Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Salvation Or Bust

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What a twist reveal to close out Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5, the campiest, most Care-Bear-meets-Magnificent-Seven homage of an offering so far this season. Mind go boom.

My brain's still spinning over the implications of the leaper who grabs Ben in the final scene. Seriously?

An Aged Gunslinger - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5

Before we delve too deep into the potentiality of seeing Evil Leapers this season, let's look at the other continuity reveal they snuck into the dialogue.

When Ben points out to Addison that he hasn't slept since leaping, Addison makes the off-hand comment that the leapees have if that makes him feel better.

Double WUT.

One of the most frequently asked questions about the series is what happens to the leapees when Ben is in their body.

Hanging Out in 1879 - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5

A brief tutorial: Season 4 of the original series introduced the Waiting Room to explain that Sam's body remained at Quantum Leap H.Q. Whenever he leaped into a host, their consciousness inhabited his body.

There were instances where Al came to ask the leapees about things Ziggy didn't have records of, so the Waiting Room became a source of information to help Sam in his leap.

Addison's remark implies that the Waiting Room is still a thing but that they're keeping leapees asleep while in Ben's body to prevent them from waking with "memories" of alien abduction or escaping. (Both situations occurred on the original series.)

Of course, this leads one to ask how Adani doesn't know about a Waiting Room and why she didn't demand on a tour immediately.

I assume they'll be addressing that in more depth down the line. Still, a stunner of a reveal if you were paying attention.

Seeing Each Other - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5

Back to Evil Leapers.

A second not-as-brief tutorial: Evil Leapers were introduced on three separate Season 5 episodes in the original series as the antithesis of Sam, Al, and the Quantum Leap project.

Their leaps are controlled by Lothos, an evil computer counterpart to Ziggy. Their mission is to "put wrong what once went right," although there was no discussion of what their greater purpose might be.

Unlike Ziggy (as per Ian's comment to Magic after Adani leaves), Lothos is able to precisely place the leapers in terms of time and hosts and has multiple leapers in play.

Got all that? Yeah, it's a lot to process, and being Quantum Leap, it doesn't help to look too closely at how it all works or why it does what it does.

Beer in Hand - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5

(It was suggested in the latter days of the original series that Lothos was made by the Devil, hence the "evil" missions and the "Evil Leapers," while Ziggy's leaps were God's doing. Not sure if that would play well on today's stage. I suspect we'll get a more earthly motivation for the Evil Leapers this time out.)

But now that we know Ben's been "following" the Evil Leaper (E.L.), can we spot where they've been in the previous leaps?

My guess is that on Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 1, the E.L. was Charlie, whom Ben danced with during the heist and who shot her gun to cause panic in the museum.

On Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 2, my money's on Burke, who opposed Startton's plan to dock with MIR.

Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 3 is trickier. The obvious guess would be Gordon -- who, you'll remember, got back on his feet when Ben/Danny's punch should've knocked him out -- but it could be someone peripheral like the cop who arrested Darryl and Danny.

Playing It Cool - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 4

And on Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 4, it can only be Tammy Lee, El Serpiente. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

Who are your guesses? It's a game of "Spot the Cylon" in the context of Carmen Sandiego! Cast your votes!

Anyhoo, there are a lot of happenings related to the short-arc story going on in Salvation and at H.Q. here. We should probably talk about those.

The Salvation plot trots out many of the most familiar Wild West tropes while stirring in some of our modern sensibilities.

Gunslinger and a Wanted Man - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5

We have the villainous trug and his posse threatening the frightened townsfolk in the name of the faceless railroad company.

Josiah: If you’re the savior, these people are already damned.
Diego/Ben: Look, no one here wants any further violence. Maybe there’s some other arrangement we can work out.
Josiah: Only one way out, partner. Either you convince these folks to pick up sticks and get the hell out of Dodge, or there will be blood.

Pushing our suspension of disbelief to the limit is the incredible diversity and supportive community of Salvation. It's nigh on impossibly idyllic for an 1879 frontier town. In fact, for any town in America. At any time in history.

Even Old Joe is accepted and taken care of in a manner appropriate for his situation.

Utilizing the town's skill sets to pull together the ambush is a perfect homage to '80s underdog campaign montages. Also, The Seven Samurai. And The Magnificent Seven. And To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. Like I said, it's a familiar trope.

Mosey Up to the Bar - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5

My laugh-out-loud moment is Ben delivering the infamously camp A-Team/John "Hannibal" Smith line. (By the way, this led me to check who owns the A-Team IP, and yeah, it's NBC. So now that's a revival series on my wishlist.)

Frankie: Good to go here. Me and the girls gonna get into position.
Ben: I love it when a plan comes together.

Adjacent to saving Salvation, Ben and Addison retracing the steps of their relationship is a believable distraction to the mission.

I like that we get to hear about their first date as well as one of their primary points of disagreement. It will make sense if Ben's pacifism continues to complicate future leaps, especially if Evil Leapers are involved.

Back at H.Q., the theme of being true to yourself involves the team lying (badly) when interrogated by Congresswoman Adani.

Under the Microscope - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5

My personal MVP moment was Addison's "yes, ma'am" -ing her right to the end. Truly, the chef's kiss of curt and professional F-U messaging.

Magic's unique use of Jenn's nuclear option to buy them time to bring Ben back is both intelligent and elegant. Rather than backing Adani into a corner with the information, Magic offers her hope, the same powerful motivator that drives the people of Salvation.

Watch Quantum Leap online, and just TRY to keep your jaw from hitting the floor. Even on second viewing, I couldn't quite believe it.

What was the most shocking moment for you?

Magic Takes a Chance - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5

What are you looking forward to revisiting most -- the Evil Leapers or the Waiting Room? Or something else?

How does Janis fit into all this? HUGE question yet to be answered!

LEAP into our comments with your hottest takeaways and most burning questions!

Salvation Or Bust Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (49 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond 'til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.

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Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

I can’t be here to win a gunfight. To jump back in time to kill someone? That feels wrong. Deeply, cosmically wrong.


Josiah: If you’re the savior, these people are already damned.
Diego/Ben: Look, no one here wants any further violence. Maybe there’s some other arrangement we can work out.
Josiah: Only one way out, partner. Either you convince these folks to pick up sticks and get the hell out of Dodge, or there will be blood.