"Family Style"

Leap Date: September 26, 2009


When Ben leaps into an Indian family to try to prevent their beloved family restaurant from burning down, he finds an emotional connection with their matriarch through memories of his own. Magic and Jenn share a surprising revelation with Ian.

Audio from this episode:
We'll always need you


TV Guide Synopsis
Broadcast Date
Leap Date
Leap Location
Name of Leapee
Synopsis & Personal Review

Project Trivia
Ben Trivia
Addison Trivia

Ian's Outfit Worn in the Episode
Kiss With History

Miscellaneous Trivia
Guest Cast
Guest Cast Notes
Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Characters who appeared in Classic Series episodes

Songs & Music
Say What? 
Quotable Quotes

Production Photos
Production Videos
Production Credits

                                    Poster by J.J. Lendl



Commercial for this episode:

TV Guide Synopsis:
When Ben leaps into an Indian family to try to prevent their beloved family restaurant from burning down, he finds an emotional connection with their matriarch through memories of his own. Magic and Jenn share a surprising revelation with Ian.

Broadcast Date:
Monday, February 27, 2023 @ 10pm on NBC

Leap Date:
September 26, 2009

Leap Location:
Portland, Oregon

Name of Leapee:
Kamini Prasad

Detailed Synopsis:

Ben leaps into the body of a young cook named Kimini, sister to Manisha and daughter to Sonali. Together, they run their family Indian restaurant in Oregon, 2009. Sonali's husband had passed away, and she wants to keep the menu as it always has been. Manisha disagrees, thinking the restaurant can be more creative and profitable with a new menu of traditional Indian cuisine.

At PQL, Magic and Jenn confront Ian after the revelation that the barrista from the previous episode had been Leapt into by Ian. Ian hypothesizes that an older version of themself must have done the Leaping.

Addison arrives and informs Ben that the restaurant will burn down and Sonali will die. Manisha will leave the family business. Kathy, the restaurant's landlord shows up with muscle in tow and threatens Kamini (Ben's Leap Host), telling her/him the family owes $30,000 in back rent and even choking him. This is the main reason Sonali doesn't want to change the menu - she is afraid to lose money taking the chance on something new. Ben, comparing his own family's struggles to his current situation, vows to not let this family fall apart.

At PQL, Ian frantically searches for a reason for their future self to initiate Ben's first Leap. Magic convinces Ian to take the day to find their footing.

Ben, using his knowledge of the future, sets the restaurant up on Groupon, a "new" internet program offering discounts. They begin to see reservations immediately! At the same time, the staff at the restaurant dwindles due to everything from a new baby to a pair of shoes going on sale. To add insult to injury (literally), Sonali has a wrist injury from doing repetitive kitchen work for so many years, which makes it difficult to work. Meanwhile, family cousins stop by to offer help, but out of pride, Sonali refuses this as well. To add insult to injury (literally), Sonali has a wrist injury from doing repetitive kitchen work for so many years, which makes it difficult to work. Sonali and Manisha argue about the menu change and Manisha quits, leaving Ben and Sonali to prepare to serve over 200 guests.

Ian ventures outside of PQL for a change, and goes to visit their former partner, Rachel. She agrees to speak with Ian before going to a meeting that morning.

Ben tries to get Sonali to talk to Manisha but Sonali refuses saying she made her choice. Addison informs been that they are now up to 300 reservations through the Groupon ad, and he and Sonali frantically prepare food for the upcoming dinner. Addison and Ben work together to get a restaurant investor to come by and try their food in hopes this will bail out their business to pay off the debt to Kathy. The investor agrees after Ben quotes him from a magazine article the investor will write in the future. Sonali cuts her hand in the kitchen and passes out.

Ian and Rachel talk over coffee. Rachel tried to get Ian to open up about their feelings, but Ian doesn't budge, hiding behind PQL's classified status. Rachel leaves for her meeting.

Ben wraps Sonali's cut and talks to her about Manisha and to not let pride get in the way of family.
They then goes to find Manisha, to convince her to come back to work. Serving 300 guests will require her help. They share pizza, reminisce fondly about their father who had passed away, and Sonali offers to serve one of Manisha's traditional dishes, and they agree to all go back to work together. When they arrive at the restaurant, it is on fire! It becomes apparent that Kathy, the landlord, has started the fire in order to get the insurance money and the $30,000 from the Prasad family.Ben comes up with a plan to save this horrible situation. He enlists Addison to use their team of geniuses back at PQL to locate something they can use as a pop-up restaurant.

