Monday, May 30, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 9: Honeymoon Express

Sam Leaps Into: 
Tom McBride, a newlywed cop on his honeymoon.

Stop his wife's ex-husband from killing him.  Help his wife pass the bar exam.


A train from New York City to Niagara Falls.

Memorable Quote:
If you don't prove you're back here, they're going to shut down the project.  ~Al
In case you haven't noticed, Al, I don't need the project.  They aren't leaping me around any more. God is.  ~Sam

All the scenes involving the Senate committee in the beginning and the end of the episode.  The guy who plays the committee head is great, and the ending is an inspired twist (and somehow at the midpoint of the episode I remembered what was going to happen even though I didn't remember anything else about the episode).  And Al's face at the very end there is priceless.

The action sequence at the end has some issues.  For example, I don't understand why Sam stops the train only to ask the conductor to start it back up again.  And then he asks the train staff for a gun but then immediately tells Diane not to worry and that it's all over.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the all-important first leap in this episode: Sam saving Ginger the Cat from a tree for an old lady in 1957.
  • This is the season 2 premiere, and Scott Bakula has some longer hair this time around.
  • I mentioned in my Play It Again Seymour post how I was surprised that Sam fell so hard for Allison since I had thought he generally tried to keep himself from getting too emotionally engaged.  His behavior in this episode toward Diane is a big change from that previous episode and more in line with how I remembered him.  At times he seems afraid to even look at Diane let alone fantasize about running off with her, and he feels a sense of immorality in making love to a woman who he doesn't really know or love.  At one point he says to Al, "That woman is a complete stranger to me," but that didn't stop him last episode with Allison.
  • I've been on trains in Europe, but I've never been on one with a sleeper car.  Looks like fun.  Good thing that we have some great high-speed rail in the U.S. so that......oh wait, we don't.
  • Diane seems like a nice, well-adjusted young lady and so it's hard for me to imagine her marrying this French wacko.
  • A poignant scene between Sam and Al when Al says it might be their final meeting since the Senate committee is likely going to cut funding.  And I like how Sam goes to give Al a hug but then remembers that he's a hologram.
  • Whoa, it's Sam stabbing the French guy in the chest!  At first I thought he had been hit by a stray bullet.  I didn't know that Sam had it in him.
  • What's a bigger stretch?  Quantum leaping through time, or a newlywed husband holding off his hot, aroused wife by asking her questions from her legal textbook? Most surprising of all may be that she doesn't seem to think his behavior is strange.

Final Analysis:
Strong episode here.  The plot is quite clever with a great beginning and awesome ending, the acting is solid, and the train is a memorable setting (reminds me a bit of From Russia With Love). It moves to the #3 spot in the Quantum Leap rankings.


  1. I remember this one. One of the few I remember really well w/o rewatching. The law text book reading and the train and the 'thing' that twists the ending.

    1. This is the one you were alluding to in a previous post where she's kissing him when he leaps in and it's used in the credits.

  2. This was a decent episode for the season premiere, complete with a quasi-opening gambit of Sam rescuing the cat before morphing into 1960, giving some credence to the grumpy Senate committee chairperson's claim that Sam wasn't changing history for the better in any major way but merely helping a few individuals with personal problems. I noticed the last episode from Season 1 used the opening credits in the clouds that I remembered from the show rather than the black background of the original episodes, but I also remember an opening narration by a female voice describing the premise of the show that came before the theme song. Perhaps that introductory voiceovers don't come until later seasons.

    Anyway, I was a little sleepy throughout this episode so I fear that I may have missed some stuff in the middle but I usually like the atmosphere of these "From Russia with Love" ripoffs, and pretty much every series of the 80s had their own train-bound mystery/action episode derivative of FRWL. I haven't seen enough of the series to know for sure but it seemed to me that Sam's reluctance to romance Diane was more the exception than the rule, and I agree his reticence towards her seemed a little odd considering how hard he fell for Tess and Allison in the previous few episodes. I also agree that the ending action sequence wasn't perfect but felt it was a good fit for the episode and would have liked to have seen more action scenes on "Quantum Leap" generally. The ending was this series' shining narrative moment thus far though and I didn't see it coming, but they had all the elements in place to make it work with perfect timing and great acting by Dean Stockwell when the Senate committee chair switched in mid-sentence. I guess I'd rank this episode #3 so far as there were some moments in the middle that plodded even though I liked the beginning and ending.

    1. Yeah, the introductory voiceovers come later (not sure exactly when) -- and the voice is writer/producer Deborah Pratt.

  3. I must have missed something because I am confused. The end of "Play It Again, Seymour" has Sam leaping into a woman in a bubble bath.
    Did the episodes get out of sequence?
    This is definitely one of my favorites...I am not going to rank them because I have too many favorites. This one jumped way to the top because of the ending. I really like surprised ending and this one was the best. It is too bad that Admiral Al can't tell Diane about Sam Beckett.
    1: The Honeymoon Express leaving NYC for Niagara Falls is a New York Central engine. This is one that Nick's dad has every years on his Christmas train platform.
    2: The U2 incident in 1962 was the main theme in the Tom Hanks' movie "Bridge of Spies." Great movie. I remember as a child, asking my parents to explain what was happening. In the movie, the children are seen doing a 'duck and cover' exercise in school...just in case there was a nuclear attack. I remember doing that...I really don't understand what good it would have done.
    3:The cat in the opening "gambit," resembles my cat, Rudy.
    4:My favorite line is "When you swim with the sharks, you get bit."

    1. The episode with the bubble bath is "What Price Gloria" which is coming up soon. I noticed that too where it appeared at the end of the previous one -- I'm not sure why that happened, but one possible explanation is that until very recently the first few episodes of Season 2 up until 'Gloria' were not available on Netflix so maybe they snuck it in there due to some rights issues.

  4. I check my book by Louis Chunovic, "The Complete Quantum Leap Book." It lists the episode both by order in the season it aired and in chronological order.
    Netflix definitely is not showing them in order. Because the shows can be edited and spliced, it is easy to change the upcoming episode.
    In the 1989 Season, these were the following episodes:
    Double Identity
    The Right Hand of God
    Star Crossed
    How the Tess Was Won
    Play it Again, Seymour
    Color of Truth
    Camikazi Kid
    Season 1989/90
    Disco Inferno
    Blind Faith
    The Americanization of Machiko
    Good Morning, Peoria
    Thou Shalt Not
    So Help Me God
    Honeymoon Express
    Catching a Falling Star
    What Price Gloria?
    A Portrait of Troian
    Another Mother
    Her Charm
    Animal Frat
    Leaping in Without a Net
    Pool Hall Blues
    Good Night, Dear Heart
    Maybe Baby
    Sea Bride
    Season 1990/91
    Leap Home, Part 1
    Vietnam, The Leap Home, Part 2
    Black and White on Fire
    Glitter Rock
    Miss Deep South
    Rebel Without a Clue
    Leap of Faith
    One Strobe Over the Line
    The Boogieman
    The Great Spontini
    A Little Miracle
    Private Dancer
    Future Boy
    Piano Man
    Billy Jean
    Southern Comforts
    Last Dance Before an Execution
    A Hunting We Will Go
    Heart of a Champion
    Nuclear Family
    Shock Theater

    The book stops here. So, it can not be the complete guide;)