8 Sad Truths You Realize When Re-Watching Quantum Leap

It is hard to hate Quantum Leap, the NBC sci-fi series which debuted in 1989 and was canceled in 1993 after completing its fifth season.  The show is so utterly well-meaning, following the lovably gee-whiz Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) as a scientist whose experiment “leaves him leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping that his next leap will be the leap home.”

That just warms the heart, doesn’t it?

On the other hand, Quantum Leap is very easy to mock, largely due to its remarkably earnest tone and many “very special episodes,” like a sci-fi Blossom.  Sam is fate’s grunt soldier, fixing broken relationships, saving one life at a time, and occasionally running into young versions of celebrities, e.g., Stephen King, Buddy Holly and Michael Jackson.  However, he’s constantly faced with the prejudices of our past which leads to plenty of sermonizing.  His best bud Al (Dean Stockwell) is always around for a reliable one-liner, but even he gets in on the sermonizing and turns out to have led an insanely eventful life, with an ever-growing list of prior careers and ex-wives.

In general, there’s an awful lot of plot convenience to what Sam and Al turn out to be capable of.  Plus, the mechanics of the time traveling component of the show are pretty wonky, and what they thought the future was going to look like was hilariously inaccurate.

Those are the types of things which really jump out at me every time I re-watch Quantum Leap.  My love for the show has not faded, but my willingness to mock it has sure increased.  There are plot holes and awkward moments galore as well as some simple reminders of how much TV culture has changed since Quantum Leap went off the air.

1)     God or Fate or Whatever Sure Has a Sick Sense of Humor

Almost every single Quantum Leap episode ends with Sam being thrown into the deep end in a new and terrifying situation, forcing him to either sink or swim.  That’s a pretty shitty existence, going from smiling earnestly one second to walking on a stage in front of a packed theater of people waiting to hear you play piano the next second.  But boy did it make for good television.  It’s one of the things that makes Quantum Leap so compulsively watchable, its every episode ending on a cliffhanger in which Sam has no idea what to do next and lets outs an exasperated, “Oh boy.”

However, if we ignore the part where this is a TV show with a story structure designed to keep viewers hooked, and think of the logic of the show’s own universe it becomes pretty apparent that God or fate or whatever the heck it was leaping Sam throughout time has a wickedly dark sense of humor.  Seriously, why couldn’t Sam have ever been allowed to simply leap into someone sitting around their living room watching TV, with maybe their wallet (and thus a quickly accessible method of identification) laid out on the table in front of them?  Nope, instead Sam got dropped into situations like this:

QL Sam Electric Chair
Yes, that’s Sam seconds after he has leaped into a man about to executed.

And this:

QL Sam Ghost Ship Pilot
Your pilot today will be a man who only just moments ago arrived in the cockpit and has no idea whatsoever how to fly a plane.

Is any of that really necessary for Sam being able to put right what once went wrong?  Absolutely not.  God or fate or whatever just really liked watching the poor bastard squirm.

2)     Sometimes Sam & Al Just Weren’t That Bright

Al is “a hologram that only Sam can see and hear.”  It’s right there in the show’s voice-over prologue.  However, sometimes both Al and Sam seemed to forget that, the most egregious example being the time Sam tried to throw a pie at Al’s face in the season 4 episode “Stand Up”:

QL Sam Pie Stand Up 2And Al behaved as if he 100% believed he was in real “pie on face” danger:

QL Sam Stand Up Pie1Sam usually gets the benefit of the doubt because, well, he’s damaged goods with his ultra convenient/inconvenient “Swiss cheese” memory.  But Al?  Was he just humoring his mentally compromised best friend, the way one might tolerate a “not quite right” uncle’s insistence that he did actually magically produce the 7 of hearts when doing a card trick?  Was he just so caught up in the situation he forgot he was just a hologram?  Or maybe is it just that sometimes Sam and Al appeared to have taken complete leave of their senses in the show’s effort for comic scenes between the two?  Fine, it’s obviously the latter.

