Episode Review: “Luck of the Draw”
Original Airdate: 5/17/95
The Sliders discover a world where the lottery is a form of population control.
As the Sliders land on lottery world, Wade befriends a newfound dog, “Henry”. I’ll just start out and say that we don’t see the dog after this episode. It’s a minor flaw that some find as a large nitpick. Although we don’t see the mutt after this episode we do see him jumping through the wormhole and it’s pretty humorous to see.
After they buy some fresh fruit, the Sliders try their hand at playing the lottery. They learn the more you play the more chances you have to win. Oddly enough the “playing” involves an ATM machine dishing the player out any amount of money they want. The Sliders act as if this earth is a Utopia like place. It’s the little things in this episode that I feel add so much. For instance a billboard declares “Drink BC Cola. Birth Control In a Can!” Transit systems are the city’s public cars, and they’re free for you to use. To top it off Professor Arturo unknowingly dropped his wallet and a young gentlemen returned it!
Arturo and Rembrandt are off fishing while Wade and Quinn temporarily discuss “the issue” between them, if you know what I’m talking about. This is one of those rare occurrences where they discuss a possible relationship. Actor Jerry O’Connell knew that the writers didn’t want any “hanky panky” going on between the Sliders too. Fine by me. There’s probably too much to handle from one world to the next for a relationship anyway, besides… this isn’t a soap opera.
After Rembrandt’s fine fixings at dinner, Wade learns she has won the lottery. Limousine rides, necklaces, rings, cars, dresses and more are all free for Wade. No dealer can turn her down, anything she wants she gets– at no charge… well not really. Quinn feels it’s all too good to be true, and he’s right. He learns that the lottery Wade has won is a death sentence– a form of population control, and there’s no way of backing out.
One thing that startles me is that Arturo never seemed to be pessimistic of the lottery like Quinn was. Given Arturo’s “non involvement with the locals” I expected more of him. Soon after Quinn discovers the actual “winnings”, he lets the rest of the Sliders know. At the lottery ball dance Wade takes another lottery winner named Ryan as her date, and he also goes along with them to the next world. While Wade has a ball, Rembrandt gets into a huge amount of trouble with his escort.
This is an interesting episode that explores a different yet deadly form of population control. On a final nitpick I have to say that Wade’s whaling scream at the end of the episode is atrocious for an actress. I guess you wonder why she’s screaming. Well, one slider won’t make it to the next world with a bullet to the shoulder. All in all, the first season finale delivers an exciting and dramatic ending to the season.
Quinn: “It’s barbaric.”
Arturo: “On the contrary, my boy– in some ways it’s more human than our society.”
Quinn: “Professor, they kill people to limit the population.”
Arturo: “In our world, millions of people die every year through war, famine, disease, caused in part by the fact that we refuse to accept limits on our population. Here, they kill volunteers– painlessly, and generously reward their beneficiaries. Now… you may abhor their methods– as indeed do I– but as a man of science, you cannot dismiss the result.”