SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 3 OF THE QUANTUM LEAP REBOOT!!!
I’m not gonna lie, you guys. After the let down that was last weeks episode, I didn’t have high hopes for this episode. I was worried that it was going to get worse and worse and eventually this whole reboot was going to get cancelled and all of this was for nothing. Well, to get that out of the way, I actually liked this weeks episode. It was different than last week and there were some interesting and tense moments.
The leap takes place in October 1977 and Ben (Raymond Lee) finds himself in the body of a heavyweight boxer named Danny Hill. He leaps in while sparring with a partner to practice for a big fight Danny is suppose to have the following day. Danny is being trained by his brother Daryl, a former boxing champ who went to Vietnam and came back with severe PTSD and is unable to fight anymore. This PTSD is the cause of many problems, including unexpected anger. Also, Ben finds out, Danny is secretly dating his opponents girlfriend, which the opponent finds out about and doubly wants to kick Danny’s ass.
The problem is Ben himself is not a skilled boxer. He doesn’t know when is the right time to strike a blow or when to box. They touch on the whole “using the leapers body” thing a bit here that I’ll get into when I cover my thoughts to explain that Ben is IN DANNY’S BODY and therefore has the strength and muscle to fight.
So Addison (Caitlin Bassett) has come up with a way to help Ben. Get footage of the original fight and have Ben study it and do the same exact moves as original Danny, but instead of losing the fight in Round 2 like in the original timeline, take a shot and knock out the opponent. Ben, who learns he has a photographic memory (like Sam did in the original show), studies the footage and memorizes everything Danny did, except Danny is left handed and Ben is right handed.
Ben also learns that Daryl’s gym has gone bankrupt and is unable to make any payments on it, so he’s counting on Danny to win this championship to pay for the gym. In the original timeline, Danny loses and Daryl, struck with grief, kills himself. When Ben learns of Daryl’s PTSD, Ben makes an offer: go get help for the PTSD and Ben/Danny will do everything they can to win the fight. Daryl is against this at first but after a rather touching moment, Daryl agrees and Ben focuses on training for the fight.
The 2022 stuff over at Project Quantum Leap has the team wondering about the code Ben uploaded. Ian studied it some more and learned that Ben is trying to get to a specific date and time and in order to get there, he has to be slingshot into it, so he’s making all these stops in time. Nobody still has any idea what the date and time is or why Ben is trying to get there. Also they’re not sure how many leaps it’s going to take before he arrives. If I had to guess, I’d say at least 5-8 more episodes.
Janice, who is Al’s daughter from the original series, arrives at her mom Beth’s house. Janice wanted to be apart of the new Quantum Leap project but she was denied. Janice thought it was Magic who denied her but she learns it was Beth who did it. So Janice drugged Beth’s tea, knocking her out, and she proceeds to steal all this stuff Al apparently took with him from the original Project, including his famous “gummy bear handlink” that he used to communicate with Ziggy. Janice is then seen somewhere with it hooked up to a machine and seems to have built her own….quantum leap accelerator? Imaging chamber? Something.
Also, Addison is overworking herself. She spends almost all her time in the imaging chamber talking to Ben and doesn’t sleep or eat. While training Ben, Addison faints and wakes up a few hours later being pumped full of saline to help hydrate her. Magic orders her to take some time off after this leap to prevent her from dying, since she’s the only link they have to Ben.
Ben wins the fight and he leaps. He then finds himself in the early 1980’s and he is in the body of a girl and some drunk asshole is hitting on her. Get ready for gender swapping shenanigans next episode!
This episode was a bit better than last weeks episode. I liked the story and it actually felt like the stakes were high. Ben needed to learn how to box in order to accomplish the leap. I’m still not a fan of the 2022 stuff, it feels like “ugh we need to make a mystery so let’s have this happen” but at the same time I like how they’re incorporating old characters from the original show and I wonder how this will play out and maybe how this might include Sam.
One thing I’m disappointed in regarding to this reboot is the hologram interaction. Like she’s just there and Ben talks to her and that’s it. In the original series, anytime Sam spoke to Al, we’d see an outsiders perspective and see him talking to nobody. That doesn’t happen in this reboot. There was even a scene in this episode where Ben was talking to Addison and Daryl was literally MERE INCHES from Ben and Daryl didn’t mention anything about it. Also, the original had a lot of fun scenes where Al walked through things or things went through him. I don’t know why they’re not utilizing that here.
Also, I don’t know why we don’t see Ben leap into the new body. We see him turn blue as he’s leaping out but then it cuts to 2022 as it resolves any 2022 story that’s happening, then we get a weird close up of Ben’s eye and a fast reveal of where he’s at. Again, I’m not sure why they’re not doing the simple things that make Quantum Leap Quantum Leap and I think that’s hurting the show. The show is more than time travel and being in other people’s bodies.
Speaking of that, that’s another weird thing. They’re not establishing what’s happening to the people Ben leaps into. In the original, the idea was that Sam’s body was back at the project but the person Sam leaped into took over Sam’s body while Sam took over their body. Here, we don’t get any idea how that works. We’ve never heard of The Waiting Room nor any interaction with the person Ben has leaped into. It’s just Ben is taking over their body and then he leaps out and leaps into a new person.
And a new thing that was added to this reboot was now Ben is able to leap to a year outside of his lifetime, which was a restricting thing in the original show. Sam could only leap to any years from the date of his birth to the “present”, even though the show hardly ever touched on the 80s. It was always 50s, 60s, and 70s. Here, Ben goes to the late ‘70s and they establish that Ben’s new code made it possible to go back to any time period now. I think this was the show’s excuse of “let’s now just focus on the 80s and the 90s” and will probably have him going back to the 50s and even beyond. And I’m curious where they’re going with this.
Even though I suspect this show isn’t gonna to last more than a season.