Quantum Leap (1991) – Raped and The Wrong Stuff

Sam (Scott Bakula) finds himself in a very dark situation when he becomes a rape victim in the first episode up this week.

Raped was written by Beverly Bridges and had an original airdate of 20 October, 1991.

Sam has leaped into Katie McBain. It’s 20 June, 1980. As Katie, he presses charges against his attacker, golden-boy Kevin Wentworth (Matthew Sheehan). He is the son of a pillar of the community. 

A trial is on the horizon now, but Sam won’t be able to testify. He doesn’t know what really happened. Al (Dean Stockwell) has to find a way to get the information from Katie (Cheryl Pollak) in the Waiting Room to Sam in the court room.

With the help of Officer Shumway (Eugene Lee) and Attorney Nancy Hudson (Penny Peyser) Sam gets the case put together, and Al gets Katie ready with the help of Dr. Verbeena Beeks – who sadly doesn’t make an appearance in this episode.

The episode is twenty-five years old, and yet, it seems nothing has changed. There is victim-blaming (even from Katie’s family), the terrifying fact that Sam is handed a bill for the treatment Katie receives in the hospital for her rape, and that Katie is the one who is treated like a criminal for what happened to her.

The testimony Katie gives is tough, and heart-breaking, and the show handles it brilliantly. Of course, as the episode reaches its crescendo, justice, that both the viewers and the story wants, is served.

leapraped

The Wrong Stuff is a little bit lighter fare. Written by Paul Brown, it aired on 6 November, 1991, and finds Sam leaping into a chimpanzee named Bobo on 24 January, 1961.

It’s the early days of the space program, and Sam is there to rescue Bobo and another chimp from a dangerous crash-helmet program and rocket launch that originally resulted in their deaths. As Bobo, Sam has to outsmart his captors and organise an escape.

Sam and the others are overseen by Dr. Leslie Ashton (Caroline Goodall), who Al, surprise, takes a fancy to.

This is definitely one of the odder episodes, but is still entertaining, and lets us look at these fascinating mammals in a new way. There’s also some hilarity in that the chimp next to Sam, Corey, not only has to be saved but has a crush on Bobo/Sam.

As events unfurl, Sam surprises everyone involved as Bobo, suddenly, seems even more intelligent than before, but that could end up causing him even more problems. There is a lot of humour in the episode, but also a lot of dark revelations about science and the nature of testing to make sure things are safe for humans.

No one can argue with the successes of the Mercury and Apollo programs, but some of the testing that led to the successes could have been done differently, as the episode demonstrates.

Poor Scott spent the entire episode in a diaper. You can’t help but laugh at that.

The episode ends with Bobo and Corey safe, Dr. Goodall on their side, and Sam continuing his leaping…

… into a cop investigating a spooky house and coming across a murdered woman.

Oh, boy.

leapwrong

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