Al's Place Quantum Leap Online Community

Al's Place Quantum Leap Online Community (http://quantumleap-alsplace.com/forum/index.php)
-   Quantum Leap: Season Four (http://quantumleap-alsplace.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=60)
-   -   401 The Leap Back (http://quantumleap-alsplace.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1007)

NYCSciFiFan 04-16-2009 03:47 PM

Staupau, I only recently realized what your name means. That should have been a question in the trivia contest!

ohboy 04-17-2009 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYCSciFiFan (Post 51991)
Staupau, I only recently realized what your name means. That should have been a question in the trivia contest!

Forgive me, NYC, but I don't get it? :nut

bowspearer 09-28-2009 02:57 PM

I just watched this episode again after seeing it when it first aired, and I have to say that I think this episode was nothing short of brilliant and completely disagree with all the criticisms of Donna's characterisation and of the whole Abigail situation.

People say that the whole Abigail situation is completely at odds with this but it isn't. When Sam is on the balcony with Donna, he saysthat he's almost forgotten everythign that happened to him on the leaps, kind of a "reverse swiss-cheesing" making it clear that Sam's cannot hav an intact memory of his life outside of being a leaper while he's a leaper and visa versa. When Same met with Abigail, he'd swiss cheesed with her father and will in the space of a few days, feeling every single protective instinct and loving feeling that both of them had towards her. Plus she was the one who needed to be saved, so those feelings, coupled with the drive to "put right what once went wrong" meant that his feelings for Abigal are only natural. Remember that Al says at the end of the episode that he'll have no memory of either Abigail or Sammie Jo.

Ok now onto Donna herself, I have to say that she's about the strongest example of the old saying of "behind every great man there's a great woman" that I've ever seen.

This is a woman who has to choose between her husband knowing she's alive where he can stay completely faithful to her and having him unable to properly help others and having people die and have their lives ruined as a result.

The other option of course is to deliberately mislead her husband into thinking he's not married, that Donna isn't still with him, or even exists if the "swiss-cheesing" is bad enough and where he can potentially cheat on her with hundreds if not thousands of women unknowingly, so that countless lives and futures can be saved.

People criticise the grimace Donna made, but think about it- Donna knew what had to be done, but this wasthe man she loved, who she'd had to lead to believe for four years wasn't in his life, was never married to him. You can know that a decision is right, but when it harms the person you love, it doesn't change the guilt or the pain over havign had to make it.

I mean you listen to her wording and the tone of her voice. When Sam asked if he'd ever done anything to cheat on her, her response is that she never felt he'd done anything to betray their love. That doesn't mean she didn't feel like he'd cheated on her or acted unfaithfully, just that he did it unknowingly. Could you imagine what that must be like, knowing tht you have a spouse who loves you undeniably but because of their job they not only wind up forgetting you involuntarily, but are romantically involved with countless other people on a daily basis?

Then just as she has him again, he's forced to go back, to leave the very woman he loves knowing that if he doesn't, the friend who has saved him countless times, will himslf die. After losing someone for what seemed like would be an eternity only to have to lose them again, who wouldn't crack, be overwhelmed by their own emotions for a minute.

At the same time, Sam himself is torn, knowing what has to be done, but hating every minute of it, so much so that he pauses and when he does, Donna realises that to truly love Sam and truly let him be the man she fell in love with, she has to risk never seeing him again.

Then at the end of it all, she has to go back to ordering Al to keep her a secret, which can have only been even more painful at that point. Her only comfort being her knowledge of astronomy and using the distance of different stars as a way of bridging the time gap and feeling close ot the man she loves. I honestly believe that that last "I love you too Donna" was something she could hear deep down and came from the part of him which gave himself amnesia and leapt himself around for the greater good.

Even Al comments on what a remarkable woman she is. I honestly think they're one of film's greatest love stories.

bowspearer 09-28-2009 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohboy (Post 52007)
Forgive me, NYC, but I don't get it? :nut

He's referring to the second leaper in the Finale.

NYCSciFiFan 09-28-2009 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bowspearer (Post 55372)
He's referring to the second leaper in the Finale.

"She," not "he"

I figured everyone else knew that Staupau was the name of the crochety leaper from the Series Finale. since no one commented prior, I thought I was the only one who didn't "get" it.

bowspearer 09-28-2009 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohboy (Post 52007)
Forgive me, NYC, but I don't get it? :nut

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYCSciFiFan (Post 55373)
"She," not "he"

I figured everyone else knew that Staupau was the name of the crochety leaper from the Series Finale. since no one commented prior, I thought I was the only one who didn't "get" it.


I stand corrected ;)

quantumwonderer 07-14-2010 09:52 PM

Great episode. Too bad Sam's time home was short because he had to re-leap.

This proves that Sam could not be leaping himself as he needed to get back in the accelarator once again. If Al the bartender was correct than why did not Sam leap automatically when he realized he needed to be the leaper when Al his best friend was unconsious in the past! He did not and had to use his invention to do it.

Trudy 01-22-2012 11:41 PM

This is probably one of my favorite episodes. As an Al fan, how COULDN'T it be?

There were very few tiffs I had with this episode, and most of them were brought up years ago, sadly! Like many people, I don't think that Donna's replacement actress was the best fit, and... well, I really didn't like her acting in general in this episode. And while the writing was really good, there was more that could have been done to make Donna a sympathetic character. Case in point:

Sam: How many times has Al saved my life?
Ziggy: 23.
Donna: I don't care!

Donna's reaction could have been sympathetic. I could have felt terribly sorry for her, as I know I should have, because four years without your husband, never knowing that if he'd ever come down was probably heartbreaking for her. But the timing was awful. If that "I don't care!" line had come anytime before Sam's line, I might have been able to sympathize with her.

But I wasn't. And that last scene with her and Al at the very end was not as touching as I think it was supposed to be because all I could think about was how Donna could hold a conversation with Al after what she said to Sam.

