Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 25

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.

Freedom

  • Sam leaps into a man who is on the wrong side of the law, being severely beaten by an angry sheriff.
  • He gets one good hit of his own in before he’s knocked out and dragged to a jail cell that he’s sharing with an older Native American man.
  • Sam struggles over to a sink to splash some water in his face, then looks in the mirror and notices that he, too, is Native American.
  • When he says, “Oh, boy… I’m an Indian,” the older man says, “Could be worse… You could be a white man,” then laughs at him.
  • November 22, 1970
  • The older man reveals that they’re both in there because they stole a truck, even though he only considers it borrowing.
  • He also suggests to Sam that they figure out a way to break out, otherwise they’ll spend the next 10 years in prison.
  • The next morning, Sam appears to be missing from the cell and when the sheriff comes in to check on them, he asks the old man where George is.
  • The old man tells him he turned George into a raven and he flew away.
  • Really, Sam is hiding under the cot and manages to knock out the sheriff, locking him in the cell while he and the old man escape.
  • Sometime later, Suzanne shows up at the sheriff’s station looking for her brother (George) and their grandfather, explaining that the old man is very sick and needs to get back to his nursing home.
  • The sheriff is busy loading his rifle and looks about ready to begin the kind of manhunt that isn’t concerned with bringing anyone in alive.
  • Suzanne wants to go with the sheriff, but since she’s not a sworn deputy, he refuses to allow her to join him… and seems to enjoy telling her no.
  • Sam speeds down the highway until Joseph begins coughing and having trouble breathing.
  • He pulls over to examine the old man and determines he has emphysema and needs to get him some oxygen.
  • Joseph refuses to go to a hospital, wanting to go home.
  • Al arrives and tells Sam that there is no oxygen at home, unless you count what’s floating around in the air.
  • Al tells Sam he’s there to help Joseph die with dignity, which is why George pulled him out of the nursing home in the first place.
  • Sam has a problem with this, being a medical doctor and all.
  • Al points out that the reservation is just over the mountains and if they get there then the sheriff chasing them can’t touch them.
  • If the sheriff catches up, there’s no way Joseph will get the medical care he needs anyway.
  • His best bet is to do what Joseph asks and keep driving.
  • Joseph gets Sam to pull over again when they reach a roadside store where they are able to get some blankets and an O2 tank for Joseph.
  • Back on the road, Suzanne reaches out over CB, begging George and Joseph to come back.
  • The sheriff breaks in and promises to ask the judge to go easy on him.
  • But Joseph just asks when the last time a white man kept his promise.
  • Sam realizes the road they’re on doesn’t go over the mountains, so they pull over again and Joseph notices a pair of horses.
  • They leave a note saying that the horses will be returned and are in good hands… they’re just borrowing the horses, not stealing them.
  • The sheriff radios back to the station where they’re headed and Suzanne recognizes the name of the area.
  • Out in the wilderness, Joseph and Sam stop to dismount so that Joseph can paint markings on his horse and his face.
  • Sam asks about the handprints he puts on the horse and Joseph says they denote men he’s killed in battle.
  • Then Joseph brings him the paint, saying he can see in his eyes that he’s killed before.
  • Sam puts two handprints on his own horse… but if I remember correctly, it should be three.
  • One for the French guy in the episode “Honeymoon Express,” one for the brother he threw into the lake in “A Portrait for Troian,” and one for the gangster in last week’s “Her Charm.”
  • Anyway, the sheriff arrives and begins shooting, hitting Sam.
  • Joseph returns fire using the rifle they picked up at the store earlier.
  • Then Joseph and Sam lead the horses further up the mountain and out of the sheriff’s range.
  • Climbing becomes more difficult and, as night falls, Sam and Joseph take shelter in a nearby cave.
  • Joseph talks with Sam about coming to the end of this life and shedding the old skin and putting on another.
  • He says that all of life is a series of leaps and we don’t always see where we’re going.
  • Then he asks Sam to stop trying to make him hang on to his old skin.
  • Sheriff Taggart finds the cave, but is tricked when the voices he hears are coming from Joseph’s radio.
  • Sam and Joseph escape on their horses and reach a place where they see a river that marks the boundary of the reservation.
  • Suzanne arrives and Sam tells her to get Joseph across the river while he deals with the sheriff.
  • Sam and Taggart fight until Sam gets the upper hand… then the sheriff pulls out his handgun and manages to shoot Joseph.
  • Suzanne and Sam rush to Joseph’s side and Sam sees that the wound is mortal.
  • Sam picks Joseph up and carries him toward the river.
  • Taggart takes aim again and calls out to Sam…
  • Crying, Sam shouts that Joseph just wanted to die with dignity, in peace, under the sky and open spaces he called home.
  • Taggart lowers his weapon and lets them go.
  • As Sam reaches the other side of the river, Joseph tells him not to cry.
  • Sam looks into Joseph’s face once more before leaping out of this life…
  • …And into another rerun.
  • Oh boy?

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