Deborah Pratt writes the first episode up for review this week, Dreams. It aired on 13 November, 1991, and finds Sam (Scott Bakula) on 28 February, 1979.
Sam has leaped into a police detective, Jack Stone, who is working a murder case, but is also suffering from some terrible flashbacks. These trace memories are throwing Sam for a loop as he learns that Stone saw his own mother’s autopsy taking place before his eyes.
Al (Dean Stockwell) informs Sam that if he doesn’t change things, Jack will be murdered sometime in the next 48 hours.
Is there a connection between the flashbacks and the case Sam is working on? And when Sam’s leads bring him to a psychiatrist, Mason Crane (Alan Scarfe), how will the doctor tie in with it?
The scenes featuring Crane and Sam as they have a quid pro quo really got under my skin, and made for anxious viewing. In fact, overall, this is a pretty dark, and heavy episode, showing once again that this series can take on any genre and make it work. This one plays the police thriller really well, and it really makes for a creepy, fairly unnerving tale.
The episode is made even more frightening by the nightmares Sam is experiencing. Everything in this episode is designed to put the viewer on edge, and it does it really well.
I love that Dr. Verbeena Beeks gets another mention today, so even if she’s not around physically in the series, she is still mentioned on a regular basis, establishing the all-important continuity which lends the series a reality.
A Single Drop of Rain is a bit of a lighter episode, which, after the previous episode, is needed. It was written by Richard C. Okie from a story concocted by him and Donald Bellisario. It aired on 20 November, 1991, and saw Sam arriving in 7 September, 1953.
As Billy Beaumont, Sam is returning to his home town after being away for a number of years. There is a rift between he and his brother, Ralph (Patrick Massett). The town is suffering from a drought, and conveniently, Billy has been working as a conman, as a purveyor of precipitation alongside his partner, Clinton Leveret (Carl Anthony Payne II).
Sam is slowly convinced that through science he can find a way to make it rain, but Al informs him that he is actually there to make sure Ralph and his wife Annie (Phyllis Lyons) stay together.
That could be a problem, because it appears that she may, in fact, have feelings for Sam.
Can Sam save his brother’s marriage? Can he really make it rain?
This is a really fun episode and it also gives Velton Ray Bunch’s music a bit of a spotlight. He’s done a great job through the course of the series, but this episode really lets him play a bit, and it makes for a joyous connection to the visuals. It almost feels like it could be a musical.
When Sam leaps at the end of the episode he finds himself escaping a chain gang…