Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 31

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.

M.I.A.

  • Sam leaps into a dress and heels.
  • He’s not thrilled with the assumption that he’s a woman.
  • But then he looks into a broken mirror in the alleyway where he finds himself and sees that he’s actually a man in a wig.
  • Then he hears a radio coming from his purse.
  • Someone calling him Jake is warning him that two suspects are headed his way.
  • Of course, those two suspects hear the radio and see Sam in the skirt and call him a “narc” before aiming their guns at him.
  • April 1, 1969
  • A police car roars up behind Sam at the end of the alley and he dives out of the way.
  • His partner, dressed as a homeless man, joins the firefight from the roof.
  • One of the suspects winds up getting shot… a minor wound… while the other surrenders.
  • Skaggs, Jake’s partner, covers for Sam when he realizes that Sam never fired his weapon because he never took the safety off.
  • Walking away from the scene, Skaggs tells Sam about a time he froze up in Vietnam.
  • He goes on to say you get one freeze and live to tell about it… after that you might not be so lucky.
  • Al arrives in the police locker room and Sam asks what he’s there to do.
  • Al looks into where and when he is… San Diego in 1969 and looks into Jake’s record, which is pretty good.
  • If Jake is so great, what went wrong that Sam has to correct?
  • Then Al gets a serious look on his face and tells him he’s there to stop a woman from making a mistake that will haunt her for the rest of her life.
  • Her name is Beth and her husband is missing in action in Vietnam.
  • The husband is a naval pilot who’s plane went down and he’s been missing for two years… leading Beth to believe her husband is dead.
  • In the original history, the husband isn’t released until 1973 and Beth won’t be there because she fell in love with a man that she met on April 1, 1969.
  • Beth, meanwhile, is trying to change a tire and is in tears.
  • She’s approached by a Dirk Simon, who offers to change the tire for her.
  • Sidebar… Beth introduces herself as Beth Calavicci, which I know is Al’s last name. So I’m wondering, have we not heard Al’s last name prior to this in the series? I’m pretty sure he was addressed as Admiral Calavicci in the Season 2 premiere when he is testifying before a congressional committee. Yet, I feel like we’re not supposed to be aware that Beth is Al’s wife and the M.I.A. husband is Al.
  • Anyway, Sam talks Skaggs into driving him to the marina so he can intervene with Dirk and Beth’s meeting.
  • Skaggs pulls Dirk away and asks to see his ID, then makes it seem like Beth is a suspect in a case.
  • Sam leads Beth to believe that Dirk is the suspect in an investigation.
  • Dirk gets ready to drive away and hands Beth his business card… since he just happens to be an attorney.
  • Which leads Beth to ask Sam what she’s done…
  • Sam apologizes and gets back in Skaggs’ car and he just looks at her, asking if this is an April Fool’s joke.
  • Beth bursts into tears…
  • The next day, Sam and Skaggs are undercover again, this time at some kind of hippie gathering trying to bust a dealer.
  • Sam asks why he’s still here and Al arrives to say that he’s still here because Beth still winds up with Dirk.
  • Sam thinks Al is taking this leap personally and he explains that he was M.I.A. and the same thing happened to him.
  • But Sam can only apologize for not remembering that important part of Al’s personal life.
  • Al goes on to explain that Beth has been alone for two years, working double shifts as a nurse and yesterday she lost a young marine in the burn unit that she thought for sure was going to make it.
  • He thinks that it may have been the event that caused her last bit of hope that her husband would come back.
  • Skaggs arrests the dealer they were looking for…
  • Elsewhere, the two guys from the shoot out in the alley are in a bar plotting their revenge, remembering Skaggs’ name.
  • Uh… why aren’t they in jail?
  • At another elsewhere, Beth is by the water, waiting for sunset.
  • An older woman asks Beth to help spot her son’s boat out on the bay, then invites her to join her and her son for dinner.
  • What a coincidence… this older woman just happens to be Dirk Simon’s mother.
