Review of Quantum Leap Ep 9, “Fellow Travelers”

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Scene from the Quantum Leap episode “Fellow Travelers”

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So, Quantum Leap is back with the January 2nd episode Fellow Travelers. I was wondering how “controversial” the return episode would be but as it turns out, not that much (although some). I guess that part is yet to come.

Ben leaps into Jack Armstrong (you’re kidding, right?) a bodyguard for famous pop singer Carly Farmer (Deborah Ann Woll) or is that Carly Simon (one of the hats she wears reminded me of her)? Carly’s going to be killed, supposedly by her drug addict sister Jamie (Karissa Lee Staples) and Ben has to stop it.

However, Ben’s fiancé Addison is really pissed off that Ben leapt in time to save her (presumably her life) without telling her anything about it. However, that’s all Ben remembers, so blaming him is a little moot without more of the facts (she does so anyway because…well, just because).

Meanwhile Magic and Jenn think they’ve found Janis (or Janice) and Jenn goes after her. She finds her and sits down at her table in some outdoor, touristy place and they have a talk. The most important part is when Janis asks Jenn why Ben didn’t go to the Quantum Leap team to help Addison instead of her. Good question. She’s detained anyway and taken back to QL headquarters. Janis says that Magic isn’t the waterboarding type, but I’m willing to bet he’ll do anything to find out what her secrets are.

I would.

In the meantime, back in 1979, Ben is trying to figure out who is really going to kill Carly. Addison is too in the present and goes to Ian. Of course, Ian (and the QL writers) use this as an opportunity to comment about how life is like a murder mystery, sending false clues like people are always not transgender yada, yada, yada. Honestly, could this show be any more transparent about it’s actual message?

When I was eight years old, I realized that about half of the world just blindly accepted as truth the construct of gender identity, which is both artificial and profoundly limiting, so yeah, I am pretty suspicious of basically anything that people say is fact.

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Scene from Quantum Leap episode “Fellow Travelers.”

Yeah, right Mason. Try about 95% of the world representing binary gender identification. Not exactly “artificial.”

Except for Janis being captured, this again is just another “leap.” Bodyguard Ben saves the day, solves the murder mystery (with Addison’s and Ziggy’s help), and keeps Carly from dying. She and her sister go on to have a great singing/song-writing career. Who knows and who cares what happens to Jack. But somehow Ben convinces the increasingly cranky Addison (really, I’m liking her less and less all the time) that he’ll never lie to her again, even when he doesn’t remember why he lied to her before.

Now that Janis is caught and supposedly under a microscope, maybe we’ll find out more intel, but the way this show is being written, I wouldn’t be too sure.

No, I didn’t miss the obvious parallels to the 1992 movie The Bodyguard starring Kevin Costner and the late Whitney Huston.

If this is the future of Quantum Leap, it seems to be fizzling. I suspect, the “normal” leaps are just filler until the showrunners can insert their real agenda. Whatever happened to science fiction for its own sake?

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