On some level, it also bothers me that Donna and Sam are together anyway. Putting aside my qualms with Donna as a character, I don't understand why she wouldn't have ended up with the guy she was supposed to marry before meeting Sam. But then again, I have qualms with Sam trying to break his own rules for himself, but not for other people.

Those quibbles aside, a really enjoyable episode. Like many others here, I really wish this would have been a two-parter; they could have fleshed out the story of the character Al leapt into (maybe even did something better than knocked-in-the-head-by-girlfriend's-vindictive-ex-fiancee) and we would have really gotten a chance to know the other characters that are part of the Quantum Leap Project.

Maybe I could have even liked Donna.

Al's the Best 03-12-2012 09:59 PM

I've always wondered, when Sam and Al simo leap at the end of Shock Theater Sam leaps and when he arrives in 1945 he is still in the hospital gown he was in when in when he leaped! Does that mean when poor Sam Beeterman leapt back he was naked? LOL!

Also, I wish that Sam wasn't married since it's highly unlikely their marriage would have survived their time apart as well as the fact that Sam slept with all of these women and Donna was never turned off by it! I mean I always wonder what Donna thought when he had a child by another woman?

leaper1 03-13-2012 04:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Al's the Best (Post 59120)
I've always wondered, when Sam and Al simo leap at the end of Shock Theater Sam leaps and when he arrives in 1945 he is still in the hospital gown he was in when in when he leaped! Does that mean when poor Sam Beeterman leapt back he was naked? LOL!

Also, I wish that Sam wasn't married since it's highly unlikely their marriage would have survived their time apart as well as the fact that Sam slept with all of these women and Donna was never turned off by it! I mean I always wonder what Donna thought when he had a child by another woman?


Shameless plug...

The whole Donna marriage thing bothers me too, so for a long time I avoided it in my fanfic. However, I did address it, and her relationship with Sammi Jo, in my stories 'Snake in the Grass' and 'ME, myself and Sam' over at
http://www.fanfiction.net/u/827199/Madders_Ahatter

They are nos 4 & 5 in a five story arc - but you could probably read them without the first three without losing too much in terms of that relationship.

Shizuoka Leaper 04-29-2012 06:42 AM

The opening exchanges between Sam and Al, and then the milkman are classic Quantum Leap! Top episode, and great performances from the Scott and Dean.

MichelleD 08-04-2012 07:12 PM

I loved this one...Sam and Al's reactions when they found out they had changed places was classic. :-)

Also, about Sam being married...He wouldn't have gotten involved with other women if he'd remembered he was married. And they didn't have him sleep around indiscriminately. He kissed a number of women, but he would usually leap before anything else happened. ;-) He was pretty straight-laced as far as T.V. characters go. Of course part of that was to have the contrast with Al's lovable womanizer character. :-)

MichelleD 08-10-2012 11:35 PM

I couldn't go back and edit my last post for some reason.

Scott and Dean had some really hysterical lines in this one...They were probably having a blast with this. Some of my favorites: "Vengeance (or revenge) is mine thus sayeth the hologram!"

"You have a filthy mind!"

"A body like that and I'm thinking pure thoughts?" :roflmao:

"Take a hike, Mr. Morals, Calavicci is taking charge" (or something to that effect, not sure if I'm quoting it exactly). Too funny.

ChickenStu 07-29-2013 05:50 PM

Lovely episode this one. I remember being thrilled to bits with it when I saw it as a kid. It had never occurred to me really to wonder what was behind the door that Al always walked through. I don't think it really occurred to many of the fans.

Was there fan demand to see the inside of project Quantum Leap?

Cause if not, that means this episode was just simply organic and not a jumping of the shark. To finally see what Ziggy looked like was a real thrill. To see Gushie again, to see Tina... all these people that Al talked about and we finally get to SEE them! And Sam being married to Donna Eleese was a nice touch also.

I'm glad that more visits to the inside of PQL were featured in episodes after this (mainly in season 5) but were still done sparingly and only when the story required it.

Overall, this show added to the atmosphere and feel of the show from then on. Great stuff!

Sam Beckett Fan 08-03-2013 01:21 AM

While I have already stated an opinion of this episode I'd like to amend it without even backtracking to remind myself of the previous. It's far in the past.

What truly brings me back to this thread is Bowspearer's amazing comment which reflects how I feel wholeheartedly.

There is no way I could outdo this statement:
Quote:

I have to say that she's about the strongest example of the old saying of "behind every great man there's a great woman" that I've ever seen.
Personally I am a huge fan of the Sam and Donna relationship and her character, I and my best friend both. From the joy it brought him to be around her and his determination to make her his forever in Star Crossed to the same spell she had him under and their instant reconnection like they hadn't been a part for a minute here during his short return home.
Actually a moment that always gets my heart going no matter how many times I watch this episode is the powerful emotion that came over Sam as the memory of his beloved wife was returning to him and the betrayal in his demand of Al:
"Why didn't you tell me!?"

Scott expressed in last year's Comic Con panel in response to a question regarding Donna's situation that his outlook was that she understood and accepted his purpose along with the uncontrollable circumstances in which he fulfills it, including his having no memory of her. She tells Sam herself:
"I never once felt that you betrayed our love." This despite some questionable situations such as Sam's rekindled crush on his piano teacher, Nicole in Catch a Falling Star.
Scott also seemed to disagree with Donna's statement to Al that Sam couldn't act as freely with the memory of her because Sam is the kind of person who never turns his back on anyone in need at literally all costs and he would know that Donna understands thus that he would not be hurting her.
We've seen him ensure a mission's success regardless of conflicting perspectives such as disapproval of a task or a personal pursuit such as Donna herself. Sam Beckett will always do the right thing in the end.

You can fine the panel at Youtube. Search Quantum Leap Comic Con 2012 (I advise turning up your volume especially when Dean speaks though he doesn't much, the sound system is poor at this panel. I couldn't make out most of the questions and barely some of the answers).

