Quantum Leap (1992) – The Last Gunfighter and A Song for the Soul

Sam finds himself in the form of aged gunfighter, Tyler Means, in The Last Gunfighter. Written by Sam Rolfe and Chris Ruppenthal and airing on 5 February, 1992, Sam find himself on 28 November, 1957.

Tyler Means is 82 years old. He likes his whiskey, and he likes his tall tales, especially the ones centring on him. His grandson, Stevie (Sean Baca) idolises him, while Tyler and his daughter-in-law, Lucy (Susan Isaacs) work in an Old West reenactment.

Things go pretty well until Tyler’s old partner, Pat Knight (John Anderson) shows up wanting revenge and recognition for the claims Tyler has made, effectively writing him out of history. Pat informs Sam that they are going to settle this once and for all via a final showdown with the last man standing the winner.

Al (Dean Stockwell) tells Sam that he’s there to make sure that Tyler lives through a final confrontation between he and Pat and maybe find a resolution for the two of them.

Hanging in the balance is a TV deal that fell through in the original history, and consequently left Lucy and Stevie destitute. Sam has to find a way for all of this to sort out, and have a happy resolution for all parties involved.

This episode is just a way for Quantum Leap to do a western episode, and they do it solidly. I love Al teaching Sam how to do a fast draw, not to mention the hologram’s outfit, and I love how the story deals with the issues of pride and how they usually play into a western story.

Just a fun episode.

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And speaking of fun episodes, A Song for the Soul finds Sam as part of a girl group, The Dovettes, on 7 April, 1963. Written by Deborah Pratt this episode aired on 26 February, 1992.

Sam leaps into Cherie, one part of a three member girl group that is looking for its big break, but one of the girls Lynelle (Tammy Townsend), in the original history is on the verge of getting involved with a sleazy night club owner, Bobby Lee (Eriq La Salle) and ruining her life by dropping out of school, running away and signing a terrible, and binding contract.

Sam is there to find a way to help Lynelle get away from Bobby Lee to help her reconcile with her father, Reverend Walters (Harrison Page).

Sam has a lot of fun with the music in the episode, but knows that he has to find a way to save Lynelle and her father from losing their relationship and love for one another once and for all.

Tensions rise after a confrontation between Bobby and Walters, and Sam realises he’s going to have to come up with something amazing to save Lynelle and the Dovettes.

Filled with great songs, and a suitably emotional resolution, this episode was a lot of fun. When things are set to right, Sam leaps and finds himself flying a plane (which looks a lot like Jake’s plane from Tales of the Gold Monkey) and it may be about to crash…

Oh boy.

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