Quantum Leap (1990) – Freedom and Good Night, Dear Heart


Sam (Scott Bakula) engages in more time travelling adventure this week as he leaps into a young Native American, George Washaki in Freedom. This episode was penned by Chris Ruppenthal and aired 14 February, 1990.

It’s 22 November, 1970, and Sam finds himself on the run with George’s grandfather, Joseph (Frank Salsedo), with an angry and racist sheriff, Taggart (Leon Rippy) in pursuit. Originally arrested for stealing a pick-up truck, they are racing to get back to his ancestral lands, having escaped from a nursing home, so that Joseph can die in peace, at home.

Chasing after them, much to Taggart’s consternation is George’s sister, Suzanne (Gloria Hayes).

Al (Dean Stockwell) informs Sam about the original history and the need for Joseph to be able to die with dignity, as opposed to hooked up to machines, prolonging a life, but not really living.

Sam and Joseph are a good pairing, and the moments they share together are fun, as well as imparting some wisdom to the time traveller. Joseph has a great sense of humour, and provides for some laughs.

There’s some nice continuity, as Joseph can see in Sam’s eyes that he’s killed in the past, and marks his horse accordingly, with two hand prints, signifying the two lives he’s taken since he started leaping.

It’s a gentle episode, despite the chase concept of the episode, and this one, over the years, has actually grown on me. I didn’t care for it so much when I was younger.

The episode’s conclusion is bittersweet, and done just right. Just as you would expect from this show.


Good Night, Dear Heart has a bit of a dark drama feel to it. Penned by Paul Brown, who won an Edgar Award for best episode in a television series, this one aired 7 March, 1990.

Sam finds himself leaping into Melvin Spooner, a small town mortician, who also serves as the coroner. It’s 9 November, 1957, and Sam is embroiled in a mystery, that is beginning to haunt him.

Hilly (Suzanne Tegmann) was a beautiful 19 year old girl, and now she’s dead. Those in power, including Roger Truesdale (William Cain), a rich lodge owner, where Hilly worked, is pushing for a finding of suicide, but the more Sam looks into her death, the more he becomes convinced that she was murdered.

A belief that Al and Ziggy, the project’s supercomputer, might support, but Sam tells them they can sit this one, as he already knows why he’s there, that doesn’t keep his friend from checking on him though. The truth will out, if Sam has his way, but there are people working to keep things secret, and people safe.

Through pictures, and film, Sam slowly becomes obsessed with the beautiful woman, and is determined to learn the truth no matter where the trail leads to.

Making appearances in the episode are Robert Duncan McNeill and Marcia Cross.

It’s a dark and sombre episode, but as always, well-executed, and there are moments of levity, as everyone refuses to shake Sam’s hands because of his occupation.

The episode concludes with Sam leaping into someone leaning over a pool table, as people up their bets. Oh, boy.



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