401 "The Leap Back"

Leap Dates:

June 15, 1945

September 18, 1999

Unspecified Date in 1956

Episode adopted by: R. Joy Helvie
Additional info provided by: Brian Greene


After a lightening strike simo-leaps them both, Sam and Al have switched places, with Al stuck in the year 1945 as an ex-POW returning from WWII and Sam confined to the Imaging Chamber which has been locked by mistake. Al must find a way to keep his host's former girlfriend from marrying someone else and Sam must get the Imaging Chamber door open so that he can save Al...and return home.


Audio from this episode


TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Project Date
Name of the Person Leaped Into
Broadcast Date

Project Trivia
Sam Trivia
Sam's Women
Al Trivia

Al's Women
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode

Miscellaneous Trivia
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Say What? 
Quotable Quotes
Best Scene
Deleted Scene
Synopsis & Review
Production Credits



Production # 67303

TV Guide Synopsis:
Aftershocks from a previous leap cause Sam and Al to trade places: Sam is bumped back to his present, and Al leaps into a returning WWII POW. Donna: Mimi Kuzyk. Mike: Douglas Roberts. Clifford: Robert Prescott. Suzanne: Amanda Wyss. Sam: Scott Bakula.

Crown Point, Indiana in 1945

Stallions Gate, New Mexico in 1999

The Catskills Mountains, New York (Unseen - Al tells Donna that Sam leaped into a Stand-up Comic in 1956)

Leap Dates:
June 15, 1945 (Sam & Al)

September 18, 1999 (Sam & Al)

Unspecified Date in 1956 (Sam)

Project Date:
In the episode, Al remembers the Project's date as being September 18, 1999. 

U.S. Army Captain Tom Jarrett

Stand-Up Comic (name unspecified)

Broadcast Date:
September 18, 1991 - Wednesday


"Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?" by Louis Jordan plays in the car when Al kisses Suzanne.

Project Trivia:
Ziggy will seal the Imaging Chamber door if she detects a catastrophic collapse of the radium accelerator ring surrounding the Imaging Chamber. Once the door is sealed, it can't be opened until the radiation half-life of the radium ring has expired. The length of the half-life is 1,600 years.

Al and Sam's neurons and mesons merged during the simo-leap, which allowed Sam to Leap before his birth. It also caused problems by making Al a prude and Sam rude.

There is enough air in the Imaging Chamber to sustain a single person for six months.

Sam still calls Ziggy "him", even after Ziggy speaks with a female voice.

An object (in this case, the Handlink) can be leaped out along with the Leaper.

According to a cut scene from the original script, the Handlink costs $1M for each charge.

We find out that the white outfit Sam wore when leaping initially is called a Fermi Suit. 


Sam Trivia:
Following his actions in "Star-Crossed", Donna Elesee ended up marrying Sam!

Sam Leaps home, but he ultimately sacrifices his freedom to save Al.

Sam's Women:

Sam finds Suzanne attractive. " If a pound of butter's all it takes, then I got me a dairy farm that I---"

He reunites with his wife, Donna Elesee Beckett.

Al Trivia:
At the point of "The Leap Back", Al has saved Sam's life 23 times, according to Ziggy.

Al's Outfits:
1) Brown WWII US Army uniform

2) Dark brown dress shirt, silver tie, gray jacket with pinstripes

Al's Women:
Al has an "encounter" with Suzanne Elsinga.

Miscellaneous Trivia:
This was the first time Scott Bakula and Dennis Wolfberg had ever met. Even though Wolfberg appeared in the Pilot epsiode, his scene was filmed separately.

Along with "Private Dancer" , this episode tied for the most watched episode of the series with 14.1 million viewers!

The mailing of the letter in order to get information quickly from the past to the future was taken from "Back to the Future Part II" which had been released very recently in 1989.

The estimated budget for the Control Room set was over $31,000. 

We never hear Dr. Beeks speak in either of the episodes she appeared in!

It is possible that Donna is sometimes married to Sam, and sometimes not, as time is always in a state of flux. We never hear another mention of Donna in the series. She is in some of the Novels, but not all. 

According to Ziggy, Al has save Sam's life 23 times. Throughout the series to this point, 23 directly involved times are not shown. 

