Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 25: Good Night, Dear Heart

Sam Leaps Into: 
Melvin Spooner, a mortician.

Prove that a young woman's death was by murder rather than suicide.


Riven Rock, Massachusetts

Memorable Quote:
Good night dear heart, good night, good night.   ~Sam (quoting Mark Twain)

I like the scenes where Sam is looking for clues in Hilla's apartment with the record playing softly in the background.

Sam's flashbacks of Hilla were jarring and unnecessary.  At first I thought they were setting up Melvin (Sam's character) to be the guilty party and that the flashbacks were part of Melvin's memory which Sam was somehow tapping into.  That would have been an interesting angle had they pursued it.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • This episode features Marcia Cross as Hilla's scorned friend and and also WK Stratton as the police inspector (we saw him in Genesis as a doctor).
  • What is the significance of the beaten-up doll?
  • When Sam noticed the hole in Hilla's head, I thought of the spiked heel right away.  

Final Analysis:
While I'm generally not a fan of dark and creepy, I was pretty captivated by this episode (which I didn't remember at all, probably because I skipped it as a kid).  It's a good mystery with good acting, and the overall tone reminded me of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a movie which I liked more than I expected to.  Ranking it 12 out of 25.


  1. I remember this episode from the summer of 1990. Unfortunately that's not a good thing because it was the episode that drove me away from the show for a good year because it was so meh for me. I was hoping 26 years later would improve it for me but it didn't. It was still a boring 48 minutes and still felt as though "Quantum Leap" producers had been digging around through the dumpster outside the set of "Murder, She Wrote", took one of Jessica Fletcher's rejected scripts, wiped the garbage stains off and then changed the front cover to "Quantum Leap".

    They gave it away immediately with the heel that that was the murder weapon, although I guess they did do a mildly decent job of directing guilt on the father, especially when they showed him out shooting bow and arrow to imply the arrow is what penetrated Hilda's head. It was probably pretty progressive in 1990 to have a lesbian storyline but it wasn't enough to dress up this snoozer of a story. I'll rank this one third to last, ahead only of "Portrait for Troian" and "How the Tess was Won".

    Since I had the wrong DVD home in Minnesota with me this weekend I'm still two episodes ahead of you but will have to work from behind with episodes 22, 23, and 24.

    1. That's interesting, I thought given your affinity for darker fare that this one would have been high on your list but obviously I was way off.

  2. Your idea of the flashbacks setting up Melvin to be the killer would have been a much better angle in my opinion.

  3. I think the only thing I remembered from this episode was the shoe heel being the murder weapon. (Or I'm remembering that from an L&O episode...) - b/c I didn't remember anything about this one when I watched it. And, I'm not sure I'm sad about that. I'm with Mark on this one.

  4. I like this episode, it is one of the most serious and sad one in the series. I can see why some people don't like it, as there has no happy ending and humor as usual.

    "What is the significance of the beaten-up doll?"

    It was Hilla's childhood toy, which she kept as a memory and comfort. She was orphaned during the fire bombing of Dresden, which killed all of her family but her. The doll and locket were all what was left of her family and childhood in Germany. Doll is burnt and ragged because of the bombs and fire.

    "Sam's flashbacks of Hilla were jarring and unnecessary."

    I didn't find it this way. I don't think flashbacks are memories inside anyone's head, they are an artistic way the viewers to get to know Hilla as a person. I think they are an integral part of the story, because without them, we don't get to know Hilla.