The Future of Sam
by Dan Goff



Due to concept of the purposed sixth season, Al Calavicci would still be part of Project Quantum Leap because he (Al) would go back to Al's Place and become a leaper himself in order to track down Sam. Besides, in the alternate ending of Mirror Image, the picture of the Calavicci is one of many family photos in Al's den at Project Quantum Leap where Al and Beth discuss where Sam might have gone after the bar.

I believe the real reason Sam didn't return home is the battle between his heart and mind. Sam has always been notorious for thinking with his heart. Which makes him so perfect for Quantum Leaping. Sometimes his actions went against Ziggy's theories and proved positive. In Mirror Image, when Bartender Al told Sam that Sam has been controlling his leaps all this time, Sam will not buy that at all. That's what he thinks...but when the two of them discuss further details outside the bar, Sam says he can't go home because he has a wrong to put right for Al. This is Sam using his heart which clearly leaps him back to Beth to change history.  In his heart, I believe Sam would love to go back home, but in his mind...he has plenty more to do.

The question of whether or not it was an actual leap is interesting and not easily explainable. I think it's what Bartender Al teased outside the bar.  It's a sabbatical. THE LEAP BACK was also a bit of a sabbatical, but that was under more of a funky twist of fate and science. I also theorized that Al's Place is named after Al Calavicci and that Bartender Al is actually Sam in the future. How could this be? It's a wild concept, but it also would explain why Sam leaps into the future. Bartender Al is actually Sam Beckett in the future. He named the bar after Al a tribute to the Al's past pervert life that only Sam truly remembers. Bartender Al seems to know a lot more than he's letting on. This is because he's Sam in the future. Why is his name Al? Maybe because Sam Beckett eventually died and was reincarnated into what we know as Bartender Al.  Besides, with all the leaping that Sam does, within the course of time he would make many realizations which only he could reveal to himself. Perhaps in the original history, Sam never leaped into himself entering Al's Place. Instead, he kept leaping blindfolding and none of the mystery was ever revealed to him.  Therefore, when Sam Beckett died (with the knowledge he acquired after all the time leaping) he decided to take on an different aura (like leaping) and became this rather plump Bartender. Knowing what happens to himself, he somehow summon's his past self to visit the bar on the day he was born. In the original history, Al and Beth never got back together and Sam just kept leaping.  So, Sam in his reincarnated being of Bartender Al corrects what he didn't believe in his past by basically counseling himself.   Besides, who would know about Sam's missions and life more than Sam himself. The miners in the bar represent Sam's memory of his past life of leaping and Stawpah stands more of a demonstration of the power leaping has.
So, when Sam asks Bartender Al, "You are the ONE who has been leaping me aren't you?" Sam is actually right. However, since Bartender Al cannot reveal to Sam that he is actually Sam in the future he says, "I wouldn't say that..." Pointing his thumb back towards the mirror revealing Sam himself, "that he's leaping you through time." Sam won't buy that because he doesn't have the knowledge that his future self does. Bartender Al further questions Sam why he created Project Quantum Leap and so forth, grilling his past self to alter a past he never did as himself. Basically, Sam Beckett eventually died but never altered Al Calavicci's past. As a regret, he builds a bar called Al's Place, makes himself the Bartender renaming himself Al and with the power and knowledge of his past leaping is able to rewrite his own leaping history to further change history. Besides, Sam couldn't have possibly accomplished all he wanted the first go around.

Outside the bar, when Bartender Al and Sam converse and Sam confirms Stawpah is Al's uncle and Bartender Al thinks it's amusing...that's because Sam met Stawpah in the afterlife. That's why Stawpah visits Al's Place because he knows of the history behind the bar. Bartender Al further explains to Sam knowledge about Quantum Leaping. Revealing information to his past self to alter his past thinking (AKA "playing by the rules").  Hoping to convince his past self that he has the ability to send himself home, but doesn't not accomplish that task is like many others leaps where Sam didn't accomplish everything he liked to. His past self goes on to realize that changing Al's past to reunite Beth and him is the "right" thing to do. And like Sam always said, when leaping he never sticks around long enough to be thanked for a job well done. This is finally done when Bartender Al (reincarnated future Sam) places his arm around his past self and says, "God Bless, Sam."
It sounds like a pretty far fecthed idea, but it would explain a lot. Why would the Bartender say his name is Sam? Hey, the leap (if it was a leap) was weird enough. Besides, wouldn't this explain why present Sam leaped into the future? This would also explain why the God, Time or Fate question has no answer because Sam is controlling his own destiny.

Bartender Al is the reincarnated deceased Sam Beckett. A mirror image of Sam's knowledge of Quantum Leap and present Sam's guide to understanding his universe. "Things might go a little ca-ca."

The miners represent the people Bartender Al remembers in his past existence as Sam Beckett. Since he never returned home, as Bartender Al he decides to surround himself with people he remembers from his past life of leaping.

August 8, 1953...what better date to leap his past self to for a little sabbatical. The day he was born.

Beth and Al...the wrong never made right originally. This wrong to be made right lies in Sam subconscious and only could truly be realized by Sam himself. Who better to question and understand Sam, than Sam himself.

Don Bellisario connection...sure this episode can still revolve around the idea that the bar is modeled after Don's fathers bar. It's inspiration and yes, Bruce McGill is a spitting image of Don's father and what not. Hey, maybe Don Bellisario modeled Sam Beckett after himself somewhat. Who knows?

Gooshie, Ziggy and Al's search for Sam in the future...either it being a dream or a real leap wouldn't alter the situation back at the project. If it was a real leap, then the events are easily explainable. But if it was a dream, perhaps Al and Gooshie had a hard time finding Sam because they were indeed losing contact of Sam. However, if Al does indeed track down Sam in the purposed sixth season this would mean that the bar was indeed real. I believe that when Sam reunited Beth and Al that he probably likely would have alter life back home. That the home he wanted to go to no longer existed. That his life is leaping and that he sacrificed his own friendship with Al to see him happily married. Besides, it's really sad to think that Sam and Al never met. But I truly believe that Sam would sacrifice anything to better things...even give up friendships.

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