A place for complete-off-topic conversations that have nothing to do with Star Trek. The rules still apply here, stay civil.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#573580
"Killin' Time"
Original Air Date: October 20, 1992
Written by: Tommy Thompson
Directed by: Michael Watkins
Leap Date: June 18, 1958

This time: Sam leaps into a man holding a gun while staring out the window. A local news report talks about an escaped criminal whose picture Sam recognizes in the mirror. A woman, Carol Pruitt, offers him some jewelry while her daughter, Becky, is shaken up.

In the Waiting Room, Leon Stiles has a gun (!) pointed at Al. Stiles takes Al hostage and walks out to also take Gooshie hostage. A lone marine on duty takes aim but Al prevents him from damaging Sam’s body. Stiles takes Gooshie’s car plus coat and goes off. Al cannot involve other agencies and goes after Stiles alone.

The police have surrounded the Pruitt residence. Sherriff Holt issues a warning while an officer named Grimes is informed that Collins did not make it. Hoyt asks for his rifle. Sam cannot let the hostages go as they are the only thing keeping him alive. Al breaks the news about Stiles but Gooshie will let Sam know of any problems while Al is away.

Al grabs a weapon, a profile of Stiles and a spare handlink with a tracker on Gooshie’s car.

The Pruitt’s plead for their safety but Sam must keep them at bay. Sam explains the basis of leaping, but it is a bit too much for them to swallow. Outside, Hoyt flat out tells Grimes he will kill Stiles as Collins was Hoyt’s daughter.

Sam unties Carol, who will not abandon her daughter. It seems that Carol is studying medicine after her husband ran off. Sam asks Carol to quiz him. She is shocked when the supposedly illiterate man knows medicine, adding to his credibility. Gooshie arrives and says that not only will the Sheriff storm the house, but Becky will also be caught in the crossfire.

Al drives out on Stiles’ trail with the CD profile. Ziggy believes Stiles will go after a street walker.

Sam lets Becky go as a s show of good faith; to keep her alive and to buy more time. Per Gooshie, this should be enough for Sam to leap but Stiles being outside the Waiting Room prevents that. Also, Sam still gets shot by Hoyt.

Stiles picks up a woman right before Al arrives. Al gets a visit from an invisible Gooshie (brain waves are not perfectly aligned) who says that Stiles must get into the waiting room before Hoyt storms the house. More amazed at the technology than the woman’s edible body paint, Stiles holds her at gunpoint when Al bursts in for a standoff. A mirror breaks the tension and Stiles lets off several rounds. Al is struck by ricochet long enough for Stiles to run off, though Al is in pursuit.

Becky tells Hoyt and Grimes the truth convincing them that Stiles has gone off the deep end. While Carol and Sam bond, Stiles makes his way back to the Project, holding Gooshie at gunpoint to travel back. Al hits Stiles with a tranquilizer, though why he could not have done so earlier is an exercise for the viewer.

Everything is in place, but Sam does not leap. Hoyt bursts in and asks Carol to leave. She will not let Hoyt kill Sam. Carol talks him off that ledge and Sam is taken into custody. Sam leaps …

… into a man clothed in a bathrobe and bathed in lights from a flying saucer.

Fact check: Sam names a handful of the dozens of bones in the foot but gets full credit. Where was Carol Pruitt when I was in school?

Stop talking to yourself: Ever the scientist, Sam likes to take a moment before reaching a conclusion. This leap makes that a bit challenging.

Only Sam can see and hear: A gun, handlink, and bulletproof vest. Al sure is ready to go all Rambo to retrieve Stiles.

Mirror images that were not his own: For the second week in a row, we get a mirror image in the teaser. This time after Sam sees a mug shot on TV. Returning the favor, Sam appears in the mirror while Stiles holds the street walker hostage.

It’s a science project: Ziggy alters Gooshie’s brain so that he can communicate with Sam in the waiting room. It mostly works, aside from some fading, static and vocal distortions.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: Project Quantum Leap is an A1 classification meaning that they are not allowed to involve other agencies. I am sure that will go over well if Stiles starts shooting people randomly.

Let’s up the rating: The street walker gets no cash from Stiles or Al. Her room is very much in shambles when all is said and done.

One more time: “His name is Sam Beckett. Mr. Stiles is in the future.” “What do you mean?” “Mister Beckett travels through time. Now he’s here and Mister Stiles is there.” Did he tell you that?”
Becky being honest and Hoyt being confused.

Trivial Matter: We have a rare instance of punctuation in the title with “Killin’ Time.”

Put right what once went wrong: “When was the last time you met an illiterate speed reader?” It took just over four seasons, but we finally found out what happens to people in the Waiting Room. Sam has leapt into bad guys before but here we see how things can very quickly go wrong.

There are a lot of things that happens for this plot to work. For one, there must not be a whole lot of people on duty. We see three people staffing the project, one of whom is an extra. There is talk of other staff but where is everyone else? Is it a weekend or something? Where is Dr. Beeks? Why is Al meeting Stiles and not her? Was she on a break or something? Plus, they cannot involve other agencies which will not be comforting in Stiles goes on a rampage.

We rarely get a look at 1999, certainly not outside the project. Here, we go downtown and see more of the world, something we have really not done since the pilot, a courtroom nonwithstanding. Stiles is fortunate enough to run into the only prostitute without a pimp or sex hotel without security. So much of this happens for the sake of happening that makes it hard to believe, which is saying something for a series based around leaping into other peoples bodies. Stiles comes back to the project to leap back but it is more for plot convenience than anything else.

We have not seen Al in the driver’s seat since the season four premiere and he handles himself pretty well. The plot handwaves him not being able to involve another agency and he does a good job tracking Stiles. He is at the forefront, leaving Gooshie to minister to Sam. Why he could not have taken someone along is a mystery. Still, it is good to see Stockwell take change and he is up to the challenge. Cameron Dye gives Stiles an edge and has fun in the killer role while also being overwhelmed by the future technology.

We also get to see more of Gooshie as a result. He has been pretty bland up until this point but takes on the lab geek role well. We see him both with Sam and Al. He is as surprised as everyone else, but you get a sense that he has worked with both Sam and Al. Dennis Wolfberg does great things with the material.

The leap itself does not really present Sam with all that much to do. Jim Haynie’s Hoyt is there to kill Stiles out of revenge and Joseph Malone is there to listen as Grimes. Yes, Sam not doing all that much is kind of the point but while he does have some good talks with Carol, played excellently by Connie Ray, it goes nowhere. OK, she bonds enough to convince Hoyt not to kill Sam, but while the medical quiz scene is fun this could have been excised.

There are so many contrivances to get this plot to work. With apologies to Red Dwarf, the two biggest are that Stiles leaps in with a gun and Stiles leaps in with a gun; those are the same, but it is so huge it is worth mentioning twice. There is almost no one in the building, security or otherwise. They wave their hands about not being able to get any other agencies involved and this cold-blooded killer does not kill anyone in 1999. The chase to get Stiles is rushed. In the end, Stiles just waltzes back in so that the episode can end.

There is a good idea in here and while it does answer a long-standing question this could have been so much better. This could have been knocked out of the park after a few more drafts.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#573859
"Star Light, Star Bright"
Original Air Date; October 27, 1992
Written by: Richard C. Okie
Directed by: Christopher Hibler
Leap Date: May 21, 1966  

This time: Sam leaps into a man clothed in a bathrobe and bathed in lights from a flying saucer. It vanishes into the night as Sam is met by a young man before the two are intercepted by an officer.  Sam is Max Stoddard, father of John and grandfather to Tim, the young man.  John is all but fed up with Max running off and Tim covering for him.  John is also skeptical about the lights in the sky as is Tim to a lesser degree. 

Upstairs, Tim and Sam have some bonding time as Tim asks his grandfather to stay put.  After Tim leaves, Sam looks at the room and determines that Max has been investigating flying saucers for decades. Al arrives telling Sam that he has to stop telling people about his findings as John will commit him in less than a week.  As he waxes poetic with Al, John and his wife Eva listen in, thinking Max has to be committed. 

The next morning, John and Tim argue about post high school options.  Tim wants to go into music, John wants college/work, but Sam proposes both.  He tasks Al with combing the records to find more information.  As Sam argues the virtues with Al, two men are watching from far away with binoculars.  One, a soldier, thinks Max is a waste of their time while the other, a scientist, sees a man who keeps notes and is thus worthy of their attention. 

Sam walks in on Tim as the youth prepares to runaway.  Sam proposes Tim go to college in New York and play music at night to earn tuition money.  Sam does some jamming with an electric guitar in a rendition of Glory, Glory Hallelujah. John and Eva are not amused.  At dinner, Sam broaches the subject of music and school, but John is not interested, leading Tim to run off. 

With Tim’s future at stake, Sam chases after Tim.  Al gives Sam a secondary objective to save Tim from overdosing.  Sam talks about the negative effects of drugs and the odds improve saving Tim. 

That night, Dr. Hardy and Major Meadows visit the Stoddards.  Sam is tight lipped (at Al’s urging) but the two know they have a live one on their hands.  They offer an appointment but privately say to John that they did so as an opening to take Max to a special facility.  Separately, Ziggy is able to put the pattern together; each sighting is followed by another couple days later. 

John and Tim take Max to Clermont State Hospital the next day.  Inside, Hardy and Meadows have a cocktail of drugs ready to get information. If he takes a ‘truth serum,’ he can damage the timeline, perhaps even Project Quantum Leap.  He does his best, but they inject him besides.  Outside the hospital, John and Tim see the official’s car and realize something is up.  They rescue Sam as he cries like a canary, but do not get much of a head start.   

Sam leads the two to the sighting area where they have a standoff with the agents.  They are visited shocking everyone.  Sam steps forward and leaps … 

… into a forklift raging out of control.  A man comes to help whom Sam recognizes as Frank LaMotta.  A mirror confirms he has leapt back into Jimmy LaMotta.   

Fact check: There is a reference to Nixon being history, but this is before his resignation. It was when he was rising to the office of president. 

Also, a reference is made to escaping the potato famine but that would put Max well into a hundred at the absolute youngest. 

Stop talking to yourself: Sam is set on proving the sighting true, with John and Tim reconciling being more of a bonus. 

Only Sam can see and hear:   Needing to prove his sanity, Sam does not realize that talking to Al in other peoples’ sight is not the best idea. 

Mirror images that were not his own:   After hearing a middle-aged guy call him ‘Dad,’ Sam sees old Max in the mirror. 

Brush with history: Sam refers Tim to Woodstock, though it is a bit further off than Sam believes. It’s a science project: As Al urges caution, Sam says that we would not have the light bulb or landed on the moon for want of caution. 

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow:  Just as Sam is freaked out by the leap in, Max believes he has been abducted on leap in. Asking to go to the leader, Al introduced him to Gooshie. 

One more time: “See how they gang up on me?”  “It takes a gang to get through to you.”
John being stubborn and Sam calling him out on it. 

The Rainbow Treknection:  With this story about an intergenerational family, it is only fitting that Michael Maguire played Major Meadows here and also Kes’ father on Voyager. 

Trivial Matters:  Sigmund Freud and Ludwig von Beethoven both spoke to themselves.  Your humble rewatcher might let a few bits of genius slip through as the days progress. 

We get a reference to Sam’s mind merging with Lee Harvey Oswald’s in the season premiere. 

Chuck Berrie, Keith Richards and Jimmi Hendrix get name checked as lead guitarists while Eric Clapton gets half.  Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Elvis are refenced as artists who had drug related deaths. 

Project Blue Book, an early effort into looking into alien life, is referenced. 

Al wants to leave everything to his first wife Beth should he be blinked out of existence. We met her in the second season finale M.I.A. 

Put right what once went wrong: “Pop’s right.  You’ll all feel better after a good night’s sleep.”  “I won’t.”  Coloring outside the lines can be rewarding but it is also perilous.  Here, we go outside the time travel lines to the UFO section. 

