Old 09-06-2005, 05:22 PM   #1
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Smile Shock Theater

Hi there leapers I have some thoughts on Shock Theater.

I understand that when Sam Leaped in as Sam Beeterman, they gave him shock treatment leaving his already swiss-cheese brain an empty hole.
What I was thinking was it's 1954 and most doctors have not seen such a case as this. How much or rather what kind of impact did Sam's leap have on medical history? or for the matter Sam Beeterman?
We don't know what happens to Mr Beeterman after Sam Beckett leaps out? I also wonder if the doctors has seen a case as "messed up" as this?

My other thoughts are I never heard any where else that when Sam leaps into peoples lives that he takes on a bit of their ego? Up untill now any way.
What power is Al talking about? What kind of "power" is Al using?
As we already know Al and Sam can see and hear each other because of their brain waves. So why then does Al keep fading in and out I don't get it? does that mean that Sam is losing himself?

Ok last but not least...
Was it the shock or the lightening that got Sam and Al to leap?

I have not seen the next show after this, so if my Questions are Anwersed there then please forgive me.


Thanks Julie
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Old 09-06-2005, 10:52 PM   #2
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what I was thinking was it's 1954 and most doctors have not seen shuch a case has this. How much or rather what kind of impacked did Sam's leap have on medical history? or for the mater Sam Beeterman?
Other than Tibby, it was never revealed what happened to Sam Bederman, or even anyone else at Havenwell, for that matter, but it probably didn't have much of an impact on medical history. I could take a guess, though, that both Butch and Nurse Chatham were fired and/or faced disciplinary action. I think toward the end, Dr. Masters was too preoccupied with the fact that Butch had went against his orders. I think he also came to the realization that the first shock treatment was in fact the "traumatic experience" that Bederman suffered from. Plus, once Sam leaped out, all traces of "Sam Bederman's" Multiple Personality Disorder would have been gone. The doctors would have dismissed Bederman's case as a fluke or a unique situation brought upon by the shock treatment and would have no way to study the "future" aspect of the personalities any further. But, that's just my theory.

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My other thoughts are I never eared any where else that when Sam leaps into peoples live that he takes on a bit of thier ego? Up untill now when way.
Up until that point, no, Sam had never actually taken on any of his host's attributes or personality traits to my knowledge. Although after the next episode ("The Leap Back"), he did occasionally "intermingle" with his host from time to time, especially in Season 5. Quite possibly because his and Al's brainwaves got a bit mixed up...

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what power is Al talking about? What kind of "power" is Al useing? As we ready know Al and Sam can see and hear each other because of thier brain waves. So why then does Al keep fading in and out I don't get it? does that mean that Sam is loseing himself?
The government allocates a large, albeit limited, amount of power and energy to keep Project Quantum Leap up-and-running. The Accelerator is basically a large modified nuclear reactor, and the Imaging Chamber uses holographic technology to link Sam and Al's brainwaves across time. Ziggy works like any other computer would: it needs power to keep running. With Ziggy, however, a tremendous amount of power is required to keep that link between Sam and Al active (via the Imaging Chamber), in addition to the tremendous amount of power needed to harness a nuclear accelerator safely (hence why Al always needs to convince the Committee to provide all of those billions of dollars of funding every year). Without that funding from the government, PQL is dead and Sam would be lost in time forever.

However, that link only works provided that Sam's brainwaves are functioning properly. Al can only lock onto Sam in whatever time period that Ziggy detects his brainwave patterns to be in. The handlink is what allows Ziggy to "connect" Sam's neurons and mesons with Al's. Since Sam's brainwaves were scrambled from the shock treatment, it required a lot more power to keep the link up as long as possible. The fading in and out was a side-effect of the power drain; kind of like how a light bulb grows dimmer and dimmer and starts to flicker before it finally dies out.

