Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 77: Killin' Time


Sam Leaps Into:
Leon Stiles, an escaped fugitive holding a mother and daughter hostage.

Objective:
Resolve the standoff without anyone getting killed.

Date:
6-18-58

Location:
Texas

Memorable Quote:
You had a little situation?  I have a little situation here, Al!  ~Sam

Highlight:
Great animated conversation between Sam and Al in the beginning when Al first appears. Despite the tense situation it's an amusing scene given how exasperated they both are.

Lowlight:
It was silly for Stiles to have a gun in the waiting room.  I guess they're implying that he somehow took it with him from 1958, but that doesn't make any sense since people don't normally leap with objects, and Sam still had his gun (unless he had two guns).  It would have been better if he jumped the guard and stole his gun or something to that effect.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:

  • The mother is played by Connie Ray who has been in lots of things and has a memorable voice -- in particular I remember her from The Torkelsons and the movie My Fellow Americans.  And the daughter is Beverley Mitchell from 7th Heaven.
  • I like how Sam decides to reveal who he really is, and it seems as if they believe him by the end of it.  And here he says he founded the project in 1995 and the current date is revealed to be 1999 (which makes sense since this is Season 5) -- that clears up any past confusion.
  • Even though QL reruns appeared on the Sci-Fi Channel, there wasn't much sci-fi in the episodes themselves, but I like how here we get to see more of "the future" including some sci-fi elements.
  • One seemingly small thing about this episode I liked was the frequent sound of crickets in the background which helped create the mood of a peaceful country evening.  I've written quite a bit lately about how many shows like the new MacGyver tend to greatly overdo the amount of generic background music, and once again it's nice to have some music-less conversation with nothing else to hear but the crickets.
                                                    
    Final Analysis:
    Excellent and creative episode that was compelling from beginning to end.  Ranking it 8 out of 77.

    4 comments:

    1. Leon actually did take the gun from the guard (who you can see lying on the platform as he walks Al out of the Waiting Room). I read in a Quantum Leap FAQ on the interwebs that NBC had a promo showing the scene where he overpowers the guard, but it was cut from the episode.

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      1. Ah, that makes sense, thanks for the info!

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    2. Despite my eye-rolling early on over the "waiting room" hokum, I ended up really liking this one. Kelsey's description of Leon jumping the guard was helpful in understanding how he got the gun, but that scene should have never been cut because it was necessary to make any semblance of sense of his armed escape. Leon's fugitive status made for an exciting hour though and I also enjoyed the "trip into the future" of 1999. It's always amusing to see what past generations imagined "the future" would look like and the shootout in the prostitute's futuristic apartment was like something out of "Blade Runner" or another 70s/80s dystopian movie set in the future....and I always have fun with those types of films. I was lukewarm with the overused "bulletproof vest" gimmick saving Al but I don't believe it's been done on this show so I was good with it.

      The best points in the episode involved the connection with Sam and Connie Ray. I wasn't quite sure why Sam decided this was the mission where he was free and/or obligated to tell the truth about who he is but it made for interesting TV. I knew I recognized the actress and even though I never watched "The Torkelsons", for some reason I had that show in mind with her as the matriarch. "The Torkelsons" and its spinoff "Almost Home" was on NBC at that time so they must have done a cross-promotional guest-starring role. Interesting that the girl would later be on "7th Heaven", another show I only watched once or twice. THe ending didn't blow my doors off but it was satisfying. OVerall, I'd rate this one between "Rebel Without a Clue" and "A Leap for Lisa."

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      1. Yeah I remember as a kid wondering why MacGyver and others didn't wear bulletproof vests because they seemed so powerful.

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