In this weeks episode of the Quantum Leap Rewatch, Cory and Tom wash up on the shores of recovery as they discuss season 5 episodes 3 & 4, “Leaping of the Shrew” and “Nowhere to Run.”
Leaping of the Shrew:
Sam leaps into Nikos Stathatos, a sailor currently stranded on a lifeboat with bratty and spoiled heiress, Vanessa Foster. While Sam tries to keep them alive, Vanessa’s behavior ends up endangering their survival several times before they end up on solid ground. Al reports that their odds of survival keep going down, which is odd, because in the original history, the two were picked up by a rescue boat within days.
As time goes by and Sam’s attempts at rescue end up seemingly accidentally sabotaged by Vanessa, first with her wasting a can of hairspray meant to be used as a flare to flag down a passing ship, to ruining their water supply by using it as a toilet. Despite all their bickering and fighting, Sam finds himself slowly becoming attracted to her, with Al even reporting that both Nikos and Vanessa seemed to have the hots for each other as well on their cruise ship, despite her impending marriage to a man her father approves of but she herself feels little love for.
Still trying to figure out why he leapt here, another ship appears with hopes of rescue, but Vanessa’s behavior becomes clear as Sam realizes that she doesn’t actually WANT to be rescued, content with living a quiet life on the island with Nikos. Al confirms that the two live happily with six future children on the deserted island for years before finally getting picked up and rescued as Sam leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Vanessa is played by Brooke Shields. Best known for Suddenly Susan, Blue Lagoon and her Calvin Klein commercials. For her role in Blue Lagoon, Shields became the first ever “Winner” of a Worst Actress RAZZIE Award. She made the cover of Cosmo at 15 and is related to Henry VI of France. She was also offered Ally Sheedy’s role in The Breakfast Club.
This episodes unsung hero is Socrates Alafouzos. He’s mostly known for his work in many foreign films.
Nowhere to Run:
Sam leaps into Captain Ron Miller, a Marine corps soldier who lost both his legs during combat in Vietnam and is now recovering in a veterans hospital, assisted by a volunteer worker named Kiki Wilson who has obvious feelings for him. Al tells Sam his job is to save the life of his roommate, Sergeant Billy Johnson, who became a quadriplegic after his time in the war, and no longer wishes to go on living. While Sam tries to rekindle the romance with Ron’s wife, and tries to convince Billy that life is still worth living, Kiki is dealing with her own issues of not knowing if her little brother, away at war himself, will ever be coming home.
Added to Sam’s troubles however is that Ron’s wife wants to divorce, having met someone while he was away at war. Al stresses the importance of them staying together due to the fact that Ron and his wife will someday have a child that becomes a war hero, saving hundreds of lives.
Kiki gives Billy an electric wheelchair, hoping it will cheer him up but after she leaves he uses it to get to the pool, planning to drown himself. Sam shows up but instead of stopping him, encourages him to do it, explaining to Al as Billy falls into the water and sinks, that he can’t save Billy today because then he will just come back tomorrow and try again. Sam gives Billy time as he sinks to really think about dying, before he jumps in and rescues him, with Billy finally realizing he doesn’t want to die.
Despite only completing half of his mission, having lost his wife, Al reports that history seems to be the same. As he checks the finer details of Ron’s life, he discovers that the child that will save the gulf war soldiers, was born to Ron and Kiki and not his first wife. Kiki then shows up holding a letter with news of her brother which Sam opens and reads, revealing that he is coming home finally, as Sam leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Kiki is played by Jennifer Aniston. This episode was filmed two years before her breakout role as Rachel on Friends.
Judith Hoag played Julie. She is most well known as April O’neil in the original TMNT movie.
Jordan Jacobson was Hartig’s aide and had parts in Prince Valiant as a Farmer, Dylan, Argus and Ben.
Michael Boatman played Billy Johnson. He previously played Private Sam Beckett in China Beach (1988).
This episodes unsung hero is Michael Carpenter. This is his only credit.
Next episodes discussions are “Killn’ Time” and “Star Light, Star Bright”
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