This week’s Quantum Leap took it back to the ‘80s again.
After helping a boxer change his family’s tragic fate, Ben this time around found himself in the body of a bounty hunter named Eva in 1981. His mission seemed trivial: finding the bounty hunter’s target, Carla, who disappeared after skipping a court date over unpaid parking tickets.
But there was so much more to the story. Carla was the head of a local drug cartel and was planning to flee to Mexico. Teaming up with Eva’s boyfriend and partner Jake (guest star Justin Hartley), Ben and Addison captured the mob boss, and stopped thousands of tons of cocaine from being smuggled into the country. Ben even tried to help patch things up between Eva and Jake following the proposal Ben rejected, ultimately leaving it up to Eva to decide her future.
Meanwhile, more details surrounding Ben’s unauthorized jump came to light. Ben had lied about being at a conference for three days, instead going to Pasadena most likely to write his new code with Janice.
In the present, Janice had been trying to use Ziggy to predict the team’s actions and already dug into their heavily encrypted personnel files. Her overall plan remained unknown, but this latest news prompted Magic to open up to Ian about his own experience with the original Quantum Leap project.
Magic recalled the time Sam Beckett (played in the original series by Scott Bakula) leapt into him, which occurred in the Season 3 episode “The Leap Home, Part 2 (Vietnam),” with Christopher Kirby playing a young Magic.
He described it as feeling like a nudge, like he was “standing on one side of a door and on the other side, someone had gently pushed against it.” Magic said yes to the nudge and let that person in. Then everything went black, and he came to a day later, not remembering what happened. During that time, he had somehow saved everyone in his platoon, including his commander Tom Beckett (who was Sam’s brother).
Afterward, Magic had vivid dreams of Sam. When he became admiral, he learned that his name was in a top-secret file and pulled some strings to access it. That’s when he found out about the Quantum Leap project, piecing together what happened to him after seeing a photo of Sam. Knowing that he was originally supposed to die before Sam stepped in, and that Sam was still out there somewhere, he felt compelled to restart the program.
“I don’t know if it will ever be possible to get Sam Beckett back,” Magic told Ian, “but after what he did for me — what he did for so many others — I had to try.”
Elsewhere, Ben remembered more of his dream, realizing that Addison was the woman he loved. And as they tried to hold hands — which was impossible since she was a hologram — he made his next leap… into a western.