While it has been widely accepted that the Project's bad-breathed programmer is named Gooshie, the closing credits spell it "Gushie."

Deborah Pratt recalled when she became the voice of Ziggy: “We needed a voice for Ziggy, and I was there, and I had this very deep voice that I could articulate. And it was a bit androgynous, so we didn’t know if it was male or female. Machines don’t necessarily have to be male or female, but because of the intimacy between Dr. Beckett and his creation 'Ziggy' there was a thing.”

Scott Bakula didn't think it was the best idea to make Sam married, partly due to the infidelity issues that creates as he continues leaping.

The control room had a real waterfall wall. 


Guest Cast:
Mimi Kuzyk as
Donna Elesee-Beckett
Amanda Wyss as Suzanne Elsinga
Douglas Roberts as Mike Marchezak
Robert Prescott as Clifford White
Candy Ann Brown as Verbeena Beeks
Jeanine Jackson as Kelly Marchezak
Dennis Wolfberg as Gooshie
Gigi Rice as Tina
Susan Ann Connor as Naval Admiral
Deborah Pratt as Ziggy

Dean Denton as Captain Tom Jarret (Mirror image)

In the photo below, three members of PQL are never named:
Unknown as Project QL Woman (shadow in foreground, right)
Unknown as Project QL Man holding Magna Link I (back, far right)
Unknown as Project QL Man holding Magna Link II (foreground, far left)


Guest Cast Notes:

Mimi Kuzyk as Donna Elesee-Beckett: Mimi Kuzyk is a Winnipeg born actress, best know for her roles in the series Hill Street Blues (1981) and Blue Murder (2001). Mimi grew up in Winnipeg with her brother and five sisters. She discovered her love of dance at the age of eight. Following her passion, Mimi joined the Rusalka Folk Ensemble, which she would participate in as both a dancer and a choreographer for the next fifteen years. Realizing she was happiest on stage, Mimi decided to pursue an acting career in Toronto. After a series of commercials and small TV roles, Mimi moved to LA in 1983. After a only a short time in LA, she landed a recurring role as Patsy Mayo in the series Hill Street Blues (1981). This hit show was undoubtedly the making of Mimi's career; but she considers her greatest achievement to be her daughter, Kaliopi. After a lengthy career is in LA, Mimi has returned to Toronto and continues to work. She enjoys quiet times reading the classics with her cats.

Mimi's film credits include Camille (2008), opposite Sienna Miller and James Franco, The Human Stain (2003), starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, as well as the science fiction thrillers The Final Cut (2004) with Robin Williams, and The Day After Tomorrow (2004). Her extensive body of film work also includes Lost and Delirious (2001), which earned Ms. Kuzyk a Genie nomination for Best Supporting Actress. On television, Ms. Kuzyk has recently been seen in guest starring roles on such hit shows as Ghost Whisperer (2005) and NCIS (2003). She is well recognized for her role as Detective Patsy Mayo on HIll Street Blues. Her performance as "Rita Kapeli" in the CBC drama Little Criminals (1996), and as Deputy Chief Kay Barrow in Blue Murder (2001) earned her Gemini nominations for Best Supporting Actress. In 2013 she was introduced to the world of motion capture in the video game Splinter Cell: Black List. Her recent credits include Pegasus Vs. Chimera (2012), A Very Merry Mix-Up (2013), and Sorority Surrogate (2014). She also stars with an incredible ensemble of Canadian stars in the independent film Sex After Kids (2013).

Amanda Wyss as Suzanne Elsinga: Born and raised in Manhattan Beach, California, Amanda Wyss, was discovered playing the titular character (Rhoda Penmark) in a production of "The Bad Seed" at an LA theater. She quickly found work in commercials before landing a guest starring role in television's science fiction hit Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979), followed by a recurring role on When the Whistle Blows (1980). She won a Best Young Artist award for her work in the ABC After School Special She Drinks a Little (1981), before sharing the stage with Eva Marie Saint in the stage production of "The Country Girl". Major motion pictures came next, including hits such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Better Off Dead (1985), Silverado (1985) and the award-winning indie film, Powwow Highway (1988). She has worked extensively in television, with recurring roles on Cheers (1982), St. Elsewhere (1982), Cagney & Lacey (1981), Highlander (1992) and more recently, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), Dexter (2006), Murder in the First (2014) and All Rise (2019), among many other guest starring roles. She was awarded Best Actress honors at the Santa Monica International Film Festival for the horror film Oct 23rd (2016), she starred alongside genre favorites in the Syfy Channel original movie, The Sandman (2017) produced by the legendary Stan Lee, and broke hearts in her critically acclaimed performance in the award winning drama,The Id (2015). Next, she made a return to westerns with her award winning turn in, Badland (2019). Is known as Freddy Krueger's very first murder victim in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), the first of the series.

