Saturday, May 14, 2016

Quantum Leap Rewatch (Episodes 25-30)

(Episodes 19-24) (Episodes 31-36)

At this point late in season two I am beginning to see that my memories of how this being such a strong “message oriented” show are a little off. Not that the show is not message oriented, just that the messages are often cliché or at least pretty hit-and-miss. Surely there are strong stories ahead that created that impression?

Episode 25: Freedom 

This is the worst sort of condescending episodes that thinks it is being enlightened and progressive but it comes across as silly and offensive. The antagonist is cartoonishly racist and the whole episode is predicated on a flawed premise. People aren’t really chasing them to keep the man from dying as he wishes, but because they keep breaking the law with abandon.

Episode 26: Good Night Dear Heart 

Sam is sent to obtain justice for a woman who’s murder was mistaken for suicide. This leap is a bit confusing because they imply that Sam taps into memories about the victim, even though the man he has leapt into had no relationship with her; a red herring and no more. However, this episode is a curious relic of a time before homosexuality had become such a taboo subject. And lest you think that last statement contains a typo, it doesn’t. As controversial as a lesbian character might have been back then, you could still talk about such behavior as a mental health issue; the result of abuse and confusion. Today it can be handled as nothing more than art of the anything-goes gender confusion political correctness has bred.

Episode 27: Pool Hall Blues 

Sam is sent to help a pool hustler win a game. That man’s eyesight is no longer good enough, but Sam doesn’t even play pool. Seems like an interesting choice for providence to fix the injustice.

Episode 28: Leaping In Without a Net 

Sam’s up until this point non-existent fear of heights plays a role in this next mission. He has to save a trapeze artist from dying. This is where I begin to notice a lot of these missions from God involve sending Sam in to do something the people he is replacing should have done and didn’t. Sam’s only advantage is a somewhat clear directive. As if God simply needed to speak more clearly in the first place. But the truth is that we tend to hear pretty clearly from God until our repeated reluctance or disobedience renders us calloused.

Episode 29: Maybe Baby 

And then there are those times when Sam’s intuition overrules everything the future perspective seems to clarify. Here Sam somehow believes a proven serial liar and ends up saving the day without much of that “clear” instruction.

Episode 30: Sea Bride 

Sam is sent to fix another romantic drama. He is as always uncomfortable with the emotional aspect of having to “love” someone for another person. In some ways this may be why the character of Al is such a sleazy womanizer. It accentuates Sam’s higher ethical standards when it comes to love, romance, and fidelity. Other than the obvious lessons (don’t marry someone you don’t love, for example), and the fun plotline, this is a fairly light episode.

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