This leads me into my next point; the conflict between his marriage to Donna and his deep relationship with Abigail during a series of very intense leaps. For some reason it doesn't seem to be a popular opinion that Donna and Sammy Jo could co-exist and logically would since Sam had changed his future with Donna first (though you could get complicated and argue this with the years in which the leaps occurred). Abigail was not a betrayal of their marriage not under the circumstances and Donna could have chosen during that leap to remind him that he's married.
Another good point that my best friend brought up was in making a brilliant connection to Leaping in Without a Net the line Eva used about her mother's death and her father's blame lying with her brother.
"He couldn't blame mama, he loved her too much."
Here I'll probably be no more than repeating Bowspearer's wonderful description but Abigail was a relationship of circumstance. In a sense he knew her for most of her life and was deeply effected by the tragic and eerie situations he always found her in. It could have also been in play that the adult Abigail he slept with happened to resemble Donna if memory serves. Though it's not canon the concept that he could unconsciously recognize his wife in those who resemble her was explored in the novel 'Independence' when he once again leaps far outside his lifetime into an ancestor. This time it's even farther back in his ancestry, in the middle of the Revolutionary War and he gets quite the crush on his host's wife who greatly resembles Donna. The ending scene where Al explains this to Donna is real well done.
The fact that Sammy Jo is implied to be the key to bringing Sam home is something Donna would certainly embrace and you could argue was the real reason he kept being put in Abigail's life. Not for her but for himself, to conceive the child who would provide what the project needed to bring him home, a version of his own mind.
This is why when I just read the novel Loch Ness Leap which revolves around Sammy Jo it bothered me that Donna was not there. That and I just adore Donna.

To touch on a more light hearted matter, the second best thing about this episode is the humor revolved around Sam and Al switching sexual mind sets. Sam is such a crack up the way he's immediately shamed every time he vomits an Al comment.:roflmao:

Side Note: Though it's clear why Sam's carrying the memory of Donna while leaping would cause conflict, my best friend and I have discussed how it doesn't fit with how he seems to be able to recover most every other memory of his personal life. Such as how at the end of this episode Al tells Donna that Sam doesn't remember the simo-leap and yet he references it a few episodes later in Dreams. But I digress.

Lightning McQueenie 08-05-2013 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by leaper1 (Post 59122)
Shameless plug...

The whole Donna marriage thing bothers me too, so for a long time I avoided it in my fanfic. However, I did address it, and her relationship with Sammi Jo, in my stories 'Snake in the Grass' and 'ME, myself and Sam' over at
http://www.fanfiction.net/u/827199/Madders_Ahatter

They are nos 4 & 5 in a five story arc - but you could probably read them without the first three without losing too much in terms of that relationship.

I'm afraid I can't find these stories since you deleted them, do you have them archived anywhere else?

leaper1 08-05-2013 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 59914)
I'm afraid I can't find these stories since you deleted them, do you have them archived anywhere else?

Thanks for your interest. Sorry, I had some complaints that the subject matter was too strong for ff.net so I moved them to AO3

http://archiveofourown.org/works/527761
http://archiveofourown.org/works/541892

I must repeat the caution here - they deal with adult themes and some may find disturbing. Read at your own discretion.

Sam Beckett Fan 08-27-2013 07:54 PM

Something has just occurred to me, watching this episode now.
"Don't you remember? The timeline in Ziggy's databanks were limited to your lifetime."
"Right, and Al's in 1945."
"And we didn't know that until we got your letter."

How did they not know the year until it is disclosed in Sam's letter? Why didn't they speak to Tom Jared in the waiting room?

Lightning McQueenie 08-28-2013 12:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60054)
Something has just occurred to me, watching this episode now.
"Don't you remember? The timeline in Ziggy's databanks were limited to your lifetime."
"Right, and Al's in 1945."
"And we didn't know that until we got your letter."

How did they not know the year until it is disclosed in Sam's letter? Why didn't they speak to Tom Jared in the waiting room?

One can assume that since the Project went into lockdown thinking there had been an explosion and needing protection from the radioactive fallout, that the Waiting Room was sealed off as the Imaging Chamber had been... I expect that only the Control Room was accessible at the time, for the purpose of trying to locate Sam and override the failsafe procedure.

Which gets me thinking - is there a supply of food and water in the Waiting Room? Otherwise Tom Jared might have been very dehydrated and hungry by the time they could get to him...

Sam Beckett Fan 08-28-2013 04:14 AM

Perhaps though I feel it's cruel and against Sam's (or in this case Al's) well being to deny the staff access to the guest especially in an emergency situation; some of which leave the guest as the only access to information on the leaper's whereabouts. Mirror Image makes a strong example of this when Al was lucky enough to find Sam on a hunch because since he leapt in as himself they didn't receive a guest.

Sam Beckett Fan 09-03-2013 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 60057)
One can assume that since the Project went into lockdown thinking there had been an explosion and needing protection from the radioactive fallout, that the Waiting Room was sealed off as the Imaging Chamber had been... I expect that only the Control Room was accessible at the time, for the purpose of trying to locate Sam and override the failsafe procedure.

Which gets me thinking - is there a supply of food and water in the Waiting Room? Otherwise Tom Jared might have been very dehydrated and hungry by the time they could get to him...

I need to amend my response to this suggestion but am unable to edit my last post.
Watching this episode now Sam specifies the lock-down to the Imagining Chamber while explaining to Al why Gooshi couldn't just open the door for him. The Waiting Room was not locked down.

Lightning McQueenie 09-04-2013 01:00 AM

The waiting room was not MENTIONED to be locked down, but it's pretty obvious that it was, considering that the project members WOULD have thought to speak to Tom Jared to find out where Sam (or in this case, Al) was. It's directly referenced in the show that speaking to the person in the Waiting Room is how they begin to find Sam, where to try to hook up Al's brainwaves in the Imaging Chamber, and where to start searching for reasons why Sam leaps there (e.g. Genesis: "Tom Stratten is with us, how do you think we found you?" or Revenge of the Evil Leaper: "I want you to go back and talk to whoever leapt into the Holding Chamber...")