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Was it the shock or the lighting the got Sam and Al to leap?
It was both. Sam couldn't leap until the shock treatment restored his ego; and the reason why Al leaped as well was because lightning struck at exactly the same time that Sam leaped in the past, causing both of them to switch places, or "simo-leap" as it was described in "The Leap Back." Basically, in order for them to switch places, they would have both had to have either A) been struck by lightning, or B) been at ground zero during an atomic detonation. The lightning strike in the past was misread by Ziggy as a catastrophic collapse of the radium accelerator ring surrounding the Imaging Chamber, which in turn sealed it off and caused a huge power surge.

The way I interpret it is that the electro-magnetic force of the lightning bolt in 1954 interfered with Al's holographic transmission and "struck" it just as Sam leaped, causing both ends of Ziggy's link to be reversed. (Al's holographic image from the future became a physical form in the past, while Sam's physical form in the past became a holographic image from the future.) Maybe someone else can explain it better. My brain is fried right now.

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Old 09-07-2005, 12:43 AM   #3
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I think you explained it perfectly, Damon. I remember you explaining the logistics behind this episode way back when I first joined the board, but was still never really sure how exactly the lightning bolt in 1954 was able to "strike" Al in 1997 (the year in that particular episode). That electro-magnetic effect satisfies me.

And I don't mean to give anything away to Julie concerning "The Leap Back," but I happen to have some issues with the logistics of that episode, which I feel can't really hurt to bring up even in a thread about "Shock Theater."

I know that the simo-leap duplicated Sam Bederman's clothes resulting in Sam Beckett still being able to have them in the Imaging Chamber. But that always bugged me because this means that either Sam's Fermi Suit or the clothes Al was wearing in "Shock Theater" became disintigrated and vanished completely. If I had written the episode keeping the basic idea of Sam and Al switching places intact, what makes sense to me is:

Sam appears in the Imaging Chamber with his body being in the same position he departed 1954 from, only wearing his Fermi Suit. He'd be in the same position because he is not taking the position of any leapee or Al, just his own.

Tom Jarrett appears in the Waiting Room in Al's clothes from "Shock Theater" and with the handlink.

Al appears in 1945 only without the handlink and Sam Bederman returns to 1954 in the hospital clothes.

But, yes, I know, it's just a TV show. And the logistics of the episode as it was written were necessary as a plot device.
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:56 AM   #4
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One has to wonder now, though, just exactly how Sam is able to continue leaping throughout the series after his initial leap in the Accelerator. I know God, Fate or Time (or Sam himself) is supposedly responsible for his quantum leaping, but it seems that the "unknown force" utilizes the Project's technology to send Sam to any given leap.

What I'm wondering here is if it's technically even possible for Sam to ever leap at all without the constant use of the Accelerator each time? GFT "pulls" Sam out of any given leap when the mission is completed, but is there a logical way for particles to be accelerated to cause a leap? It would seem more logical for the Project to place every leapee in the Accelerator Chamber and leap them back into Sam, where GFT can then intervene and send Sam somewhere else rather than back home.
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Old 09-07-2005, 12:02 PM   #5
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As I thought I made clear above, I would insist on logic basically because the entire series needed a basis of logic except for "Mirror Image." Wasn't it you who has said that even in a fictional story, there are elements that should make sense in the real world, or something to that effect? Well, I would agree. We have the series that attempts to make logical sense of Sam's time-traveling and then we have "Mirror Image" that throws it all out the window.

All I'm merely trying to do is balance sense in a fictional story with the idea of a "higher power" which does not make logical sense. At the risk of being lectured why this isn't possible, I'd like to explore the possibility that the Project's technology is responsible for the chain reaction of leaps, and, as the series suggests, GFT decides where Sam goes and who he'll help, using the technology Sam created. After all, if GFT can assure that the leaping continues, wouldn't "He" or "it" not even need Sam to build the Project in the first place?
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:44 PM   #6
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Cool Brain waves

Wow! I never thought I would get this many free backs, but I am sooooo delighted!
You all have made me think of things I had not thought of before.
As Chris said I know that this is just T.V. show. But would have to go with trying to find the logic and how it makes sense in the real world.

