Leaping of the Shrew – September 27, 1956

We talk about one of the fluffiest of fluff episodes following the dramatic season opener. Along the way, we discuss Shield’s previous movies, the wild parties at Project Quantum Leap, and how this episode gives us an Al that is just the right mix of sexist.

Sam leaps into young Nikos Stahatos, a Greek sailor working aboard a luxury yacht. Sam finds himself in the Aegean Sea with one of the passengers, Vanessa Foster (Brooke Shields), just as the ship explodes. Vanessa is a spoiled rich girl who seems to despise Nikos, but of course, there’s more to the story. As they make their way to land, and hope for eventual rescue, Sam finds himself falling for Vanessa despite himself. He’s there to rescue himself and Vanessa, but what does rescue mean for the couple?

Note: Sam incorrectly identifies the “Metmorphosis” episode of the Incredible Hulk when chatting about director Alan J. Levi’s previous credits. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa. The episode he was thinking of is “Prometheus”.

Lee Harvey Oswald – November 22, 1963

We kick off our coverage of the final season of our beloved show.

Season 5 of “Quantum Leap” premiered with the episode fans were told would never happen: Sam leaps into Lee Harvey Oswald.

Stuck leaping into the alleged assassin at various points in his adulthood from 1957 to 1963, Sam takes on more and more of his leapee’s personality, raising the dangerous possibility that history will repeat itself. Meanwhile, Al interrogates the real Oswald back at PQL, trying to uncover the conspiracy of who was really responsible for killing Kennedy.

We pick apart and put back together a fan favorite – an episode Bellisario wrote as a direct rebuttal to Oliver Stone’s “JFK”. We also talk about some of the real-life conspiracies surrounding the assassination.

It’s a long twisting discussion with emotional highs and lows and an exploration of what works, what doesn’t, and what may have in a different world. Ultimately, the human cost of this real-life, world-shattering event cannot be done justice, but we try to make sense of it all in some way – striving to contextualize the episode – and the real life event it leads to- in the time in which we live.

A Leap For Lisa – June 25, 1957

A handful of Quantum Leap episodes certainly need no introduction for hard-core fans, and this is one of them. Sam leaps into Al, a.k.a. Bingo, as a young Navy pilot. Ensign Calavicci has been accused of the rape and murder of Marci Riker, the wife of a Commander. When Sam inadvertently changes history, he drastically increases the odds that Al will be executed.

We pick apart one of our faves, talk about some of the episodes’s seriously problematic tropes, and how we might have re-written it as a two-parter. Previous guest Larry Ganni returns to give his thoughts.

Roberto! – July 27, 1982

We are back with a new episode talking about Season 4’s “Roberto!” Sam is Roberto Guttierrez, a tabloid talk show host in small-time Destiny, New Mexico. To talk about “Roberto!”, we have to talk about Dr. Laura Schlessinger (who appears as herself), Geraldo Rivera (yes, Sam Fain, we really, really have to), and how this episode tips its hat to Rivera’s infamous, live “Al Capone” TV special. We also talk about Scott Bakula’s direction of the episode, pay tribute to Skeletor, and “fan-wank’ our way through making the latter half of the episode’s plot to force it make sense.

Song For The Soul – April 7, 1963

Stop (in the name of Love!) and give a listen to our latest episode. This week, we’re talking about Season 4’s “Song for the Soul – April 7th, 1963”. Sam finds himself in a musical singing trio ala The Supremes, and must keep the group’s lead singer, Lynette, from ruining her life by falling into the grasp of a predatorial music promotor (see also: small-time pimp), and becoming forever estranged from her dad.

We also talk about how it works when Sam leaps into someone much shorter than himself, the strengths and weaknesses of the script that was written in just three days, and how “Quantum Leap” might have ultimately been even better if Deborah Pratt was the executive producer instead of Don Bellisario.

The Last Gunfighter – November 28, 1957

We are back with a look at season 4’s “The Last Gunfighter”! We talk about Sam’s struggle to set things right while also doing what’s best for the leapee’s family, the shades of grey inherent in these old west relics, masculinity, and, of course, a digression into the golden age of the television western. Adjust your spurs, buckle your gun belt, and practice your fast-draw (you can ask Al for help if need be), because this episode ends up being a standout of the season.

Temptation Eyes – February 1, 1985

Sam & Dennis gotta take a little time with season four’s “Temptation Eyes”. They’re reading between the lines… There’s been heartache and pain… But they can’t stop now, they’ve traveled so far in this lonely life… And Dennis wants to know… He wants you to show him… 🙂

In some seriousness, we discuss what sets this episode apart from the standard episodes that have littered the first half of the season. Come along for a different kind of leap and maybe we’ll all find out what love really is…

The Play’s the Thing – September 9, 1969

“We must be bold…we must be innovative…we must be….NUUUUUUDE!”

Sam leaps into Joe Thurlow, a 25-year-old New York actor, in a May-December romance with a woman named Jane. Al and Ziggy say Sam is there to save Joe’s budding acting career, but Sam thinks he’s there to convince Jane, an aspiring singer starting a new life after being a wife and stay-at-home mom, to not give up on her dreams.

But first…Sam must get through doing a nude performance of Hamlet.