Ian has waited for Rachel to come back from her meeting. Ian wants to try to tell Rachel all about their problems, from choosing to leave Rachel for PQL to possibly hurting the people they love through the project. Rachel says Ian has always had one goal: helping people. She says Ian will make the right choice.

There happens to be a wedding reception tent happening nearby, and Ben has offered that family the meal of their lifetime if they can use the tent as the restaurant for the night. Friends and family have been invited by Sonali to help, and Ben informs the guests that they will be serving "Family Style."

At PQL, Ian returns and offers to help Addison and Magic find out why the restaurant investor hasn't shown up. Ian also states that if they Leaped to start this entire story in motion, they must have had a good reason, and vows to find what that reason is.

The evening is a big success. The investor doesn't show up due to food poisoning, but family members offer to invest in the restaurant, build new, and help run it. One of the family members is a cop, and Addison informs Ben that he will arrest Kathy for fraud in the near future.

Before he Leaps, Ben speaks with Sonali. He speaks with her as a surrogate mother and releases some tension and anger over the death of his own mother through Sonali. Kimini's mother feels like she isn't useful anymore now that her daughters are running the business so well, but Ben convinces her otherwise. Sonali thinks it's time to take care of herself for a change and see more of the world, particularly Egypt.

Ben Leaps, and the family is saved.

Personal Review & Detailed Synopsis by Brian Greene:

This episode has plenty of heart. It's always great to see new characters like Ben get fleshed out over the series, and this one allows him to deal with the death of his own mother and get some closure. Ian also shines as they face their own demons and find themself in the end. It was nice to see Ian outside of his usual PQL setting and see more of the real person.

Directed by original series co-creator Deborah Pratt, the episode brings the Indian culture to the forefront. Even the music choices used throughout are authentic. It's a simple story, and these are usually the best Quantum Leap tales, dealing with individual lives. I enjoyed it, although I found the arc concerning the landlord to be a bit melodramatic. All in all, a worthwhile episode to watch!

Project Trivia:
The hologram effect as Addison fades out is very quick with a couple of firey streams this time compared to a full fade in previoyus episodes. This was the only hologram effect used in the episode.

Ian and Rachel used to date before Ian left her to join Project Quantum Leap.

Ben Trivia:
It was his Mom's dream to run her own restaurant. She put that off to pay for Ben's schooling.

Eating is Ben's favorite sport.

Addison Trivia:
Ben and Addison went on a date at a pop-up restaurant outside a 99-cent store.

Addison says she's mad that she can't try the food as a hologram. Al Calavicci also felt this way during the original series.

Ian's Outfits Worn in the Episode:
Ash gray split-style suit tunic over a white turtleneck. Heart ring and black beaded bracelet.

Black deep-cut dressy jumper with black and white-striped tunic over top. Dress is split down the back.

Kiss With History:
Ben suggests using a new company called Groupon to advertise their restaurant.

Miscellaneous Trivia:
Deborah Pratt, Co-Creator of the original Quantum Leap series, directed this episode!

This is the first episode where Ben leaps out and directly into the next episode without a break in between for the present storyline. However, a missed opportunity, as they still used the eye roll as the leap-in instead of the leap effect.

Ian was upset when the show "Pretty Little Liars" was cancelled. This show featured Troian Bellisario, daughter of original series creators Deborah Pratt and Don Bellisario. Troian also appeared in the original series episode "Another Mother" as Teresa.

The "Pretty Little Lattes" coffee shop that Rachel works near also had a coffee truck shown in the episode "A Decent Proposal."

The last name Prasad was originally the last name of Ben in the pilot script before casting was complete, then spelled Prassad.

From an interview with the Quantum Leap Podcast, Deborah Pratt said she went to adjust the scarf of character Gauri, but was told by the actress that every fold in it had meaning!

Alice Kremelberg, who plays Rachel, is Mason Alexander Parks real-life partner!

From the Quantum Leap Writers Room:
Did you know our episode writer (Aadrita Mukerji) and the actresses who play Sonali, Manisha, and Kamini are all exactly 5 feet tall?