As I lean new things about QL I can see just how clouse it does fit in the real world.

But I guess as the new comer I liked to know how do brain waves work? Meaning who is it possible for Al and Sam to do what they do? and Ya I do realize it is just a T.V. show. but it would be cool it was really possible :-)
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:58 PM   #7
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In one of the novels, it's said that they put part of a small piece of Al's brain and a small piece of Sam's into Ziggy so she can phync the brainwaves.

And as far as the technology side, maybe the continious leaping is a side effect of stepping into the Accelorator due to the lingering effects of radiation. Sam would have had to radiate himself in the Nuclear Accelorator Chamber. Maybe, just maybe, the lingering effects would be the cause of the leaps. When Sam's subconscious is satisfied that he has helped for the better, he subconsciously allows the leaping effect to take place
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:30 AM   #8
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That was my whole point...the only reason that the project would need to have been built and Sam would need to step into the accelerator from the viewpoint of GFTW would be that Sam made the absolute free will decision..."yes, I'm willing to take a leap into the void" and therefore accepted the consequences. There was a belief on Sam's part of what that would mean but (as often happens when we take that leap in our own lives) things don't work out quite the way he foresaw they would have. How often do we as individuals take our own "leap of faith" and then get upset because for whatever reason, we didn't get what we wanted or expected. That does not diminish the choice of free will. Could GFTW leap people without the technology...I think seeing all of creation sort of answers that...I'm not putting GFTW in a box and saying what he/she/it could/could not accomplish...afterall, it is GFTW and I'm not.
Ahh, I get what you mean now. I never looked at it in terms of GFT letting Sam make his own free will decision. But now thinking back, the Bartender even reminded Sam of why he chose to even leap in the first place: to "make the world a better place." I suppose that convincing Sam that he's only leaping because he wanted to was the point of the final episode, whether it made sense or not.

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That does not mean that logic has to be the reason for why things work the way they do in a fictional account. If all of QL was totally based on pure logic throughout the entire series, we'd be in even bigger trouble. It wasn't just at the end (Mirror Image) that all logic was thrown out the window. There were illogical corners the writers and creators painted themselves into througout all the episodes before the final episode...its just that there was always a way to rationalize them up to that point. But Mirror Image didn't allow rationalization. Not unless the rationalization was "this is fiction...that's just the way it is. Never doesn't HAVE to mean NEVER."
While you're right that the show's logic didn't completely make sense and was inconsistent at many times, I don't think it was intentional. It was just a result of Post-Creative Rationalization. What I meant was that the show was supposed to make logical sense up until "Mirror Image," or at least tried to, I think. Sure, we could rationalize the little inconsistences (most of them, anyway), but like I said, I don't think they were supposed to be inconsistencies.

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I'm sorry that you see this discussion as lecturing...that is not my intent. I appreciate the viewpoints of everyone on this site and I appreciate the discussions of the finer points of QL. I feel that I have learned a great deal from the various postings and from reading the Virtual Seasons as well. The people on this site have excellent insights and I respect the fact that, in discussing fictional realities, we can have different opinions of the show, none of which are specifically the only possibility.

However, having a scientifically trained background, I do feel it necessary to point out the difference between what is known at this time to fit scientific theory (a construct that takes into account the known facts) and what is a literary device for the story (which explains something within a "contructed reality" not necessarily based on fact.) If a statement is made stating something as real world factual and it does not fit that criteria, I will make a statement regarding that. While there will be corrections in scientific theory based on better data collection and analysis, the idea that everything we currently KNOW would be totally turned on its ear would be to say we KNOW nothing at all about our world. That I can not accept. We do not know everything (thank GFTW) but we have discovered a lot in our 8000 years or so of recorded history.
No need to apologize, Helen. Actually, I'm sorry for the way I came across. I personally enjoy your explanations on quantum physics. Do your thing.

