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TheLeaper 06-21-2016 07:27 PM

That's a major cop out to me: an offscreen leap erased Donna? Sorry I don't buy it.

Sam Beckett Fan 06-28-2016 03:59 AM

Indeed, it literally is a cop out on Pratt's part because she erased Donna on her own terms but while the off-screen leap rubber-band effect is reaching, it's plausible. Sam's presence in a given time causes everything and the lives of everyone around him extending to the project to become hair-splittingly volatile. Every single choice he makes down to the smallest of them has the potential to change something and that something becomes everything.

Ever hear of the butterfly effect?
It has been said something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world. - Chaos Theory
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

blue enigma 06-28-2016 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 62119)
Sam's presence in a given time causes everything and the lives of everyone around him extending to the project to become hair-splittingly volatile. Every single choice he makes down to the smallest of them has the potential to change something and that something becomes everything.

Including his own life, which may account for the Swiss cheese effect. If Sam's own life is potentially in flux every time he's displaced in time, it makes sense that he can't remember things -- those things may be changing or already changed even as he's trying to remember them.

TheLeaper 08-05-2016 09:00 AM

I think the writers forgot that leaping takes time. How else to explain Al's knowing the date Sam is in while in the Imaging Chamber? Even with the "one of my ex-wives is suing me today" bit, the leap would have had to be instantaneous for Al to be correct about the date.

Other than the pilot, are there any other episodes that imply that leaping is not instantaneous?

Also, another thought about this episode and "Mirror Image"...If Sam is leaping himself around and his intention actually was to make the world a better place and to put right was once went wrong, wouldn't he remember that in this episode? In this episode, Sam is reacting like someone relieved to be home, having woken up from a bad dream.

Lightning McQueenie 08-05-2016 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLeaper (Post 62169)
I think the writers forgot that leaping takes time. How else to explain Al's knowing the date Sam is in while in the Imaging Chamber? Even with the "one of my ex-wives is suing me today" bit, the leap would have had to be instantaneous for Al to be correct about the date.

Other than the pilot, are there any other episodes that imply that leaping is not instantaneous?

Also, another thought about this episode and "Mirror Image"...If Sam is leaping himself around and his intention actually was to make the world a better place and to put right was once went wrong, wouldn't he remember that in this episode? In this episode, Sam is reacting like someone relieved to be home, having woken up from a bad dream.

Leaping from "Black on White on Fire" where Sam is badly beaten, bloody and bruised, to "The Great Spontini" where he is completely healed. Time must have passed to allow him to heal...

As for Sam's intentions - maybe he subconsciously thought that Al being out there doing some good was enough (especially while he was helping him as the hologram).

TheLeaper 08-13-2016 07:56 PM

Leaping Sam seemed to be an elaborate process in this episode. Yet the pilot episode seems to suggest Sam kept without telling anyone. How else to explain Gooshie's frantic call to Al in that episode.

TheLeaper 08-15-2016 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by leonni (Post 31207)

I know the Leap Back was arrived at out of marital squabble but let's leave that aside for a moment.

Anyone wanna elaborate on what he meant by this?

blue enigma 08-15-2016 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLeaper (Post 62195)
Anyone wanna elaborate on what he meant by this?

Bellisario and Pratt were on the verge of splitting up around this time. There were rumors among fans that Bellisario intentionally messed with the character that Pratt created out of spite. I'm not sure how accurate that is -- I only know about it via hearsay.

TheLeaper 08-15-2016 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue enigma (Post 62196)
Bellisario and Pratt were on the verge of splitting up around this time. There were rumors among fans that Bellisario intentionally messed with the character that Pratt created out of spite. I'm not sure how accurate that is -- I only know about it via hearsay.

It would explain why she refused to acknowledge the marriage after this episode ...

Sam Beckett Fan 11-14-2016 03:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLeaper (Post 62169)
Other than the pilot, are there any other episodes that imply that leaping is not instantaneous?

Directly, no, however, I concur with this statement:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 62172)
Leaping from "Black on White on Fire" where Sam is badly beaten, bloody and bruised, to "The Great Spontini" where he is completely healed. Time must have passed to allow him to heal...

