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alsplacebartender 02-18-2003 01:41 PM

412 Running for Honor
 
Running for Honor
June 11, 1964


Prescott Naval Academy (just outside of Lakeside, Michigan)


One of the most controversial episodes of the entire series, this episode deals with homosexuality. Sam and Al do not see eye-to-eye on this issue when Sam leaps into a naval cadet who may or not be gay. He is there to prevent another gay cadet from being killed by a gay-bashing group while trying to educate Al that the military's anti-gay laws are wrong. But is the person Sam leaped into really gay? Does it matter?


Written by: Robert Harris Duncan
Directed by: Bob Hulme


Rate and comment on this episode!

mstalanon 03-06-2003 01:35 AM

Another strong episode, with Al and Sam taking opposite stances... great character moments, and sadly, a good expose' on the injustice rearing it's ugly head when young men are confronted with the knowledge that someone may be different.

Vince Beckett 10-06-2005 07:05 PM

Very good, very controversial. Sam and Al's opinions clash where Al is a homophobe and Sam believes in equal rights for everyone. Al even accuses Sam of being a little "feminine."

Sam Beckett Fan 08-05-2007 03:02 AM

I thought this was a very strong episode. Not many shows touch on this subject of Gay people unless its some show that is famous for stupid humor. I loved how this episode tries to show people that Gay people are people just like everyone else in the world. It made me mad at first how Al was taking the opposing side on the matter at first but consitering the time period he was in Navel college, it makes a lot of sense because the scorning of Gays was very strong in his time so its what he is familiar with. I must say though Al's disapproval of Gays in the Navy was funny in the sense of how he was also dissing everything Sam did. The way he put his hands on his hips and crossed his legs and drank Tea instead of coffee. But the funniest scene in the entire ep was when Sam gave Karen a kiss on the cheek to bid her goodbye and Al standing behind him starts booing him. It cracks me up everytime even just playing it in my head. hahaha.
:roflmao:
Poor Sam.
This episode like many others is a great blend of seriousness and humor. And it just goes to show how prejudice the world was back in those years about all people who are different. Blacks, Gays etc...

JuliaM 08-05-2007 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
This episode like many others is a great blend of seriousness and humor. And it just goes to show how prejudice the world was back in those years about all people who are different. Blacks, Gays etc...

Hate to break it to you, but a whole lot hasn't changed. This episode concentrated mostly on the idea of gays in the military (Navy to be exact). The military hasn't gotten very far in their thinking since the '60's which is why there's a "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" policy.

The "don't ask, don't tell" portion of the policy comes into play in that commanding officers can't outright ask someone their sexual orientation nor is anyone required to state what it is. So there is tacit permission for gays to serve in the US military. However, in a case where someone is openly gay, he or she would be discharged:

Quote:

b) Policy.— A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations:
(1) That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts unless there are further findings, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations, that the member has demonstrated that— (A) such conduct is a departure from the member’s usual and customary behavior;
(B) such conduct, under all the circumstances, is unlikely to recur;
(C) such conduct was not accomplished by use of force, coercion, or intimidation;
(D) under the particular circumstances of the case, the member’s continued presence in the armed forces is consistent with the interests of the armed forces in proper discipline, good order, and morale; and
(E) the member does not have a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts.



(2) That the member has stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual, or words to that effect, unless there is a further finding, made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in the regulations, that the member has demonstrated that he or she is not a person who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts.

(3) That the member has married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.
(http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/ht...4----000-.html).

If you read the first part of the policy, "Findings", in the link, you'll see that it's pretty much the exact reasoning Al gives Sam for gays not serving in the military.

Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) introduced the Military Readiness Enhancement Act to the House in 2005 which would have effectively overturned the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy and replaced it with a policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual preference. Although the legislation was introduced, it was not voted into law.

Sam Beckett Fan 08-05-2007 01:25 PM

I never said it was not still going on today. I am very well aware it is, I saw on the news about the gay marriage law they are trying to pass.