And it works. Well, it does really not work as a UFO story, but it is fantastic as a family piece.  We have three generations working together and at each other’s throats. Max and Tim are working against John. Their arguments are solid as is their bond.  Sam proposes a way to make everyone happy, but John sees the danger in the path. There is not one right answer, and the script lets both sides give their peace.  John even talks about how thrilled he would be if Max paid for his education.   

Guy Boyd’s John has to be father to both his son and father.  There is a gruffness leaving the sense that everyone else will come around in time.  Tim in fact goes along with locking up Max, after all.  Anne Lockhart does not have much to do as the supporting mother while Michael Maguire’s Major Meadows and M. Richard Greene’s Dr. hardy are a good two act as villains.  The script gives them enough material to play with as Meadows is the subordinate skeptic and Hardy is the one who believes and gives the orders. 

Morgan Weisser’s Tim ties everything together.  Seventeen going on thirty, he is the rebellious son and loving grandson.  He shares a lot of scenes with Sam and the two build a good rapport.  The scene with the overdosed musicians feels tacked on to pad the runtime but builds on their jam session which built itself on their talk early in the episode.  It is tacked on but feels earned. 

The writing is not entirely polished.  The government officials feel like they are there to be an additional obstacle, and the ending gives credence to Max’s claims, but we do not know what happens. Still, some good performances to watch.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#574111
"Deliver Us From Evil"
Original Air Date: November 10, 1992
Written by: Deborah Pratt & Robin Jill Bernheim & Tommy Thompson
Directed by: Bob Hulme
Leap date: March 19, 1966

This time: Sam leaps into a forklift raging out of control. A man comes to help whom Sam recognizes as Frank LaMotta. A mirror confirms he is leapt back into Jimmy LaMotta. In the interim, Frank has gotten some sort of promotion that includes an office and an assistant. Also, Jimmy got Employee of the Month recently.

At home, Connie is hanging up the laundry while chatting with a redhead named Zoe. She bemoans rote household chores when Frank and Sam come home. Dinner does not go well as Connie and Frank get into an argument about gender roles in the late sixties. Privately, Corey asks Jimmy if they can run away together. As of late, Connie and Frank have been arguing and Connie has been ignoring Corey. Sam talks him out of it.

Al arrives and begs Sam to stop changing history. What was once a fairy tale ending is now a divorce for the couple, a life as a runaway for Corey and spending the rest of his days in an institution for Jimmy. They do not know what happened, but they do know that Frank leaves Connie for his assistant, Shirley. Sam intercedes in a move to make sure that sparks do not fly too much between the two. It works, but Frank decides to go for a ride afterwards.

Not making headway with Frank, Sam talks to Connie trying to get her to work on the marriage. She is not receptive, and things escalate when they touch arms, she shimmers and morphs into an entirely different person. Her name is Alia, and she is from the future. A different imaging chamber door opens, and Zoe comes out of it. At first eager to get the gorgeous eye candy that is Sam, she charges Alia with being quiet and goes back through the door to someone or something called Lothos.

Al appears and realizes that there is someone else leaping, which Ziggy can confirm for some reason left as an exercise for the viewer. Sam talks with Alia but while he is open, she is less sure about sharing information, though she is able to feign a foggy memory of which Sam is all too familiar with. She perks up quite a bit at learning that Sam was there before and says that her mission is to make Jimmy more independent.

Through Al, Sam finds out that Frank is about to break his sacred marriage vow with Shirley. Unable to convince Frank to stay faithful, Sam confers with Alia. She seduces him but when things escalate, Frank comes home. As Sam rushes to get dressed, Alia rips her dress and cries rape.

Frank is furious and it is only Al’s urging that prevents Sam from fighting back. He tries telling Frank the truth (about being seduced, not about leaping) but to no avail. Sam is locked in the room leaving him and Al to speculate. Meanwhile, Alia asks Frank to call a doctor and get Jimmy revaluated. Alia wonders why she has not leaped and through Zoe, Lothos tasks her with killing Sam. Al realizes that she is his counterpart, and evil leaper. Sam talks her out of shooting him as they bond over leaping. She gives the gun to Sam, starts to distort, and leaps out …

… and Sam leaps in. Connie is visiting her sister and Frank is ready to take Jimmy to work. It is two days later (give or take a few hours; it was night when everything changed but is the morning now) and there is no trace of Alia though Sam is sure he will see her again. Sam leaps …

… into a man in a swamp holding an oar. He quickly notices that body in the swamp which is starting to lose color.

Fact check: Gemini 8’s emergency landing gives Sam an idea of how long it has been since he first leapt into Jimmy.

Stop talking to yourself: Sam is beyond thrilled to be back in familiar territory, apparently forgetting he went home a couple seasons ago. He is also a fan of tv dinners, wolfing it down while his brother, nephew and sister-in-law are trying hard not to play with it.

Only Sam can see and hear: Al is enamored by Shirley’s profile, being a young woman and former gymnast. He also knows that when you help someone move, you get sweaty and might need to take a shower leading us to question how many times he has helped women move.

Mirror images that were not his own: Two leapers, two mirror effects. All right, more like four but Sam and Alia face the reflections of their leapees.

Brush with history: Sam introduces the term ‘junk food’ into the vernacular, after learning how Corey has been in the dumps as of late. Al even calls him out on it.

Something or someone: Sam talks about how he does not leap until he makes things better. Alia agrees while lying through her teeth. Their leaping does come into play in the end when they realize that they need each other.

It’s a science project: Even without looking at the directions, Sam knows the importance of leaving the foil on the TV dinners for the best results.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: Ziggy is freaking out as to why Sam leapt not only in close proximity to a prior leap but someone that things went so well, he leaped out. Dr. Beeks is tasked with calming the supercomputer.

Let’s up the rating: Zoe is every bit as interested in the wild amore of the opposite gender as Al, particularly is sizing up Sam. Also, Sam does a great job of making sure things do not get too heated between Frank and Shirley.

One more time: “She’s insisting that history is changing, so whatever you’re doing, you better stop it.” “I ate a TV dinner, now is that changing history?”
Al giving a warning and Sam wondering how fickle history can be.

Trivial Matters: Sam does not utter his catchphrase at the start of this episode. Frank gets that honor.

We also have another instance of more than one leap per episode giving us five, after Genesis, Double Identity, The Leap Back and Lee Harvey Oswald.

Put right what once went wrong: “Are you talking to a hologram?” By the very nature of the program, Quantum Leap has a lot of flexibility in the stories it can tell. With that flexibility comes limitations as direct sequels are almost entirely off the table. Maybe a prequal or a meeting someone he knew from a prior leap indirectly, but if Sam fixes things, why would he ever go back?

It is a genius premise to start with. Sam revels in being back with the LaMottas. He gets to talk with Connie, loves being with his brother Frank and has time to spend with Corey. The three main actors from Jimmy returned and Sam picks up right where he left off. He does his best to keep the family together and keep Frank on the straight and narrow. The writers did an excellent job of giving us scenes with Sam and Frank, Sam and Corey, Sam and Connie to show that things were starting to slip but these are very much the same characters we saw on screen two years ago.

Of course, ‘things going well’ is not a compelling story, so we have Frank straying from Connie. We see Corey being pushed out and Connie promoting Jimmy’s independence for some reason. Things will become clear down the road, but initially it is a good mystery. As Connie, Alia is trying to push Jimmy out and there are references in the end of the episode to her being a homewrecker. Making things worse by making them better for someone is great. There are clues laid in as the episode progresses, little things like Connie ‘forgetting’ Frank’s lunch, making crappy TV dinners, and being rude to Corey but only as of late. It does raise questions why she is pushing the family apart when she claims to be trying to bring them together and Sam does not realize at all. The writing is strong particularly with Corey. Ryan McWhorlter grew a bit since we last saw him, but he can still have an emotional scene with an adult.

Having someone going around time being evil is an intriguing concept, one played around with in the Boogeyman. There, it was in the face of Al and at the very end of the episode. Here, we have someone who is Sam’s counterpart, even with a hologram and supercomputer of her own. The revelation is only in the last ten minutes of the episode, but Carolyn Seymour as Zoe and Renee Coleman as Alia talk about their history. It is not outright said how long they have been doing their actions, but it stated out small and got bigger as time went on. There is a serious question as to whether or not one can exist without the other. It is a fun thought experiment, but things can go wrong easily enough without someone helping history get crappy.

The effects team gets to have some fun in it all as well. The effect for the door, the leap out effect, even Zoe’s handlink are all different. Alia leaps out red because of course that is how science works. This brings up all sorts of questions since we see history changed each week, but it never requires a leap, certainly not an effect, along with missing two days, to resolve. Did Frank not sleep with Shirley? Did Connie start making meals from scratch again?

In between the two plots above we have Sam meeting another leaper. There is the requisite wondering why Sam has not leaped out whenAlia is there to help out but their scenes where they realize who the other is has a lot of fun moments. Al is thrilled and Zoe is interested in someone who looks like Scott Bakula but quickly turns venomous. The hints are there, and Alia plays off not being able to remember. For once Sam can talk to someone empathetically. There are times when Al does not do the trick and Alia is someone he can talk to and relate to. Today we would call this a mythology episode but if this series is to grow and expand, this is the first step towards doing so.

The acting is great all around as is the writing. There are only a few new actors and both old and new do their jobs well. Thankfully, the writers left the door open for another episode for the Evil Leaper to return.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#574504
"Trilogy: Part I (One Little Heart)"
Original Air Date: November 17, 1992
Written by: Deborah Pratt
Directed by: James Whitmore Jr.
Leap Date: August 8, 1955

This time: Sam leaps into a man in a swamp holding an oar. He quickly notices that body in the swamp which is starting to lose color. The victim is Bert, a Deputy Sheriff and Sam is his supervisor, Sherriff Clayton Fuller. He determines that Bert was dead before he was put in the water. Both Sam and another deputy take the body back into town, wondering what they will tell the widowed Leta.

Bert was discovered by Abigail, Fuller’s daughter. Sam goes to comfort her and assigns the deputy to drop off the body before comforting the grieving. Talking to Abigail, Sam finds out that she saw Bert alive! Bert accused her of stealing a locket from his daughter Violet. There are few specifics, but Abigail was the last person to see either Violet or Bert.

There are a lot of gaps to fill, none of which Al can help with since there was a flood in 1978 that destroyed the records. Al in confident that they can figure things out. Abigail hears Fuller talking out loud and they discuss Laura Fuller, wife and mother. They miss her but are working through it. Al is off to find more information when Sam sees a figure right before the door slams. He heads into the hallway only to find Abigail who spookily says good night.

The next morning, Leta demands to see her husband’s body but Sam has to wait for the autopsy. Leta reluctantly understands and they head to the funeral home. Leta takes her time to collect her thoughts while the coroner privately shows Sam that there is a blow to Bert’s head even though he died of a heart attack. There is an uproar in the office as Leta accuses Abigail of not doing anything to prevent Bert’s death, as if a nine-year-old can help a two-hundred-pound man tripping and having a heart attack. Per Al, Ziggy found a newspaper from Fuller’s hometown headlining Fuller and Abigail being killed in a suspiciously caused fire the next night.

Sam comforts Abigail. As the two have a moment, Abigail confesses to beating Violet over a locket. Violet ran off to tell Leta, but no one saw her alive after that. Abigail recalls Bert yelling about the locket as well but is certain she did not kill either. Unbeknownst to them Leta is eavesdropping.

Sam finds out that Laura’s mother had mental issues and took her own life. Al tells him that Laura is alive in an institution. She is comatose ever since an incident a couple years ago. She does not speak but Sam figures out that Leta stated the fire. As he rushes out, Laura reaches out.

Leta secludes and confronts Abigail, though she is able to get away and hide in a closet. Leta searches for her but Sam arrives. Looking to take care of two birds with one stone, Leta drops her lantern. Sam saves Abigail but not before seeing a vision of Laura. Leta escapes out that back as a flaming beam comes down on him as Sam leaps …

… into a couple getting a jump start on their honeymoon. Sam finds out that he is Will Kinman, assistant in the sheriff’s office, while the woman he is in bed with is Abigail.

