This week, Cory and Tom find themselves integrating into society and learning that they don’t need no man to be strong leading woman! Join us as we rewatch Quantum Leap season 2 episodes 3 and 4 “The Americanization of Machiko” and “What Price, Gloria?”
The Americanization of Machiko:
Sam finds himself as one Charlie Mackenzie, proud member of the US Navy, having just returned home from a two year stint abroad in Japan bringing along his new Japanese bride, Machiko. Unfortunately, Charlie and his bride’s welcome home is overshadowed by racism he encounters not just from a former WWII vet named Rusty but also his own mother, Lenore. While Machiko tries to show respect to Charlie’s parents and people around town, she is often shot down by Lenore and set up for failure by one of Charlie’s old flames, Naomi.
When a strong storm arrives, a final insult from Lenore causes Machiko to flee the shelter of their storm cellar, eventually being picked up from the rain by Rusty, who takes her back to his place and threatens to cut off her arms as reparations for him missing out on a major league baseball opportunity since he had to fight in the war instead.
Sam arrives and saves the day but Machiko is hurt and taken to the hospital where, as he and Charlie’s parents await her recovery, it’s revealed that Lenore is actually not angry at Machiko but rather angry and sorry about not preventing her daughter from committing suicide after she had gotten pregnant and had been ostracized by everyone in town.
After Machiko recovers, her and Sam go ahead with their plans to have a wedding ceremony and are disappointed that Lenore has chosen not to show up. As the pastor begins, a door opens and reveals Lenore, clad in a kimono that Machiko had brought as a gift, bows to the happy couple, showing she has come around and accepts Machiko into the family.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Machiko is played by Lin Chow who we know from Lois and Clark season 2 episode “Chi of Steel. You can hear us discuss it here.
And speaking of L&C connection, of course Lenore is played by K. Kallen who was Martha Kent.
The end leap out takes us to Jesse from “Color of Truth”. Possibly this was a reordering after shooting to avoid having two episodes with such a similar theme since they did film quite a bit of season 2 before season 1 was over. Perhaps they filmed Machiko during season 1 and held it off, just like they held off on “What Price Gloria”.
The title of this episode is similar to a 1982 “Facts of Life” episode titled “The Americanization of Miko.” Both episodes may have gotten their titles from the 1963 James Garner/Julie Andrews film “The Americanization of Emily.”
This episodes unsung hero is Bill Arnold. That’s is his only credit in IMDb.
A date problem arises again in this episode; The Orioles weren’t a team until the year after this episode is set.
And finally, the term “Judas Priest” stuck out to us. It turns out it was first coined in 1914 and later used by Sinclair Lewis 1922, it’s pretty much a less offensive term rather than taking the Lord’s name in vein.
Al’s Fashion of the Week:
Today’s fashion tip is what I like to call “Pin Randomness.” It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing black and white or a mint green suit and peach coloured shirt, if you don’t have the right random pin it’ll never come together! A subtle small pin shaped like a pair of sunglasses says “I’m classy but keeping cool”, while a large silver pin screams “You’re just jealous I’m pulling off this look”.
What Price, Gloria?:
As the old song goes, dude looks like lady! Sam finds himself as Samantha Stormer, a beautiful and newly promoted female secretary working for a high powered executive named Buddy Wright in an era where sexual harassment is an unknown term yet happens every second of every day.
Al tries to deal with some newfound feelings of attraction for his best friend, even undergoing therapy to figure out how to look at Sam without going weak in the knees.
As it turns out, Sam’s roommate Gloria, has an affair going on with Buddy, hopelessly waiting on him to leave his wife so they can be together and married themselves. Unfortunately, as Al informs him, Buddy never leaves his wife and Gloria, despondent, will end up committing suicide because of that. Sam tries to figure out what exactly pushes her to that edge, all the while fending off men from every angle and even submitting to a double date that Sam’s mother set up for he and Gloria.
Gloria soon learns the truth about Buddy and climbs to the ledge outside their apartment window, ready to jump. Sam manages to save her and after a long talk convinces her to follow her dream of trying to work in the art department at work. However before he can leap, Sam needs one last thing: revenge against Buddy in the form of a startling confession about his true gender and a well placed punch.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
John Calvin plays Buddy Wright in this episode. He also played the character Charles wright in “Moonlighting” back in ’85. Coincidence?
Gloria is played by Jean Sagal from the sitcom “Double Trouble” in which she stared with her twin sister Liz Sagal. She was happy-go-lucky Kate, whereas her sister played the more earnest, Alison. Both are sisters of Katey Sagal, who played Peg Bundy in “Married with Children” and John Locke’s love interest in “Lost.”
Sam’s blind date is played by Matt Landers from “The Flash ’90” episode “Good Night Central City”. It included Barry having financial troubles and being set up for murder and the use of a sleep machine. You can hear us discuss it here.
This episodes unsung hero is LaReine Chabut. She went on to create “The Firm” fitness videos and was voted most beautifulmost beautiful woman alive and made the top ten fit moms list.
We also continue to argue body or mind leaping. Al sees Sam as Samantha and visa-versa in the Waiting Room. We also discuss the possibility of Sam controlling the leaps.
Kiss with History:
The Detroit automotive industry plays a big part in this episode.
Christine Jorgensen was the first widely known and outspoken activists for sex reassignment surgery. She shed light on the misconceptions with trans and homosexual people. I truly brave woman!
Next weeks episode discussions are “Blind Faith” and “Good Morning, Peoria”
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