Mirror Image – August 8, 1953

“Time’s a little funny here.”

Truer words were never spoken. We have come to the end of the televised adventures of Sam Beckett – at least, for now. Cokeburg, PA, August 8, 1953. Sam Beckett walks into a bar, orders a beer, looks in to the mirror, and everything changes. Arguably the most momentous episode of our beloved series, we give you an equally momentous – in size, anyway – episode of Fate’s Wide Wheel. And we welcome back our very first guest, Jessica Conger, to discuss all the ins and outs of the series finale. Plus, Dennis and Sam give their usual overview after Jessica leaps out. We cannot begin to thank our listeners enough for coming along on our journey as we become the first Quantum Leap podcast to complete the whole series and maybe, just maybe, we aren’t even done yet… In the meantime, enjoy our thoughts on “Mirror Image”.

Memphis Melody – July 3, 1954

The circle will, in fact, be unbroken
Listen to the episode here

It’s the penultimate episode of our beloved show. Nothing to get all shook up about… Dammit… TV guide worthy puns abound as Sam leaps into an 18-year old Elvis Presley on the verge of discovery… Well, according to Project QL time, that is. Of course, nothing is ever easy for Sam as he makes a mess of things almost immediately and has to fix things to ensure Elvis’ success while also making life a little better for young Sue Anne Winters. We talk about the King’s place in pop culture, grappling with his influence and those that influenced him in an age where cultural appropriation is very much under scrutiny, and how he has impacted both of our lives. Couple that with our usual tangents and some preparation for the final episode, and you’ve got one super-sized Thanksgiving weekend podcast!

The Leap Between the States – September 20, 1862

Only three episodes to go, Leapers! We’re back with with our re-watch of “The Leap Between the States”. Sam secedes from the regular rules (thank you, TV Guide, for that brilliantly horrible pun), and leaps back almost a hundred years further than his own lifetime, into the life of his great-grandfather, Captain John Beckett, of the Union army. After the initial shock of finding himself in an era he was never meant to travel to, Sam finds himself in a somewhat “Back to the Future”-esque plot where he must make sure his great-grandfather and great-grandmother get together as intended. He also gets involved with the Underground Railroad and former slave, Isaac – who will go on to have a very, very important descendant. Plus, this episode wouldn’t be complete without a dastardly Confederate villain, right?

As always, we deconstruct the episode and examine how well it holds up to present day viewing. Also going well off-topic (Us? Never!), and discuss the 2020 presidential election. (We recorded this just one day after the race was called for President-Elect Biden.)

The Beast Within – November 6, 1972

Just four TV episodes remaining of our beloved series! This week, we’re chatting about “The Beast Within”.

First mistaken for a “Bigfoot” creature upon leaping in, Sam is actually Henry Adams, a Vietnam vet living in the woods of rural Washington. He must prevent his fellow vet, Roy, a fellow vet, from succumbing to a seizure the following night, and meanwhile, helping to heal a troubled friendship with another vet who they both served with in the overseas conflict.

We deconstruct the last mostly non-gimmick episode of the series. But we have a lot of thoughts about the notorious one gimmick this episode has! Sam Fain has some strong feelings in particular. Do the final moments derail the whole episode?

Goodbye, Norma Jean – April 4, 1960

This episode seems like it brings everything full circle for our little podcast hosted by Sam & Dennis. Our hero, Sam Beckett, leaps into Dennis Boardman, the chauffeur to Marilyn Monroe.

Yes, that Marilyn Monroe.

Season Five of our favorite show continues its trend of leaping Sam into the lives of celebrities and historical figures. Sam has arrived just days before the icon’s suicide, and Ziggy says the odds are high he’s there to prevent it. Meanwhile, a new assistant, Barbara, has come into Marilyn’s life, and it quickly becomes evident we’re in an “All About Eve” situation.

We break down the episode as always, and discuss what we think works and what doesn’t. We also delve a little bit into the real life Marilyn (i.e. Norma Jean(e)).

Settle in and listen to the first of our last final TV leaps!

Revenge of the Evil Leaper – September 16, 1987

Well, here we are. It’s the end of the road for the Evil Leaper storyline. What do we think of Alia’s final bow? Wait… Alia’s in this?!?! But seriously, it’s an interesting leap with a lot to love but some serious problems as well. Don’t worry, Thames isn’t one of them. Join us as we venture into Mallard Women’s Correctional Facility and discuss an episode that’s chock full but perhaps misses the mark on its most important promise. Of course there’s some obligatory theorizing and fan-wanking over where the Evil Leaper story originated and where it may have gone given another season or two of our favorite show.

Return of the Evil Leaper – October 8, 1956

Our 100th episode!

“She’s not gone, Al. Alia. Is. Not. Gone, “ Sam ominously warned us at the conclusion of “Deliver Us From Evil”, a few episodes back. In “Return of the Evil Leaper”, the evil leaper…well…returns!

Sam has leaped into college student, Arnold Watson, “The Midnight Maruader”, a wanna-be on-campus caped crusader in 1956. As Arnold, Sam immediately butts head with Mike Hammond, macho frat bro (played with perfection by Neil Patrick Harris, as he was wrapping up his stint as a certain genius child doctor). But things get really complicated when Alia returns, leaping into Mike’s girlfriend. Meanwhile in the future, Al counsels the real Arnold, urging him to stop his dangerous acts as a would-be avenger.

Co-host Sam loves the episode, but Dennis has some reservations. Buckle in for a wild ride as we talk about what works, and what doesn’t!

Blood Moon – March 10, 1975

Is this an episode with real teeth? We’re careening towards the end of the series with our discussion of “Blood Moon”. Sam – the co-host, not the hero – has dropped more than few hints as to his feeling about this episode along the journey, but how did his rewatch measure up to his memories? What does Dennis think of this episode compared to, say, “Curse of Ptah-Hotep” or “Portrait For Troian”? Was it a misstep in a maligned season? Or more quality Quantum Leap in a severely under-rated final season? We’ll dive in deep, fangs and all, to take this one apart and see what works and what doesn’t. Plus – Chicago gets a tornado, Dennis has a surgery, and Sam just tries to hold it all together!

Hit that download button, give us a review, and subscribe away, Leapers!

Dr. Ruth – April 25, 1985

We are back! After conquering some technical difficulties we were able to up our game and welcome back Karyn Saxon as a guest host for Dr. Ruth. The box of gimmicks that was Quantum Leap’s fifth season rolls on when Sam leaps into Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Sam has to deal with his own prudishness, a will they/won’t they tension filled office romance, and a victim of sexual harassment as he fills the diminutive shoes of the world’s foremost sex talk expert. But that’s all just the tip… of this leap as Al has his own set of issues to work through with Dr. Ruth in the waiting room. We talk about what works, what doesn’t, and a unique kiss with history. Plus much more!

Liberation – October 16, 1968

Listeners, we’re back after a brief hiatus with a new episode. This week, we’re talking about Season Five’s “Liberation – October 16, 1968”.

Sam leaps into Margaret Sanders, a wife and mother in…(Connecticut? Boston? We’re not sure.) Margaret and her daughter have become involved in the local feminist movement, led by activist Diana St. Cloud. In a couple of days, a protest is going to turn violent leading to someone’s death, and Sam is there to stop that – but also keep Margaret’s marriage intact to her chauvinistic husband intact. (Why keep the marriage? We’re not sure.)

We discuss an underrated gem of the final season. This was one of the last non-gimmick episodes in a season defined by gimmicks. We uncover the troubled history of getting this episode produced, and how it might have fared better earlier in the series.