Time to talk about more Quantum Leap.

Episode #3: “Somebody Up There Likes Ben” 

Okay, I will admit I may have judged the show too soon. Quantum Leap episode #3 puts Dr. Song in the shoes of boxer Danny Hill (Jermaine Alverez Martin) just before his big fight. There’s a good reason this episode marks an uptrend in the IMDB ratings per episode. First of all it focuses on the characters and gives us someone to actually root for. Danny we learn is going to lose his big championship fight because of some distraction, only nobody knows what the distraction is and Song needs to figure it out while also learning kinda how to fight.

Episode 3 excels where episodes 1 & 2 sucked. The character of Nick Rounder was stupid and shallow, the typical “yeah he’s a bad guy but he do love his daughter tho” routine that doesn’t do a good job of building compassion. The second episode was just stupid because it was too far out. Ben suddenly knowing how to space walk and do these things that astronauts train years for without any training or reaching into the memories of his subject is lame. It’s too grandiose for Quantum Leap.

But Episode 3 is great. It gives us grounded characters we can feel for. Not only is Ben trying to keep his head on straight to win the fight, but winning the fight isn’t even the ultimate goal. We figure out that the distraction is Danny’s brother Darryl (Jon Chaffin) who is a Vietnam vet suffering from severe PTSD who kills himself after Danny’s loss. To make matters worse, even if Danny wins he still ends up killing himself only a few months down the line. For once Ben’s connection to the characters seems deeper than simply thinking space is cool or using them as a conduit to do his deed and move on.

Also there is very little in the way of the present timeline. It’s not that I don’t like the b-plot, but holy Jesus they spend too much time on that in the first two episodes. And they manage to give Addison actual emotions in this episode and make her more human by having her collapse from exhaustion. I’m still sick of hearing Ernie Hudson complain about how the mayor (read; Pentagon) is up his ass and how every day is like a Tum’s Festival. Also we get a tease with Al’s handlink being stolen.

Episode #4: “A Decent Proposal” 

Ben Song is a woman. I got a good chuckle when Ben punches out a bounty target and the guy asks “have you been boxing on the side?” and he answers “actually yes” with a nod and wink to the audience. In this episode Ben Song leaps into the role of Eva Sandoval (Anastasia Antonia), professional bounty hunter and woman. The episode feels like it’s out of the 90s, down to Ben having the awkward situation of being proposed to by a man and screwing it up. See it’s funny because he’s a dude in a dress and a necklace and that’s kinda gay even though he’s technically a woman. Can Ben patch things up with Jake (Justin Hartley) and find his target Tammy Jessup (Sofia Pernas) before he misses the opportunity to leap?

Yeah, of course he can. It’s literally episode 4.

This episode is pretty interesting, even if the characters aren’t as engaging as Episode #3. There’s more plot progression in Ben Song remembering Addison and a few funny moments here and there of Ben Song acting like a woman who knows herself and the people around her. Jake and Eva feel like real characters and you are kind of invested in their connection and the potential of them saving their relationship. I also have no problem with the action scenes.

Also the present timeline stuff is very slim in this episode. Why do I get a feeling I’m going to regret making this note?

Episode #5: “Salvation Or Bust”

Well color me purple and hand wash my privates. Episode five of Quantum Leap kicks back to the past because the writers wanted to do grandiose things and that means killing off any adherence to the old’s shows rules of only being able to leap within the person’s life span. Ben appears in the old west where he has to do old west things like get drunk, crap in an outhouse, and save a town from a group of bandit outlaws. You know, the cowboy’s life.

Ben Song appears in the old west as Diego de la Cruz in another reminder that the folks at Peacock went with an Asian man as the lead probably equally out of diversity as much as because you can still have a Chinese actor play the role of a black man and a Mexican man without people on the internet crying that you’re racist. de la Cruz doesn’t have the best relationship with his granddaughter, and also there’s a group of bandits looking to run the townsfolk out of the town on behalf of the railroad company. Can Ben Song save the day, save the town, and save his relationship with his grandaughter?

Of course he can, why would you think otherwise? The most shocking part of this episode comes right at the end when Ben Song encounters what is probably an evil leaper. I can’t imagine the new Quantum Leap keeping the same plot beat as the Evil Leapers, it’s too 1990s stupid to put in this show. The Evil Leapers if you don’t know are basically the Star Trek Mirror Universe equivalents. Instead of leaping to right wrongs they leap to wrong rights. They’re literally called Evil Leapers. It’s part of the original show’s charm, but I don’t see NBC keeping them as basic as they were the first time around.

The modern story cuts around a congresswoman coming to check in on Quantum Leap and blah de blah it’s stupid and I don’t care.