Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 36

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.

The Boogieman

  • Sam leaps into a man reading a book by candlelight…
  • The book? Witchcraft in America… published in 1879…
  • Sure looks like Sam has made his way back to the 19th century.
  • But that’s impossible, right?
  • Quantum leaping only works by time traveling within one’s own lifetime.
  • So Sam shouldn’t be able to go any further back in time than 1953, when the character was born.
  • He’s in a spooky house and hears noises, leading him up the stairs.
  • Two people in masks jump out and scare him, causing him to tumble backwards down the stairs, knocking him unconscious.
  • October 31, 1964
  • One of the masked individuals, a woman, rushes down to check on Sam, calling him Josh.
  • He comes around and sees the other person in a devil mask, a kid who apologizes for scaring him so bad.
  • The kid in the glasses asks if he can take off a little early because he has to peel the grapes for the “bowl of eyeballs.”
  • Clearly, this trio is getting things ready for a haunted house.
  • The woman says she can’t wait until they get married, so she is obviously Josh’s fiancée.
  • As the kid leaves, he calls the woman Mary and she refers to the kid as Stevie… so now we know everyone.
  • Mary then tells Sam she knows what’s wrong with him… he’s struggling with how to kill him.
  • It takes a moment before she shares more info that makes it clear Josh is writing a horror novel in which he needs to kill off a character.
  • This leads to a conversation about the potential real haunting of this “haunted” house by a woman who was killed during the Salem Witch Trials.
  • That’s when they hear some banging, which Sam assumes is the ghost being upset at their talk about her.
  • But Mary just yells at someone named Tully, who is doing some repair work upstairs.
  • Sam heads up to Josh’s office and sees that he is a published author and he sees that there is a page in his typewriter with two paragraphs written.
  • Then he hears Tully warning him not to mess around with the devil the way he does in his books.
  • Tully is working on a ladder outside the window, and Sam notices a goat at the bottom of the ladder.
  • The goat pulls at a piece of cloth that the ladder is standing on, causing the ladder to tip over.
  • Tully hits the rocks below and is immediately killed.
  • When the sheriff takes Sam’s statement, he mentions the goat… but no one believes that a goat was there.
  • Al arrives and Sam fusses at him, saying he could have saved Tully if he had a little more warning, but Al says that Ziggy had no information about this happening.
  • He tells Sam that Josh is engaged to Mary, who is the organist at the local church as well as his research assistant.
  • She will be found strangled later tonight.
  • Al points out that there is a black mamba, an extremely deadly snake, in a terrarium by the stairs.
  • Sam argues with Al on the stairs and Mary seems to sense something as she passes between them going down the stairs.
  • Up in Josh’s office, Sam notices a new paragraph written on the typewriter, detailing Tully’s death scene.
  • Mary calls up to Sam, letting him know that Dorothy is coming over soon, who Al confirms is the town gossip.
  • Once Dorothy arrives, Sam and Mary let her know about Tully and she shares some memories about him.
  • Mary goes to Dorothy’s car to retrieve some candlesticks she brought.
  • When Mary returns, Dorothy goes to the kitchen to get some more apple cider.
  • Al returns and says that Mary is definitely who he’s there to save.
  • Just then, Dorothy screams from the kitchen, but by the time Sam and Mary get to her, she’s dead.
  • Sam is then nearly bitten by the black mamba, which slithers away and down a vent.
  • He yells at Al, telling him to tear Ziggy apart if he has to but he wants to know who set the snake loose in the kitchen.
  • Later, Sam and Mary return from more police questioning and Al states that there is a logical explanation…
  • He implies that Mary is the killer… she could have pushed Tully’s ladder from a lower window… she could have put the snake next to the pitcher in the kitchen waiting for Dorothy…
  • Then, in Josh’s office, there’s another paragraph describing Dorothy’s death.
  • Mary overhears Sam arguing with Al, calling her a demented psychopath.
  • He just tries to point out that a lot of things have been happening that are unexplainable and she asks if he really thinks she’s the explanation.
  • As she gets increasingly agitated, a skull decorating a shelf begins shaking… then if flies across the room, nearly hitting Sam.
  • She denies having anything to do with the flying skull and begins having a seizure.
  • Sam rushes Mary to the hospital and while she is lying unconscious in her bed, he discusses the possibility of psychokinetic energy being linked to epilepsy.
  • They decide to go to Mary’s house to look for evidence and Al directs him to 966 Salem Ave.
  • As they enter the house, the 9 flips over, making it 666…
  • Al points out a lot of strange items inside the house, which Sam just says are likely part of the research for Josh’s novels.