Sam Beckett Fan 09-04-2013 03:17 AM

That doesn't make it factual that the waiting room was locked down, it could simply be a writing flaw. Somewhat like how Al stated in Animal Frat that Sam was 16 in college but in The Leap Home Sam 16 year old Sam is about to finish High School. It's a 90's television show, flaws and/or inconsistencies are actually not uncommon for them. Obviously the dilemma of the unusual situation in this episode was the main point and probably provided by the lack of acknowledging the waiting room visitor.

Personally however I would have liked to see Tom Jared looking at Al's reflection as there have been brief scenes later of Sam's counterparts. Too bad he wouldn't be in his Navy uniform, Tom's reaction to that would've been interesting.

Lightning McQueenie 09-04-2013 07:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60135)
That doesn't make it factual that the waiting room was locked down, it could simply be a writing flaw. Somewhat like how Al stated in Animal Frat that Sam was 16 in college but in The Leap Home Sam 16 year old Sam is about to finish High School.

How is this a flaw? He could easily have finished school and then started university before having his next birthday...

iMonrey 09-06-2013 04:19 PM

As much as I enjoyed this episode (it's one of a few I've watched twice), it does have some problems. I think the main problem is that it should have been a two-part story because there is too much going on for just a one hour episode and the whole thing ends up feeling very rushed.

It's almost as emotional as The Leap Home - in some ways, more so, because Sam is actually - finally - home, in his own time. But he doesn't get enough time to spend there and the emotion sort of gets short-changed. There is entirely too much expository dialogue at the end when Sam is suiting up to get into the accelerator - about him having figured out how to pinpoint the leap into Al, about having worked on improving the retrieval program, and too little time spent on the agony of Donna having to lose Sam all over again after having just gotten him back after four years. For his part, Sam seems so focused on saving Al that it's almost as if he's brushing Donna aside. Again, I blame this all on the story being too big to fit one episode.

The other big problem I have is how Sam remembers being married to Donna. In the original timeline she left him at the altar. I know he changed history in Star Crossed, but he shouldn't remember the altered history, otherwise his memory would have changed at the end of Star Crossed. Maybe he only "remembers" once he's back in 1999, the revised version, which is why he forgets again when he leaps back, but it's a real stretch.

I know this show plays fast and loose with the whole "swiss cheese memory" idea but this episode takes it to another level. If leaping discombobulates you that much, how does Sam even remember what he's there to do once he leaps into Al? He remembers that, but not his wife?

And while it's fun to see Project Quantum Leap for the first time, it also raises a lot of unanswered questions, like why someone can't just leap back into Sam (as they have now proven it's possible to do) so Sam can come out of the waiting room and work on the retrieval program so he can finally bring himself home. These people are entirely too passive about the entire leaping process.

It also bugs me that everyone seems to be wearing such futuristic clothing, something that always bothered me about Al's outfits since Genesis. Did they really think that only eight years into the future everyone would be dressed up like The Jetsons?

The humorous bits at the beginning, like Sam and Al standing in the park both screaming for Gooshie, and Sam trying to "feel" his way around the imaging chamber for the door, really make this episode for me. Again, the whole idea behind it really needed two hours to properly tell the story.

blue enigma 09-06-2013 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMonrey (Post 60149)
As much as I enjoyed this episode (it's one of a few I've watched twice), it does have some problems. I think the main problem is that it should have been a two-part story because there is too much going on for just a one hour episode and the whole thing ends up feeling very rushed.

Absolutely. It feels very rushed in general and it seems like they were too anxious to get it back to Sam leaping instead of playing a little bit with the role reversal. I would have liked to see Al do at least one more leap and both guys have a little bit longer of a time to be in each other's shoes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMonrey (Post 60149)
For his part, Sam seems so focused on saving Al that it's almost as if he's brushing Donna aside.

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMonrey (Post 60149)
I know this show plays fast and loose with the whole "swiss cheese memory" idea but this episode takes it to another level. If leaping discombobulates you that much, how does Sam even remember what he's there to do once he leaps into Al? He remembers that, but not his wife?

I have all kinds of problems with the Donna storyline in general. I don't dislike the character as I know some fans do, just the story arc, and I definitely pick up the same vibe of Sam brushing Donna aside when he's about to step into the accelerator again. It's part of the reason I don't buy her as the love of Sam's life, as is suggested in this episode and 'Star Crossed' [and I really dislike 'Star Crossed' - I have several issues with it, but that's a separate topic]. The rushedness of the episode is a big part of that. I also personally don't find there to be enough chemistry between the two actors, even though Scott Bakula and Mimi Kuzyk are both good actors.

The first half of the episode, in 1945, is great. On rewatch I tend to now watch the first half then turn it off or just fast forward through the scenes in 1999.

Sam Beckett Fan 09-06-2013 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by imonrey
The other big problem I have is how Sam remembers being married to Donna. In the original timeline she left him at the altar. I know he changed history in Star Crossed, but he shouldn't remember the altered history, otherwise his memory would have changed at the end of Star Crossed. Maybe he only "remembers" once he's back in 1999, the revised version, which is why he forgets again when he leaps back, but it's a real stretch.

Actually this makes perfect sense to me. The altered timeline did not exist for Sam until he existed within it. Let me see, how do I explain this? In Star Crossed Al wouldn't realize that Sam had succeeded until he stepped out of the imagining chamber and saw Donna standing there. He even demonstrates this by challenging Sam's actions with "What if she marries the first guy?" (recall Donna was engaged before Sam). This is a concept that is often explored in the novels, I think most so in Random Measures.
It's also supported that his strongest memories while leaping is that of previous leaps when he narrates that the swiss-cheese effect has reversed while back at the project. In fact the novel Mirror's Edge explores how his memories of the project are very basic and are limited to the names of staff members that have an immediate role in navigating his leaps; a computer that is supposed to know what he needs to change in the past, a programmer who keeps that computer functioning named Gooshi, and a psychiatrist named Verbeena Beeks who tends to the people he's switched places with for a few examples. For all we know these aren't even memories, they are just knowledge he got from Al. The novel also acknowledges how his memories of "home" are mostly targeted to Elk Ridge. We get a slight hint of this in One Strobe Over the Line when he watches Edie walk out his door and tells Al longingly "She's going home." which happens to be a neighboring city in Indiana. Sam really connects with Edie based on their having a farm upbringing in common.
In conclusion after Sam leaped out of the college professor he probably got wiped of his memory of Donna including that she stood him up at the alter since his memory partially resets with each leap so he can't regain a memory that he never had and no longer exists. Whereas Al can immediately step into the new present with untampered memory of the previous. The new timeline however is suggested to gradually override the previous in his immediate memory.
Did I make any sense at all? I did the best I could. My best friend had a really easy way of putting this when we discussed this not too long ago but it's escaped me. XP

