Sam (Scott Bakula) finds himself still in his brother, Tom’s (David Newsom) life in the Leap Home: Part 2 – Vietnam. This intense, and yet another important piece of the Quantum Leap universe first aired 5 October, 1990, and was once again written by Bellisario.
Sam is Magic, one of the SEALs in Tom’s unit on 7 April, 1970, and he realises he may have a chance to save his brother’s life. Al (Dean Stockwell), who is in his Naval whites for the entire episode, tries to help Sam keep on mission, including helping a photo journalist, Maggie Dawson (Andrea Thompson) complete her assignment, which could lead to a Pulitzer, all of which centres around the rescue of some POWs, but Sam is doggedly determined to save his brother, no matter the cost.
Maggie makes for an interesting addition to Tom’s unit, she is fiery, a drinker, and well aware of the effect she has on the men, and she’s also an amazing photographer…
And with the heartbreaking revelation in the last scene, we find out what this leap home has truly cost Sam. I dare you not to cry!
Tia Carrere guests as a guide for Tom’s unit through the dangerous war zone.
The episode is tightly paced, moving at a rapid fire pace that seems to have Sam just holding on, and seemingly unable to affect anything, but when opportunity presents itself, Sam makes a choice that affects everything he knows. And the sacrifice Al makes truly is devastating.
This episode wrecks me every time, and shows the absolutely stellar work that this show is capable of each and every episode.
Beautiful, heart-rending and fantastic.
Leap of Faith is up next. This one aired 12 October, 1990 and was penned by Tommy Thompson, Nick Harding and Karen Hall.
Sam leaps into Father Frank Pistano on 19 August, 1963. This time around, he’s there to help a fellow priest, Father Mac (Sandy McPeak) who has fallen to drink after the death of one of his parishioners.
Sam learns, with Al’s help, that both Mac and the young boy were the only witnesses to a murder committed by Tony Pronti (Danny Nucci).
The time traveller tries to keep Mac on an even keel, but as events escalate, Father Mac may be pushed to commit murder, can Sam stop him? And can Sam save Mac from being killed?
It’s yet another well-crafted episode, and shows a man struggling with his faith, and haunted by the demons of things he can’t change, and the desire to do so, even if it violates the tenements of the man’s faith.
We also get a little more insight into Al’s character as we learn more about his childhood, as well as a brush with history with Stallone.
Al lost his own faith, and when Sam is injured, he finds himself praying for his friend, something he thought he would never do again.
It’s a good episode, a very good episode, but coming on the heels of the previous episode, it just doesn’t have the punch it should have.
Sam leaps, and looks like next week should be an interesting one when he leaps into a fashion photographer and finds himself face to face with a lion.