3)     Some Innocent People Had Their Lives Ruined By Sam

tumblr_m5eyo9xizE1ruy7jfo1_500For a show whose own series finale was shockingly bittersweet, Quantum Leap was built on happy endings.  Most if not all episodes ended with Al assuring Sam (and by extension the audience) that everything worked out a-okay for all involved.  However, when you think about it in some cases that doesn’t seem true.  Case in point, in “Shock Theater” Sam develops multiple personality disorder as the result of being leaped into a mental hospital patient who immediately receives traumatic electroshock therapy (again, with God and his dark sense of humor).  Sam keeps shifting back and forth between adopting the various identities of those he’d once leaped into in the past. To save his own life and maintain his connection with Al, Sam needs to have electroshock re-administered to him at a dangerously high voltage.  He, while believing himself to be a mentally challenged man named Jimmy and thus slurring his speech, manages to pull it off by desperately pleading with the attending nurse, “If you don’t shock Jimmy Al go away.”

QL Shock Theater Reverse Shot
Sam: If you don’t shock and therefore potentially kill me my best good imaginary friend is going to go away!
QL Shock Theater nurse
Nurse: Well, you make a compelling argument.

Waaaaaaaiiiiiiiit a minute here.  I get that the historic period of the episode (specifically 1954) is meant to comment upon the early days of medicine in relation to mental health and conditions like multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia.  In that way, this is Quantum Leap‘s own version Sybil.  Al even references Sybil in the episode!  So, none of the doctors or nurses truly know what the heck is going on with Sam.  However, even though a perfectly timed dosage of electroshock at the same near-fatal dosage as the therapy that triggered the multiple personality disorder is what Sam needs it’s not necessarily what the person he leaped into needs nor is it medically advisable.  In the course of the episode, the generally sympathetic nurse argues that 200V is a potentially fatal voltage, administering electroshock therapy twice in 48 hours could kill the patient and that only doctors are allowed to administer the therapy, a fact confirmed by one of the doctors.  Yet she is the one to administer electroshock to Sam at 200V while the Doctor and orderly are arguing.  This is supposed to be a big, heroic moment, but, wait, didn’t the episode establish that what she does could actually kill the patient?  Yep, pretty effectively, too.

 How do you think it’s going to go over in a Morbidity & Mortality meeting if when asked why she gave the patient a fatal dosage of electroshock therapy she replies, “He said if I didn’t do it his imaginary friend was going to go away”?  She might end up a patient at that very mental hospital, oh irony of ironies, or at the very least mentally anguished, haunted by frequent “Why did I do it?” thought. However, even if the nurse had been wrong about both the voltage and frequency of treatment being fatal she still broke the rules by administering treatment and is likely looking at some serious repercussions in her career.  That is but one example of a happy ending being not so happy and an otherwise nice and decent person whose life was potentially screwed by Sam Beckett.

4) Al Totally Amy Pond’d a Poor Little Girl Except Even Worse

Quantum Leap Another MotherIn the Doctor Who episode “The 11th Hour,” the Doctor encounters an adorable little Scottish girl named Amelia Pond.  He promises to take her to the stars and on an adventure, but when he fails to return she had to go through years of therapy as no one believed her tale of a “raggedy doctor” who literally fell from the sky.  The thing here is that, crucially, the Doctor did eventually come back, and he never intentionally misled poor Amelia.  He just really sucks at getting time coordinates right.

So, what then, do we make of the final scene from Quantum Leap‘s season 2 episode of “Another Mother”?  By this point, the only thing preventing Sam from leaping is Al’s need to say goodbye to the adorable daughter of the woman Sam leaped into.  Falling into that kid/mentally challenged/animal spectrum of people who can actually see Al other than Sam, the girl had grown attached to Al and him to her.  What proceeds is a genuinely sweet scene between a young child actress who mostly flashes her big white eyes at Stockwell as he promises to come back to see her again real soon.

Liar!  Al can’t go back.  He’s not really a time traveler who can just go anywhere he wants; he is linked to Sam’s brain and can only go to a place and time where Sam is present.  Unless Sam leaps back into that family with the little girl, Al has no way of following through on his promise.  That poor little girl probably had years of therapy after that, refusing to back down from her claims of a strange imaginary man from the future who was going to come back to see her any minute now, just you wait and see.  “Oh, it was just an imaginary friend” they’ll all say, angering her even more.  Of course, that imaginary friend may be the least of their concerns since that little girl will probably also swear up and down that for around a week mommy went missing and a nice man named Sam pretended to be her and dressed in her clothes.

