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Ben finally reaches his future destination in the penultimate ‘Quantum Leap’ of Season 1
There's only one episode left this season, and things are going delightfully bonkers.
The entire first season of NBC’s Quantum Leap revival has been leading to this — and with only one episode left — Ben finally finds what he’s been looking for since that fateful leap that started it all.
Thanks to some insight from Janis Calavicci, the Quantum Leap team suspects their supercomputer Ziggy might be the mole who’s been working against them all along. So with Ben landing in his latest leap, Magic gives the order to unplug Ziggy and take the system offline while they figure out exactly what’s going on. That means Ben is hanging in the wind a bit, as Ian has to go analog and old school to piece together Ben’s likely mission and the impact of any changes he makes to the timeline.
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Luckily, this week’s goal was pretty obvious from the jump: Ben is a stewardess (short skirt and all) in the early 1970s on an intercontinental flight. The only problem? In the original timeline the plane crashes mysteriously with no survivors, and no one ever learned exactly what happened on that fateful night. So Ben’s job is to prevent the crash and save the plane, which gets a bit harder when most of the flight crew is mysteriously poisoned and dies.
It turns out the copilot is working with a group of hijackers, and Ben is forced to rally his own team of allies onboard the plane to retake the cockpit and repair some damaged equipment so they can successfully make an emergency landing. Ben is, understandably, a bit hesitant to trust anyone on this leap after he took a chance and teamed up with Martinez (aka Leaper X) last week — only to end up stabbed in the neck and almost killed after he’s betrayed by the mystery leaper from the future.
But Ben finds his way, thanks to some encouragement from Addison, and puts the right people in the right place to succeed on his leap and save the day. Along the way, we even get Ian involved in the imaging chamber, stepping in to help Ben land the plane with some step-by-step instructions. It’s also worth noting that Ben recognizes and remembers Ian! As more and more of his memories seem to be coming back, Swiss cheese effect or not. It’s also great to see these two characters on screen together, as we’ve heard about their friendships second hand, but the chemistry is very much there from the jump. Here’s hoping we get to see more of these two working together, because it’s a fun dynamic.
Ben finally reaches the future
The episode ends with one of the most shocking twists to date on the series, going all the way back to the original 1990s run. Ben’s latest leap finally sends him to the future, where he lands in a bombed out, destroyed control room for the Quantum Leap project. There’s snow falling all around in L.A., presumably the result of a nuclear winter, we learn from an aged Ian who steps out of the shadows. We already knew that Ian is the one who set all this in motion from the future, and now we apparently know why. Ian is trying to prevent this catastrophic future from happening, and the only way to do it was to get Ben leaping to alter the timeline, with a plan that somehow coalesces with him visiting that burned out future himself to set things right.
How Addison fits into this? We still don’t know, though Ben says he leaped to save Addison, so maybe he did it not just to save Addison — but everyone? If it’s a nuclear winter and Ian is holding down the fort alone in this far-flung future, it’s a decent guess that everyone else is dead. Including Addison. As for Martinez’s role? We still don’t know. We’re not sold on him being a straight-up Evil Leaper, so maybe he’s from an alternate timeline? Just following orders? So many questions, just one episode left to answer them.
Thankfully, the show has already been renewed for a second season, so answers are coming — even if we don’t get them all in next week’s season finale.
Quantum Leap airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, and streams next-day on Peacock.