Quantum Leap S3 E16–18

3–16 Southern Comforts

Sam is running a cat-house in Newwww Orrrrleans in 1961. Unusually, it doesn’t take Al long to show up and it’s worrying me how he’s going to behave here. Episode wise, my guess is, one of the girls is going to get murdered in two-three days and Sam must stop this.

Al refers to the brothel as the mother-load, as Shangri-La and is generally very excited. Sam thinks it’s sad, which, a little more enlightened, if still a blanket judgment based on no facts. For some reason Sam is also the enforcer in the joint, they don’t have any bouncers, which comes into play right away when some sailor is like, ‘I’m just here to fuck, why this girl won’t do fuck even if she doesn’t want to!’ Dude. No. There’s a lot of other hookers here, can’t you go with them rather than trying to rape the only one who’s not into it? Before Sam needs to do his kung-fu, the super old black mama of the house swings a shotgun on the guy and chases him away, before spouting some cliches about gumbo and the like.

Oh shit, here Bulldog from Frasier! He’s looking for a redhead, ruff, ruff! He looks about the same age, which makes sense, early 90’s probably right before he got his job on Frasier. He’s not looking for action though, his preposterous southern accent is trying to chase down an errant student. Sam and the madame know it’s the same young lady who turned down the sailor and decide not to give her up. What’s her game? Al breaks the bad news. She’s going to go missing in the next 24 hours and her body will be found in a swamp, beaten to death. Of course.

Do the Shriners really wear those Tommy Cooper red hats? Apparently, because here are a bunch of fat old guys with beautiful red clown hats. They want to have a good time. Sam is disgusted by the idea that fat old guys would come to a brothel. Because yes, it’s nice, young, good looking, Christian men who usually drop by. As anyone who comes in might be the guy going to murder the young girl, Sam decides the best way to head this off is by making up a bunch of weird rules. For example, they have to sing a bunch of songs and get drunk and not do sex. How about just give that girl the night off, or have Al follow her around? Bingo, finally Al and Sam decide, yup, house is closed for the night, everyone out. Which is just as well, because creepy southern Bulldog is sitting low in his car spying.

Sam tries to get to the bottom of what’s up with young girl. Of course she needs saving from a life of prostitution, she doesn’t really have any agency here. Maybe she needs to go back to her small town and pursue a life as a waitress, like that Kerouac devotee from an earlier episode. With Sam off trying to escape the clutches of the old lady who wants to sex him, Bulldog sneaks into the house and reveals he’s come from her small town to take her back, especially since she’s pregnant! Sam kicks his ass in fiveseconds and throws him out, but turns out, he’s married to her! Since the young girl isn’t pressing charges, there’s no complaint, the police can’t do anything, and Bulldog is free to go.

Sam needs a new plan. So he sets him up by taking a picture of Bulldog kissing one of the hookers and the rest of the women say he solicited them as well. This won’t look good for his job as headmaster at a private school! And just like that Bulldog changes his position to OK, forget it. Young girl is free to raise her baby without Bulldog making trouble. And even better, Al is off to spy on the women having a bath but oh no, Sam leaps and he’s denied! As we understand it, when Sam leaps Al is automatically sent back to the imaging chamber with whatever portal existed shut.

3–17 Glitter Rock

They really don’t put much effort into naming these episodes. Try and guess what kinda situation Sam leaps into here. He’s in some sort of KISS outfit rocking out on stage. As they come off stage we get a slow motion look at some kid lurking in the back corridor but it’s lost in the Spinal Tap-ness of the dressing rooms. On the ride back to the hotel, Sam blends in seamlessly to a hard partying rock and roll band by telling his band mates to lay off the booze. There’s some arguing going on about how much money the band has made and how much the shady manager is keeping.

