Sliders (1995–2000): Season 4, Episode 4 - Virtual Slide - full transcript

The Sliders enter a world where the entire population is governed by virtual reality, mind-controlling devices; Maggie is held captive.

Go! Go! Go!

"Join the sliders!
Travel to exotic lands!

"Meet interesting people!"

And get eaten by them!

The next time you decide to
go native on me, count me out!

There's one minute to go.

Hey, it's your fault,
you offended them.

Yeah, well, instead of shaking your
groove thing with the chief's daughter,

maybe you should focus
on finding your home world.

We really should try and learn as
much as possible about these worlds we visit,

someday our survival
may depend on it.

Q-Ball, the girl was looking
at you like a rare veal chop.

have you guys lost your sense of adventure?

Yeah. Well,
we're gonna lose more than that

if we don't get out of here now!

Hit it. Three, two...

Bon appétit.

Oh, I hate sand in my shorts.

Oh, great, public housing world.

Looks like we're tenants for three days,
four hours, six minutes.

It's just enough time to
figure out where we are.

Well, if this is your Earth,

maybe these ruins are
left over from the last time

that the humans and the
Kromaggs duked it out.

these buildings aren't battle-damaged.

Looks like a demolition zone.


How long have we been here?

Over an hour.

Sorry to keep you waiting. I'm
Brigadier General Randall Simmons.

I'm Quinn Mallory. This
is Rembrandt Brown,

and that's Maggie
Beckett over there.

What the devil is going
on? Where are we?

Didn't anyone tell you?

No one's told us a thing.

I'm sorry,
I thought you already knew.

You're home.


You mean we're
back on Earth Prime?

It's not possible. We've been to
Earth Prime. It's overrun with Kromaggs.

Was overrun. Three months ago,

we cracked the Kromagg
communications protocols.

We were able to access most of
their tactical and defensive systems,

turned their own
technology against them.

Two weeks ago we celebrated
VK Day. Victory over the Kromaggs.

This way, please.

What if you found a
portal to a parallel universe?

What if you could slide into
a thousand different worlds

where it's the same year
and you're the same person,

but everything
else is different?

And what if you can't
find your way home?


If you've won the war against
the Kromaggs, what was that battle we saw?

we nearly got our heads blown off.

Ninety percent of the planet
is back under human control.

But there are still pockets
of Kromagg resistance.

You had the bad luck
to slide into a hot LZ.

In addition to Kromagg
weapons technology,

we've also adapted
their sliding capability.

This display shows our tactical
status on all multi-Earth battle fronts.

These yellow ribbons indicate worlds
which have been liberated, Mr. Brown.

We've got the Maggots on the run
on over two dozen parallel worlds.

And I'd say that
calls for a drink.

Will someone tell
me what's going on?

Just relax. It's okay.

Just relax, try to remember.

You've been having memory
lapses since the attack.

The docs say it'll pass.

We've seen this
kind of thing before.


Almost bought the
farm from a Kromagg plasma cannon.

I remember something.

An explosion, a hospital.

That was three days ago.

Three days?

We've found this kind of
disorientation is common

when a person has been exposed to
certain types of Kromagg energy weapons.

You will recover.

And when you do,

we need people who've had
experience with the Maggs.

Feel like strapping on a Harrier again,
Captain Beckett?

Our campaign is expanding.

We're kicking the Maggs
off more worlds every day.

But we're spread thin.

We need help.

Mr. Brown, there's a naval
commission in this for you, if you want it.

All the same to you,
I just want to go home,

try to find my family,
see if they're okay.

Can you help us, General?

My mother was shipped
off-world by the Maggs.

Yes, and a friend of ours, Wade.

She was taken by the
Kromaggs to a breeder camp.

We found thousands
of human refugees on other Earths.

There's a chance, a good one,

your people are alive.

What about my offer, Captain?

I know you've been eager
to get back up there again.

I might still be a little fuzzy,

but I don't recall
mentioning that to anyone.

You're a pilot.

What self-respecting marine wouldn't
want to get back up there and mix it up?

This is all happening too fast.

Ah. I understand.