Snish 08-05-2007 08:09 PM

If I remember right, back at the time this episode was made, gays in the military were a hot issue. It was before Bill Clinton was elected, and before the don't ask, don't tell policy. But as an issue of public concern, you never hear discussion of gays in the military anymore. Maybe the policy did nothing more than sweep the issue under the rug. I don't know anything about military life, so I have no idea whether anything has actually changed.

Anyway, I thought this was a fine episode. I'm quite tickled by Al's purple suit. For whatever reason, purple is associated with gay people. So while Al is protesting that gays shouldn't be in the military, he's also wearing that gorgeous purple suit that seems to show solidarity. I wonder if that was the costume designer's little joke. Or even Dean Stockwell's.

Sam Beckett Fan 08-05-2007 08:25 PM

Haha really!? thats too funny. Nice going Al. :lol

isz 08-16-2007 08:49 AM

A strong and controversial subject,but that is all.
I wasn't impressed at all. This episode looked to me like an episode i've seen befor(And more then once) during this series,and,well...it just too much.
There were one main thing in this episode i found really unbelievable - Can you really believe a homophobe like Al can really chang his mind about homosexuality in a few days(one night,to be exact)?! Sorry - I'm not buying that!
Bottom line - in my opinoion it was a good subject, but the episode itself was below Average.

leaper1 08-16-2007 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isz
A strong and controversial subject,but that is all.
I wasn't impressed at all. This episode looked to me like an episode i've seen befor(And more then once) during this series,and,well...it just too much.
There were one main thing in this episode i found really unbelievable - Can you really believe a homophobe like Al can really chang his mind about homosexuality in a few days(one night,to be exact)?! Sorry - I'm not buying that!
Bottom line - in my opinoion it was a good subject, but the episode itself was below Average.

Al is generally a tolerant man. I don't think he was ever a 'homophobe' as such. He's not anti-gay, he's only anti-gays in the military. (Much as there are some Christians who don't object to gays, but don't want them to be allowed to be priests) To him, that is a perfectly logical distinction. Thus his change of heart is not such a stretch after all.

Sam Beckett Fan 08-16-2007 02:43 PM

I agree with Helen, He had nothing against Gays just Gays in the military so it makes perfect sense for him to change his mind the way he did and in the length of time he did was fine too. Even if you were right though you have to remember its an hour long show so they can't exactly show him going through this long journey of finding out he's wrong like a movie such as Disney's Emporer's New Groove for example. So they did what they had to to fit it into an hour and it works fine seeing as his anti-Gay was only to a certian extent.

No offense isz but it seems that all of your episode reviews say the same thing, that you weren't impressesed. What about the show appeals to you mostly?

isz 08-16-2007 04:19 PM

In any show,no matter how much you like it,You'll always find episodes that won't "impress" you or you might even find'em really bad. That doesn't says you're not a real fan of the show,wouldn't it?!

About my reviews...you'll never see me write long reviews. I always writes similier reviews that are short and mostly says the bottom line.- Excellent episode,Bellow excellent,Good,a bit bellow good,Average,Bellow average,fair or poor. there are times those reviews will be longer. but most of the time it will be short.

P.S.
I'm a big fan of QL,But i'll never say the all show is a master piece. And i won't say it's the best show i've ever seen - it's not. I liked "The X files" better and The real master piece made for televison in my opinion was - "Six Feet Under".

Sam Beckett Fan 08-17-2007 01:28 AM

I am sorry I did not mean it badly. I wasn't accusing you of not being a fan I was just wondering what about the show appeals to you mostly. Bad wording on my part. I tend to make that mistake a lot.

I like your reviews, the format I mean its sounds kinf of professional. My style is different, I like to say exactly what I found intriging and why, and why a certian scene may be strong. I have an appeal for specifics and sometimes that makes my reviews a little long but its just the way I like it.

But all forms of review get the person's point across very nicely.

Bexter 08-17-2007 07:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
I am sorry I did not mean it badly. I wasn't accusing you of not being a fan I was just wondering what about the show appeals to you mostly. Bad wording on my part. I tend to make that mistake a lot.

What a sweetheart you are!!!