Dr. Ben Song
(Portrayed by Raymond Lee)
– Ben is a first-generation American, a world-renowned physicist, and a man of faith. He’s also working on Quantum Leap, a time travel project. But when he uses the project on himself, he’s transported back in time with a bout of amnesia – forgetting what made him time travel in the first place.

Addison Augustine (Portrayed by Caitlin Bassett) – Addison is a smart, witty, fearless ex-military operative who now serves as Project Observer at Quantum Leap HQ. She’s in charge of the technology they use to communicate with the past, and tries to rescue her fiancee, Ben, from his time-flung existence. 

Ian Wright (Portrayed by Mason Alexander Park) – Quantum Leap’s nonbinary chief architect of the AI program.

Herbert “Magic” Williams (Portrayed by Ernie Hudson) – A Vietnam vet and current head of the time travel project at Quantum Leap. Herbert “Magic” Williams tries to keep the Pentagon at bay while the team tries to rescue Ben. Doctor Sam Beckett leaped into Magic during his Vietnam tour.

Jenn Chu (Portrayed by Nanrisa Lee) – Head of security at Quantum Leap HQ. Quirky but formidable, she makes it her mission to figure out why Ben erased all evidence of why he Leaped.

Guest Cast:
Laura Niemi as Kathy Tanner
Anisha Jagannathan as Manisha
Nandini Minocha as Sonali Prasad
Meera Simhan as Padmini Kumar
K.T. Thangavelu as Gauri
Alice Kremelberg as Rachel
Kevin Logie as Kevin
Roman Arabia as Diego
Ruben Vernier as Kris
Lara Shah as Kamini Prasad (Mirror Image)
Ken Patterson as Fireman
Leena Kurishingal as Cousin #1
Shurud Shanto as Cousin #2
Yuvi Grewal as Cousin #3
Mihye Jung as Nisha Song

Guest Cast Notes:

Laura Niemi (Kathy) is currently best known for her performance as "Marilyn Pearson" on the NBC series "This Is Us (2016)." As the mother in Jack's (Milo Ventimiglia) struggling and dysfunctional working class family, her character has gained critical recognition which has landed Niemi an FYC Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in both 2019 and 2022. A native Angelino, she started studying at The Academy of Performing Arts in Los Angeles at a young age. The daughter of a movie producer and an insurance salesman, the family then moved to the east coast where she studied piano at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. She spent her teens and early 20s back in California, where she swapped her piano for a bass guitar playing in many L.A. based bands. As a trained theater actress she has performed at The Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Rep and The Taper and is the Artistic Director and founder of the multi-award winning Lost Angels Theatre Company (which landed her awards both as a producer and an actor). She landed her first TV credit in Joss Whedon's "Firefly (2002)" and has been continuously working in television and film ever since.

Anisha Jagannathan (Manisha) is known for Girls Gone Mild (2017), and Admit It (2021).

Nandini Minocha (Sonali) is known for Ms. Marvel (2022) and Chicago Med (2015).

Meera Simhan (Paddy) was born in London, England and raised in India and Southern California. Her family immigrated to the United States in the early 1970's and settled in San Diego, California where her parents ran a business importing jewelry and handicrafts from India. Growing up she studied Indian Classical Dancing with the Shakti School of Bharatanatyam and at age eight Meera went to Kodai Kanal International Boarding School in India. She returned to California to attend High School and College in Orange County. She then moved to London where she attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). After graduating from LAMDA Meera began her professional career in England playing Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and she then went on to play numerous roles in British theater and television. After moving back to Los Angeles, Meera continued her work as an actress playing various roles guest starring and recurring roles in television and film. As a writer she wrote and performed her solo theater piece Miss India America in various theaters across the United States. Along with her actor/writer/director husband Ravi Kapoor, she co-wrote the feature film, Miss India America (2015). Meera lives in Los Angeles with husband, two children and her dog, Elvis. Meera also has a Masters degree in Psychology.

K.T. Thangavelu (Gauri) is known for Otis (2008), ER (1994) and The Young and the Restless (1973).