Douglas Roberts as Mike Marchezak: Douglas Roberts was born on September 29, 1961 in the USA. He is an actor, known for Patch Adams (1998), The Rapture (1991) and Envy (2004).

Robert Prescott as Clifford White: Robert Trout Prescott was born on May 17, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan. His father, John Sherwin Prescott Jr. (deceased), worked in management at several large city newspapers (Detroit, Baltimore, Miami, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.). His mother, Robin Balch Prescott, is a doctor of speech and audiology who taught and did ground-breaking work in the field of cued speech. Prescott changed schools often from K-12. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in English. He then moved to New York City and studied acting at the Bill Esper Studio with Joanne Baron and continued at the Joanne Baron Studio. Upon completing the two year program, he was cast in Joy of Sex (1984) by director Martha Coolidge (an overlooked gem from the early 1980s golden age of low-budget teen comedies), which brought him to Los Angeles for the first time. He spent the next 10 years in Los Angeles acting in movies (Bachelor Party (1984), Real Genius (1985)), television pilots, television guest spots (numerous), and was a founding member of two theatre groups -- the JamCenter and the Whitefire Theatre. Rather discouraged and dissatisfied with his life in Los Angeles, Prescott chose to move back to New York City and step away from the business ("I needed to do something else, or more like, I had to do something else.") He taught and coached basketball at Martin Luther King High School in Manhattan. He tended bar in the Lower East Side, and worked a construction job at Ground Zero in the months after 9/11.  He gradually resumed his acting career and began working on television episodes shot in New York City: The Sopranos (1999), Damages (2007), Blue Bloods (2010), Trinity (1998), Deadline (2000), Third Watch (1999), New York Undercover (1994), C.P.W. (1995) and Law & Order (1990). He acted in New York City and regional theatre, and has appeared in dozens of commercials. He acted in New York City area movies: Gun Hill Road (2011), The Bourne Legacy (2012), Cold Comes the Night (2013), Burn After Reading (2008), and Michael Clayton (2007), in which he unsuccessfully attempted to explode George Clooney.

Candy Ann Brown as Verbeena Beeks: Candy Ann Brown was born on August 19, 1958 in San Rafael, Marin County, California, USA. She is an actress, known for Ali (2001), Baby Boy (2001) and Quantum Leap (1989).

Jeanine Jackson as Kelly Marchezak: Jeanine Jackson is known for Somebody I Used to Know (2023), Election (1999) and Red Dragon (2002).

Dennis Wolfberg as Gooshie: Dennis Wolfberg was born on March 29, 1946 in New York, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for Quantum Leap (1989), The Clairvoyant (1982) and Teacher Teacher (1990). He was married to Jeannie McBride. He died on October 3, 1994 in Culver City, California, USA.

Gigi Rice as Tina: Gigi Rice was born on March 13, 1965 in Columbus, Ohio, USA. She is an actress, known for A Night at the Roxbury (1998), The Man (2005) and The John Larroquette Show (1993). She has been married to Ted McGinley since June 21, 1991. They have two children.

Susan Ann Connor as Naval Admiral: Susan Ann Connor is known for Casual Sex? (1988), Quantum Leap (1989) and Capitol (1982).