That he is able to go from one leap to another without maintaining any prospective injury establishes that there must be an in-between state in which he is healed or the fact that he was injured erased.

Lightning and I actually discussed a theory that Billy Jean's baby in '8 1/2 Months' most sensibly remained in a void between the two time periods since Billy Jean's womb was found to be empty and clearly Sam cannot carry it (that he felt the sensations of carrying it were obviously a form of mind-merging, although mind-merging wasn't officially discovered yet this is not the only premature case of it).

Tina actually suggests the exact same theory using a bullet in the novel 'Foreknowledge'.

It's also arguable that 'Mirror Image' occurred in Sam's subconscious while he was in between leaps given the strange circumstances.

From Sam's perspective, however, it seems to appear instantaneous.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue_enigma
Bellisario and Pratt were on the verge of splitting up around this time. There were rumors among fans that Bellisario intentionally messed with the character that Pratt created out of spite. I'm not sure how accurate that is -- I only know about it via hearsay.

This is new information to me, interesting.
Though I'm not seeing how that supposed rumor fits with the fact that it was Pratt that didn't appreciate Donna being reacknowledged in a form that made Sam's inappropriate feat in 'Star-Crossed' successful in this episode (among other things) and had tried to use Trilogy to justify disregarding that.

blue enigma 11-14-2016 03:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 62223)
This is new information to me, interesting.
Though I'm not seeing how that supposed rumor fits with the fact that it was Pratt that didn't appreciate Donna being reacknowledged in a form that made Sam's inappropriate feat in 'Star-Crossed' successful in this episode (among other things) and had tried to use Trilogy to justify disregarding that.

This was used as a reason for why Bellisario messed with her character, that he was being spiteful because of the way Donna is presented in this episode, which along with the writing of Sam's treatment of her is pretty hateful toward women and wives. I think Debra Pratt ended up disregarding it with Trilogy because she was pissed about what he did with her character (who was not originally written as an uncaring, terrible monster) and she just wanted to forget it. As feldon pointed out in either this thread or one of the other threads, this show (like other shows that were created and aired around this time) was syndicated and wasn't written with a lot of continuity in mind so it could be aired in any order, whether it was first run or re-runs -- so it was easy for Pratt to just ignore any continuity with this episode and write what she wanted, because there wasn't the emphasis on it in TV shows like there is now.

It's more about the treatment of Pratt's original character than about Sam's change being successful. I'm not sure what Pratt had in mind as whether this should've been the outcome.

Lightning McQueenie 11-15-2016 08:34 PM

Some of these posts are becoming potentially defamatory. Please try to keep the conversation on topic without bringing the characters of real people into question.

On the subject of the Donna character, it could definitely have been handled better, but I do think that her objection to Sam leaping again was understandable (though with a poor choice of words), and we can give Sam a "hall pass" for his future actions with Tamlyn and Abigail, considering that canonically, she has made it clear that she wants Sam to be able to complete his life's work.

TheLeaper 12-16-2016 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 62225)

On the subject of the Donna character, it could definitely have been handled better, but I do think that her objection to Sam leaping again was understandable (though with a poor choice of words), and we can give Sam a "hall pass" for his future actions with Tamlyn and Abigail, considering that canonically, she has made it clear that she wants Sam to be able to complete his life's work.

I never understood how Donna was "supposed to react" to Sam leaving again mere hours of a four year absence. I would have been pissed too, especially since she had reasonable objections on why Sam couldn't leap to 1945 and he had lame technobabble responses in return. I would have been like "Really? That's what your subconscious was working on? Not leaping home but targeted leaping".

If anything, this episode ruins Sam and Al's character. Sam abandons his wife and does it so easily. Al's first reaction on getting home was wanting to get to bed with Tina, not "What happened? Where's Sam?" Speaking of which, again with the instantaneous leaping...Sam immediately ends up in 1945 and Al immediately walks out of the Imaging Chamber moments after Sam leaped out.

blue enigma 12-16-2016 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLeaper (Post 62235)
I never understood how Donna was "supposed to react" to Sam leaving again mere hours of a four year absence. I would have been pissed too, especially since she had reasonable objections on why Sam couldn't leap to 1945 and he had lame technobabble responses in return. I would have been like "Really? That's what your subconscious was working on? Not leaping home but targeted leaping".