You've been sliding so long,
it must be tough to accept the idea

that your journey
is finally over.

You can start a brand
new life on our world.

Or any other world,
for that matter.

Of course,
we'll have to debrief you,

get the details of your
Kromagg encounters,

or any other worlds you
may have encountered.

Their culture,
natural resources.

I have some questions of my own.

Such as?

Such as,

what is a one-star general doing
in charge of a unified command?

With all due respect,

you seem a bit
light on the brass

to be running a
campaign this size.

You're not from our Earth,

Your military may
be different than ours.


But is it also
customary on your world

for a marine officer to be handing
out naval field commissions?

The last time I checked,
we worked for the Navy.

Tell me what you want.
I can make it happen.

It wasn't a battlefield
we slid into.

I've seen bombed-out buildings.

This was a demolition site.

No! No way. This is a trick!

Quinn! Remmy!

What are you talking about?

You can stop the charade. You're a Kromagg,
aren't you?


I've seen what you do.

Twist people's perceptions,

make us see what you want us to.

Calm down.

You stay away from me.

Welcome back to reality,
Miss Beckett.

Who the hell are you?

I'm not a Kromagg,
whatever that is.

Oh! Take it easy.

Coming out of virtual
space can be disorienting.

You'll need to get
your land legs back.

Where am I?

You're in virtual reality recovery
at Chandler Federal Hospital.

I'm Randall Simmons,
your case worker.

Recovery? Recovery from what?

The short version?

You were buried alive.

Though what you and
your friends were doing

in the middle of
a demolition site

is a question only
you can answer.

My friends. Where are
they? Are they okay?

They're fine. They're in VR recovery,

Speak English.

VR is an effective technique.

Although you seem to
have an aversion to it.

Tell me, do you feel that you're
resistant to pleasant thoughts?

I don't like people
poking around in my head.


I've never seen anyone
outsmart VR therapy.

I'll have to have a word
with our programmers.

you and your friends are quite a mystery.

No medicards,
no subdermal ID chips.

It's almost as if you just

materialized here.

And then there's this.

I need to see my friends. Now.

That's right.

Oh, yeah. Come here.

That's right.


Get those things off of them.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, now,
we need to bring them out slowly.

Sudden reality
shifts are dangerous.

There can be seizures,
even brain damage.

What are those?

We use them to
monitor the therapy.

You monitor their mind?
Invade their thoughts?

No, we monitor their therapy.

In order to stimulate
the healing process,

the mind is immersed
in pleasant desires.

Memories, the like.

The machines read those thoughts,
enhance them,

then play them
back to the patient.

Tuna casserole,
my favorite, Mama.

Rise and shine, lover boy.

I was in a park.

Welcome to the
world of VR medicine.


maybe these gentlemen are hungry.

Oh, no, thanks, I ate already.

I think. How long
have we been under?

Long enough.

The timer's counting up.

We missed the sliding window.

We're stranded here.

Are you sure? Maybe
you read it wrong.

There's no mistake.
We missed the gateway.

It's counting up
to the next window.

In 29 years.

I'm not ready to
accept that yet.

We've missed a window before.

On that Egyptian Earth.

Yeah, but we were able to
find another timer and slide out.

but from what Simmons says,

this Earth doesn't have
that kind of technology.

Not yet.

What're you saying? You can
build another sliding machine?

Maybe, but it's not like I carry
the blueprints in my back pocket.

I'd be working from
memory. I'd need your help.

Oh, sure, and I'll just build a
time machine while I'm at it.

Don't sell yourself short. You
knew your husband's work.

I listened to him talk about it.

I also handed him the
occasional magnospanner,

and gave back rubs.

Doesn't make me a scientist.

Anything you could
remember would help.

maybe this Simmons guy can help us.


We don't know
enough about this world

to just hand them
the secret to sliding.


We tell him who we are,
and where we're from, but no more.

I have to admit, when I
heard Ms. Beckett's parallel world story,

I thought we pulled her
out of the VR too soon.

Sometimes I wish it
was just a bad dream.

We appreciate your helping us.

Well, the government on my Earth

is more than happy
to help you get home.

Look, I don't get it.

