Putting the Wade arc aside for a minute, I think we should take a minute to look at the rest of the episode.... which is damn good by Sliders standards. There's plenty of reason for easy audience investment in this one. The story raises questions, answers them in timely fashion, keeps itself moving, stays out of cliché plot routines for the most part, or makes them short and to the point when it indulges.
The Kromaggs make a good showing here. We get the first on screen manta-ship since "Genesis", and it's about time! There's no eye-eating. (Yay!) And perhaps most curious of all is that we see the first full-blooded female Kromagg ever. Which begs the question, is this even the same Kromagg dynasty that needed breeder camps last season, or is this another double of the dynasty, as we saw in "Revelations"? This story pretty much gives us the best Kromagg adventure of seasons 4 and 5, with the exception of "Mother and Child". Bring it on.
Story editor Keith Damron's Year 5 Journal details how this episode came together, and specifically how Sabrina Lloyd's presence would have to be limited to a single day of voice-over work only. What I don't see in the journal is a statement that this day actually took place. What is also curious is that Sabrina Lloyd receives no on-screen credit in the show. We have credits for the female Kromagg commander during the opening, and Wade's double during the end credits. Very bizarre, especially since there is a very moving flashback scene from "Dragonslide" incorporated into this episode. I think Lloyd deserved an on-screen credit, all things considered, which could only help put viewers in front of their TV sets for the hour.
As a location side-note, we go back to Tillman's water reclamation plant which was used previously in "Double Cross", and has featured heavily in the modern Star Trek spin-offs. This time, production focuses more on the park and less on the building, but it is still a cool location and works very well here.
Now mind you, some sections of dialogue are a bit on the cheesy side, especially in the final moments, and you've got to wonder why the Kromaggs always keep the Sliders alive in captivity. Yes, there are rough edges here, but it's better than a limp, unengaging tale where we're only waiting for the slide and hoping something more interesting comes along next episode.
Again, I scratch my head wondering how Keith Damron thinks, via his Year 5 Journal blog, that he's tying up the Wade arc with this story. First of all, the threat to Wade up until this point was not that she might be dead, but that she might be slave to having Kromagg babies for the next 20 years or so. Yes, icky and unpleasant, but presumably leaving her human physical faculties somewhat normal and healthy - unlike what we now get in this episode. So if it is our Wade we see here, she seems much worse off than before, and we've piled even more narrative debt on top of what we already had. If it's only one of Wade's doubles that we see here, that's fair enough to make a decent episode, ....but in that case we haven't even touched upon what has happened to our Wade. And lastly, just look at the title: "Requiem", which is something done for dead people, fostering the lasting false impression that this is supposed to be Wade's death.... living death maybe. I wouldn't call this episode any kind of tying up of the Wade arc, and if hindsight is any indication, neither have any of the show's other fans or casual viewers.
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