Alice Kremelberg (Rachel) is a film, television and theater actor born and raised in New York. Alice has most recently starred in the final season of The Sinner as Percy Muldoon, and played Bernadine in Aaron Sorkin's Oscar nominated The Trial of the Chicago 7 for Netflix/Dreamworks. She recurred as Nicole Eckelcamp on the last two seasons of Jenji Kohan's Orange is the New Black for Netflix. Alice was nominated for an Emmy for their performance as Kat in The Feels, which they both co-wrote and acted in. Upcoming, Alice will be playing Abby in Monsterland for Hulu/Annapurna, and Duff in the independent film Bleecker. They can also be seen as Sorrell in Doomsday (ITV Fest, Brooklyn Web Fest + HollyWeb Fest winner). Her other film and television credits include New Amsterdam, The Taking of Pelham 123, NCIS, Nurse Jackie, Blue Bloods, The Big C, Smash, Law and Order: SVU, and 30 Rock. On stage she originated the role of Reba in Ruby Rae Spiegel's breakout play Dry Land (NYSAF+HERE, Adrienne Campbell-Holt of Colt Coeur). Alice had the pleasure of playing 'Cassandra' opposite Austin Pendleton in Dress of Fire (The Abingdon). Other theater credits include 'Catherine' in Suddenly Last Summer (ATNYC), 'Missy' in Road Veins, 'Maggie' in Lend Me a Tenor and 'Beth' in A Lie of the Mind. Alice has trained at The Atlantic Acting Conservatory, Fordham University, UCB, The Professional Performing Arts School and studied with Tanya Berezin, Ted Sluberski, Larry Moss and Bob Krakower among others.

Kevin Logie (Kevin) is known for The Dissection of Thanksgiving (2008), Prism and Eleven Hundred to Lubbock (2018).

Roman Arabia (Diego) was born on December 3, 1980 in Torrance, California, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for The Shrink Next Door (2021), Lady Bird (2017) and Narcos: Mexico (2018).

Ruben Vernier (Kris) is an Italian American Actor born and raised in San Francisco, California. He comes from generations of performers and started acting and playing music at a young age. He first appeared in Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, recurred on This Is Us, and most recently appeared on CSI: Vegas. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by Entertainment Lab and The Master Talent Agency.

Lara Shah (Kamini) is an actor and producer in Los Angeles. She started her acting career in Austin, TX and has since been in over 100 films, television shows, music videos, and commercials since her venture into the creative side of the entertainment industry. Lara has won Best Actress awards for her lead roles in "Trippin' to the Altar" and "Kendall County Hunters." Lara has a passion for storytelling and entertainment: she was a television anchor in high school, a radio host at Boston University, and an intern at MTV Networks in NYC. She also worked for five years in Domestic TV Distribution Sales at Warner Bros. in NYC. In 2011, she traveled to Wilmington, NC to play a Detective on "One Tree Hill." The experience convinced her to finally pursue her passion. Lara studies with Lesly Kahn & Company in Los Angeles.

Leena Kurishingal (Cousin #1) holds a B.A. in Film/Video Production from Columbia College and studied acting technique in the vibrant Chicago theater scene. Her comedy training includes Second City Chicago and the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles, where she wrote and performed with the character-sketch group Soul Sista Comedy, both on their mainstage, as well as The Pack Theater, Comedy Central Stage, and more. Currently she creates online sketch comedy with Deadline Junkies' SkeDJes, writes half hour comedy pilots, and really tries to get her succulents to propagate.

Shurud Shanto (Cousin #2) is known for Grace and Frankie (2015), Baskets (2016) and The Brink (2015).

Yuvi Grewal (Cousin #3) is known for Call of Duty: Vanguard (2021), Fishbowl California (2018) and The New 30 (2017).

Guests Who Appeared in Other Quantum Leap Episodes:

Characters who appeared in Classic Series episodes:

Songs & Music:
"Dil To Pagal Hai" by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan plays as Ben leaps in.

"Spicy Dhal" by Florian Seraul plays as the family rushes in the kitchen to prepare for over 300 reservations.

"Shiva" by Karishma Mc plays after Ben talks with the restaurant investor.

"It's Too Late" by Andrea and Ervin Litkei plays during the pizza scene.

"Bholi Si Surat" by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan plays as the family comes together and prepares the food at the wedding venue.

"Loot Liya" by D. Sruthilaya Subiksha and Haroon Hanif plays after Ian locates the restaurant investor.

Say What?
A trash bill seen in the episode is from Philadelphia.

Addison doesn't seem to know why the restaurant burns down in the original history, but a few seconds later she suddenly knows after Tanner shows up to evict Ben's family.

