Gillian herself is an endearing character, enjoying a story arc that draws upon the sort of archetypal "fitting in" challenges that young people often face. It is interesting (and accurate) to see how Gillian brings so many of her problems onto herself by reacting so fearfully. A more accepting, all-knowing attitude would undoubtedly draw less gossip from the crowd.
The episode is also peppered with a few recurring Sliders regulars, most obvious of which would be Gomez Calhoun operating this world's hotel, and helping sell this world's differences with a few well-timed comic doubletakes. William Sasso delivers another great performance once again.
Perhaps more significant is an appearance by an alternate version of Quinn's Dad, played by actor Tom Butler, who had previously only turned up in one other episode with little more than one line. Butler gives a fine performance in this story, as his character gets a wide range to explore. Nice.
Also recognizable to X-Files fans will be actress Nicole Parker, who is on hand to stir up some extra trouble for Gillian. Parker often played half of the Stoner & Chick duo in several humorously bent episodes of the third season of The X-Files ("War of the Coprophages" and "Quagmire"). Parker goes for more straight drama here, although clichéd, but it works perfectly.
The weakest portion of the episode is probably in the third quarter. It seems there were a lot of variations of action possible to fill this beat out, and the location probably would have worked better for some than for others. What we get doesn't seem to be the most logical or exciting. More details (and spoilers) on that in the in-depth analysis version of this review....
Quinn and Gillian get a very beautiful heart-felt scene together, while a jukebox strums out a 1950's style romantic tune with a popular chord pattern....
Well, if you haven't seen the parallels between this episode and a certain runaway hit-film by now, the nearly identical imagery and sentiments of the climactic sequence will be the dead give-away.
Considering what this episode is about, and what is at stake, we get about as good as we can hope for in terms of heroics from Quinn. Most of this is still merely in aid of getting himself and his friends through the wormhole again and on to the next episode. But perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on him. In this one, he doesn't do too badly for making a positive impact on the world he has visited.
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