Rewatching Quantum Leap – Episode 40

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.

Rebel Without a Clue

  • Sam leaps into someone riding a motorcycle.
  • Clearly, Sam has no idea how to ride a motorcycle and the rest of the biker gang seem to hate him for it.
  • Well… the leader thinks it’s pretty funny at first, laughing as Sam crashes on the side of the road.
  • September 1, 1958
  • The gang comes back for Sam and the leader still thinks it’s funny.
  • The leader of the pack tells this other guy, Mad Dog, that he should’ve seen his face.
  • Mad Dog isn’t laughing and punches Sam for almost making him crash when Sam did.
  • But the gang leader isn’t having any of that, ordering Mad Dog to cool it.
  • His girlfriend, Becky, wants Sam to have a pass.
  • As the gang gets ready to leave, Mad Dog pulls out a knife and cuts the fuel line to Sam’s bike.
  • The leader again yells at Mad Dog, pointing out that this biker that Sam has leapt into has only been riding with them for a week and this is how he welcomes him.
  • The gang leader then tells Sam about a diner that they’ll be stopping at about 20 minutes down the road where they’ll have a beer waiting for him.
  • Mad Dog hangs back to make one more threat before riding off.
  • Once he’s alone, Al shows up and is impressed by Sam’s motorcycle, calling it a classic.
  • But Al still isn’t sure what he’s doing here, saying he rushed into the imaging chamber to see what kind of wheels Sam had.
  • He is able to reveal that Sam’s name this week is Shane “Funny Bone” Thomas and he’s a pretty talented caricature artist, having discovered a caricature of Becky, the gang leader’s girl.
  • Shane just joined the Cobras a week ago, just as the leader claimed.
  • Sam is able to walk the bike to the diner where the rest of the Cobras are being rowdy and rude to Ernie, the diner’s owner.
  • Becky is clearly a more introspective kind of soul, separated from the gang and reading or writing instead of getting drunk with her boyfriend.
  • The leader, Dylan, doesn’t really understand Becky’s writing and doesn’t necessarily appreciate Sam explaining what a metaphor is.
  • He then mentions his time in the Korean War, which piques the interest of Ernie, the diner owner.
  • Ernie begins talking about how his son is a Marine and is expected to receive the Medal of Honor when he returns home… even though the gang leader points out that the war’s been over for five years.
  • Ernie’s son is still missing… but he’s holding on to his motorcycle for when he gets back.
  • Dylan and Mad Dog both get real interested when Ernie mentions what kind of bike it is, wanting to see it… even buy it off of Ernie.
  • But he insists that it’s not for sale and is in storage at his uncle’s place.
  • Mad Dog then discovers the caricature of Becky, trying to get Sam in trouble, but Dylan thinks it’s pretty good.
  • Then Mad Dog wants Sam to draw a picture of him… but Sam is no caricature artist.
  • So… as a joke… he draws a cartoon dog.
  • Everyone else thinks it’s funny, but Mad Dog is ready to beat the crap out of Sam.
  • Dylan suggests that Sam get cleaned up and Al returns to tell Sam what he’s there to do.
  • He’s there to prevent a murder… Becky is found stabbed to death on a beach 30 miles to the north and Ziggy says it’s going to happen at some point in the next 24 hours.
  • Dylan and Mad Dog talk about the old man’s motorcycle and how he must have it stashed somewhere close by.
  • Sam goes outside when Becky says she needs to take a walk and they talk about her life back home and how Dylan saved her from a dull life.
  • She considers this life with Dylan a free life, modeled after Jack Kerouac.
  • Sam tries to warn Becky that Dylan and this “free” life is dangerous.
  • Just as it seems like Sam is getting through to her, Dylan and the Cobras ride up.
  • Dylan doesn’t seem too threatened by Sam’s apparent closeness with Becky, and she gets on the back of Dylan’s bike and they all take off.
  • Sam is still stranded with a cut fuel line and Ernie offers to help fix it so he can go after the girl.
  • Ernie is still convinced that his son will come back home, believing he’s still alive.
  • All Al is able to reveal is that his remains will be returned to the U.S. in two years and Ernie dies a few months later.
  • When Sam gets ready to head out, Al asks where he’s going.
  • Sam mentions the gang’s destination and Al realizes that’s where Becky is going to be murdered.
  • We then cut to the Cobras hanging out on a beach and Becky is upset upon learning Dylan’s plan to steal Ernie’s son’s motorcycle.
  • She tries to get away from her drunk boyfriend, but he gets real handsy… really it’s sexual assault…
  • Becky tells him to stop… that he’s hurting her… but he doesn’t let up.
  • Sam rides up just in time to save Becky from being raped by Dylan.
  • For some reason, the Cobras aren’t able to get their bikes going fast enough to go after them… maybe they’re all too drunk to be coordinated enough to start their bikes.
