Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 8

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.

Camikazi Kid

  • June 6, 1961
  • Sam has leapt into Cam Wilson, a dorky teenager with a love of fast cars.
  • He has an older sister, Cheryl, who is excited about joining the Peace Corps with her fiancé, Bob.
  • They’re planning to hit the Peace Corps as soon as their honeymoon is over.
  • Sam quickly sees that Bob is a drinker, sneaking his flask every chance he gets.
  • Bob’s friends are the classic cool guys who pick on anyone they consider inferior to them.
  • Sam stands up for a younger tomboyish teenage girl who has a crush on Cam.
  • His reward? The cools strip him naked and toss him in the drive-in’s dumpster.
  • Al arrives, but he’s no help since he’s a hologram and really can’t pull Sam out of the dumpster.
  • The girl with the crush is impressed that Cam got tossed in the trash because of her and throws him his clothes.
  • Once they’re alone, Al says that Sam is there to prevent Cheryl from marrying Bob.
  • He turns out to be a mean drunk who will become more and more physically abusive as the relationship progresses.
  • This reminds Sam of his sister, who married her first husband at 17.
  • He, too, was a drunk who beat her for years before she finally divorced him.
  • So Sam knows there was nothing he could do to prevent his sister from marrying her abusive husband, but now he can do something to help Cheryl.
  • Back at home, we meet Cam’s dad, who is one of those early 60s dads who likes to show his affection by playfully punching his kid in the arm.
  • Cam’s mom found his stash of Playboys and expresses her disappointment when she finds his shirt pocket ripped.
  • Though, to be fair, the pocket isn’t his fault.
  • Cheryl tells Sam that Jill (the tomboy) has a crush on him… even though she promised the girl that she’d never tell.
  • She wants him to invite Jill to be his date to the wedding.
  • Sam suggests that Cheryl postpone the wedding until after her stint in the Peace Corps, but Bob won’t go unless they get married first.
  • Cheryl becomes super upset by this suggestion and insists that she’s getting married in three days.
  • She makes excuses for Bob’s drinking, so Sam doesn’t have much of an argument against.
  • The next day, Sam and Jill work on Cam’s car for a while until his mom leaves the house upset about Cheryl trying on her future mother-in-law’s wedding dress.
  • Cheryl chases after her, but she drives away…
  • She tells Sam that she had been planning to wear their mother’s wedding dress, but Bob insisted that she wear his mother’s dress.
  • Cheryl has a hard time getting the dress off and Sam helps unbutton some of the top buttons on the back and sees some pretty severe bruises on the back of her neck.
  • She claims she fell… but we all know better.
  • Bob pulls up and Cheryl rushes back in the house since it’s bad luck for him to see her in the wedding dress.
  • Sam confronts him about the bruise and he conspicuously does not deny it.
  • But it clearly pisses him off.
  • At the rehearsal, we find out that Bob didn’t fall far from the tree when we’re introduced to his father.
  • Bob’s dad is extremely drunk and gives a pretty uncomfortable toast.
  • Then Bob gives a toast… before presenting Cheryl with his wedding gift.
  • It’s a color TV!
  • Then Sam decides to make a toast to his big sister, praising her for answering Kennedy’s call… and Bob seems really uncomfortable the whole time.
  • Al arrives and Sam goes to the restroom so he can talk to him without looking like a crazy person.
  • But there turns out to be a little kid in there and Sam shows him some dance moves.
  • Apparently, that kid is meant to be Michael Jackson… though I’m not sure the timing works out on that one…
  • Bob and his dad come into the men’s room and Sam ducks into a stall.
  • He overhears them talking about how Bob’s dad has offered him a partnership in his business and is buying them a house.
  • Sam tells Cheryl, so she confronts Bob… and he lies to her.
  • Al suggests that Sam race Bob for pinks.
  • This gets a laugh out of Bob and all his lackeys, but he goes along with it.
  • Al’s reasoning: when guys like Bob are in control, they can’t be shaken… but if he loses to a dork like Cam, that perfect façade will melt away and Cheryl will see him for the monster he really is.
  • Then Al suggests a secret weapon in their race… nitrous oxide.
  • Jill helps Sam install the nitrous and then wants to ride with him during the race, but he tells her it’s too dangerous and makes her get out.
  • Cheryl gets out of Bob’s car, but Bob insists that she stay with him…
  • Then Sam says he won’t race if Cheryl’s in the car.
  • Sam beats Bob and the sore loser nearly kills Sam by speeding up and running him down, but Sam dives out of the way just in time.
  • Cheryl takes off her engagement ring and tells Sam they’re leaving.
  • Bob grabs her and tries to force her to stay with him, but Sam slides over the hood of Bob’s car and punches him, warning him never to touch his sister again.
  • Then Bob tries to get his friends to get Cam… but even they won’t side with Bob this time.
  • Some time later, Sam sees Cheryl off at the train station and she thanks him for saving her life… but he tells her she saved herself.
  • As she heads to her train, Cheryl tells him that there’s a going away present for him in the courtyard.
  • Sam goes outside and finds Al, who reveals that Cheryl committed to the Peace Corps for life and she’s currently in Africa with her husband.
  • Then Sam notices Jill, looking less like a tomboy mechanic and more like she’s ready for a first date with Cam.
  • Before Sam can leap, Cam has to be Jill’s first kiss.
  • Then Sam leaps into someone in a bad suit standing over a dead body riddled with bullet holes.
  • And Sam’s holding a gun…
  • Oh boy.

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