5)      Nope, You Didn’t Dream It – Al Really Did Rap in One Episode

Some things are so strange, so bizarre, so impossible sounding you can convince yourself over time that you simply made it up.  For example, was Creed ever really a super popular band?  That didn’t really happen, did it?  Well, in the case of Quantum Leap re-watching it reveals that one insane thing you might have convinced yourself was but a fever dream of your’s actually happened.  I present, with utter, utter regret, rappin’ Al from “Shock Theater”:

With Sam a bit busy being 12 different versions of himself, it is up to Al to right the wrong, and in this case, it means teaching a man how to read.  Why?  Ah, who cares.  Why does Al think simply teaching him a song about the alphabet will automatically guarantee his ability to read?  Ah, again, who cares.  The bigger issue here is simply what in the hell were they thinking by having Dean freakin’ Stockwell perform a rap song on a national television show in 1991?  In fact, years later they included that song, “ABC Rap,” on the show’s official soundtrack meaning you can go buy “ABC Rap” on iTunes right now.  Mercifully, M.C. Stockwell’s long-awaited rap album “Nozzles, Cigars & Bazoombas” never materialized

QL Shock Theater Rap3
Yeah, well, you’re not ready for it yet, but your kids are going to love it.

6)     Sam Was a Man-Whore Cheating on the Wife Waiting for Him Back Home

KissesEvery Quantum Leap episode other than the pilot features a moment during the opening credits where we see a montage of Sam’s best kisses with woman from the show’s history to that point.  Of course, there’d be plenty of kiss scenes to show – the dude got some serious action as the show sought to appeal to Bakula’s female fanbase.  It is also the natural by-product of an episodic show with a central male character who is both a lover and a fighter – he’s going to have a ton of love interests.  The same thing was true of Kirk on Star Trek: The Original Series.  But at least there was no woman waiting at home for Sam, no woman so despondent with loneliness she looks up at stars at night and imagines one of them talking back to her with Sam’s voice, right?

QL Leap Back Sam Donna
Meet Donna, Sam’s wife. She works on the Quantum Leap project where they often have to help Sam romance the girl to save the day. Donna’s job is harder than yours.

Then the season 4 premiere (“The Leap Back”) happened, and we learn that bachelor Sam had changed his own history on a previous leap in the first season resulting in him having now actually been a married man this entire time.  Knowing that from the get-go when re-watching the show makes a fun game out of, “I wonder how close Donna was to complete breakdown this week based upon Sam’s romancing of yet another woman.”  To be fair, in “The Leap Back” Donna actually forgives Sam for his many, many infidelities because his memory loss meant he didn’t know he had anyone to whom he’d pledged to be faithful.

There was always a strange dynamic to sexuality on the show, in which Al and his consistent references to nice “bazoombas” and “gazongas” was a horndog for Sam to admonish.  Who the hell is he to talk, though?  He fell in love with women sometimes at the literal drop of a hat, bedded them, and then left them high and dry for his next leap.  Man, at least Al knew what he was.  Sam?  He was a total man-whore; he just didn’t know it.

7)   Our Definition of Physical Fitness Sure Has Changed

Back in the day, Scott Bakula was what might best be described as man candy.  His Sam Beckett was the consummate sensitive 90s male, not afraid to cry (and boy did it show) but tough enough to stand up for what’s right.  So, obviously, the show featured Bakula shirtless…a lot.  Like at least once every other episode.

If you can think of a more appropriate attire for yard work I’d like to hear it.

Wait, that’s what qualified as a sex symbol back then?  Don’t get me wrong – Bakula looks fantastic.  He’s clearly in good shape.  It’s just that nutrition and body shaping sciences have advanced so much that we now have constantly shirtless male stars of TV shows who look like this:

Olliver as he appeared in the show's pilot episode.
Stephen Amell from the CW’s Arrow.

Advantage?  Stephen Amell of Arrow.  Well, I guess the true advantage goes to the viewer inclined to find such sights appealing as neither are in anything remotely resembling bad shape.  Re-watching an older show like Quantum Leap centered around a male sex symbol shows just how much our image of that type of person is ever-shifting in response to the advances in abdominal muscle-shaping glory.

