Thursday, December 8, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 78: Star Light, Star Bright

Sam Leaps Into:
Max Stoddard (aka Pop), an elderly man whose family wants to have committed due to his preoccupation with UFOs.

Avoid getting committed.  Prevent his grandson from dying of a drug overdose in the somewhat distant future.


Charlemont, Massachusetts

Memorable Quote:
What the hell is this?  ~John
Just a little, uh, demonstration. ~Sam
Of what, a cat in a garbage disposal?  ~John

I like the ending where Pop's son and grandson, who have been at odds the entire episode, team up and take on the government guys in support of Pop.

The whole business involving the government doctor and air force captain was confusing to me. Maybe I missed something, but I don't understand what their interest in Max was -- was it because they thought he knew things that he shouldn't, or did they want to learn more about UFOs?  And if they were they genuinely interested in what he had to say (which it seemed like they were considering they gave him truth serum), why did they have him committed to the hospital?

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

  • I like the character of Tim the grandson and the actor who plays him, even if he looks more like 24 than 17.
  • Fun moment when Sam channels his inner Hendrix and jams on the electric guitar to Tim's delight, though I do wonder why the family is not a little more surprised at his innovation and skill.  And I enjoy the son's quote (listed above) about the cat in the garbage disposal -- reminds me of my Dad watching some current musical acts on television and saying that it sounded better when he stepped on our cat's tail (I wrote about this before).
  • This one resembles MacGyver's The Visitor with its extraterrestrial theme and with a real life UFO at the end!  I don't mind the farfetched nature of the UFO showing up to welcome/snatch Grandpa, but I do wonder why the son and grandson don't have more of a reaction, like "Grandpa's leaving forever on a UFO spaceship!"  And I would want to ask the aliens if they could wait a few minutes while I ran back to my house to pack up a few things.
    Final Analysis:
    This one's ok -- not bad but not overly exciting or one that I'd be in a hurry to rewatch.  I did like Sam's genuine interest in UFOs and how the scientist in him was becoming consumed with a desire to potentially make an all-time groundbreaking discovery.  Ranking it 48 out of 78.

    1 comment:

    1. Agreed that this one is just okay. Pop's relationship with his hippie grandson, and the estrangement between father and son, was definitely the most interesting plot point of the episode. Sam channeling his inner Hendrix through Pop--and the awestruck response by Tim--was gold....easily the episode's high point, complete with the disturbed response by the parents. The Nixon quip was also fun.....everybody did figure Nixon was in the history books by the spring of 1966 until his extremely unlikely comeback two years later.

      The UFO storyline didn't do it for me at all though and almost seemed like an afterthought to the complicated relationship between grandfather, son, and grandson. The government agents pursuing pop didn't seem to have a clear motive as you said and I wasn't buying into the abduction of Pop at the end or the subdued reaction of son and grandson. I would have liked this episode more without the UFO backdrop and if more time was spent on the family relationship....or at least if the UFO storyline was more compelling as it was on "MacGyver". I'll rank this one between "The Play's the Thing" and "The Americanization of Machiko".