Monday, July 11, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 28: Maybe Baby


Sam Leaps Into: 
Buster, a bouncer with a stripper girlfriend named Bunny.

Objective:
Return a baby to her real mother, thereby keeping her away from her abusive, crooked father.

Date:
3-11-63

Location:
Texas
Clayton, New Mexico

Memorable Quote:
No wonder you've been crying.  I'd cry if I was holding me too.  ~Sam

Highlight:
I liked that Bunny, despite her lying, was at least partially telling the truth and that Sam was right in believing in her over Ziggy's data.

Lowlight:
The whole "stop at the vet to help the baby with her asthma" plot line didn't really add anything to the overall story.  And while I'm not a doctor, I don't believe that giving coffee to a baby would be of any value, in fact I'm pretty sure it would make things worse.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • This is the series's first March episode -- now all that's left is January and December.
  • That baby is really crying up a storm!  Hopefully they didn't have to do too many takes.
  • It seems like every series has at least one episode with the fish-out-of-water guy cluelessly trying to take care of a baby -- for MacGyer that episode is Rock the Cradle.
  • What exactly is the baby eating?  At one point in the hotel Bunny goes to get milk, but it's going to take more than a little bit of milk to feed a baby on a long road trip.
  • Sam's staying on the main highway doesn't seem like a great idea, but then the police aren't bothering to call ahead or set up roadblocks even though they know where Sam is going so I guess it's ok.
  • And despite being out of money, not the best idea to stop at the bar for half an hour while Bunny does a striptease.  Apparently law enforcement isn't doing a great job of getting the news of a child kidnapping out to the locals.
  • 41:45 -- not great acting from Reed's character in the brief shot when he's driving at night -- he's moving the steering wheel left and right way too much considering he's going straight ahead on the highway.
  • Reed being wanted in New Mexico feels like an overly convenient plot point, and it's surprising that the cops don't even question Sam and Bunny.
  • As Bunny talks about how well she knows the baby, she mentions the baby eating oatmeal with cheddar cheese, kicking off the covers, and crawling across the floor. Those are all things that babies that young don't do (I think they said the baby was supposed to be 6 months but she looks more like 3).
  • The mother at the end doesn't seem to be all that excited to see the baby.

Final Analysis:
Not a great episode.  On paper the plot sounds good, and it's reasonably fun to watch, but there are too many things wrong with it.  Ranking it 20 out of 28

5 comments:

  1. I don't like this one much at all. I don't really like the 'oh crap! sudden baby is sudden, now what?' episodes. (Rock the Cradle is at the bottom of my MacGyver countdown)

    re: the coffee - caffeine is apparently a bronchodilator - which is what they use to open up the airways so asthmatics can breathe. I didn't know this from any previous experience (I was actually just thinking about caffeine being a stimulant), so I did some internet verification: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0010864/

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    1. Thanks for the coffee article, that's interesting. I still have my doubts about the wisdom of giving it to a baby that young -- good luck getting that baby to sleep. :)

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    2. Better the baby be awake and breathing, than dead and not.

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  2. I liked this one better than you, acknowledging its issues that you raised but enjoying the Bonnie and Clyde aspect of the cross-Texas manhunt. The story held my attention and the persistent lingering questions about Bunny's motives kept things interesting, even though Ziggy being "wrong" about Bunny's references to the real mother was odd. Too much time was spent on Sam pontificating on feeding and diapering the baby but once they got 10 consecutive minutes of that out of the way the story did unfold nicely. Bunny's conflicting loyalties was what worked best in the episode and I was amused with the narrative ease at which the child was given a bottle full of coffee and hauled into a smoky bar to watch mom do a striptease of sorts despite having ashtma, underscoring how much things have changed in the past 25 years where the writers clearly didn't think twice about those scenes which would be unthinkable on today's shows.

    It was cheesy without question for the incompetent cops to so easily allow Bunny to swipe their gun and facilitate the escape with Reed following and then somehow getting recognized by some random street cop in a small town in New Mexico based on his dirty bank dealings which I presumed would not have happened in that exact small town. THe mother seemed weirdly nonplussed to get the baby back and she looked like she was in her mid-40s. All nitpicks aside, the chase aspect and Bunny's questionable motives made this one above-average for me. I'll rank it 10th after "Good Morning, Peoria".

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