Quote:

Originally Posted by imonrey
I think the main problem is that it should have been a two-part story because there is too much going on for just a one hour episode and the whole thing ends up feeling very rushed.

My best friend and I were recently discussing this actually and we would have much preferred a Trilogy of this storyline to Abigail. I completely agree that an hour was not enough time to explore this angle. Thus causing the unsettling re-parting of Sam and Donna which Blue Enigma expresses.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue enigma
I have all kinds of problems with the Donna storyline in general. I don't dislike the character as I know some fans do, just the story arc, and I definitely pick up the same vibe of Sam brushing Donna aside when he's about to step into the accelerator again. It's part of the reason I don't buy her as the love of Sam's life, as is suggested in this episode and 'Star Crossed' [and I really dislike 'Star Crossed' - I have several issues with it, but that's a separate topic]. The rushedness of the episode is a big part of that. I also personally don't find there to be enough chemistry between the two actors, even though Scott Bakula and Mimi Kuzyk are both good actors.

I however would like to remind you Blue Enigma that when Sam saw how much pain the thought of losing him again caused Donna he re-thought it and very well may not have gone if she hadn't suddenly felt a pang of guilt for Al's life and insisted he go. It clearly wasn't an easy decision but come on, we're talking about Sam Beckett here. This would have been the ultimate selfishness for him to let even a stranger let alone his best friend die for the sake of his love life. And Donna knows that, she understands what she married into that's why she's his soul mate as Beth was Al's ("Flying was his first love, the Navy was his second and I guess I was his third, but I knew that when I married him"). At least that is the impression Scott has which is supported by the end scene of the episode. My favorite thing about the novel Mirror's Edge is it's portrayal of Donna in this way.

blue enigma 09-06-2013 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60151)
I however would like to remind you Blue Enigma that when Sam saw how much pain the thought of losing him again caused Donna he re-thought it and very well may not have gone if she hadn't suddenly felt a pang of guilt for Al's life and insisted he go. It clearly wasn't an easy decision but come on, we're talking about Sam Beckett here. This would have been the ultimate selfishness for him to let even a stranger let alone his best friend die for the sake of his love life. And Donna knows that, she understands what she married into that's why she's his soul mate as Beth was Al's ("Flying was his first love, the Navy was his second and I guess I was his third, but I knew that when I married him"). At least that is the impression Scott has which is supported by the end scene of the episode. My favorite thing about the novel Mirror's Edge is it's portrayal of Donna in this way.

The execution is the problem though. Of course it wasn't an easy decision for Sam and Donna wasn't going to let Al die, both for unselfish and selfish reasons. But because the episode was so rushed it does feel like he's brushing her aside and there is something very unsatisfying about it. For me anyway.

Like I said, I personally don't like the Donna story arc, though I like Donna well enough. I think Sam acts like a creep to her in the 'Star Crossed' episode, so right from the start the relationship bothered me off the bat. As for whether she was his soul mate or not, maybe she was. But so was Abigail Fuller in the 'Trilogy', and Tamlyn in 'Temptation Eyes', etc. Sam fell in love with women pretty easily and in the changed timeline he was doing so as a married man. I've always found the Swiss-cheesed brain thing to be way too convenient and to me it's not an excuse. But that's just my personal take on it. I know a lot of people love Sam and Donna together and interpret things a little differently.

Sam Beckett Fan 09-07-2013 01:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue enigma
The execution is the problem though. Of course it wasn't an easy decision for Sam and Donna wasn't going to let Al die, both for unselfish and selfish reasons. But because the episode was so rushed it does feel like he's brushing her aside and there is something very unsatisfying about it. For me anyway.

I feel yah, honestly. I completely agree.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue enigma
I think Sam acts like a creep to her in the 'Star Crossed' episode

As a first impression I can understand that but as the series progresses we learn that Sam simply becomes careless and impulsive when very determined. He pushed a bit hard because he loves her so much.

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue enigma
As for whether she was his soul mate or not, maybe she was. But so was Abigail Fuller in the 'Trilogy', and Tamlyn in 'Temptation Eyes', etc.

No way. No one he become involved with in a leap was anywhere near a soul mate. Those were relationships of circumstance. He became deeply involved in certain womens situations to the point where he came to be affectionate towards them. Given his particular presence in their lives I think it's obvious that he wasn't meant to be with any of them. Not even Tamlyn who was the only adult able to see his true self as much as I ADORED her.
Abigail...well that's pretty obvious. Her crap of a life was so bizarre it was ridiculous. I may be biased with her however as even as a child I can not stand Abigail. In fact the adult Abigail he slept with if memory serves resembled Donna which could be a suggestion.

blue enigma 09-07-2013 01:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60153)
As a first impression I can understand that but as the series progresses we learn that Sam simply becomes careless and impulsive when very determined. He pushed a bit hard because he loves her so much.

Yes, Sam is definitely careless and impulsive when very determined. But in my opinion he didn't just push a bit hard. He acted like a creep to Donna. Were his intentions bad? No, not at all, but that doesn't change it for me. Yes, he loves her but he also feels entitled to her. We don't actually know what happened to Donna in the original history after she left Sam, we don't know how much if anything Sam knew about it, and if he did know anything he probably forgot it because of his Swiss cheesed memory. Maybe her life was better without him, for whatever reason. But Sam never even asks that question.

