Friday, June 24, 2016

Quantum Leap Rewatch (Episodes 43-48)

Episodes 37-42 Episodes 49-54

This period of the show, about half way through its run, is a series of “stunt premises” that are not well enough developed to be special.

Episode 43: “8 ½ Months” 

The whole episode is spawned from the idea of having Sam take the place of a pregnant girl about to give birth. Up until now we have mostly operated with the understanding the Sam is exchanging consciousness with a person from another time. It is made clear in this episode that he is in fact changing places with them physically, and people are just seeing him as the person he is supposed to be. This clarification makes this episode all the sillier. Especially when the writers decide they really want Sam to have the baby. They are so caught up in that premise that they fail to do anything with the story more than the usual tropes of single motherhood in a time when it was even more problematic than today.

Episode 44: “Future Boy” 

Doctor Who meets Quantum Leap. Sam jumps into an actor on a cheesy, old, sci-fi tv show. But the actor who plays the time traveler has some outlandish ideas about real time-travel, that loosely parallel Sam’s theories. It isn’t as good as it sounds.

Episode 45: “Private Dancer” 

Sam takes the place of a male stripper to help save a woman from becoming a stripper and later a prostitute who would die of Aids. A refreshing reminder of a time before the feminist movement tried to talk itself into the idea that the sex trade can be good for women. The fact that the dancer Sam is saving is deaf is an extraneous bit that only distracts from the sex-trade-is-bad element.

Episode 46: “Piano Man” 

A run-of-the-mill storyline where Sam is trying to get away from a mon hitman out to kill him.

Episode 47: “Southern Comforts” 

Only a couple weeks after telling a story about the dangers and demeaning nature of the sex trade, Sam is leaped into a pimp. And the story is not about trying to help the women forced to sell their bodies to live, even though that element is touched upon. Instead, Sam injects the heart-of-gold element into the brothel owner where is presumably wasn’t there before, to help save an abused wife trying to hide out as a prostitute whilst not really being one. I don’t know where they thought they were going with this one.

Episode 48: “Glitter Rock” 

The show plays around with the Glitter Rock scene of the early seventies, but without telling a story that has anything to do with Rock, or Glitter, or anything that related to the scene. Instead they tell yet another murder mystery. We are left with no sense of why this guy had to be saved as opposed to all the other people who died on that day.

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