Its easy to misinterpret posts somtimes as people read it with a different attitude to what the 'poster' intended. A really good policy to adopt is to read a post imagining the person as a friend sitting across the table from you having a cuppa and chocky biscuit, - it always works for me.

Sam Beckett Fan 08-17-2007 02:17 PM

Hehe ok Bexter. Yeah and I edited the question too in the post.

CynthialovesQuantumLeap 08-15-2008 10:22 AM

Good morning. I just watched this episode on DVD last night. I agreed with the way that they showed that Gays are people and that they have rights like anyone else.
Also when Al makes his point for gays not being in the military I think that it is based on him not being against gays but in the way that he was taught from his years of service.

Bexter 08-16-2008 07:55 PM

I must admit I gave this episode a miss, I'm totally sick of the whole gay debate and wasn't in the mood!!

Sam's Crow 08-21-2008 04:36 PM

I really liked this episode. For most of the episode I wanted to slap Al (and everyone else in the episode who treated gays in such a way). A person who is gay or biesexual should have the same rights as a person who's straight. It's just as bad as black people being treated differently to white people.

Errowyn 09-06-2008 01:00 PM

This episode was especially powerful for me.

I have an uncle who is gay who served in the military for a short period of time. He never told anyone about his preferences until long after I was born and it came as a surprise to everyone.

Somehow how Scott Bakula played the character reminded me of him. He had a bit of a tough time in the military as well and dated girls for a short period of time to hide it.

My uncle writes, plays the piano, and is into the arts. When I was born he would take care of me when my parents were out or sick and the fact that he's gay doesn't change my love for him. I can honestly care less what his prefrences are as he's a good person.

There were times I wanted to smack Al too. Scott Bakula stole the show with his portrayal of the character.

Sam's Crow 09-07-2008 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Errowyn
There were times I wanted to smack Al too.

You're not the only one.

Nico-Angel 04-14-2009 07:51 AM

I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. I already thought it was great that they decided to deal with gay issues on tv in 1992, but I thought it was also a realistic, honest episode.
I was surprised to have strong feelings against Al in this episode, but he's only normal, he grew up in a certain environment, he can also be prejudiced against some things, he's not perfect, and he admits that he can be wrong. That's why I think it was a really good episode, it showed people as they really are.

And I'm really happy that this episode is part of the series, along with episodes dealing with racism or misogyny. Sam always believed in the right to be different, and looking back, it would have been unrealistic to forget gay rights.

sacred apple 08-28-2010 02:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isz (Post 34337)
P.S.
I'm a big fan of QL,But i'll never say the all show is a master piece. And i won't say it's the best show i've ever seen - it's not. I liked "The X files" better

The X-Files was my favourite show for years, until I saw the awesome Quantum Leap. While the TXF was pretty epic at times, I find QL so much more sincere, interesting, charming and entertaining.

sacred apple 08-28-2010 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by leaper1 (Post 34328)
Al is generally a tolerant man. I don't think he was ever a 'homophobe' as such. He's not anti-gay, he's only anti-gays in the military. (Much as there are some Christians who don't object to gays, but don't want them to be allowed to be priests) To him, that is a perfectly logical distinction. Thus his change of heart is not such a stretch after all.

I agree. It seemed necessary to present both sides of the subject, and more convenient to have Al opposed to the issue in this episode due to his service in the military. Otherwise, it's difficult for me to believe Al would be a homophobe, given he's as cool, liberated, and gentle a guy as Sam.

Plus his observations about Sam's host were pretty harmless.

Trudy 01-24-2012 06:09 AM

As I'm sure it's easy to tell, I'm a huge Al fan, but sometimes, I just want to shake the man. This episode and "Raped" were probably the two episodes where Al infuriated me the most. His behavior was absolutely and completely uncalled for. It was nice to see a change in the end, but I'm not sure it made up for some of the things he said.

I am impressed by how progressive Quantum Leap was for its time. It's so incredible to be sitting here twenty years later in a state moving to push forth gay marriage legislation in a country where gay and lesbian cadets can serve openly.

