45 min., 1990
Written by Chris Ruppenthal
Directed by Joe Napolitano
My rating: ★★★★★
Sam versus a witch? Maybe.
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The story that is going on in Quantum Leap is that Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) tried a time traveling experiment that went wrong. Instead of just time traveling; Sam’s “soul” is transferred into someone else’s body. He looks like the person he “leaped” into to everyone else except the audience and a few select others. Every time he leaps he has to “set right what once went wrong” and he has the help of his friend Al (Dean Stockwell) who appears as a hologram that only Sam (and a few select others) can see and hear, he also has the help of Ziggy who is an AI that helps to figure out exactly (or close to) what Sam is supposed to fix and lastly Gooshie who is the head programmer of the project. After fixing the problem Sam leaps again into another body.
Now this is a show that I used to watch all the time when I was younger. The whole concept is just cool and the fact that Sam consistently leaps into different situations and time periods just kept me watching. When I saw this episode it instantly became one of my favorites. It’s a whole lot darker than all the others and the ending is really fucking great.
This time around Sam leaps into the body of a low grade horror novelist named Joshue Rae on October 31, 1964, in Coventry, Maine. It starts with Sam walking to the top of some stairs when two “monsters” jump out and make him fall down the stairs. After a bit more talking we learn that one of the two “monsters” is actually his fiancée, Mary Greely (Valerie Mahaffey) and the other is a boy named Stevie (David Kriegel). After a few minutes we learn about a handyman named Tully (Donald Hotton). Sam goes up to his room and outside the window we finally meet Tully and after a little talking a goat knocks over the ladder and Tully dies. A little later another one of their friends ends up dead and the main suspect is Mary. The whole time Al is saying that Sam is there to save Mary from being strangled, so if Mary is killing people then should Sam actually save her?
The acting in Quantum Leap has always been pretty low quality, but this episode is actually really good. As with the rest of the show, Dean Stockwell has always been my favorite. He has the best facial expressions and he seems to have the most fun with all of his dialogue. On the other hand we have Scott Bakula who goes from great to awful in a matter of seconds and then back to great again. Of the non-regular cast, Valerie Mahaffrey does a really good job and makes her character likeable, but at the same time she really makes you question if she is actually the killer.
This episode actually really didn’t have that many effects, but the ones that it did have still stand up today. Nothing great but they still work.
This is a great example of a TV show that goes down a horror path and really makes it work. Normally Quantum Leap is a show where no one dies and Sam saves the day, but in this one we actually have three deaths which came as a huge surprise to me. This is a really good show and this episode is still great, and let’s not forget about the dozen Steven King references.Have You Read...?