  • Eventually, the gang makes it back to the diner and Dylan is met by Ernie with a shotgun pointed right at him.
  • He’s upset, claiming that Sam stole his son’s motorcycle and he’s already called the sheriff to come and arrest the whole gang, thinking they’re all in on it.
  • Dylan swears he had nothing to do with Sam stealing that bike and claims he wants to catch him, too.
  • But Ernie says they’ll never catch him and girl… that they’re halfway to the border by now.
  • Dylan promises that they’ll catch them and get his bike back, too.
  • It was all a trick… Ernie goes back into the diner and let’s Sam and Becky know the coast is clear, that the Cobras are all headed south.
  • Which means that Sam and Becky need to head north.
  • But Becky doesn’t want to go… she makes excuses for Dylan… he was just drunk… tomorrow he’ll sober up and everything will be fine.
  • Sam tells her it’s just a matter of time before he really hurts her.
  • If she refuses to go, Ernie offers her the spare room above his garage, hoping that if she gets a good night’s sleep she’ll wake up tomorrow with some sense… but he doubts it.
  • In Ernie’s son’s room, Sam discovers that Ernie has been saving all of his son’s birthday and Christmas gifts all these years.
  • Becky comes in and they have another conversation about Dylan… she still makes excuses for him… the trauma from the war.
  • But Sam points out that she is living in a cycle of abuse… first it was her father, now it’s Dylan, and in the future it could be someone else who only expresses himself with his fists.
  • Later, Sam talks with Al about Becky’s obsession with Kerouac and his writings, which Al sort of understands, explaining that Sam was too young to really understand the importance of Kerouac’s influence on American culture in those days.
  • Turns out, Jack Kerouac is only a few miles up the road, as Al looked up where he’s living at this point.
  • So Sam pays Kerouac a visit, hoping to convince him to convince Becky that the road isn’t necessarily where she should be.
  • But he’s not really willing to contradict his philosophies.
  • And he’s clearly feeling the pressure of all of the young people his book influenced, asking why they’re all his responsibility.
  • Having failed at convincing Kerouac, Sam returns to the diner to find Dylan waiting for him in a dark corner.
  • The other Cobras shove Ernie and Becky out of the kitchen to face Dylan.
  • Becky tries to get Dylan to take off with her, but he starts trashing the place… she keeps apologizing…
  • But he’s not listening to her… ready to kill all three of them.
  • Meanwhile, outside, Mad Dog is doing donuts with Ernie’s son’s motorcycle.
  • When Ernie has the gall to demand that Mad Dog get off the bike, he pushes Ernie to the ground then kicks him while he’s down.
  • Sam yells at Mad Dog for picking on an old man… Dylan tells the others to let Sam go so he and Mad Dog can finally have it out.
  • Mad Dog pulls his switchblade but Sam just roundhouse kicks Mad Dog in the face.
  • Dylan acts impressed that Sam knows some Tae Kwon Do and challenges him himself.
  • Becky tries to tell Sam not to fight because Dylan won’t make the first move… but when she says the wrong thing he turns and back hands her.
  • When Dylan does that, Sam uses that opportunity to kick him in the face.
  • But while Dylan is down, he grabs a handful of dirt and throws it in Sam’s eyes, blinding him.
  • Al arrives in time to warn Sam when he needs to duck and kick, leading to Sam winning the fight and knocking Dylan out cold.
  • Later, local deputies are rounding up the Cobras, landing Mad Dog and Dylan in jail.
  • Back in the diner, Ernie assumes Becky will be heading home, but she insists she can’t go home and has no idea what she’ll do.
  • Al confirms that there’s no information on Becky and she kind of just disappears.
  • Sam reminds Ernie that he mentioned needing a little help and Ernie agrees, saying that he still has that spare room above the garage.
  • But Becky still thinks that to be the writer she wants to be, she has to be on the road.
  • Sam tries to convince her that being on the road doesn’t necessarily mean that she literally needs to be on the road.
  • And just then, Jack Kerouac walks into the diner and finishes convincing Becky that it’s okay to get off the road sometimes and just stay right where you are… that something will come of it.
  • That’s a world worth writing about, too.
  • Kerouac takes off… Becky agrees to stay on with Ernie.
  • Al says that she becomes a good friend to Ernie, likely helping him through his grief of losing his son, since Ernie is still alive in the future.
  • Becky also makes it as a novelist and has a very nice home in Carmel.
  • Sam gives Becky a hug and leaps…
  • Into a rerun where he’s the crooked FBI agent assigned to escort a woman into witness protection.
  • Oh boy.

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