I'm with you on the Trilogy. I don't like it either, but it seemed to me that Sam had that soul connection with Abigail. He was definitely obsessed with her. Maybe he was just mistaking his obsession for soul-mate.

iMonrey 09-09-2013 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60151)
In conclusion after Sam leaped out of the college professor he probably got wiped of his memory of Donna including that she stood him up at the alter since his memory partially resets with each leap so he can't regain a memory that he never had and no longer exists. Whereas Al can immediately step into the new present with untampered memory of the previous. The new timeline however is suggested to gradually override the previous in his immediate memory.
Did I make any sense at all? I did the best I could. My best friend had a really easy way of putting this when we discussed this not too long ago but it's escaped me. XP

I understand what you're getting at, but I still think one of the reasons this show tended to avoid getting into the specific mechanics of how PQL works is because they know it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, which I think this episode demonstrates. When you start to pick at it, it all falls apart.

See, for example, Honeymoon Express. Sam changes history and right before Al's eyes, one of the "judges" on the Senate committee changes from a man to the woman whose history Sam has altered. Now, Al seems to realize there's suddenly a different person there. Do the other judges sitting next to her? We don't get any kind of reaction from them like "Hey, who are you and where in the heck did you come from, and what happened to so-and-so?" To them, it's as if she's been the head judge all along. So why does Al notice the change? Because he's part of PQL?

It seems to me that if Sam ended up marrying Donna as a result of changing history in Star-Crossed, then once Al returned to PQL, as far as he knows, Sam has been married to Donna all along. He shouldn't remember the original timeline where Sam wasn't married to her. If not, then Sam should remember only the original timeline or both of them when he returns to PQL in this episode.

The fact that Sam is only married to Donna because he changed history in Star-Crossed is really something that needed to be addressed here. I'm not sure they were banking of most of the audience remembering that episode. I think they were more interested in going for a shocking reveal that Sam was married and didn't remember it. But it doesn't work for me, because it seems to me he shouldn't remember it. I think I would have found this episode more satisfying if he explained to Donna that they are only married because he went back and changed history, and while he wishes they had that life together, it's not real to him like it is to her, which is why he has to leave her again.

blue enigma 09-09-2013 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMonrey (Post 60163)
I think I would have found this episode more satisfying if he explained to Donna that they are only married because he went back and changed history, and while he wishes they had that life together, it's not real to him like it is to her, which is why he has to leave her again.

Oof, that would be extremely painful for her and I think it would make Sam seem cruel. Unless he intended to leap back and convince her to marry the first guy she was engaged to, which I would find satisfying as a way to wrap up this story arc. I feel that's what should have happened anyway, if Sam's theory in 'Star-Crossed' about how to fix things for her is anything to go by. But as you pointed out they were going either for the shocking reveal of Sam being married and not remembering, and/or that Sam's leap back in 'Star-Crossed' worked.

Lightning McQueenie 09-11-2013 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iMonrey (Post 60163)
I understand what you're getting at, but I still think one of the reasons this show tended to avoid getting into the specific mechanics of how PQL works is because they know it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, which I think this episode demonstrates. When you start to pick at it, it all falls apart.

See, for example, Honeymoon Express. Sam changes history and right before Al's eyes, one of the "judges" on the Senate committee changes from a man to the woman whose history Sam has altered. Now, Al seems to realize there's suddenly a different person there. Do the other judges sitting next to her? We don't get any kind of reaction from them like "Hey, who are you and where in the heck did you come from, and what happened to so-and-so?" To them, it's as if she's been the head judge all along. So why does Al notice the change? Because he's part of PQL?

It's because of how Sam's and Al's brainwaves are linked through Ziggy. Since Ziggy stores information from both timelines, Sam and Al both remember what happened in both timelines. A good example is when Sam says "I lost my brother once, but I got him back". This suggests that he remembers the timeline with Tom dying, but also remembers growing up with him again.

Quote:

It seems to me that if Sam ended up marrying Donna as a result of changing history in Star-Crossed, then once Al returned to PQL, as far as he knows, Sam has been married to Donna all along. He shouldn't remember the original timeline where Sam wasn't married to her. If not, then Sam should remember only the original timeline or both of them when he returns to PQL in this episode.
Like I said, Al would remember both timelines. For example, some have speculated that
Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
after Sam stops Beth from remarrying, that Al would no longer be a part of the project, or even if he was, he wouldn't be as useful because he wouldn't have experienced the same things,
this would be simply untrue, because Al WOULD have the memory of experiencing everything.

Quote:

The fact that Sam is only married to Donna because he changed history in Star-Crossed is really something that needed to be addressed here. I'm not sure they were banking of most of the audience remembering that episode. I think they were more interested in going for a shocking reveal that Sam was married and didn't remember it. But it doesn't work for me, because it seems to me he shouldn't remember it. I think I would have found this episode more satisfying if he explained to Donna that they are only married because he went back and changed history, and while he wishes they had that life together, it's not real to him like it is to her, which is why he has to leave her again.
We have to remember
Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
that it is Sam leaping himself around. Therefore, it makes sense that he would subconsciously block out anything that would prevent him from completing his life's work, even someone he loves as much as Donna.


Quote:

Originally Posted by blue enigma (Post 60165)
Oof, that would be extremely painful for her and I think it would make Sam seem cruel. Unless he intended to leap back and convince her to marry the first guy she was engaged to, which I would find satisfying as a way to wrap up this story arc. I feel that's what should have happened anyway, if Sam's theory in 'Star-Crossed' about how to fix things for her is anything to go by. But as you pointed out they were going either for the shocking reveal of Sam being married and not remembering, and/or that Sam's leap back in 'Star-Crossed' worked.

