In this episode of the Quantum Leap Rewatch, Cory and Tom find that love is a battlefield as they practice their jazz hands and discuss season 3 episodes 7 and 8, “Black on White on Fire” and “The Great Spontini.”
Black on White on Fire:
Sam leaps into medical student Ray Harper, a young black man engaged to Susan Brewster, the white daughter of the local police chief, living in the Watts neighborhood. Al tells Sam that he is there here to be sure that he and Susan stay together, in the face of prejudice not just from Susan’s family and friends, but also Ray’s, most notably his brother Lonnie.
As the legendary riots begin in Watts, Susan arrives to be with Ray, immediately putting her in danger, as the streets are filled with major violence and bloodshed. Together, the two start up a makeshift clinic to try and help the wounded. Al shows up to report that Susan’s odds of dying just shot up as Lonnie carries in an injured friend who promptly ends up dying. Lonnie takes Susan hostage in response, threatening to shoot her if anymore black people are killed in the riot.
Sam tries to follow Lonnie but is stopped and beaten by police until Susan’s father sees him and asks him to take him to Susan. Together the two go with the chief setting up outside with his men as Sam tries to go into negotiate. Sam manages to talk Lonnie down but Chief Brewster’s sniper finally finds a clear shot and kills him. As Al tells Sam that he has managed to protect Susan and their relationship, Sam wonders if it was enough as he leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Captain Brewster was played by Marc Alaimo. He was was in “Deep Space Nine” playing Gul Dukat and also appeared in the movies Total Recall and Naked Gun 33 1/3.
Ron Taylor played Papa, he also played a Klingon Chef in “Deep Space Nine”. He was also in “In the Line of Duty” with Dean Stockwell and had a brief but memorable appearance in “Trading Places”.
The mother was played by CCH Pounder (Carol Christine Hilaria), she provided the voice of Amanda Waller in the Arkham games and DC original animated films.
This episodes unsung hero is Garon Grisby. He is consistently working in side roles on shows like Westworld, Young and the Restless, Rush Hour and Nashville. His first job was as Danny Rollins in “Divorce Court”
Kiss with History:
Watts Riots- On August 11, 1965, Marquette Frye, an African-American motorist on parole for robbery, was pulled over for reckless driving. A minor roadside argument broke out, and then escalated into a fight with police. False rumors spread that the police had hurt a pregnant woman, and six days of looting and arson followed. Los Angeles police needed the support of nearly 4,000 members of the California Army National Guard to quell the riots, which resulted in 34 deaths and over $40 million in property damage. The riots were blamed principally on police racism. It was the city’s worst unrest until the Rodney King riots of 1992.
Al’s Five Wives:
-Al’s second wife had a sleazy divorce attorney, and it cost Al everything he had
-Confuses his third and fourth wife, naming Sharon as his third rather than Ruthie
-Sharon took Al’s dog, Chester, in the divorce
The Great Spontini:
Sam leaps into Harry Spontini, a magician trying to make it, along with his assistant/young daughter Jamie. While they mostly play smaller venues, they have high hopes that if they can master the Table Of Death trick, they can finally hit the big time and afford to open a magic shop, allowing Harry to provide a stable upbringing for Jamie.
Unfortunately, Harry’s estranged wife Maggie has come back into the picture after leaving three years prior, this time with a lawyer/new fiancee named Steve in tow, hoping to get full custody of Jamie. Sam believes that there is still some feelings between Harry and Maggie and attempts to appeal to her to avoid using lawyers and settle the custody matter themselves, but Steve pushes back on that and manages to have Jamie placed in temporary custody of Maggie.
While Jamie stays at Maggie’s house, Sam, Maggie and Steve again meet before the judge but Al shows up and reports that Jamie has runaway back to the club to attempt the table of death trick but accidently activated the deadly spikes. Sam runs out of the courtroom with Maggie in tow to save their daughter. Sam manages to pick the lock on the trick and saves Jamie, leading Maggie to rescind not just her her custody attempt before the judge, but also her engagement to Steve who was clearly out to win the case and not really in it for the love. Al tells Sam that it all works out good for the three of them but that Harry and Maggie don’t get back together. Feeling still that there is something between Harry and Maggie, he kisses her, and Al reports that they do now get back together as Sam leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Steve is played by Erich Anderson. He was in “Star Trek: TNG” episode “Conundrum” where the crew loses their memory; he appears as second in command and tries to get them to attack an alien race.
The judge is played by Michael Fairman. He was in “Seinfeld” and also appeared in “Deep Space Nine.”
This episodes unsung hero is Dan Birch. He is actually a magician whose only other credit on IMDb is playing a magician in Columbo.
Kiss with History:
The Magician ran during the 1973–1974 TV season. It starred Bill Bixby as stage illusionist Anthony “Tony” Blake, a playboy philanthropist who used his skills to solve difficult crimes as needed. In the series pilot, the character was named Anthony Dorian; the name was changed due to a conflict with the name of a real life stage magician. You can find full episodes by clicking here or check out the intro below.
Next weeks episode discussions are “Rebel Without a Clue” and “A Little Miracle”.
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