Is everybody here in therapy?

No, of course not.

VR is used for more than
just medicinal purposes.

It's a source of recreation,
education, entertainment.

It's part of our way of life.

So that guy over there,

how does he paint the
building with a VR unit on?

The VR unit just makes
the job more enjoyable.

it has a multi-tasking function.

You can perform one task
while perceiving another in VR.

So he thinks
he's painting a masterpiece.

I took a job on a
production line one year.

I could've used one of those.

We've set up the lab with
everything you've asked for.

This way.

Man, I don't even want to
know what he thinks he's doing.

Come on in.

There are cots in the corner,
and a kitchen in the back.

If there's anything else
that you need that isn't here,

just let us know.


I'll let you get to it, then.

one more thing. I almost forgot.

The latest recreational model.

The Realman XL.

Hey, thanks, man.

Just a few
safety tips with these.

They feed off a central VR processor,
so you can enter each other's fantasies.

Just don't try and pull someone
out suddenly. That can be dangerous.

Enjoy them, but remember,

they can be habit-forming.

What do we need these for?

It's like Q-Ball said.
When in Rome...

We're not gonna have any time to
take side trips into VR world, Remmy.

We got 29.7 years to kill here,

We will get out of here, Remmy.

I promise you that.

Yeah, well, I'm sure you two
geniuses can come up with something.

Just make sure that we're gone

before I have to change my
name to Old Crying Man Brown.

We can do this, Maggie.

Looks like they set
us up pretty good.

Maybe too good.

Don't you think Simmons seems
a little too eager to help us out?

Anything we want,
no questions asked.

I don't trust him.

You think I do?

But right now,
we do not have a choice.

You know how many dishes we'd have
to wash to afford a computer like this?

We'd be better off waiting
29 years for the next window.

All right. So where do we start?

Start. Right.


There's something
you're not telling me.

Remember I told you I'd
be working from memory?

Well, the memory doesn't
seem to be working so good.

What do you mean?

I've been racking my brain for hours,
hoping it was just a temporary lapse,

just a VR hangover.

I can't remember how
to build a sliding machine.

It's quite
a fantastic story.

Alternate dimensions,

an infinite number of worlds.

It would be a real
coup for the company.

And for you.

For both of us.

It's her friend
who's the scientist.

You should be focusing on him.

No, she's the key.

We need her to
bring them around.

She doesn't trust you.

Well, neither do you.

But what difference
does that make?

This is very big, Randall.

Don't screw it up.

Nothing looks familiar.

For all I know, this is a
nuclear-powered cigarette lighter.

Damn it, can't you remember
anything? A theory? A formula?

Anything that might
trigger a memory in me.

I don't know!

Our apartment was so cluttered with
scribbled-out formulas and papers and books.

A lot about a man named Tesla.

Nikola Tesla!


Tesla died over 50 years ago.

He invented a device
called the tesla coil.

It was a primitive
electrical induction device.

Wait, Steven once said

that induction coils were an
important part of his machine.

Of course. You'd need to
generate a huge burst of power

in order to open
a sliding vortex.

Okay! We've got
a place to start.

Wait, wait, wait.

There's something else. It seemed so silly,
I almost forgot.

What's that?

He made me memorize it. He
said it helped him remember.

Remember what?

I don't know. He died
before he could tell me.

A musical clue.

Rembrandt! Rembrandt!

Oh, I don't like this.

Remmy's been through a
lot. He needs some R and R.

Yeah, but if these things
are causing memory loss,

we should get him
out of there now.

No, no, no, no,
no. That would be even more dangerous.

He's got to come
out of it by himself.

How long is that gonna take? I don't
want him to get hooked on this thing.

I could see how tempting
throwing one of those things on

and just forgetting about
everything would be.

My point exactly.

Who knows how
long he'll stay in there

and how many
brain cells he'll fry.

Where are you going?

Simmons says we could
jack into each other's fantasies.

Be right back.

No, Stan! No!

Capital "N," capital "O."

Will you get out of my hair?

No, no, no, not you, Stan.

Look, this was all agreed.

I'll pick up the cost for
the massage therapist,

but I'm not budging
on the money.