THIS would have been an amazing trilogy. Have Sam leap again to save Al, the project would try to retrieve him but be unsuccessful, have an entire episode dedicated to the project and have Donna become mentally unstable from being abandoned by another man, and then in the final episode, Al would break his silence and tell Sam exactly what he thinks of him selfishly changing history for himself at Donna's expense, and Sam then leaping away to convince Donna to marry her first fiance.

blue enigma 09-11-2013 01:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 60179)
We have to remember
Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
that it is Sam leaping himself around. Therefore, it makes sense that he would subconsciously block out anything that would prevent him from completing his life's work, even someone he loves as much as Donna.

This exactly. I've always thought this.
Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
If he remembered her he might want to stop leaping. And the part of him that wants to keep leaping/feels he has to keep leaping subconsciously/unconsciously blocks that out.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 60179)
THIS would have been an amazing trilogy. Have Sam leap again to save Al, the project would try to retrieve him but be unsuccessful, have an entire episode dedicated to the project and have Donna become mentally unstable from being abandoned by another man, and then in the final episode, Al would break his silence and tell Sam exactly what he thinks of him selfishly changing history for himself at Donna's expense, and Sam then leaping away to convince Donna to marry her first fiance.

That would certainly have changed up the formula and added drama -- and melodrama, lol. I like the idea of Al breaking his silence and being the one to tell Sam what's what -- that was often part of the role he played as Sam's observer and friend anyway, but it would also tie into Al's own hard feelings regarding Sam fixing his own marriage but not Al's. And to be fair, I don't think Al dwells on it. Sam is his good friend and I think he forgave him after the events of 'M.I.A.', moved on and accepted that it wasn't meant to be for him and Beth and that Sam did what he thought was right -- for the most part. But then there's that other little part that can flare up no matter how much you think you've moved on, and that would have been a very realistic and human reaction on Al's part.

Sam Beckett Fan 10-22-2013 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 60136)
How is this a flaw? He could easily have finished school and then started university before having his next birthday...

A typical school year in America ends in June. Sam's birthday is August 8th.
He graduated with a proceeding class to his own but still it should have occurred in June.
Unless he started M.I.T in the summer which isn't specified but even then he'd be 16 at M.I.T for a maximum 2 months. Guess it still counts however. So I suppose it could work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie
We have to remember
Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)

that it is Sam leaping himself around. Therefore, it makes sense that he would subconsciously block out anything that would prevent him from completing his life's work, even someone he loves as much as Donna.


No, this does not fit.
Sam (nor the project) are aware that it's possible for him to guide himself, thus he is not.
There are however leaps which Sam is connected to on such a personal level that I believe it is possible that he was drawn to them subconsciously. I actually started a thread years ago theorizing this and it's still around. Though I have expanded on the theory and thus am considering re-starting it.
Example of such leaps are Camakazi Kid (boy with a sister about to enter an abusive marriage) and Future Boy (man is believed to be mentally unstable because he's attempting to build a time machine). Then there is of course the leap from his teenage self into Vietnam. That one is obvious right?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie
For example, some have speculated that
Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)
after Sam stops Beth from remarrying, that Al would no longer be a part of the project, or even if he was, he wouldn't be as useful because he wouldn't have experienced the same things,

this would be simply untrue, because Al WOULD have the memory of experiencing everything.

Agreed and his most important experiences would remain. He will have still grown up an orphan, lost his sister to pneumonia, his father to cancer and his faith in God. These are the most important ways in which he compliments Sam's character. Plus he could still be very sex driven just not in the same way.
By the way, does anyone else find it kinda of ironic and amusing that the four children he has with Beth are ALL daughters. XD

blue enigma 10-22-2013 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60641)
A typical school year in America ends in June. Sam's birthday is August 8th.
He graduated with a proceeding class to his own but still it should have occurred in June.
Unless he started M.I.T in the summer which isn't specified but even then he'd be 16 at M.I.T for a maximum 2 months. Guess it still counts however. So I suppose it could work.

Yeah, I think this is either a continuity error or when Al told Sam he was 16 in Animal Frat he was simply mistaken. It is possible Sam started in the summer of '70, but it seems less likely. Like you pointed out, based on his age in The Leap Home he would have already just turned 17 if he started in the regular fall semester.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60641)
No, this does not fit.
Sam (nor the project) are aware that it's possible for him to guide himself, thus he is not.
There are however leaps which Sam is connected to on such a personal level that I believe it is possible that he was drawn to them subconsciously. I actually started a thread years ago theorizing this and it's still around.

In my opinion it can fit though. Just because he's not aware that it's possible doesn't mean he isn't doing it unconsciously. The end of 'Mirror Image' makes it clear to me that Sam can leap to where and when he wants, as he leaps to Beth at exactly the right time and place the moment he knows he has to and wants to. I agree it can be argued that Sam had a deep emotional connection to this. But I think based on 'Mirror Image' that it's plausible that Sam was always able to guide himself, and there would have to be some emotional connection to any of the times and places he landed, and he just didn't realize it until the leap to Al's Place. I don't see why anyone at the project would be aware, except possibly Ziggy. And maybe Al would have his suspicions knowing what a boy scout Sam is.

As for how Sam would know where and when to go other than the specifically personal leaps like 'The Leap Home: Vietnam', Ziggy runs probable scenarios based on historical information, newspaper articles, etc. that have been loaded into her databanks by the project personnel. I don't think it's farfetched to assume that Sam may have done some of the input, especially early on, maybe before they were fully staffed, and with his photographic memory he remembered it, or at least his subconscious mind remembered it while he was leaping. And of course there would be some emotional connection, even to the things that weren't deeply personal for him. Certain stories probably stuck because he felt either a personal connection to them like 'Camikaze Kid' or they evoked some feeling in him even though he didn't see an obvious connection to himself. So once he was leaping those were in his mind and he subconsciously or unconsciously guided himself to those times and places. I'm not sure if I'm articulating this well. But I do think the theory can work.

