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Our 6 biggest ‘Quantum Leap’ questions heading into the Season 1 midseason premiere
Quantum Leap is almost back — and we have plenty of questions we want to see answered in 2023.
One of the twistiest mysteries of the 2022 season is back with new episodes on Jan. 2, and in case you need a catch-up on what’s up with Ben and Addison’s latest adventures, we have you covered.
Well, what we really have are questions — so let’s get into them.
If you need a refresher, Quantum Leap is NBC’s modern revival of the beloved 1990s series of the same name, which sent Scott Bakula’s Sam Beckett off across time and space to set right the wrongs of history. The new version kicks off with Raymond Lee’s Dr. Ben Song going rogue and leaping in the rebooted Quantum Leap program, leaving behind his team and fiancee Addison (played by Caitlin Bassett).
The first half of Season 1 brought a lot of reveals, most notably the fact that Ben was working with Janis Calavicci (played by Georgina Reilly), the daughter of original Quantum Leap project member Al Calavicci (who was played by the late Dean Stockwell). We also learned the reason Sam leaped in the first place, thanks to Ben slowly regaining some of his memories as he gets more accustomed to leaping through time. Memory loss was a problem in the OG series, too, with the team coining the phrase “Swiss cheese effect” to explain the gaps.
Quantum Leap returns Jan. 2 on NBC. Until then, here are the biggest questions we’re asking while we wait to see where Ben’s next leap will take us in the time stream.
What is Ben trying to ‘save’ Addison from?
We got some answers in the midseason finale, but they arguably just left us with more questions. The series kicked off with the big question of why Ben leaped. Now we know he did it to save Addison. But what the heck does that mean? Is he saving her from a mysterious murder plot? Leaping around to try and change history to avoid whatever leads to Addison’s eventual demise?
The holes in Ben’s memories are missing some pretty key points in regards to his motivation, though we know he loves Addison, and that’s arguably the only believable catalyst that could lead him to take an unapproved leap and leave his entire team in the dark in the process. Considering it required a leap to solve, it stands to reason Addison’s death is complicated and wrapped up in some Quantum Leap time travel drama (presumably that occurs in the future). Because if not, why couldn’t Ben just solve it back in the present by putting a plan in place?
Why did Ben really go to Janis?
We’ve gotten to know the Quantum Leap Project team really well over the first season, and they seem like a great bunch of folks. Which begs the question — why did Ben go to Janis to pull off his plan to save Addison, and not just go to the team he works with everyday and seemingly trusts?
Considering this is a time travel project, perhaps something happens in the future of the QL project — maybe Magic (Ernie Hudson) is no longer in charge down the line and it becomes more nefarious in its goals? — which leads Ben to go off-book for help? Or maybe Janis and Ben have some connection in their past that he simply hasn’t remembered yet that would lead him to trust her?
Bringing the Calavicci family into the mix provided a direct connection to the original Quantum Leap series and team, we’re just dying to know exactly what led Janis to take the risk and help Ben in the first place.
So who is Leaper X? Where (or when) is he from?
This is a fascinating mystery hanging in the wind. Ben ran into a leaper while in the Wild West a while back, who recognized him as Ben and told him to stop what he was doing. This means there’s definitely a mystery leaper out there along with Ben (and presumably in addition to Sam, who remains lost in the time stream presumably all these decades later). The present day team found the mystery leaper, who in the present day is seemingly just an innocent solider with no idea of the Quantum Leap Project.
So what does that mean? Apparently this leaper is sent off through the accelerator (or perhaps a different accelerator?) at some point in the future, since he had no knowledge of the project at this point in the timeline. That would also imply that in the future, someone is sent back through time to stop Ben, which could fit into the theory that a future (evil?) version of Quantum Leap could be to blame for Addison’s death.
Could we really see a leap into the future?
This is the fascinating question, and it at least seems like we’re heading that direction. The team has been trying to figure out the trajectory of Ben’s leaps. Initially they thought he was trying to build momentum to take a big leap into the past. But the team’s new theory is that Ben is actually trying to slingshot himself into the future with a looming leap. The working theory is that he wants to reach the point of Addison’s death in the future (or perhaps a pivotal moment that leads to her death) to change things down the line.
If Ben does manage a leap into the future, it’ll blow the Quantum Leap canon wide open and open up the world to a whole new avenue of storytelling. There’s also the mystery of just how far into the future Ben is trying to reach. Months? Years? Decades? Here’s hoping we get to see a glitzy sci-fi future somewhere out there.
Will they ever directly address Sam still being lost?
With original star Scott Bakula still seemingly not interested in returning to the iconic role of Sam Beckett, the first season has done an admirable job tiptoeing around the fact that Sam is still technically lost out there in time. We’ve seen Magic express a desire to save him, but for now, the team’s focus is on the traveler they can actually track and find in Ben. The creative team has been clear they’d love to have Bakula involved, but if the actor remains keen on not reprising his time travel gig, it’ll be interesting to see if they ever formally address his fate.
Best guess? The original series ended with Sam choosing to keep leaping through time and not return home, and if Bakula doesn’t want to come back and update that fate, I’d wager he remains out there righting wrongs himself off-screen indefinitely.
How many answers will we get in Season 1?
Good news, everyone! Quantum Leap has already been renewed for a second season at NBC, meaning we don’t have to worry about the series ending on a cliffhanger when Season 1 wraps up in the coming months. That said, it also gives the creative team plenty of runway to leave some questions unanswered by the end of the season. So what questions will be answered and what won’t? Here’s hoping we get some solid answers on the threat to Addison, even if it isn’t fully resolved. If nothing else, it’d be nice to know a bit more of why Ben made the jump and how he’s trying to fix it.
But if not? No biggie. They have Season 2 and plenty more leaps left to figure it all out.
Catch new episodes of Quantum Leap on NBC, and catch up on the entire season streaming now on Peacock.