Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 19

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.

Catch a Falling Star

  • Sam leaps into a make-up chair and the make-up artist addresses him as Ray.
  • A director barges into the dressing room and tells them he’s on in less than a minute.
  • The curtain opens and Sam is left waiting in the wings with no idea what his character’s next move should be.
  • May 21, 1979
  • Luckily, Sam is saved at the last second when the drunken star of The Man of La Mancha comes to take over.
  • Apparently, Ray is just the understudy.
  • The director and make-up artist both apologize to Sam, telling him there’s always tomorrow night’s show.
  • Al arrives and is excited by the play.
  • He reveals that Ray is a touring actor who has been in all sorts of traveling plays.
  • But Ray never really made it as an actor.
  • The closest he came was as understudy to John O’Malley, the star who is currently playing Don Quixote on stage.
  • But if John can’t go on, Sam won’t be able to go on either, claiming he doesn’t even know the lyrics.
  • Al insists that Sam knows Man of La Mancha front and back.
  • Apparently, though, in three days, John is going to fall off the stairs on stage, shattering his leg and hip and ending his career.
  • But how does Sam get this drunk actor to sober up in three days?
  • Al suggests getting John so drunk that he can’t go on and Sam will have to take over.
  • As John serenades Dulcinea on stage, Sam spots a woman in on the opposite side of the stage.
  • He recognizes her as Nicole, a woman who taught Sam piano when he was a kid.
  • Sam is delusional enough to think that she recognizes him… but clearly she knows Ray and seems excited to see him.
  • The delusion is born from a crush that Sam had on his piano teacher as a child, but now she’s not too old for him anymore.
  • Backstage, Sam makes his way to Nicole and she greets him with a kiss.
  • He asks her how she knew it was him and, again, she makes it clear she recognized Ray.
  • Nicole and Ray were at Julliard together and had an apparent romance.
  • She’s been teaching piano again, but was just cast to understudy Dulcinea, thinking it would be great if they could play the leads together.
  • John swoops in and attempts to charm Nicole away from Ray.
  • At the after party, John introduces Nicole to Michelle, the actress playing Dulcinea… and he introduces her as the new Dulicnea.
  • John continues to rock everyone’s boat by implying that Ray and Michelle are involved.
  • This guy is really full of himself for someone who is the star of a play in the greater Syracuse area.
  • Dude… you’re not winning any Tonys.
  • Later, Sam goes to Nicole’s apartment and sits down at her piano and does a unique warm up exercise that he did as a kid.
  • She recognizes it, but has no idea who would have done it… she’s had so many students over the years.
  • Aww… little Sam Beckett doesn’t stand out.
  • Sam tells her that he had a crush on his piano teacher, leading to them kissing.
  • The next day at rehearsal, Sam is supposed to act with Nicole… but he has no idea what his lines are.
  • Until Al arrives with the script.
  • Since Sam has a photographic memory, he’ll have this thing down after one rehearsal.
  • That’s an awfully convenient talent to have being one who leaps around from life to life…
  • Sam’s doing a great job and then John arrives.
  • He tells Ray to take five and asks that Nicole sing for him.
  • Sam watches Nicole as she sings and Al is troubled by the look in Sam’s eyes.
  • Al reminds Sam that he can’t tell anyone who he really is and cannot affect his personal history.
  • Then Sam argues that means he can’t have a life… all he can do is fight other people’s battles and he feels like he’s Don Quixote.
  • Al points out that Don Quixote loved chaste from afar.
  • But Sam says he’s in love with her.
  • Unfortunately, it’s not up to Sam whether he stays or leaps… Al points up and says it’s up to HIM…
  • After Nicole finishes her song, John demands that she take over as Dulcinea in the next performance.
  • To say Michelle is agitated is an understatement.
  • Now it’s her turn to rock some boats…
  • She tells Sam that Nicole went up to have a “private rehearsal” with John.
  • Manny, the actor playing Sancho, plays along with Michelle in order to get into bed with her.
  • Once Sam leaves, she tells Manny to tell Nicole that she took Ray upstairs, then Manny can come up later.
  • Sam goes up to John’s room to ask for her and John implies that Nicole is in the shower.
  • He angrily leaves before some other woman exits the bathroom.
  • The next day, Sam is still pissed, believing that Nicole rehearsed with John in his room and tells Al about it.
  • Sam is okay with John falling off the stairs and breaking his neck and now is ready to leap whether he puts right what once went wrong or not.
  • Nicole is in the dressing room getting ready when Michelle barges in to swipe some aspirin and makes a snide remark at Nicole’s expense.
  • The make-up artist tells her not to mind Michelle… she’s just having a rough time because she spent the night with Manny last night.
  • Nicole, confused, asks about her and Ray.
  • Make-up lady says that Ray wouldn’t touch Michelle with a 10-foot pole and that Manny must have done Michelle some kind of epic favor.
  • Just before the show begins, John is a no-show and Sam gives Nicole the cold shoulder, still believing she slept with John.
  • Of course, John arrives at the last second, drunk again.
  • Sam tells him to break a leg.
  • And he means it… not in a good luck kind of way.
  • The curtain opens and Sam watches as John stumbles.
  • Sam is too good a person just to let him fall, so he rushes in and catches him, breaking his fall.
  • John decides not to go on and they restart the show with Sam in the lead role.
  • Just before they go on, Manny tells Sam the truth about Nicole not being with John.
  • Sam gives a great performance and, as the company sings “The Impossible Dream,” Sam leaps away…
  • And into a creepy cemetery where a creepy woman suddenly appears in the door of a crypt.
  • Oh boy.

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