Fact check: Sam gets a quick history lesson about presidents when a deputy suggests Truman run for a local office on account of not having a job.

Stop talking to yourself: For the third time, Sam leaps in to find a corpse. As he wonders how a child could be a murderer, we see Abigail picking flowers.

Only Sam can see and hear: Stairs are for chumps. Or at least, not holograms. Al decides to push a few buttons rather than climb down a staircase.

Mirror images that were not his own: Exasperated, Sam sees Fuller in the kitchen mirror.

Brush with history: The discussion of presidents reminds your humble rewatcher of when Lost took an extended trip to 1977 and one of the characters asked to know who the president was in case he was asked. He never got an answer and was asked later. In case you find yourself in a similar situation, the answer is Jimmy Carter.

One more time: “You are a male. Of the Caucasian persuasion. Forty ish. And well, let’s see, you’re a sheriff? You’re a sheriff.”
Al trying to give Sam information just by looking around at him.

The Rainbow Treknection: Abigail is played by Kimberly Cullum right before she played Gia in Thine Own Self.

Trivial Matters: All of the episodes of this trilogy are directed by James Whitmore Jr. who doubled as Fuller. Directing one episode takes a crap ton of work, directing two episodes in a row taken a heck of a lot of work. Directing three in a row is impossible so they used some TV magic; this episode was produced first, Whitmore got to take a nap and later on in the production schedule, some episodes later, they filmed the last two back-to-back.

Max Wright is the town coroner. In both look and mannerisms he is fairly unrecognizable from his most famous role on Alf.

Put right what once went wrong: “Promise you won’t go away?” “I promise I’ll be here as long as you need me.” A simple whodunit this is not. That much is made clear after the initial investigation where we have a scene with Abigail and Sam. Both he and Al are drawn to her. Their relationship forms the core of this episode which is a character study.

Kimberly Cullum has a masterful performance here. And she is a kid. Child actors range from decent to horrible and with all the chips on Abigail, Cullum delivers. There is enough innocence in the role along with understandable confusion as to what is happening around her. The foundation is laid early with her taking a brush to Sam’s hair. This is a mother daughter ritual (or a daughter doll ritual) but tells you everything you need to know. Sam tries to get information and is able to glean some but there is a lot that a child cannot talk about.

Leta is not entirely unsympathetic. Her earned sympathy goes out the window when she tries to murder a child, but you see where she is coming from. Looking from her point of view, Abigail is suspect, or at least has additional information. She is cold but also going through losing her husband after losing her daughter. Mary Gordon Murray has a calculated calm fury that goes off the rails in the end.

The plot is there to serve the characters which can be a death sentence for the story, but it lets the actors play their roles in the first part of a three-part story. There are a lot of plot points left up in the air since we really do not know what happened to Violet and can kind of piece together what happened to Bert.

No seed is better planted than Laura’s. We know what happened, but we do not know what happened. Played wordlessly with a stare by Meg Foster, it may seem like sitting in a chair does not require acting training but her silently raising her hand after Sam and Al leave says a lot. She appears too frequently (or is at least cut back to) to not have more to do in the story. I am not at the edge of my seat, but I am eager to see what happens next.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#574972
"Trilogy: Part II (For Your Love)"
Original Air Date: November 24, 1992
Written by: Deborah Pratt
Directed by: James Whitmore Jr.
Leap Date: June 14, 1966

This time: Sam leaps into a couple getting a jump start on their honeymoon. Sam finds out (and we get black and white flashbacks to demonstrate) that he is Will Kinman, assistant in the sheriff’s office, while the woman he is in bed with is Abigail. They are broken up and he is chased out by the Fuller’s housekeeper, Marie. We then get a bona fide previously on segment. After Sam gets his ‘little behind out,’ Abigail confides to a smiling Marie that she will not be alone anymore.

As Sam wanders wondering why he is back, Al arrives with the date, identity and not much else to go on; the flood mentioned previously having wiped the records. He sees Sam getting a bit too involved, including stuttering as a residual effect of leaping into Will. Al goes back to figure things out while telling Sam to take a shower.

Abigail balks at superstitions and sees Sam before the wedding. Marie arrives to chastise them. Sheriff Loman comes on the scene about a young boy, Pervis Takins, who disappeared. Abigail babysat him the prior evening, but he got upsent and stormed off to his room. He ran away and Sam is there to keep things calm until he is found. Per Al, they try to hang Abigail the following night, but she is shot in the back.

The meeting goes well as the Takins admit to speaking with Pervis after Abigail left but she says that Pervis had no friends and Mrs. Takins accuses her of being as crazy as her mother, Laura. The couple leaves and the sheriff organizes a search party. The wedding is postponed.

Sam goes along with the search party to find Pervis as much as keep them away from Abigail. Leta is there telling him about the ‘Fuller Curse,’ though Sam does not believe in that. He accuses her of setting the fire that killed Clayton Fuller, but Leta tells him to ask Laura about that.

Abandoning the search (and Abigail for reasons not adequately explained to the viewer) Sam visits Laura who recounts the rampage of her own mother. She asks Sam to protect Abigail, almost as if she knows who he really is. Sam goes back to Abigail and after they once again copulate, a mob breaks in, knocks out Sam and takes Abigail out to be hung.

Sam stops the crowd from hanging Abigail as he provides the place where Pervis is hiding. Leta tries to take matters into her own hands and shoot Abigail, but she misses and is not arrested for reasons also unexplained to the viewer. The mob disperses and Sam declares his love for Abigail right before leaping …

… into Stanton, a retired lawyer from Abigail’s hometown, reclining in his study while reading the paper, his wife is nearby in lingerie ready to get it on.

Stop talking to yourself: Not a voiceover per se but Sam does recount leaping out of a raging fire into a nice soft bed. We get a proper voiceover later wondering if Al will be prompt or if Sam will have to go through with the wedding.

Only Sam can see and hear: Al breaks Sam’s reverie by telling him not to talk out loud to himself as that is a cuckoo look.

Mirror images that were not his own: Sam sees Will Kinman in the mirror while getting ready for the wedding. It becomes apparent that the suit is too big, and the Will is still played by Travis Fine the same actor who played him in the prior episode.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: It is unclear if Will is shaken up about his stuttering or being removed from consummation, but he is not too helpful in the Waiting Room.

Let’s up the rating: After an amorous leap in, Al tells Sam to cool his jets for Abigail. Apparently, a later encounter has Sam sleeping in trousers. The mob knocks him out and when he comes to, he has pants and a belt on.

One more time: “I’ve got a whole church full of people out there.” “Abigail, half those people are outside my office right now waiting on what to do to find that boy.”
Abigail arguing with ready to go on with her wedding and Loman telling her to slow things down

The Rainbow Treknection: Last week, Stephen Lee played a bumbling Deputy Loman. This week, he is a competent sheriff. Before either, he was Chogran in The Next Generation’s The Vengeance Factor.

The understandably bitchy at her missing son Mrs. Takley is played by Wendy Roble who would go onto play Ulani Belar in Deep Space Nine’s Destiny.

Trivial Matters: The title card gets upgraded this week. It is not an overlay and has a lovely cursive font unlike every other episode.

In the mob scene, a production goof has Abigail’s hands jumping up and down as the angle changes. Either that or she can do things no other woman can do.

Put right what once went wrong: “You two rabbits out to be ashamed of yourselves. The wedding is tomorrow. And in case you forgot how to add that’s one more day.” Why did this have to be a trilogy? There is very little that happens in this episode to move things forward. We have Abigail being accused but that is broken up by the end. There is no additional information from Laura and while there is nothing wrong with this hour it seems to just be there and not do a whole lot more beyond making a duology into a trilogy. Sam’s obsession with Abigail comes out of nowhere and works better with a twenty-one-year-old woman than ten-year-old girl but he is seemingly over that by the end despite his last smooch before leaping out.

There are good performances to be had. Fran Bennett does much better as Marie this week being the stalwart guardian to the Fullers. We saw her in part one, but she has a lot more to do, and a lot more sass to give, than last week. Leta does not really advance her plotline, but Loman is further down in his career path.

In terms of new talent, the best is Melora Hardin as Abigail. She is fantastic in the role trying to escape the shadow over her family. Her wedding is interrupted, and she gets hung. She has romantic moments but can stand on her own when she has to defend herself, provided there is not a mob. It is great to see strong women on screen

In a show that can rarely have week to week continuity, Deborah Pratt sure has fun reminding us through Sam of the prior leap. It is much more effective, and covers most of the same ground, as the previously on segment. Al is the only person he can recount things to. There is also a scene where Sam confronts Leta of killing Fuller. He knows she did it but cannot prove it and she easily denies it verbally though her facial expressions say otherwise.

A watchable hour struck by a clear-cut definition of middle chapter syndrome. They cannot all be the Empire Strikes Back.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#575429
"Trilogy: Part III (The Last Door)"
Original Air Date: November 24, 1992
Written by: Deborah Pratt
Directed by: James Whitmore Jr.
Leap Date: July 28, 1978

This time: After a recap of parts one and two, Sam leaps into Stanton, a retired lawyer from Abigail’s hometown, reclining in his study while reading the paper, his wife is nearby in lingerie ready to get it on. They are soon visited by Marie. Abigail is in trouble, though the details are vague. Some remains have been found and Abigail is accused of murder. No one in town will take the case so Marie approaches Stanton. The bones match Violet but the statute of limitations has expired on that. Far more recently, though, Leta was found with her throat cut and Abigail is the main suspect. In the original history, Stanton did not take the case and Abigail died in the electric chair.

Back in Pottersville, Sam meets Denton Walters, prosecuting attorney. He also finds out that Abigail never married Will. Alone in an office, Abigail says she got home and found the scene a mess with Leta dead. Sheriff Loman was on the scene as he got an anonymous call about a woman screaming. Sam tells her that even if the case is reopened, Abigail would not be at fault as a minor. Abigail recounts the beating of Violet over the locked but is adamant that she did not kill Violet.

At the Fuller residence, Sam meets Abigail’s daughter, Sammie Jo, the spitting image of Abigail at ten. He calms her as she heard bad things through the grapevine. Al arrives and says that Sam is there to save Sammie Jo as well. He is the father; she is a genius but drops out of school when her mother drops off the mortal coil.

Sam refutes a lot of Walters’ opening statements, but the witnesses say that the knife was found with Abigail’s prints and Leta’s blood. Later that night, Sam and Sammie Jo bond over having a photographic memory. The conversation inspires Sam to visit Laura and see if memories can return to the surface. The visit does not go well at first, but Laura remembers Sam visiting in the previous episode and produces the locket. Sam notices that her hands and scalp, hidden under a veil, are burned. Was she at the fire?

Despite the very high risk of being struck as unreliable, Laura testifies. Years ago, she found Violet wandering around after being beaten by Abigail. There was a tussle resulting in Violet falling down the well where her remains would be discovered but not before Laura grabbed the locket while trying to save the child. Walters objects and Sam tells the court he is trying to clear Abigail’s name after being dragged through the mud. Sam doubles over in pain. As he reaches for his medication, he finds some bills Abigail gave him in the sheriff’s office. This gives Sam inspiration to call Abigail to testify.

The judge says that Walters has not been able to cross examine Laura while Walters wants her testimony stricken and declared inconsequential, though one imagines that may have already been made before. Walters is overruled. On the stand, Abigail recounts coming home and finding Leta in the kitchen and Loman coming shortly after. The phone bill has the number for Loman but the call in twelve minutes before Abigail got there. Sam puts forth that Leta finally had evidence to put Abigail away, but Walters told here it would not work. She searched the home for something but found nothing and killed herself with a knife she knew would have Abigail’s prints.

There is an uproar, Walters starts spouting off objections and the judge orders the courtroom cleared. Sammie Jo makes her presence known and recounts how she was hiding in the kitchen and saw Leta the whole time. Abigail marries and Sammie Jo is put on the right path, eventually working for Project Quantum Leap and having a working theory on how to get Sam back. Sam leaps …

… into one of three bank robbers. We quickly discover that they are brothers.