Lightning McQueenie 01-25-2012 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trudy (Post 58960)
As I'm sure it's easy to tell, I'm a huge Al fan, but sometimes, I just want to shake the man. This episode and "Raped" were probably the two episodes where Al infuriated me the most. His behavior was absolutely and completely uncalled for. It was nice to see a change in the end, but I'm not sure it made up for some of the things he said.

I am impressed by how progressive Quantum Leap was for its time. It's so incredible to be sitting here twenty years later in a state moving to push forth gay marriage legislation in a country where gay and lesbian cadets can serve openly.

Why did Al infuriate you in "Raped"?

Trudy 01-25-2012 10:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 58973)
Why did Al infuriate you in "Raped"?

Transcription of the scene in question:

Al: Ziggy showed me a bunch of newspaper stories. And they're all slanted against the victim.
Sam: It doesn't change the truth.
Al: What if it wasn't the truth?
Sam: Oh, come on, Al. Katie was raped. You know that.
Al: I dunno, I'm just saying that she wasn't raped by Kevin.
Sam: What?
Al: Ziggy says that there's a 47% chance that the rape occurred after she left Kevin.
Sam: What does Katie say?
Al: She says Kevin raped her.
Sam: Well, I think that Katie's telling the truth, don't you?
Al: Okay, let me play devil's advocate, okay? Katie and Kevin go out to dinner, they go out to a restaurant. They have a couple of glasses of wine and then they go out for a drive. They go out to Fort Conkite and they get into a little romantic discussion. The discussion turns to kissing and pretty soon the kissing gets passionate and then the passion gets into na-na-na daht-daht. You know?
Sam: Yeah, yeah.
Al: Okay, you know, then when they’re done, just say for some reason they get into an argument.
Sam: About what?
Al: I don’t know, say, oh, another woman. There’s always another woman. Katie gets angry, she gets outta the car and hitches a ride home."
Sam: And gets picked up by strangers.
Al: Hummm... Or … it could just be one guy! He sees that she’s tipsy and he sees that she’s hurt, she’s alone... He takes advantage of her. He rapes her, roughs her up, drops her at a hospital. Who’s the guy? She doesn’t know; she never saw him before. But she’s hurt and angry and humiliated, so who’s the only guy she can take it out on?"
Sam: Kevin.
Al: Bingo!
Sam: Only it didn’t happen that way.
Al: But you don’t know that for sure.

I have absolutely no idea why it would be permissible for anyone to every question the account of someone who has been raped. Maybe Al was really just playing devil's advocate, but it is ridiculous for him to bring up something like this in the first place. Rape victims already get a lot of unnecessary flack over the very, very, very few false charges made every year; this just perpetuates the idea that people cry rape out of a need for revenge.

The last thing that a victim of sexual assault needs is for someone not to believe their story when they finally pull forth the courage to come forward and speak about it.

Lightning McQueenie 01-26-2012 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trudy (Post 58974)
Transcription of the scene in question:

Al: Ziggy showed me a bunch of newspaper stories. And they're all slanted against the victim.
Sam: It doesn't change the truth.
Al: What if it wasn't the truth?
Sam: Oh, come on, Al. Katie was raped. You know that.
Al: I dunno, I'm just saying that she wasn't raped by Kevin.
Sam: What?
Al: Ziggy says that there's a 47% chance that the rape occurred after she left Kevin.
Sam: What does Katie say?
Al: She says Kevin raped her.
Sam: Well, I think that Katie's telling the truth, don't you?
Al: Okay, let me play devil's advocate, okay? Katie and Kevin go out to dinner, they go out to a restaurant. They have a couple of glasses of wine and then they go out for a drive. They go out to Fort Conkite and they get into a little romantic discussion. The discussion turns to kissing and pretty soon the kissing gets passionate and then the passion gets into na-na-na daht-daht. You know?
Sam: Yeah, yeah.
Al: Okay, you know, then when they’re done, just say for some reason they get into an argument.
Sam: About what?
Al: I don’t know, say, oh, another woman. There’s always another woman. Katie gets angry, she gets outta the car and hitches a ride home."
Sam: And gets picked up by strangers.
Al: Hummm... Or … it could just be one guy! He sees that she’s tipsy and he sees that she’s hurt, she’s alone... He takes advantage of her. He rapes her, roughs her up, drops her at a hospital. Who’s the guy? She doesn’t know; she never saw him before. But she’s hurt and angry and humiliated, so who’s the only guy she can take it out on?"
Sam: Kevin.
Al: Bingo!
Sam: Only it didn’t happen that way.
Al: But you don’t know that for sure.