Deborah Pratt as Ziggy: Deborah M. Pratt is an American Director, Writer, Producer, Singer, Dancer, and Actress. After graduating from Webster University with a degree in Psychology and Theatre, she won a nationwide talent search and came to Hollywood under contract to NBC. She wrote songs and sang on multiple albums, started acting, writing and producing. After starring in multiple pilots and writing for the shows she had been reoccurring on, she co-Created, worked her way through the ranks and became Executive producer and head writer on the iconic series Quantum Leap (1989) for NBC for which she penned 25 episodes and co-wrote an additional 15. She Executive Produced and worked as the head writer for Tequila and Bonetti (1992) for CBS. Ms. Pratt co-Created for television and Executive Produced The Net (1998) for USA network. She wrote for multiple television series. As a writer, Ms. Pratt sold features to Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox animation. She is a proud, award-winning graduate of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women and made her directorial debut with Cora Unashamed (2000) was for the BBC, PBS, and Masterpiece Theatre's The American Collection.

Deborah is a five-time Emmy nominee, a Golden Globe nominee, and recipient of The Lillian Gish Award from Women in Film, The Angel Award, The Golden Block Award, and Five Black Emmy Nominees Awards. She has written to direct multiple feature films including the biographic screenplay for her epic, 17th century love story "Chevalier & Antoinette" and "Heartswear" about Black, Chicago attorney Mattie Tatum who returns to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to defend and save her White, childhood best friend Nadine Palmer for the murder of her abusive husband.

Dean Denton as Captain Tom Jarret (Mirror image): Dean Denton was born in Dermott, Arkansas. He was raised in McGehee and Conway, Arkansas. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1981. During his freshman year, he auditioned for and was cast in a minor role in a TV mini series, "The Blue and the Gray" that was being shot around campus and Northwest Arkansas. While working on this production, Dean met Stacy Keach. Stacy encouraged Dean to move to Los Angeles or New York to break into acting. Before taking Keach's advice, Dean moved to Dallas and studied acting with Adam Roarke and Lou Diamond Phillips at the Film Actors Lab. After several years of working on numerous commercials, films and TV projects in Texas, Dean moved to Los Angeles in 1989. The first week in LA, Dean booked his first acting role, which was a small role on the TV show "Days of Our Lives." That role led to bigger roles and an agent. Dean has appeared in over 55 TV, film and commercial projects. Dean is married to Julie Denton, first cousin to the actor Josh Lucas of "Sweet Home Alabama."

Guests Who Appeared in Other Quantum Leap Episodes:
Candy Ann Brown plays Verbena Beeks in "Shock Theater".

Dennis Wolfberg plays Gooshie in "Genesis, Part I", "Lee Harvey Oswald", "Killin' Time", and "Mirror Image".

Say What?
When Sam leaped at the end of Shock Theater, he seems to have taken Sam Beederman's clothes with him! Is Beederman laying naked on the shock table? And is Nurse Chatam now fired (or worse) for shocking him? What will hapen to Beederman now that all the doctors think he has/had multiple personalities?

There is a some ambiguity as to whose persona Sam is inhabiting when he returns to his own time, his own or Al's. Sam leaps into Al's location in the Imaging Chamber (rather into his persona's own location, the Waiting Room). Tina remarks that Sam sounds just like Al. At no point does the audience see Sam's reflection. Of course, no one says explicitly that Sam is in Al's persona but no one says explicitly that he is in his own. Additionally, Sam is wearing neither Al's nor his own clothes (see above). (problem is if Sam leapt into Al's persona, wouldn't he be holding the handlink and wearing Al's clothes ... There seems to be no logical explanation as to why Sam lept into the Imaging Chamber)

The clock in the background when Sam is walking through the cannon doesn't have any hands.

Sam says that Beth remarried after Al was M.I.A. for four years, but it was only two years.

A calendar in the diner shows the date as July 1945 but in a different shot, it changes to a different style calendar and shows June 1945.

The 4F classification that Clifford was given in order to stay out of the war is a real military classification, but wasn't invented until the Vietnam War era.

The Imaging Chamber Door closes quite a bit slower than had been previously seen throughout the series.

Tina says that Sam sounds just like Al, but no explanation is given as to why she says this.

There is a real-life Crown Point, Indiana. However, there are no cliffs nearby as the area is primarily flat.

Ziggy can be heard from inside the Imaging Chamber. So why on Earth has Al been beating up Handlinks to read pieces of the missions all these years if Ziggy could just tell him? Was this just recently fixed? Did it break right after this episode?

