In this weeks episode of the Quantum Leap Rewatch, Cory and Tom chase aliens and do the Charleston as they discuss season 4 episodes 17 & 18, “Roberto!” and “It’s a Wonderful Leap.”
Sam leaps into Roberto Gutierrez, a sensationalist talk show host and is tasked with saving the life of an asthmatic co worker, Jani Eisenberg, who in two days time will drive her car off a cliff. With little to explain why she does so, Sam gets an easy “in” at keeping close to Jani being that she and Roberto have always had a contentious relationship. A back and forth insult exchange between her and Sam results in Jani challenging him to try and report on a serious story, rather than the usual conspiracy/aliens/supernatural/sex style stories he normally covers.
The two immediately get called out to interview a farmer who claims that he saw aliens in his field, but being that he confesses he was drunk at the time, they pay the story little mind, and move on to their next story which is a simple interview/tour with Ed Saxton, owner of a local pesticides plant. Later, Sam gets a call from one of the workers claiming to have important information about what is going on at the plant, but when Sam and Jani go to meet him, they find him dead, hit apparently by a hit and run driver.
The two take an ID card found her the body and infiltrate the plant, eventually using the card to find a secret room containing proof of the development of chemical weapons as well as hazmat suits that could resemble the aliens the farmer had seen. The pair come back to the plant to expose the room the next day but unfortunately, Saxton built a fake wall to hide it and Sam and Jani are pulled from the air.
They try to hack into the computer system and find proof but are discovered by Saxton’s men, with Saxton ordering his men to find a way to silence Jani, hoping that THAT combined with a bribe will push Sam away from trying to pursue the investigation further. Sam later calls Saxton, despondent, staying Jani has died from an asthma attack and when Saxton offers money, he accepts on the condition that he appears on his show so he can apologize.
As Sam offers his apology on air, he shows Saxton the inhaler that Jani used to treat her asthma and was ultimately responsible for causing her asthma attack. Jani then appears in the studio as her death was a ruse and Sam sprays the inhaler into Saxton’s face. Saxton cowers, fearful of the deadly chemical he had his men replace in the inhaler, thereby implicating him in attempted murder, as Sam leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Marcus Giamatti played Rick in this episode. He appeared in 163 episodes of Judging Amy, had a role in a TV movie version of Beverly Hills Cop and also appeared in Necessary Roughness.
Earl was played by Alan Oppenheimer. He’s had a number of TV and movie roles including Murphy Brown and the original 1973 Westworld film. Not a main characters usually, his largest body of work is in animation and video game voices, with notable characters like Skeletor in He-Man, Merlin from The Legend of Prince Valiant and Alfred from Superman Batman Public Enemies. He also did voices in Transformers, The Original Ghostbusters, and Neverending Story.
Saxton is, of course, the wonderful Jerry Hardin. He had notable roles in The X-Files and Big Trouble In Little China. We know him from Sliders episode Revelations as Isaac Clarke, as well as the Lois and Clark episode The Green Green Glow Of Home as Wayne Irig. He also played Sam Clemens on Next Gen.
Delane Matthews was Jani, her biggest role was Dave Barry’s wife in Dave’s World. She played Dr. Laurie Hill in short lived sitcom named Laurie Hill and also appeared on General Hospital for a run of 24 episodes.
The Tough Guy on Roberto’s TV show was Donald Gibb. He was Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds.
Also, The Yelling Guy was Charles Dougherty, and we saw him in the Lois and Clark episode Individual Responsibility playing Karl.
Red, the farmer is recognisable “that guy” Dennis Fimple. We saw him in Lois and Clark episode Meet John Doe as a homeless man. He’s had various movie and TV hits throughout the 70’s and 80’s.
Andrew Roa is our unsung hero as Roberto. Most recently, he played a Sioux Chief in Adam Ruins Everything.
One last thing- Did you notice the TV in the newsroom was playing a King Thunder video? Nice little easter egg there!
It’s a Wonderful Leap:
Sam leaps into Max Greenman, a cab driver involved in a competition for a specific medal that will allow himself and his retired father Lenny a chance to start their own cab company. Unfortunately, Al informs him that Max dies in a robbery attempt the next day.
Mysteriously, Sam is not all alone in trying to figure out how to avoid Max’s original fate as he earlier ran over a woman named Angela who claims to be an angel and was sent there to help Max. While Al doesn’t believe she’s an angel, Sam is more inclined to believe her, especially seeing as (1) she survived being run over without a scratch, and (2) she can see Al.
Angela has dinner with Lenny and Max and her singing brings happiness and sadness to Lenny’s heart, who mourns his late wife. The next day, Sam runs Max’s route, making the money needed to win the medallion, however, a man holds up Sam and attempts to rob him. Angela intervenes, being shot instead of Sam and the thief gets away with the money, however she stands up, unharmed even though it’s obvious the bullet went through her clothes somehow.
Sam returns to the cab company hoping for an extension on the deadline but the owner, Frank, says no and that he can make more money by selling the medallion. Once Sam tells Lenny what happened, Lenny loads up his gun and confronts Frank, demanding the medallion, willing to give up his freedom so his son can live a better life. Sam talks Lenny down but as they all give their statements to the police, Sam pushes fourth another theory that Frank hired someone to rob Max so that he wouldn’t win the contest, a theory that Sam developed after he was approached by another driver moments before and as Angela walks away, her job done, she says goodbye to Sam using HIS name, as Sam leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Angela was played by Liz Torres, you may recognise her from Gilmore Girls as Miss Patty. She was also in The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, The John Larroquette Show, 2 episodes of Tequila & Bonetti and a spinoff from The Mary Tyler Moore Show called Phyllis.
Vaughn Armstrong played Fred Trump and would go into play Admiral Maxwell with Scott Bakula in Enterprise.
This episodes unsung hero is Ross Partridge. He’s continually working, recently appearing on Stranger Things as Lonnie Byers, Ballers and the upcoming series adaptation of Less Than Zero. He was also in The Flash ‘90 episode Alpha as Wiseguy.
Kiss With History:
Sam has both Frank and Donald Trump in his cab and mentions how much real estate will be worth in the future. Cringe worthy, for sure, but this segment with Stephen Colbert might cheer you up.
Next weeks episode discussions are “Moments to Live” and “The Curse of Ptah-Hotep”.
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