In this weeks episode of the Quantum Leap Rewatch, Cory and Tom pack up the old station wagon and indulge some food cravings as they discuss season 3 episodes 11 & 12, “Runaway” and “8 1/2 Months.”
Sam leaps into Butchie, a thirteen year old boy on a cross country road trip with his family whom Al tasks with the job of preventing his mother, Emma, from abandoning said family, consisting of a bully of an older sister, Alexandra, and a husband named Hank who is typical of many men in the 1960’s, seeing himself as a controlling boss over all family members and rarely listening to his wife.
When the group bumps into an old high school friend of Emma’s named Billy and his daughter Beth, we start to see the reason why she may have run away in the original history as she and he reminisce about the old days and she starts to wonder about the road not taken, finding herself wanting more out of her life than just being a mom.
The two families bump into each other several more times, further reinforcing Emma’s thinking and widening the gap between her and Hank. After yet after another fight between the two where Hank dismisses Emma’s dreams and wishes, she runs off.
Al shows up to report that Emma’s remains were found at the bottom of a gorge and that she didn’t run away but likely fell and died after running away from her fight with Hank. The two families follow Sam as he is led by Al to where Emma is stuck on a cliff, but Billy panics and runs off to find a park ranger. Hank lowers Sam down on a rope to get Emma and they pull her up to safety, reigniting Hank’s love for his wife and a renewed sense of understanding as he begins to really listen to her.
All that is left before Sam can leap is to hold his sister Alexandra over a well, demanding that she stop her constant picking on and bullying of Butchie, to which she agrees allowing Sam to leap.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Alexandra was played by Ami Foster, she also played Margaux Kramer on Punky Brewster.
Hank was played by Sherman Howard. He’s had various roles in sitcoms like Seinfeld and voiced for animation like Batman Beyond and some video games. We’ve seen him before as Hendrick in the Sliders episode Prince of Wails.
This weeks unsung hero is Frank Borin (credited here as Buff Borin). This is pretty much his only acting credit but he became a director of music videos. He did videos for Jon Bon Jovi, Jason Derulo, The Script, Backstreet Boys, Simple Plan. He also worked as a second unit director on 24: Live Another Day.
Kiss with History:
Feminine Mystique was published on February 19, 1963. Written by Betty Friedan, it’s a survey of Smith College classmates, unsatisfied with lives. The original article was rejected and turned into a book. It challenged the widely shared belief in 1950s that “fulfillment as a woman had only one definition for American women after 1949—the housewife-mother.”
8 1/2 Months:
Sam leaps into Billie Jean Crockett, a 16 year old girl who is 8 1/2 months pregnant and being cared for by a friend named Dotty, the only person who has been helping her get through the he pregnancy.
Al says Sam’s job is make sure that Billie Jean can keep the baby rather than giving it up for adoption but not knowing who the father is makes it difficult to get help as she is a social pariah at this time in the past. Billie Jean’s father won’t even help unless she gives the baby up for adoption. Even Dotty says that she can’t continue to help her after the baby is born due to her own boyfriend’s refusal to allow it.
Sam copes with symptoms of pregnancy that seem to be affecting him, and eventually discovers who the father is, one of what father’s employees and he confronts him. He says that he can’t help her because Billie Jean herself told him to go to college and get out of their small town to make something of himself and runs off.
Sam feels the baby beginning to arrive but first has to help Dotty fix her flat tire so they can get to the hospital since once again Dotty’s boyfriend refuses to help. Dotty’s young assistant runs off to find Billie Jean’s father and after telling him that her own sister died in childbirth he goes to the hospital and promises that he will help raise the baby, enabling Sam to leap out just seconds before the baby is delivered.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Billie Jean’s Dad was James Whitmore Jr, director of this episode. He played in a TV series we’ve talked about called Tequila and Bonetti, along with WK Stratton and Charles Rocket, a Bellasario production. He has also directed on Star Trek Enterprise.
The Doctor was played by Parley Baer. He was Ernie the Keebler Elf and we’ve seen him as a Judge in The Flash ‘90 episode Trial of the Trickster.
This episodes unsung hero is Priscilla Weems. She had a few roles but a short career with this being her last role. Priscilla filmed Five Mile Creek (1983) in Australia in 1983 & 1984 at age 11. She had a starring role and was one of only 3 Americans in the series. Disney owned the series, but filmed outside the country and in other states to avoid paying residuals to the actors. Much of Priscilla’s money was kept in Australia by Henry Crawford & Disney. She purchased a horse, Willow, in French’s Forest, Australia, and flew him home. He was a 6-year-old Arab/Quarter Golden Palomino. Willow is still alive & well in West Hills, California on her parent’s ranch. She also fought to bring home her “budgie” (parakeet). At that time in 1984, no birds were allowed out of Australia. She called the Prime Minister when she knew she was leaving and asked for special permission to take him home. “Bunyip” was flown home a month after she left and spent 30 days in quarantine. He lived 14 years and is now stuffed under glass.
Next weeks episode discussions are “Future Boy” and “Private Dancer”.
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