Quantum Leap Review: July 13, 1985

NBC just aired the continuation of the Quantum Leap series starting with the episode "July 13, 1985". The episode starts with a caption about how in 1995 Dr. Sam Beckett started leaping. Did they learn their lesson from the final caption of "Mirror Image" and spell the leaper's surname correctly? Hey, this post is not meant to spoil everything about the episode. I am just going to mock the episode a little.

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Years after the "Mirror Image" episode the original project was abandoned. Then circa 2015ish the project was restarted with the goal of not returning Dr. Beckett and that was pretty much the selling point to get funding.

The original Project Quantum Leap facility was located at Stallion's Gate, New Mexico. I don't know where the project is now located but based on what is shown on-screen the facility appears to be a Google data center that the U.S. military seized under eminent domain. The software displayed on the computer screens appears to be similar in style to the other NBC time travel series Timeless. Is there a Linux distro that is used by time travel projects?

I do like the blue electroluminescent wire of the handlink. It makes the handlink look much more sci-fi than the plastic blocks thing that just makes one so frustrated that the urge to beat and shake the thing to death can't be resisted.

The show is also building up a mystery. Dr. Ben Song (Raymond Lee) leaves his own engagement party. Was this because of shock that the same woman trying to keep Herbert "Magic" Williams (Ernie Hudson) real job a secret with a cover story undermines herself by saying out loud he is part of a secret time travel project? Does that "Magic" name seem familiar? Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) leaped into Williams in the third season as a soldier in Sam's brother's SEAL team fighting during Vietnam. Then after Sam leaped out I guess Herbert Williams pulled a Time Lord regeneration and transitioned from actor Christopher Kirby to Ernie Hudson. Oh, we're not done with the Doctor Who comparison. Just wait.

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Anyway, Dr. Song leaves the party to make an unauthorized leap during the simulation stage of Project Don't Return the First Leaper. Dr. Song wasn't acting alone. A mystery woman was helping Dr. Ben Song as he uploaded bloatware into Ziggy. The security cameras were taken down but footage was recovered leading to the conclusion that the unidentified woman was Admiral Al Calavicci's daughter, Janice. Al died last year and his daughter is pissed off that the government wouldn't let her join the project. This violates rule #2368 of life: Never piss off an Italian-American. Have we learned nothing from Sideshow Bob's kids as they screamed "VENDETTA! VENDETTA!"? Sorry Janice. Sam leaped into Herbert Williams and not you. You lived your life the way history wanted and that's your punishment.

O.K. Let's get to the B plot taking place in 1985. Lots of 1980s music clips play to make sure that the audience knows it is the past. Also to make sure YouTube content ID stops those pesky pirates. Dr. Song leaps into a getaway driver who, plot twist, turns out to be an undercover cop. Laughter ensues as the leaper/driver/cop schnitzel cordon bleu draws attention to himself by talking to a hologram from the future the gang can't see or hear. Well, at least we know the outlaw crew aren't children, animals, have a low I.Q., or suffer from a mental disability which would have allowed them to see holograms from Project Quantum Leap. They're just ordinary bad guys. Talking to himself isn't enough to draw suspicion? He also speaks Romanian and threatens to drop the dime on a guy hiding taxable income. Dr. Song remembers foreign languages but nothing from Dale Carnegie's How to win friends and influence people.

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Now we get back to the Doctor Who comparison. Have you seen the serial "City of Death" in which Tom Baker's Doctor writes "THIS IS A FAKE" on the board that da Vinci would paint the Mona Lisa on and that is what is hanging in the Louvre Museum in the Doctor Who universe? Turns out the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has a fake Hope Diamond on display. The real Hope Diamond was stolen in the original timeline and the theft was covered up by the U.S. government. In this new timeline Dr. Ben Song screws up the heist in every possible way. Maybe there is something to the legend of the Hope Diamond being cursed.

Riddle me this: What percentage of the MIT Museum's holograms are replicas due to my temporal shenanigans? Leave your guess in a reply below.

The carbon allotrope MacGuffin isn't the point though. Dr. Song leaped to save a guy named Ryan (Michael Welch) who is technically a criminal but the story doesn't treat him as such. Ryan lies to his wife and kid about the family's financial situation so a tiny little grand theft is forgivable. Just as forgivable as the explosives the heist crew plans to set off in a public area to cause a distraction as the crime occurs. Ryan was originally shot after the caper that night but Ryan ends up being a hero running the same restaurant to make ends meet afterward. Maybe his kid will mine bitcoin in 2010 and finally get out of the discount Bob's Burgers lifestyle. Who knows?

I guess I would give this episode four out of five Al Calavicci ex-wives. It's worth watching. If you are too busy you can watch this skit from YouTube. It's kind of the same thing really.