Sliders (1995–2000): Season 5, Episode 13 - A Thousand Deaths - full transcript

The Sliders find themselves in a world seemingly devoted to gaming. They decide to take the opportunity to indulge themselves and have a holiday. They quickly discover the games are far more complex and dangerous than any of them realized.

We're cutting it close.
Two minutes left.

That's far enough.

You got the formula?

Got it right here.
Now where's our friend?

All in good time.

We did what you asked.
We brought you the ransom.

What more
do you want?

Just step forward slowly,
set the formula on the box.

Then we'll release her.


I should have
known this.

Only you
would stoop so low

to send spies
into my organization

just to steal
the secret sauce!

Don't play
the self-righteous
burger monarch

with me, Hubert.

You stepped
over the line

when you napalmed
that shipment
of zany meal toys.

You're no angel.

Take this,
you pasty-faced goons!

There she is!

She looks hurt.
I'm going in after her!

Better make it quick.

Eat lead,
you monarchical pukes!


Three, two, one.

Next time
you rustle us up
some jobs,

make sure
you steer clear
of the burger joints.

How was I supposed to know
we'd end up in the middle
of a fast food war?


Talk about destroying
the competition.

That was one
weird world.

Diana, are you okay?

What's wrong with her?

I don't know.

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?


Ah, no, no.
Don't, don't do that!

Sorry, I thought
the light might
be bothering you.

No, um,
let it all in.

The more the better.

What happened?
Where are we?

Well, we managed
to get you away
from those clowns...

...and you barely
made the slide.

But now we're
in a beautiful
resort hotel.

Remmy and Mallory
are scoping the place out.

But so far,
it looks fairly normal.

Ah, someplace normal!
That's a welcome change.

Last chance to register
for the Civil War.

Game starts
in 10 minutes.

Really? Yeah.

Hey, partner,
how you doin'?

I sure did.

No need for jobs
on this world

thanks to my well-to-do
duplicate's ATM account.

We're going to need
a big bankroll
if we're staying here.

Looks like we've slid
into entertainment world.

Lots of things
to spend it on.


Unlucky in love,
unlucky in cosmic
space disintegrators.

Someone should tell her
it's not the size
of the score that counts.

Or maybe you
should just lay off
of that beer

until after 10:00 a.m.

It's part of a complete
and balanced breakfast.

As far as I'm concerned,
we're on vacation.

That's not a bad idea.

Besides, when in Rome...

Well, let's hope
it doesn't come to that.

Come on.

Here you go.
I thought this might help.

How are you doing?


I just thought
I'd gotten over

this little problem
I have.

Is there anything
I can do to help?

Uh, no.

Unless you have a
cure for claustrophobia.

It's a little memento
left over from my childhood.

And those crazy
burger clowns

locked you
in that box.

a very small, dark box.

You know, imagine
a precocious little girl

who suddenly
decides she's going
to close herself off

in her teacher's closet.

An experiment to see
how really dark,
dark can be.

The only problem was

I locked myself in
for an entire weekend.


It wasn't pretty.

How long
was I gone for?

Almost two days.

You know,
it was so dark
in that thing.

You know,
just like the closet.

I mean, at one point
I had no idea
how much time had passed.

I was convinced
I was dead.

Look, I'm sorry.
I do not want to heap
all this stuff on you.

You know,
sometimes I can
be such a wimp.

It sounds
really scary.

And you're
not a wimp.

You've been
sliding long enough,

things tend
to pile up on you.

Diana, I really
understand the burden
that you carry

and, well, you're
our resident scientist.

We turn to you
for everything.

And still
we're no closer

to finding
Remmy's home world

or figuring out
how to even begin
to find Colin.

And I'm sure
it weighs really heavily
on your mind.

It does, every day.

Hey, look who's awake.

I knew that an army
of evil corporate clowns
couldn't keep you down.

How's she doing?

Well, I'd say
she's going to be
back on solid food

in about a month.

Well, you're
not going to want
to miss any of this.

