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-   -   222 M.I.A. (http://quantumleap-alsplace.com/forum/showthread.php?t=596)

alsplacebartender 02-18-2003 12:40 PM

222 M.I.A.
 
M.I.A.
April 1, 1969


San Diego, California


As an undercover police officer, Sam is caught in a familiar scenario to Al when he must prevent an M.I.A. Naval officer's wife from marrying another man until he returns from captivity. But the other man keeps showing up, and Sam thinks it may just be fate that the two come together. Is Sam there to do something else?


Written by: Donald P. Bellisario
Directed by: Michael Zinberg


Rate and comment on the second season finale!

http://www.quantumleap-alsplace.com/...iteepisode.gif

mstalanon 03-06-2003 01:19 AM

Man... that guy's heart was just BREAKING!!! :yikes

jmstone65 10-01-2003 12:15 PM

Yes it was,I thought it was great episode,but after the leap out I thought of how Sam changed his own past so Donna would marry him.I always made me mad

MikeKraken 10-03-2003 02:44 PM

I just finished rewatching this episode, and I thought I'd come here to post my thoughts... this is a very moving episode, and both Dean and Scott have their true acting talents shine through. IIRC, Dean was nominated for an Emmy for this episode, but didn't get it... grrr... wish I could find out who did, and maybe Sam can leap into them and ruin their showing. <L> :b

Anyway, we get to see a piece of Al's past that is quite painful for him, and as we see in "Mirror Image", it's a guilt that Sam carries with him (unless he forgets) throughout the rest of the series.

This is a perfect season ender, which leaves one wanting to see more when season three started. (Err, can't get the tenses right there...) It's definitely one of the top five QL episodes, and I know it's a favourite to many Leapers.

... Mike. ^_^

RossBeckett 10-21-2003 03:01 PM

Excellent episode!!! This did make me a little mad though about how Sam changed history for him and Donna but passed up his chance to make things right with Al and Beth's marriage. That was a bad move on the writer's part. It was so unlike Sam. That's my opinion. We don't get to see Al's "sex drive" in this episode. We get to see a side of him that we never saw before this ep was aired for the first time.

~Steve(aka RossBeckett)

Vince Beckett 10-05-2005 10:38 PM

This was an emotional episode. Definitely one of the best in the series and it was the perfect way to end the second season.

TessCrazy 06-26-2006 04:18 PM

yep i agree. this is my favourite episode. i agree that dean should have got that award for the episode, definatly turned my thoughts about Al around and made me pay more attention to him from then on.

Don Quixote 06-26-2006 05:18 PM

The most moving moment for me in the episode was when Al tried to hold onto Beth, but she just passed through him. Amazing.

lilttkaibacorpchic008 11-20-2006 04:00 PM

this episode still makes me cry everytime... i absolutely love it although i do agree about being mad that Sam can't change history for Al.

LunarCrystal 11-21-2006 01:24 PM

Regarding a detail: I never saw this detail until I got the DVDs, due to quality and clarity of picture. But when Al's watching Beth smoking on the couch, teary eyed, he slowly takes a seat before her on the floor . . . and a tear drips down. Is it just me or is there something fundamentally earth shattering about watching Dean Stockwell cry?

Spoiler - Highlight to read

Now, granted this gets changed at the end of the last episode (curse that episode). Sam tells Beth that Al's alive and she waits, and they celebrate their 39th wedding aniversary with four daughters. No one else sees major problems with this idea? I know Bellisario said that Sam and Al were destined to meet and would have become partners no matter what timeline they were in. But Al being a married man and a father of four would seriously impact his character. That's thirty years that are totally, absurdly different.

For example - Al learned quite a lot from various women he's met in his life. Fi Fi Boom Boom LaRue was a stripper in New Orleans. Would Al have gone to see strippers in New Orleans while he was faithfully married to Beth? I'm sure there's more, but he simply wouldn't be the same. IMHO.

Snish 11-23-2006 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LunarCrystal
Regarding a detail: I never saw this detail until I got the DVDs, due to quality and clarity of picture. But when Al's watching Beth smoking on the couch, teary eyed, he slowly takes a seat before her on the floor . . . and a tear drips down. Is it just me or is there something fundamentally earth shattering about watching Dean Stockwell cry?

Nah, it's just you. :D I'm kidding. I had to go and look at this, and I don't think I've ever seen a tear fall from Dean's eye before.

About the spoiler--I agree with you. I feel like DPB pulled the rug out from under us. I can believe Al would still be part of PQL, but he would act quite differently than the Al we know and love. Sure I want him to be happy, but I don't want him to be a stranger either.

