Sam (Scott Bakula) is going for the touchdown in the first episode up for review this week. All-Americans was penned by Paul Brown and Bellisario, and directed by John Cullum. It aired 17 January, 1990.
It’s 6 November, 1962, and Sam has leaped into high schooler Eddie Vega. Along with his best friend Chuey (Richard Coca), he is the football star of his high school, but Al (Dean Stockwell) reveals that Chuey throws a championship game, and consequently the pair of them lose out on a scholarship for med school.
Sam learns that Chuey is being pressured to lose the game by Ruben (Fausto Bara) their slumlord and thug. It seems Chuey’s family and home is on the line unless Sam can come up with a way to save them all.
Happily, there is great chemistry between Eddie’s father, Manuel Vega (Pepe Serna) and Chuey’s mother, Celia (Ruth Britt), and Sam may be able to reach Chuey and prevent him from throwing away his and Eddie’s lives.
With Al’s last moment plan, Sam and Chuey take the championship and change history. The whole episode ties up nicely and happily and Sam leaps on.
The episode features Deborah Pratt’s voice-over into, and it really feels like I’ve come home now. And an interesting coincidence (?) Al tells Sam that he was watching Superbowl XXX (which was in January 1996 – 6 years AFTER the episode originally aired – and Al says the Steelers were down by 3, which actually happened!).
This one was fun, but a little run of the mill, but Bakula and Stockwell make each episode watchable, and enjoyable. Even my least favourite ep, like…
Her Charm. I don’t know what it is about this episode, but it’s not one I enjoy as much as the others. But it may be because of the convoluted genesis of the story, going through a number of writers, including Paul M. Belous and Robert Wolterstorff before Pratt and Bellisario penned the final screenplay.
Airing on 7 February, 1990, Sam finds himself in the body of FBI agent, Peter Langly on 26 September, 1973. He’s been assigned to look after a female witness, Dana Berrenger (Teri Austin), whose criminal boss was not found guilty, and now, he’s gunning for her.
Sam’s job is to keep her safe, but no matter where he takes her, the man pursuing them, Nick Kochifos (John Snyder), seems to find them. It’s almost as if there’s someone on the inside feeding them information on their whereabouts.
In a desperate move, Sam decides to take her somewhere that no one knows. So he dips into his own personal history, and takes her to the mountain cabin of one of his mentors, Professor Sebastian LoNigro (James Hardie) – a familiar looking cabin to Bellisario’s fans… It’s Stringfellow Hawke’s mountain cabin from Airwolf.
I do like the idea, that there are only a couple suspects for the leak, and the reveal of who it is, is done rather nicely.
We also learn that Sam went through MIT in two years as opposed to the regular four. It was at LoNigro’s cabin that he and the professor came up with the string theory of Quantum Leap.
The episode ends with Sam leaping into the receiving end of a beating and getting tossed into a jail, and learns that he’s a Native American. Oh, boy.