Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 27

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.

Pool Hall Blues

  • Sam leaps into an African-American nightclub and is immediately addressed as “old man” by a younger guy who bets him $400 he can’t sink the 8-ball.
  • Sure enough… Sam misses.
  • September 4, 1954
  • Before the younger guy takes his shot, another older man approaches, laughing.
  • He introduces Sam as Charlie “Black Magic” Walters, the greatest pool player in the world.
  • Charlie’s granddaughter, Violet, who owns the nightclub, fusses at Sam and tells him to give the kid his money back.
  • The kid tries to up the bet to $500, thinking he can still beat the old man, but Sam just asks if he really wants to lose all that money.
  • Apparently, Charlie’s reputation precedes him.
  • The clear antagonist for the episode, Eddie, approaches Violet to remind her that he owns the marker to her club, which is due in two days.
  • Magic’s friend, Grady, assures Violet that Magic will never let Eddie take over her club.
  • Al arrives and is pretty psyched about who Sam has leapt into, explaining that Magic took Al under his wing when he was a kid, up until Magic was arrested for playing pool in an all-white pool hall in New Orleans.
  • He brags about being one of maybe five people in the world who has actually used “Alberta” (Magic’s cue) to sink a ball.
  • Al goes on to explain that Violet borrowed money from a loan shark to transform the old pool hall into a more upscale blues club and Eddie bought the marker.
  • Eddie wants to use that in a wager in a game against Magic, knowing that Magic’s eyesight is all but gone.
  • But Sam is here now… and Sam has 20/20 vision… except he insists he knows nothing about playing pool.
  • Al tells him he needs to learn or Violet will lose the club.
  • The next morning, Sam tries to convince Violet that they should go to the bank to apply for a legitimate loan rather than play for it.
  • Al steps in and reminds Sam that Violet is a single black woman in 1954… No bank is going to provide her with a business loan.
  • Violet tells him that they’ve tried that before, which is what eventually led to her doing business with a loan shark.
  • But they try anyway, meeting with an African-American loan officer at the bank… who still refuses to provide the money.
  • The loan officer quietly complains about how long it took him, a black man, to get into his position and all he’s had to put up with over the years.
  • Violet storms off, angry… Sam reminds him that now that he’s in the position he’s in, he can use that for good to help others get ahead as well.
  • That night, Violet interrupts Eddie’s game when she walks in wearing a pretty revealing dress, attempting to seduce Eddie.
  • Grady gets Sam and he steps in to prevent Eddie from taking advantage of Magic’s granddaughter.
  • Sam agrees to play against Eddie tomorrow night to save the club.
  • Violet tells him he can’t because of his vision… but Sam insists that he can see just fine.
  • Later, while Violet rehearses a song, Sam practices shooting pool… but he kinda sucks.
  • Al shows up to provide Sam with some tips.
  • Violet hears Sam talking to himself and calls him up to sit next to her at the piano, leading to the two of them singing a duet.
  • When Sam gets back to learning to play pool, Al points out that it’s all about geometry, which Sam should have no problem embracing.
  • Then Al mentions how he wishes he could find some way to draw it out for him.
  • He figures out he can use his handlink to project a light beam showing Sam exactly where to hit the cue ball to make his shots.
  • Is it cheating? Sure…
  • But Sam’s the good guy and he needs to beat Eddie… so I guess it’s okay.
  • The next night Eddie asks what game they’ll be playing and Al tells him to play 9-Ball… that was Magic’s game.
  • The handlink starts out working great, but then Al explains that the Pentagon has decided to cut back on the Project’s power, causing the handlink’s light beam to malfunction.
  • When the light malfunctions, Sam asks to take a break and Eddie agrees to give him five minutes while ordering his crony, The Brush, to do something about “Alberta.”
  • While Grady is polishing Magic’s cue, The Brush tells him that Magic wants to see him out back…
  • But the only one back there is The Brush, who proceeds to beat the crap out of the old man.
  • Sam hears the commotion and goes to check on Grady while The Brush grabs “Alberta” and breaks the stick over his knee.
  • Sam uses the broken pieces to knock The Brush to the ground.
  • He has Grady find him a new cue so he can continue the game.
  • Al returns after trying to get more power and explains he only has about two more minutes, so Sam needs to wrap things up.
  • But when it comes to one last difficult shot, the power is gone and Sam is on his own.
  • Sam manages to sink the 9-ball, winning the final game.
  • Violet approaches Eddie, demanding her marker and, with the crowd surrounding them, he has no choice but to give it up.
  • She tells Eddie that she never wants to see him in her club again.
  • Eddie lunges at her, but Sam steps in, forcing him and The Brush to leave.
  • Violet hugs Sam just before he leaps…
  • …Into someone hanging upside down by his legs from a circus trapeze.
  • Oh boy.

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