Episode Review: “The Good, the Bad and the Wealthy”
Original Airdate: 3/22/96
The Sliders land on a world where corporate gunslingers rule.
I’ll never forget the opening scenes to this episode, particularly the backdrop of Old Western buildings mixed with modern architecture. Not to mention the streets filled with a mix of car and equine.
The Sliders arrive in front of a local child on this world dressed in cowboy attire. Quinn promises the boy to secrecy describing the vortex none other than a magicians trick. They soon find out they’re not in California but none other than San Francisco, Texas. What’s nice about this episode are the tid bits of information such as the food, politicians, music, location… well you get the point. Arturo breaks off from the group in an effort to learn more about this world while the rest enter a western corporate-like bar. In actuality it is the hotel the Sliders have stayed at on other worlds called the Lamplighter. There’s even a stock ticker above the bar, which is unique to say the least. It’s not long when Quinn gets mixed up in a dispute taking place and without warning he is challenged to a gun duel. In shock, Quinn has just shot and killed a man.
Quinn is handcuffed and taken away by the Sheriff of San Francisco just as the Professor returns. The sheriff is puzzled at Quinn’s shooting skills since he has no law degree or MBA. With the Code of the West, Mr. Bullock, owner of Drexel-Bullock, has the authority to remove Quinn from custody. Why? Laywers here are paid gunslingers. It turns out Quinn killed Mr. Bullock’s lead attorney and in return he wants Quinn to work for him.
I wish they would have expanded the scene of the western-like world. It simply didn’t feel all that believable excluding the opening scenes I mentioned at the beginning of the episode. On the other hand it could have been a tragedy with tons of CGI added. They really should have pushed the envelope further with the Western idea. I almost feel like they’re straddling the fence with Corporate and the Old West, which is essentially the idea of the episode but I feel it could have been pulled off better.
Later we find Quinn at a bar celebrating with his co-worker Billy Ray, on his brand new job. There’s a backdrop of country karaoke singing, which is atrocious and hilarious to say the least. A disgruntled Drexel-Bullock employee enters the bar, visually upset that Quinn made lead attorney instead of him. Without warning Billy Ray draws his gun and kills the man. It’s only seconds later until the crowd mingles around the bar again. Talk about complacency. That’s what makes things interesting on this world, death is cheap and it’s almost on the same level as a fistfight.
There’s some recycled lines from the previous episode “Love Gods”. In the episode Rembrandt explained “and we thought TV was bad on our world”. In this episode in front of a TV he explains “and we thought TV was violent on our world.” On a positive note a gem moment of this episode is when Quinn reflects about shooting a man, saying “the weirdest thing is, I never shot a pistol before.” Rembrandt and Arturo explain life on this world is cheap, yet it fails to console Quinn.
A woman named Pricilla Hardway who was at the scene when Quinn was arrested is viciously trying to defend her own company from a buyout by her arch enemy. The villian is none other than Quinn’s head boss Jack Bullock. Priscilla and Quinn meet up and there’s some light shed which keeps Quinn’s conscience clear yet adds another layer of evil to Jack Bullock’s record. One of my favorite scenes from this episode is where Billy Ray takes Quinn out for shooting practice. Quinn hits everything but his target. He explains he’s not used to that specific gun.
Pricilla’s young son, Jaime gets caught up in the mix by drawing a gun on Mr. Bullock, upset that his father was murdered by him. The level of criminality by Jack Bullock and his cronies is extreme even in the coverup of a murder ruled suicide. In the end it all boils to a head in the city’s town square.
This show’s story could be better simply because it focuses more on crime and corruption rather than the premiere idea of Sliders which is difference in dimensions. All in all, this episode really is like the Old West… it’s just a draw.
(Quinn removes his gun holster)
Billy the Kid: “That ain’t going to save you, boy.”
Quinn: “You going to shoot me in cold blood?”
Billy the Kid: “Warm, cold… it makes no difference to me.”
Quinn: “Go ahead. I’ll be gone soon, dead or gone, but there’s something you people should know. I come from a world where men face the same dark challenges as you– the urge to compete, to kill for power and pleasure–”
Billy the Kid: “You put that gun back on.”
Quinn: “We weren’t put on this earth to destroy each other. We don’t have to live like this.”