Quantum Leap: Great Moments 2

"Catch a Falling Star"--In this episode, Sam performs several songs from The Man of La Mancha; Scott Bakula has quite a nice voice. At the end, Sam (as Don Quixote) climbs the stairs to where Al, his sanguine Sancho Panza, awaits. They are ready to begin their chivalric (quixotic) quests again.

"Another Mother"--Sam performing karate in the headlights of the car is quite cool.

There's a lovely Sam and Al moment when Al is talking dinosaurs with Theresa (Troian Bellasario, who will show up many years later as McGee's sister on NCIS) while Sam looks on.

Generally speaking, in terms of writing, acting, and commonsense knowledge (what the characters would know at any given point in the episode), this episode is one of Quantum Leap's best. It is also the second time Sam plays the part of a woman and wears a dress. The first time, the episode was all about him being a woman. This time, it isn't, and Bakula wears his dress with utter unself-consciousness, which I admire.

"M.I.A."--Another well-written episode (which will be surprisingly paid off in the finale, something I didn't know until only a few years ago). Bakula and Stockwell deliver excellent performances; in fact, the entire episode is well-cast. And the ending is weep-worthy.

"The Leap Home, Part 1"--This episode contains a stellar scene that is so right psychologically, it always makes me gasp a little. Sam's little sister has been kidding him about "being from the future." She pretends to believe him and challenges him to play an as-yet unwritten Beatles song. Sam performs Lennon's "Imagine"--not one of my favorite songs, but Bakula sings it beautifully. Al stands behind him while he plays and joins in on the final line of the chorus.

However, the camera stays on the sister. As Sam gets further into the song, her face changes from amusement to pleasure to consternation to sorrow. It is a new song, one she has never heard before--which means, Sam might be telling the truth about the bad things that could happen to the family. It is a terrifically well-filmed scene.

"The Leap Home, Part II"--At the end, Sam discovers the photograph of Al as a POW. Standing in the bar in Vietnam, he looks up at Al with pain and queries him. With studied nonchalance, Al replies, "Hey, I was repatriated in 5 years," adding, "Up here [he taps his head] I was always free."

This scene is also a pay-off for "M.I.A." Al has come to terms with the fall-out of his life.

80's clothes--but very Al.
"Leap of Faith"--When Sam comes out of the church, Al is waiting on the sidewalk. This is one of the few times that Al doesn't arrive from the imaging chamber directly at Sam's shoulder. There is a psychological reason that Al doesn't do this, and I like the variation. Plus Al's cocky stance is quite sexy. Stockwell has great physical presence and wears his 80's clothes with panache and comfortable stylishness (sidenote: one of the smartest things about Quantum Leap is that even though it started in big-weird-hair 1980s, Dean Stockwell's thick hair is always kept clipped quite short; it looks very good). 

"The Boogieman"--I like this episode despite how utterly strange it is; Dean Stockwell does a great job as the character whose creepiness only slowly creeps up on one. I also love the Nehru-like tunic he wears at the end.

1 comment:

FreeLiveFree said...

I was surprised when watching an old episode of Combat! to find Dean Stockwell as a guest actor. It turns out Stockwell has been acting since a child was even in a movie with Abbot and Costello.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001777/