Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Fellow Travelers
For an adventure that pushes the narrative forward significantly, Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 9 spends a lot of time with thoughtful scenarios examining the past in order to move ahead.
In Ben’s case, his pop star client, Carly Farmer, has been led to believe her sister’s a danger to her, and they’ve been estranged for six years, manipulated by people who were meant to take care of her.
In the team’s case, Janis Calavicci is physically in custody, bringing to a head all the questions as to why Ben couldn’t trust them with his plans.
And, of course, there’s the fallout from Ben’s last disclosure to Addison on Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 8 that he took the unauthorized leap to save her.
That’s not something that’s going to sit well with Addison.
And it’s pretty on the nose that Ben’s leap immediately after that revelation is into a bodyguard of a woman in danger.
Addison draws that parallel quickly and without much preamble.
Ben: I remember knowing that I was doing was the only way I could save you, but I just don’t remember from what.
Addison: And I don’t suppose you remember why you couldn’t tell me?
Ben: I know you’re upset.
Addison: I just feel like of things to say to your fiancée, ‘You’re in danger,’ feels like the top of that list.
I suspect this reaction is something the pre-leap Ben knew to be the danger he risked in keeping secrets from her, especially when it concerns her safety.
If only the danger lurking for Addison was as straightforward as the murderer angling to kill Ben’s client (and bodyguard Jack’s potential love interest), Carly Farmer.
As fantastic as it is just to see Deborah Ann Woll back on my screen, I’m dying to know if she did her own singing because that song was so perfect in both its iterations.
Time goes by / I live my life / Traveling down the road / Open my eyes to clear blue skies / But I’m feeling all alone / A one-way ticket / That’s the price you pay / Another day / Another song / Traveling on / But I’m making my way back home
Carly and Jamie
(If someone caught all the second verse’s lyrics, I’d greatly appreciate you dropping them into the comments.)
I love the idea of celebrity in the late ’70s looking so benign that one could frame up a would-be threat with nothing but a typewriter.
And that someone of Carly’s fame would only need one dedicated bodyguard.
The moving goalpost of preventing Carly’s murder is an amusing plot point that both frustrates Ben and indicates the tenacity with which Trevor and Loretta pursue their nefarious goals.
While this is the first time Ben’s mission aim has been kicked down the line this many times, it isn’t the first time he’s had to pivot, reassess, and look at things again.
That’s the thing about this job. You only really sleep when it ends.
Also, we’re getting used to seeing him physically involved in altercations. That’s a departure from the Ben that hid in the bathroom rather than face his own engagement party.
Needs must, I guess?
On the home front, the ease with which Jenn was able to track down and apprehend Janis based on Ian’s list of Ziggy-generated locations has me suspecting that Janis is still pulling the strings.
Magic: We’re a clandestine program, few dozen personnel, access to one jet if we’re lucky. How’re we gonna search forty cities around the world?
Jenn: She’s in Belize. Frequented by tourists so she doesn’t stick out, notoriously flexible Customs, and located next to a new power plant so she can try to reach Ben again. That’s where I’d go.
Magic: Let’s get you that jet.
I personally wouldn’t want the person who has managed to hack my top-secret time-travel project multiple times from remote locations to be brought into the room with the central brain of the operation.
Now, then again, if I were said hacker, there wouldn’t be anywhere I’d rather be.
So, it all boils down to whether Janis cares more about Quantum Leap than she does about her mother or home.
Did she let herself get caught so she could sabotage the project from the inside?
Or is it part of the original plan she and Ben devised?
Is Addison going to get a moment alone with Janis when she’s back? Actress Caitlin Bassett commented to TV Fanatic that she believes the time must come when the two women have words.
What those words might be will well worth the wait.
I’d like to see Janis’s motivations be driven, at least in part, by the Leaper X role.
With Ben’s destination point now confirmed to be somewhere in the future, his purpose tied into Addison’s safety, and knowing that Martinez will leap one day, it makes sense that Janis and Martinez are both parts of the same “bigger-than-all-of-us” conspiracy.
Janis intimates to Jenn that she’s looking in the wrong direction for answers and that she shouldn’t be as concerned about why Ben leaped as why he leaped without letting his team in on his plan.
Magic: So, what do we know? Just that Addison is going to die?
Jenn: Actually, Ben didn’t say that. He said he leaped to save her.
Magic: The man stepped into a quantum accelerator with no way of coming home. You don’t do that unless the person you love is in real danger.
Now, to take Occam’s Razor to it, the simplest explanation is that the team would have stopped him.
So then the question is, how does Ben know that Addison will be harmed/killed in the future?
Could he have been purposely misled into leaping, pressured by the idea that Addison is in danger?
Did another leaper warn him and direct him to Janis for assistance?
Ben: She doesn’t seem like a killer, does she?
Addison: Most killers don’t seem like killers, Ben. That’s why they’re successful.
Could someone on the team be a mole, working at cross-purposes to the team?
We have two moments where duplicitousness and suspicion are discussed. Is this foreshadowing a betrayal down the road?
Look, 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.
In Ben’s mission, both Trevor and Loretta proved deeply devious and deviant, determined to kill Carly for the value of her catalog once she was dead, with no qualms about destroying her relationship with her sister in the process.
In Ben’s life, someone warned him not to share what he knew with the people closest to him.
That’s put him at odds with Addison and thrown his team into a state of confusion, making them question all their relationships.
We can’t change the past. We can’t change the choices we’ve made, but we can change what we do moving forward. We do this one step at a time. Together from now on.
What will Janis reveal now that she’s (physically) in the inner circle?
Be sure to watch Quantum Leap online, and let us know your thoughts and theories in the comments below!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.