Depending on the interpretation the 'Mirror Image' leap can also be looked at as a next level in Sam's leaping. As the series went on Sam got better and better at leaping. While he still needed Al's help and certainly he relied on Al's moral support Sam started figuring out a lot of things on his own without Al's help in later leaps. He was much better at it and much more independent -- or at least it seems that way to me when I watch the series in order. So I think it's plausible that the 'Mirror Image' leap is a turning point and as Sam continues to improve he can now consciously guide himself. Or maybe he can make the choice to either target his leaping or let the time stream take him whenever and wherever he's needed.

ladystoneheart 10-23-2013 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue enigma (Post 60642)
So I think it's plausible that the 'Mirror Image' leap is a turning point and as Sam continues to improve he can now consciously guide himself. Or maybe he can make the choice to either target his leaping or let the time stream take him whenever and wherever he's needed.

To be honest,that idea comforts me.I mean the series ends with saying Sam never returned home.I want to believe that it would be his choice not to come back not because he couldn't.

blue enigma 10-23-2013 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladystoneheart (Post 60645)
To be honest,that idea comforts me.I mean the series ends with saying Sam never returned home.I want to believe that it would be his choice not to come back not because he couldn't.

I agree. I know some people interpret that last screen as meaning that Sam somehow is trapped in time and can't return home. But I don't buy it. I really believe it was Sam's choice. From everything we see in the series it fits his character. And I actually think that even though there were harrowing leaps that he just wanted to get out of as soon as possible, Sam enjoyed leaping and he loved helping other people. He wanted to continue to do that more than he wanted to go home, even though he also wanted to go home.

Sam Beckett Fan 10-23-2013 11:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blue enigma
The end of 'Mirror Image' makes it clear to me that Sam can leap to where and when he wants, as he leaps to Beth at exactly the right time and place the moment he knows he has to and wants to.

Of course but at this point he had been made away of the ability. As opposed to say when he leaped into Lawrence college at the exact point in time when a turning point in Donna's faith in men would need to be made to ensure that she marries. Whether it's Sam, the prior fiancee or otherwise. Speaking of which in my last post I had forgotten:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie
and Sam then leaping away to convince Donna to marry her first fiance.

We don't know the prior fiancee and why it ended with him nor did Sam(it's possible Donna talked about it with him but he still never knew the person). Considering she still didn't end up with him even after her faith in men is restored it can be assumed that it was about him specifically or that the break up was his doing. Perhaps he was abusive, cheated or in some other way was an a**. Like Bob of Camakazi Kid. Or as was suggested in Mirror's Edge was a set up made by her mother. From which can be assumed there was no love there. If you want to look at the he left her side, than perhaps he saw something in her he didn't like, such as selfishness as blue enigma sees. There are several possible scenarios that could make this guy either no better or worse than Sam or just not anymore the right person for her than Sam.

Lets also consider this, the Sam who built the project while married to Donna had no idea he'd have no way back.

Anyway returning to Blue Enigma, there is a slight difference between how he got to Beth that second time and how he ended up in other ironic leaps such as Camakazi Kid, Future Boy and Vietnam. Still you are right and in a way he has at least some of the time been guiding himself. Or so can be speculated and personally I do.
By the way every time I watch Thou Shalt Not and Al says "Try clicking your heels together three times and saying there's no place like home" I always think about how ironically correct he actually was. How interesting is that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladystoneheart
To be honest,that idea comforts me.I mean the series ends with saying Sam never returned home.I want to believe that it would be his choice not to come back not because he couldn't.

Actually it's worse if you really think about it. Considering not only Donna but the entire project who devoted their lives to finding a way to bring their lost director home and his mother, sister and the brother he made a huge fuss over sparing, it's in fact a partially selfish choice to not ever return home. Not to mention unnecessary! why not return home in between leaps and perhaps even at times alternate with Al. This way he could have both of the conflicting lives he desires; the one where he touches lives and changes them for the better and the one where he is home with those who know his true self and love him.

blue enigma 10-24-2013 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60648)
Of course but at this point he had been made away of the ability. As opposed to say when he leaped into Lawrence college at the exact point in time when a turning point in Donna's faith in men would need to be made to ensure that she marries. Whether it's Sam, the prior fiancee or otherwise.

My point is that just because he wasn't aware that he was controlling his leaping it doesn't mean he wasn't doing it. The theory is that he'd always been guiding himself subconsciously until 'Mirror Image', when he's made aware of it, and then it becomes conscious.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60648)
Anyway returning to Blue Enigma, there is a difference between how he got to Beth that second time and how he ended up in other ironic leaps such as Camakazi Kid, Future Boy and Vietnam. Still you are right and in a way he has at least some of the time guiding himself.
By the way every time I watch Thou Shalt Not and Al says "Try clicking your heels together three times and saying there's no place like home" I always think about how ironically correct he actually was. How interesting is that.

Oh, no question there's a difference the second time he goes to Beth, because then he is definitely aware of his ability to guide himself, and takes himself to the exact moment in time and space that he needs to be.

Agreed about Al's comment in 'Thou Shalt Not', an episode I love by the way. That comment is perfect taken together with the Wizard of Oz analogy of 'Mirror Image'. Whether Al was aware that he was hitting the nail on the head or not is hard to say. But I wouldn't be surprised if Al had some sense that Sam kept leaping because he wanted to. He made a lot of cracks throughout the series about Sam the Boy Scout and in 'Play Ball' he says specifically, "If it was up to you you'd save everybody."

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60648)
Actually it's worse if you really think about it. Considering not only Donna but the entire project who devoted their lives to finding a way to bring their lost director home and his mother, sister and the brother he made a huge fuss over sparing, it's in fact a partially selfish choice to not ever return home. Not to mention unnecessary! why not return home in between leaps and perhaps even at times alternate with Al. This way he could have both of the conflicting lives he desires; the one where he touches lives and changes them for the better and the one where he is home with those who know his true self and love him.

I agree with this and I wasn't specific enough in my comment. The idea of Sam being completely trapped in time unable to go home is what's disturbing for me. It conjures up a sense that he's helpless. I much prefer to think of him as having the control and having the choice, and that eventually he would realize that it isn't selfish for him to choose to go home.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:52 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2000 - 2016 Al's Place Quantum Leap Fan Site | 4.8.15.16.23.42