Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 7

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.

The Color of Truth

  • August 8, 1955
  • Sam leaps into a diner, surrounded by a whole bunch of people giving him some strange… even dirty… looks.
  • He takes a seat at the counter and comes to the realization why he’s getting all the looks.
  • Because all those looks are coming from white people.
  • And Sam checks out the mirror behind the counter to see that he has leapt into the life of an elderly black man.
  • And this is obviously the deep south in 1955.
  • A couple of good ol’ boys grab Sam by the arm, ready to beat the crap out of him.
  • Thankfully a waitress behind the counter tells them to leave Jesse alone because she doesn’t want to spend the afternoon cleaning blood off the floor.
  • The waitress then says that Jesse is just there to pick up Miss Melanie’s lunch and he’ll be on his way.
  • Sam plays along and heads out to meet Miss Melanie, an elderly white woman who Jesse drives for.
  • It’s all very Driving Miss Daisy.
  • Problem now is, Sam has to drive this lady around and has no idea where he’s going.
  • Miss Melanie directs him to take her to the local cemetery to visit her husband Charles’ grave.
  • When they arrive at Charles’ grave, Melanie is upset because the groundskeepers have not been doing their part to get rid of weeds.
  • Sam insists that she have a seat and let him take care of weeding the area around the grave, then walks off to throw out what he’s pulled up.
  • This is Al’s cue to arrive on the scene.
  • Sam is excited about leaping into a black man, but Al is afraid for him.
  • Al tries to explain that being black in the deep south in 1955 is a very dangerous thing.
  • Apparently Miss Melanie is going to be killed when her car is hit by a train and Ziggy thinks that Sam is there to keep her from being killed.
  • Unfortunately, Ziggy can’t find any information about Jesse, which Al says isn’t uncommon for there to be documentation for black people at that time, especially in little southern towns like this one.
  • Sam then wonders if he’s there to help with the Civil Rights Movement… but then they hear a distant train whistle.
  • Al insists he’s there to save Melanie.
  • Once Sam gets Melanie home, her son Clayton is there waiting for them, wanting to have a talk with Jesse about his sitting down at the diner.
  • Apparently his actions have upset damn near the whole town.
  • Clayton comes off with a threatening tone, but is clearly scared of Jesse when Sam takes a firm stance.
  • Clayton inserting himself into the situation only serves to upset Melanie and she gets lightheaded after her son leaves.
  • When Sam goes to pour her a glass of lemonade, he’s met with a young black girl at the back door.
  • Apparently it’s Nell, Jesse’s granddaughter.
  • Melanie insists that she’ll be all right and that Jesse should go on home with his granddaughter.
  • Nell is all excited about what her grandfather did a the diner because it’s finally time to make the white folks mad.
  • But she also says she wants to sit down at the counter and drink from the white fountain, but not just to make white folks mad… but because it’s right, too.
  • Back at home, Jesse’s son-in-law confronts him about sitting at the diner, which Al didn’t know about until just now.
  • Once Sam is alone with Al again, they argue about whether it was right or wrong for Sam to sit down at that counter.
  • While they argue, they hear Nell scream from the other side of the house.
  • They rush out to the front and there’s a burning cross on the lawn.
  • Next day, Sam goes to the sheriff to ask him to do something about it.
  • Turns out one of the boys behind the flaming cross is the sheriff’s son.
  • The sheriff tells Sam that what happens next is entirely up to him… implying that as long as Sam/Jesse keeps his head down and follows the rules, things will calm back down for him.
  • Frustrated, Sam isn’t paying attention when he approaches a “whites only” drinking fountain, an action witnessed by the sheriff’s son and his friend.
  • At Melanie’s, when it’s time for tea, Sam begins setting two places at the dining table, but Melanie reminds him he’s supposed to take his tea in the kitchen.
  • Sam tries to ask her why he can’t eat with her and she says that’s just how things are.
  • He insists that things will start to change, but Melanie tells him he can’t be thinking that way.
  • Nell stops by the kitchen again and Sam tells her that he’ll be driving Melanie’s car home tonight so he can work on the engine.
  • Then she heads off to choir practice.
  • Those good ol’ boys, wanting to teach Jesse a lesson, run Nell’s car off the road, thinking Jesse is with her.
  • Melanie then talks about going into town and says she’ll drive herself, but Sam’s still worried about the train accident and says that if she insists on going he’ll drive her.
  • On the way into town, though, they come across Nell’s wrecked car.
  • She has a severe head injury, so Sam heads toward the nearest hospital…
  • But Melanie warns him it’s a white hospital and they won’t help her there.
  • Sam carries Nell toward the entrance, but the doctor and nurses are refusing to accept her.
  • Then Miss Melanie gets out of the car and, being the widow of a former governor, she’s able to throw her weight around a little, demanding that they help this girl.
  • Melanie goes into the hospital to make sure they help her and tells Sam it’s best that he waits outside.
  • But a horrible nurse called the sheriff to arrest Jesse, which could very well lead to Miss Melanie dying like she did in the original history.
  • Sam agrees to go with the sheriff if they make sure Melanie stays at the hospital for at least 30 minutes.
  • Right after the sheriff carts Sam off, Melanie comes out to say Nell is gonna be just fine.
  • The nurse is proud of herself for calling the sheriff, and Melanie says he needs to arrest her, too, since she’s the one who insisted they help Nell.
  • The nurse then says the sheriff wanted Melanie to wait at the hospital, but she’s not in the mood to take orders from any racist a-holes.
  • So Miss Melanie gets into her car and drives off, while Al desperately tries to stop her… but, you know… hologram.
  • As she drives, Melanie talks to her dead husband, wishing he was there to help her.
  • Al has Gooshie center him on Melanie, but he’s still helpless in trying to yell at her to stop the car.
  • She’s headed toward the railroad crossing… and so is the train.
  • Melanie hears the train whistle and thinks it’s ringing in her ears.
  • Al keep screaming and finally yells, “Pull into the cemetery, dammit!”
  • And she swerved… then she thanked Charles and said he didn’t need to swear.
  • So did she hear Al?
  • Al visits Sam in jail and tells him the Ziggy finally found some info on Jesse.
  • He’s still alive in the future… must be about 105 years old.
  • The sheriff comes to let Sam out and tells him that, apparently, there were a couple of boys ran her off the road, not meaning to hurt anyone.
  • Sam asks what they meant to do.
  • The sheriff angrily tells Sam that those boys are sorry and that’s the end of it.
  • Al tells Sam to back off… change is coming.
  • But it’s not coming today.
  • Sam leaves the jail and Al stays behind, singing the last lines of “We Shall Overcome.”
  • Sam meets Melanie and Clayton outside the sheriff’s station, where Clayton says if it’d been up to him, Jesse would still be in jail.
  • Melanie turns to Clayton and says it’s not up to him, then sends him on his way.
  • Melanie then talks to Sam about things getting back to normal, but Sam asks her how she can have a day like she had yesterday and expect things to go back to normal.
  • She tells him that she’s well aware of how unjust the world is, but there’s nothing she can do to change it, and she insists that if he wants to keep working for her, that’s going to be the end of it.
  • Then she has him go back to the diner to pick up her lunch again.
  • Everyone stares as he walks through the door.
  • Surprisingly, Melanie walks in and says she’s decided to eat here.
  • Then she invites Jesse to join her for lunch.
  • The sheriff stops his son from attacking and Sam takes a seat at the counter next to Miss Melanie.
  • Then he leaps into someone driving a car at dangerous speeds and is nearly run off the road by whomever he’s racing.
  • Oh boy.

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