Exactly. Plus he only explains his reasons when she follows him around and presses him. At first he doesn't even talk to her. It really does make him look pretty lousy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLeaper (Post 62235)
If anything, this episode ruins Sam and Al's character. Sam abandons his wife and does it so easily. Al's first reaction on getting home was wanting to get to bed with Tina, not "What happened? Where's Sam?"

Good point. Once you start looking closely at this episode there are so many problems with it.

Sam Beckett Fan 03-30-2017 05:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheLeaper
I would have been like "Really? That's what your subconscious was working on? Not leaping home but targeted leaping".

Those two things are one and the same because if Sam mastered targeted leaping than he could choose to leap home.

When Al the bartender convinced Sam that he'd always had to option to return home but had to accept control of his own destiny to unlock access to it, he was establishing targeted leaping.

Sam leaping into Beth's living room was targeted leaping.

It just wasn't how he'd had it in mind here.

I found his "part of me is Al" logic sound. It was proven that he and Al had exchanged neurons and mesons in the simul-leap. Perhaps it was a stretch, but it made sense.

Now Sam's apparent intent on leaping into 1945 without a word to Donna even in spite of her breathing down his neck has no validity and was purely cold and inconsiderate.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue_enigma
Once you start looking closely at this episode there are so many problems with it.

I concur.
My perspective has morphed quite dramatically upon this discussion prompting me to notice the easily overlooked details that establish how awful the Sam/Donna relationship is.

Al's behavior upon his return, however, still hadn't occurred to me. That's a good point.
It was quite OOC that his initial reaction wasn't to demand an explanation and a status report on Sam. Or at the very least to demand to know if Suzanne was alright.

Lightning McQueenie 03-31-2017 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 62309)
Those two things are one and the same because if Sam mastered targeted leaping than he could choose to leap home.

When Al the bartender convinced Sam that he'd always had to option to return home but had to accept control of his own destiny to unlock access to it, he was establishing targeted leaping.

Sam leaping into Beth's living room was targeted leaping.

It just wasn't how he'd had it in mind here.

I found his "part of me is Al" logic sound. It was proven that he and Al had exchanged neurons and mesons in the simul-leap. Perhaps it was a stretch, but it made sense.

Now Sam's apparent intent on leaping into 1945 without a word to Donna even in spite of her breathing down his neck has no validity and was purely cold and inconsiderate.



I concur.
My perspective has morphed quite dramatically upon this discussion prompting me to notice the easily overlooked details that establish how awful the Sam/Donna relationship is.

Al's behavior upon his return, however, still hadn't occurred to me. That's a good point.
It was quite OOC that his initial reaction wasn't to demand an explanation and a status report on Sam. Or at the very least to demand to know if Suzanne was alright.

I don't know if it's THAT out of character... He did love Tina and was extremely happy to be reunited with her. He also probably swiss-cheesed during the leap, meaning he probably didn't remember everything or even anything from 1945 or even understand why he was in the Imaging Chamber...

Sam Beckett Fan 04-07-2017 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 62310)
I don't know if it's THAT out of character... He did love Tina and was extremely happy to be reunited with her. He also probably swiss-cheesed during the leap, meaning he probably didn't remember everything or even anything from 1945 or even understand why he was in the Imaging Chamber...

Except that Sam is the one person he puts before women, he admits as much in 'The Color of Truth'.
Sam: Is sex all you ever think about?
Al: When I'm not pulling you out of the fire, yes.

The exception is Beth.

The swiss-cheesing regarding the 1945 leap, I concede is valid since he did refer to Suzanne as "that girl Suzanne" in the last scene with Donna.

feldon30 04-07-2017 07:42 PM

If it can be done tactfully, I think a broad discussion about the character of Donna can include the motivations going on behind the scenes. It's no secret that Don threw a monkey wrench (spanner?) into Deborah Pratt's plans for the Trilogy story.

Sam Beckett Fan 04-11-2017 02:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by feldon30 (Post 62314)
If it can be done tactfully, I think a broad discussion about the character of Donna can include the motivations going on behind the scenes. It's no secret that Don threw a monkey wrench (spanner?) into Deborah Pratt's plans for the Trilogy story.