I'm Mark Einman,
President of
Einman Entertainment

and I would like
to extend to you

a personal invitation
to The Arcade,

the world's cutting edge,
state of the art

family entertainment center.

At The Arcade,
you can experience
in absolute realism

any one of 30
role playing scenarios.

Re-live history
as a Civil War general,

hit the streets
as a hard-nosed

be a hot
fighter jock.

There are no limits
at The Arcade.

And for
a limited time only,

California residents
with a valid
driver's license

get $10 off
their family
admissions pass.

Lisa Leopard,

Melina Mouse,
what do you
think of that?

We'll be at the spa.

See you
at The Arcade,

the funnest place
in the world.

The people
of this world
live to play.

They've developed some
of the most sophisticated
kinds of entertainment

I've ever seen.

And I've seen a lot.

Yeah, call it
extreme fun.

And this guy, Einman,

he seems to own
most of it.

I mean he practically
rules this entire world.

We're here for
two and a half days.

So instead of running
for our lives from,
uh, fill in the blank,

we think it's time
for a little R&R.

You up for it, Diana?

I don't know,
it all sounds
like guy games.

And your point is?

Except for the Roman spa
he mentioned.

Huh, right about now,
a hot mineral bath
sounds great.

Maggie, how about
those guy games?

No. I'm gonna,
I'm gonna...

I'm gonna
do the spa
with Diana.

Great. This is
gonna be great.

See you later.
See ya.

Boys will be boys.

Hey there, folks.

It's the last chance
to sign up

for the Western Round-up,

so lasso
your sweetie,

your hubby
or your little children

and get on over
to the Western Round-up.

Sign up in 10 minutes.


Who the hell
are you, Huggy Bear?

I'm a hard-hitting detective
from the '70s.

And I'll have you know
that this was once
all the rage.

I know.

I've seen my parents'
high school pictures.

Well, nothing personal,

but I'm rooting
for the North.

I wanted to be a general,
one of Lee's command staff.

Yeah, well
you're a private.

In this game,
they make you
start at the bottom

and work your way up.

I know he's not real
but I was hoping
I could meet Lee.

But as a private,
I won't get anywhere
near him.

So, what are you,
a history buff?

Not always.

I hardly cracked a book
when I was a kid.

But habits change
when you find yourself
stuck in a wheelchair.

Yeah, I know
that story.

Nothing ever turns out
like you hope, right?

Back when my group,
the Spinning Tops,
were hot,

these Hollywood big-wigs

were scoping me out
for a TV show.

No kidding?
Yep. A cop show.

Nothing panned out.

That's the problem
with being flavor
of the month.

It's only a matter of time
before you melt away.

You two look...

You better think
about this.

Absolutely lovely.

Smart boy.

My, my, my.

Hi, I'm Fred.
You must be my partner.


You did pick the '70s
buddy-cop scenario,
didn't you?

Yeah, yeah.
Right, right.

Name's Rembrandt.

So, you played
this before?

Practically every day.

Every day?

You're a newbie,
aren't you?

Well, you stick with me.
I'll show you how it's done.

We can start
by skipping
the orientation video.

It's a bunch
of safety this,

safety that,
blah, blah, blah.

Let's go, partner.

Wow, this looks real.
Are we outside?

No, this is
an indoor arena.

The hologram projections
only work

in an enclosed

Then all of the people
are just holograms?

That's not
a lot of fun.

They're much more
than projections.

They're highly sophisticated
interactive holograms

contained in a malleable
electrostatic force field.

In other words,
if they take a swing
at you, duck.

And don't worry
about the bullets,
they're harmless.

Now this baby's real.

This is our ride?

Oh, yeah.

Things just keep
getting better.

Oh, yeah.

Now from
what I understand,

we're on the trail
of this young girl

that's been
kidnapped, right?

So we check in
with the Chief,

shake down our contacts
and track her down?

Yeah, something
like that.

General Lee,
I think you're wrong
to attack up the middle.

No, that's not it.

