Total Recall: Sliders “As Time Goes By”

Today we have an extreme case of Fox’s meddling with the order of Sliders; Originally supposed to be the sixth episode, “As Time Goes By” was aired as the season two finale.  I can kind of see why, as it has not one, not two but three different worlds and the fabric of time of space literally ripping in half.

The gang starts out in Nueva Espana or an Earth where Spain took control of what would have been the United States.  Canada is the equivalent of Mexico on this Earth and illegal immigrants are constantly crossing the border looking for work.  The gang tries to earn some money as day laborers before they slide in a few days but Immigration raids the street corner they are on and Arturo, Rembrandt and Wade are arrested.  Quinn manages to escape, although he bumps his head pretty bad and almost gets eaten by some guard dogs when he jumps a stone fence.  Fortunately he’s rescued by the maid of the property he trespasses onto and it turns out it’s someone Quinn knows, Daelin Richards.   On Earth Prime, Daelin was Quinn’s high school sweetheart but she moved away in the tenth grade.  Quinn notices a picture on her nightstand, which Daelin says is her finance Dennis.  Quinn recognizes him from the street corner and surmises he was arrested along with his friends.  Daelin gets some help from her brother, who is part of an underground movement for illegal immigrants, who managed to get the route of the bus that will carry Dennis and the others to Canada.

The rest of the gang is shipped out early the next morning for deportation to Canada but the bus is ambushed by Quinn and the freedom fighters.  Everyone gets free and things seem pleasantly resolved but it turns out that Dennis turned snitch for a green card and the group is surrounded by the Spanish Immigration forces.  Daelin’s brother tries to make a move toward Dennis but is shot in the shoulder.  Quinn and the gang activate the timer and slide out and Quinn tries to get Daelin to come with them, as he told her about the parallel Earths they’ve been to, but she can’t leave her brother.

The group is relieved to find the next world is back to English but it’s not their Earth as a nearby bench advertises the San Fransisco Lions football team.  The gang only has seven hours on this Earth and Quinn is feeling guilty about leaving Daelin on the last Earth.  Rembrandt suggests he see if he can find on her on this Earth, since what will it hurt if they’re only there for a couple hours?.  Quinn finds her in the phone book and goes to visit but finds that she’s married to Dennis, who on this Earth is an abusive, guitar playing asshole.  Quinn punches him out after he lays hands on Daelin but any hope of bringing this Daelin with him is dashed when he finds out she has a baby daughter.  Quinn does the next best thing and finds this Earth’s Quinn who, in the opposite of Earth Prime, was the one who moved away.  He now lives in Seattle and Daelin and her daughter are off to see him, thanks to a phone call from our Quinn.  The gang slides out soon afterwards and Quinn is happy to have been able to help Daelin.

Things have been pretty standard Sliders fodder so far but the last world the Sliders visit is insane and your first inclination is when the CG portal tube starts going backward and Arturo, Quinn and Rembrandt find themselves in jail, sans Wade and the timer acting crazy.  The guys are apparently serving a life sentence for the murder of undercover cop Daelin Richards, who was killed meeting with an informant who had information about corrupt San Fran cops.  Thinking their doubles might be the real culprits, Arturo takes a look at the police reports and court transcripts while Quinn tries to fix the timer.  The guys are interrupted by a guard, who says they are to get changed and then they’re off to the courthouse for their arraignment.  The guys are confused but relieved to find Wade waiting for them in court.  Quinn finally figures out what’s going on when he notices the clock’s second hand going backward and he and Arturo realize they are on an Earth where time, to them, appears to go backward.  Quinn and the gang plead guilty and are sentenced to life in prison but a marshal soon comes and undoes their handcuffs.  Wade and Rembrandt are still confused so Arturo explains that Stephen Hawking believed that there was no reason that the arrow of time had to point forward and this world proves that.  He also says that even though things appear backward to the group, it’s moving forward for this Earth.  The gang also experience weird “record skips” since they are not subjects of this world’s physics.

Quinn is determined to stop Daelin’s murder but before the group can do anything they have to split up to avoid the cops.  Quinn and Rembrandt head to the spot where Daelin is supposed to be killed and find Dennis, yet again, who is covering Daelin with a sniper rifle.  Quinn thinks he might be the shooter but Daelin was killed with a pistol so it isn’t him.  Quinn and Rembrandt hurry to save Daelin and shout out a warning as she’s meeting with her informant.  Instead of getting killed she’s clipped in the shoulder and Dennis kills the shooter.  Daelin and Dennis are less than thankful to Quinn for fucking up their investigation but Quinn is just glad she’s safe.  However, shit gets crazy when the sky literally rips open and Arturo says it’s the fabric of space and time ripping due to Quinn changing the future of this Earth.  The ramifications are never known as the gang is sucked into their “entry” portal and slide out.

Overall another solid episode of Sliders.  The first and last worlds are definitely the most interesting ones but the second one is really fluff and there to emphasize that the gang keeps bumping into the same group of people.  The ending is crazy with the space/time continuum literally ripping but I wish they had done more with it, like maybe having the Sliders barely escape before the dimension collapses on itself, or something to that effect.  I think they learned their lesson with the first season’s aborted cliffhanger season finale so this episode was as good as any to end the second season on, I guess.  Next week: probably one of the weakest episodes of Sliders in the three seasons we’re going to cover as Quinn becomes a ghost after the portal is struck by lightning.

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