Original air date April 7, 1989
Written by John Hill
Directed by Gilbert Shilton
Leap date: October 24, 1974
This Time: Sam into the boxing ring and is clobbered. He returns the favor to knock out his opponent. In the locker room, his pit crew makes it clear that the fight was rigged. As Sam gets ready to shower, two nuns walk in. Said nuns own his contract and are hoping to build a church, paid for by the prize money. Sister Angela gives him a tour of the proposed site and asks him to move into their monastery to save on expenses.
Outside his apartment, he is picked up by Edwards. It turns out Edwards is a mob boss who has an interest in Sam’s avatar, Kid Cody, fighting. At home, his longtime girlfriend, Dixie, laments missing the match for dancing. As if things couldn’t get worse, he owes money to a local bookie.
Al and Ziggy figure that Sam’s best bet at leaping is to win the fight. Al gives him some training, which is hard with one of them being a hologram. He goes to his pit crew, but after years of being involved with rigged fights, they are dubious. A quick jostling session with Edwards and they are in.
Being an out of shape and out of practice doesn’t bode well for their chances. One training montage later, Al shows up and to reports that historically, Kid Cody threw the fight. Edwards delivers a message through Sister Angela telling him what round to take a dive, also driving a rift between them.
Kid Cody wins. He and Dixie win their bet. Edwards is unhappy, but the pair won their bet of forty-eight thousand dollars, enough to pay off Edwards, fund the church and make their future dreams come true. Sam leaps …
… onto a farm while holding up a pig.
Fact Check: Muhammad Ali fighting George Forman for a tittle is on the radio in an ad, but Edwards isn’t interested, at least not initially.
Richard Nixon’s pardon is also on the news, but that happened a month before Sam leaped in.
Stop Talking to Yourself: After wondering if fate would allow him to interfere with his own life, he quickly realizes that isn’t the case. He also finds Kid Cody’s lifestyle not too congruent with his own.
Only Sam Can See and Hear: Al’s neighbor keeps him up at night. Also, he reminds Sam that they were once dreaming big when they drew up the plans for Project Quantum Leap.
His tablet makes a debut appearance. Up until now, Al had ben reciting things from memory.
Mirror Images That Were Not His Own: Sam see’s Kid Cody’s face in the mirror after the opening fight.
Let’s up the rating: Sam appears in his skivvies when the nuns walk in, forcing him to cover up with a towel.
Also, Dixie comments on how she can’t be a topless go-go dancer forever because ‘the mountains are starting to come to Muhammad.’ She has a propensity to wear skimpy outfits and streaks during the big fight.
One More Time: “I’m not going to kill you. What kind of guy do you think I am? We’ll blow off your kneecaps make you use a board with roller skate wheels for the rest of your life.”
Edwards, kindly threatening Sam.
Trivial Matters: Guy Stockwell, brother of Dean, makes an appearance as Edwards.
Put Right what Once Went Wrong: “That surprise punch in the last inning. That was inspired.” A nun, a mob boss and a boxer walk into a bar.
The boxer story is straight out of several sports clichés along with some mob boss ones. Athlete taking a dive? Check. Being on the take? Check. Mob boss threatens said athlete? Check. Training montage? Check. Said athlete winning on his own accord and not getting into trouble? Check.
Trouble is, unlike last week’s Star-Crossed, the acting talent isn’t that great here. They do a competent job, but the actors just seem to be going through the motions and there’s nothing here that you won’t get from any sports movie. There’s little chemistry, though there are some nice moments, such as when his trainer agrees to help. It’s almost as if Edwards walked in from another show. Bakula goes all Godfather at one point and it just pulls me out of the show. If there was ever a point where he earned a meeting from Edwards, that was it.
Thankfully the nuns are here. They aren’t magnificently acted or anything, though Sister Angela comes off real well, getting to know Kid Cody. The two have some great scenes together and it fleshes out the plot along with a blossoming friendship. It’s just enough to add in some fun to a something that’s going by rote. They really elevate the hour, peppering in different energy here and there.
I’ve gone through this review without mentioning Dixie., which goes to show how little impact she had, except for the “mountain” remark.
This is pretty middle of the road but does the job. These are a bunch of genres that shouldn’t work together but somehow it does.