This week the Sliders continue their genre bending Season 3 adventures with their take on the fantasy genre, specifically Dragonslayer according to John Rhys Davies, with Dragonslide.
The episode opens with a young woman being terrorized by a man on horseback. She is eventually cornered and knocked out by the man but luckily, Quinn and the gang slide in right at that moment. Quinn actually slides in and tackles the man, while the rest of the gang tends to the girl. After a brief tussle, the man is seems terrified when Arturo callls Quinn, “Mr. Mallory”, and turns into a hawk to escape. Flying to a creepy looking castle, we learn that the man is Skuldar and his master is a man named Gareth. They have a cryptic conversation about the Mallory clan and Gareth’s plan for immortality.
The Sliders, meanwhile, commandeer Skuldar’s horse and follow a sign post leading to the town of Emrys. Wade, who is the go to expert for this Earth, says that Emrys was a mystical Druid city back on Earth Prime and reasons that the Druids must not have been eliminated but instead fled to America and set up colonies. The gang eventually meet a pair of cops on the road (who wield swords instead of guns) and they recognize the girl as Gareth’s apprentice, Melinda. They promise to bring her back to Gareth, which seems to cause Melinda a great deal of distress. Quinn doubts their decision all the way into town. (Side note: Jerry O’Connell’s brother Charlie plays one of the cops in a preview of how horrible the show would be when he eventually took over)
The gang heads to the Dragon’s Breath Inn, which of course is the workplace of their buddy Diggs. Outside the Inn, Rembrandt, as usual, bumps into one of his many girlfriends. This time it’s Alesha Avo, who we learn later Remy was going to ask to move in with him after his singing of the National Anthem that never happened. On this world, Alesha is a psychiatrist and diagnoses Rembrandt as delusional. After getting some food, Rembrandt and Wade head to the gang’s room while Quinn and Arturo ask Diggs for some information about Gareth. Diggs says that Gareth was once the head of the Druid Council of Emrys but was cast out for practicing black magic. Diggs suggests that the guys meet his friend Sean Nuinn, a reporter who is the expert on all things Gareth.
Quinn and Arturo head to the park to meat Sean, but he’s kind of a dick and only gives them one minute of time. He says that Gareth wiped out the powerful Mallory clan but is possibly keeping the last member, Phillip, alive to avoid a curse and that Melinda can only be freed if Gareth wills it. After asking why he’s being so douchey, Sean reveals that after he wrote a critical article of Gareth, he was struck blind.
Heading back into town, Quinn and Arturo are surprised to run into Melinda, who claims that Gareth released her over fear of the Mallory clan returning. She asks Quinn if there’s someplace they can go to talk and uses a Jedi Mind Trick on Arturo to stop his protesting. Melinda claims that she wants to slide with Quinn and kisses him but she has some sort of sedative on her lips, knocking Quinn out. It turns out that Gareth, believing Quinn to be an immortal wizard, wants to possess Quinn’s body and retake his place as the head of the Druids. Gareth successfully performs the possession spell and takes over Quinn’s body. He and Skuldar then head out to gather the Druid council and reveal his new self.
Arturo manages to find the timer in the park where Quinn was taken and then heads to Gareth’s castle to find Quinn. Melinda answers the door and tells Arturo that Gareth has already taken possession of Quinn. Arturo tells Melinda that Quinn is no more of a wizard than a doorknob and Melinda claims that if it’s true, they can exorcise Gareth from Quinn. The two set out for the Druid Council and Melinda explains that she showed supernatural powers at a young age and was chosen by Gareth as his apprentice. She also reveals that she was caught in a house fire when she was young and her face was badly scarred. Gareth showed her a spell that would cover the scars with beauty, but it takes a lot of her inner power to maintain.
At the council, Quinn/Gareth is boasting to the council about how he is now an immortal when Arturo comes up from behind, calls him a liar and then stabs him in the stomach with a knife. Gareth, seeing the blood, exits the body before Quinn’s body dies and is driven away by the Druids. Melinda steps in to use her healing powers but they don’t seem to have an effect. Arturo demands that she drop her beauty spell and this gives her the power to heal Quinn’s knife wound.
While all this had been going on, the typical “wacky Rembrandt” side plot has been going on as well. Wade goes to a magical bookstore and buys a book of Druid spells and incantations with the intention of casting a love spell on Rembrandt so he can charm this world’s Alesha. The spell backfires however and Rembrandt becomes infatuated with Wade, proclaiming his love in the middle of the town and other acts of insanity. Wade, after learning the bookstore doesn’t know how to break the spell, turns to Alesha, who hypnotizes Rembrandt and her diagnosis is that Rembrandt has taken the opportunity of the love spell to express his true feelings for Wade. Under hypnosis, Rembrandt claims that he does love Wade, especially her soul, but it’s not a romantic thing. He and Wade have a heart to heart back at the Dragon’s Breath where Rembrandt tells her he feels connected to her because they’re the only two “non-egghead” ones on the adventure. Arturo bursts in at that moment to tell them to hurry outside.
The gang has under an hour to slide and Quinn tells them they’ll be taking Melinda with them. Suddenly, a dragon swoops in and grabs Melinda in it’s claw. The gang rushes to Gareth’s castle and find Melinda chained up, since Gareth seems to be going back to his original plan of impregnating Melinda with a demon baby, that will be immortal and Gareth can take over when it matures. Skuldar turns into a hawk and tries to claw at Quinn’s face but Rembrandt releases a hawk the gang brought from town and it chase Skuldar away. The dragon, which is horribly done with 90’s CG (but still better than the end of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation), forces the gang to take cover behind a stone slab. Melinda tells Quinn to use the Mallory sword to defeat the dragon and Quinn is able to block the dragon’s fire and throw into it’s heart. It turns out the dragon was actually Gareth and his defeat allows Phillip Mallory to be released from his suspended animation. The gang slides out as Melinda and Phillip are reunited and after the slide, Gareth uses his last amount of strength to turn into a cockroach and tries to escape but Phillip crushes him.
Next week we get a break from the genre homages but it’s not exactly a positive as the next episode is another mess of ideas in a similar vein to “Electric Twister Acid Test” and definitely in my least favorite episodes list.