8)     They Were Desperate For Ratings That Last Season

It’s always kind of sad when you see your favorite show trying too hard to get big ratings.  However, sometimes when you watch older shows in syndication or on Netflix you may not be aware of it because your viewing is happening so long after the fact.  But let’s look at what Quantum Leap did in its fifth and final season:

  • Sam Leaping Into Dr. Ruth, Elvis, and Lee-Harvey Oswald Even Though He Wasn’t Supposed to Leap Into Historical Figures
  • Sam Leaping Into Someone Working for Marilyn Monroe
  • Sam Leaping Into the Civil War Even Thought He Wasn’t Supposed to be Able to Leap Outside of His Own Lifetime
  • A Trilogy Focused Upon Sam Being the Father, the Lover, and then the Court Defender of One Woman At 3 Different Stages in Her Life
  • A Trilogy Focused on the Concept of There Being Evil Leapers Out There Just As Sam is a Good Leaper
  • Stunt-casting of Brooke Shields in an episode somewhat recreating the scenario of her film Blue Lagoon
  • Sam leaping into a vampire

Some, if not most, of these episodes are pretty good.  The trilogy focused on Abigail was admirably ambitious, and the concept of an evil yin to Sam’s not-evil yang was long overdue.  However, taken as a whole it becomes pretty apparent they were ditching all of their old rules and just throwing everything at the wall in the hopes of getting the ratings necessary for a sixth season (epic fail on their part).  Plus, they re-did their theme song – you know, their amazing, instantly hummable Mike Post-composed theme song.  They made it oddly insistent and energetic in a desperate “Please watch our show, we have pep now” fashion:

Alas, they got themselves canceled.

But I really like Quantum Leap.  Let’s end on a positive note.  What is a good truth learned from re-watching Quantum Leap?

Most of Your Favorite Episodes Are Still Amazing

“MIA,” “The Leap Home,” “The Leap Back,” “Catch a Falling Star,” and many, many other beloved Quantum Leap episodes are still as good as they ever were.

What about you?  Any things you’ve noticed upon re-watch?   Liked the show but never actually went back and re-watched it? Let us know in the comments.

This post is partially a result of years of joking with my best friend Julianne.  Click here to check out her picks for Quantum Leap‘s 10 best episodes.



  1. Al brought someone into the imaging chamber with him for the 2nd time in Raped the 1st time was in Shock Theater Beeks was in the imaging chamber with Al but he had to repeat she said because there was only the image and not the sound.With Katie there was both the image and the sound so Sam could repeat what she said in the courtroom in order to testify against her attacker.

    1. She was saying it & Al was repeating it for Sam to say.
      They faded out & just had her saying it & Sam repeating it for the sake of time & the audience growing bored

  2. After Mirror Image the question is if there were any more leapes in the waiting room or Sam contined to be himself as an adult because he never returned home.Elvis was the last leape to be in the waiting room.For Sam to leap the leape had to be in the waiting room. Only twice does the leape leave the waiting room in the end they were both returned to the waiting room making Sam able to leap

    1. My reading of it has always been that Sam essentially becomes an angel after Mirror Image, or if not a literal angel then he’s completely off the grid in terms of being able to be tracked by Ziggy. When he leaps into himself and then after that leaps into the middle of someone’s living room to talk to Beth that suggests he’s back in his own body again and is no longer leaving people back in the imaging chamber. Of course, for him to then go from Beth’s house to leaping as usual, but just on to harder and harder missions from Al-God, that creates the problem of, “Well, then what happens to all the people he leaps into in the future? If not the imaging chamber then where do they go when he leaps into them?” To which I have no answer and (admittedly) lazily leaned toward the angel explanation because it just made things easier (and also because it amused me to think of Quantum Leap as turning into a glorified Touched By An Angel considering the similarities between the two shows).

  3. Other posters on this comments site might say give it a rest about Raped the 6th episode of the 4th season.
    Seems that i’ve written lots of comments about it like how it’s the 1st time a leape left the waiting room and had to returned there so Sam is able to leap and how it;s the 2nd time AL mentions his 3rd wife Ruthie who was Jewish and how Sam gave someone what for then immediately leaped afterwards.

    1. “Other posters on this comments site might say give it a rest about Raped the 6th episode of the 4th season.”

      Then, yes, please give it a rest. Everything you just mentioned about that particular episode is only really of interest if you are putting together an encyclopedia about Quantum Leap, making sure to chronicle all of the 1sts, 2nds and even 3rd times that a norm was deviated from or ongoing, permanently off-screen side character was referenced.

