Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 13

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.

What Price Gloria?

  • Trigger warning: this episode involves a character’s attempted suicide.
  • Not a rerun like we thought…
  • Sam has leapt into a luxurious bubble bath.
  • And he’s being called by his own name by a woman who barges into the bathroom.
  • She congratulates Sam on his new job and addresses him as “Ms. Youngest Executive Secretary Ever.”
  • Sam gets out of the tub and looks into the mirror to see that he is, in fact, a beautiful young woman.
  • Then Al appears and is immediately smitten.
  • Samantha, the girl who appeared in the project waiting room is being calmed by the project psychiatrist, Dr. Beeks.
  • But Al had to see for himself that Sam had leaped into a woman.
  • So far, no clue what he’s here to do, so Sam sends him on his way.
  • October 16, 1961
  • It’s Detroit and Sam is on his way to work with Samantha’s roommate, Gloria.
  • They both work for National Motors Corporation and have to deal with sexual harassment from strangers on the street.
  • When they get to the office, Gloria discovers that her fiancĂ©, Buddy, got his promotion.
  • Thing is… Buddy is married and kept promising Gloria he’d leave his wife once he got the promotion.
  • But he didn’t even request Gloria to be his secretary.
  • Sam’s boss arrives and reprimands a male employee for continuously hitting on Sam without taking the hint that he’s not interested.
  • Then he tells Sam to come into his office with a pad and pencil.
  • But all he wants to do is hit on Sam himself.
  • This boss, Buddy, wants to take Sam out tonight but he resists because Buddy is married…
  • And is also stringing along Gloria.
  • Buddy tries to play a sympathy card claiming his wife is a drunk.
  • As Sam leaves the office, Buddy demands that he put on lipstick… “You’re representing Buddy Wright out there!”
  • While Sam is experimenting with lipstick in the ladies’ room, Al arrives.
  • Gloria storms in super happy with news that Buddy finally called her and said the reason he didn’t tell her about the promotion was because he wanted to keep it a secret.
  • Buddy is finally leaving his wife, Gail, and was only waiting for the promotion so he could afford to take her to court for custody of their kids.
  • Sam tries to bring Gloria back down to earth with the reality that Buddy is probably just feeding her a line.
  • Gloria insists that it’s real and just asks that Sam be happy for her.
  • When Gloria leaves, Al reveals that Buddy isn’t leaving his wife and when Gloria discovers the truth for herself, she will commit suicide.
  • The next day, Gloria continues to go on and on about how great Buddy is while Sam continues to try and convince her that he’s a sleazeball.
  • Later, at the office, Sam is taking notes while Buddy is meeting his boss and shows off a new car he’s got in mind.
  • Sam dares to speak his mind, asking about fuel economy, considering the car he’s pitching is a gas guzzler.
  • Buddy says they’re not marketing that car to secretaries, then tells Sam to go get them some coffee.
  • In the break room, Gloria asks Sam if she can go out tonight so she can have the apartment to herself so Buddy can come over to talk about their future, saying she’ll go on that double date she’s supposed to go on tomorrow night.
  • Sam is reluctant, but agrees…
  • But then he’s not out of the apartment soon enough and Gloria begins to panic.
  • Buddy arrives and forces Sam to take his dog for a walk since she’s leaving anyway.
  • Gloria begs her to go along with it and as soon as Sam leaves, Buddy and Gloria begin doing anything but talking.
  • Al joins Sam on his walk and wants Sam to get this leap over with quickly so he can stop dealing with his best friend being a gorgeous woman.
  • He makes the point that Gloria is desperate because at that point in history a woman of 27 who wasn’t already married with children was practically an old maid.
  • Sam argues that’s ridiculous, but that’s not an argument he would win in 1961.
  • The next morning, Gloria is in a great mood.
  • Sam asks if Buddy told his wife he was leaving her.
  • Gloria says yes, but he’s waiting until after the holidays to move out.
  • Sam warns Gloria that Buddy will keep saying what he has to in order to keep her on his hook, but he’ll never really leave his wife.
  • Gloria gets angry and says that Buddy is not Tony… who is apparently a guy who did the same thing to Sam a couple years earlier.
  • Sam cheers Gloria up by suggesting they go to brunch, which Gloria spins into a shopping day to prepare for tonight’s double blind date that’s been set up by Gloria’s mother.
  • Dick, Sam’s date is kind of a… well, his name.
  • Gloria’s date seems like a super nice guy who’s getting over his own divorce after 20 years of marriage.
  • Sam excuses himself to go to the restroom so he can talk to Al, who reveals that Gloria’s due to commit suicide tonight.
  • Because Gloria spots Buddy’s wife, Gail, across the restaurant.
  • Gloria makes the idiotic mistake of introducing herself to Gail and promises that she will do everything she can to make the divorce and transition as easy as possible.
  • Gail is understandably less than polite about the circumstances, explaining that Buddy would never divorce her or give up the status he acquired when he married her.
  • And she promises that if he ever did try to divorce her, she would strip him of everything he has.
  • Gloria rushes out of the restaurant in tears.
  • Her date alerts Sam that Gloria is gone and Sam gets back to their building to find Gloria standing on the ledge outside their apartment window in the pouring rain.
  • Sam joins Gloria on the ledge to try and talk her down.
  • Gloria wants to die to end the pain she’s feeling, just because that pain won’t go away tomorrow.
  • Sam tells her that Buddy is not worth dying over… which is exactly what he’ll think if she goes through with jumping.
  • He convinces her to go back inside and reaches out to her.
  • Funny how those cement ledges are always rock solid until someone tries to save someone from throwing themselves off the building.
  • Gloria is safe inside and Sam brings her some warm milk.
  • Still sad, Gloria describes her mother’s dream of a Prince Charming coming along to marry her and start a family.
  • Sam tells her to stop waiting for a man… to get out of the secretarial pool and do whatever she wants.
  • Gloria says she wants to design cars… she has an art degree, why shouldn’t she be a designer?
  • There’s never been a woman in the design program and Sam agrees it’ll be hard, but tells Gloria she needs to do something that will make her feel good about herself, which will make her like herself, which will help others to like her for who she really is.
  • Sam puts Gloria to bed and then talks with Al about how things are going to turn out.
  • Gloria will wind up marrying Parker, the guy from the blind date.
  • They’ll move to California to run an avocado farm.
  • And Gloria convinces Samantha to join her in the design program, which turns out Samantha has a lot of talent and winds up running the division.
  • Samantha also ends up adopting a little girl and starts a program for single parents.
  • So why hasn’t Sam leapt?
  • Ziggy thinks it’s because Sam needs to get some revenge on Buddy for making him strut around the office and wear lipstick.
  • So Sam heads into Buddy’s office on Monday and really plays it up with the seduction routine.
  • Then reveals that he is, in fact, a man.
  • Buddy’s not buying it at first… but Sam is very convincing.
  • Sam gets to punch Buddy in the face, then says he’s ready to leap now.
  • And he leaps into a blind pianist in front of a huge crowd.
  • Oh boy.

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