Snish

Calavicci's_Girl 01-05-2007 06:44 AM

fantastic episode, and yup i was in tears at the end, very moving :)

SBeckett 01-05-2007 11:22 PM

In my opinion, had the series continued on the ending note.....Al could have awakened the next AM to hear the sounds of a woman in the shower. Being Al, he would not be sure who he had taken home with him. Then he would notice the surroundings were a house rather than his apartment at the complex. Beth would come out of the bathroom in her robe, kiss Al and tell him she was going to fix breakfast. Al would know that Sam had changed the past, however Al would have the memory of all that had happened since he came home from Viet Nam the first time. So, he would still work at PQL. He would also have a vague memory of the girls births and growing up years. A bit like both timelines were in his memory. Only he and Sam would know different. Al would know that he could never tell Beth of the alternate timeline.

TessCrazy 01-07-2007 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SBeckett
In my opinion, had the series continued on the ending note.....Al could have awakened the next AM to hear the sounds of a woman in the shower. Being Al, he would not be sure who he had taken home with him. Then he would notice the surroundings were a house rather than his apartment at the complex. Beth would come out of the bathroom in her robe, kiss Al and tell him she was going to fix breakfast. Al would know that Sam had changed the past, however Al would have the memory of all that had happened since he came home from Viet Nam the first time. So, he would still work at PQL. He would also have a vague memory of the girls births and growing up years. A bit like both timelines were in his memory. Only he and Sam would know different. Al would know that he could never tell Beth of the alternate timeline.

that's just what i'd have liked to see, exept i could imagine it being more like; "honey, i just had the strangest dream that you weren't there when i got back from vietnam and that i had a whole bunch of failed marriages!"

...exept that's just so cheesy...

- tess

newleaper 01-07-2007 06:18 PM

This episode is my all time favorite. I was sick and half crazed with the flu when I first saw it, but by the end, I was sobbing and yelling at Sam so much I sent myself into a coughing fit.

This episode still makes me cry every time I see it. Dean's acting in the episode is amazing.

I don't totally get the whole Skaggs/setup/baby thing, but it doesn't bother me because it's not the focus.

jmellissa 01-07-2007 10:38 PM

Reading all these makes me want to go and watch it again. It been a while and there are parts I don't remember. So I am off to see M.I.A. I will be back to tell me thoughts. I will be on the look out for Al's tear/crying. I don't remember him doing that.

Julie 01-08-2007 08:13 AM

I absolutely love this episode. I watched it not too long ago. Very sad. It also makes me a little annoyed that Sam got to see his family and change the way his brother goes in Vietnam. It's selfish. Still a great episode.

newleaper 01-08-2007 09:37 AM

You really think differently about Al after this episode.

Why it just about made me a little Al obsessed :O

desirelife 01-08-2007 09:19 PM

Yeah, another of the best episodes of the entire series. What really bugged me was how Sam did not save Al's marriage. I know this was early on and he was not doing two goods rather than just the one, but this was his companion and best friend. Hard to forgive Sam for that!

jmellissa 01-09-2007 12:16 AM

Well I did it! What can I say...this is a great episode! Like all the others I wish that Sam would have helped Al. At least we know that Al get's his later in IM. I have to ask why Sam thought of the "rules" when it was Al's life but when it was Sam's he didn't care about the "rules"... sounds like a bummer deal. A nothing how would Sam know where his partner was if Al haddn't put it though Ziggy yet. Sam still saved the day. I had forgotten how sweet Al's wife looked. I love her smile! Oh and I got to see Al trear up, I had forgotten how Dean really did well in this one. He kinda of took the show at the end at least.

newleaper 01-09-2007 12:18 AM

Dean did take the show and ran with it.

I remember watching it and being really confused at the first part thinking that Dean was overracting a bit, but when it all comes together, it was nothing short of beautiful.

jmellissa 01-09-2007 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newleaper
Dean did take the show and ran with it.

I remember watching it and being really confused at the first part thinking that Dean was overracting a bit, but when it all comes together, it was nothing short of beautiful.

I had that thought last night when I watched agian. It had been so long that I had forgotten a lot of it. I had this feeling like Sam Should have noticed how Al was reacting. That in other leaps Sam has always had to put right somthing that was in the close family or friends life. But this time it was so out of the way and even the way Beth reacted to Sam. In a way Sam knew "somthing" wasn't right. He had that "feeling" that things weren't right. But, I still feel that Al should have gotten his "chance".

Aging Boomer 03-22-2007 06:58 PM

I didn't know the whole Al/Beth backstory the first time I got in on the series, so this was a real eye-opener for me catching it on DVD for the first time.

Lots of criticism of Sam's behavior on this thread, but he seemed to me to be in a no-win situation. I understand perfectly Al's desire to save his marriage, but I had the sense that he was hijacking Sam's mission (saving his police partner) to serve his own agenda. To God (or however you define the Unknown Force), that's a no-no.