It’s the mid 70’s in Detroit, Rock City, and Sam is either there to stop his band mates dying from partying or dying from that creepy kid shooting them or possibly write a great song like that time he gave Buddy Holly the lyrics to Peggy Sue? At the hotel Sam freaks the fuck out about two girls trying to have sex with him, literally throwing them out of his room. Al, in a splendid silver jacket and red spotted tie, calls him pitiful and I mean, I don’t want to be on the side of the sexist pig here, but those girls would have just as much fun having sex with a rock star as the rock star would with them, pretty sure.

Also, Sam doesn’t remember he’s married and frequently makes out with random women every week so what’s the moral quandary exactly? Sam has never heard of the group he’s in, because he’s a nerd. So he doesn’t know that in a couple of days, famously he’s stabbed and killed and the perpetrator was never caught. This may be why Sam is there. God loves this band and wanted them to make more music together. Maybe their music solves world peace like Wyld Stallyns? General consensus is that the killer is a John Lennon style crazed fan/loon.

No word on how Sam suddenly doesn’t have a British accent, since he’s a British guy in a British band. Is it like Face/Off where the voice is also heard like the face is seen, as the original person? Unclear, but probably or the whole premise would fall down, since then he wouldn’t sound anything like anyone he jumped into. At a record signing (in the mall?) a lady fan comes up and is like sign these and gets topless and Sam again freaks out making her cover up. Super plausible as a rock and rock star in the 70’s.

Al’s outfits this week, he will not be upstaged by four guys in a 70’s hair rock band which is saying something. He tries to follow the creepy super fan, in a giant, shiny, bottle green bomber jacket with stop signs on the elbows and back, and red baggy suit pants, with a shiny red tie, like someone threw up a bunch of Christmas ornaments. He tracks the kid back to his apartment and snoops around finding out his name and info. No dice! Kid looks creepy, but he’s clean, he’s not the guy who did it. Seems pretty obvious the shady manager is behind it, since Sam has a cheque bounce and the manager gives a bunch of weird excuses when he asks to see the books.

I’m loving the ‘rock the red head all night’ nonsense song they’re playing. Not really clear how Sam can just start playing guitar and singing at the elite level of a stadium rock band, but he does, and Al gets to air guitar around the stage like a weirdo. Rock the red head!! A blonde rather than a redhead hits on Sam. She’s like super model hot and of course Sam is like uhh no, no, get away from me, I couldn’t possibly. Why can’t he? Not sure apart from she sort of looks like she’s wearing the same blonde wig he was just wearing on stage. Al does not agree with Sam’s decision to dodge her and is laughing a lot at Sam wanting to leave the party even though it’s 5am. I wonder what time it is for Al back in the future? Does he work 9–5? Is he on call 24–7? He must be. However much he works though, he doesn’t have a clear idea who’s going to murder Sam.

The creepy kid, hey he’s not that creepy. When Sam finally catches up to him, he’s just been hanging around because, turns out, he’s Sam’s actual kid. Sam the rock star banged this kid’s mom in Omaha back in the day. Rock and Roll! Moving on, Sam confronts the manager, he knows that the guy has invested all their money in dodgy shit and is up to his eyes in debt. But that doesn’t make him a killer.

Maybe it’s the band mate, because he thinks Sam has been sexing the blonde model, which we know, definitely not, Sam is immune to sexual desires. Sam singing all these hair rock songs is pretty great, especially when interspersed with stock footage of huge crowds. I like how he has no concerns at all about going out and playing for 50,000+ people, just sure, I’ll rock out and also solve a murder, but no hot ladies better try to sex me! Then I’ll really get nervous!

In the end, the son yells a warning to Sam that a guy in makeup is about to stab him! Sam of course stops him and disarms the attacker. The manager immediately confesses about how he gambled away all the money and he doesn’t care, serves you right! The rest of the band sort of take it in stride that they can make more money, so fuck that guy.

In the end, the kid’s dreams are crushed because Sam isn’t his dad, Sam was in the hospital all night after the show. But wait, he met her before the concert! Sam hugs the kid and they’re all like hey, stick around maybe you can join the band and be a roadie and then Sam leaps and hmm, wonder if the actual dude is going to be quite as stoked about returning to this new family scene.

