Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 68: Roberto!

Sam Leaps Into:
Roberto Gutierrez, a local talk show host.

Solve a case involving a hit and run and a fertilizer company secretly making weapons.  Save the life of Jani, an investigative reporter at his station.


Destiny, New Mexico

Memorable Quote:
What did you do to your head? Sam? ~Al
I got head-butted by thhrer!  ~Sam

I liked the little wrinkle of how the Project Quantum Leap home base was very close to where they were.  In fact, it would have been interesting to base the story around that and maybe have Sam come across his real self who is scouting locations for the base or something like that.

The entire second half of the episode is a complete disaster, but if I had to pick one thing I'd go with the access that everyone has -- first the reporters being allowed to drive around the top secret facility by themselves because Jani lost an earring, and second when they start doing a live news broadcast from the secret room itself (how on earth did they get permission for that)? And then later one of the company guys gets into the newsroom and switches Jani's inhaler (only a few feet behind an unknowing Sam).

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • This is the second QL episode out of three directed by Scott Bakula (the first was Permanent Wave).  
  • After Sam has to strip to his boxers on air (after some prodding from Dr. Laura of all people), he tells Al he's never been so humiliated, but he's obviously forgetting about his turn in the nude musical in The Play's the Thing.
  • The plot in the second half is very clunky and goes off the rails once they start snooping around the facility.  For starters the facility boss is way too accommodating, and then he even agrees to donate a scholarship and go on Roberto's show!  The computer hack is an unnecessary plot point, and then the ending where they wrap up the case on the live show has a ridiculous, jump-the-shark feel to it.

Final Analysis:
As you can tell, I was not a fan of this one.  It was a goofy plot and a slog to get through, and there was little in the way of highlights -- sorry, Scott. Ranking it 4th from the bottom.

1 comment:

  1. I actually didn't mind this one. I don't dispute that it was a clunky newsroom-meets-James Bond premise but I thought the execution was fun. It also seems like you've overlooked some far more ridiculously nonsensical plot sleights of hand in this series than Sam and Jani being granted permission to slink around this top-secret lab to search to look for her earring, such as the first episode Bakula directed where the murderous cop kept pleading with Sam to direct him towards the boy who witnessed the shooting when he knew all he had to do was climb the steps from where he was to find the boy.

    Anyway, the sassy chemistry between Sam and Jani worked for me, as did the shock show reporter bit and it's very thinly veiled connection to Geraldo Rivera and his 1980s antics. I knew they'd work Jani's inhaler into the mix somehow but I didn't figure they'd try to off her with their own chemical brew in an inhaler switcheroo. It was flaky how their hit man just snuck up behind Sam and replaced the inhaler, but I mentioned James Bond earlier and I definitely recall similar foolishness in his films. It was more predictable that Sam would out the felonious company president on live TV but I thought the execution of the scene was very entertaining. I also liked how Sam grew into his role as a TV shock jock over the course of the episode much as he did as a wisecracking radio deejay in that season 2 episode. Overall, I'm rating this one right after the previous episode "Ghost Ship".