Old 06-18-2009, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Obsessions 1997 (Carol Davis)

Discuss "Obsessions" here!
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:52 AM   #2
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Description


Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
Leaping into the body of a winter caretaker at a summer resort, Sam is targeted by a woman claiming to be his wife, who is threatening the Quantum Leap project by trying to sell his story to the tabloids.
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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Publishing Information:

Quantum Leap 13: Obsessions (Quantum Leap)
by Carol Davis
Paperback | Berkley | 1997-03-01
ISBN-10: 1572972416 | ISBN-13: 9781572972414
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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I'm just about finished with this one and I like, don't love it.

In general, she's a good writer, and the storyline is interesting but it doesn't work for QL in my opinion for several reasons:

The story is too focused on the people at the Project and not enough on Sam and what he is doing.

Sam didn't hang out in bars and he didn't jump into bed with women he had just met (that would have been more Al's style). Sam is a lot more negative here than he should have been too. He got frustrated sometimes but he always snapped out of it.

Al was out of character...He was rough around the edges and got frustrated sometimes but he didn't go totally crazy when he was dealing with people. And he didn't call Donna "honey" or "sweetie". Again, there's too much about the Project.

I'm not really clear about exactly what it is that Stephanie is supposed to want and/or what is motivating her, but then I haven't finished the book yet. Maybe it will be more clear closer to the end.

I like the background on Donna and how she was missing Sam, but again, that wasn't really what QL was about.

It's just my take and she is a good writer, but I probably won't be reading this one again. It can be pretty much a matter of personal preference.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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Sam didn't hang out in bars and he didn't jump into bed with women he had just met (that would have been more Al's style). Sam is a lot more negative here than he should have been too. He got frustrated sometimes but he always snapped out of it.
That does sound really off. Not that Sam didn't have his fair share of women throughout the series -- he was a boy scout not a monk -- but that seems really excessive. It's highlighted several times throughout the series that Sam had a much more serious attitude about that than Al, who was more casual. And an important component of Sam's character is he was someone with enough of a moral compass that even though the opportunity and temptation was there many times he didn't take advantage of his situation and the women he did get intimately involved with on leaps were women he genuinely had feelings for and cared about.

I'm still trying to get to the books I have lol. So if I read this one it won't be for a while.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:27 PM   #6
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This was Donna, and he did marry her, so it wasn't a one night stand thing...But it was still out of character. And he met Donna in college, not in a bar.

Yeah, at least he had a sense of caring about the women he got involved with, and he didn't sleep around indiscriminately.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:51 PM   #7
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I was thinking of the Star Crossed episode. He didn't go to school with Donna. He didn't meet Donna until later, but they didn't meet at a bar.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:32 PM   #8
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Honestly I am disappointed that this is the same author who wrote the amazing Mirror's Edge. It doesn't even seem so as the writing is just so different, much sloppier.

The project story with the Keller woman wasn't exactly believable. Though the character herself and her assumably real relationship with Sam despite the marriage being a lie provided an interesting possibility it just seemed a bit over the top, honestly I'm not sure I even understood her motive.
Though the portrayal of Donna and Al's relationship with her in response to the situation is something I must feel some sentiment for as it's pretty much exactly how I used to write her back in around 2009 when my bestie and I essentially RPed QL. Most of said portrayals I now find ridiculous and I'm about half and half about Davis' version.

What bothered me the most the portrayal of Sam, it was just...horrible.
While reading the flashback scene of how he met and first proposed to Donna I felt...like I wasn't reading a Quantum Leap novel, the character just wasn't Sam to me.
The notion that he'd met and picked her up in a bar is clear evidence of someone who doesn't know the show or the character which is why it bothers me so much that it's this particular author. Mirror's Edge shows otherwise which perhaps is her improvement after receiving similar criticisms from professionals. Mirror's Edge was after all the last published novel in the series and thus this came first. If so it was a massive improvement from this junk. So good on her.

MichelleD, Sam did not meet Donna in College, the Star Crossed episode clearly shows this. She was a student at Lawrence at the time of the leap, Sam as is clearly pointed out more than once throughout the series went to MIT and since this was before she'd even met the first guy she was engaged to this was at least a good five years before she met Sam.
He met her at Star Bright I somehow thought. Does he mention that to Al perhaps in Star Crossed?

Then the entire thing where he slept with her the same night and proposed to her the next morning was the only plausible scene since Sam has revealed in I believe it was Hurricane that he'd marry the right woman after a couple of hours. It however still didn't feel like Sam to me, somehow it still didn't deliver to me. It seemed more like an Al one night stand thing.

His shyness around Donna was also heavily exaggerated. We're supposed to believe that Donna is the love of his life though The Leap Back was not able to back that up in their less than 45 minutes screen time. So he would be a lot more open with her than with everyone else.