I have absolutely no idea why it would be permissible for anyone to every question the account of someone who has been raped. Maybe Al was really just playing devil's advocate, but it is ridiculous for him to bring up something like this in the first place. Rape victims already get a lot of unnecessary flack over the very, very, very few false charges made every year; this just perpetuates the idea that people cry rape out of a need for revenge.

The last thing that a victim of sexual assault needs is for someone not to believe their story when they finally pull forth the courage to come forward and speak about it.

I think that Al is doing the right thing by playing Devil's Advocate, since he knows that these are exactly the arguments that the defence would be putting forward at the trial. Remember, they have to prove that Kevin is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. A 47% chance that she was raped by someone else brings in plenty of doubt. They're trying to get all the facts straight so that they have the best possible chance to get Kevin convicted.

I'm not for a second saying that rape victims deserve to not be believed, and I know exactly how hard it is for them and their families - my sister was recently raped by one of my own (former) friends in our house. But Al is exactly right, if Sam and Al are to get justice for Katie, they need to get all of the facts straight, to make sure that their actions are going to have the desired effect, i.e. having the rapist be convicted.

iMonrey 09-16-2013 04:46 PM

It seems funny that this episode was considered so "controversial" back in 1992, whereas nobody would think anything of it today. I guess that shows how far we've come in the past 21 years.

Markymarc8 08-08-2017 06:39 PM

Wow, great episode! Just saw it today for the first time. There was just one scene that bothered me. The cadets tried to hang Sam. They almost succeeded. Why didn't AL show up? Also why didn't Sam tell anybody?

Anorak 12-22-2018 11:33 AM

One thing I used to see in magazines in the pre-internet days was that the inspiration for this one was primarily the negative reaction to Good Night, Dear Heart, and that they wanted to craft a positive gay character as a result.

However, I can't find any evidence of this online, does anyone know how much truth there is in this story?

Lightning McQueenie 12-23-2018 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anorak (Post 62701)
One thing I used to see in magazines in the pre-internet days was that the inspiration for this one was primarily the negative reaction to Good Night, Dear Heart, and that they wanted to craft a positive gay character as a result.

However, I can't find any evidence of this online, does anyone know how much truth there is in this story?

You may actually be thinking of the foreword in Comic #9 "Up Against A Stonewall".

Anorak 12-23-2018 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 62702)
You may actually be thinking of the foreword in Comic #9 "Up Against A Stonewall".

I read that comic, but I couldn't see a foreword in it.

I think I read this years ago in some UK magazine like TV Zone or Starburst or something. I'm talking probably 20 years or longer, so my memory could be faulty...

chris-oates 12-16-2019 06:48 AM

Hmm. For me, Running for Honor is a middle of the road kind of episode for me. Don't get me wrong, I do like certain elements of it but do ultimately find it lacking. For one thing, I do find the pacing to be a little slow in parts and certain scenes seem to lead nowhere (the whole subplot with Tommy's kinda girlfriend, for instance).

A part of me loves the Sam and Al dialogue in this episode (some funny stuff, especially the bit about the tea (as an Englishman who drinks tea ALL the time it made it even funnier)), but another part of me hates it. I get that Al would logically be a little bigoted against gay people being in the Navy, but I do think they hammered it home a little too much at times to the point where I almost found myself disliking Al, and that's never a good thing, in my opinion.

The climax where Phillip nearly kills himself is very gripping. I really did feel for Phillip, and found the scene where the coach talks him out of it (by revealing the truth about his own sexuality) to be very moving.

Best scene? Has to be Al's apology at the end. His quiet acknowledgement that he was wrong was done just perfectly.

My rating. Average. A decent episode.


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