We're talking gross points here!

Will you get off of me?

No, not you, Stan.

Give me a minute.

La Toya.

Look, I know how someone like myself
is hard to resist, and I'm flattered.

But I'm a married man. I
have a wife and two kids.

I have a
husband and three children.

What's that got to do with it?

Stay away from
me. This is business.

Where was I, Stan?

Yeah, look, I'm only doing
this concert as a favor to Billy.

Look, Billy's got the croup.

Uh, Stan?


I have to get back to you.

I got a situation.

La Toya.

be so good together!

La Toya!

La Toya,

this is sexual harassment. Now,
I could call the cops.

you are so handsome when you're angry.

Should I make an appointment?

No, no, Maggie.

This isn't what you think.

I was just taking
a little dictation.


She seems like
she's very good at it.

Well, when you get to my position in life,
there are certain people

who want to try to
take advantage of that.


Well, maybe I can help.

We have to get
back to the lab now.

I'm not going back to the lab.

I'm opening Saturday
night at the Hollywood Bowl.

The artist formerly known
as Elvis is on the bill.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

What part of my program are you?

I'm not part of your fantasy.

You're real?


Yeah, yeah,
that's right. You can do that.

All right. It's time to go,

Look, I am not going!


Why should I, Maggie? I mean,

look around you, I've got everything
I've always wanted and more.

I mean, I got a wife, two kids.

Gold records.

A dog, somewhere.

My mother is finally
speaking to me.

I've got respect.

Respect from whom?

A computer-generated sexpot?

How can you be happy with
love and success that aren't real?

Reality hasn't had a whole
lot to offer me lately, Maggie.

So you want to be
spoon-fed a fantasy?

There is a whole
world out there!

A world with two very real
people who need your help.

And a mother who is stuck in
a world under Kromagg rule.

Now, she needs you, too.

Here. You sit.

Damn it.

Again, Quinn?

How dare you have sex
with me without my consent?

How dare me? How dare
you! This is my private fantasy!

For God's sake, Quinn, you can't
just go around using people's likenesses

for your own twisted pleasure.

How is this any different
from any ordinary daydream?

Minus the unannounced visitor,
of course!

So this is how you think of me?


Come on, that's not it at all.

Shut this down now.

Remmy, are you okay?

I feel sick.

If I could just get back in
the VR world for a while,

I'm sure it'll pass.

Forget it. Forget it!

Don't you see
what's going on here?

These things are like a drug. Just
jack in and make all the pain go away.

Well, no!

I'm not gonna be stuck in a
VR coma for the next 29 years!

If we're going to get out of here,
you guys, we have to work together.

And that means
going cold turkey.


Maggie, no!

Yes! All right? Enough of this!

Maggie. No!

That's it. It's over!

Rembrandt, that's it.

Now, let's get back to work.

How's our little
project coming along?

Very nicely, thank you.

The VR success
is the only reason

the big boys are allowing
us to proceed with this.

Then we can move forward?

For now,

but they want to know
when we can expect

the big breakthrough
I've promised them.

it's not gonna happen any faster

with you breathing down my neck.

So why don't you
go back to corporate

and I'll call you
when it's time?

Nobody from corporate
is taking it easy on this.

They'll want to see
a significant return.

A significant return! Well,
what about worlds without end?

Limitless resources to exploit,

unlimited labor pool,
infinite markets.

And infinite risk.

It's worth it.

It's not just your ass on the line here,

We need to make this happen.

It's under control.

I hope so.

For both our sakes.

That's it.

That's it.

Yeah. It sounds a lot like
a standard 12-bar bass riff.

my husband really liked the Rolling Who.

The who?

No, the Rolling Who, they wrote
this great rock opera called Angie.

that's a show I would like to see.

I've written it all out there.

E, A, E, B, A, E. Okay.

Yeah, now the sliding formula might
be hidden somewhere in those letters.

Great work.

It's from a can.

It's certainly not up to the
standards of a superstar.

Chicken soup just
like my mother's.

Oh, yeah. Sure.

I got the impression that you weren't
really on speaking terms with her.

She felt show biz
was the devil's work.