  4. Al the bartender told Sam how he’s done lots of good by putting right what once went wrong.
    An wrong Sam wasn’t able to put right was preventing the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
    this was in the comic book.

    1. Dude. It’s like you’re immune to shame. The people have spoken. They want you to put the keyboard down and step away from the computer. I’m sorry about your more-than-apparent autism, but you are not offering insight. You are cluttering this article, and thereby everyone’s mailboxes with completely useless drivel. People have attempted to be nice, but after two months of this shit someone has to say–in no uncertain terms–enough. Go obsess over something that actually matters.

    2. Wait. What? Sam saves MLK in the comic book? That’s a total violation of the everyday hero ethos of the first 4 seasons. Season 5, though, yeah he saves Jackie O. Saving MLK is clearly more season 5 QL.

      1. No he failed to save MLK. There were plenty of instances in the first four seasons that Sam wanted to affect major historical figures but couldn’t because he wasn’t in the right influential people to do so.

  5. Deliver Us From Evil comes from the Lord’s Prayer the Play’s The Thing comes from Hamlet and So Help Me God comes from the United States President’s oath of office.

  6. I think Sam and Donna would have had children if he ever made the leap home and have them circumcised if they’re boys.

    1. Hold on. Just to be clear, you are asking me to ban you and remove all of your comments? I guess I haven’t done it yet because no one’s ever asked that before. I just wanted to make sure.

  7. I’ve been banned and my comments removed from other posting sites.
    I bet Sam and Donna would have
    joined ISKCON if he ever made the leap home.

    1. I have heard of some strange compulsions, but intentionally making inane comments for the purpose of being banned and removed has got to be the absolute weirdest I’ve ever witnessed. Seriously, dude, cake-farting is not that messed-up.

  8. I think Sam and Donna would have taken up belief in reincarnation if he ever made the leap home and
    get it from the 4 religions of Jainism Hinduism Sikhism and Buddhism that teach it and which began in India where reincarnation is really big.

  9. I guess I’m the only one completely disgusted by the idea of Sam first playing and relating to a girl as a Father AND THEN as her Lover?! Anyone with an ounce of decency would consider that gross and completely inappropriate! Cue morally bankrupted losers to babble that “Duuuh, it’s just a show and wasn’t weally her father. Duuuh.” As they drool all themselves. Yes, I understand he wasn’t really her Father but he did relate to her AS HER FATHER and it IS disgusting for A MAN to go from behaving as a Father to behaving as a lover. But that would require an actual working brain and common decency. Something pseudo-intellectual pinheads don’t have a whole lot of . smh

    1. No, you’re not the only one. The gender dynamics in that trilogy are troubling. He goes from her father to her lover to her lawyer and defender. Cool on the first step, makes sense on that last one, but, hold on, he’s her lover in that second step? Ew, ew, ew, and ew.

      1. Sam doesn’t relate to her as a father. He relates to her as Sam Beckett doing his job. In the second episode he leaps in literally as they are having sex. He falls in love with her as a Sam Beckett.

        PS I thought this article was great and hilarious

      2. Yeah, I remembered it being gross and icky, but upon another viewing years later, as an adult, when I was going through the series with my wife, it wasn’t as cringy as I remembered. Even she didn’t think so, just having seen it for the first time.

      3. I haven’t seen the trilogy episodes in probably a decade if not longer. I don’t know how they’d play to me now. Like you, though, I certainly recall thinking of it as having a fair bit of ickiness when I first saw it.

  10. quite sico analyzing the show. I like your constructive review of it, but I dislike the overall point of the article. 1) its a show, so the sense of Humor was to build suspense for audience
    2) Also Humor, they acted overally emotional and decided to overreact as good friends, in the show. So yeah, Humor, they weren’t trying to be Bright in that scene they were trying to be funny.
    3) The main point was to show the dark side of medicine, so yeah they were going to show lives that were ruined on the “Show”. Do I need to keep stating ” ” that.
    4) Its a show, but that was kind of sad, but hey, adults aren’t always that bright when dealing with kids. Arrgh. I am starting to think like you. No its just a show, its called acting for a reason.
    5) why was that sad? i thought it was touching. really, RAP is considered sad by your standards?
    6) Wait wasn’t the context of the show that he had no memories? So he didn’t even know he was married… So whats with the overally capitalized reaction? Again, its just a show calm down.
    7) You sound like a person that never had the chance to go to school with this one. Really? “Nutirition and body shaping science” lol. if everyone has access kudos. “Just how much our image of that type of person is ever-shifting in response to blah blah” Speak for yourself, “our image” who decided what everyone agreed upon. “Shifting?” please, the only shifting mindset is when you mature/ or are initially wrong and grow from it.
    8) Maybe but I am less informed on this one.