Sam likewise failed to save his brother when he tried to do it himself after Al had told him that was not why he was back on the farm. He had to get the UF's permission before he could be put in a position to save Tom. I don't remember the exact circumstances of his setting himself up with Donna, but I don't think he lost sight of his mission in the process.

Janna Galaxy 05-09-2007 03:30 PM

I think Sam got a little emotional when he realised the husband that was MIA was Al.

I can't believe what Sam said "Al! If you close that door don't ever open it again!" Then Al is stuck in conflict. Anger...then into sorrow and dispair as he step back through the door.

That bit broke me and I started to cry.

But the end sealed it when Beth wispears "Al..."

I was glad when I watched this episode. Because it helped fill in some of the gaps from "Mirror Image" because I didn't know who Beth was until then. I heard her name 2 in season 5. But I didn't have a clue. I started to watch QL during season 3 "glitter rock".

cookiemom6067 05-18-2007 01:29 PM

This is the only episode on U.S. DVD that the music replacement was truly mutilating. The last, wonderful Dean Stockwell scene, when Al is dancing with Beth, is darn near unwatchable because of it.

isz 07-14-2007 05:03 PM

Without a doubt one of the best episode of the series(one of my top 3).Well written,well acted(especially by dean). One of the most emotional episodes of the series. this episode had it all.
I really enjoyed it.

bluedana 07-21-2007 10:53 AM

This is an excellent episode, definitely one of my top ten. Wasn't DS Emmy-nominated for this performance? If so, it was well deserved.

I can't fault Sam for not telling Beth about Al. Up until now, he hadn't directly influenced his real life. In Starcrossed, he did something indirect (reuniting Donna with her father), but with no guarantee that it would change things for him; she could have married her first fiance, not Sam. And this is before Leap Home I and II, neither of which went the way Sam intended. (As someone upthread mentioned, in Leap I, nothing he did actually worked, and in Leap II, the price tag was pretty high.)

But in MIA, both characters get across how big the stakes are: Al because it would change his whole life, and Sam because if he doesn't figure out why he's there (and his Observer isn't helping him do that), he's screwed. Kind of the flip side to Shock Theatre.

des 08-18-2007 05:40 AM

M.I.A. is my favourite episode, as you can see on my signature :D
when I saw that the first time, I was moved for whole episode. the scene when Sam saw the Al's photo and said "Oh Al"...unforgettable! Great Scott!
But a thing was changed after I saw that: whenever I listen "Georgia in my mind" I think of Al and Beth and they dance.

It's incredible how a show cans to involve emotionally.

Mr Questionmark 09-11-2007 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by des
:D
whenever I listen "Georgia in my mind" I think of Al and Beth and they dance.

It's incredible how a show cans to involve emotionally.

So true, I was at a beer festival last week, (Mmmm Beeer!)
as the live band were setting up they had some music playing
1st one was Pink Floyd (nice :) )
2nd one Ray Charles and Georgia on my mind.
Had to explain why there was "something in my eye" to my new gf who has yet to be 'enlightened' about leaping.


*note to self* must get the dvd's

isz 09-29-2007 12:58 PM

I had some free time today,so i rewatched this episode and...I just realized we had the fourth Lisa(the first of the series) we "met" during the entire series.She didn't had a face,only a name in this episode,but still...(Scag's wife name was Lisa). She's also the 3rd Lisa of DPB scripts.
I'm really curious - what is the deal with this name...

In a summary...This is the first Lisa we meets in QL,but she had only a name. In the next episode of the series -"TLH1" we'll meet another Lisa - A cheerleder, 15yo Sam's had a crash on - The first Lisa "with a face" in the series. The next Lisa we'll "meet" on the show will be the Lisa from the episode "Hurricane"(Not a script by DPB) and the last Lisa we'll meet is Al's Lisa from "A leap for Lisa".

Bexter 09-29-2007 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isz
I'm really curious - what is the deal with this name...

I don't know isz, I read and article once about the percentage of girls called Lisa in the United States, I can't actually remember what it was but it was really high!!

Over here its Sharon, over a certain age there are stacks of women called Sharon (or otherwise known as Shazza) For the blokes its Bruce, I actually thought the other day how many men I actually knew called Bruce as I thought maybe it wasn't such a common name after all, but I know several in my immediate neighbourhod including the nieghbours dog, so perhaps it is rather common

Is there are name like that in Isreal? Actualy perhaps we should move this thread to OTF.

JuliaM 09-30-2007 01:35 AM

According to the 1990 US Census, Lisa was the 11th most common female name (http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/dist.female.first). I'm sure that's probably one of the reasons it comes up so frequently - it's just a very common name.

