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Old 08-06-2014, 01:17 PM   #32
Sam Beckett Fan
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This is a leap with some real powerful elements.

We have Al conflicted between his own fate and the irrational but heartfelt desire of his best friend to save his brother's life. I've discussed in regards to M.I.A how Al's lack of disclosure which ultimately caused him to make it impossible for Sam to succeed in saving his marriage and here he's done it again. It is my belief and the final scene of the episode confirms this that had Sam known he would have distributed equal importance to both his brother and best friend. Though I've said this about him in MIA for not throwing Donna in his face and once again here Al shows how amazing a friend he is and how much Sam means to him to put Sam's personal agendas over his own.

Let's talk about Sam's selfishness here. Believe it or not I've come to appreciate this because it gives an otherwise too perfect character a sense of realism which makes him human and believable. The first part of the episode starts us off on that path with Sam openly admitting that his own timeline was the only one allowed to be an exception to the rule. Personally I am considering that this comment could have been more emotional than sincere and Mirror Image seems to support this but I digress.
Here we have that selfishness almost invalidated by the fact that Ziggy doesn't seem to know what he should be doing having made multiple fruitless suggestions from ensuring the success of the unknown mission which turned into the POW rescue to saving Deek from the sapper attack. Which brings me to my next point.

Consider how the first part ended, the nature of Sam's leap out of the Basketball game; his hand reaching out for his brother, yelling his name in desperation to save him only to land him in the exact position to do so. Now add to our brainstorm soup when Al the Bartender reveals that Sam can take control of his leaps in Mirror Image. Something which it's implied that he has actually unconsciously done in many episodes but for obvious reasons I'm going to stick to Vietnam here.

My theory which came to mind watching it just yesterday and combines all the above ingredients together quite nicely (wow lol, all that Food Network I've been watching suddenly took over there XD), is that perhaps a task could not be determined because this was a leap of Sam's choosing not GTFW's. Still though as Al pointed out in the first part Sam isn't able to change what isn't supposed to be changed. So there is another factor at play here that allowed his success. Either Tom's death coincidentally happened to be considered a wrong or Sam was being given an exception, perhaps because of the difficulty of the previous leap.
That does make his success with Beth at the end of Mirror Image difficult to decipher however. Was this another exception? Why? Or was it a wrong that Sam didn't succeed the first time? That's another subject though.

Originally Posted by Ladystoneheart
Did I get it right from the episode? So Sam's brother dies in a rescue mission for Al and the other prisoners in the original history?
Correct, though they didn't know the identities or exactly how many POWs there would be, the mission was to find and rescue up to three or was it four?
In the original timeline when the Chu hoi double crossed them she'd personally shot Tom in the back and two other men on the squad were injured, Maggie had not been brought on the mission.
That day had marked the end of Magic's good luck spell.

Originally Posted by Ladystoneheart
The scene just killed me when it was shown that Al was on the photo. Maggie wins a Pulitzer for this shot so is Al still considered to be MIA then?

I am sorry for all these questions,first time viewer
Not exactly. The rescue mission had been unsuccessful in both timelines. What Maggie's photograph changed was that it sentenced Al to two more years as a POW. Is my information right? He'd originally been repatriated in '73 (stated in MIA) but then at the end of this episode which takes place in '70 he said five years which makes it '75. So the difference would be two years. Anyway how it did so isn't clear but the novel Pulitzer offers an amazing explanation to make that connection, I highly recommend it.

Never apologize for asking questions, questions are what educate us and everyone here at Al's is more than willing to answer and all.

Icon made by the lovely Ladystoneheart with the beautiful screen captures of StrayStar.
Signature made by me.
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Last edited by Sam Beckett Fan; 08-06-2014 at 05:04 PM.
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