Fact check: Though the trial happens in 1978, Abigail is not put in the chair until 1984. After appeals, discussions and pleas this does sound fairly accurate.

Stop talking to yourself: Because he read the newspaper/script, Sam knows he is there to help Abigail. Also, it is suspicious that Leta is killed as she is mounting a case against Abigail. As if being the third part of a trilogy was not enough, Sam knows he is there to finish things off once and for all.

Only Sam can see and hear: Ever the constant reminder that Sam is not the person he leaps into, Al says that Sammie Jo is Sam’s daughter.

Mirror images that were not his own: Getting up from his chair on leap in, Sam immediately recognizes Stanton in the mirror.

Brush with history: Brigadoon is refenced as Sam and Sammie Jo have talks about the magic of time travel.

It’s a science project: Sammie Jo heard that her mother was in trouble. A certain person who committed genetic material to your humble rewatcher knows that when he did something at school, by the time he got home, his mother, neighbor, aunt and whole neighborhood would know and this was before the internet, twitter, facebook, emails, etc.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: Stanton believes he is dead and tries to negotiate in the afterlife upon leaping into the Waiting Room. What else would an octogenarian sitting in his chair before leaping out think? Also, the trial of the hereafter is totally how heaven works.

Let’s up the rating: Sherlynn Stanton is really in the mood in the teaser and first act. Really in the mood.

One more time: “Larry, will you please open the door? I’m far too upset to be entertaining guests.”
Shelynn being especially overly dramatic.

The Rainbow Treknection: Meg Foster special guest stars in all three episodes as Laura. She would play another mysterious figure in Deep Space Nine’s Muse.

Put right what once went wrong: “I was brought here from very far away to help your mother and I wouldn’t have been brought here if I couldn’t do the job.” There is so much story potential for this to work. Leaping into someone’s life from multiple time periods, they do not necessarily have to be chronological. There are a lot of ways this can work not only well but uniquely in the way Quantum Leap tells their stories. The only self-described Trilogy, this could have laid the framework work for a unique show such as this to break new ground in its fifth season.

Instead, we have a strong first hour, a middling second hour and perfectly decent third.

There is simply not a whole lot learned from the conclusion. The biggest revelation is Violet’s fate which harkens back to the first hour. We also get more from Laura than in the previous two episodes combined but it does not really go anywhere. Oh yeah, we also find out that Will ran out on Abigail.

Leta’s fate could have been avoided and is a disservice to the character. It is fitting that she can haunt Abigail from beyond the grave, but to have her end like that is just anticlimactic. We saw the rage in the prior hours, but she was just too far gone. It did not help that a lot of her arguments were given to Mrs. Takely in the second hour.

The climactic trial breaks all sort of legal conventions. Testimony not only from a child, but the daughter of the defendant and not on the witness stand, Laura being allowed to testify, Sam knowing the contents of the phone records despite us not knowing that he read them. Why did he not take them back to Abigail’s house? We saw him there several times. Chekov’s phone bill indeed.

It is not all bad. The first act is great as is Sam figuring out what is happening. Fran Bennett continues excellent performances as Marie. One of few characters/actors to appear in all three hours she is the emotional core of the Fuller household loved by both Abigail and Sammie Jo. Her scene at the start with Sherlynn and Sam is fantastic as a slice of life of both the south and retirees. Kimberly Cullen returns to play her own daughter, having a different relationship with Sam this time around but acting amazingly opposite Bakula. The two have amazing chemistry and even though it is contrived, seeing them together is not a bad thing. Melora Hardin as Abigail has not all that much to do, and Meg Foster’s Laura is dispassionate after everything she has been through.

For a show that will always walk the line between fate versus free will, Al says that Sam is Sammie Jo’s father. This is coupled with Sam developing the same condition as Stanton. Al is too quick to dismiss Will as the father leading to all sorts of questions. It is good that Sammie Jo is put on the right path but there are too many larger questions asked and unanswered.

The car went off the rails in something that could have been so much better than the hype.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#575870
"Promised Land"
Original Air Date: December 15, 1992
Written by: Gillian Horvath & Tommy Thompson
Directed by: Scott Bakula
Leap Date: December 22, 1971

This time: Sam leaps into one of three bank robbers. We quickly discover that they are brothers. They demand the rather specific sum of $37,893.19, which is not available, and the manager will not be back to open the safe until later. The alarm sounds and the police cut off the back entrance.

Al arrives and the two go off into another room. He is Willie Walters, and in Sam’s hometown of Elk Ridge, Indiana. Willie is the middle brother, younger than hothead Neil and older than John, who has never been in trouble until now. The three need money to pay back a loan on their farm and what better way to do so than robbing that bank? As Al says that they died in the getaway, John summons Sam.

Chief Mundy is on the phone. Knowing who they are, they demand Gus Vernon, the bank president. That will take time, but Sam tells them to get on it. While Mundy takes the tried-and-true tactic of getting some coffee and pie to wait, a local hothead is worried about Mary, his wife and one of the hostages.

The three take off their masks as Al tells Sam that Vernon is pretty crooked in buying land, building a mall and profiting through kickbacks. Al wants Sam to surrender but that will put the Walters in ruin. Sam announces that they do not want to hurt anyone. He has a talk with the Pierce and learns more about his family. Two of the bank employees argue, one of whom, Beth, is the pregnant and unsympathetic to the bank.

As things get heated, Vernon arrives as does the Walter’s matriarch Mary. Vernon is pissed at having to drive thirty miles to resolve the situation, but Mary is pissed at the prospect of losing her way of life, something she passionately notes has happened to a lot of people in town. There is an applause, and it is easy to tell which side the bystanders are on.

Neil publicly confronts Sam, but John privately confides that Neil respects Willie and hopes that things work out. Al believes that if there is something to prove Vernon’s guilt though it is in the Vernon household.

After creating a distraction, Sam runs a mile to Vernon’s place. Finding a lockbox, he wonders how to pick the lock when Vernon arrives sarcastically offering the key but seriously holding a gun. As he is ready to call the chief about shooting an intruder, Sam knocks him out and shoots open the lockbox. The find they needed document and take it along with the unconscious Vernon. The documents prove that something crooked is afoot when the agreement as signed months before the foreclosure.

This puts Vernon away but there have been shots fired. Mundy suspects Carl and Al confirms that John is hit. Sam tells Neil the news, but they are arrested. Neil serves time but John and Willie are off under the circumstances. The bank reviews the loans and forgives the debts. Sadly, Neil becomes a drifter and gets shot. Depressed, Sam sees his own father and the two have a moment. Sam leaps …

… into a man greeting his loving family. His leapee, Martin Elroy is called to the courtesy desk where he is greeted by an entirely different but equally loving family.

Fact check: Two dollars an hour for a rural bank in the early seventies? Even with all things considered that seems a bit low.

Stop talking to yourself: Ever the observer, Sam realizes that when you hold someone up, there is fear in their eyes.

Only Sam can see and hear: Al is able to cross vast distances as a hologram, but Sam has to run the mile to get to Vernon’s.

Mirror images that were not his own: Alone with Al and pondering how he gets himself into these situations, Sam sees Willie in the mirror.

Brush with history: As Sam is out of breath from an impromptu run, Al hopes he leaps into Carl Lewis next week. Spoiler: he doesn’t!

Something or someone: Not only does Sam have enough time to stick around and find out what happens, he gets to see his father and wish him a Merry Christmas.

It’s a science project: Needing a distraction, Sam does the only thing he can. He asks the pregnant woman to go out into the middle of the street and pretend to go through labor.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: As Al and Sam argue over how to proceed, Sam says “Forget Ziggy.” Al sarcastically repeats it and then the handlink beeps twice as Ziggy puts in her two cents.

One more time: “He made the loan he can unmake it.”
Neil not quite knowing bank policy.

The Rainbow Treknection: Shelby herself, Elizabeth Denley, guest stars as the very pregnant, and very aware, Beth. Lorinne Vozoff followed up on her heartfelt performance as Mary with the heartfelt performance as Irene Hansen.

Trivial Matters: Sam wonders why the bothers rob the bank to pay the bank. There is a Robin Hood quality to it that reminded your humble rewatcher of his portrayal of the Sheriff (“Don’t they know I’m just going to take it back again? If this ridiculous recycling of funds continues, I might as well burn the bloody books!”) some years ago.

This acts as a spiritual ‘sequel’ to The Leap Home from the third season premiere. Sam’s mom gets a first name of Thelma and Bakula reprises his role of John Beckett.

Put right what once went wrong: “You see these [hands]? This is what my father left me. We get up before the sun and finish after dark.” One of the most frustrating things about Trek is when you commit a crime, you can escape consequences if you are undergoing Ponn Farr, reacting to a homing beacon, under alien influence, etc. There are a lot of get out of jail free cards.

It is refreshing to see a story with actual consequences. Granted we do not see the consequences, but they are there.

A soft sequel to The Leap Home, we get to see more of Sam’s hometown. We see the people of the town. The writers were clear to include scenes with the people who are village elders, the barking bank employees, the chief grabbing some food at the local diner. The small-town vibe is very much there.

We get a good picture of the situation in the struggles of a farmhand. These still ring true today, but Mary passionately talks about the troubles the family has endured and the applause confirms that they are not alone. Lorinne Vozoff delivered a stirring speech. Johnathan Hogan has little to do beyond being a smarmy asshole, but Arlen Dean Snyder plays Mundy with a good, weathered calm. It is telling that he lets the boys wander around out of handcuffs at the end.

Chris Stacy is perfectly fine as John but Dwler Brown is amazing as Neil. He has the front of an angry man trying to save his family and some of that anger goes to Willie who went away. He also does not like the implication that he was snookered on the deal. We find out through John that Neil admires Willie. You can see the layers in the performance, and it is great to watch.

What is not great is the appearance of John Beckett. Tacked on at the end, it does not add anything to the story. It literally gives Scott Bakula a moment with himself but does not advance things and tries to take our mind off the fact that Neil will die years later. A pathetic attempt to give us a happy (happier?) ending, on every level it is a failure in an otherwise fun episode.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#576259
"A Tale of Two Sweeties"
Original Air Date: January 5, 1993
Written by: Robin Jill Bernheim
Directed by: Christopher Hibler
Leap Date: February 25, 1958

This time: Sam leaps into a man greeting his loving family. His leapee, Marty Elroy is called to the courtesy desk where he is greeted by an entirely different but equally loving family. She is Rachel and sprung quite the surprise on Marty. Al is on the scene to provide lodgings and while he is still trying to sort things out, he tasks Sam with making sure the two never meet.

At dinner with Ellen and their kids, his son handicaps the dog races for a fee of three dollars and the gifts Marty has for his family are underwhelming courtesy items from the hotel. Ellen wants to go to the movies and Sam agrees to after he runs off to meet Rachel, who is happy to be with her husband. Their son, Josh, does a good job pilfering housekeeping’s cart over Sam’s protestations. Also, their daughter, Jessica, is oddly protective about money with Marty.

Al arrives giving a background of Rachel being Marty’s first wife, but he got married to Ellen on a dare. He has to choose one and Ziggy has the odds even between the two. Marty cannot commit either way, so it is up to Sam to make the determination.

Needing to spend time with both families, Sam takes both to the movies. Things start of well with Rachel but Sam leaves to purchase ‘some’ snacks (the kids name pretty much every item in the concession stand) and spend time with Ellen. After several seconds, he takes Marty Jr. to the restroom to get some snacks. He quickly runs into Jessica, sent by Ellen to see what is taking so long. He makes an excuse but no six (or sixty) year old will buy it. With a boatload of snacks, Marty Jr. comes out and the family pilfers through the snacks. After half the items are gone, Sam runs off to Rachel. Eventually, both women are fed up and rush off to confront Sam in the lobby.

Thankfully, Sam hides from the women but runs into a couple of burly types that gambler Marty owes money. They give him a punch in the gut and a twenty-four hour deadline to pay the two thousand dollars they are owed.