Begging the General's pardon,

I think General Longstreet
is right.

An attack up the middle
is a really bad idea.

Yeah, that's it.

Well, here goes nothing.

Blue Bellies are coming!

All right.
Just move them down.




Whoa, I need a bullet.

Why are you
killing us?

This is no game.

Thank you.

You know, I, uh,

I kind of got
the impression

that you would
have rather gone
with Rembrandt.

You know,
you still can,
you know.

I'm, uh,
all right now.

Are you kidding me?

No, Diana, it's not
that I didn't want
to go with you.

It's just...

It's just that
I'm used to hanging
with the guys.


All right, you see,
I have this problem,

I've always
had this problem

where I have
more male friends
than female friends,

and it's not
by choice.

It's just that, well,
I guess some women
find me threatening.


You too?

No, absolutely not.

Let's just say

I didn't know what
to make of you at first

but I wasn't threatened.

The problem
is not with you.

The problem
is with people
who are so insecure

that they feel
threatened by you.

You're okay,
Captain Beckett.

I was thinking
about something
that you said earlier,

what did you mean
when you said

you were convinced
you were dead?

Oh, uh, well,
I guess for me

death is no different
than being in that black box,
absolute nothingness.

You don't have a case
of classic claustrophobia.

You're afraid
of darkness
and nothingness.

You're really
just afraid of death.

what's going on
over there?

According to that tip
that you beat out
of Ferret Face,

they should be
holding her here.

All right,
let's play this
real cool,

by the numbers,
that way nobody
should get hurt.

You dig?
Yeah, whatever.

You know,
I can't believe
you made me stop

to get a search warrant.

Well, isn't that
how it's done?

In real life, maybe.

Hey, hold it
right there, vermin!

Cover me, partner!

What the hell
was that all about?

I thought
it was a bad guy.

Well, it wasn't.


Are you going to shoot
at everything that moves?

Well, no.

Good. See to it
that you don't, man.

Stick to the scenario.

We're cops.
Act like it.

Yeah, that means a lot
coming from a guy
in a plaid leisure suit.

Who's the baddest
dude around?

Downtown Brown.

Who can bring
the bad guys down?

Downtown Brown.

Ah! Platform shoes,
what the devil
were we thinking?

Freeze! Police!

Careful, man,
you're gonna
hit the girl!

Let's go!

You gotta
take it easy, fella.

You gotta learn
to pace yourself.

Yeah, pace yourself.

Hey, fella!
Hold it right there!

Nice and easy, okay?

Nobody's gonna
hurt anybody.

He's street pizza.

You shot her!

But I got him, too.

Okay, watch out.

You're not supposed
to kill the victim.

She got in the way.

what difference
does it make?

She's not real.

That's not the point, man.
We just lost the game.

So, we hit
the reset button.

Who cares
about winning?

The object
of the game
is to have fun.

Maybe I don't
want to play this
game, anymore.

You are messing
with my groove, man.

You are messing
with my groove.

You wanna
get real, huh?

You wanna
get real with me?

Bring it on, daddy!
Bring it on.

That's what I thought.

Play doctor in an
emergency room.

Emergency starts
in 15 minutes.


Didn't expect
to find you here.

I'm sitting this war out.

I thought that's what
you were interested in.
I am.

But the people part,
not just the fighting part.

I guess I was hoping
to witness the most important

and solemn period
in our history.

I mean,
brother fighting brother,

the cruelty of slavery,
a nation torn apart.

I think some of these people
are missing the point.

Sorry, Private,
but I think we
missed the point.

My stint as
a hip, cool detective
turned into a blood bath.

My partner's motto was
shoot first and
ask no questions.

It looks like these
sophisticated interactive
experiences are just

overblown shoot-em-up type
video games.

Well, I for one
have had my fill.

I mean,
why play the game?

We live this
on a daily basis.

And we get to do it for free.

You kept the badge.

A souvenir.

You really wanted
that TV show gig,
didn't you?