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If the opinion is a "constructed reality" then by it's very nature, the discussion is no longer based in pure factual data but rather how well the continuity of the "constructed reality" fits within the fictional boundaries and how well the rationalizations are accepted by others. In this case, the creator of the fictional work gets to make the final interpretation as they are the only one who really knows how the device works within "their fictional worldview." A reader of the fictional work can put different meanings on the "constructed reality" but then, it is the readers opinion and the differences between what readers get out of a story are fodder for critical discussions (like this one).
Only in this particular case, I'm not sure that Don Bellisario himself worked out all the fine details, hence why he's said, "Don't follow this too closely." The only benefit of having ambiguous logistics is that it creates great discussions like this one and stories like the Virtual Seasons.

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I don't have a problem with GFTW somewhat utilizing the QL technology...its just that I don't see that GFTW whould NEED to use the technology. GFTW could use it as GFTW saw fit and not necessarily as it was designed by its human creators.

As this is a "constructed reality" a person saying that GFTW needed to use the technology would be equally correct. However, since Bellasario was the creator of the "QL constructed reality," it would be his to make the determination of which scenario best fit his fictional worldview. Until he makes that determination, we're both equally correct.
I would agree here. While I think that GFT took advantage of the opportunity of Sam's initial leap (and by doing so "it" utilized Sam's technology from then on), I do feel that "it" has the power to leap Sam around without his technology. I believe this is what happened after the events of "Mirror Image," where I think Sam would continue leaping as himself, but now under his own conscious control (as opposed to subconsciously). Perhaps the fact that Sam had his own aura was a symbolization that he was no longer using the Project's technology.

After all, Stawpah was able to leap at will, and we all know that he had nothing to do with Project Quantum Leap. Interestingly enough, his leap was identical to Sam's, with the blue quantum energy and electricity, but it seems that even GFT needs to at least somewhat obey the rules of reality. It's just that "Mirror Image" would be impossible to logically interpret and that's the point, so I'm not even going to try.
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Old 02-02-2006, 04:23 AM   #9
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My other thoughts are I never eared any where else that when Sam leaps into peoples live that he takes on a bit of thier ego?
Check Leaping In Without a Net. Sam goes to see the fortune teller (Elvira?) and she sees that he has been reincarnated many times. He says he doesn't believe in reincarnation. She says "You would if you saw how many souls I see in your eyes."
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:13 PM   #10
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Check Leaping In Without a Net. Sam goes to see the fortune teller (Elvira?) and she sees that he has been reincarnated many times. He says he doesn't believe in reincarnation. She says "You would if you saw how many souls I see in your eyes."
i actually just watched thaty episode not long ago the fortune teller is Sybil.
as for shock theature, Dman was pretty much on, except why would Nurse Chattam get fired she did noting wrong, she had tried to stop butch while he prepared to administer the shock treatment.

anotther question answered it was lightning that simo leaped Sam and Al it is mentioned a couple of times in the leap back, and after the leap back such as in Lee Harvey Oswald.
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:18 PM   #11
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[quote=...except why would Nurse Chattam get fired she did noting wrong, she had tried to stop butch while he prepared to administer the shock treatment.[/QUOTE]

Several things happened that could account for her termination. 1) She didn't actively do anything to stop Butch - she didn't get another doctor, for example. 2) After the fact she didn't report what happened. 3) The second time she administered the shock treatment. Anyone of those things and certainly all three together could be cause for her dismissal - if not legal action.
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:20 AM   #12
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the fact that she did not report butches ilegal act was accounted for in my mind, and as for the second treatment she was ok to aminister becasue masters had orderd it to be done, while he did not specifically ask chattam to administer it, it was him that decided that the treatment be done, therefore making it ok.
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:43 AM   #13
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i actually just watched thaty episode not long ago the fortune teller is Sybil.
I think it was Elvira Cyd...cuz there's a scene where Sam says "Al" and both Al and Elvira turn (she thought she heard "El") to face him. I think thats the same person he sees later in the ep.

