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Total Recall: Sliders “Rules of the Game”

By Zach

Since this week’s episode was more action packed than last week’s “Double Cross”, Fox originally aired this as the season three premiere, despite the fact that “Double Cross” sets up all the manipulated slide range stuff that allows the gang to slide into a Running Manesque Los Angeles instead of their old stomping ground of San Fransisco.

The gang arrives on the new Earth in a foreign environment, on an airplane.  The gang came from an Earth that must have been freezing because they’re all wearing parkas and Quinn gets excited when he hears some other passengers talking about the beach.  Any thoughts of a vacation are short lived however when an engine burns out and the crew seems to have disappeared.  Quinn and Arturo attempt to land the plane but the fade in to the title sequence would imply that they crash.

Luckily the “plane” the group was on was actually some sort of simulator and they are actually in a warehouse, a staging area for what everyone is calling “The Game” and teams of contestants are stocking up on guns, ammo and supplies.  The Sliders have 38 hours before the next slide and, not liking the looks of “The Game”, they decide to hang out in the plane until the slide but apparently the creators of The Game thought of this and the warehouse temperature quickly rises to dangerous levels, forcing the gang to grab some guns and supplies and escape before they melt.  No sooner do they arrive outside, in a seemingly normal suburb, than they are attacked by a pair of lasers disguised as sprinklers.  Quinn and Arturo are able to disarm them with some pens and the group decides to try and keep up with another team, who they met on the plane, and commandeer a humvee (after making sure it’s not wired with a car bomb).

Arriving in downtown LA, the gang finds what looks like a war zone with burned out cars, dead players and fires everywhere.  The group’s humvee gets too close to some sort of motion detector and a laser turret starts shooting at them.  The group abandons the humvee but as he’s trying to grab the timer, Arturo is blinded by a laser blast hitting the windshield.  The rest of the group is forced to lead Arturo and discover that there’s android attack dogs running around as well.  The group catches up to the team they were following, find they just lost a team member.  After a short standoff, Quinn convinces them that they don’t want any trouble and the team leader, Nikki, gives them a key that allows them to get into a safehouse.

The group heads to the safehouse and resupplies but another new danger enters the playing field, The Game’s army of android soldiers.  The group stays the night in the safehouse and awake to find Arturo missing.  Quinn finds him outside after he tried to relieve himself by himself.  Quinn helps him back inside, just ahead of some of the androids.  Rembrandt and Arturo run through an exit door but Quinn and Wade get stuck fighting off an android.  Quinn manages to take it down but the exit door is locked from both sides so the group decides to split up and signal each other near the finish line of The Game.  Quinn and Wade take a break after wandering the streets for a couple hours and Wade sees a hopscotch court and stupidly decides to play.  Of course, this sets up another booby trap, this time a cylinder that shoots spikes in all directions.  Quinn pulls an Indiana Jones and sets up an equal weight of rocks to get Wade off the trigger and it works just long enough for the pair to hide before the alley is filled with spikes.

Meanwhile, Arturo and Rembrandt take shelter in a warehouse but Rembrandt gets caught in a magnetic spider web that is inhabited by mechanical spiders.  With Rembrandt guiding him, Arturo is able to shoot all the spiders and Rembrandt is freed from the web.  The pair isn’t out of trouble for long though as they are cornered by a pair of android dogs that Remy is able to beat down with a 2×4.

Quinn and Wade run into Nikki again when she takes down a pair of androids that were chasing them but she’s the only surviving member of her team and injured.  The three of them decide to team up for the night and Nikki finally explains that the US was on the brink of civil war and the government banned all sporting events.  The population demanded entertainment so The Game was created as the only authorized sport.  It was originally held in an arean but it quickly outgrew it and a section of Los Angeles was walled off to hold the games in.  The winning team gets $5 million dollars to be distributed between them or their family if they don’t survive and the team must place their medallion into the obelisk at the finish line to win.  Quinn and Wade tell Nikki about sliding and she agrees to team up with them for tomorrow’s final round.  During this conversation we first hear about the ramifications of missing a slide, if the group misses it, they are stuck on that Earth for 29 years until the next window opens up.  Quinn also promises Nikki he’ll bring her medallion to finish line if she gets killed.

The next day Quinn, Wade and Nikki have to fight off even more android soldiers, who have killed every other team.  Arturo and Rembrandt arrive just in time to help them fight of the androids and Arturo’s eyesight starts returning as well.  The group misses an android and it shoots Nikki in the back.  Quinn takes her medallion and the Sliders get within 100 feet of the finish line with 2 minutes before the slide.  Arturo hypothesizes that the android’s vision is based on heat signatures and that they can use a nearby fire extinguisher to block themselves.  Remy wields the fire extinguisher while Quinn reaches the obelisk with Nikki’s body and her disk and places it into the receptacle.  The Game ends and the sliders open the portal and slide out.

Next week the gang finds themselves caught in another bizarre game, this time a game show that replaced the court system and Quinn finds himself on trial for a murder his double apparently committed.

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