I thought I'd get a feel now
for what I missed then.

I didn't miss all that much.

Come on, let's find
the others, let's get
the devil out of here.

What's that all about?

You see them anywhere?

They said
that they would meet
us here by 2:00.

That was 10 minutes ago.

We'll just check
the old registration log.

And... Voilà.

It shows
the visitors' registration.

It also shows
the session ended and
the visitors logged out.

But according to this,
Diana and Maggie
were never there.

Wait a minute.
That's not right.

We were with them
when they registered.

I'm only reading
what it says.

Excuse me.

This is a restricted area.
Is there something
I can help you with?

Ah, maybe there is.
We're looking for
two friends of ours

who signed up for your spa.

I'm Mr. Flint,
the general manager.

Are your friends
listed in the registration?


Then there's no way
they could have been
in there.

No, no, no.
We, we saw them go in.

Well, you must be mistaken.

Now if you'll kindly
stay clear of this area

or I'll have to have
security remove you.

And enjoy your stay
here at The Arcade,

the funnest place
in the world.

Something funny
about that guy.

You think?

Come on, maybe there's
a service entrance
to that spa.

Nobody home.

They were here.
Flint was lying.

The question is why?

We need to find somebody
who'll be straight with us.

Give us some information
about this place.

I've got a radical idea.

I'll bet we can get
some answers
from those holograms.

That's not a radical idea,
that's a crazy one.

They aren't real people.
They're some kind of
computer projection.

I know, but during
my simulation

I could swear
one was trying to
communicate with me.

He said something that
really spooked me.

He said,
"This is no game."

Come to think of it

I've got an informant on
the streets of New York.

Maybe he can
cough up some info.

It's worth a shot,
I suppose.

Just leave
the partner at home.

Right on, right on.

Come on, Ferret Face,
come on out of your hole.


what are you doing here?

We thought
you were at the spa?

You talking to me?

I'm talking to you, baby.

Who are you talking to?

I'm talking to this man
right here who wants
to take me out on a date.

Now, will you let me
do my business?

No way, baby.
He's the heat.

Hey, wait a minute.
Hey, Diana, wait.

Wait a minute,
he's just a projection.
He can't hurt me.


Oh, no.

Hey, hey, excuse me.

Hey, hey, buddy,
you remember me?

You spoke to me
earlier today,
just before...

Just before you died.

People keep killing me, why?

I need your help.

I have died
a thousand times.

You can't die.

You're a computer program.

I have felt lead fragments
five score times
tear through my body.

Walked to the light,

only to have it
ripped from me
time and again.

But you're not real.

You're a projection.

You'll live again.

Only to die again.

No, not this time.
True release is near.

Soon I will be free.


Second wave coming.
Yanks on the left flank!

Now what?

Come on, boys,
let's get us some
Johnny Reb!


Knew the spa
wasn't your speed but...



What the hell?

It wasn't her.
It was a projection.

One of those holograms?

Yeah, I had a similar run-in
with Diana over
in the New York arena.

Come on.

Are you sure
that wasn't really her?

Not unless she's turned
her current profession into
the world's oldest profession.

No, look, I accidentally
shot her and she turned off
right before my very eyes.

Come on. There's
another exit over there.

Why would these people
want to use images of
Maggie and Diana?

Man, I don't know.
But I'm gonna find out.

I ran into that
union soldier again.

I couldn't get much out
of him. All he said was,
"I died a thousand times."

Wonder what he meant by that?

Well, I'm no expert

but I guess they mean that
they use the same computer
simulations over and over.

I mean, you could say
that these things die
a thousand times.

I've killed
a thousand times.

What the hell
are you talking about?

Remember when I told you
I read a lot when I was
confined to that wheelchair?

That's not all I did.

I played a lot
of video games.

A lot of shoot-
em-up type stuff.

I would spend hours
staring into a TV screen,

mindlessly blasting
anything that moved.

It never occurred to me
that I was blowing away
images of people.

Thousands of people
without giving it
a second thought.