Just as an aside, Albert was the 54th most common male name and Samuel was the 60th most common (http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/dist.male.first)

isz 09-30-2007 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmoniz
According to the 1990 US Census, Lisa was the 11th most common female name (http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/dist.female.first). I'm sure that's probably one of the reasons it comes up so frequently - it's just a very common name.

Just as an aside, Albert was the 54th most common male name and Samuel was the 60th most common (http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/dist.male.first)

And DPB dad's name was Albert(His mother name was Dana) so i think that the main reason why DPB called the project observer - Albert.;)

Anyway, Bexter is probably right this topic is better be discussed in the Off-Topic Forum. :)

Joe_Quarterback 12-18-2007 01:18 AM

Ok, here goes my opinion:

Some of us (including me) got mad for Sam's attitude with Al. Sam changed his past, so he could marry Donna... But why the heck didn't allowed to Al to change his past? Sam broke his own rule in the first place and of course, we all went nuts for this.

Of course, Al really loved Beth, and quoting him "That's why my other marriages didn't work". The last scene made me almost cry. I envy Al for having such a lovely girl who waited for him, but of course, Beth was terribly alone and I don't blame her for what she did. She fell in love with the lawyer and got married again...

Great Episode, but Al didn't deserved this...

Best Regards

Joe Quarterback

JuliaM 12-18-2007 01:29 AM

There is a difference between what Sam did in "Star Crossed" and what Al wanted him to do in "MIA". In "Star Crossed" Sam was very upfront about who Donna was. In addition to trying to change his own past, he was also doing his best to do what Al and Ziggy told him had to be done on the leap. He didn't put that aside in order to fulfill his own wishes.

In "MIA", Al isn't telling Sam who Beth is - he's lying to him about it (a lie of omission). He also doesn't even bother to check to see what the odds are that Sam's there to do something else - just makes the assumption that it's to stop Beth from marrying Dirk. That almost ends up costing the life of Skaggs.

Al was deliberately decieving Sam about what he was supposed to do. Yes, there are episodes where it can be said that Sam acts selfishly to change something for his own best interest but when that happens he's very up front about it. He doesn't try to hide it from Al. I find no fault in anything that Sam did in MIA or episodes where it can be said he acted selfishly. I do find fault with Al's behaviour in "MIA" since he's deliberately withholding information from Sam so that his own life can be made better.

Joe_Quarterback 01-02-2008 02:17 AM

Now, that's a new point of view. Ok, Al was selfish and didn't check what was Sam's mission on that leap, and if it had worked out differently, Skaggs would be dead on that bar.

Al made a terrible mistake when he lied to Sam about what was his mission, I don't discuss that. But he saw a new opportunity to recover Beth and make the change for good. But, rules are rules, anyway (but for every rule, there's an exception, right?).

Best Regards

Joe Quarterback

Indiana Leaper 05-04-2008 06:50 PM

Just watched this one again and I have to say that Al played a blinder here..The dance at the end was great and i just watch that the alternative ending could have been realised and Al would indeed return to her for however long. This is similar to Another Mother when Al says he'll be back to the little girl..Theres alot of scope for a future quantum leap series to explore..these stories might one day be concluded.

Bexter 05-05-2008 07:58 PM

IL, I have no doubt someone's written an excellent Fan Fic exploring both of these stories, I have not read much fan fic, not time at moment, no time, but just ask I'm sure someone will direct you to them

Aurora Illusions 07-04-2008 01:51 PM

I think Sam didn't save Al's marrage not because of the rules only, but because of all the conicidences. Maybe Sam truly believed that these two were ment to be together and thats what GFTW wanted. Sam himself, having got his chance at happyness and his soul mate, Donna, probably believes in 'matches made in heaven' and he believed that Al was not ment to be with Beth. Maybe he thought he was doing it in Al's best interests? Giving him the chance to actually find the one that was right for him?

Nonetheless this episode is my favorite and makes me cry everytime...my dad always laughs when he sees his 13yr old litterally crying her eyes out because of this episode. He tells me that it is just a TV show and just a character and i never have anything to retort.

leaper1 07-06-2008 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Indiana Leaper
Just watched this one again and I have to say that Al played a blinder here..The dance at the end was great

I adore the dance at the end as well, but - shock horror! - I have to say that it actually wasn't totally original.
A very similar scene takes place in the Spielberg movie "Always" (1989 - a year before MIA was made) with Richard Dreyfus and Holly Hunter. His character is a ghost rather than a hologram, and the tune is "Smoke gets in your eyes", but the dance is very reminiscent of the one we all know and love.
I think Don must at least have been inspired by it. Too close to be coincidence in my book.
I know this is heresy, and am putting up the defensive wall against the rotten tomatoes that are no doubt headed my way, but still, I felt it had to be said.
And after all, there have been plenty of subsequent films and tv shows that have 'borrowed' elements of QL in turn.
What is it they say? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


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