Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 57: Raped

Sam Leaps Into:
Katie McBain, a victim of rape.

Press charges against the rapist in an attempt to bring him to justice.



Memorable Quote:
I think I know why I'm here, Al.  ~Sam

Interesting plot line to have Sam take the witness stand to testify on a crime that he knew nothing about, and the solution of Katie touching Al in the imaging chamber and speaking to Sam was compelling.  And it was a nice continuation on the concept of communicating through Al that was introduced in Shock Theater.

In the beginning when Kevin loudly confronts Katie in the hospital, shouldn't some of the other people milling around stop what they're doing and get him away from her?

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • I reached out to Penny Peyser (who did a great job playing the district attorney) for the second time on this blog (the first was for her role in The Battle of Tommy Giordano) and I asked her if she remembered anything about this episode.  She said:
    • My fondest memory of that episode was when we had our rehearsal for my meeting with Scott Bakula to go over his testimony - I wasn't prepared for him to enter in a dress and pearl stud earrings and I burst out laughing (I wasn't alone). He was adorable.  And fearless as always in any character he took on.

Final Analysis:
A compelling and very well done episode.  My wife came in about two thirds of the way through and not intending to stay, but she got hooked until the end.  I was also very interested to see where the story was going and how it would end.  Probably not too many primetime series out there with storylines as mature as Quantum Leap often had.  Ranking it 16 out of 57.


  1. This was a pretty strong episode, especially with the ambiguity through most of the show whether it was actually Kevin who raped her and how Sam could possibly testify to an event he wasn't there for. I'm glad they didn't throw up a twist and confirmed that Kevin actually was the rapist or it would have undermined the key message of women reporting rape not being trusted. The acting was quite strong throughout and I liked Penny Peyser quite a bit more here than on "Tommy Giordano". I will say the parents' responses to discovering their daughter had been raped wasn't quite as emotionally charged as it could have been.

    I had mixed feelings on the "real Katie" communicating through her imaging chamber at the end. The acting was great and the delivery pitch-perfect, and it was a clever idea, but on the other hand, if they're able to do this with Katie, why don't they just do this with every person who Sam leaps into to help him out of every tight spot? As for the final scene, are we really to believe Sam leapt into the body of Katie for the sole purpose of beating the crap out of Kevin following his acquittal? Or was the implication that he was about to be retried and later convicted for trying to rape her again? Pretty sure if they couldn't make the rape case the first time, they wouldn't be able to get him the second time for simply removing his belt with no witnesses. Still, it was a very good hour and I always appreciate episodes where the stakes are higher. I'll rank it right up there....between "What Price Gloria?" and "A Hunting We Will Go".

    I saw this episode aired October 30, 1991, in the middle of a memorable period for me three days removed from the Twins winning the greatest World Series of all-time and one day before the legendary Halloween ice storm paralyzed the Upper Midwest.

    1. That's a really good point about wondering why they can't get other people Sam leaps into to do the same thing when they needs some answers.

    2. Was your takeaway that Sam's entire purpose on this mission was to beat the crap out of Kevin post-acquittal? Or do you think the implication was that because he assaulted Katie under the gazebo he'd be tried for rape again and convicted this time? If it was the latter, I think they needed some sort of witness to corroborate the account if they wanted us to believe it would stick in court.

    3. I got the feeling that the purpose was to beat the crap out of him -- maybe a bit hollow, but I guess they wanted the core of the episode to be the court case and Sam losing to Kevin and then they needed something else to happen at the end to justify Sam being there.

  2. The point of Sam was to get to the trial. The real Katie caved to the pressure, probably because she was traumatised, having just been raped. Sam didn't have that trauma and was able to stand firm and keep pushing.

    They can't have everyone come out of the imaging chamber because most of them don't understand what's happening and aren't really in a state to talk. Katie wasn't without a lot of work. If the leap was any shorter - which a lot of them are - it wouldn't have been possible at all.