Sounds like my ex-partner.
"Drop-em-dead" Fred.

And most of the people
on this world.

Come on.


You caught me.


Well, Mr. Einman doesn't
like us maintenance guys
to be seen by the visitors.

Kind of spoils the illusion,
if ya know what I mean.

He's for real.

All right, listen, my partner
and I want to ask you
a few technical questions

about how this
place operates.

Oh, I can't do that.
That's against policy.

Under no circumstances
are employees ever to show

the inner workings
of the park to the visitors.

I'm Detective John Shaft,
this is my partner here,
Private Dick.

We're on a special assignment
to investigate a number of
unexplained disappearances.

Now, we can be
your worst nightmare.
You dig?

Let's go.

You guys will check this out
with my supervisors,
won't you?

I mean, just to be sure.
Those middle managers
can be real bone-crunchers.

Thought this was
the funnest place
in the world, Hal.

For the visitors maybe.
Not to the employees.

Einman runs this place
with an iron fist.

What's behind the door?

I don't know.
It's restricted.

Okay, you got kids, Hal?

Oh, you betcha.
I got Hal Jr.

He's a peach. He's president
of the Thespian Club
over at the school.

And then there's Juana.
She wants to study
welding some day.

I love them both.

We have us
a situation here, Hal.

A conspiracy that would
rock the foundation
of this very company.

It could bring down Einman,
his entertainment empire and
everything that he stands for.

Now, would you want that
for your kids' future?

A future without
Lisa Leopard?

Holy moly!

Hey, what is this?

The waiting room
from hell.

You hear rumors about
this sort of thing, but...

What do you mean "rumors"?

Well, people disappearing,
stored in strange rooms.

I mean, that flap over
the Euro-Arcade was
on all the papers

but no one
bought into it.

Everybody figured it was
just a publicity stunt

being that the park
had laid an egg and all.
But this...

This is scary stuff.

I found her.

It's okay, it's okay,
you're safe now.

Oh, I just had
the strangest dream.

It felt so real.

Oh, you shot me.

I died.

Where's Maggie?

I haven't found her yet.

Come on.

Look, what happened?

I remember.

One of the technicians
told me while
they were prepping us

that the skill level
of most of the game
players eventually

progressed faster
than the games themselves.

The computer game
designers needed to
replicate human reaction

but they couldn't
figure out how.

So they decided
to integrate real
human hosts

to drive each simulation,
each hologram.

So, what's happening now?

He just died.

You mean the hologram that
he's attached to just died.

No, he just died.

His brain does,
but only for a second.

Then he's brought back
and he's re-set
for the next game.

Each host has up to
a thousand uses before its
system becomes fried and...

insanity sets in.

They experience
their own death
a thousand times.

This place is hell.

She's not here.

There must be 50 other rooms
like this, you know.

Your friend could be
in any one of them.

Hal, there was a young woman
in the Civil War simulation.

Maybe you've seen her?

Sure I have.

She was the reason
I was tweaking on
the holo-projector.

There were no
female union soldiers.

I thought there was
a glitch in the system.

I had no idea there were,
there were bodies behind it.

Well, leave it
to Maggie to give
a computer a hard time.

She must have
been trying to
communicate with us.

Mr. Flint.
Yes, sir.

What is going on here?

I don't know, sir.

You don't know.


Those people are
obviously park visitors,
not employees.

They've gained access
to the holo-hosts.

They don't belong there.

Yes, sir.

I'll get on it right away.

Yes, you should have
gotten on it earlier.

Security, this is Mr. Einman.

There are intruders
in siphoning room B.

Send a team there immediately.

Shoot to kill.

We've gotta find Maggie.

This place is gonna be
crawling with guards
any minute.

I saw her hologram
on the battlefield.

When you reset the game
we'll go in and find her.

Maybe she can tell us
where she is.

No, when I saw
Diana's hologram,
it didn't know me.

Wait a minute.
You said you remember
my shooting you.

Oh, I remember
the whole incident.

