In this weeks episode of the Quantum Leap Rewatch, Cory and Tom learn that you’re never too old to have fun, as long as you are true to yourself as they discuss season 4 episodes 11 & 12, “The Play’s the Thing” and “Running for Honor.”
The Play’s the Thing:
Sam leaps into Joe Thurlow, an actor appearing in a small off Broadway production of Hamlet, and currently dating a woman 30 years his senior named Jane, who has a wonderful voice and loves singing, but after he death of her husband, left her hometown and family behind for the glamour of New York City.
Upon discovering their relationship, Jane’s son and Wife attempt to persuade her to come back home, even resorting to bringing an old romantic suitor from her past with them. Sam tries to show them how great a singer Jane is but she freezes when she gets on stage. Sam continues to try and win over the family and convince them of her talent, but he also has to rehearse his lines for Hamlet, being that Al said the reason for him being here is to make sure Joe gets his big break.
Later that night after his performance in which the whole Hamlet cast perform nude, one of the actresses throws herself at Joe and Jane catches them in a compromising position. Sam is prevented from chasing after Jane as he is approached by an agent who saw the performance and wants to hire Joe as their new underwear spokesman. Sam agrees but only if they will consider signing Jane as their jingle singer as well.
Sam confronts Jane, now on her way to the airport to head home and manages to convince her to try to sing one more time and give them a chance at making the relationship work. She agrees and this time doesn’t get stage fright, performing wonderfully, ensuring a career for both of them, while Sam leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Ted is played by Robert Pine. He played Sgt. Joseph Getraer on CHIPS from 1977-1983 and appeared in 139 episodes. Tom’s a huge fan of the show from way back, so here’s a couple of pics of him as a kid with the CHIPS play set.
Neil is played by Daniel Roebuck. He was in the series Man in the High Castle, Played Jay Leno in The Late Shift, and was Dr. Arzt in Lost. He also directed Halloween… The Happy Haunting of America! (1997) which featured Jamie Lee Curtis and was in Rob Zombie’s Halloween & Halloween II. We’ve seen him before as Herkimer Johnson in the Lois & Clark episode Oedipus Wrecks.
This episodes unsung hero as Joe is Will Schaub. We know him from the Sliders episode Paradise Lost in which he played Parker, the head of a group that ate worm poop to stay young.
As per our discussion, also check out some musicians performing before they were famous here.
Al’s Five Wives:
When Denmark is described as damp, musky and frigid, that reminds all of at least his 2nd (name unknown), 3rd (Ruthie) and 4th (Sharon) wives.
Running for Honor:
Sam leaps into Tommy York, a naval cadet with an exemplary record at the naval academy, with one small secret: he is friends with a cadet named Philip who was expelled from the school for being gay. Sam meets Philip to talk about their plan to expose The Chain, a group of Cadets honoring an ideal Navy who attack and beat up people who are gay. Al reveals that Sam’s mission is to save Philip who is found dead the next day.
Later, Sam breaks up an attack in Philip, which exposes him to the Chain, which is led by one of Tommy’s classmates/teammates named Ronnie Chambers, who brings charges of homosexuality against Tommy to the admiral. Sam rebuts with accusations of Ronnie being in charge of the Chain, but without proof his hands are tied and gives them 24 hours to come up with proof or the charges will be dismissed.
Sam and Al butt heads continuously as Al reveals his own feelings against having homosexuals in the military, echoing the military’s views at the time, which only frustrate Sam.
The Chain assaults Sam and demands he confess to the admiral that he is gay and leave the school after their track meet. Ronnie later gives a letter to the Admiral, written by Tommy that he originally wrote to protest Philip’s treatment and to expose the Chain, which results in Sam being confined to quarters until an inquiry is held.
Luckily Tommy’s coach Martz helps Sam get out of his quarters and they find the Chain getting ready to go out on the attack again. Martz then later helps Sam get to Philip, who, according to Ziggy is still going to die somehow. When they arrive they realize Philip planned to kill himself to implicate the Chain, but Sam along with Coach Martz who reveals his own secret of being homosexual, manage to talk him down. Sam ends up going to the big track meet the next day and while Al wonders if Tommy himself was gay, Sam asks him if it even matters as he leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
The waitress was played by Roz Witt and among other things she played Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Boston Legal. We’ve seen her in the Lois and Clark episode Witness as a teacher.
NBC affiliates in some areas of the US refused to air this episode during the initial broadcast due to the controversial nature of the storyline.
This episode was originally slated to feature Sam’s leap as a teenager in high school but due to advertisers threatening to pull sponsorship, NBC basically forced Don Bellisario to change the script to reflect a college age character instead.
Stonewall Riots: The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States. Owned by the mafia, paid police to not raid. Part of an effort to rid the city of gay establishments.
This episodes unsung is Beau Windham playing Tommy York. He only has two other credits to his name.
Next weeks episode discussions are “Temptation Eyes” and “The Last Gunfighter”.
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