  • Al is intent on Mary being behind all of these murders.
  • They find a church bulletin that lists the board of deacons as Mary, Tully, and Dorothy.
  • Sam asks who would want to kill off the board of deacons…
  • The sheriff walks in and they go back and forth, accusing each other of the unexplained events of the day.
  • Sam notices the sheriff chewing on a wooden match, pointing out that he found a match on the floor next to Dorothy’s body, but the sheriff just says that a gas stove needs to be lit with a match…
  • Al tells Sam he’s going to check back in with Ziggy, but just before he disappears, the sheriff begins looking around, almost as if he can hear something.
  • Sam returns to the hospital to check on Mary.
  • He asks her if there’s anyone in town that might want to hurt her or want her dead, but she has no idea.
  • Sam leaves and notices that he is being followed down the road and a black cat jumps up from the back seat, spooking him.
  • He’s relieved when he sees the pickup truck that was following turn off the road, but then he sees the goat from earlier in the middle of the road in front of him.
  • Sam swerves to miss the animal, but nearly hits Stevie in a scarecrow costume before running off the road and crashing.
  • Stevie pulls Sam out of the car and explains that he was trying to flag someone down because his car broke down again.
  • Sam says he jerked the wheel to avoid the goat… then he had to miss Stevie… and the cat jumping out…
  • Then he said it was almost as if the car had a mind of its own… like in Christine… but the kid doesn’t get that reference.
  • Way too far back in time for that.
  • Stevie says he never saw a goat… and that Joshua doesn’t own a cat…
  • Back in Josh’s office, Al pops in and says that he’s still there to stop Mary from being killed.
  • Sam thinks it has to be the sheriff… and Al says it could be the boogieman…
  • He calls the sheriff’s office, but they haven’t heard from him in more than half an hour.
  • Then he calls the hospital to check on Mary, but they tell her she’s already checked out and is standing outside, waiting for the sheriff to pick her up.
  • Al has Gooshie center him on Mary and Sam takes off to make the drive back to the hospital.
  • On the way there, he sees a wrecked car… the sheriff dead in the driver’s seat.
  • What just happens to be standing in the headlights of the wrecked car?
  • The goat…
  • But it’s gone when Sam rushes over to grab it.
  • Back at the house, Sam sees Stevie standing outside and asks if Mary and the sheriff are inside.
  • Isn’t the sheriff dead, though?
  • He goes inside and is greeted by Mary.
  • Sam tells her that the sheriff is dead, but she says he isn’t… that he’s in the kitchen.
  • The sheriff emerges from the kitchen and says, “It’s about time…”
  • Sam grabs his wrist and he immediately transforms into Al… and touching his arm shouldn’t be possible.
  • He tells Mary to run, but before they can reach the door, it slams shut and locks them inside.
  • Mary was never in danger… but Not Al says she is now.
  • Not Al’s face glows a slight red…
  • Sam points out that Al has been acting strange throughout this entire leap.
  • He hasn’t used the imaging chamber door like he usually does… he hasn’t actually utilized the handlink to do anything… and he hasn’t walked through a single solid object this entire time.
  • Just then, the real Al comes in through the imaging chamber door and apologizes to Sam for taking so long to get there, explaining that something has been screwing around with Ziggy.
  • Then he sees himself…
  • Not Al says that Sam’s death is long overdue.
  • Mary asks who he is and Not Al says, “Yin and yang, good and bad, God and…”
  • “…the devil,” Sam finishes for him.
  • Sam asks why he’s doing this…
  • “To put an end to your meddling. Who gave you the right to go bumbling around in time putting right what I made wrong?!”
  • The devil grabs Sam by the throat and Sam does likewise as the room begins to spin.
  • Sam watches the devil transform into Tully, then Dorothy, the sheriff, the goat, Mary…
  • The clock chimes and Sam lets go… falling to the bottom of the stairs.
  • He’s back to where he was at the beginning of this leap, where he fell to the bottom of the stairs.
  • Mary checks on him, as she did before…
  • Only this time, Al is there, too, saying that they lost Sam for a few minutes there.
  • Sam puts a hand through Al, just to be sure.
  • Al gives him the details of who he is and what he’s there to do…
  • And Sam saves Tully just in time, pulling him into the window.
  • They head out to see Stevie off and say hi to his mother, Mrs. King.
  • Does this mean Sam gave Stephen King the idea for Carrie? Christine?
  • He had a St. Bernard in the back seat of his car named Cujo…
  • But how could he give him the idea for Christine when he mentioned that during the dream…
  • Was it a dream?
  • Sam leaps into someone sitting on a bus.
  • A woman knocks on the window and gets Sam to step off he bus before it takes off.
  • Sam steps out in a poodle skirt and receives a pair of clip on earrings, a tiara, and a sash that reads “Miss Sugar Belle.”
  • Oh boy.

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