The next morning, he tries to meet Ellen, but Marty Jr. greets him instead. She is off at work, but Marty Jr. gives Sam some spare change lying around. Rachel is also out getting her hair done in the lobby. Josh gives him some money which Sam reluctantly accepts.

By an amazing coincidence, Rachel works at the solan in the lobby and is working on Ellen’s hair. Sam narrowly avoids being seen by them and has Al eavesdrop while he gets one away. He calls Rachel away to read a note on her car and makes a date with Ellen. Having sorted things out with a few hours to spare, the burly guys meet Sam.

The arbitrary deadline is shortened by a few hours. Sam goes to the phone in order to talk to Al. It seems that Jessica is running away so Al goes off to talk to her while Sam bets on a long shot with the meager money he has on hand. Both are successful!

The two Mrs. Elroys meet in the lobby and reject their husband. All three of them and their kids turn out fine; even Marty, who cleans up his act. Rachel and Ellen walk off arm in arm. A third woman comes to surprise her husband, Marty. Sam leaps …

… into a rally attendee at a bra-burning women’s liberation event.

Stop talking to yourself: Sam loves the irony of having two wives but still sleeping on a park bench.

Only Sam can see and hear: Al comes in in with a clutch having a nice hotel that Ellen and her two kids can stay at. Hopefully, this is a person Al in on good terms with, otherwise the proprietor would eventually stick Al with the bill. Also, we have another instance of a child seeing Al.

Mirror images that were not his own: After fobbing one family way and before meeting the other, Sam looks at the exacerbated Marty Elroy in the reflective surface of a cigarette machine.

It’s a science project: We have a literal science project as Marty Jr. did a project on static electricity.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: Marty is a hero to Al, who could have had ten ex-wives instead of five.

Let’s up the rating: Marty and Rachel have a weekly naughty schoolgirl night. Marty and Ellen have a weekly Chambermaid night. They are on successive nights so does Marty regularly arrange his schedule as such?

One more time: “I decided honesty would be the best policy.” “For boy scouts, not bigamists.”
Sam and Al arguing over how to handle the situation.

The Rainbow Treknection: Shay Aster has a very small role, the smallest of all the kids, actually, as Mary. She was also Isabella in the eponymous episode.

Trivial Matters: Despite Al being a hologram, one extra in the hallway deliberately avoid him and looks at him directly.

While Al is with Rachel as the latter is on the phone, of course Sam can hear Al from the other end of the line. Amazingly, Al can hear Sam! Because he’s that awesome!

Put right what once went wrong: “Have fun with Ellen, but don’t be late for Rachel.” Let us start with the first forty-five minutes of this episode. We’ve seen Sam play a wide manner of people, but with the exceptions of this season where he played a killer, opened as an assassin and just last week held up a bank (plus a stint as a bad guy in a prior season), they have all been good people. Or at least good at heart.

Marty is kind of a louse. He has two wives, a gambling problem and no regrets. Everyone is tired of his antics from his wives to his kids to his bookie.

With all due respect to the actors involved, there really is no difference between the two families. There are differences but they are too few and far between. Robin Bernheim did herself no favors as it is hard to distinguish between the two wives even when they are right next to each other. That was the point and led to some fun moments in dialogue but in an episode where two thirds are to find the right wife, it is a problem.

It is sad because the script is written so well. It is a sliding doors comedy, but Mary Lou Childs plays the doting housewife from palm beach and Jill Tracy is good as a New Yorker. They have similar roles, but Ellen is more homely. The movie theatre scene has Sam running in and out of the theater with one on the left side and the other on the right and is absolutely hilarious and is right out of the Marx Brothers. The confrontation scene works as Childs and Tracy have fantastic chemistry both comedic and dramatic with each other.

The kids can be a mixed bag but all four are workable. Well, Shay Astar does not have much to do as Mary but J. D. Daniels’ Josh knows his father’s schtick and is not willing to put up with it for two much longer. Michael Bellisario is better in his fourth role in the series as Marty Jr. Both sons are resentful but love their father at the end of the day.

Ashley Peldon has a lot of work to do as a small child. The latest person who can see Al, the two share a great moment when Al convinces her not to run away. It is a cheap trick to get Al away from Sam during a critical moment, but it is smartly done and the two are great opposite each other. There is no time to get Dr. Beeks, so Al has to do it on his own. He calls back to his time being an orphan. It all works together and is touching.

The good will and work done is all destroyed in the end when a third wife shows up. After making the decision that Marty is best off without a wife and forced to clean up his act, a third wife is there to muddy the waters a bit further. It is almost as if someone thought that the hour needed a button of some sort and went with the worst possible option. It is a bad ending to an otherwise good hour that owes a lot to sitcom tropes of yore.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#576827
"Liberation"
Original Aire Date: January 12, 1993
Written by: Chris Abbott & Deborah Pratt
Directed by: Bob Hulme
Leap Date: October 16, 1968

This time: Sam leaps into a rally attendee at a bra-burning women’s liberation event. A photographer takes his picture. There are some guys nearby heckling but the event is soon broken up by the police who disperse the crowd by arresting the protesters.

George Sanders and his son George Jr. are wondering where their wife/mother is. George is hosting a business function and George Jr. is moderately worried. They argue about working class incentives but one colleague, Evy, does not like it as it does not support working mothers. The phone rings and George excuses himself.

Police Chief Tipton arrives with a slew of charges the ladies can face. George enters and has a talk. Tipton’s son was at the party and George has some dirt on Tipton. Sam and his daughter Suzanne are free to go.

At home, George accuses Margaret, Sam’s Leapee, of embarrassing him in front of a friend not to mention the father of one of his best employees. He winds up voluntarily sleeping on the couch. Al says that while Sam is there to help event organizer Diane, he has to keep George and Margaret together.

The next morning, teenage Suzanne is taking Margaret’s side while Sam tries to get her to see George’s. Speaking of, George comes to breakfast and wonders who to promote. There are reasons for both Evy and Peter Tipton but Evy seems to be the favorite for both good (seniority) and bad (George can pay her less due to company policy) points. George Jr. comes in with the newspaper and George is further infuriated by the picture of his wife and daughter. He rescheduled a dinner party for that night and orders Margaret to be there.

Al arrives with more details about Diana. There is a protest that night and Tipton gets a little to overeager. He points a gun at Diana, but Diana grabs it only for Tipton to regain control of it and shoot her.

Suzanne is at Diane’s office. Diane tells her that she herself was beaten and she has no qualms about being physical to achieve her means. Sam picks up Suzanne and encourages more peaceful solutions similar to Martin Luther King jr. and Ghandi. As a result, Diane survives.

George has a chat with Peter before his father arrives and talks privately to George. He was assigned by the FBI to keep an eye on Diana and must report everyone who comes in contact with her. George asks him to leave Margaret and Suzanne off the list before all but telling George to give the promotion to Peter.

Suzanne tells Sam that Diana arranged for a sit in at the local men’s club. Al says that she gets shot at that event. Sam talks her out of it and the odds go down, but George comes in armed with facts and is very confrontational. Suzanne is rebellious at George and takes him telling her not to attend the protest as permission to attend. To make things worse, per Al, George leaves Margaret that night.

The dinner goes pretty well though talk is dominated by Peter. At Sam’s urging, Evy brings up the large number of women entering the workforce who would be comforted at knowing they would be taken care of in the event of a disability or other crisis. George is interested. While Sam is preparing the roast, Al arrives telling him that Suzanne and Tipton are shot.

At the protest, Tipton tries to arrest Diane, but she slugs him. He pushes her down and Suzanne grabs her gun which Diane uses to hold Tipton at bay. Sam uses reasoning to defuse the situation, but Diane still fires a shot, though she misses and is arrested. The crowd disperses though Tipton can arrest Suzanne on a felony. Sam talks him out of that, and Tipton admits that Sam made sense. George arrives ready to leave but Sam convinces him to stay with the family and accept change however incremental. They stay together and the women remain active in the movement. Sam leaps …

… into a radio host being asked about the correlation between a man’s feet and a certain other body part. He is Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Fact check: Allen Ginsberg’s Howl along with Kwame Ture & Charles Hamilton’s Black Power and Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunich are seen, though that last one must be an advance copy.

Stop talking to yourself: Having been both a man and a woman gives Sam a unique perspective on the women’s rights movement.

Only Sam can see and hear: Al suggests that sit ins and other peaceful protests are good publicity.

Mirror images that were not his own: Not quite a mirror, but when Sam gets his picture taken at the rally, we get the mirror sound effect as he sees Margaret Sanders. We get a proper mirror effect later as George chews out Margaret.

Brush with history: Sam makes Griddle Cakes a la Beckett. He is referring to his family name, but Suzanne associates them with the philosopher.

It’s a science project: Sam is quite the accidental athlete. Startled by a camera flash in the opening, he hurls his bra right into the bonfire.

Also, this scientist with multiple degrees uses a liquid measuring cup for dry ingredients. He does not even make sure he has the right amount!

Let’s up the rating: Women in prison excites Al. Not these women specifically but as a concept in general.

One more time: “Are you sorry you burned your bra last night?” “No, the last thing I want to wear is another bra.”
Suzanne asking a question and Sam winking at the camera.

Put right what once went wrong: “Maybe the reason why your father is having trouble listening to you is because you’re having problems listening to him.” There are times when it becomes painfully obvious that as progressive as Quantum Leap is, there is still a far way to go. It was not until the second season when Sam leapt into a woman and was in essence wearing drag for a good chunk of episodes of the series. George and Sam get close in the ending moments but do not kiss. It would not have been the first same gender kiss on screen, but the censor would likely have put their foot down.

This episode has a strong script. Deborah Pratt is on old hat with social justice episodes, and you can see her work on this. The counterculture movement of the sixties, the historic peaceful protests, they are all there. We get a good look at all sides of the issue as George brings up points for and against who should get the promotion. There are points on both sides both valid and invalid. As huge as the women’s rights movement is, the household conversation is where a lot of decisions happen as well, and it is great for the show to acknowledge it.

The local debate is well represented by Evy. Though Sam has to give her some encouragement, she makes her points and Peter does not really have anything to counter other than being a jerk at the notion. Hard as it is to praise Bill Calvert for being naïve, Jordan Baker gives Evy a quiet confidence. She can make her points and has a lot of information to back them up.

Diana Valkenburgh gives dimensionality to Diana and while she eventually devolves into an ugly person, she gives her background to Suzanne. It is hard to remember that as an adult, Diana was brought up in the forties, but her history is far too common. We never learn what George has on Tipton, but we are told that they have a long friendship. Stephen Mills plays the role of both police chief and good friend well.

Megyn Price plays Suzanne with a gusto. She is old enough to understand the argument but young enough to not realize that change is not overnight. Sam keeps her on the right track while reminding her that small gains are gains. Max Gail gives an understated performance as George. He is exacerbated and tired of having the same arguments but Sam reminds him that the arguments will continue, and he can either move with them or be left behind. The yelling at his wife and daughter do not work too well but you can see on his face that he is moved by what is happening. A product of the same households as Diana, he sees that change can happen. His expression at dinner when Evy talks about the role of women and their decisions says it all.

I do not usually talk about the future tease at the end, but it is odd to have a woman openly asking about a guy’s junk after this hour. That does not detract from some performances that show you do not have to be lethargic to be understated.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#577139
"Dr. Ruth"
Original Air Date: January 19, 1993
Written by: Robin Jill Bernheim
Directed by: Stuart Margolin
Leap Date: April 25, 1985

This time: Sam leaps into a radio host being asked about the correlation between a man’s feet and a certain other body part. He is Dr. Ruth Westheimer and the questions only make Sam more uncomfortable. The producer, Debbie, calls for the announcer, Doug, to take a break. After some surprisingly mature coaching from Al, unsurprisingly coached by the real Dr. Ruth in the Waiting Room, Sam continues talking to a woman named Annie who has a boss coming onto her. She cannot talk long and the show closes while Annie is forced to hang up.