Why didn't we see Al's Leapee in the Waiting Room during this episode? Was Tom Jarret left alone most of the time?

Quotable Quotes:

Al....Whooomp whoomp whooomp hahahaha!
-- Sam, slapping Al in a Three Stooges-like fashion. "The Leap Back"

Come on you rotten pile of Gummi Bears!
-- Al, "The Leap Back" <smacking the handlink>

Do you know what this means?
It's MY turn to slip into the powder room like the Invisible Man ...it's my turn.
-- Sam and Al "The Leap Back"

Al, my name is Al...
Al what?
You think I've forgotten my last name?
I'm about to bet on it.
Well, you'd lose...it's Beckett...Al Beckett.
It's Calavicci...Al Calavicci.
Calavicci? It's not Beckett?
Well, then who the hell is Beckett?
Me...I'm Beckett.
-- Al and Sam, discussing Al's swiss-cheesed memory, "The Leap Back"

Oh, how?
There's nobody home.
-- Al and Sam, "The Leap Back"

Yeah, this is Top Secret and I'm evaluating it for the Pentagon.
That's good enough, put it away.
Put it away.
-- Al and Sam, making an explanation about the handlink, "The Leap Back"

Ask him, how she is.
How she is.
-- Sam and Al, "The Leap Back"

Are you okay?
I'm just a little woozy from the le...uh, flight.
Good catch.
-- Mike the milkman, Al, and Sam, "The Leap Back"

Happy milkman?
-- Sam, "The Leap Back"

I'm don't think I'm going to like this unless.
-- Sam and Al "The Leap Back"

Why do I feel this is gonna be a big number.
-- Al, talking about the half-life of a radium ring, "The Leap Back"

-- Sam, looking at the calendar girl, "The Leap Back"

Boy, did they have women with Big Kasooms!
-- Sam, commenting on Kelly, "The Leap Back"

Are you forgetting who slips you a pound of butter now and then?
I didn't know I was swapping sugar for it.
Well, if a pound of butter is all it takes... I got me a dairy farm that I've...
Stop that!
-- Mike, Kelly, Sam and Al, "The Leap Back"

Oh my Go--, you've got a filthy mind!
YOU'RE the one saying all the dirty things!
-- Sam and Al, talking about the personality switch, "The Leap Back"

I'm sorry Tom, I guess we all have to wash our minds up after this war.
Yeah, especially *HIM*!
-- Kelly and Al, talking about Sam's comments, "The Leap Back"

Al...Al, if you keep this up I'm gonna have to throw a bucket of cold water to separate you two.
-- Sam, commenting on Al's and Suzanne's kissing, "The Leap Back"

Aha, Al... I think that's why you're here... you're here to get Suzanne to sleep with you... marry you.
-- Sam, "The Leap Back"

Ok, Al... get ready to leap!
-- Sam, "The Leap Back"

What are you doing?
Sucking face, pal, with my buddy here, it's very big in the 60's ... 80's.  Sucka... sucka... sucka...
Will you shut up!
-- Clifford, Sam and Al, "The Leap Back"

Well, you're about to find out, Knucklenose!
-- Sam, "The Leap Back"

What are my mother and father going to say about that?
Cancel the church... cancel the reception... cancel the tux, the cake...
-- Clifford and Sam, "The Leap Back"

It's only natural that you have some old yearnings.
Boy, I'd like to satisfy 'em!
-- Clifford and Sam, commenting on Suzanne, "The Leap Back"

Like running barefoot through sprinklers.
I like running barefoot through sprinklers.
Me too.
-- Clifford, Al and Suzanne, "The Leap Back"

You flat-footed, egg-sucking, chicken turd!!
Why don't you tell him how you really feel, Mike?
-- Mike and Kelly, about Clifford, "The Leap Back"

Only we didn't get all the glory.
You just got all the women.
-- Clifford and Al, "The Leap Back"

Well, I'll tell you something... I just had one of Kelly's breakfasts and I feel like I could take on Mike Tyson.
-- Al, "The Leap Back"

We don't even know why you're here.
I think I'm here to kick Clifford's butt!
-- Al, "The Leap Back"