Last time we spoke,

I was just about to
board the bus for Detroit.

She never returned
my calls after that.

it's not just about money or career.

It's about respect.

You know, respect,
and making my mother proud.

Everything I saw
in your fantasy.

Well, you know how those
things can take off on you.

I never had a family.

My mother always
wanted me to have one.

If you could have family and success,
you can have it all.

The perfect life.

Kind of hard to walk away from.

How about you?

You've been in. You've
seen how real VR can be.

Ever been tempted to try a fantasy,
maybe relive a memory?

There are some
things you just can't fix.

But wouldn't you want to
see your husband again?

Just for a little while?

Of course, I would.

But, you know,

what I'd find in there
wouldn't be Steven.

My Steven is gone.

My world is gone.

Some things just go away, Remmy.

If you want to change your life,

you have to do it yourself.

You can't just strap on some
rose-colored VR goggles and...

Because at the end of the day,

you take them off,

and the world still
looks the same.

If I took them off
and saw your face,

it's worth a case of the shakes.


Any of this look familiar?


Could be part of the
initialization sequence.

I'm still gonna need some time.

time is one thing we do have.

You accept the
apology of a crazy man?


Testosterone can do
crazy things to your mind.

What you saw,
it's not what you think.


You miss out on a lot when
the sole focus of your existence

is making the grade.

I never went through
that period in life

where there was no future plans,
no pressure to perform,

nothing to think about
except being young.

And I guess I felt I had
some catching up to do.

Sowing your virtual oats?

At first.

But with you, it was different.

You're more to me than that.

I was kind of hoping that
you'd have realized that by now.

Then why fantasize
when I'm right here?

I guess we never had
time for anything more.

We do now.

Maggie. Maggie,
come on. Snap out of it.

Come on, get up.

I hate to be insensitive,
but if you're going to be sick,

you're gonna have to use

one of these on
the way. Let's go.

Let's go.

Sweet dreams.

Thank God
we finally found you.

Found me
where? We were in the lab.

virtual reality opium den.

We slid into a demolition site

in some sort of
slave labor camp.

Remmy and I were
thrown clear of the blast,

but Simmons got
you and the timer.

Just keep walking.

He's been using VR to trick you

into telling him how to
build a sliding machine.

I told you, I don't know how
to build a sliding machine.

you've given him a pretty good head start.

Plus, he's got the timer, and the
window opens in less than three hours.

No. No. We missed the window!

you have been in VR for three days.

Everything you have experienced

has been a virtual
fabrication. A lie!

The, uh... Building the machine,
the addictions,

none of it was real?

None of it.

None of it was real.

So, what's our next move?

Same as always.

Getting the timer back.

It's not gonna be as easy as it
was breaking into the hospital.

Let's go.

Mr. Simmons, there's been a
break-in in the VR rehab unit.

The Beckett woman?

Gone, sir.

Looks like her friends
managed to get past security.

They took down three of our men.

Double the guards
around the lab.

Find her and her friends. Move!

Well, I felt all along,

we needed to bring Brown
and Mallory in on the project.

This isn't exactly
what I had in mind.

We'll get her back.
And her friends.

And with Mallory in our hands,

we'll have the
sliding technology

even sooner than we hoped for.

You should have known
they'd come after her,

increased security.

Very sloppy.

All right. Now wait a minute,
you're a part of this team, too.

The winning team,
Randall, the winning team.

You took the risks
on this project.

You kept me and the
board in the dark all this time.


If you go down,

you're going down alone.

Welcome to the
Brown-Mallory Arms.

the maid doesn't come till Tuesday.

just to move the filth around.

Right over here.

So, how are you feeling?

Like somebody took my brain
out and used it to play handball.

I've been able to tap
into the VR mainframe,

which is how we figured
out what Simmons was up to.

It's also how we
eventually found you.

We had to go through a
lot of fantasies to get to you.

You should see what
people come up with.

You monitored my VR trip?

We were trying to find a
way to get you out of there.

You saw everything?

If you mean,
did I see your fantasy Quinn,

well, I...


Hey, I'm flattered, really,
but we'll talk about it later.

