Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 21

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.

Animal Frat

  • Sam leaps in and finds himself lying on a pool table while some college guys poor beer from a keg into his face.
  • He’s at a frat party and he is regularly addressed as “Wild Thing.”
  • We soon find out from a lowly pledge that this particular fraternity is Tau Kappa Beta, the wildest frat at Meeks College.
  • October 19, 1967
  • Sam is able to find his way to Wild Thing’s room and is disgusted by the mess he finds there.
  • He finds his reflection and discovers that Wild Thing is a pretty huge dude.
  • He also finds two girls waiting for him in his bed… but that kind of scares Sam away.
  • The next day, Sam and Al watch as some of the other fraternity brothers launch water balloons at unsuspecting victims from the science lab window.
  • Sam tells Al he wants to leap out of there as soon as possible so he doesn’t get stuck graduating as this guy.
  • Al comforts him by saying there’s no chance of Wild Thing graduating this year or next year.
  • Ziggy says he’s most likely there to help Elizabeth, a girl who gets hit by the next water balloon.
  • She and her friends are protesting the Vietnam War and apparently plan to bomb one of the school’s labs.
  • No one is supposed to be present when the bomb goes off, but a student sneaks in to do some late night work and gets caught in the blast.
  • Elizabeth felt so guilty about it that she goes into hiding for the rest of her life.
  • Sam goes down to try and talk to her to Elizabeth, apologizing for the water balloons and offers to help with the protest effort.
  • But Duck, another of the protesters, shoots down that idea thinking that Wild Thing is just trying to make a play for Elizabeth.
  • But Sam reminds Duck that if he was serious about stopping the war he would take all the help he could get.
  • Duck promises to keep an eye on him.
  • Later, in class, one of the frat guy bets that Wild Thing can’t get Elizabeth to come to tomorrow night’s luau.
  • Al points out that if she’s at the luau, she can’t plant the bomb.
  • Sam follows Elizabeth out of class and offers to join her in a meeting she’s headed to.
  • On the way they run into a pledge who is still performing humiliating acts and Elizabeth points out how ridiculous it is.
  • Sitting in on the meeting, Sam is concerned by hearing Duck’s speech… that he’s a bit of a fanatic.
  • After it’s over, Sam asks Elizabeth to go to the luau with him, arguing that even revolutionaries need the occasional break.
  • She finally agrees to go with him once he promises to hand out fliers with her tomorrow.
  • When Duck asks if she’s really going to the luau, she says no.
  • Sam continues complaining to Al about being stuck in this life, even if it’s temporary.
  • He can’t understand why anyone would be into all these pranks then wonders if he even knows how to have fun.
  • Al points out that fun is relative… for Sam fun is ancient languages and quantum physics.
  • Sam arrives at the TKB house and stops one of his brothers from making a prank call claiming there’s a bomb in the chemistry building.
  • If the fraternities are crying wolf, no one will believe it when the protesters really plant the bomb.
  • That night, Sam and the guys sneak into the girls’ dorm and flush cherry bombs in the bathroom.
  • But as they escape, Elizabeth spots Sam climbing out the window.
  • The next day, Sam spots Elizabeth reading in the library but she won’t give him the time of day.
  • In her haste to get away from him, she leaves her purse behind, so he chases her down to return it.
  • Then he starts arguing with her about the use of violence in their protest.
  • Duck steps in and Elizabeth just accuses Sam of being interested just so she’ll go with him to some party… not because he actually cares about the people dying in Vietnam.
  • This strikes a nerve and Sam reveals that his brother died in Vietnam.
  • Somehow, this convinces Elizabeth to join him at the luau.
  • At the party, Elizabeth reveals that they’re going to bomb the chemistry lab and that they got the idea from the frat guys bombing the toilets, since news of that spread like wildfire.
  • Sam tries to warn campus security, but they’ve gotten so many prank calls they won’t listen.
  • Turns out the pledge is in the chemistry building to steal a copy of the exam for the brothers and that’s the student that’ll die.
  • So Sam and Elizabeth rush off to try and stop the bomb…
  • Then the pledge returns to the party, unsuccessful.
  • And Al realizes that the students who now die are Wild Thing and Elizabeth.
  • They get to the chemistry building and find the bomb.
  • Al tries to talk Sam through diffusing the bomb since Elizabeth knows nothing about it… Duck set it up.
  • They cut the wires in the sequence that Al tells Sam… but Ziggy’s timer is still counting down.
  • Duck didn’t trust Elizabeth and planted a second bomb somewhere.
  • They find him in the building and try to force him to reveal the location, holding him so they’ll all die if he doesn’t tell.
  • Then the other frat guys show up and at the last second, they launch the bomb out the window like it was a water balloon.
  • The bomb explodes in midair, no harm done.
  • Back at the party, Elizabeth feels super guilty, and Sam reminds her that no one was hurt so she shouldn’t torture herself.
  • Sam points the microscope at her and suggests that she may be using this protest to get her parents to notice her.
  • Just as he asks her to dance, the others grab her and say it’s show time.
  • Al reveals that Elizabeth goes on to be a major voice in stopping the Vietnam War.
  • But Sam isn’t leaping… so there must be something else he’s here to do…
  • As the god of the luau, Wild Thing has to jump into the pool and not get paralyzed… since that’s what happened in the original history… Wild Thing missed the pool and broke his neck.
  • Sam takes the leap and then he leaps…
  • Into a mother of three.
  • Oh boy.

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