Episode Review: “Obsession”
Original Airdate: 5/24/96
The Sliders arrive on a world where a small percentage of the population possess psychic abilities.
We're introduced to an idyllic dream sequence in the beginning scene of this episode. Wade and a tall, dark and handsome ride horses through a scenic forest. Wade is awakened by her alarm clock and the rest of the Sliders rush her out of bed in anticipation of the next slide. What's neat about this scene is the change up of the timing of the slides. We've had day and night slides, now we get an early 4 am departure. I can see myself now getting up for an early morning slide.
After leaving New India World the Sliders arrive on the next world with Wade literally meeting the man of her dreams. The mystery man named Derek Bond introduces himself to the Sliders and asks Wade to dinner. He explains he is a seer who has experienced this evening a thousand times ever since he was a child. He knows the Sliders in great detail even down to their names.
As the Professor and Quinn try to reason how Derek knows who they are, we see a sign talking about the Earth's celestial body. Yes, the U.S. is mining the moon for gold in this alternate universe. As they continue on their way a car with the nameplate "Oracle 1" nearly runs over Wade and hits Rembrandt injuring him in the process. Playing it safe, they take Rembrandt to a local hospital. Here's where the fun begins. The Professor picks up a monthly news magazine with the headline "JFK Dead at 78". Of course on our world John F. Kennedy died from an assassination at 46 years of age. We also find out later in the episode that a seer prevented the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Parallel history and a good story are presented yet again and it's nice to see. It's a perfect marriage like cookies and milk, one without the other and the harmony just isn't there.
As the nurse examines Rembrandt's foot she realizes there's something out of the ordinary about the Sliders. Wade questions her as to why she doesn't remove his sock and shoe before examining his foot. Clearly she is psychic as well, as Rembrandt puts it she is a walking lie detector. Can you imagine our world with seers questioning your every move and personal secrets? In the same instances, assassinations and tragedies have been stopped in this psychic world. How would our society react to such a practice? Would they even believe it? As Quinn explains; from one coincidence the country sets up a crazy social order.
Before the Sliders leave the hospital Rembrandt and the Professor are quickly "preventative arrested" by the police. The Police Oracle predicts that they will kill their close friend Wade. They explain the Prime Oracle tried to kill Wade, but the police insist if that was the case it was for national security. In a bizarre reversal of legal matters here you can be arrested before committing a crime. It's spying at its finest.
The Prime Oracle knows through a vision he will die soon and must choose his successor. Wade's man of her dreams Derek is chosen as the head oracle. She goes shopping for the right dress and gets dazzled up for her dinner date with Derek all to the opposition of Quinn. I can't say I blame him. Quinn's known Wade for years yet she goes out with a man that she saw merely for a few minutes at best. She even has the audacity to tell Quinn "don't wait up" as she leaves the room with the new Prime Oracle. How can the rest of the Sliders let Wade go off with a stranger they hardly know? What about the rule "no involvement with the locals"?
While Rembrandt is off on a date with his nurse, Wade returns to the Dominion Hotel to give Quinn and the Professor some startling news. Derek asked Wade to marry him. She says he's everything she could possibly ask for. Are you kidding? As Quinn said she knows this after one date? She says she's not infatuated with him, but insists he needs to to be told in person. Quinn believes she's off the deep end, and I agree. Rembrandt and Arturo seem so laid back about the situation too. It's completely out of character for them.
Derek gives her a tour of her own recreated childhood home. He read her mind to complete such a project and Wade doesn't take kindly to it. She explains what he done is like rape. After realizing what a creep this guy is Wade finally comes to her senses or it seems. She's in house arrest at the Prime Oracle's haven. After attempts at an escape and mounting anger towards Derek, Wade swallows a bottle of prescription pills. In a slow, softly fading voice she calls Quinn in a desperate attempt to tell him her final words in this life. Quinn rushes to the Oracle mansion and finds Wade's lifeless body in her bed.
This episode is a hard reminder to us that not all of our dreams come true, no matter how promising they may be. Clearly the Professor and Rembrandt didn't murder Wade and that really wasn't her childhood room either. So don't believe everything you read. True love is more powerful than any dream could dare be. Truth is stranger than fiction.
Derek: “She was all I had. I loved her.”
Quinn (picking up Wade’s body): “Love? She had to kill herself to get away from you. You call that love?”
Derek: “I didn’t understand.”
Quinn: “A lot of good that does now.”
(butler): “It’s time, sir. You have to go to your ceremony.”
Derek: “What do I do?
Quinn: “Same as me– you go on without her.”
(butler): “The President is waiting.”
Derek: “May God forgive me.”
Quinn (talking to Wade’s body in ambulance): “Why did I have to take you with me? I didn’t know what I was doing. God, I’m so sorry.”