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Recap / Sliders S 04 E 03 Common Ground

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Originally aired June 15, 1998

Written by Chris Black

Directed by Reza Badiyi

The Sliders arrive on a Kromagg weapons testing site, where Maggie inadvertently saves a Kromagg commander named Kromanus. Maggie tries to get the confiscated timer back from Kromanus, while Quinn and Rembrandt discover that the Kromaggs are developing a deadly weapon.


Tropes present in the episode:

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: During their dinner, Kromanus uses a mental trick to make himself appear human. He says he wanted to make this less stressful, but Maggie's insulted and wants to be treated like a soldier instead of a dupe, so he relents.
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  • Alternate History: On Maggie's world, which was introduced in the first part of "The Exodus" and destroyed by a pulsar in the second, the Japanese invaded the west coast of the US during World War II and the Marines fought block by block but the Japanese kept pouring in reinforcements. After the American lines were broken, the US government dropped two atomic bombs, one on Los Angeles and another on San Diego. This became known as the Battle of California, of which Maggie's grandfather was a veteran.
  • Civil War: We learn more about what happened between the humans and Kromaggs on Kromagg Prime. According to Kromanus, the war lasted two years and the humans won by using a new weapon in a sneak attack.
  • Defector from Decadence: Kromanus considered himself a patriot, but he becomes disgusted with the brutality of the new weapon and the testing that went into it.
    "There comes a time when even a warrior tires of pointless bloodshed."
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  • Determinator: The natives of the featured world.
    Kromanus: On most of the worlds that we conquer, the inhabitants offer only minor resistance. Their primitive weapons are no match for ours. These humans, however, we killed millions, but they wouldn't yield. The war dragged on for two years, but even though they must've known the battle was lost, they didn't stop. Chemical agents, bio-toxins, atomic weapons; they chose death over surrender.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Kromanus in response to Maggie saying it was unfair for the Kromaggs to scapegoat him.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Rembrandt pulling off Kromanus's hazmat mask.
  • Fantastic Racism: Kromaggs have no regard for humans. Meanwhile, Rembrandt's hatred of the Kromaggs reaches a boiling point.
  • Honor Before Reason: Several examples, no less.
    • Maggie risking her life to save someone amid explosions. After learning it was a Kromagg, she says that wouldn't have mattered.
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    • Rembrandt is insistent they do something to help the human test subjects, recalling how Wade and others were left behind.
      Rembrandt: I can't walk away again. Not this time.
      Quinn: Neither can we.
    • Kromanus in a nutshell—between repaying a debt to Maggie to realizing that the Kromaggs have forgotten their cause in the name of bloody vengeance.
  • Hypocrite: When Quinn and Rembrandt are caught spying on the new weapon's deadly testing, Kromanus denounces them as animals for betraying his trust.
    Rembrandt: After what we saw outside, you calling us animals?!
  • I Owe You My Life: Kromanus feels indebted to Maggie for her saving his life.
  • Ironic Echo:
    Kromanus: How human.
    Maggie: Thank you.

    Maggie: How Kromagg.
    [Kromanus smirks]
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: "Commander, I'm relieved to see you escaped without injury."
  • Motive Decay: Kromanus believed the Kromaggs at least had a clear cause during the civil war, but he feels losing made them savages.
    "Our world lost, our cause has become one of bloody retribution, genocide."
  • Noodle Incident: Maggie talks about seeing some action on her world during a push in Siberia. The Siberian Push was previously mentioned in her debut episode "The Exodus".
  • Polluted Wasteland: The human population of Kromagg Outpost 147 fought the Kromaggs with nuclear and chemical weapons, leaving the planet irradiated and its inhabitants suffering from serious illnesses.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Kromanus giving the Sliders back the timer. In this case, he's following his boss's orders about letting them slide freely.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • The episode confirms Quinn's suspicions that his world developed an anti-Kromagg weapon.
    • Kromanus doesn't doubt for a second that Krolak tried to have him killed in an "accident."
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Maggie picks up on how Kromanus wears a lot of commendations for someone in charge of a low-level site. He's the boss, and they're developing an important weapon there, but it's made clear this assignment was meant to punish him.
  • The Reveal: Quinn was the one implanted with a tracking device on Earth 113.
  • The Scapegoat: On Kromagg Prime, Kromanus commanded the forces tasked with seizing the human capital and got the blame when things did not go as planned.
    Maggie: What happened?
    Kromanus: It was a trap. Their scientists developed a terrible weapon and, as at your Battle of California, THEY PROVED THEY HAD THE WILL TO USE IT! The day was lost. The war was lost. Our world was lost.
  • The Starscream: Krolak, Kromanus's second-in-command, is chomping at the bit to replace him. Kromanus's near death in The Teaser is quickly revealed to have been an attempt to kill him; Krolak ordered the perimeter guns to be tested while Kromanus was making his way back to the garrison.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Kromagg General says the Dynasty needs Quinn to be free to slide.
    "This human has the key to our ultimate victory. The tracking device implanted in him during his captivity on Earth 113 will lead us to our home world. Quinn Mallory will bring about the destruction of his own species."
  • Villain Respect: Kromanus respects Maggie for saving his life and for being a fellow warrior.
  • World War III: On Maggie's world, there was a Third World War. However, if atomic bombs were used, a nuclear holocaust did not result.

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