“Luck of the Draw”

Episode Review: “Luck of the Draw”
Season 1
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.”

Hulu: Watch Season Two

The thirteen episodes of Sliders from season two is now available to watch at hulu.com. It’s online, legal, and all FREE!*:

Watch Sliders Now!
*At the current time Hulu is only available for U.S. residents.

Swine Flu “Fever”

It’s one of those times in current events where I can’t help but think of Sliders. The so called “Swine Flu” is beginning to panic the entire globe.

The season one episode entitled “Fever” pictures a parallel world where a flu pandemic arises since penicillin was never invented. Of course the virus is called “the Q” on this world, not the “Swine Flu”. The word “patient zero” has also been used in the media today, which means the first known carrier of a disease. I wonder if the “patient zero” from Mexico and his parents will be scrutinized like the Quinn of Sliders was? We’ve also seen men walking around in their protective suits. Although we haven’t seen officials throwing body bags in portable dumpsters… well at least not yet.

Remember the scene where the Sliders walk through a scanner just to enter “Fay’s” restaurant? Well it has been reported that some airports are using scanners to detect the body heat of individuals to see if they have a fever. Of course there’s the other scene in the restaurant where a man coughs and everyone stares fearfully at him. It’s almost as if this scenario will come true as well. The media is already giving out orders for a way to handle the situation. If the guy next to you sneezes you better take cover. Also avoid being in closed-in areas such as planes, classrooms, and subways.

Perhaps it’s a good time to critique the episode “Fever” a little more. First of all there’s been a huge run on protective masks for your nose and mouth. Where are these in the episode? Well, maybe they run out like we are now. Perhaps they should have briefly explored the spread of the virus to other countries as well. One thing they did get right was the people’s fear in the episode, and the CHC’s (or CDC’s) attentiveness to the situation.

Some things are bizarrely similar to the situation in Sliders and only time will tell if the “Swine Flu” will end up like a scenario from the episode “Fever”. Perhaps it’s a good time for you to experience the episode again, or see it for the very first time.

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