was that bad. Yes, I was pissed about Quinn abandoning Wade, Rembrandt, his mother (who he swore to spend to rest of his life trying to find) and a whole world (literally). However I can’t blame him too much. After all, he couldn’t manage to keep any of them safe when they were right in front of him; how can he possibly be expected to save the multiverse? As for Maggie, she made her intentions clear on more than one occasion- she’s in character.

    I also think the concept of it not being his home was good. It was meant to be a twist in the tradition of “Luck of the Draw” that just didn’t play as well. As a series finale it wasn’t as all that bad- in our hearts we know we want them to keep sliding.

  8. NDJ says:

    I tend to agree- there’s really no way to save Quinn’s actions. It would be easy to say, up to this point, that he had no forgotten Wade, his mother, or his adopted earth; just because he isn’t mentioning it all the time doesn’t mean he doesn’t think about it. After all, Quinn is, for the most part, the silent type when it comes to his deeper feelings and if we learned anything from “The Chasm” (and it is the only redeeming quality of that episode) it is that Quinn is carrying more guilt than Rembrandt (who happens to be a overly passionate man who has no problem expressing his emotions). But now he walks away without effort or conversation. It is clear that they both think that Wade and his mother are dead- they were taken by the Kromaggs who are not known for their hospitality- but that conversation should have happened.
    Instead of the whole drama of Maggie getting fired/quitting and the Norman Bates joke (which was already used in “Fever”) Quinn and Rembrandt could have had this conversation. Quinn feels there is nothing there for him but sad and bad memories. He feels like he couldn’t save the people who were closest to him even when they were right in front of him- how can he save an entire planet? He’s so gutted, he can’t stomach going back. Rembrandt did not see his family taken (and he’s made of sturdier stuff) so feels compelled to carry on. It would at least make their last scene understandable if not acceptable.
    As for Maggie and Colin, they have no dog in any fight. They are free to come and go as they please without reproach. Maggie’s goal in joining the group was to avenge her husband’s death- mission accomplished. Why didn’t see go back to her people? Quinn convinced her to come to his world and when they arrived, it was overrun. Why she didn’t go back to her people then? She told Quinn she’d help him. But if “Roads Taken” has revealed anything (once again we have show with a single redeeming quality) it’s that she has envisioned life for herself beyond sliding and it certainly wouldn’t hurt if Quinn was a part of it. Why shouldn’t she stay here? After all, Quinn invited her to come to live on his world and they believe this is it.
    As for Colin, that poor man was dragged off a world I’m sure seems like paradise now. He didn’t volunteer to help or kill anyone so now that he’s found a place where people might appreciate his scientific mind without the risk of running into individuals he’d have to shoot, why wouldn’t he stay?

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