Original Air date: February 7, 1990
Directed by: Christopher T. Welch
Story by : Paul M. Belous & Robert Wolterstorff
Teleplay by: Paul M. Belous & Robert Wolterstorff and Donald P. Bellisario & Deborah Pratt
Leap date: September 26, 1973
This time: Sam leaps outside a home. A woman, Dana Barringer, gets out. As FBI Agent Peter Langley, it is his duty to protect her as she is moving residences for witness protection. They get into a car, which is shortly pelted by bullets. Thankfully, the two are bent down and avoid getting shot. As a guy gets out to verify the situation, Sam pulls into reverse and high tails it out of there. Dana wants to go to the FBI headquarters, mainly to complain about Sam/Peter, but he is more concerned about the gash on her head.
After the emergency room, the two arrive at the headquarters where Al can fill Sam in on the situation. Dana was secretary for Nick Kochifos, a shipping manager who handles illegal merchandise. He liked her to the point of promoting her where she saw the inside of his operation and turned him into the authorities. Nick bought off the jury and has been looking for revenge ever since. He kills her at 3:18 that afternoon.
Peter’s supervisor, Greg Richardson, tells Dana that they will get her a new identity and location, but she will have to go to a safe house escorted by Peter. She almost refuses but it is better than nothing. Outside the building Nick, the gunman from earlier, and a goon sit in a car. They are confident they will get her because they have a man on the inside.
Greg briefs Sam on the plan, though Sam knows Dana will die on the planned route. He tells Greg about his misgivings, but they are the only two who know about the plan. If there is a leak, it is one of them. Needing an alternative, Sam remembers a professor with a nearby cabin. This will take them away from the recorded site of Dana’s death, so they head off in a laundry truck, unaware that they are being followed.
After the deadline comes and goes, Sam wonders why he has not leaped. Dana wakes up from a nap and the two bond. Not able to have more that eight seconds of not being a complete bitch, Dana notices that they are not headed to Boston and is furious with Sam. Nick gets impatient and tries to run them off the road. Sam has Dana throw laundry bags out the back which runs Nick off the road.
Al shows up telling Sam that each time he moves with Dana, the time and place of her death changes. It will end when either Nick or Dana dieing. They try to escape, but they are stuck due to running out of gas and a broken gas gauge.
As Sam and Dana grow close, she sees a matchbook and runs off. Sam realizes that the matchbook has Nick’s private number. He is the inside man! A chase ensues and ends with Sam telling Dana that she is safe with Sam but not necessarily Peter. She is confused but comes with him. In the climactic shootout, Sam shoots Nick, whose goon drives off with the wounded Nick.
In the cabin, Sam gives her the gun and tells her to keep it trained on him until the professor gets there. Peter goes to jail, but Dana gets into a law firm, one partnered by Sam’s professor who owns the cabin. The professor enters and just as Sam can tell him that Quantum Theory works, Sam leaps …
… into a police interrogation room where he is decked. Two officers escort him back to cell with an old Native American. In the mirror, he see’s he is also a Native American.
Fact check: As a nice touch, the FBI office has a picture of President Nixon. It helps sell what would otherwise be another boring office set.
Stop talking to yourself: At the door in a suit and sporting sunglasses, Sam accurately guesses he is not there for a date. He surmises, also accurately, that he will be stuck with Dana for quite some time.
Only Sam can see and hear: Between being ignored by Sam, not being told how hot Dana is and keeping track of Dana’s death, Al is very frustrated in this episode.
Mirror images that were not his own: As Sam gets into a car, he sees Agent Peter Langley in the mirror. He gets another look later in the office.
It’s a science project: As Sam tries to catch a gun, he fumbles into the lake. Fortunately (and amazingly!) he is able to keep it above the water to prevent it from getting waterlogged.
Let’s up the rating: After flinging himself into the river, Sam towels up.
One more time: “Peter, you’re not that cute. Didn’t anyone tell you that men aren’t supposed to be that vain?” “Didn’t anyone tell you it’s not nice to be rude and pushy?” “I don’t want to be nice, I want to get the hell out of here while I can. Now start the car and drive!”
Dana berating Sam/Peter who finally gives a retort after fifteen hours of her being mean to him.
The Rainbow Treknection: Before playing Aaron Connor in The Masterpiece Society, John Snyder was Nick Kochifos,
Trivial Matters: We find out Sam graduated M.I.T in two years. Like that is impressive or something.
Put right what once went wrong: “Two hours in emergency gave me enough time to locate FBI headquarters and hopefully get Dana Barringer into someone else’s hands. Anyone else’s hands.” Dana is such a total and complete bitch. She will draw defeat from the jaws of victory despite the fact that Sam saves her life. She will go on and on about the most minute detail and constantly berate Sam/Peter for every little thing. She has contempt for the FBI (though to be fair, she did try doing the right thing but wound up getting the bad end of the stick) and their agents.
Dana is absolutely deplorable and I love every minute of it! Played to magnificence by Teri Austin, she and Bakula absolutely sparkle on the screen. They have great chemistry, and she does not step off the gas for a moment. Her dialogue sparkles since she cannot go eight seconds without complaining. She is also not a one trick pony: the quieter moments are great as well. The script is fantastic, and it is difficult finding a specific piece of dialogue to quote.
She is not the only great character in this. Nick, Richardson, even the extras in the hallway are great. We have enough time with Nick to see that he is not a simple mustache twirling bad guy adding some dimensions to him. The action climax is a masterstroke with solid directing by Christopher T. Welch. We have great cinematography on the road trip as well.
Too bad there is a huge gaping plot hole. Peter is the mole in the FBI, but Sam does not know that. Why is Nick able to track them? If it is hardware specific to the FBI then why can’t the agency find them? There is no way Peter had that much foresight to plant a tracker before the leap. But that would lead to a short episode.
It is a pity because otherwise this is a very well-constructed episode. The car chase is great and makes use of the laundry bags. The entirety of the opening act establishes the situation well. There is a good mystery as to why Nick keeps finding them. The revelation that Sam is the mole (or rather, leapt into the mole) is a great twist, one that could almost never work on another show.