I concur.

The motivation behind the characterizations can be an important factor in understanding a character and we the fans are not responsible for the facts of this matter being unpleasant.

As far as I've seen no one has thus far judged the personal negative influence behind the Sam/Donna relationship in this episode.

IMO, although Sam's contributing behavior was somewhat OOC for a man who had been established to be romantic, that he was more attentive to PQL than his marriage is quite an adequate portrayal when you consider 'Mirror Image', that ultimately he valued leaping more than home and his own life.

It also kind of works with Sam's in-leap sexual encounters.

That he was inconsiderate of Donna in the climax of this episode goes hand and hand with how he didn't consider his own marital status with Diane McBride (his reluctance was all about her marriage, his only reservation was that he'd be taking advantage of her ignorance) and even his brief musing of his home life in 'Disco Inferno' which reflexively included a dog rather than a spouse or children.
This suggests that he could still forget to consider her even with his memory of her intact.
I realize that this paints a sh***y picture of Sam but it's rational.

Personally, however, I've become quite comfortable with the head-canon that his marriage to Donna was rubber-banded sometime between this episode and 'Temptation Eyes'.

blue enigma 04-13-2017 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 62315)
Personally, however, I've become quite comfortable with the head-canon that his marriage to Donna was rubber-banded sometime between this episode and 'Temptation Eyes'.

Agreed, and with a time travel show there's lots of leeway for that.

Lightning McQueenie 04-14-2017 02:20 AM

Personally I think that Sam's relationship with Donna must have been "good enough" in the eyes of God to justify the fact that she stuck around. I also think that if it really was intended for the Donna situation to be erased, then it would actually be addressed in the show...

Sam Beckett Fan 08-02-2018 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 62318)
Personally I think that Sam's relationship with Donna must have been "good enough" in the eyes of God to justify the fact that she stuck around. I also think that if it really was intended for the Donna situation to be erased, then it would actually be addressed in the show...

I disagree considering the creation of the marriage was never addressed unless Al's subtle slip in 'Machiko' counts and I don't believe it does because I believe I remember being told that Pratt wanted the question of whether or not Sam's inappropriate side-quest in 'Star-Crossed' worked left unanswered.
How can a rubber-banding of the marriage be addressed when to Sam it had never been in the first place because he doesn't remember?

chris-oates 09-23-2019 11:52 AM

Kicking off the fourth season with a bang, The Leap Back is extremely close to reaching my top 10 episodes of all time.

After the climatic events of the previous episode, Sam and Al switch places. Finally, Sam has made it home!... Of course, because this is the season premiere, we know that the status quo will be resumed before the episode is out, but even so, I think this is one of the most touching and funniest episodes in the whole series.

The first part of the episode is probably my favourite. I love that we're back in the 40's because it's a time we never get to see at all in QL. I also love seeing Sam reacting to everything as a hologram and just generally having run. The whole part in the diner is great, too. And honestly, the dialog here between Sam and Al (largely thanks to each absorbing some of the others traits) is pure gold at times. Really funny stuff.

The main bulk and core of this episode really takes place at Project Quantum Leap in the present day. I cherish these moments because we rarely get to even have a glimpse at the present day and the project, so I always like it when we get to see it. I also loved Deborah Pratt as Ziggy. Sensual, witty, sassy. Everything you could wish for in a hybrid computer, really. And of course...it was great to see Donna again. Yes, I would have liked Teri Hatcher to come back, but I do still like Mimi Kuzyk in the role. I just wish we'd get a mention of her again in the series. I hate how she's completely ignored by both Deborah and Don in the Trilogy episodes and Mirror Image.

There are some negative impacts in this episode. First of all, the whole stuff with the leapee and his lost love are basically background filler, really. I think more could have been done there to try and sell the relationship between them. Another thing that I class as a drawback...is the missed potential. I really think this episode could have been a two or three parter. I think they were too quick in putting Sam and Al back in their respective places. I really think there was potential for Sam to remain the observer for a while.

My rating. Excellent. A truly tremendous start to the fourth season. Another great episode from the Don himself.


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