SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 4 OF THE QUANTUM LEAP REBOOT!!!
OK so maybe I was wrong. I was kind of surprised to hear that NBC ordered more episodes of the reboot because, honestly, I thought the show was doing poorly in the ratings. I haven’t even heard Quantum Leap fans talk about it much anymore. I felt like I was the only one still plugging along with the show, just letting it play out until it limped along to the finish line. But clearly, I was wrong. The powers that be seem to be happy with the shows performance.
Which came at a good time because this weeks episode was FAR better than any other episode thus far.
I need to get one annoying thing out right now. They don’t put the date and year at the start of the episode. They did in the pilot episode but after that I had to go looking up the date and even then no one mentions it, just “the 1970’s” “1999”, and with this one “1980’s”. During this weeks episode, they kept showing the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana and according to Google that was on July 29th, 1981. So let’s go with that. But come on 2022 Quantum Leap. We are watching a TIME TRAVEL show, give us a fucking date! My next time travel book, I’m not gonna put dates, just say “eh, it’s sometime in 1980’s. Figure it out, jerk offs!”
This week, Ben finds himself in the body of bounty hunter Eva Sandoval, a woman! Holy crap, Ben has to be a woman! This gets handled pretty easily, though. There are jokes galore about it, from when Ben leaps in, finds out he’s a woman, and is hit on by a sleazy guy. Ben turns against this guy’s advances and is called a bitch, which is when Addison appears and says “only a woman for 30 seconds and you been hit on and called names. Sounds about right.” And then Ben mentions wearing “extra garments he’s not used to” and Addison reminding him about something he’s, uh, “missing”. The rest of the episode, Raymond Lee, who plays Ben, did this very subtle thing where he responded and even moved like a woman, even when it wasn’t really necessary. Even doing feminine facial ticks. It’s a bit hard to explain but I appreciated it.
Anyway, Ben discovers he’s a bounty hunter and is partnered with a guy named Jake and they’re chasing after the very guy that hit on Ben/Eva at the beginning but they catch him pretty quickly. While Ben adjusts to being a woman, carrying a big ass taser, and being a bounty hunter, he also discovers that Eva and Jake are dating…and Jake just asked Eva/Ben to marry him. Ben, not knowing how to answer this or how Eva would answer this, tells Jake he needs time to think about it, which Jake doesn’t handle very well and keeps thinking Eva doesn’t love him anymore.
Addison tells Ben that in order for him to leap, he has to find a woman named Tammy Jean, who missed a court date due to parking tickets. While not sure why this is super important, they make it their mission to get her to the court date. They then discover Tammy Jean is connected to a drug cartel and while at her apartment, two scary looking guys with guns show up and now they know why they need to get Tammy Jean to the court date, it’s literally gonna save her life.
They manage to escape the scary guys from the apartment, there’s a chase scene, and they lose the guys and hide out in an alley. Jake talks to Ben/Eva about the engagement and that’s where this whole episode is focused on, relationships. Ben sort of remembers being in a relationship with someone thanks to being knocked out in the last leap and wonders how this other person, not knowing it’s Addison, feels about him just leaping. Addison assures Ben this “other girl” isn’t mad at him and is more worried than anything else. Ben also wants to know what Eva would do about the proposal. Getting married to Jake would mean they’d give up bounty hunting and move to a boring town in Illinois and get normal jobs. I wonder if they’re talking about Peoria?
BOOM! Slam on Peoria out of nowhere! I’ve been to Peoria, it sucks, nobody should ever go there.
Anyway, while Ben and Jake were arguing about the proposal, Tammy Jean escapes and now they have to track her down. They remembered that her boyfriend named Zach owned a night club and Addison gets the address. Once there, they discover that Tammy Jean isn’t a victim or running from the cartel…SHE’S in charge of the cartel! And she finds out Zach told the bounty hunters about her and that’s why they were coming after her. So Tammy Jean kills Zach, Ben and Jake make their presence known so Tammy Jean chases after them which involves another shoot out and chase scene.
