The Sliders travel to a world where academic achievement is equivalent to being a sports superstar.
I like the fact that we start out on this world with a sign displaying “longer library hours”? and a guy with his boom box playing opera, if you can believe it. We get two instant contrasts between this world and our own. The Sliders also discover Einstein on a fashion ad and the most shocking, Quinn’s double on an athletic billboard. Before the Sliders can compose themselves they’re swarmed by fans. Arturo soon discovers he’s famous as well. Wade and Rembrandt’s meddling soon brings them to discover Quinn and Arturo are the “Sliders”?. This episode starts out nicely and gets us to imagine how on earth Quinn could be a famous athlete, and yet at the same time a slider.
Since their doubles are Sliders, they rush to Quinn’s basement in search of the sliding machine to auto set the system, i.e. to go home. They turn up empty, with a basement full of old trophies and sports magazines. Everyone agrees to assume the identities of their doubles in order to find the sliding machine, but it’s not gonna be easy. Quinn immediately throws a teammate named Wilson off the team’s starting lineup since he was a benchman. However, Wilson and his mob has much more in store for Quinn. It turns out that Quinn’s double skipped out on some gambling debts, and therefore our Quinn is in some deep trouble.
One thing that really sticks out in this episode is the amusing hip-hop “Library Rap” music video. It so well done that it looks like it came straight from the MTV channel. This episode frequently shows us how much knowledge has influenced this world through music, sports, and even the society within. Quinn is awestruck by the complex game he has to play in order to assume his double’s role. “Mindgame” blends games with the likeness of Othello, Family Feud, Jeopardy, and tag. The team who captures the most squares wins the game. Strangely enough, this is a university led academic sports game. You think our own educational systems would adopt such a sport. Not only would this game bring some starlight to the eggheads, but it would also make our society more intelligent and educated about the world.
The sliding machine seems as if it will never turn up and Arturo beings to question if their doubles have just fled overseas given their troubles. Professor Arturo soon gets caught up with a subpoena from his wife. Back on earthprime, Arturo’s early wife died of a brain aneurism at a young age. Here, he’s trying to reconnect with her and hopefully give his double a better chance at being forgiven. I’m really surprised by the lack of support Wade and Rembrandt give to Quinn and Arturo. They seem to just sit back, drink some beer, and watch television. Not to mention Rembrandt’s stupidity by betting on the games.
A championship game is on the line and Quinn is forced by the mob to either throw the game or quit, otherwise his life is at stake. This is an enjoyable episode, given the stark contrast between the flashy sports on our world and the academic maturity on this one. This is a favorite of co-creator Robert K. Weiss and the thought put into the episode makes it work, and work well. Only eggheads could have come up with such a clever sports episode.