Sunday, July 3, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 24: Freedom

Sam Leaps Into: 
George Washakie, a Shoshone Indian.

Transport his grandfather to the reservation where he can die on his own terms.



Memorable Quote:
'Cause the Redskins are the best damn team in America.  ~Joseph

I was already in on the nighttime campfire scene, and then when the grandfather started talking about "Leaps" that took it to a whole other level.

After Sam gets shot, he moves around just fine like nothing happened.  Reminds me of MacGyver in Humanity.  

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • The assistant sheriff is listed as "Frank" from Easy Target (I didn't recognize him from that episode).  To me he looks like the plainclothes officer/agent from Countdown (the one who goes to search Viking's false locker).  I checked IMDB but I don't see that character listed, so it might be the same guy.
  • If this episode were made today, you wouldn't be seeing Joseph supporting the Redskins since the "Redskins" name has become a political hot-button issue.  My stance on the issue (since you asked) is that I'm not a fan of teams using Indian names and imagery as part of their team identity. Whenever I see and hear Braves fans doing the "Tomahawk Chop" with their foam fingers, I cringe.  In general, if there's ever any doubt, better to err on the side of cultural sensitivity.

Final Analysis:
Despite my fondness for all things Native American, this episode is painfully slow.  I like the escape from jail and the campfire scene, but the rest of it drags on.  It would have been better to focus more on some cat and mouse maneuvers between the Washakies and the Sheriff.  I'm ranking it 19 out of 24.


  1. I'm with you on this one - it's pretty slow and not up there in 'imma watch this one again' territory.

  2. Definitely a slow 46 minutes. I liked the way it started out and thought the scenery and overall production was impressive throughout, but they didn't have the material here for a full episode storyline. It was awkward enough hearing a Native American character singing the virtues of the Washington Redskins--in direct contrast to the protests of today that it's racist--but by the fourth or fifth time he brought it up it just seemed like a cringeworthy stereotype. I was more taken with the references to his "friends" of sun, earth, land, and sky and was hoping for a more substantive payoff with that....but of course my bar is set extremely high on that front with the four elements chamber lock in your favorite "MacGyver" episode "Eye of Osiris"!

    I thought the deputy sheriff looked like the wiseguy federal agent from "Countdown" as well. I can see a vague resemblance to Frank from "Easy Target" but I never would have put that together since Frank had the beard. Nice to see "MacGyver" wasn't the only show that like to imply nonexistent consequences from gunshot wounds. In addition to "Humanity", MacGyver's gunshot wounds in "The Stringer" and "Brainwashed" were pretty much immediately forgotten two seconds after the scene ended, so I definitely picked up on the same in this "Quantum Leap" episode, where a gunshot serious enough to knock Sam off his horse doesn't stop him from carrying a full-sized man across a river. Why do writers and directors have such a hard time with this?!?!

    We largely had the same takeaways here although I was more taken with the production quality and less taken with the campsite scene which was only okay for me. I might rank it a little higher than you though as there were other episodes that did less for me. Probably in the 17-18 range.

    1. I agree, good production and scenery in this one.