First of all, come here.

We have got about two
hours to get the timer back.

I've tapped into their
surveillance system.

Does this look familiar?

The lab.

Your husband
was a brilliant man.

Putting the structure of the
wormhole initiation formula in a tune

was very clever.

Yeah, but he found a pretty
cute place to keep it, too.

The point is,
Simmons got the basics.

He could crack
the secret to sliding.

Yeah, and I handed it to him like
one of his weak-minded zombies.

Not for a minute.

He had to try twice before
he could even come close

to getting inside your head.

You didn't know what he was doing to you,

Simmons played me like a fool.

I would have given
him everything.

I would have given him you guys,

and never have
known the difference.

The only reason I
know I'm out of it is,

all I can think about
is jacking back in.

That'll pass.

It doesn't matter what
Simmons did to your head.

In your heart,
you were trying to help us.

Just like you always are.

Is this my fantasy
Quinn talking?

No, it's the real deal.

So, who is this Simmons, really?

Just some middle-management type

trying to claw his way up
the corporate food chain.

but his company makes these.

It started off as just
another high-tech toy,

but then people
got hooked on them.

So, what's our next move?

Any progress?

This is a kind of
mass-to-energy formula.

Without the girl's help,
it would have taken us years

to come up with the
proper initiation sequence.

And this will open the
dimensional doorway?

It's just a question of
adjusting the power-flow rates

for the induction coils.

Designing the rest of the
machine should be easy.

Then do it.

They're getting closer.

How are
we going to get in there now?

Those goons are armed
with more than bedpans.

There may be a way.

If the real lab is anything
like the virtual one,

security is actually pretty
light once you get inside.

Most of the workers
are zoned out on VR.

Simmons doesn't have
much use for armed guards.

I'm still tapped into
the VR mainframe.

I could power down
some of the units.

The guards will have their hands
full with a bunch of unhappy campers.

Mmm, it's not enough.

Just pull the plug, and those workers
are gonna go through VR withdrawal

just like I did.

A bunch of sick,
hungover zombies

aren't gonna make
much of a diversion for us.

What other choice do we have?


VR makes the workers passive

by feeding them pleasant thoughts,


Well, what if we made their
phony worlds a little less pleasant?

Adjust the central computer and
feed them back their worst fears.

Give them all nightmares.

A lab full of screaming,
terrified people,

that might provide a pretty good
diversion. MAGGIE: Mmm-hmm.

But what would that do to them?

I don't know. Might
make them think twice

about strapping on one
of those VR rigs again.

It's good to have you back in the team,


What's going on?

We need
some help in here!

Take them out of here!

Get them to the infirmary.


Come on.

Like I said,
it's good to have you back, Maggie.

I told you I don't like
people inside my head.

You could have had
anything you wanted.

What do you have that
I could possibly want?

A life built on lies?

Look at your world,
blinding people with a fantasy.

Then help me find another world.

A better one.

Give me the sliding technology.

Sliding doesn't work that way.

Maggie, what are you doing?

Putting an end
to this right now.

Quinn, can we send the nightmare
program out on a global level?

Well, if you didn't put a slug
through the VR mainframe, Annie Oakley.

Yeah, I think I could do that.

Do it.

You can't do that.

These people have lived
with VR their whole lives.

What are they gonna do if you
just take that away from them?

That's your job.

You made this mess,
Simmons. You clean it up.

Accessing World Wide VR Web.

Program off and running.

Ten seconds.

We just gave your
world a wakeup call.

I don't think anyone's
gonna be interested

in using your little virtual
reality toys for some time.

One more hour till we slide.

Then let's spend it
bending our elbows.

Oh, please.

I haven't gotten this VR
buzz out of my system yet.

Spend a lot of time on the road,

you learn to mix
up a hangover cure.

This is the Crying Man's
patented morning-after moose juice.

Guaranteed to
clear your sinuses,

strip furniture,
kill a hangover,

VR or otherwise.

Drink up.

One thing's for sure.

I know I'm not in a
VR fantasy anymore.

'Cause only the real Rembrandt
could come up with something this nasty!

It's the tuna.

Welcome back, Maggie.