Saturday, January 7, 2017

Quantum Leap -- Episode 90: The Leap Between the States

Sam Leaps Into:
Captain John Beckett, a Union soldier in the American Civil War and Sam's great-grandfather.  

Help some slaves escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad.  Don't do anything to jeopardize John's relationship with Olivia, Sam's great-grandmother.


Mansfield County, Virginia

Memorable Quote:
Most of all, I like the way I feel about being a free man.  Makes a man feel like a king.  So if it ain't too uppity, I'd like to be called Isaac King.  ~Isaac

Actor Geoffrey Lower gives a fantastic and menacing performance as Confederate Lt. Richard Montgomery.

If Montgomery knew Sam was a Union soldier (he tells Olivia that he found his uniform), it doesn't make sense why he would keep that to himself up to that point and allow Sam to take drinks to his men guarding the slaves.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Watching this episode with the MacGyver Project Mom and Dad!  It was time for a break from Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.
  • 15:00 mark -- Sam helps Olivia and Isaac put out a barn fire.  "How much water is in that trough?"  ~Mom
  • Sam's wound doesn't seem to stop him from fixing the broken pump. "His left arm is pretty good considering he just got shot."  ~Dad
  • Funny how Olivia makes this great meal and then Sam gets up before eating anything to play the piano. "That's one thing I wouldn't do -- get up from dinner."  ~Dad
  • The idea of Sam having to woo his great-grandmother is a bit uncomfortable but not all that different from Lorraine McFly's interest in her son Marty in Back to the Future.
  • What does Sam do with Montgomery and his men after knocking them out?
  • Al gets the names of Martin Luther King Jr.'s ancestors wrong.  Also it's a good time to mention that Isaac King is played by Michael D. Roberts who was in The Challenge, Walking Dead, and The Color of Truth.

Final Analysis:
Great episode!  I'm glad there was at least one historical episode that took place in a previous century, and I like the choice of time period since I'm a Civil War buff (in fact I wrote a book that takes place during the Civil War).  Given the relatively small budget of an episodic television series, they did an excellent job of recreating the period.  Furthermore, the characters are interesting, the acting superb, and the plot moves along at a nice clip.  Ranking it 7 out of 90.


  1. This episode turned out decent. I was of two minds at the beginning, enjoying the concept of a Civil War-era episode, particularly with the very impressive production values of that early battle scene, but also annoyed that writers so casually glossed over without explanation the previously rigid timeline constraints of Sam being unable to leap outside of his lifetime. Once I got over that, I enjoyed the character dynamics with Sam, Olivia (agreed with you on the "ewwww" over trying to romance his great-grandmother though), Isaac, and Montgomery, even including the Underground Railroad context in it. I agree with you that Montgomery's moment of revelation that he knew Sam was a Union soldier all along but played coy just to have a Columbo moment days later didn't make a bit of sense, and knocked the episode down a rung or two for me. It was still pretty good though. Let's put it between "Leaping of the Shrew" and "Piano Man".

    1. I don't think he knew Sam was a Union soldier all along, just earlier that day when he found his uniform. But even so it's hard to imagine him playing along for any stretch of time.