Brace yourself for one of the worst episodes of Sliders we’ll talk about during our grand recap adventure, “Electric Twister Acid Test”, which features an actually decent performance from Corey Feldman and one of the first appearances of future super MILF Julie Benz but is a mess of about five different plots crammed together.
The Sliders arrive on this new world in a bobsled, which they mention was part of some sort of game show or contest where they could have won $10,000 but had to slide before completing the course. The gang finds themselves in the middle of the desert and see what appears to be a electrically charged tornado which is possibly causing a disturbance in the timer as it’s going haywire. Even curiouser, the gang sees a kid with what looks like a snowboard attempting to skysurf the twister. He quickly gets into trouble and Quinn jumps to his rescue. Before they can ask him anything, the kid runs off and seemingly disappears in a puff of sand. The gang shrugs it off and sets out across the desert and after a few hours, they find a water hole but all the burned, dead animals confirms Quinn’s suspicion that the water is electrified.
Fortunately the gang seems to find some relief as Wade climbs a nearby ridge and spots what looks like a village. The gang sets out for the village but start to worry about the welcome they will receive when they see a man in stocks outside of the town. Quinn encourages the gang to keep going as they’re explorers and they arrive and take shelter in the town barn, which is stocked with jarred fruit and has a nearby water spigot. Even more good news is that the timer stabilizes and the group has a little over 23 hours before the slide. On the down side, the group is spotted by one of the villagers, Jenny (aka Julie Benz), who is the daughter of the puritanical leader of the town, Franklin. Franklin has the bad habit of banishing people and hates technology. Jenny goes out to the barn to see who the Sliders are and wonders if they are “Outcasts” or the people who have been banished by Franklin and now raid the town for food and supplies through a series of tunnels. Before the sliders can explain, a tornado rips toward the town, which should be impossible because the town is protected by a barrier of lodestone. The group takes shelter with Jenny in a basement as the tornado rips through town and seems to hover right over the group. Jenny sees the timer and says that it is the thing drawing the twister since it’s electrical. The tornado fades out but the group is discovered by Franklin. Quinn is beaten for information and Franklin disassembles the timer. He sentences all the Slider to banishment but Jenny and her fiance Jacob convince him to let Wade stay. He agrees and she is placed under the wing of Jenny. Quinn, Arturo and Rembrandt, meanwhile, are dumped in the middle of the desert. The guys fight their way through a sandstorm where Rembrandt is struck by a jolt of electricity, but suffers no lasting harm. The guys are finally rescued by Caleb, the kid Quinn saved from the tornado earlier. Caleb unties them and leads them to the home of the outcasts where they meet their leader, Reed (Corey Feldman). Reed tells them they are at the abandoned Concord Air Force Base and gives them some food and shelter. Reed also explains that his father, Franklin, and his partner Tom Malone were working on an experiment to harness the power of some natural electromagnetic dynamos under the base to create controllable twisters. Malone wanted to harness the power of the twisters to dig canals, safely level slums, etc. but the military wanted to turn them into a weapon. Malone and Franklin got into a argument, which resulted in Malone falling and hitting his head, killing him. Franklin continued the experiments by himself but the twisters got out of control and ravaged the entire world.
Back at the village, Jenny and Wade attempt to sneak off to give Caleb some vegetables and so Wade can pass a message for the Outcasts to look for the guys. Caleb says they already found them but Franklin and his men ambush the girls, with Caleb escaping into a nearby tunnel. Jenny and Wade are locked in the jail, with Jenny being sentenced to be shunned for the rest of her life. Jenny manages to convince Jacob to unlock their cell so they can have one last moment together but she instead knees him in the gut and locks him in the cell. Jenny says she’ll go get the timer while Wade gets to one of the tunnels. Unfortunately Wade is caught by Franklin again and sentenced to be killed by drowning. Quinn, Rembrandt and Reed, meanwhile, head to the village in an old Army jeep and they arrive just in time to rescue Wade from the drowning. The entire group is reunited when they rescue Jenny from one of Franklin’s pitchfork wielding goons. Jenny managed to grab the timer but it’s missing some pieces. The group escapes through another tunnel. Franklin claims to know where they are going and recruits Jacob to go with him.
Back at the base, Arturo has been working on aligning the coils on the outside of the base so they can create a perimeter they can slide inside of and be protected by the twisters. Franklin arrives at the base and attempts to stop the Sliders by moving the coils back but Quinn and Reed stop him and Franklin confesses to Jacob that he was the one that brought the twisters down on them. Reed and Quinn manage to convince Franklin to finish his work and Franklin admits he will need Reed’s help to do it. Quinn heads back outside to slide and the group heads out right before and group of tornadoes destroys their perimeter.
The problem with this episode is that it seems like they had four or five different ideas that they felt wouldn’t really merit their own episode so they just crammed them into this one episode. You have the failed weather experiment plot, the puritanical village, and the outcasts in the desert and they barely have anything in common. The special effects are also especially terrible in this episode. On the positive side, Corey Feldman is actually pretty good and the guy who plays Franklin is a great douchebag. I’ll also take all the Julie Benz I can get. I don’t think this is actually the worst episode we’ll talk about here on Total Recall, there’s one coming up that is absolutely atrocious but we’ll worry about that when we get to it. Washing the taste of this one out of our mouth is next week’s episode, which is fantastic and finds Quinn with an oppurtunity to help out his younger double when the gang arrives on an Earth with a slower rotation, causing it to seem like it’s the 80’s.