|“Into the Mystic”|
|Episode no.|| Season 2|
|Written by||Tracy Tormé|
|Directed by||Richard Compton|
|Guest stars||Mikal Dughi|
|Original airdate||March 1, 1996|
|List of Sliders episodes|
"Into The Mystic" is the first episode of the second season for the science fiction television show Sliders. It originally aired on March 1 1996. In the episode, Quinn becomes the target of a shaman who demands his brain as payment for services rendered on an Alternate earth immersed in occult practices.
Quinn dreams that his fellow Sliders Arturo, Rembrandt, and Wade are standing over his grave expressing little grief. He awakens just in time for the next slide, and Wade tells him that Ryan (their fellow passenger from the previous episode "Luck of the Draw", who remains on this world after Wade refuses to stay with him) managed to remove the bullet he'd been shot with, but he's still weak from loss of blood. The Sliders arrive on the next world late at night during a rainstorm, and Rembrandt finds a Dr. Xang to help Quinn regain his health. On reading some of Xang's credentials, Arturo and Wade learn that he is a witch doctor or shaman.
Because the Sliders skip out on paying the nearly $300 bill, Xang has a curse put on Quinn which is delivered in the form of a subpoena by a Grim Reaper to their room that night. Bounty hunters all over San Francisco are looking for him, and the Sliders are told that only "the Sorcerer" can help him now. While dodging bounty hunters, the Sliders enter a fortuneteller's tent and she reads their fortunes. As a man of science, Arturo is especially incensed when her tarot reading shows that they're far from home and that Arturo feels eclipsed by Quinn's success in developing sliding – "like Salieri to his Mozart". When Arturo challenges the fortuneteller to reveal something they don't already know, she says that the Sorcerer is also a Slider.
The Sorcerer lives in a castle across the Golden Gargoyle Gate Bridge, and the Sliders cross the rope bridge (in this world) to seek an audience with him. Quinn rushes past the guards and Mr. Gale, the Sorcerer's business manager, as the others join him in a large auditorium and encounter the wraithlike Sorcerer, who asks them to retrieve some blueprints from Dr. Xang in return for his help. A dwarf bounty hunter captures Quinn on the other side of the bridge.
Arturo, Rembrandt, and Wade rush to Quinn's rescue just before Xang removes his brain (to be placed alongside that of former President Edward D. Wood, Jr.). At Xang's office, the Sliders find the blueprints the Sorcerer wants – blueprints for a sliding machine. When they return to the Sorcerer's castle, Quinn rushes past the guards and Gale. The Sorcerer attempts to stop him, but Quinn runs past the projection, behind the curtain (referring to the Wizard of Oz) and encounters his own double, the Quinn of another Earth who started a distribution business here with the Sorcerer trademark to counter the superstition that prevailed here. However, it should be noted that the Fortuneteller did show genuine power(knowing the "Sorcerer" is a slider, that Arturo resents Quinn for being so good at science and reminding him of "the son he neglected",excertera) With the plans for the sliding machine, "Sorcerer" Quinn agrees to help his double and the other Sliders get home. Mr. Gale, the only one who could have given Xang the plans, is fired and has a bounty placed on him.
Once the Sorcerer has fixed the timer to reach their home coordinates, Arturo, Quinn, Rembrandt, and Wade enter the vortex and reappear outside Quinn's house. In less than two minutes before the next window, Quinn deduces (because the gate that's squeaked since he was 12 now doesn't) and the others decide (based on a then-current newspaper headlined by "O.J. Simpson charged for double murder") that they're not on their Earth and open another vortex. Interestingly, Quinn doesn't seem to notice that his house is a different colour than when he left. Oddly, the house has been re-painted, the gate has been oiled, yet the front door shows signs of paint chipping. The house does have the correct house number (see trivia on "Eggheads"). After they leave, Quinn's mother and the family gardener come from the house and he shows her that he oiled the gate.
- This would be the first of a few episodes that the Sliders unknowingly return home but shortly thereafter go through the Wormhole to another Earth.
- The witches alphabet does exist and is called Theban alphabet .
- This episode marks the first time that they used a new opening message. This would of course be replaced again for the third season where it would be kept until the final episode.
- While the sorcerer is portrayed as a large, transparent being, it is, in fact an illusion controlled by a normal man behind a curtain in another room; this is in reference to "The Wizard of Oz", where the wizard appeared in a similar way. There are other references to the Wizard of Oz: the Sorcerer's gatekeeper is named Gale, some of Wade's lines mirror Dorothy's lines in the movie, Quinn needs a brain, the characters are trying to get home, etc.
- Pavel Kurlienko aka the taxi driver makes another appearance in the show in another reality.
- Though Henry the dog slid with them through the portal in the season 1 finale, there is no further mention of him. All we know is that Ryan decided to stay, possibly taking the dog with him.
- Wade mentions she has a friend named Sabrina who practices witchcraft, in a possible reference to the eponymous character of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch TV series.
- The Golden Gargoyle Gate Bridge is of course that world's take on Golden Gate Bridge
- The title of the episode is a reference to the song of the same name written by Van Morrison
- The episode picks off where the season 1 finale ended which was in a span of 6 days. So it would be 1995 and yet when they return to their world, they read news of events that happened in 1996. (not a goof: the Sliders leave their universe in Season 1 episode 1 and during their constant sliding the time adds up, especially when they spent nearly 7 weeks in the Feminist World.)
- That world's Quinn mentions that only Mr. Gale and the sliders have seen what he really looks like but the guards were also in the room and clearly see his face.
- Maximillian Arturo: That would be somebody's pet (referring to the snake Rembrandt Brown shot and killed).
- Maximillian Arturo: That would be a pet's somebody (referring to the witchdoctor Rembrandt Brown knocked out).
- Maximillian Arturo: Run! Run like Hell! (his brilliant plan after they can't pay the bill)