Thursday, January 14, 2016

Quantum Leap Rewatch (Episodes 1-6)


The genius of “Quantum Leap” was that its premise allowed it to be completely message oriented and even preachy, but people still saw it as fun entertainment. Since it was couched as science fiction and had the humor of a “fish out of water” with the time travel, it was able to point out problems and wrongs in society without raising too many hackles.

Episodes 1 & 2: "Genesis”

Things start off a bit confusingly, since the whole concept has to be introduced. Sam has to understand what is happening to him, which is convenient since we too are fuzzy on the details. Instead of the big societal issues that will come later, we get the mystery of time travel and later Sam gets to fulfill a personal wish to talk to his dad. So slow, but a needed introduction to the series.

Episode 3: “Star-Crossed”

Again, this early into things, Sam gets to address some personal issues. It’s as if whatever is leaping him around in time is allowing him to start of where he is already motivated. Sam will have more opportunities to change his own life, but these are exceptions rather than the norm. An interesting aspect of this episode is the way this Baby Boomer show is rather critical of the looseness of the sexual revolution.

Episode 4: “Right Hand of God”

One of the issues the show does not shy away from is the spiritual. There is a suspicion that Sam’s jumps may be controlled by God, and this episode sees Sam as a boxer helping some nuns. They believe he is sent by God, and his mission involves helping them regain and maintain their faith. Sam, the scientist certainly seems open to an idea of God.

Episode 5: “How the Tess Was Born”

In this Texas ranching episode, Sam has been sent to tame a shrew. The episode gives us a nice twist on this trope, however. That said, what got changed thanks to Sam’s presence? Not much of anything.

Episode 6: “Double Identity”

By this point in the series it is clear we are in for a highly ethical, moralistic show. Sam is thrown into a mafia hitman who is having an affair with the “Godfather’s” girlfriend. But forget about any mission. Al and the computer are ready to try to bring Sam home. Sam, however, can’t help but try to change things. He wants the hitman to stop killing, the girlfriend to learn to respect herself, the boss to stop cheating on his wife, and on and on. However, the attempted rescue from the future only manages to leap Sam from the hitman to the boss, so Sam’s changes are able to solidify before his next unscheduled, God controlled (?) jump…

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