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One of the most iconic pieces of ‘Quantum Leap’ sci-fi tech just returned in NBC revival

Janis just needs to smack it a few times, it should fire right back up.

Dean Stockwell and Scott Bakula in Quantum Leap

No, your eyes did not deceive you — they really did go back and dig up Al’s old hand link in the latest episode of NBC’s Quantum Leap revival. So what does it do? What does it mean?

Let’s dig in.

We learned throughout episode three that Ziggy, the mainframe computer that runs Project Quantum Leap, has been running slowly for a while. It turns out the reason is that Janis Calavicci, Al’s brilliant daughter, has effectively hacked into the system and is able to access data. It’s a nuisance, but Magic and the team aren’t terribly concerned about it because Janis can’t actually interact with Ziggy. Or so they think.

RELATED STORY: ‘Quantum Leap’ pulls no punches in old school story, as Al’s legacy returns in latest episode

Janis pays a visit to Beth’s house to catch up with her mother, but her real motive was to access some files and artifacts her late father left behind. It turns out Al held onto one critical souvenir from his tenure at Project Quantum Leap 1.0: the chunky, brightly-lit hand link device that allowed hologram Al to access information and relay it to Ben in the past. It’s one of the most recognizable pieces of sci-fi tech from the 1990s, and Al would famously bang it with his hand whenever Ziggy was acting up. 

So now that Janis has her own hand link to access Ziggy, what is her plan? In the closing shot of Episode 3, Janis is tinkering and charging up the hand link, and she seemed to be constructing what looks like it could be her own imaging chamber? So could the longterm plan be for her to reach out and interact with Ben in the past, guiding him on their secret mission? It certainly seems possible. If nothing else, a direct connection to the OG series just popped up in a big way, and it’ll be interesting to see what Janis does with it.

It’ll also be cool to see that chunky, 1990s tech back in action for a while.

The first season has done a great job of weaving in characters and references to the legacy show, including a connection to one of Sam’s first leap, and now the Calavicci family still playing a key role in this narrative. Who knows, maybe there’s even a new team of evil leapers out there hopping around, waiting in the wings.

New episodes of Quantum Leap air Mondays on NBC, and stream next-day on Peacock.

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