I didn't know you knew how to do that.
I didn't either.
-- Sam and Al, about the kick, "The Leap Back"

You think a one-legged man could do that move?
Uh, sure, if you could drive this truck... worst thing that could happen is that you'd end up on your butt.
-- Mike and Al, about the kick, "The Leap Back"

This isn't fair... Sam!  A beautiful body like that and I'm just thinking pure thoughts!  Damnit!
-- Al, talking about the blonde walking by, "The Leap Back"

Hello Bay-bee!
Don't do that!
Revenge is mine, thus sayeth the hologram!
-- Sam and Al, "The Leap Back"

We'll mail Doc Croznoff a letter with say... a hundred dollars.
For the stamp?
-- Sam and Al, "The Leap Back"

Well, Ziggy you're looking very user friendly.
I see that simo-leaping with Admiral Calavicci has had a positive effect on you.  You're in for some pleasant surprises Dr. Elesee.
-- Sam and Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

Do you have enough...
...data to give you a reasonable, accurate projection as to why Admiral Calavicci has leapt into Crown Pointe, Indiana in the year 1945?
-- Sam and Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

Do you have any data on Admiral Calavicci?
He'll kiss the girls and make them cry.
Oh, ain't that the truth.
-- Sam, Ziggy and Tina, "The Leap Back"

Actually, I was doing quite well absorbing the year until Franklin Delano Roosevelt died...it depressed me.
-- Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

I believe your brain is still slightly magnafluxed, Dr. Beckett... or you'd remember, I never experience guilt.  That's a flaw only found in human computers.  Good night, Doctor... have fun you two.
-- Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

It won't do you any good.
Why did I give him Barbara Streisand's ego?
-- Sam and Donna, "The Leap Back"

Clifford...what a nozzle!
-- Al, "The Leap Back"

What were you doing up here?
Well, uh...
Were you parking in Lover's Lane with that draft dodging nozzle while your boyfriend was risking his life for his country?
I thought you died for your country.
-- Al and Suzanne, "The Leap Back"

And every time Clifford kissed me.  I'd close my eyes and pretend it was you.
Take a hike, Mr. Morals... Calavicci's taking over!
-- Suzanne and Al, "The Leap Back"

You have great eyes.
Are you talking about how they look or my vision?
-- Sam and Donna, "The Leap Back"

God I wish he was here.
I know.
So I could kick his butt!
-- Sam and Donna, talking about Al, "The Leap Back"

Sorry to interrupt your first night of matrimonial bliss in four years...
-- Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

That was a quickie, Dr. Beckett.
-- Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

What do you got on Al?
He's 175.26 centimeters tall, weighs 70.91...
Yes, Doctor?
Give me what I want, baby!
Ooh, if you weren't my FATHER!
-- Sam and Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

...the Crown Point Gazette... isn't THAT a parochial name?
-- Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

Why do human beings die for love?
Check Shakespeare.
Thank you, Doctor.
Not now!
Why not?  With a million gigabyte capacity I'm quite capable of rubbing my tummy, patting my head, and doing a trillion floating point operations at once.
-- Ziggy and Sam, "The Leap Back"

Maybe it just needs a little encouragement too.
-- Suzanne, about the handlink, "The Leap Back"

Al, you didn't!
How could you! ... of course how could you not.
-- Sam, Al and Suzanne, "The Leap Back"

Look, we need to talk alone, okay?  Where's a Men's Room when you need one.
-- Sam, "The Leap Back"

Oh, you poor baby.
Oh, boy.
-- Suzanne and Al, "The Leap Back"

What am I doing?
You Dog!
Well, it's your filthy mind!
Well, I want my mind back!  These choir boy thoughts are driving me nuts!
Well they didn't seem to stop you a few minutes ago.
-- Al and Sam, "The Leap Back"

I've never experienced anything quite like that and I guess I owe that to you.
Yeah, well, I guess I owe you one too.
Just one?
-- Al and Sam, "The Leap Back"

In an apparent double su... double su... <smack>... icide...  suicide, a double suicide!
-- Sam, on the handlink, "The Leap Back"

Damnit, Ziggy! Tell me something I don't know!
Tina is having an affair with Gooshie.
-- Sam and Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

