Season 1 Episode 3


Aired Unknown Mar 29, 1995 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • Manages to show three worlds of sliding - contains many elements that could be compared to the AIDS epidemic. While a downer of an episode - it becomes a standout of the show as it finds its rhythm.

    Fox's interference with the flow of this series began right out of the gate. This episode, which using's counting method (Pilot is two episodes), would have been the fifth, instead aired third - right after the pilot. To their credit, however, it was a stronger episode than the first one filmed after the series was picked up, "Summer of Love."

    This episode contains a technique used occasionally in the first season, beginning with a slide and ending with a slide that are not explored, but only used as a teaser, and to allude to the number of times the characters are sliding in their attempt to get home. The graphics in the opening scene of the oil wells are poorly done, which is a bit unusual, as the series tended to have fairly decent special effects. The teaser slide at the end, in an earth inhabited by cannibals, adds a humorous touch to an otherwise serious episode.

    The main storyline contains elements that the show didn't use enough - parodying items from current pop culture. The standout is a segment of "Amazing Bargains" which used the actor (complete with loud sweater), set (right down to the orange, blue and glass design) and bad audience reactions of the already by then used-to-death infomercial "Amazing Discoveries." (Kudos to Mike Levey for being willing to parody himself for a fledging show.) Another quick one is the "Motel 12" - is that twice as good as "Motel 6"?

    The story itself contains elements of the AIDS scare. The health organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) becomes the Orwellian California Health Commission (CHC), Q-infected Quinn (does that Q stand for Quinn?) is Patient Zero - a term that came into common use in modern times in relation to the possibility that a single person might have been the initial vector of the AIDS epidemic. (Which was well documented in Randy Shilt's book "And The Band Played On.." as well in a off-broadway drama about the disease.) The allusions continue later in the episode when it is suggested the government may have planted the disease - a common conspiracy theory in the early days of AIDS. But this is not AIDS - this is far worse, as it can be communicated by even casual contact - and Wade becomes infected at the beginning of the episode. O'Connell gets the showcase role in this episode playing both the slider being held by the government and serious, bespecaled Quinn (complete with bad hair extensions) who, though infected, really wants to help the infected die with dignity rather than cold sterile version offered by the government. Rembrandt is left with little to do, although he does have a fun scene late in the episode that reintroduces the cab driver from the pilot - which might have been better, had this episode not aired right after that one. Arturo gets to use his science knowledge in a way completely unrelated to sliding - creating penicillin from some mold he finds in the garbage. The ending has a few flaws, such as Arturo being cured with one dose of his penicillin and the lead CHC doctor removing his mask in a warehouse full of Q-infected patients - but overall, a great, if more serious than most, first season episode of the series - and one that kept this viewer waiting for next Wednesday.