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Old 02-03-2006, 12:47 AM   #14
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No, Cyd is right. The fortune teller is Sybil....aptly named as the sybil was the seer in Greek mythology.
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Old 02-03-2006, 12:54 AM   #15
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Claire you are right as well, there was also an Elvira in Leaping in without a net, Al mentioned that she was a stripper.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:06 PM   #16
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Yeah, you're right...i'm sorry. I havent seen that ep in a while...my bad.

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Old 02-03-2006, 02:13 PM   #17
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Several things happened that could account for her termination. 1) She didn't actively do anything to stop Butch - she didn't get another doctor, for example. 2) After the fact she didn't report what happened. 3) The second time she administered the shock treatment. Anyone of those things and certainly all three together could be cause for her dismissal - if not legal action.
Responding to the above statement and also to the original question by jmelissa about whether or not Sam changed medical history, the answer to both is not really. The thing is, that even though all of the above things would get you fired today, at the time, sadly, mental institutions were not held responsible for the condition of their patients. People with mental disablities were considered stupid, dangerous, or even sub-human, and therefore were placed in institutions, in order to "keep the general populace safe." Whatever the nurse did, she could always say that she thought she was doing what was best for Mr. Bederman.
Also, being a special education teacher, I know that although there were some people who advocated education for the disabled, most people didn't think that people with disabilities were capable of learning. This is why there have been several laws enacted to ensure a free and appropriate public education. In fact, children with disabilities are the only children who are guaranteed an education by law in America. I pretty much love Shock Theater, not necessarily because of everything we learn about the details of leaping, although they are wonderful; but because it shows that by teaching Tibby how to read, by starting with the alphabet, Al completely improved this dear child's life. And it proves that no matter what the world thinks of you, even if they think you are hopeless and cannot ever learn, you can. Everybody has their own potential.
And I am now climbing down from my soapbox...
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:22 PM   #18
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well if Nurse Chattam could easily forge an excuse for her bahavior than how come Butch was not able too, because remember masters got pissed as hell at him and was yelling his lungs out at the man for his behavior.
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Old 02-03-2006, 02:25 PM   #19
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Well I can imagine him doing that to Chatham after he yelled at Butch...esp after she administered the second shock treatment. It wasnt like a "Chatham got off" thing, it's a "wait in line and ill yell at you in turn".

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Old 02-03-2006, 02:32 PM   #20
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well i still think Nurse Chathem was ok to admister the second shock becasue a doctor orderd for it to happen, in butches case there was no doctor that said Mr. Beeterman needed it it was just butch being pissed off at the poor man. Nurse Chatham on that other hand knew that a doctor had ordered the treatment but since he was occupied yelling his guts out to butch someone had to do it.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:14 AM   #21
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well if Nurse Chattam could easily forge an excuse for her bahavior than how come Butch was not able too, because remember masters got pissed as hell at him and was yelling his lungs out at the man for his behavior.
I think it boils down to the applicable laws at the time. Butch deliberately abused a patient by punishing Sam; the nurse was simply negligent; and as stated above, the things she did (or didn't do) wouldn't qualify her to be fired in 1954.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:43 AM   #22
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well i still dont quite get what was wrong with her giving the second treatment since a doctor orderd it to be done, but i wont push on it anymore, we can just move on.
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Old 02-04-2006, 12:05 PM   #23
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well i still dont quite get what was wrong with her giving the second treatment since a doctor orderd it to be done, but i wont push on it anymore, we can just move on.
She set the voltage to 200 (which can be fatal) because the doctor wasn't looking.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:32 PM   #24
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yeah and Sam kept telling her too, but that still should not have been an excuse to.
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:41 PM   #25
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God, i loved this ep! it actually made me cry! Can't wait to see season 4!
And maybe the nurse, saw something in sam's eyes that just made her know what she must do.

Or something like that, curious that you don't find out what happened to Sam bederman though.

Is it possible that the second dose of shock treatment actually killed him?

I dunno.

Well take care anyhow.
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