In this weeks episode of the Quantum Leap Rewatch, Cory and Tom fight the war of rock n’ roll as they discuss season 5 episodes 20 & 21, “The Leap Between States” and “Memphis Melody.”
The Leap Between States:
Sam leaps into his great grandfather, Captain John Beckett of the Union Army during the United States Civil War and is immediately shot while trying to get his bearings. Luckily a group of runaway slaves save him and get him to the home of Olivia Covington, a widow who happens to be Sam’s great grandmother, AND has been sympathetic to the slaves, helping them escape to the north by allowing her slave Isaac to act as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
Lieutenant Montgomery, the soldier who shot Sam, shows up not looking for Sam but instead looking to court Olivia, something he has been attempting for some time. Olivia covers for Sam, calling him her visiting cousin, and Lt. Montgomery leaves.
Later in the evening Sam hears a baby cry from the barn and finds a group of slaves hiding. When Montgomery suddenly returns, Sam is forced to turn the slaves over as a ruse in order to buy them more time, eventually overruling the Lieutenant into hanging them in the morning.
While Olivia keeps Montgomery occupied, Sam manages to take out the Lieutenant’s guards and rushes back inside to see Montgomery attempting to take advantage of Olivia. Sam easily overpowers Montgomery which ultimately results in the slaves escaping and both Olivia and Captain Beckett moving away from the south and starting a life together. Isaac also choose to escape to the north and thanks Sam for all he did, choosing the last name of King for himself, resulting in him eventually becoming the great grandfather of Martin Luther King, Jr, as Sam leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Geoffrey Lower played Montgomery. He also played Alan in the “Friends” episode “The One With the Thumb”, and Wally in “Johnny Skidmarks” which you can watch on Youtube. See the link below-
Isaac was played by Michael D. Roberts. We’ve seen him as Willis Tyler in QL episode The Color of Truth.
The family tree of Martin Luther King Jr. as stated in this episode is not accurate.
This episodes unsung hero as John Beckett was Rob Hyland. Other than this episode of QL, he was in a movie called “Slaves of Hollywood.”
Richard Partlow is credited (or uncredited) as the voice of Reporter. He has five Quantum Leap credits as such in the episodes Deliver Us From Evil, Return of the Evil Leaper, Promised Land, Goodbye Norma Jean and, of course, this episode.
Kiss With History:
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states’ rights to uphold slavery.
Sam leaps into Elvis Presley, King Of Rock N Roll and is tasked by Al with helping SueAnne Winters, a girl with a great singing voice but not a lot of self esteem and confidence as every time she tries to publicly sing, she feels sick to her stomach and gives up.
Helping Sue Ann is not a simple task due to the fact that Sam has to ensure that Elvis’s life continues on its proper path as well, with him becoming discovered and successful. Added to that is Frank, who disapproves of Elvis, as well as his fiancee’s association with him.
Sam, following the events of Elvis’s life, goes to Sun Studios to record a song for his mother, a song which will be played for the owner Sam Phillips, and lead to his eventual first record deal. Unfortunately, Sam cannot remember the songs that Al reports were Elvis’s first songs and chooses a different time instead. Sam convinces the secretary recording him to come to the talent show to really hear how he sings and things get back on track until…
At the talent show as Sue Ann is on stage attempting to sing and ready to again lose her lunch, Sam rushes on stage and sings with her in rocking upbeat gospel duet, resulting in Marion offering them an audition with Sam, together instead of as solo acts.
Frank shows up and having witnessed Sue Ann kissing Elvis in the excitement of the moment, starts a fight with Elvis which Sue Ann sees the tail end of and turns her back on Elvis.
The next day, when Sue Ann doesn’t show up for the audition, Sam goes to her and convinces her to give it a chance but when they arrive, the studio is closed, which Sue Ann takes as a sign to give up.
Al tells Sam that Sam Phillips is in the diner and After some convincing, he agrees to give him a chance to audition. He impresses Phillips who still needs to leave for a trip and promises to get back in touch with him, but Al reports that he never does. Sam follows Phillips back to the diner and belts out another Elvis tune and the energy he generates amongst everyone there is too much for Phillips to ignore and decides to give him a contract right there and then.
Sam rushes to Sue Ann’s house and reveals his record deal and that he got Sue Ann her own audition. Frank balks at this but she pleads with him to let her try, resulting in Frank giving up the relationship as Al reports that Sue Ann will eventually live her dream of singing in the grand ole opry as Sam leaps.
Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:
Elvis did record a song called “My Happiness” for his mother but it was in 1953. The two musicians in the studio and diner were likely supposed to be Scotty Moore and Bill Black, musicians that Sam Phillips hired to play with Elvis for his audition. That was 1954. There was no sax player and there was no Sue Ann. Absent was his father for some reason. Red West was a long time Elvis friend, and later his bodyguard as part of his Memphis Mafia; he served as a technical advisor on this episode.
Scott Bakula’s real-life daughter, Chelsy Bakula, plays the little girl in Taylor’s Diner. She was uncredited and didn’t go on to be an actor.
This episodes unsung hero is Michael St. Gerard as Elvis. He also played Elvis in the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic “Great Balls of Fire”, “Heart of Dixie” and the “Elvis” TV series on ABC.
Sue Ann is played by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. She has a ton of voice acting credits such as “Star Wars”, “Carmen Sandiego”, “Steven Universe” and some video games.
Gregory Itzin played Sam Phillips. He was also in “24”, “Covert Affairs” and “The Mentalist.”
Red West was played by John Boyd West, Red’s real life son. He also played Red in a 2005 TV miniseries called “Elvis.”
Kiss With History:
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “The King”.
Billy C on Sax! At the talent show, the sax player “Little Billy C” of Hope, Arkansas, is a reference to future president Bill Clinton.
Next week Cory & Tom will be discussing the series finale episode “Mirror Image”.
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