SLIDECAGE (reviewed by Paul Jennings)

Well this was certainly a 'different' episode.

I really liked this episode, especially since it was a truly ensemble piece. The plot is rich and complex, so I won't go to the trouble of repeating everything here. Everyone played their parts well and Rembrandt excelled. The guest cast was good too. I was especially impressed with the young man playing Kaldeen/Jules who I hope returns in some way next season. It was obvious he was human and not Kromagg, but I have the feeling we were supposed to guess this early on. Rembrandt formed a relationship with him, not dissimilar to Rembrandt and Malcolm last season, though I thought Kaldeen/Jules was far better, mainly since he was older and in much harsher conditions.

Kelly Connell was also good as Thomas, having good chemistry with Maggie. Darla and Kolitar were also good, but weren't really seen enough. It's always good to see Michael Mallory and this added some continuity to the arc.

The arc was seriously progressed this week. The Kromaggs obviously have had long term plans for Quinn, since they knew he would find the Slidecage and he could deactivate it, but they also need him to find theirs and his home Earth as well as other things I would guess.

Rembrandt was a part of this plan, though having him killing Quinn so early was a mistake on the Kromaggs' part. What if he had failed? Also, every human, other than the usual team, were from Quinn's real home Earth, meaning that Sliders were more than common during the human/Kromagg war and hundreds of people were sent out (were they doing the same thing with their children as Quinn and Colin's parents?).

The reason for not finding Quinn and Colin seems fairly straightforward now. I would guess that the Slidecage, built by the Mallorys, was finished only a short while before the war was over and there was little time to get the Mallory brothers. The Mallorys would rather have let their sons live on other worlds than force them to live desperate lives in the Slidecage with them, if they had ended up there. I imagine this will be explained in the season finale.

It has now become obvious that humans can learn Kromagg mind abilities, since Kaldeen/Jules in this episode and Grace in "Asylum" had them. Could this be something that will become more evident in further episodes? I hope so. Perhaps Wade is learning them in the breeder camp and they will aid her escape??

This episode used the sets from Timecop, but since I've never seen the series I can't say what it is these sets originally represented. I really liked them, however, and they should be used again.

This episode marks the first time all season the Universal Backlot and Chandler Hotel set were not used. Something that should be done more often is the budget goes up for season five. I did wonder why Universal didn't use other sets from their series and movies, it would save money. How about the Something So Right sets now they're out of use and Law & Order (which will most likely end soon, it's been on for a long time, even though it's a great series).

I did have some quips though. Once all the humans and Kromaggs went to other worlds at the end of the episode, what were they supposed to do? They had no timers, and even if they did, they'd have run out of time by then, so they'd be stuck on whatever world they were last on. Not a good idea if it's not a nice world. Also, now that Quinn has the co-ordinates for his home Earth, what will he do with them? They're not much use since the Slidecage prevents entry to the home Earth (and now even to itself), so will Quinn find another way? Who knows.

Altogether a great episode and well made, even if it's not a parallel Earth as such.

The Alternateville Horror Asylum