    Thanks for the great read, its fun to comment. 4 out 5 stars on writing. 5 out 5 stars for sharing your opinion. 3 out 5 stars for appealing (misuse of “sad” and overally serious, kind of takes the last 2 stars off). Yay its fun to rate too.

    Peace out.

  11. I actually met Scott Bakula about 10 years after the last season of quantum leap. He was promoting a movie I think it was Major League 3? But that’s not what I was there for I just loved how sexy he is “was for everybody else”. (Still think he’s sexy as hell”. So much so that he came out of the promo room “me and my sister were the only ones there”, I was speechless, couldn’t move or talk so my sis grabs him and hugs him and he hugged both of us back, but it was a bit stalkerish. Don’t think he’ll be back in Dallas, Texas any time soon. Sorry, I don’t think that writer’s write scripts like they used to. Now it’s all for money, not great TV shows. The only show comparable to Quantum Leap was LOST. Don’t over analyis the show. Lay back and enjoy the view! MAN HE’S SEXY!

    1. “Don’t over analyis the show. Lay back and enjoy the view! MAN HE’S SEXY!”

      And, really, sometimes isn’t that all we need/want from TV?

      Thank you for sharing that story. It is certainly refreshing to hear Bakula was so nice and so, um, sexy. There is a purity, wholesomeness, simple whatever-you-want-to-call-it aspect of Quantum Leap which is certainly missing from most TV today. Of course, that purity as well as the simple passage of time makes QL an easy target for some light mockery, as I tried to do in this article, but, dammit, I still love the show.

      Don’t give up on him coming to Dallas just yet. It’s increasingly rare, from what I can tell, but he still does conventions from time to time. Who knows? FanExpo Dallas might get him someday, maybe after NCIS: New Orleans ends and he has more free time.

      Also, I totally saw that Major League 3: Back to the Minors just because he was in it. Ditto for Unnecessary Roughness, Lord of Illusions, and latter-era Murphy Brown.

  12. Point 7) Errm. No. My view of what an actually fit and healthy body looks like hasn’t changed. Bakula’s was, Amell’s isn’t. Seeing so many six-packs pop I can’t help but wonder whether his nuts aren’t hazelnut-sized mush from all the steroids he must be taking. And whether he would be any fun at all to be around. I just don’t dig guys who’re more in the gym than with me.

    Bakula looks like anyone actually working with their hands and outdoors would look like. Amell looks vain, artificial and unfit. It is one reason, why a lot of male actors lately are quite unwatchable as eye candy.

  13. My wife and I rewatched the whole series and we have a strange memory that back in day we saw an episode where something happened that the government wanted to cancel the project and then Sam did this thing in the past where he changed some stuff and the woman able to decide the ongoing future of the project got changed because she was a witness of the goodness of the project so she voted to continue with Sam leaping, but now that we rewatched the series we couldn’t find that episode and even in the episode listings they don´t mention it. Does anyone remember this?

    1. By complete coincidence, I just re-watched that episode on Hulu two nights ago. It’s the season 2 premiere. It’s called “Honeymoon Express” and your description of what happens in it is basically correct. So, no, this isn’t a Mandela Effect situation. The episode you and your wife remember did actually happen.

  14. There is a QL book called “Angels Unaware” that gives some background on how Teresa (from another mother) turns out. If you’re interested in that episode and consider the books cannon you should read it. I always wished they would have brought her up again in the show. I have to say that in real life Troian Bellisario has done quite well for herself!

