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Total Recall: Sliders “Stoker”

We’re back this week for the penultimate episode of Sliders we’re going to cover here on Total Recall and it’s the Sliders take on vampires as Wade gets caught up with goth band Stoker, whose members are all blood suckers.

The gang catches up to Rickman and have been checking hospitals and morgues to see if they can find any evidence of him.  Wade follows a lead that a few missing girls were attending a concert by the band Stoker, who recently recieved a terrible review from Music Edge Press but nevertheless have a devoted following.  Wade becomes enamored with the lead singer and decides to go back and see the following night’s concert.

Rickman, meanwhile, has disguised himself as a priest and has made a deal with a corrupt blood bank doctor to give him a list of names of people who have compatible DNA to himself.  He goes and spinal taps a John Doe coma patient. Maggie picks up a clue from the local records that says there’s a Rickman buried at the local cemetery and they have to go dig him up to check if it’s him.  Quinn digs down to the coffin and, upon opening it up, find that it isn’t Rickman, but he did leave his military pin as a sort of “fuck you” to the Sliders.  Quinn leaves Maggie and Rembrandt to fill in the grave while he goes to investigate skid row, where a number of possible Rickman victims have come from.

While the others were grave robbing, Wade got dolled up for the Stoker show and then snuck on stage before the show and started playing keyboard and singing, which catches the eye of Stoker lead singer Morgan.  Morgan invites Wade backstage and she ends up singing with the band at that night’s show.  Quinn shows up and tries to talk to Wade about Rickman but Stoker drummer, Harker, grabs him by the throat and throws him aside.  Quinn is helped up by a man named Van Elsinger (Tommy Chong), who claims to be a vampire hunter and has been hunting Stoker for years.  Quinn agrees to help Elsinger kill Stoker and any of their vampire converts to free Wade, who Elsinger says is under Morgan’s spell and will be turned into a vampire if they don’t act quickly.  Quinn and Elsinger manage to take out a number of vampires, including Elsinger’s wife Charlotte, but they are unable to find Morgan before the sun sets.  Elsinger is attacked and has his back broken by one of the band member’s and stays behind to cover Quinn’s escape.  Back at the gang’s hotel, Quinn fills Rembrandt in on what’s going on and they prepare to head to the concert hall where Morgan says he’ll trade Wade for the timer.  (Morgan told Wade to bring him the timer after she inadvertently spilled the beans about it)

Back at the blood bank, Maggie manages to catch Rickman as he ends his dealings with the blood bank doctor by spinal tapping him but Rickman manges to clip her in the arm with a bullet and kills Stoker’s errand boy, who was gathering the band’s supply of blood. (It turns out the blood bank was doubly corrupt because it sold blood to Stoker and was supplying Rickman with names).  Rickman escapes and presumably slides out.

At the concert hall, Rembrandt, Quinn and Maggie are locked and loaded for vampires and take out the drummer, Harker, although it’s after Rembrandt gets electrocuted by Harker’s magical guitar.  Quinn heads out into an alley behind the venue and finds Morgan and Wade on a motorcycle.  Morgan knocks Quinn down and lets Wade off so he can take another run at Quinn but Quinn turns an old mop into a stake and kills him as he heads toward him.  Wade is free from the spell and the gang slides out to the season finale.

Stoker is not a great episode of Sliders but it does sprinkle some more alternate universe flavor than the last couple episodes have.  Bizarrely, there’s tons of references to Dracula in this episode but Van Elsinger has never heard of it.  They also mention that Bob Dylan doesn’t exist but Janis Joplin is alive and well (she’s apparently a crazy health nut).  Tommy Chong is pretty fun as a hippie Van Helsing as well.  The show plays vampire lore pretty fast and loose, Van Elsinger’s explanation for vampires is that the soul gets “freaked out” sometimes and can’t escape the body, so it requires blood to stay alive.  There’s also a scene where Stoker drummer Harker is clearly out in the daylight to terrorize a music critic when he should be bursting into flame.  A mediocre episode but nothing to offensive.  The last entry into our Total Recall of Sliders will hopefully be next week as the gang finally catches up to Rickman in an homage/rip off of The Island of Doctor Moreau.

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