The Good, the Bad, and the Wealthy

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
(Sliders Story No. 16, starring Jerry O'Connell)
  • written by Scott Miller
  • directed by Oscar Costo
  • music by Anthony Marinelli
  • produced by Tim Iacofano (and Jon Povill, Tony Blake and Paul Jackson)
  • Production # K0805
Story: The Sliders find themselves in a San Francisco that is part of Greater Texas, where bizarre corporate laws have merged with the code of the west, allowing for the rise of gun-slinging "negotiators". Quinn's brash actions soon win him a reputation as a fast-draw champion, attracting corporate suitors, challengers, and locals begging for his help. Will Quinn continue to play hero as expected, in a shootout with Texas' finest at high noon?

DVD Extras include:

  • Photo Gallery Montage (1 minute)

Buyers' Guide Review

by Martin Izsak

(A more in-depth analysis, containing "SPOILERS" and intended for those who have already seen the program, can be accessed here.)

This story has become a favourite primarily due to the very effective way it showcases a "first" for Quinn's character development. To help prove this point, we've gone through not only all the episodes preceding it in broadcast order, but also all the episodes preceding it in what the production codes suggest as the production order. This really is the first ever story to give Quinn a heroic concluding moment that has nothing to do with escaping into the next episode, and it does so pretty much by taking him through the classic arc of the hero of a Western story, complete with the build-up to a "High Noon" style climax.

True to form, or as a pinch from the classic Western "Shane", Quinn's actions are all meant to be seen from the point of view of an impressionable young boy, including his entrance out of the wormhole. Though it looks at first as if the production is eager to do the effect on the cheap, it works this time by only showing us what the boy sees. Fair enough.

The initial exploration of the world is decent enough, postulating San Francisco as part of Greater Texas, and with radically different corporate laws. There are probably some logic holes somewhere in amongst everything that gets presented, but it's intriguing enough to pull the audience along for the ride.

Quinn's actions in the bar are helped by consistency with what we've seen him do in episodes like "El Sid" and "Greatfellas", only this time it's taken to an extreme, and Quinn will have to resolve it. For quite some time beginning here, the episode looks as though it has probably de-railed itself, with our would-be hero having done something atrociously unforgivable. As admirable as Quinn's regrets are later on (including the ones reported by Wade), he can't quite claim the territory he truly wants to at this point, unlike William Hartnell's Doctor in "The Gunfighters" (Doctor Who story no. 25). This derailing is largely fixed later on, about 1/3 of the way through. While this is immensely good, it still leaves at least two important questions.... which I won't even ask here. Come back after you've seen the episode and read the in-depth analysis version of this review to find out what they are.

Billy Ray turns out to be an enjoyable character, helping to sustain large sections of the middle of the show with a stylish combination of wit, charm, and menace. Good one. This story has an underlying half-implied tension running all the way through it, making it a good example of the drama of a sinister organization that will remain friendly with you as long as you don't try to leave. We get a bit of that in the Charlie Sheen film "Wall Street", although Tom Cruise's "The Firm" is a more solid and classic example. Al Pacino's line from "The Godfather, Part III" sums the dynamic up well: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

Interestingly during this solidly Quinn-focused story, Arturo takes more of a back-seat in this adventure than in any other we've seen yet, which is also refreshing. Wade is quite vocal and makes a strong appearance in this one, but is really little more than a walking opinion all the way through.

Rembrandt at least gets a little side-plot to sink his teeth into during the third quarter of the episode. Quinn did really good stuff with the cards in "Greatfellas", but Rembrandt is even more enjoyable at poker in this story. In terms of having easily understood motivations, Rembrandt's plot is miles ahead, easily getting audience investment, and making it easy to root for him.

But the best is saved for last, and saved for Quinn. Without giving it away, we just want to say that it's even better than what the rest of the episode may have led you to expect, gets its philosophical values right, and satisfies mythological heroic archetypes like never before on this show. Neo and the Wachowski brothers can eat their hearts out; Quinn's got the ending of the third Matrix film soundly beat here. Awesome.

Well, this episode definitely does deliver some great stuff, including something that we've been awaiting for far too long, and for that it does deserve to sit amongst the season's best stories. However, it's still not quite at the top of that list, since some of the other adventures create and sustain cooler atmospheres all the way through, with equally respectable endings. This remains a key story, and a particularly enjoyable and successful adventure. Nice achievement.

This story has become available on DVD. Click on the Amazon symbol for the location nearest you for pricing and availability:

Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC
for the North American market:
in the U.S.
in Canada
Seasons 1 & 2
DVD Box Set
Region 2 PAL
for the U.K.
Season 2 DVD Box Set
Region 1 NTSC - new for 2012
for the North American market:
Canada 1
Canada 2

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Read the Buyers' Guide Review for the next story: "In Dino Veritas"

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