Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 3

Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the quantum leap accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so, Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

Star-Crossed

  • This one may automatically fall into my Top 10 List at the end of the series simply because of its guest star… a very young Teri Hatcher.
  • This is pre-Desperate Housewives, pre-Lois & Clark… even pre-Seinfeld… back when she was guest starring on MacGyver about once every season.
  • I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I didn’t have a crush on Teri Hatcher.
  • June 15, 1972
  • Sam has leapt into the life of an English literature professor named Dr. Bryant.
  • This Dr. Bryant seems to enjoy the adoration of a number of young co-eds…
  • Though, when we get a look at the guy in the mirror, it’s hard to see how that adoration is deserved.
  • One student, Jamie Lee, is particularly obsessed with the professor.
  • And she implies that the good professor is one of those guys who likes to encourage the inappropriate relationships that seem to develop between faculty and student.
  • Sam notices a girl across the quad that he calls Donna (Teri Hatcher).
  • Somehow he remembers this Donna and that she attended Lawrence College, the very school he just leaped into.
  • Jamie Lee follows Sam home and seems to know her way around the house.
  • Sam finally gets a look in the mirror and… yeah… not the best looking guy.
  • Kinda looks like a homeless drunk.
  • Must be the poetry that gets the girls.
  • This kid is beyond obsessed with her teacher.
  • Al arrives and says Ziggy has a good idea of what will get him to leap this time.
  • Sam gets rid of Jamie Lee in time for Al to reveal that she and the good professor got married in the original history and Sam is there to prevent that from happening.
  • But Sam isn’t ready to listen to that because he already figures he’s there to help Donna.
  • He’s got a second chance with Donna, the woman he loves in the future.
  • Al reminds Sam that his own number one rule is that the project cannot be used to change personal histories.
  • Since Sam doesn’t remember making that rule, and since he figures he’s the one in charge of the project, he wants to rescind that rule.
  • Sam and Al go into the restaurant where Donna works and he remembers what he can about how they met and what their wedding was like.
  • Only Donna never showed up, leaving Sam at the altar.
  • Sam does remember that her not showing up for the wedding had something to do with her abandonment issues dealing with her father.
  • When Sam sits down, Donna is able to finish his order and how he wants his burger… so Sam sees that as a sign that he’s right.
  • He tries to convince her to look into his eyes and see another soul.
  • But that freaks Donna out and she asks “Dr. Bryant” not to talk to her anymore.
  • Enter Oscar, Jamie Lee’s wrestler boyfriend, who is extremely jealous of the professor, threatening to break him in two.
  • Sam advises Oscar to romance Jamie Lee by appealing to her intellect.
  • That night, Jamie Lee shows back up at Bryant’s house and climbs into the window cosplaying as Lady Guinevere.
  • And she wants him to be Lancelot.
  • Sam convinces her to give Oscar another chance and manages to get her to leave.
  • Al returns and refuses to help Sam find Donna’s father in 1972 because it breaks all the rules and if he tries to do anything to help Sam break the rules, the people on the board will pull the plug on the entire project stranding Sam in the past.
  • The next day, Sam tracks Donna down in the science department and completes a complicated equation that she had been working on.
  • But how does a lit professor know about astrophysics?
  • They engage in a discussion about time travel and Sam asks her what she would change if she could go back in time.
  • She mentions an age when she was happiest, which leads him to assume this was before her father left.
  • This sends up a red flag because Donna has never spoken to anyone about her father leaving when she was a child.
  • Donna freaks out again but Sam is able to pique her interest when he mentions his string theory.
  • Cue the montage of Sam and Donna suddenly getting along very well.
  • Their discussion ends when it’s time for Donna to get ready to open the restaurant for dinner.
  • Al reveals that he’s been listening in for a while… long enough to know that Sam still retains enough knowledge to construct an atomic bomb if he so desired.
  • Sam notices that Al is acting a little funny.
  • The committee is with Al in the imaging chamber in the future, but they can’t see or hear Sam.
  • Al reveals that Sam holds six Ph.D.’s, one of which is in ancient languages, which will help Sam read the hieroglyphics drawn on the sash that Al is wearing.
  • They point to Donna’s military father currently located in Washington, D.C.
  • But Ziggy is scanning Al’s side of the conversation and figures out that he’s communicating with Sam via the sash.
  • The committee forcibly drags Al out of the imaging chamber as he shouts, “How can I write Colonel Wojohowitz in hieroglyphics?!”
  • Donna hears Sam talking and thinks he was calling for her.
  • He asks if she’d be willing to travel to D.C. with him as long as he brings a chaperone, so she agrees.
  • Later, Sam calls the colonel and confronts him about his relationship with his daughter.
  • Donna’s father informs Sam that he’s shipping out for Vietnam tomorrow morning and does not want to reopen an old wound as he’s leaving.
  • The colonel hangs up on Sam just as he hears a knock at his door.
  • It’s Oscar… who greets him with a punch to the face.
  • Sam gets up and punches Oscar right back.
  • Obviously, Oscar’s poetry didn’t work.
  • As they talk, Sam asks Oscar if he has a car… which seems to be a point of pride for the wrestler since his face lights up while he describes his GTO.
  • So the four of them drive to D.C. through the night.
  • They stop at a gas station and Al shows back up, which surprises Sam, who thought he’d never see him again.
  • Al tells him that they ran the sash through Ziggy’s scanner and he was fired from the project.
  • Then he says that Weisman, the head of the committee had a change of heart… because Al set him up with a girl and blackmailed him.
  • Al checked with Ziggy about reuniting Donna with her father and the odds are good that she will be willing to commit to a relationship in the future.
  • But what Sam is forgetting is that she was engaged to someone before she met him… someone else she left at the altar.
  • Back on the road, Jamie Lee and Oscar are asleep in the back seat and Donna asks why he wanted her to come along.
  • He basically tells a vague version of their story to her… then reveals he’s taking her to see her father.
  • They arrive at the hotel where Donna’s father is staying, but since he has a do not disturb on his line and since Donna uses her mother’s maiden name, they have no way of getting up to the colonel’s room.
  • Undeterred, Sam and Donna find another way into the hotel while the suspicious security guard checks out the GTO in the parking lot.
  • Jamie Lee and Oscar wake up and she tells him she’s scared.
  • But he tells her that he’ll protect her.
  • Donna and the colonel have a tearful reunion and he tells her he loves her.
  • Sam tells Donna that he’ll wait for her in the car, giving her time with her dad.
  • Back in the car, Oscar is slowly winning Jamie Lee over.
  • Meanwhile, the security guard finds the open door that Sam and Donna were able to get into.
  • He reports a break-in at the Watergate Building.
  • Sam’s in a great mood as he makes his way back downstairs and Al asks why he hasn’t leapt yet.
  • Cut back to the car as Jamie Lee and Oscar move in for a kiss.
  • This is what needed to happen for Sam to leap… just like Ziggy said in the first place.
  • Suddenly Sam is a boxer in the middle of a fight and, in his confusion, he gets punched in the face again.
  • Oh boy.

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