  15. I think the comic bit with the cream pie was a bit of fun for both Al and Sam in that episode. Al wasn’t humoring him. They teased each other all the time. This was just another example of it.
    I loathed the father/lover/lawyer episodes because the female character was incredibly obnoxious and unappealing and I didn’t buy for an instant that Sam would fall for her. Really, she couldn’t have been more unlikeable. I thought Sam had a far more believable connection with several other female characters, including the blonde senator’s daughter, the cow girl, Brooke, and even Marilyn.
    I didn’t really buy him with Donna, either. She was as bland and boring as could be.
    Really, the only true chemistry was between Sam and Al. That’s the reason the whole show worked so well.
    My favorite eps were Shock Theater and Killin’ Time. Basically any episode that had fantastic banter between Al and Sam, and sweet moments between them were my favorites. Killin’ Time was beautifully written and beautifully acted. I also liked the truth serum episode where Sam was kidnapped and the prison episode where he was almost electrocuted. The bit at the end where Sam was panicking and Al was panicking and telling him to leap was funny and angsty at the same time. Those kinds of scenes were the highlights of Quantum Leap for me. I wish there’d been more.
    I’ll never watch the final episode again. I hated it. It was cruel, manipulative, depressing, and a lousy ending for a great series.
    And in regard to the sexy, I’m going to have to disagree with you. Sexy is about more than just a good body. It’s about personality, charm, smile, eyes… Mr. Bakula was in great shape and had a great face, too, with expressive eyes and the sweetest smile. The Steve guy you mentioned (I have no idea who he is) may be in better shape physically but from what I can see, he’s not particularly handsome. Mr. Bakula is far sexier, as that goes.
    All these years later, I still miss this show. It ended too soon.

  16. This is a different theory, so stay with me.

    When Sam went back in time he altered his destiny with his college girlfriend and in season 4 we learn they are maaried.

    However, when he goes back in time and tells Al’s wife that he’s still alive it alters Al’s life, who was a major part of the quantem leap project. Maybe Al never joins the quantum leap project and therefore it never existed or got off the ground.

    So…..Al is with his wife, Sam (the other version that didn’t exist until he altered his future and would still be trying to figure out quantum leap without Al) is with his wife.

    There for the original Sam can never leap home because he doesn’t have a home to go to.

  17. 1) Perhaps there is a reason, but since I’m neither Fate nor God, I won’t presume to know it.

    2) Al’s reaction, if genuine as opposed to playful, is similar to people jolting backwards in their seats when an object flies toward camera in a 3-D movie. It’s autonomous. Sam may have understood that the pie wouldn’t hit Al, but did it anyway because he just wished it would.

    3) When Sam received the electroshock therapy, it hurts him and not his host. The point is made in many of the episodes that he has a physical presence when in another body… his own weight, strength, agility… even the ability to procreate.

    4) The little girl is young enough to where she’ll probably just write if off mentally, possibly even forget about it entirely.

    5) Yeah, cheesy. A sad truth? Let’s look at what’s on TV today again in 30 years…

    6) He was unaware that he had a wife, and he didn’t engage in sexual activity out of pure lust. He was lonely and felt an actual emotional connection to the women he had sex with. He’s an unwitting serial monogamist, perhaps, but not a man-whore.

    7) See #5.

    8) True.

  18. I liked the idea that Sam did indeed undo the PQL in the last episode. Then the idea that his big flash of inspiration in the new timeline came during Project Starbright and he made a giant leap towards warppdrive technology and thus enabled the events of Trek to occur.

  19. All of the analyzing of this show is great- I enjoyed it because of the stories , and the fine acting of Bakula all of the guest stars who made good performances.

  20. I LOVED quantum leap as a kid, but haven’t seen it in 30 yrs. I don’t like the over analyzing these days of shows/movies. The whole point of hollywood is to be entertained by the unrealistic and ridiculously inconsistency. I’m shocked it sells so cheaply on ebay.

  21. I loved this show when it aired. My wife and I even developed a secret phrase to use Incase we came back in appearing in another body 😃

    I’m rewatching now on Amazon/IMDB and up to Season 5 Abagail trilogy. Still fun to watch. Justice is one of my favorites though it is a bit painful now with the rise of the Alt-right. That was something in the 90s we could naively think was an evil in our past and not still under the surface.

    One thing came to mind this time watching. They really had no concern about the butterfly effect. Keeping people together or putting them together would certainly have effects. Or even if he prevented someone from running off with the “wrong” person what about their now non existent prodigy?

    I’m going to have check the fan sites and novels others have listed.

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