Welcome to the era where Sliders starts taking plots from movies. We have an episode that borrows loosely from The Running Man, one of my favorite movies. This episode was written by Nan Hagan and directed by Richard Compton.
The episode starts with our heroes walking around what looks to be a giant outdoor mall. They all seem kind of down and out, except for Wade, who is having the time of her life. She just wants to make the most of the two days they have on world.
There is a wallet left forgotten on the ground. Remy is about to pick it up, but Wade stops him. After all, everyone is looking at it as if it is the scariest thing in the world. Quinn doesn't understand what the issue is and he picks it up. Just as some random woman shoots a tranquillizer dart at him. It misses and hits some random guy. Arturo suggests that they take off. They waste no time in leaving the area.
We catch up with them at hotel where we see on TV a show called the Judgement Game. It seems that on this world there is no crime. Which makes them think there was more to the wallet than meets the eye. The random lady with the dart gun comes into the hotel. She knows Quinn, which means that she knows his double. She handcuffs him before shooting him with the dart gun. She tells them that if they interfere they will end up playing the game as well.
The bartender gives them the address of the show, where Quinn was taken. We learn very quickly that the lady was after Quinn's double. It seems that he has played the game many times in the past. Quinn is going to play in the show that very day. He tries to explain that he isn't who they are after, but they don't want to hear it.
The others arrive in front of a large crowd, just in time to witness a crowd cheer on someone being whipped. It seems that hurting people is a sport for these people. They walk past and try to get in, but only one of them can get in and speak for Quinn. The audience is already full. They send in Arturo, while Remy and Wade watch from outside.
It seems that Quinn is being tried for murder. While they are introducing the show, we see Quinn's double having a beer and watching the show. When Arturo shows up to defend Quinn, they make him swear that he has no legal expertise. The person trying to convict Quinn is an actor, advertising his new show. Arturo objects to the charges, and is threatened. It seems that lawyers were not only banned, but no one is allowed to use the law to defend themselves. They show a video of Quinn's double and the crowd start cheering and chanting that he is guilty.
Wade and Remy sneak into the building, trying to find someone who could help them. Wade ends up in the vents and spots people working on computers. It looks as if they are faking video footage. Arturo is planning on telling the viewing audience everything. About how they are sliders.
Wade finds the bounty hunter who brought in Quinn and tries to explain everything that is going on. The bounty hunter doesn't want to listen. Meanwhile Quinn is having the same hard time explaining it on the show. One bit of difference. The audience seems to like Quinn's story. Now comes the voting. What is the verdict? Will Quinn be okay? Will it all go to hell?
Quinn is found guilty. He is forced to pick his punishment, when he doesn't they pick for him. He is set to have his head cut off. He is going to have it happen the next day on the next episode. The bounty hunter starts to have second thoughts that maybe there is something wrong here.
Arturo tries to save Quinn from getting beat up, but it's no use. They throw him in a van and drive off, leaving Arturo alone with the horrible thought that he may never see Quinn again.
Our heroes come to see Quinn in the prison . He asks how they are going to get them out of there, but they have no answer. They slide 11 minutes after he is set to die. The only hope they have is to find Quinn's double. They set out to find him.
Wade pretends to be pregnant with his child and gets his girlfriend to rat him out. She sets off to go and find him. That night the bounty hunter goes to visit our Quinn and finds out for sure that he isn't the Quinn of this world.
The other sliders try to find the double, but he's out on the town and they are having no luck. Arturo and Wade patch things up after their blow up where he insulted her intelligence. At long last, Quinn's double arrives home. He recognizes Arturo and takes off running. He almost gets away when the bounty hunter shoots him and he goes down for the count.
The double swears that he is innocent, and Wade figures out that they are faking the videos. It doesn't take Wade and the bounty hunter to find out that the real bad guy is the producer. He tries to stop them but they over power him, but not before he locks them in. They escape out of the vents, with the disc that proves it was all fake.
This world has grown tired of the criminals having more rights than the victim. So they got rid of the rights of the accused. It's an episode well ahead of it's time. It's what we see more and more of in the internet. People being accused of something and torn apart before the truth can come out. Good sci-fi, is always a reflection of not just where we are, but where we are headed if we are not careful and this episode fits that bill perfectly.
As they take Quinn to his death, Wade shows up and pretends to be a reporter. They break him out of his chains and help him to escape under the news van. They tie up the reporter so that they think that Quinn attacked her to escape. They have five minutes to slide, but the producer knows something is up. He is about to find Quinn and Wade when Arturo starts to drive and Remy throws them out. They have to escape before they slide, but now everyone is after them.
The van stops in front of a cliff. They couldn't get passed the gate. It's all coming down to the wire. They have less than a minute as everyone shows up. All the cops have guns trained on them with 12 seconds to spare. Quinn jumps before time runs out. The others follow, he opens the vertex just in time before the hit the bottom. They escape the hell that is this world and the bounty hunter tells all the gathered reporters that she has proof the game is fixed.
On the new world they land and are filmed coming out of the vertex. They are worried everything is going to hell. Quinn managed to get the tape, telling the others he pretended to be an alien, implying that they were not human. Another fun episode of Sliders is now behind us. I can't wait for the next exciting episode.
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