Friday, July 8, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 27: Leaping In Without A Net

Sam Leaps Into: 
Victor Panzini, an acrobat.

Catch his sister who is doing a dangerous triple jump on the flying trapeze without a net.


Denver, Colorado

Memorable Quote:
Did you know about this?   ~Sam
Would you have gone through with it if I had?  ~Al
No.  ~Sam
Well, then I didn't know.  ~Al

The filming and stunts in this episode are as good as it gets.  I can't imagine the work that must have gone into making this one.

The presentation of the stunt at the end is really crass, with the ringmaster speaking like a salesman -- come see the Panzinis do the stunt that killed their mother one year ago!  If I was in the audience I'd stand up and say, "Don't risk your life for my entertainment!"

And the kids in the audience wouldn't know a single from a double from a triple, and it's absolutely insane not to use a net.  A higher purpose for Sam would have been to convince Eva that she didn't need to do the stunt, though that would have made for a less exciting episode.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Four of the last six leaps have been in November.  Amazingly, we still haven't had any leaps in January, March, or December (I've been keeping track.  Yes, I'm strange).
  • In my Two Times Trouble review I poked fun at the scene where MacGyver is climbing the elevator shaft and Roxi notes his fear of heights, as if most people would have no problem climbing an elevator shaft hundreds of feet above the ground.  There's a similar vibe in this episode where Sam is described as having a fear of heights even though I assume most people wouldn't be totally comfortable swinging upside down from a trapeze.
  • Great reaction from Sam when Al tells him that his mother didn't use a net the night of her accident.  "What?!!!"
  • The little fight scene in the middle is kind of bizarre in that a few circus members attack the Hungarians for leaving (one even pulls a knife), and then Sam puts them down and everyone just walks away and the situation is immediately defused (except for the little person who is still hanging on the father's back).
  • If I had been in Sam's place for the whole series, this is probably the leap where I would have had the lowest chance of success.  I have a total lack of gymastic ability and would have had no chance of catching Eva.
  • How on earth do two people on two trapezes time it just right so one catches the other?  Amazing.
  • Richard Roehle from Office Space makes an appearance as the circus director in Denver -- we saw him with a small part in Play It Again Seymour.

Final Analysis:
Great acting from Bakula (unless it wasn't acting -- he looked genuinely scared to be up on the trapeze), and Fabiana Udenio (Eva) was excellent also.  The stunts as I said are very well done, and the pace of the story is good.  Ranking it 8out of 27


  1. I didn't see this episode back in 1990 but I remembered the previews and thought it looked fun. And it wasn't bad. I get that Sam's a very smart guy so his learning curve is quicker than most people's but his ability to learn how to pull off a catch from a never-before-done circus act after like three tries requires a serious suspension of disbelief. But it was fun with great stuntwork as you said and I really liked Eva as a character. Kind of surprised Al didn't spend all hour creeping on her because she sure tickled my ribs. The whole vintage circus theme was pretty cool in itself and I liked the fun house mirror that Sam saw his reflection in. Not too much to say beyond that as the plot was pretty cut and dry. I'd rank it right around #10 so far.

  2. I'm pretty sure I saw this one first run. Like Mark said, it's a good episode, but pretty standard fare for QL.