Thursday, August 4, 2016

Quantum Leap Rewatch (Episodes 49-54)


Episodes (43-48) (55-60)

This can hardly be called a rewatch anymore, as I have finally made it past the portion of the series I had seen. And, I am thinking my estimation of the series was based on the strong start. As the show has gone on things have gotten weaker. Not necessarily in the story department—although that too has suffered—but in the messages.

Episode 49: “A Hunting We Will Go” 

Sam leaps into a bounty hunter who’s latest capture is about to be killed. Even though she is guilty of the crime, her crime was against criminals willing to kill her to cover theirs. So Sam has to save her. More of a romantic comedy ala “It Happened One Night” than a Leap episode.

Episode 50: “Last Dance Before an Execution” 

In a welcome twist, Sam leaps into a man on death row; and his mission is not to save himself. There is a wrongly accused man here, but Sam’s character deserves to die. This episode still manages to highlight the terrible weight of the death penalty system, and the way that that system often errs on the side of convictions to advance its own cause.

Episode 51: “Heart of a Champion” 

As a pro-wrestler, Sam must stop a man from competing as it will kill him. The more challenging mission is that Sam needs to help the man see his worth in something other than the expectations placed upon him by his parents.

Episode 52: “Nuclear Family” 

Quantum Leap’s take on “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street,” which is one of the best televised stories of all time. Only in the Twilight Zone we were confronted with the terror that is the man of the masses in a fantasy setting. Here, we have the context of the real life events that took place two years after that episode aired. Turns out that more people needed to see and reflect on that story, and that is even truer today.

Episode 53: “Shock Theater” 

Is this where the show jumped the shark? Sam is submitted to electro-shock therapy and it causes him to cycle through the personalities of several people he jumped into. The only problem is that he has never met any of them, and even though he lived their lives for a short time, there is no reason he should think like them. He was always himself. In any case, it comes off as a gimmick…

Episode 54: “The Leap Back” 

…until we see that the next jump imposes a twist on things. Sam and Al switch places due to a lightning strike at the moment of a leap. Sam is now home in the future, and Al is in the past in a part of his timeline when Sam wasn’t alive. This episode is full of new revelations for the sake of the script. However, among them is the revelation that Sam’s leaping has already changed his future. It is a stretch, but an entertaining one.

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