Ben and his sister and mother make up and have a leisurely snack outside. Meanwhile they are supposed to be getting ready to serve 300 people. This makes no sense at all.

The restaurant seems very small. How would they possibly manage to serve 300 guests, even if spread over a few hours?

Why would any wedding couple change their entire evening for a stranger? And where are the wedding guests and other people from the event?

Where is Janis? We haven't seen her since "Leap. Die. Repeat." which was two episodes ago.

Quotable Quotes:
"Do you really think people are ready for that kind of food? I mean... it's so unusual for them. Americans don't like things they can't pronounce."

"It was me the whole time."

"I find when I need centering, the answer isn't usually a place... it's a person."

Sonali: "You and I have it covered."
Ben: "Didn't you just call me useless?"
Sonali: "Don't focus on the past."

"Food is the only art form that uses all five senses."

"Do you really want pride to get in the way of family?"

"We're family. We're always enough."

"Holy ship!"
-Ben, after he leaps into the next episode

Production Photos:

Production Videos:
Coming Soon

Production Credits:

Consulting Producer: Moira Kirland
Tim Scanlan
Meg Fister
Co-Executive Producers: Benjamin Raab & Deric A. Hughes
Co-Executive Producer: Drew Lindo
Co-Executive Producer: Aadrita Mukerji
Produced by:
Marc Bienstock
Executive Producers: Steven Lilien & Bryan Wyndrandt
Executive Producer: Alex Berger
Executive Producer: Chris Grismer
Executive Producer: Deborah Pratt
Executive Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
Executive Producer: Dean Georgaris
Executive Producer:
Martin Gero
Developed by:
Steven Lilien & Bryan Wyndrandt
Created by: Donald P. Bellisario
Written by: Aadrita Mukerji
Directed by: Deborah M. Pratt

Associate Producer: Ethan Henderson
Story Editor:
Margarita Matthews
Casting by:
Jennifer Cooper, CSA
Casting Director: Kamala A. Thomas

Director of Photography: Tim Bellen
Edited by: Benjamin Bumgarner
Music by: Daniel James Chan
Unit Production Manager:
Melanie J. Elin
Unit Production Manager: Marc Bienstock
First Assistant Director: M. Ryan Traylor
Second Assistant Director: Athena Alexander
Costume Designer:
Genevieve Tyrrell

A Camera Operator: Dave Hirschman
B Camera/Steadycam Operator: Josh Harrison
Production Sound Mixer: Beau Hodges
Chief Lighting Technician: Donna Vega
Key Grip: Peter Chrimes
Art Directors: Raf Lydon & Adam Rowe

Set Director: Tim Stepeck
Costume Supervisor: Mark A. Summer
Property Master: Erik Grasteit
Construction Coordinator: Matt Sazzman
Department Head Hair: Amy Marie Wilson
Department Head Makeup: Julia Lallas
Leadman: David Napoli
Stunt Coordinator: Jeff Barnett
Location Manager: Kevin Funston
Transportation Coordinator: Sandra Ninham-Gallardo
Production Office Coordinator: Sofie Johanna "Bubbles" Dejus
Assistant Production Office Coordinator: Brenden Hickey
Production Accountant: Natalie Chiengkul
Script Supervisor: Heather Pollock
Script Coordinator: Sue Palmer
Casting Accociates: Lindsay Jameyson & Mia Cascio
Post Production Coordinator: Gabriella Scudieri
Music Supervisor: Season Kent
Music Co-Supervisor: Leah Harrison
Music Editor: Zed Starkovich
Assistant Editor: Jaclyn Rogers
Online Editor: Richard Wells
Colorist: Chris Boyer
Visual Effects Supervisor: Trent Smith
Visual Effects Editor: Aaron Merrill
Supervising Sound Editor: Kelly Cabral
Co-Supervising Sound Editor: Kevin Zimmerman
Re-Recording Mixer: Yuri Reese & Sean Madsen
Assistant Property Masters: Mike Luce, Jose Chendo Jiminez, & Chris Prange
Property Buyer: Mike Worister
Food Stylist: Joanne Takahashi

The State of California and the California Film Commision, California Soundstage Filming Tax Credit Program

Copyright 2023 Universal Television LLC All Right Reserved

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Quinn's House
Universal Content Productions
Universal Television

Caitlin Bassett, Deborah Pratt, and Raymond Lee


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