Nicely, we also get to see a double of her husband Steven Jenkins as well; sadly the producers have had to recast the role, which doesn't quite work 100% with the recognition Maggie seems to want to show him. Well, at least enough time has gone by since "The Exodus" that many members of the audience may not notice.
The opening sections of the story pile on all the interesting elements, and raise excellent questions for the rest of the narrative to answer, not least of which is the simple staple that TV shows like "Lost" seemed to thrive on, namely, just what exactly is going on and who is really who? It's done fairly well here for the most part. The opening teaser sequence feels a tad off at first, as we can't quite root for the Maggie we see as much as we normally do, but before the titles cut in, we find out why and get a fascinating reason to stay tuned in.
The episode continues to work well while building towards its most key scenes, namely the exposition revealing the backstory for both alternate Maggie and her world in one plotline, and the emotional scenes between Steven and our Maggie in another plotline. After this, though there has been decent conflict set-up in both plotlines for our heroes to work through, the scenes we get are not very well written or executed to deliver logic or charisma or any other kind of true satisfaction. An otherwise fascinating episode ends rather lamely here.
Kari Wuhrer performs both of her roles well here, with the episode clearly supported on her capable shoulders. Quinn is also quite strong in his role, clearly in command of the quartet and showing leadership qualities that would have done him credit in seasons one and two. He's learned. Rembrandt has some good moments as well, but this really isn't his story. Colin gets so forgotten in this adventure that it almost feels as if he isn't even there. He's lucky if he has half-a-dozen lines in this one.
Today's big guest star is Meg Foster, who makes a nice strong adversary for Wuhrer to play off of. Her performance is good, taking the sometimes hokey dialogue and the disturbing world political situation and making it believable. It's just too bad we didn't get a better final confrontation or resolution to the conflicts surrounding her.
The Sliders easily enjoy their ability to return to a previous world here, something that is present in the background but not really discussed in the foreground. I do like that they can do that, but I think it should deserve a bit more discussion, since it is something they don't really do all that much.
And something I could have had more of would be exploration of the disaster that occurred on the anti-tech world. It seemed there was opportunity to do much more there, and such opportunities got wasted. It's a little too much "Return of the Archons" for me, and not enough "Tempo of Destruction".
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