3–18 A Hunting We Will Go

It’s not a Deerhunter knockoff, more a Midnight Run type deal. Sam is handcuffed to a lady and she’s screaming about kidnapping! Before he can get beaten up too much by the men of the town, they find an arrest warrant on Sam, and realize he’s a bounty hunter. He has a cowboy hat and in the mirror a great moustache and this seems like a fun episode.

Al thinks the rascally lady Sam is trying to bounty hunt looks like his 5th wife. I think she looks like someone from another show I can’t remember.

(Ed.note — she’s had a long career in film & TV, perhaps best known for being the lesbian ex-wife of Ross in Friends, starting just 4 four years after this episode. Jane Sibbett)

She’s already escaped two other bounty hunters and Sam is going to have his hands full with this one. His mission is to deliver her to law enforcement. For some reason this involves dragging her on a cross country bus rather than driving her to the closest jail. Al thinks Bounty Lady (BL) is innocent even though Ziggy says she’s 98% guilty. Al can see it in her eyes! Or feel it in his loins. Gross. Of course, tonight both Sam and BL will be killed. Yikes.

The bus turns out to be not such a great plan, as BL provokes a fight right away and gets them both thrown off, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere. She finds this hilarious. It starts raining, the sort of heavy rain you only see on TV and in movies and they have to shelter for the night in a barn. And they fall in manure, Biff Tannen style! As they continue to fight and bicker, Al posits the theory that Sam is in love with BL. The woman he met a few hours ago. This may be based purely on her just being cute and feisty.

Sam’s plan is to hitchhike to the nearest town in the morning and turn her in. Al is against that. Neither seem to worry about having crazy conversations right in front of her, which is fine since BL seems oblivious to Sam yelling at his invisible friend. She’s trying to make the case that she was totally framed, and although Al believes her, supercomputer Ziggy (who is almost always wrong) is super sure she did it. There’s some other good ole boys on her trail, so maybe it was just as well they got thrown off the bus. They’re trying to find the million bucks she got from them and has hidden somewhere.

More shenanigans ensue as they fall into thorn bushes, fail at hitchhiking, roll around in more dirt and hole up at another cheap motel. They do the sort of shouting at each other that couples in lust do in classic ‘80’s rom-coms, the sort of:

I hate YOU!

I hate you MORE!

FINE!

FINE!

Beat. Kiss. Beat. Get off me!

In the room they shower up and watch the Bionic Woman or Charlie’s Angels or something. She admits she stole the cash but for a good cause: to give it back to the people the big villain swindled in the first place. She did indeed hide it somewhere. If she goes back to where Sam is taking her, she’ll be killed! This does seem to ring true with what Ziggy predicted. In short order, they’re making out on the bed, even though Sam is still worried about her clobbering him and escaping.

Of course, right away this is basically what happens as Sam catches her escaping out the bathroom window. She pulls a gun and leaves him handcuffed to the trellis outside the motel with no shirt on. BL doesn’t believe Sam telling her that she’s going to get killed if she escapes. Turns out the gun she pulled on him is just a lighter. She’s not so bad! Pretty weird they sell such realistic looking lighter guns in the motel gift shop. Sam escapes from the trellis just in time to hand her over to the crooked sheriff. Job done! Wait a minute, Al says now she dies in twenty minutes! Job not done!

Sam & Al pursue as BL directs the crooked sheriff and the bad guy villain to the wilderness to where she says she hid the money. It’s at some sort of weird train junkyard? She directs them to one train, then as they look, she legs in the other direction. I mean she had to try but that was a pretty weak tea effort, she got about ten yards away. But whatever, it buys enough time for Sam to get there and with Al centred on BL, he tracks her down fast and just in time saves her from being shot dead as the two of them do synchronized kung-fu kicks to knock out the villains.

Al feels vindicated that she wasn’t a crook. The charges get dropped, and her and Sam return the money. Just before he leaps Sam gives some throwaway line about how she should become a bounty hunter herself and guess what, Al confirms she becomes one of the best in the business!

Fun episode!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store