In this weeks podcast, Cory and Tom discuss one of Quantum Leaps most iconic and hard hitting episodes, followed by an episode that takes us to the tale end of the most immature decade as we discuss “The Color of Truth” and “Camikaze Kid.”
The Color of Truth:
Sam finds himself as a black man in the 1950’s living in a small town in Alabama, compete with the usual prejudices and attitudes known to that place and time. As Sam tries to navigate a world in which racism rears its ugly head at him with every action he takes, Al informs him that his job is to make sure that his employer, Miss Melanie, doesn’t die when her car stalls out on the train tracks.
As Sam gets to know his employer, he tries to convince her that just because things have always been a certain way, it doesn’t mean it has to continue that way in the future. Sam makes several missteps while going about town which causes some local boys to want to get revenge, first by burning a cross on his front lawn, and then later running his car off the road while Jesse’s granddaughter Nell drove it home.
Sam and Miss Melanie find the wrecked car and Nell lying unconscious nearby and begin driving her to the closest hospital which happens to be a whites only facility. The doctors balk at first but Miss Melanie uses her considerable clout to make them admit the dying girl. Unfortunately Sam has broken the law by bringing the girl there and is arrested but is soon released when the sheriff finds out the reasons behind the incident.
Miss Melanie, having missed her predestined death due to a last second save via what seems to be her ability to hear Al swearing at her, arrives to pick up Jesse at the jail and asks him to go pick up her lunch, ignoring his plea to keep fighting for equal rights. He goes to the lunch counter but Miss Melanie enters and decides to sit down and eat there instead, inviting Jesse to sit down next to her, taking the first step in a very long walk towards equality for all.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Tom noticed some strange phrases etched on the jailhouse walls, since he’s watching on Blu-Ray and that quality pops. A few random things, such as “Jesse James slept here”, “When guns are outlawed all the outlaws will have guns” and “My girl Sue Carol” but the one that stuck out was “Goat ropers need love to”. This lyric can be heard in the song “Redneck Mother” in relation to a bumper sticker.
There’s several notable guest appearances this week, including Michael D. Roberts as Willis Tyler and Miss Melanie is Susan French. Our unsung hero, playing the reflection of Jesse is Matthew Johnson who didn’t have too many roles across his acting career.
Kiss with History:
Not a direct contact this week, but Rosa Parks and MLK were mentioned during Al and Sam’s discussions.
Al’s Fashion of the Week:
Silver and Crimson is the rage of 1995 and you can’t pull it off better than with this stunning reflective bomber jacket and collarless button down. It pairs perfectly with pale dress pants, white suspenders and frameless red lens shades. This is the “New Rage” Collection.
Sam leaps into a drag racing, junk food eating, awkward and pimply faced teenage boy named Cameron whose sister Cheryl is engaged to marry the local big man on campus, Bob. Unfortunately for Cheryl, her dream to join the peace corps after they get married are due to be dashed when it turns out Bob is a heavy drinker with an even heavier hand when it comes to his girl.
Sam has a run in with Bob’s lackeys, a group of boys known as the Impalas, after they bully Cameron’s tomboy friend Jill with Sam defending her. They later end up tossing him naked in a dumpster, leaving Jill to help him out by finding his clothes.
With the wedding only days away, Sam tries to get his sister to reconsider Bob but she only gets upset with him, refusing to see the truth. However, at the rehearsal dinner Sam overhears Bob and his father talk about his plans for after the wedding which include ONE, taking a job as a partner with his father, TWO, receiving a house for him and Cheryl to live in, and THREE, if all else fails, getting Cheryl pregnant to avoid going to the peace corps, something his father did to keep his wife from going to college.
When confronted with this info, Cheryl demands the truth from Bob who twists it all around to make it sound reasonable. On Al’s advice, Sam challenges Bob to a race for ownership of their cars, banking on the fact that a loss would make Bob show his true colors. Indeed, with a little help from Al’s suggestion of using laughing gas to give his car a boost, Sam wins and Bob tries to run him over, resulting in Cheryl calling off the wedding and joining the peace corps. All that’s left is for Sam to give the newly made over Jill a kiss and he finally leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
At the end of the episode, Sam and Al enjoy a sing-along together. This song is “Let It Be Me” by The Everly Brother.
Of course, we could go past a Jason Priestly appearance, you may know him as Brandon from the original “Beverly Hills 90210.” The actor playing Bob went onto a huge career on “Days of Our Lives.” Holly Fields, who played Jill, went on to be gorgeous!
Finally, our unsung hero is Scott Menville. Today, he plays the voice of Robin on Teen Titans Go and Lego Dimensions. He also has done voices for Doctor Octopus and Stretch Armstrong and Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. You may also recognise him as Duane from Full House and Fuller House.
Kiss with History:
We both agree that the Michael Jackson timeline seems a bit forced in this episode. Although fun, it probably would have been better placed in a different episode set a couple of years later.
Finishing off season 1, Next week is a single episode discussions of “Play it Again, Seymour”
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