Debbie accuses Doug of cutting Annie off and Doug says that she hung up. At any rate, they are unable to trace the call. Sam leaves them to argue in the background to have Al look into Annie. Unfortunately, there are thousands of Annies in Manhattan. Ziggy believes that he is there to get Debbie and Doug, who have been on and off, to become an Instagram Official couple.

At a book signing, Annie appears. Sam gets her last name and talks to her as she admits that it was a mistake to let her boss, Johnathan, buy her dinner. Sam offers to console her, but she sees a shady guy and runs off. With the odds of Debbie and Doug going down, Sam sets up a triple date. Despite Doug proposing, Sam reads into commitment issues on both sides as she storms out and he talks about a colleague named Brenda. Per Al, that winds up disastrously for all parties.

As Sam records some promos, Annie calls certain that she is being stalked. Sam runs off to her after she hangs up. He saves her after she accidentally leaves the gas on and offers to help her in the office. They run into Johnathan in the lobby and Annie quickly exits. Johnathan plays the victim card which Sam does not buy initially until he finds out that Johnathan changed his number and is happily married. He is concerned about Annie and offers his card.

Sam makes progress with Debbie and Doug during a break, but there is a personal call from Brenda, or, as Debbie knows her, ‘the tramp from the Christmas Party.’ Rather than take a call, Sam talks about Debbie and Doug. It seems that Doug pulls out of the relationship so that he does not get hurt. The two reconnect.

At her apartment, Johnathan confronts Annie, who Al confirms will die in hours. Sam goes there and stops Johnathan, rendering him unconscious for the police to arrive. Annie turns out fine, Debbie and Doug are head over heels for each other, but Sam does not leap. Al checks with Ziggy and finds out that one more session with Dr. Ruth is necessary.

Al has never told Tina he loves her. His first love was Beth, but he admits to loving Tina as well and goes off to tell her. Dr. Ruth asks for her next patient and leaps out …

… as a tall dark and handsome man leaps in. With fangs.

Fact check: Dr. Ruth did have a radio show in the eighties though I doubt it was with this specific producer and announcer. Also, there is a not-so-subtle jab at silicone breast implants.

Only Sam can see and hear: Al gets along quite well with Dr. Ruth.

Mirror images that were not his own: While processing things at leap in, Sam looks at Dr. Ruth. There is a climactic chase and fight where reflective surfaces are strategically placed so that we can see Dr. Ruth running over cars and throwing a guy over her shoulder.

Brush with history: As Sam confronts Johnathan about sexual harassment, an African American woman named Anita goes into an elevator.

It’s a science project: When talking with Dr. Ruth, Al rattles off several synonyms for the chest.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: To make their guest in the Waiting Room more comfortable, Dr. Ruth gets an overcoat and a pair of glasses.

Let’s up the rating: Dr. Ruth guest stars in this episode. Yeah, there’s a lot of eroticism in this hour.

One more time: “Why does someone as famous as you want to help someone like me?” “How do you think I got so famous?”
Annie wondering how she got a guardian angel and Sam talking about how hard it is to become one.

Trivial Matters: While this episode has the standard number of leaps we expect, the final one is not by Sam ‘in the field.’ Rather, it is done by Dr. Ruth in the Waiting Room.

Dr. Ruth guest starred in this episode. After Chubby Checker, she is the second and final person to do so though she was able to portray themselves relatively contemporarily.

Talking Sam out of sticking around to help people, Al references Bellvue, a psychiatric hospital in New York.

Put right what once went wrong: “This sounds like a great leap. You just sit here and talk about sex. Think of it as a learning experience.” Sam’s first leap into a celebrity getting into her prime. Three plots, one of which was in the Waiting Room and a celebrity guest star to boot. This could very easily have been a disaster.

A lot of the credit goes to a strong script by Robin Bernheim. Though some parts seem like Dr. Ruth was consulted, personal relationships can be a hard sell, and she did a great job of juggling everything. The plots are interwoven well, and nothing really stands out as an A, B or C plot. They are all of importance. Director Stuart Margolin has some great framing and tricks. The chase sequence has Sam running over cars in a traffic jam, with Dr. Ruth being seen in car windows plus Doug and Debbie do an amazing job of arguing in the background.

Anita Barone and Peter Spears are a great two act as Debbie and Doug. The two need romantic chemistry sure, but the actors play off each other well. At the dinner which goes horribly, Debbie is yelling intimate details and Doug makes sure they are properly announced. She pours a glass of water on his pants to cap things off.

Robyn Lively’s Annie is more nuanced. We go from a woman being fearful, to a woman who might have mental issues to a woman being confronted. There are lots of twists and turns but Annie’s innocence shines through. James McDonnel’s middle scene with Sam shows a more sensitive side casting doubt on Annie’s allegations. He offers evidence and advice to help. In the end it turns out he is a bad guy. There are signs of a thumb on the scale, but everything works from the writing to the fight choreography.

Snuck in very craftily is Dr. Ruth and Al. We are starting to see more of the ‘modern’ era, the Waiting Room in particular this season. Whereas Dr. Beeks’ absence has been handled fairly decently thus far, here it is more than justified. We know about Al’s issues with women and his conversations with Dr. Ruth come across as natural. It is a surprise to him that interference is needed but not to us. For a show that sometimes goes too far out of the way to put the focus on Al, this was organic and helped a long running plotline.

This show is firing on all cylinders.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#577524
"Blood Moon"
Original Air Date: February 9, 1993
Written by: Tommy Thompson
Directed by: Alan J. Levi
Leap Date: March 10, 1975

This time: Sam leaps into a coffin. As he gets up and takes in the spooky scene around him, a young woman asks if he slept well. He is Lord Nigel Corrington, and she is his wife, Lady Alexandra Corrington. She mentions getting ready for the Blood Moon. Their butler, Horace, tells them that things are ready, including livestock from the nearby village.

After Lady Alexandra takes care of the dog and Horace covers the coffin, Sam has a moment with Al. Lord Nigel is an eccentric artist, and the castle has been in his family for generations. Also, Lady Alexandra was formerly homeless. After Al accuses Lord Nigel of being a vampire, Al departs.

Dinner guests Victor and Claudia arrive. Introductions are made and both are taken in by Lady Alexandra. As they get seated for dinner, Sam excuses himself to talk with Al. Lady Alexandra’s body is found two nights hence drained of blood. Al looks into Victor along with the Blood Moon ritual.

Sam tries to get information from his guests, but Claudia does a great job of caressing the other three diners and a poor job of providing any sort of explanation. Sam has a private conversation with Lady Alexandra who recalls being abandoned almost immediately after she was born. She confesses abandonment issues to Sam having grown up with nearly thirty girls in the same situation.

Information is more forthcoming from Al who says that the Blood Moon is a ritual that requires a sacrifice. Lady Alexandra died as a result of her corroded artery being punctured by a silver dagger, one similar to a gift presented by Victor. Also, Al says that Lord Nigel does not merely look like the three century old ancestor, but that they are one in the same. The only way to definitively disprove that theory is to go to the graveyard but just as they are about to open the coffin, they hear a scream.

Lady Alexandra is producing the scream, having come across the corpse of their pet whose throat appears to have been cut. Victor gives his condolences, but Sam is suspicious even before spotting a blood stain. Sam calls off the ritual out of an abundance of caution. Victor raises a toast to the company and smiles at Claudia as Sam and Lady Alexandra are drugged. Victor confides that they have two sacrifices to make.

Victor vaxes nostalgic over the Sam and heads off to kill Alexandra while Claudia goes for Sam. As she gets close to his neck, she is knocked out by Horace who came back to the castle in the nick of time. Sam confronts Victor but as the dagger is raised, he is electrocuted and falls upon the grave of Lord Nigel’s ancestor.

The local detective does not see the need to bring Sam in for questioning as they lived nearby for centuries, and their version of events is corroborated. Sam does not want to keep Lady Alexandra involved with Lord Nigel’s deeds. He gives her some money and sends her on her way, eventually becoming a Missionary. Sam considers this definitive proof of not being a vampire and looks at a reflective plate to see what he looks like. Seeing no image, he leaps …

… into a costumed character on the hood of a car in the middle of a race.

Fact check: Al brings Sam a book How to Spot a Vampire by Dr. Lang. The work is pure fiction. There is a Count Bothery mentioned but appears to be a reference to the Countess Bothery.

Stop talking to yourself: There have been good leap ins and there have been bad leap ins. This one was just bizarre.

Only Sam can see and hear: As Sam looks at one of the skeletons on the wall, he sees smoke, then Al walks through it. Sam freaks out and when Al sees what is going on, freaks out himself. It is quite an entrance.

Mirror images that were not his own: We do not see Lord Nigel this week. There is a humongous painting that we are told self-portrait but there is no Mirror Tingle. This is the second and final time we do not know what the leapee looks like after the season three finale, Shock Theater.

Brush with history: Bela Lugosi, a famed Dracula actor, gets a name check. Along with Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney two other members of the Monster Rat Pack of the 40’s, a term I just coined!

Something or someone: Not only does Sam have time to chat with the detective he also has time to chat with Al a bit before leaping.

It’s a science project: Boris puts out a flame with his finger. It is a risky proposition unless you know …. the science!

Let’s up the rating: Al’s evidence of being a vampire are a pale complexion, beady eyes and a lustful stare. Sam observes that Al matches that description as well.

One more time: “Leis this Halloween? Is it Halloween tonight?” “Not unless they moved it to March!”
Sam wondering about the situation and Al setting him straight.

The Rainbow Treknection: Rod Loomis is suitably creepy here as Horace and was Paul Manhein in The Next Generation. Quantum Leap is not his only time travel genre credit as he also appeared in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures as Freud.

Trivial Matters: The teaser did not appear in the prior episode, making this the first time in quite a while where you had no preview the previous week, certainly the first time midseason.

If you really need to know what Lord Nigel looks like, watch the last few moments of the prior episode, Dr. Ruth.

Put right what once went wrong: “I have waited for this moment my entire life. To bridge the gap between the living and the dead.” This community exists in large part due to Decipher, particularly their Star Trek products. Decipher was also known for their How to Host a Murder kits. You get some friends together, everyone gets a role, you find out who the murderer is and have fun.

One of the ways that was successful is that it involved more than four people. Here we have a fifth with Horace and a sixth with the detective but when we know Sam does not kill Lady Alexandra and she does not kill herself, the solution becomes too obvious.

While the Decipher kits were themed and Murderous Vampires is a theme that can be interesting, here it is not. Every scene goes on for much too long and there is a good twenty minutes of plot spread over an hour. So much of this drags on and while there is atmosphere, Tommy Thompson’s script is weak. Thankfully, Alan L. Levi has good direction and only one jump scare that he just had to put in. Vernon Ray Bunch has a spooky chord, but the rest is done as best as the actors can manage. Is the Blood Moon a sex thing or a murder thing? It can be both, but it is creepy and not in the way the script intends. Al agrees that Lady Alexandra needs to be sent away without even consulting his handlink. Do they get divorced or what?

Ian Buchanan and Deborah Moore are watchable as Victor and Claudia but seem fairly one and a half note. They are in character, but the characters are flat and poorly defined. Shea D'lyn turns out a great performance as Lady Alexandra selling her current circumstance to support her husband but also not forgetting from where she came. It is great to watch but does not make up for the rest of the episode.

With cheap standing sets out of the backlot and a relatively small cast, this screams bottle episode. Some can be great but this one is not.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#577923
"Return of the Evil Leaper"
Original Air Date: February 23, 1993
Written by: Richard C. Okie
Directed by: Harvey Laidman
Leap Date: October 8, 1956

This time: Sam leaps into a costumed character on the hood of a car in the middle of a race. After a recap of Deliver us From Evil, the race is over with the car Sam mounted the hood ornaments of losing. The driver is Jerry, and the event was a fraternal initiation. The leader of the fraternity, Mike Hammond, is not happy with the race being ruined. Sam is Arnold Watkins, and he has been trying to stop the races since the finish line is perilously near a cliff. A pummeling is broken up by a cop who forwards everyone’s name to the Dean of Discipline.

