Total Recall: Sliders “The Young and the Relentless”

It’s the end of another season of Sliders and it’s a pretty good episode to close Season Two out on (even though it originally aired two episodes before the season finale).

The Sliders gang arrives on their next world in the backyard of a huge mansion.  Trying to sneak off before the owners arrive, Quinn notices a body floating in the house’s indoor pool through an open door.  Quinn quickly goes to rescue the person but they are too late.  The group is shocked to learn that the dead man is Quinn’s double and are even more shocked to learn that he and the double of Wade were married.  Alternate Wade gives Quinn some dry clothes and explains that she has to figure out what to do about an important party she and the other Quinn (who everyone calls QR) were having to try and finalize backing for an important educational software launch that QR was the head of designing.  Quinn agrees to impersonate QR at the party while Arturo and Rembrandt head out to check out the city since other Wade claims they are too old to be at the party.

Arturo and Rembrandt head to the Lamplighter Pub for a drink and Arturo learns from an almanac that in the 80’s of this world, Howard Stern started a youth revolution and suceeded Jimmy Carter as president.  He immediately lowered the voting age to 9 and mandatory retirement was lowered to 30.  Anyone over the age of 30 is considered a second class citizen and curfews and other regulations are strictly enforced.  After getting refused service at the Lamplighter because they’re too old, Arturo and Rembrandt get into a bar brawl with the bartender and some patrons and end up getting arrested.

Meanwhile, Quinn, following the other Wade’s lead, manages to make it through the party without anyone getting suspicious but is blackmailed into continuing to help by the douchey Kyle Beck, the CFO of QR’s software company Advanced Software Developers.  Other Wade’s assistant Gillette stole the timer while collecting Quinn’s wet clothes and Kyle forces Quinn to stay as QR until they have a meeting with the governor about Edulearn, the company’s software that is being positioned to replace public schools.  Quinn has no choice but to agree but is appalled to learn that the software is full of ads for soda and he also learns that some shady business has been going on behind the scenes, including the death of one of QR’s fellow developers, whose wife, Melanie White, is trying to sue the company.  Quinn gets confronted by Melanie outside of the office and she accuses Wade of masterminding his murder.

Arturo and Rembrandt, meanwhile, are brought before the laid back teenage judge for the trial and are represented by a public defender named Tiffany, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the 80’s pop star of the same name.  She claims senility and the guys are sentenced to 30 days in prison.   The duo manage to escape and decide to stay in a local shelter to avoid violating curfew but Tiffany tracks them down.  Rembrandt tells her to remember why she became a public defender in the first place and that she should focus on the people she represents and not trying to climb up the corporate ladder.  Tiffany takes that to heart and manages to get the guys off on the basis of a loophole that claims buildings are required to state on their exterior what the maximum age of service is.

Wade and Quinn do some research of their own and find that Melanie White’s husband was killed by an overdose of amphetimines, which the other Wade had an abundance of in her medicine closet.  Quinn thinks it’s too flimsy as proof but Wade says they just need the threat of a smoking gun as leverage to get the timer back.  Quinn presents Kyle Beck with a video tape of the other Wade confessing to killing both Melanie White’s husband and QR.  Kyle isn’t impressed, claiming it’s just Wade in a wig, but Quinn tells him that he’s going to leak a copy of the tape to the press and that will probably kill any chance of Edulearn getting finalized.  Kyle relinquishes the timer but Quinn and Wade are caught by Gillette, who threatens them at gunpoint.  We find out later that Quinn convinces Gillette to let them go and he’ll make Gillette the sole recipient in QR’s will.  Heading back to Wade and QR’s house, Wade and Quinn find a surveillance tape of the other Wade killing QR and Gillette will show the police the body.  On the verge of getting caught, the other Wade pulls a gun and shoots Gillette but Quinn manges to take it away.  The other Wade almost clocks Quinn on the head with a lamp but Wade grabs the gun and stops her.  The other Wade is hauled off the jail while Gillette is transported to the hospital and possibly jail as well.  The Slider reunite in the backyard and slide off to Season Three.

Overall I’d say this is a pretty good episode of Sliders.  Arturo and Rembrandt’s side adventure is fun and Sabrina Lloyd is fantastic as the other Wade, making her this sexy but evil manipulator.  One thing about this episode that’s weird is that instead of the typical score there’s weird 90’s rock going on all the time.

So that wraps up Season Two, the best season in my opinion.  Season Three starts next week and, although it starts strong, due to increased meddling from Fox, the show quickly starts to become “What movie are we going to be inspired by this week?”.  We’ll kick it off next week with the episode that explains why the Sliders start ending up in all sorts of different areas, not just San Fransisco anymore.

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