Mmm... GREAT legs, Doctor.
-- Ziggy to Sam, "The Leap Back"

I can't let him die.
And I can't let you go.
-- Sam and Donna, "The Leap Back"

How many times has Al saved my life?
-- Sam and Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

Sam... I love you.
I love you too.
-- Sam and Donna, before Sam leaps again, "The Leap Back"

I love you, Sam.
I love you, Donna.
-- Donna and Sam, as Donna gazes at a 1956 star, "The Leap Back"

Who's going to wait 54 years to deliver a letter?
The post office.
-- Al and Sam, "The Leap Back"

Doctor Beckett, I should warn you that Clifford... too late.
-- Ziggy, "The Leap Back"

Ziggy's not even gonna be a gleam in my eye for another 50 years or so.
-- Sam, "The Leap Back"

You are an amazing woman Donna.
-- Al (to Donna Elesee), "The Leap Back"

Sam's Best Line:
MIKE: Are you forgetting who slips you an extra pound of butter every now and then?
KELLY: I didn't know I was swappin' sugar for it.
SAM: If a pound of butter's all it takes, then I got me a dairy farm that I---

Al's Best Line:
(gorgeous woman walks by)

AL: This isn't fair. Sa-am... A beautiful body like that, and I'm just thinking pure thoughts? Dammit!

Best Scene:
I love the scene when Al and Suzanne are... "you know", because with all of Al's talk throughout the series, this is the only episode in which we actually see Al get any "action".

However, I'd probably have to say the best scene would be the very end, when Al and Donna are talking.

Emmy Nomination: Dean Stockwell for "Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series in 1992"
Emmy Nomination: Quantum Leap for "Outstanding Drama Series in 1992"
Golden Globe awarded to Scott Bakula for Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series in 1992

Deleted Scene:
"The Leap Back" -- Sam sounds just like Al

One after another the team greets their leader. When he reaches Dr. Virbina, [That is the spelling in the script] he kisses her on both cheeks.

I don't recall you leaping into any Frenchman.

I think I picked that up from an actor.

I want to be sure you haven't picked anything else up. My office in twenty minutes for a physical.

Donna slips her arm protectively around Sam.

Your office, tomorrow. (beat) Tonight, he's mine.

He has to be debriefed, Doctor.

(Al la Groucho) I'm not wearing briefs, but don't let that stop you.

Everyone is a bit taken aback at Sam's line except Tina who smiles wistfully as she turns to Gushie.

Gee...he sounds just like Al.

Synopsis & Review:

In this episode, Sam and Al switched places, thanks to a lightning strike in the end of the previous episode, "Shock Theater", at the end of Season Three (episode #24). Al's stuck back in 1945, as U.S. Army Captain Tom Jarrett (the leapee Tom is played by Dean Denton in a mirror image cameo). Sam realizes that he is in the Imaging Chamber, so has therefore returned home to 1999. However the two friends have a problem... the now powerless Handlink is in the year 1945 with Al, and Sam needs it to open the Imaging Chamber door.

Meanwhile, Sam is starting to regain his memories, and remembers an override code that can be used to unlock the Imaging Chamber door from the outside. Sam remembers that in the event of a catastrophic collapse of the radium accelorator ring surrounding the imaging chamber, that Ziggy would have automatically sealed the chamber to protect from a possible radiation leak, and that once the imaging chamber door is sealed, it can't be opened, not even by Ziggy, for another 1,600 years, until the radiation half-life of the radium ring had expired, which prompted Al to ask Sam, frustrated and angrily, "How could you design a system without a fail-safe?".

