Quantum Leap (1992) – Running for Honor and Temptation Eyes

Sam (Scott Bakula) is a cadet at Prescott Naval College in Running for Honor. Written by Bobby Duncan, this episode had an airdate of 15 January, 1992.

It’s 11 June, 1964, and Sam has leaped into Tommy York, and Al (Dean Stockwell) informs him he’s there to save a life. In the original history, a former cadet, Philip Ashcroft (Sean O’Bryan) was expelled, and then murdered in a hate crime a few days later by his former classmates, working as a group known as the Chain Gang, because he was gay.

Sam finds himself going up against the Chain Gang, led by Ronnie Chambers (Anthony Palmero) and begins to cause him, as Tommy, problems when rumours about his own sexuality begins to circulate.

The episode reveals that Al is a little bit of a homophobe, so his character arc for the episode is important, not only as one of the show’s main characters but because of Al’s own military history. Sam is a little disappointed to learn that his closest friend may have this hatred within him.

With Philip’s life in the balance, Sam has to find a way off campus to stop the Chain from committing a murder, or was it? What if something else was going on?

It’s nice to see Al come around and let go of his fear and hatred, and nice to have the episode end on a fun moment.

This is a strong, and important episode in the series, and handles the subject matter smartly, and with compassion.

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Temptation Eyes, penned by Paul Brown, which aired on 22 January, 1992, plunges Sam into a thriller as he pursues a serial killer known as the Chinatown Strangler when he leaps into a television reporter named Dylan Powell.

On 1 February, 1985 Sam seemingly has his hands full as an on air personality as he digs into the case, but things take a strange turn when the police bring in the help of a psychic, Tamlyn Matsuda (Tamlyn Tomita). In a stunning reveal, we learn that she can Sam as he really is, and she can sense Al’s presence.

Sam begins to fall for Tamlyn, and against Al’s cautionary warnings, reveals to her the secrets of Project Quantum Leap.

Unfortunately, he may have just jeopardised his chance of ever leaping out, and Tamlyn may be the next target for the Chinatown Strangler.

The episode walks the balance between thriller, and love story, as Sam falls more and more for Tamlyn, and for once he can actually be himself in a leap. Well, more or less.

But with her life in the balance, and a killer closing in, will Sam be able to save the day? Will he be able to say goodbye to Tamlyn?

A solid episode, with some good performances, but not quite as good as the previous episode. Still, it’s nice that Sam gets to be Sam for a change.

As he leaps, he finds himself in western garb engaged in a showdown!!!

Oh, boy.

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