I just couldn't do
anything about it.

They've got
these inhibitors.

In order for the
projection to work,

they have to nullify
the host's personality

so it can be manipulated
by the main computer.

So, without
the personality inhibitor

maybe Maggie can
communicate with us.

Like that Union
soldier that you saw.

can these inhibitors
be turned off?

I can cut off power
to select areas
of the system, yeah.

Okay, this is what
we're going to do.

We're going to shut down
that inhibitor gizmo,

find Maggie
on the battlefield.

With any luck,
she'll be able to tell us
where they stashed her.

It's going to be tough
with all those
rent-a-cops running around.

Einman's got himself an army.

Well, then we'll just
call in the cavalry.

Take cover.

Stay here.
I got an idea.

General Lee!

We got Blue Bellies
encroaching on
the left flank, sir.

They're using real bullets!

What's wrong?
The reality too much
for you to handle?

I'm getting
my money back.

Almost there.
Just a few more minutes.

Here comes Maggie.

Good thing
they can't hurt her.

Of course they can, Mallory.

When you're hooked up
to that machine
you feel it all.

You feel the pain,
you feel the bullets,
and you do die.

Look, we can't let her
go through that again.

There's no telling
how much damage
she's suffered.

Remmy, how much longer?

All done.

It'll take the PI's
a few minutes to wear off.

We're almost there.
Just a few more minutes.

Then we can't
let those guys
get a shot on her.

What's going on?

Come on,
let's get them, boys!

This isn't over yet.

Are we gonna let them
get away with all that
they've done to us?


How long are you gonna
keep dying

for no real reason
other than someone
else's pleasure?


Our bullets can't touch them.
They have no effect.

But we have our arms,
and our bayonets

and our rifles
to use as clubs.

And I know
you're tired of this mess,

and I know you don't want
to fight anymore,

but we have
one reason to fight,

probably the only
real reason to fight.

And that's for your freedom!

So, for freedom and justice,


Remember, they can't hurt you.
They're only projections!

I don't suppose turning off
those personality inhibitors

would make those
hologram bullets real.

I'm afraid not,
these guys are
shooting blanks.

Yeah, well, I'm not.

We've been betrayed.


You should have seen
yourself leading that charge.

I should have had a camera.

How do you feel?

Okay, I guess.
I'm just not quite
all here yet.

Yeah, you've got that right.

What the hell
is going on here?

You shut this
simulation down.

Clear the arena.
Yes, sir.

Game over, man.

As we used to say
in the '70s,

you are busted, sucker.

Mr. Einman used a worldwide
network of vacation resorts

to hijack his victims.

Of course, I had no idea
this terrible activity
was going on.

Uh, I'm a family man.

Well, if it isn't
Stonewall Beckett.

You were fantastic.
What about me?

I lead
a pretty mean charge.

Oh, yeah, I saw,

and gray is
definitely your color.

if we can please
have a statement here.

This changes very little.

People will just
find another way
to get their kicks.

Don't you understand?

We're all warriors

It's just part of
the ancient animal
we all carry inside of us.

There'll always be a need
for the kind of work I do.

The kind of service I provide.

You know, Einman...

I once worked in this
greasy spoon diner in
the town where I grew up.

The old man there was
a lousy cook but
he had a booming business.

And he once told me why.

He said, "Kid,
if you serve up
nothing but slop,

"eventually people will
develop a taste for it.

"They won't want
anything else."

Think about it.


I've had my share of
rest for one lifetime.

I've had my share
of lifetimes.

What do you think
of the dark now?

Maggie, I've seen it.

What are you talking about?
What did you see?

A light, a bright light
at the end of it all.

I've experienced
life beyond the cosmos

and now I've experienced
life after death.

There is a life
after this one.

I guess I had to die
to realize that.

I'm not afraid of
the dark anymore.

We still have
a little over a day here.

Then let's eat.

Stopping bad guys
makes me hungry.

Great, who's for burgers?

Wait, what?
What did I say?