Once they’ve escaped again, Jake realizes he can’t take any of this anymore or the rejection from Eva and decides to leave. Ben now has to figure out where Tammy Jean is going and thanks to Eva’s dad, discovers she’s going to Union Station, taking a train to Texas, and going to sneak into South America that way.
Ben heads to the train station where Jake already is and decides to give the relationship a try and maybe be more mindful of what Eva wants and also they get caught by Tammy Jean. Thanks to some code words, Ben figures out to use the taser on Tammy Jean’s metal suitcase and she gets arrested. Addison lets Ben know that Tammy Jean ends up in prison, the cartel dissolves, and “the streets are clear from drugs”. Wow, that was simple. While Addison tells Ben what happens to Eva and Jake, Ben suddenly remembers that he’s in the relationship with Addison and she confirms this. Then Ben leaps.
Ben finds himself in the body of a old Indian man holding suitcases and a girl is upset at him. While chasing after the girl, Ben finds himself…IN THE OLD WEST?!?! Holy shit!!
I’m going to quickly go over the 2022 stuff only cause there wasn’t much in this episode. The main thing happening is Magic reveals to Ian that Sam Beckett leaped into him while in Vietnam and thanks to Sam, Magic and his entire platoon was saved. Magic talks about what it’s like being leaped into by Sam and this is where the bulk of my discussion is going to revolve around because they’re doing something weird here.
In the original show, there was a room called The Waiting Room, which had Sam’s body in it. The body was inhabited by the person Sam leaped into, which is how Al was able to get some information that Ziggy wouldn’t normally get. Now, the big question was when Al talks to this person in the waiting room, does he see Sam or does he see the person Sam leaped into? None of fans were sure because of two old school episodes. Actually three…
One is this time the person Sam leaped into was a escaped criminal and while in Sam’s body escaped Project Quantum Leap, so Al had to go look for him. While outside, the criminal looked in a mirror and saw Sam’s reflection. Which meant that anytime Al was in the chamber talking to Sam, he saw the person Sam leapt into. But then…
There was an episode where Sam was Dr. Ruth and everybody saw Dr. Ruth in the waiting room. And even at the end of the episode, we see Dr. Ruth leap and was replaced by a vampire, which lead to the episode where Sam was a vampire. (I’m gonna talk about the older episodes soon, I promise! This was a trippy episode.)
And the third episode that I just remembered while writing this was the Lee Harvey Oswald episode. So it’s very fucking weird that the reboot is just literally throwing all of that away and instead going with “so when someone leaps inside of you, you just black out and come to when they leap out”. Does that mean that Ben’s body is ACTUALLY leaping around in time and is just completely taking over the person’s body…on the inside? Somehow? Weird.
With that aside, that’s basically it for this episode. And yes, I liked it. It was a vast improvement, and I was still a fan of last weeks episode. Also, they did more with the hologram stuff, but still find it weird they don’t do ENOUGH with it. Like Addison is just there and it’s not a fun bit like in the original show when Al would just walk through something or something walked through Al. Some cars went through Addison and Ben tried to hold her hand but that was mainly it.
But this was a fun episode, with Ben having to be a woman but that wasn’t the PLOT, per se. It was just an added on quirk to the episode. The chase stuff was great and I was interested in the Jake/Eva stuff, oddly enough. While looking stuff up about this episode, I discovered it was directed by Rachel Talalay, who directed Tank Girl, Freddy’s Dead, a bunch of Doctor Who episodes, and a shit ton of other TV work. I enjoy her work and she’s a great director. So I wonder if that had anything to do with my enjoyment of this episode?
The other thing I found out was that people were shocked-SHOCKED I TELL YOU-that Magic was the same Magic Sam leapt into in the original run of the show and I was like “uh…yeah? I think that was established in episode 1. And all the press for this episode said as much?” So that scene where Magic told Ian about being leaped into wasn’t much of a shock, I was just confused about getting rid of the whole Waiting Room thing.
Anyway, next week, we get to be in the wild west and I’m curious how that’s going to go. They didn’t touch on any of the Janice stuff in this episode so maybe that’ll continue next week? Or will that just be a overhead thing until the season finale, which now got pushed and episodes got added. Much to my surprise.