Some amusing angles however was how Sam ended up solving the project's issue with Keller woman himself AS WELL AS completing his leap all in one action and how Weitzman's daughter had a crush on Sam. XD

Speaking of Weitzman, the angle that he secretly had a leap he was hoping for was quite interesting but she didn't clarify the details at all.

So no it wasn't the best novel in the series.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:51 PM   #9
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He met her at Star Bright I somehow thought. Does he mention that to Al perhaps in Star Crossed?
You are correct. In Star Crossed when they first enter the Rathskellar Sam is watching young Donna work and reminiscing to Al about how they met at Star Bright when she was about to leave.

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His shyness around Donna was also heavily exaggerated. We're supposed to believe that Donna is the love of his life though The Leap Back was not able to back that up in their less than 45 minutes screen time. So he would be a lot more open with her than with everyone else.
Interesting, because from what you've described, in the same novel he meets her in a bar and has sex with her that night. Which seems to contradict him being extremely shy with her. And I agree that seems out of character. I also agree with you that he would be open with Donna. I find Sam to be pretty open with people in general, so certainly he would be moreso with a woman he's intimate with, particularly the love of his life (if we accept that she is the love of his life - in my opinion the show's writers tell us this but never show it (and even refute it) ).

Admittedly I haven't read this novel yet, so my comments about it are just based on the descriptions I've read here.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by blue enigma
You are correct. In Star Crossed when they first enter the Rathskellar Sam is watching young Donna work and reminiscing to Al about how they met at Star Bright when she was about to leave.
Thank you for the confirmation.

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Interesting, because from what you've described, in the same novel he meets her in a bar and has sex with her that night. Which seems to contradict him being extremely shy with her
Correct, and then in another flashback he's shown as uncomfortable when she tries to secretly steer into a conversation about his previous relationships by sharing her first engagement with him. He wouldn't budge and the level of discomfort almost resembled PTSD.

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Originally Posted by blue enigma
I find Sam to be pretty open with people in general
This is true, Sam is shown to be a heart on his sleeve kind of man.

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Originally Posted by blue enigma
(if we accept that she is the love of his life - in my opinion the show's writers tell us this but never show it (and even refute it) ).
Agreed, The Leap Back needed to be a two part episode to fully give us a sense of their relationship and intimacy. Though we get a strong sense of Beth being the love of Al's life in MIA in the usual 45 minutes. So perhaps there were just missed opportunities here or that the interest of the writer just wasn't there.

It's a very unstable concept because it's true, it's built up to a point and then knocked down.
The whole Star Crossed episode where you can his side of it then in his introduction to The Right Hand of God, he actually says:
"Leaping about in time can have it's advantages, like reuniting the love of my life with her father..."
Then we have The Leap Back confirming the success of Star Crossed.

Then suddenly it is assumably refuted; Deborah Pratt was said to have called it her least favorite episode for reasons regarding the project's portrayal or Sam being sent home or something like that but because she regretted Donna.
So it's safe to assume that she'd mentally deleted Donna when she wrote the Trilogy Episodes.

You're not missing much by not reading this particular novel trust me.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:57 PM   #11
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Agreed, The Leap Back needed to be a two part episode to fully give us a sense of their relationship and intimacy. Though we get a strong sense of Beth being the love of Al's life in MIA in the usual 45 minutes. So perhaps there were just missed opportunities here or that the interest of the writer just wasn't there.
True, part of it is that The Leap Back just wasn't fleshed out enough in the 45 minutes they had, especially compared with how MIA was able to drive the point home that Beth was it for Al in the same amount of time. But even beyond those two individual episodes, throughout the series there's a difference in the way the two relationships are realized.

We never forget that Beth was Al's true love. She's a part of him. Whenever he talks about his other four ex-wives he messes up the order, mixes up their names, etc., but he never makes those mistakes with Beth. And in the Star Light, Star Bright episode when Sam, under the influence of truth serum, is giving his real name and talking about Quantum Leap, Al calls out to Gooshie that if he disappears from existence he wants to leave everything to his first wife Beth - which is really something when you think about how divorced people usually behave when it comes to property, they don't want their ex to have anything.

Sam doesn't even remember Donna. And even though, as she reveals in MIA, Beth came third after flying and the Navy, Donna doesn't even come in third with Sam. She's somewhere at the bottom after Project Quantum Leap, Al and the rest of the world.

