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Total Recall: Sliders “Time and Again World”

Episodes are out of order again this season for Sliders.  Time and Again World, today’s episode, was originally aired as the sixth episode of Season Two but it’s supposed to be the second.

The episode begins with the Sliders near the end of a two week stay in a world where women grow facial hair and the group is at each other’s throats (according to Wade’s diary which makes it’s return this week).  Rembrandt and Arturo are drinking in a hotel bar and Arturo is growing frustrated with their inability to get home.  Rembrandt assures him that Quinn will figure out a way to get home and Wade arrives to drag them off to the slide.  On the way to their departure point, Quinn and Wade are sidetracked by a fender bender that leads to a man getting shot on the street.  Wade rushes over to help and gets a matchbook with some sort of disk and a cryptic message before the man dies.  Quinn pulls her away and they just make it back to Arturo and Rembrandt and slide off.

Arriving on the next world the gang gets a strange feeling of deja vu as the new world seems identical to the last one, minus the female facial hair.  The fender bender happens again and this time Wade shouts out a warning.  The opposite of the last time happens as the guy who was shot on the last world shoots and kills the other man and runs off.  The dying man gives Wade the same message, “Elsie, The Rock, 54” and they find out he was also a police officer.  The gang gives a statement to the cops (who all wear kilts/skirts as part of their uniform) and then heads to their usual hotel, where they have to give their fingerprints to book a room.  Will Sasso aka Gomez Calhoun then makes a suspicious call to someone which leads to the group getting threatened by a man and women to not tell the cops anything else.  After this, Rembrandt proposes the group head to the woods until the slide, which everyone but Wade agrees with.  Guilting them into helping, Wade and Quinn head to police station and reveal the message they got from the dead cop.  The cops thank them for being true Americans and say that this information will assure the capture of the fugitive, Judge Nassau. On the way out they notice that the pair that threatened them in the hotel are cops as well.

Back at the hotel, the gang sees that Calhoun and a number of other guests are getting arrested and duck into the hotel bar to avoid being seen.  Arturo manages to learn some key information from a video poker playing drunk.  It turns out that President Kennedy was killed by the Rosenbergs (who stole the plans for the Atom bomb on our world) and J. Edgar Hoover was elected president.  Hoover then declared a state of martial law and ordered the constitution to be abridged.  Judge Nassau was a California Supreme Court judge but was disbarred when he refused to falsely declare a man guilty for the cops and is a Constitutionalist.  They also notice that the gambler hands over a disk similiar to the one Judge Nassau gave Wade.  Quinn and Wade head over to their old workplace, Doppler Computers, and try to crack the disk while Rembrandt distracts their old boss.  We get some more insight into this world when Rembrandt shops for music and finds that the government only allows approved music such as Kurt Cobain’s Christmas Album and there’s no Rock n Roll.  Wade manages to hack into the disk and they find a copy of the constitution on it.  Wade then connects the dots and figures that Nassau was going to make the constitution public.  She and Rembrandt then head over to the Top Hat nightclub, the place the matchbook Wade got was from.

The club is like a 50’s high school prom and there’s no one named Elsie who works there.  The pair heads to the park to meet with Quinn and Arturo.  Arturo tries to lighten the mood by explaining his theory for why the cops wear skirts and suggests that since J. Edgar Hoover was suspected of being a cross dresser he might have instituted the dress code when he came into office.  Wade then suggests that “The Rock” in the cop’s message might be Alcatraz and after asking a shady looking dude if Alcatraz is still a prison (it is but also a tourist attraction) he tells them to head back to the Top Hat and ask for Natalie and that the club is actually a front for pirate radio.  Quinn and Wade head there and meet Natalie, who they had seen previously at both shootings.  Natalie takes them into the back of the club and reveals a super 90’s dance club and “LC”, who was going to broadcast the constitution to the public for the judge and the judge was then going to hand himself over to a pair of special agents, the man and woman from the hotel.  Unfortunately the police raid the club and Quinn, Wade and Natalie barely make it out.  Judge Nassau is arrested in the confusion.

Natalie drops Quinn and Wade off at the hotel and Wade hatches one more plan to get Judge Nassau free before they slide.  Rembrandt heads to the police station and makes a deal that they’ll trade the disk for the judge’s release.  If the cops don’t comply or Rembrandt isn’t heard from in 15 minutes then the constitution will get uploaded to the internet.  The cops agree and the exchange is made just a few minutes before the gang slides.  Judge Nassau and Natalie are determined to continue the fight and the Sliders are optimistic about his chances, probably because Wade left a copy of the constitution on the computer store’s computer.  A group of people find it and start reading it and it quickly spreads across the information superhighway.

I love the fake history of this episode and it’s a pretty good mystery as well.  Next week the Sliders pick up some hitchhikers in “El Sid”.

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