Sam remembers that he did create a fail-safe to be used if the chamber door is sealed in error, it can be reopened from the inside, problem being that Al, who's stuck in 1945 as the leaper with the handlink, which can't be used for another 54 years, but, Sam, in his genius mind, devised a plan: If the others in the imaging room realize that the ring didn't collapse, that someone would have to be there to open the chamber door, by getting the backdoor code, which Sam remembered that he designed in the event of a catastrophic failure such as what caused he and Al to switch places. He arranges for a letter containing the code to be delivered to Gooshie through a letter in the U.S. Mail System, addressed to Irving Gushman (Gooshie's real name), mailed to a Doc Crosnoff, Sam's dad's lawyer, with about $100 in 1945 money, for his trouble, with implicit instructions to be delivered to Gooshie on September 15, 1999, the date which Al switched places with Sam. Suddenly, more of Sam's memories start to emerge and Sam remembers something important. He demands to know why Al didn't tell him, and Al tells him simply that he couldn't. As soon as Sam has Al put the letter into the mailbox, the Imaging Chamber door opens up. Sam runs through into the main hub of Project Quantum Leap and is reunited with Donna, his wife that his Swiss-cheesed brain had forgotten about. After a loving embrace between the two, Sam reacquaints himself with Gooshie (who confirms the letter was just delivered, nearly fifty-five years after it was posted), Dr. Beeks and Tina. He then activates Ziggy, whose ego and stubborness are as large as ever. Sam demands she try and find a way to help Al.

Meanwhile, Al is trying to stumble through a leap without Ziggy to give him information. He is Tom, a former WWII Army POW who was presumed dead who has just returned home from Germany to his hometown Crown Point, Indiana. His former girlfriend is going to marry another guy in two days and Al and Sam guess that he is there to get her to marry Tom instead.

Ziggy finally reaches a probability hypothesis, inconveniently while Sam and Donna (Mimi Kuzyk) are having some personal time, and informs Sam that Al is in 1945 to prevent Tom and his girlfriend before he went off to fight in the war, Suzanne Elsinger (Amanda Wyss) from committing suicide (or at least how it looked to the police when they discovered their bodies) in what seemed like a Romeo and Juliet-inspired lover's pact.

Sam and Al soon discover, unfortunately, almost dangerously too late, that it was not suicide at all, but a carefully planned murder by the scorned ex-boyfriend. Sam fails to prevent Al getting knocked out, and realizes the only way to save him is to go back into the Accelerator Chamber and leap back to 1945 to accomplish the mission. After saying farewell to Donna promising he'll be back, Sam leaps and switches places, with Al returning to 1999 into Tina's grateful arms. Sam quickly knocks out the loser who was trying to kill them, however Ziggy fails to retrieve him yet again, leaving Sam with nothing but the useless handlink. Afterwards Sam leaps, with no memory of ever returning home or of Donna. Source

Personal Review by R. Joy Helvie:

Let's just say this... After initially watching this episode during an MLK Jr. Day marathon a few years back (so, this was on a Monday), I watched it once a day, every day, for the next week.... Basically, I love it.

Production Credits:

Theme by: Mike Post
Music by: Velton Ray Bunch
Co-Executive Producer: Deborah Pratt
Co-Executive Producer: Michael Zinberg
Supervising Producer: Harker Wade
Produced by: Jeff Gourson, Tommy Thompson
Produced by: Chris Ruppenthal, Paul Brown
Created by: Donald P. Bellisario
Written by: Donald P. Bellisario
Directed by:
Michael Zinberg

Executive Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
Associate Producer: 
James S. Giritlian
Coordinating Producer: David Bellisario
Story Editor: Paris Qualles

Director of Photography: Michael Watkins, A.S.C.
Production Designer: 
Cameron Birnie
Edited by: Jon Koslowsky
Unit Production Manager: Ron Grow
First Assistant Director:
Ryan Gordon
Second Assistant Director: Kate Yurka
Casting by: Ellen Lubin Sanitsky
Set Director: Robert L. Zilliox
Costume Designer: Jean-Pierre Dorleac
Costume Supervisor: David Rawley
Art Director:
Ellen Dambros-Williams
Sound Mixer: Barry D. Thomas
Stunt Coordinator: Diamond Farnsworth
Sound Editor:
Greg Schorer
Music Editor:  Bruce Frazier

Panaflex Camera and Lenses by: Panavision

This motion picture is protected under laws of the United States and other countries. Unauthorized duplication, distribution or exhibition may result in civil liability and criminal prosecution.

Copyright 1991 by Universal City Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Bellisarius Productions and Universal, an MCA Company

Quantum Leap Podcast - The Leap Back

Listen to The Quantum Leap Podcast on this episode here:

Bring the synchrotron online. It’s time for The Leap Back!

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