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It's a very unstable concept because it's true, it's built up to a point and then knocked down. The whole Star Crossed episode where you can his side of it then in his introduction to The Right Hand of God, he actually says: "Leaping about in time can have it's advantages, like reuniting the love of my life with her father..." Then we have The Leap Back confirming the success of Star Crossed.
Yep. They didn't follow through with it. Sam didn't remember Donna after the opening of The Right Hand of God, not until The Leap Back, which has always bothered me because there are many things Sam does remember, even without Al reminding him. He also fell in love with other women very easily. The Trilogy is the most extreme and obvious example, but even way before that, Sam pretty regularly had feelings for women in leaps, even as early as Season 1 post Star Crossed (Alison in Play It Again, Seymour for example). And part of that can be rationalized as the mind-merge with the leapee, so the feelings he had were partly the leapee's, not entirely his - but it still gets kind of messy.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:05 AM   #12
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We never forget that Beth was Al's true love. She's a part of him. Whenever he talks about his other four ex-wives he messes up the order, mixes up their names, etc., but he never makes those mistakes with Beth. And in the Star Light, Star Bright episode when Sam, under the influence of truth serum, is giving his real name and talking about Quantum Leap, Al calls out to Gooshie that if he disappears from existence he wants to leave everything to his first wife Beth - which is really something when you think about how divorced people usually behave when it comes to property, they don't want their ex to have anything.
Brilliant points. These are the types of little tidbits we never get from Sam though it would have been entirely possible even with his having no memory of her as they could use that he remembers the original timeline when she'd stood him up at the alter.

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Originally Posted by blue enigma
Yep. They didn't follow through with it. Sam didn't remember Donna after the opening of The Right Hand of God, not until The Leap Back, which has always bothered me because there are many things Sam does remember, even without Al reminding him. He also fell in love with other women very easily. The Trilogy is the most extreme and obvious example, but even way before that, Sam pretty regularly had feelings for women in leaps, even as early as Season 1 post Star Crossed (Alison in Play It Again, Seymour for example). And part of that can be rationalized as the mind-merge with the leapee, so the feelings he had were partly the leapee's, not entirely his - but it still gets kind of messy.
It's established that Sam's memory is scrambled differently with each leap, we see this in regards to his simo-leaping with Al. At the end of The Leap Back Al tells Donna that Sam doesn't remember Simo-Leaping with him let alone her, in Dreams he obviously does as he himself brings it up when theorizing mind-merging to Al, then in LHO if memory serves he once again does not remember it when Al uses it to try to explain their attempt to leap his neurons and masons to him.

Thus it's quite possible that he could remember who Donna is without remembering that he'd manipulated events so that he was married to her.

We actually see this concept used with Tom.
In Rebel Without a Clue Sam seems to struggle with whether or not Tom had died in Vietnam. Later you could tell by his expression that he was getting the confirmation he'd been looking for in Rebel... by the elderly couple in The Promised Land who mention the Becketts having a son who'd just returned from Vietnam.
It's evident that initially his memory hadn't altered after what he'd changed in the Magic Williams leap then in Rebel... the new version was triggered but seemed unable to surface completely.

So it's quite evident that there was simply a lack of a lot of interest in Donna by the writers even before The Leap Back when Pratt decided to mentally delete her. Looking at it this way thank to you Blue, there were a ton of missed opportunities to establish her as the love of Sam's life.
Almost as though the whole Star Crossed thing had been intended simply as an excuse to introduce the no effecting his personal timeline rule but had accidentally ended up trapping themselves when they actually had Sam go through with his personal agenda.

Backtracking for a moment to the tidbits you pointed out that remind us that Beth was a different love for Al, The line in Starlight, Starbright was also quite interesting considering it had been almost 50 years since he'd seen Beth. If Pulitzer were canon, she wasn't even implied to have shown any interest in seeing him when he got home from Vietnam.

On another point made, there are certainly a lot of leaps where the attraction is completely Sam's. Recall Nicole in Catch a Falling Star and Tamlyn in Temptation Eyes who were both quite personal love interests unrelated to the leaps. Nicole in particular also causes an angle of Donna not being entirely believable though it's Scott's belief that she understands what's required of Sam out there and doesn't hold anything against him. Nicole seemed like something that should have stung her however as she was his own boyhood crush. Far more intament a feeling than someone in a relationship with the leapee (though Nicole did happen to also have a romantic past with the leapee so perhaps Donna was blind to the fact that Sam was acting for himself).

Let's look at Diane McBride in Honeymoon Express, you could tell that she'd aroused him when he gave up his bit where he'd tried to reveal himself to her and his voice became unfocused as he called himself by the leapee's name and announced he was about to have sex with the most beautiful woman.
He was also about to at the end when he leaped.
"Either leap me out of here or look the other way."

In any cause other than Nicole and Tamlyn however you can argue that the leapee could be in some control even if it's not evident.

Abigail is a little of both. While she is the strongest example of Sam having feelings for someone in a leap she was also the most pronounced example of the leapee being in control of those feelings regardless of the fact that what portion of the feelings had been Sam's dominated the leapee halfway through the episode.

Sorry I've steered us off topic, I have a bad habit of that. >_<
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