An exhausted Sam goes to his room to find Al. Other than telling Sam about the need to calm down Arnold in the waiting Room, there is not much to go on. Originally, Arnold and Jerry died. They are interrupted by Jack, Arnold’s roommate. Jack is pledging the organization and got a call from Mike suggesting that Sam’s stunt put the process in jeopardy.

Jerry is grateful for Arnold saving his life, so much that he published an article. Mike and the brothers are furious as their fraternity is on probation. Mike’s girlfriend, Dawn Taylor, is taken in by a real-life superhero and shakes Sam’s hand right before leaping out …

… and Alia leaping in. As Sam and Jerry leave, and Mike ponders a way to get rid of Arnold without getting the organization permanently disbarred. With Zoe’s urging, Alia suggests public embarrassment.

Sam wants to meet with ‘Dawn’ to stop the potentially fatal antics and the two have a moment, almost touching before a pile of books is knocked over. Sam agrees to help with a biology midterm if she stops the races. As Sam gets ready for the date, Jack helps with a bow tie before he is off to an initiation which may or may not involve a race. Sam puts on part of the costume and is off. Alia is ready to seduce him, but Zoey tells her that Arnold is off to save Jack.

As Sam intercedes, Al mentions that Jack survives. As Sam admonishes Al by name, Alia figures out the situation. Zoey squeals in delight as Sam runs off. Later with Al, they realize that Arnold has to stop putting his life in danger but that is easier said than done. Al works with Dr. Beeks while Sam meanders back to his room as Zoey and Lothos consult on a fate worse than death for Sam.

Al has a heart to heart with Arnold in the Waiting Room. Arnold is traumatized over the loss of his parents who were shot when he was at a young age and feels responsible, but Al disavows him of that notion.

In the library, Alia publicly tells Mike that she and Arnold were involved with the getaway and are involved romantically. Mike challenges Sam to a race as a confused Sam confronts Alia. The touch and Sam figures it out. Alia is fearful about being found out, but Sam believes that if they are in physical contact at leap out, they can leap together. The only problem is if Alia leaps out early, the plan will not work.

At the race, as Zoey informs Alia that Mike turns out pretty crappy after college, Sam wagers future races for his win. The race goes fairly well until Al tells Sam that the brakes are cut. The two jump out of the car and embrace as they leap …

… into solitary confinement at a women’s prison. They are threatened with another stay in that situation unless one of them confesses to the murder of Carol Benning.

Fact check: Arnold marvels at the handlink since computers at the time would take up rooms.

Stop talking to yourself: Ever in touch with the minds of people of all ages, Sam feels that college is wasted on the young. Yeah, four years to study and have fun would be great for forty-year-olds!

Only Sam can see and hear: Zoey is at the library when Sam and Alia make their plan, unbeknownst to either party. Sam keeps Al out of the loop about Alia for reasons not adequately explained to the viewer.

Mirror images that were not his own: The face Sam sees in the mirror does not meet his expectations for what the Midnight Marauder would look like. Later, Alia sees Dawn in the mirror as she gets ready for her date. Both are capped off when Sam and Alia touch and briefly turn into their leapees.

Brush with history: Alia mentions the word Macho which was a Spanish saying but did not really spread until close to the mid-seventies.

Something or someone: It takes Sam a while to figure out why he does not leap after initially saving Arnold and Jerry. He stumbles onto stopping the races which is not entirely wrong.

It’s a science project: Sam finds out the intricacies of falling off a cliff in a speeding car.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: Al consults with Dr. Beeks as he consoles Arnold. Why Dr. Beeks, the staff psychologist who is there for that specific job, could not console Arnold is an exercise for the viewer.

Let’s up the rating: When Jack open a girlie magazine, Al is curious. Not to be outdone, Zoey considers frat boys her favorite subject.

One more time: “Why would you wanna pledge a fraternity that's full of idiots in the first place?” “Full of what?” “You said the wrong thing, Sam. His dad was a Chi Kappa Delta idiot, and his granddad, and his great-granddad was a founding idiot.”
Sam talking with Jack about the virtues of virtues of Chi Kappa Theta and Al belatedly correcting Sam.

The Rainbow Treknection: Not a trek production but almost immediately after playing Jerry, Michael Manasseri would play Wyatt Donnelly on a series based on, and named after, the film Weird Science.

Trivial Matters: The Evil Leaper concept was intended to be a one-off episode until one of the one of the writers chose to continue that story thread and Bellisario gave his blessing.

When a cop busts up the pummeling, he asks Sam is he is related to Joe McCarthy.

Al refers to Captain Goodie Two Shoes since they could not afford the rights to Captain America. In a clear case of the Equal Time Doctrine, Superman also gets a name check.

The Studebaker is mentioned. Derisively but mentioned nonetheless. That company did not do well financially and by the leap date was close to being out of business.

Jack is able to tie a bow tie. Your humble rewatcher learned how to do that years ago though it was through the Tube of You.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club gets a name check when Sam puts on a leather jacket. It is Al who makes the mention as they were still young at the leap date. Al also name drops Marlon Brando, though James Dean might be a better meta reference.

There is a rare production error. As Sam pulls up to the starting line, Al is in the back seat but a few moments later, he is not, and we do not hear a sound effect.

Put right what once went wrong: “Did I hear that right? Lothos. It’s him.” “It can’t be.” One of the reasons why Deliver us From Evil worked so well was that you could take all the Evil Leaper material out of it and still have a good episode. That trend continues here.

Quantum Leap has done college stunts before. We have had Sam on the other side of the line but here he is kind of on a one-man crusade to stop the idiocy. As much as Sam is the driving force of the series, here he is a little less in control with Arnold needing a talking to. We do not see people in the Waiting Room a lot, but that trend has reversed itself this season with this being our fourth visit this season and fifth overall. For a show that can leave the leapee out on a limb, here he is front and center. Tristan Tait has great scenes and chemistry with Dean Stockwell. With Sam needs to keep Al in the dark, this gives Al something to do. In an episode with so many things going on, they are the emotional core reminding us of what the show is about.

We have a delightful cast of characters filling out the roster. Michael Manasseri and Paul Scherrer have what can charitably be described as minor roles but do them well as Jerry and Jack respectively. Jerry is stereotypical nerdy but there is a friendliness to him. His publishing of the events causes plot to happen, but Manasseri has a youthful excitement to him. Scherrer has more a line to walk as a jerk roommate and a friend to Arnold. He is described as a bully/jerk but has a moment in their room. In another world, these two could be friends.

Niel Patrick Harris past Dougie Howser but before his career turning role in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle is Mike. The role does not really suit him and wears thin as the hour goes on. He is just too friendly to be this sort of an antagonist. It is a struggle to find a role that he would not be good at, but this appears to be that one. He has played villains, specifically the Lee Harvey Oswald in the musical Assassins but here it does not work though it is great to see him on my screen.

That about covers it … oh wait, there is an Evil Leaper here, too.

Deliver us From Evil took its sweet time introducing Alia, but here she leaps in before we are a third of the way through. We do not know how much time passed on her end, but she is back aboard the Evil Train. She initially goes along with Zoey but tries to break away. We hear Alia’s upset feelings with her program and how she privately longs to break free. Her scene with Sam shows the only two people on the planet (that we know of) who can empathize with each other. If there is a weakness it is that this plot gets short shrift with Alia quickly going along with Sam’s half-baked plan. It is better than the assuredness of leaping again with her project, but it is still fifty-fifty. It says a great deal that Sam would jeopardize his safety too. Renee Coleman and Carolyn Seymour are great in their returns as Zoey and Alia

Once again, we have movement without things moving too much too fast. Zoey is ever present and Lothos has a means of forcing a leap with Alia. Also, Alia must do more than simply kill Sam. The stakes are higher, and Sam risks it all to save her.

Richard C. Okie did a fantastic job of writing a very well-crafted story and Harvey Laidman has some great shots. On top of the car races, there are clever shots where Sam and Alia do not touch. Best still is in the library with a Conveniently Tall Stack of Books, the top of which references Mars, as in ‘Men are From …’ It feels very organic and works. The hour is not perfect. Sam’s plan is pretty shotty and by not being able to talk to Ziggy (for reasons …) they cannot run it by Ziggy. Plus, where is Dr. Beeks in all this? She is name dropped by Al but is not on the scene to help counsel Arnold. For some reason, Al has to do it despite prior mentions of her working with those in the Waiting Room. Her omission is part of an ongoing theme and simply sloppy. Prior episodes worked it into the plot but here there is no explanation why the trained psychologist is not working with Arnold except for the fact she is not in the main cast.

Of course, Sam does not know if their plan worked but we do since the leap out effect is blue and not red, though it starts out like that. The effect is well done as is Sam ‘morphing’ into his next leapee. We could get into more detail, but that is what next week is for.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#578385
"Revenge of the Evil Leaper"
Original Air Date: February 23, 1993
Written by: Deborah Pratt
Directed by: Debbie Allen
Leap Date: September 16, 1987

This time: Sam and Alia leap into solitary confinement at a women’s prison. They are threatened with another stay in that situation unless one of them confesses to the murder of Carol Benning. Sam asks for some time alone with Alia and prison guard Masterson gives them some time to talk in a rather spacious supply closet.

The first order of business is finding a way to hide Alia from Lothos. Sam hypnotizes Alia with the help of Al. Until she hears Sam say ‘Rumpelstiltskin,’ she will believe she is nineteen-year-old Angel Jensen, her leapee. Sam is Liz Tate, jailed for murder.

Masterson has a brief talk with warden Clifton Myers. Masterson tells him Angel might crack but Liz is holding. They share a dark laugh when Myers suggests they hang one. In the office, a sympathetic guard named Vivian tries to help them, but there is little that can be done; Benning was a fellow inmate that was killed in prison. As Myers gets ready to meet the two, he leaps out …

… and Zoey leaps into him. Sam and Alia come in but have no further information. Zoey gets information from Thames, appearing as a hologram. They tracked Alia to that time and place and want to find her. Sam pleads with Myers/Zoey to let them find out who murdered Benning and she agrees, to a point. Sam has twenty-four hours with the local population, but claustrophobic Angel is put back in isolation.

Sam talks to a witness named Fiddler. Fiddler’s hearing is not great, but she saw Liz and Angel comforting Benning. Another inmate named Sophie came in and the next thing Fiddler knew, Benning was dead. Later that night, Vivian has Sam calm Alia. As Angel, she is freaking out though Sam is able to restore balance. Vivian offers to take Alia to the old transfer tunnels under the prison. Masterson objects but Sam knocks her out.

Feigning talking to Angel, Zoey confronts Sam to find out information. There is a tussle during which Sam and Zoey touch, revealing themselves to each other. Sam makes a break for it. Thames determines that Alia is there but has trouble getting a lock. Sam tells Vivian the truth and it is only Vivian’s relationship with Liz that she risks her career to break the two out. Knowing the layout, Vivian offers to shut down the power and give the pair some bolt cutters to break the lock and escape, but they have a fifteen second window before the generator kicks in.

Unfortunately, Ziggy in the year 1999 has been using the electric field in 1987 to shield Alia and once the power goes down, Thames is able to get a lock. Realizing the time to conceal Alia is over, Sam frees her from hypnosis. Thames shouts for Zoey who takes a shotgun and shoots Alia who leaps …

.. to be replaced by Angel. Thames has lost the lock on Alia and Angel has no visible wounds. As Zoey takes aim at Sam, he pulls out a shotgun and shoots her first. Thames begins to fade and Zoey leaps out …

.. and Myers leaps back in. Sam is taken into custody as Masterson orders Vivian taken as well. Al reports from Liz that Myers killed Benning. She was pregnant with his child, but he forced her to abort which she did not recover from and bled to death. A state physician has all the details. Liz and Angel get paroled, and Vivian ends up running the prison. Sam leaps …

.. into a bodyguard standing by a limo. A fan asks what ‘she’ is like just as Marilyn Monroe walks out ready to roll.

