Saturday, December 17, 2016

Quantum Leap -- Episode 82: A Tale of Two Sweeties

Sam Leaps Into:
Marty Elroy, a bigamist with a gambling problem.

Figure out the best long term solution for his family life (or families' lives).  Pay off his gambling debt without losing his thumbs.


Pompano Beach, Florida

Memorable Quote:
Martin, is this one of your silly little jokey wokey's?  ~Ellen
It better be a jokey wokey.  ~Al
This is no jokey wokey.  ~Sam

Fun scene when Ellen is doing Rachel's hair in the salon and they're talking about their husbands without realizing it's the same person.  And great reaction from Sam and Al after seeing them together through the window.

The bookie and his enforcer are a little too goofy and slapstick-y for me, especially in the hotel room scene.  

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Michael Bellisario (son of Donald) plays Ellen's son, and he's appeared in a few other QL episodes with minor roles.
  • The surprise ending with the third family was fun and one that I didn't see coming.                                            
Final Analysis:
This is an enjoyable, lighthearted hour of television, though it was a little sad to see his sons give him the spare change out of their pockets in order to support his gambling habit.  And I like the Florida 50's airport and hotel decor (similar to what I said in Nuclear Family -- maybe it's a sign that I should move to Florida).  Ranking it of 36 out of 82.

And with that, there's only ten episodes to go!


  1. This was a very fun episode. It danced on the edge of slapstick from time to time but this show's anthology format can survive that once in a while if the execution is strong as it was here. Like a strong episode of a sitcom ("Growing Pains" popped to mind repeatedly while watching this as old Mike Seaver got himself in these kinds of debacles far too often), it's appeal was that it was both funny and uncomfortable at the same time, with multiple things going on and the lead character constantly dodging bullets to try to clean up the mess he was in. Really nice touch to have the women talking about their mutual husband at the beauty salon and not knowing it.

    The bookies were a bit stereotypical and cartoonish but it wouldn't fit the tone of the episode if they were genuine badasses. The head bookie was played by Larry Manetti, the actor who played Rick on eight seasons of "Magnum, P.I.", another Bellisario show I must revisit in the next couple of years. Anyway, nice touches all around with Sam fielding the call in front of the bookies as a way of speaking to Al in code, the kind of thing I'd have liked to have seen Sam finesse while in the bank in "Promised Land" rather than all those silly trips to the "bathroom" amidst a hostage situation. Al once again did well with his talk with the little girl planning to run away, countering the negatives of his headache-inducing screaming in other scenes in this and other episodes. And as unsavory as it was that "Marty" was stealing from his own kids, I thought it was a good reflection of the two boys from both families to offer their money to help out their father, and made believable the ending of the two women leaving Marty to move on successfully with their lives, clearly succeeding in some way in instilling strong character in their sons. Humorous final scene with a third family showing up to claim "Marty" as husband and dad as well. I don't know how old Bellisario was in 1992 but I wouldn't have figured old enough to have a son that young.

    This episode could have been a cheeky disaster but they pulled it off nicely. The only downside for me was Sam having predicted the 40-1 longshot was gonna win before Al told him, effectively mortgaging everything on this extreme dark horse winning, which kind of undermined the entire message of the folly of gambling. I'll rate it between "M.I.A" and "Rebel Without a Clue".

    1. "its appeal was that it was both funny and uncomfortable at the same time, with multiple things going on and the lead character constantly dodging bullets to try to clean up the mess he was in. "

      Interesting point -- I hadn't thought of it that way before but it makes sense and seems like a good technique for screenwriters to be aware of.

      You're right that the 40-1 shot was pretty lucky. If I were Sam I'd probably feel pretty invincible by this point in my life, after this many successful leaps and some higher power controlling my destiny and watching out for me, maybe he was just feeling lucky!

    2. Yep....another solid scriptwriting effort from the writer of "The Human Factor"!