  • Sam pulls up in Skaggs’ car and gets out carrying a bouquet of calla lilies.
  • When Beth spots him she declines Mrs. Simon’s invitation.
  • She claims she hates calla lilies… but Al told Sam that they’re her favorite flower.
  • Sam convinces her to have dinner with him so he can try to explain why he’s been following her.
  • Over beers, he tells her he only intervened yesterday because he was trying to pick her up and needed to get rid of Dirk…
  • Then the only reason he took off so quickly was because he spotted her wedding ring and M.I.A. bracelet, which made him feel lousy for trying to pick her up.
  • Al walks around Beth’s house and tries to make himself scarce as Beth and Sam walk in… but Sam spots him just before he vanishes.
  • Beth tells Sam about the burn victim she lost, which causes her to tear up…
  • Sam holds Beth and lets her cry while Al stands outside looking sad.
  • The next day, Sam confronts Al about these coincidental meetings that Beth keeps having with Dirk and questions whether that’s the real reason he’s there.
  • Al reminds Sam that it may not just be “Him” at work, pointing up, but it could be “him” pulling strings as well, this time pointing down.
  • Sam says he doesn’t believe in the devil…
  • Al goes off, sharing his experiences as a prisoner in Vietnam and then coming home to find the love of his life off with someone else… there’s a devil.
  • In another coincidental meeting, Beth just happens to be having lunch and Dirk is seated at the table next to her.
  • At a bar, the two guys from the shootout at the start have put up one’s baby mama to calling the police with a tip for Skaggs.
  • As Sam gets ready to leave with Skaggs to go on a stakeout, Al sees that Beth is with Dirk at her home right now and questions Sam about what’s more important…
  • So Sam goes to Beth’s house, saying he took a sick day, prompting Dirk to leave.
  • Beth explains that they ran into each other at lunch… and she’s noticing all these coincidences…
  • She leaves Sam in the living room while she goes to change for their non-date.
  • Then Sam finally notices a framed portrait of a very young naval officer who looks a whole lot like Al.
  • Beth comes out and sees how upset Sam is and he tells her he doesn’t think he’s supposed to be there.
  • Sam leaves and tells Beth he’ll call her later.
  • Then he sees Al as he gets ready to exit the imaging chamber.
  • Sam tells Al if he closes that door he better not ever open it again.
  • Then Sam reminds Al of the rules… that they aren’t allowed to change their own lives.
  • Sam confronts Al about the real reason he’s there… Al won’t give the exact odds, knowing that Sam is right.
  • Sidebar… This is a bunch of crap! Any time it’s Sam’s life that could be changed, he’s all about breaking the rules and trying to change history. But when it’s Al’s potential future with his first wife, his one true love, they have to follow the rules. Not sure what I mean? Just wait until next week’s episode.
  • Anyway, Sam asks Al… what if he’s supposed to be there for something more important.
  • Meanwhile, at that bar we keep seeing with the two suspects from the start of the show, Skaggs arrives looking for the woman who called him.
  • Skaggs spots her with her baby, which causes him to freeze up and relive his moment in Vietnam.
  • The two suspects sneak up behind him and get ready to attack, but then Sam walks in and blows them both away with a shotgun.
  • Al apologizes, saying he never even thought about running any other scenarios through Ziggy.
  • But then he wonders why Sam hasn’t leapt yet…
  • Sam says he thinks that He is giving Al a chance to say good bye to Beth.
  • So he goes into the house, knowing that Beth can’t see or hear him… and he just watches as she listens to “Unchained Melody” and “Georgia On My Mind”.
  • He talks to her… hoping she can somehow hear him…
  • Al dances with her as she sways to the music, unable to touch her, but begging her to wait for him.
  • He kisses her forehead and leaps away with Sam.
  • Beth says his name and begins crying all over again…
  • We don’t get to see where or when Sam leapt to in this Season 2 finale, but it feels weird finishing a post without saying…
  • Oh boy.
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