Stop talking to yourself: Needing to know if they were on Sam’s leap or Alia’s, there are few clues immediately evident in a women’s prison.

Only Sam can see and hear: Once restored to herself, Alia recognizes Thames in a nice touch. Also, Thames eavesdrops on Sam talking to Al to figure things out.

Mirror images that were not his own: Since there are three leapers for the first time, we have all three of them reflected in a mirror. We even hear a special Evil Leaper Tingle rather than the normal one to be sure we know who is eeeevil.

Brush with history: As Myers, Alia paraphrases Bruce Banner. Also, Vivian references The Twilight Zone, then in its second of five television versions, four if one does not count the television movie.

It’s a science project: Since Lothos can track Alia by her brainwaves, Ziggy suggests Sam hypnotize Alia into thinking she is Angel. Because that’s totally how science works!

In 1999 Ziggy also uses the electrical field from 1987 to shield Alia from whenever the Evil Leaper Project is. Because he’s that awesome!

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: For the first (and only) time, there are two people in the Waiting Room. It is unclear if one of them looks like Scott Bakula and the other looks like Renee Coleman. We get confirmation that there is no one in the Holding Cell, the counterpart of the Waiting Room.

Let’s up the rating: Zoey is quite enamored by Myers’ physique.

One more time: “You will remain Angel Jensen until you hear me say …” “Rumpelstiltskin.” “Rumpelstiltskin?” “Rumpelstiltskin.” “Well, it worked for him.” “Okay, Rumpelstiltskin.”
Al stumbling on a word to snap Alia out of it and demonstrating a lack of awareness of Grimm Fairy Tales.

The Rainbow Treknection: Roverta Desanto has a scene as Fiddler, almost entirely unrecognizable as Azetbur from The Undiscovered County.

Trivial Matters: Though the ending is open ended in terms of what happens to Alia, this was intended to be the end of that particular thread.

With three leapers and six onscreen leaps, this sets a record for both.

Along with Return of the Evil leaper, this originally aired as a special two-hour telefilm. This would be the fourth final two-hour presentation of the series overall with the third this season. The others are the pilot, the fifth season premiere and the final two thirds of the Trilogy.

Taking place in 1987, this is the most recent leap date in the series.

Someone was asleep at the switch when looking for continuity. When Masterson bursts into the broom closet, she goes through Al, but he is absent from the reverse shot. Later, Al goes back to Ziggy but disappears rather than goes through the door. During the climatic escape, we see the camera operators’ shadow in a sparsely lit tunnel, but there was probably no way to avoid that.

We get a name for the Evil Leaper Project: Quanta.

A pair of famous thespians brought this hour to us. Debbie Allen returns to direct and Hinton Battle guest stars as Thames. We also have Footballer turned actor Sam Scarber as Myers.

Thames has a new handlink! And the sound effects team has a new toy!

We have a relatively rare onscreen appearance of Maggie Rosewell as Masterson. She has voiced Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Luann Van Hauten and several other characters in The Simpsons.

Put right what once went wrong: “I want to know why some people help others.” “Because all my life, I’ve never been special. And if one tenth of what you’ve said is true, this is special. For once, I want to be the good guy.” For the first two parts of this trilogy, we had good Quantum Leap episodes which happened to feature the Evil Leaper Project. This one utterly fails to hit that mark.

The setting takes a back seat to the more urgent need to free Alia. This feels like the prelude to Orange is the New Black at times and they did their best. Rosana Desanto is in one scene as Fiddler, offering an exposition dump. Barbara Montgomery and Maggie Rosewell have more time as the Good Cop Bad Cop Vivian and Masterson respectively. Rosewell and Scarber do little more than mustache twirling, but Montgomery brings Vivian to a bit more dimensionality. We are able to see Vivian being a sympathetic guard, someone who spends time with the inmates. Even with a few minutes borrowed from the second part, there is not enough time for this plot to breathe. This is most evident at the end which can only be described as an infodump.

Writer Deborah Pratt usually great or at the worst, very strong with her episodes and so much of this plot happens because it has to. The chase at the end is contrived and we get the plot in dribs and drabs. Sam is focused on keeping Alia safe, but he has to contend with the prison in order to do that. There is also a lot of handwaving to make this work, from Alia’s brainwaves being altered to Ziggy finding a way to manipulate the electric field in the past, to Angel’s (Alia’s?) body going into the Waiting Room. You can see things moving around just to make this work.

As a conclusion to the Evil Leaper Saga, this brings more questions than answers. Alia is free but is she wandering through time on her own? That is better than captivity but a horrible ending to a solid saga. Is Zoey dead in the Evil Leaper Project? Is that project shut down? And if Zoey is dead, wouldn’t Alia be as well? Biggest of all, someone can leap back in and survive a gunshot without a scratch on them? Twice?

It would not be so bad if Renee Coleman had more to do. Granted Bakula is the series star, but Coleman spends most of the episode as Angel. We have had precious few moments to spend time with Alia not under the thumb of Lothos but for most of this, she is playing another role. Carolyn Seymour is able to bring nuances to Zoey. We learn the motivation in finding someone who ran away, and it works. In a position of authority, Zoey can track the two down, though she spends far too much time in Meyer’s office being enamored with him.

Just as there was another hologram for Sam when Al briefly went away, Hinton Battle steals the show as Thames. He is having fun being a hologram and is not afraid to give Zoey sass when she snaps at him. He also has the foresight to lock in on Sam to find Alia. There is a nice touch when Alia snaps out of it and recognizes Thames. He is having fun and it shows with his performance. He sets himself apart from the sternness of Zoey and the aloofness of Al making the character his own.

In the middle of all this there is a scene in the waiting room with Al consoling Liz while Angel is hiding under the bench. In a nice continuity touch we have Liz wearing the overcoat Al gave Dr. Ruth some weeks ago, but Dr. Beeks would be a better person to talk to the two. She is nowhere to be seen and it makes more sense for her to be there than Al. It is a nice visual but a wasted scene for a show that continues to sideline Dr. Beeks aside from some throwaway mentions.

An unsatisfying conclusion and an unsatisfying episode.
User avatar
 
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#578871
"Goodbye Norma Jean"
Original Air Date: March 2, 1993
Written by: Richard C. Okie
Directed by: Christopher Hibler
Leap Date: April 4, 1960

This time: Sam leaps into a bodyguard standing by a limo. A fan asks what ‘she’ is like just as Marilyn Monroe walks out ready to roll. At her residence, they are surprised by young Barbara Whitmore, applying for a secretary. Monroe is hesitant but Sam talks her into it, and she stays on the premises.

A hurried Al approaches Sam that Monroe’s death is in four days. He is leaping to change history but saving Monroe would be a very big change. Ziggy puts the odds at ninety-two percent.

Days later, Whitmore tells Monroe of a local party with noted party animal, Peter Lawford. She initially declines due to fatigue, but Whitmore convinces her with the hopes of a guest from Washington DC. Whitmore also invites herself to attend. While Marilyn has a private session with Lawford, Whitmore makes herself at home. Al can find no record of her. There is a commotion later as Monroe has no pulse, but Sam saves her with CPR.

As Whitmore pressures Monroe into attending another extended party, Sam confronts her. Whitmore is an alias; she is really an actress and hopes to make it big by being associated with Monroe. Sam pokes holes in Whitmore’s stories but Whitmore never told them to Monroe, only Sam. Monroe is furious, firing Sam on the spot, wanting him out by morning.

Monroe is late for a movie rehearsal, but Whitmore shows up, wearing one of Monroe’s trademark dresses. Sam gets Monroe in good enough shape to show up on the film set, cutting in as Whitmore dances with Clark Gable. Monroe acts circles around Whitmore and goes on to act in The Misfits, a crowning achievement in her career. Sam leaps …

… into a windowsill dressed in black, furry garb. A screaming child scares him off the ledge, claiming to have seen Bigfoot.

Fact check: A decent chunk of Monroe’s filmography is referenced. Also, her death was April 8, 1960, at least before the events of this episode.

Stop talking to yourself: Being able to chauffeur Marilyn Monroe is pretty good in comparison to some other leaps. Young Sam Beckett snuck out to see her work, but Al was more contemporary.

Only Sam can see and hear: Al gets a car ride and is veeery eager to see Marilyn.

Mirror images that were not his own: A weary Sam, waking up after three days of hardcore partying looks at Dennis Boardman in his bedroom mirror.

Brush with history: Whitmore asks about Monroe and a “certain Senator from Massachusetts.”

It’s a science project: Monroe is taking medication for depression and washing them down with champagne.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: Ziggy considers Monroe too unpredictable to make calculations, though Sam suspects Whitmore is the culprit.

Let’s up the rating: Al gets Sam out of his room early in the morning on an urgent matter: Monroe swimming in her birthday suit.

One more time: “It’s amazing that someone and busy and important as you doesn’t have someone looking out for her appointments. Keeping her affairs in order. Providing companionship. It’s not good to be alone.”
Sam telling himself to keep going while convincing Monroe to hire Whitmore.

The Rainbow Treknection: If Whitmore looks familiar is her outfits, she was also Kristin in The Next Generation’s Conundrum. Stephen Root, here playing John Tremaine Jr., was Klingon Captain K’Vada in the Unification two-parter while Tony Young, here as John Huston, played Kryton in the Original Series’ Elaan of Troyis.

Trivial Matters: Sam’s time as a boxer (The Right Hand of God) and in a chain gang (Unchained) are referenced in monologue.

Adjusted for inflation, Whitmore is offered $450.00 a week plus board. Not bad.

At seeing Whitmore, Al says the first half of the double mint gum jingle.

Put right what once went wrong: “Just take good care of her and don’t let her die.” This series knows that if they stick Bakula with a woman for an hour, magic happens. So why not two? With one of them being famed icon Marilyn Monroe.

We only get a slice for the later years of Monroe’s life. Susan Giffiths nails the role with her poise and voice. As much as the Rat Pack Hollywood elite gets to shine, the quieter moments are also important. She is able to avoid the paparazzi by going out as Norma Jean, not Monroe. She and Sam have a good scene in this mode where they discuss simply being people. As much as the role demands big scenes it also demands a quitter focus and Griffiths delivered. She seduces Sam at one point, and he refuses to go too far due to professional courtesy. Even when he is fired Sam looks out for her.

Liz Vassey plays the antagonist in Whitmore. Originally a shy girl, she weasels her way into the elite and becomes a major villainess. We have a bonding scene with Sam, but it is based entirely on lies and we do not pick up on it until it is too late. In these days of Marvel and DC blockbusters with Thanos and Darksied causing panic on a global scale, we are reminded the evil has many faces. Vassey matches the quiet intensity of Griffiths but is trying to climb her way up the ladder, jumping rungs as necessary. The best part if we never see the mustache twirl, Vassey gives us a very calculated plan which she almost executed flawlessly. She is proverbially spanked in the end with Monroe putting her in place.

The supporting cast is hard to do in a period piece with specific historical figures, but Larry Pennell and Tony Young are good as John Husted and Clark Gable, respectively, though the later has chemistry with both leading ladies. The usually reliable Stephen Root is merely adequate here as John Tremaine Jr as is Joris Stuyk as Peter Lawford.

Richard C. Okie did his homework with the script, and it shows. They could not hire scores of the Hollywood elite, so they have some fun refences in the script. There is time to develop the various relationships between the characters, even after Sam is fired. Stockwell enjoys being in the era and specific location a bit too much as Al. The “Hurry and Come Here for Something Not Really Urgent” cliché is there and we see both Monroe and Whitmore taking a liking to Sam. It feels natural and organic.

In the season premiere, there was an issue with Sam fixing history to match with what we knew but in this case, that is the focal point of the episode. The only reason it is not distracting is because there are not a lot of Monroe fans who know the day of her death. Also echoing the premiere is Sam getting really close to noted historical figures for an extended length f time, though we would see even more later in the season. Still, a solid hour.
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