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Quantum Leap Creators Explain Game-Changing Season 2 Cliffhanger, What It Means For Ben and Addison

Quantum Leap showrunners Martin Gero and Dean Georgaris unpack the finale episode and tease where Season 3 could go.


By Tara Bennett

Spoilers below for Quantum Leap Season 2!

The writers of the revival of NBC's Quantum Leap have quite the knack at ending seasons where they gleefully dismantle everything we thought we knew about the Quantum Leap Program. At the end of Season 1, they lost Dr. Ben Song (Raymond Lee) for three years, and put HQ on ice. Now, at the end of Season 2, they seem to be ripping up the "lone leaper" premise and are perhaps making it a tandem act with Ben and his former fiancée/hologram guide, Addison (Caitlin Bassett).

NBC Insider spoke with Quantum Leap showrunners Martin Gero and Dean Georgaris on the day of the Season 2 finale to get some insight on the season as a whole, why they ended things where they did, and what it means for where the series could potentially go next.

The Ben and Hannah arc comes to a close

Ben Song (Raymond Lee) and Hannah Carson (Eliza Taylor) appear in Season 2 Episode 9 of Quantum Leap

Going back to the very beginning of their Season 2 pitch to the network and studio, Georgaris said they were pleasantly surprised by the immediate support they got for the Ben and Hannah (Eliza Taylor) serialized storyline.

"It was great because when you have that support and when you have the cast, it's an opportunity to do something that we don't get every day," he said of the ambition of the season-long arc. "We have a lot of opportunities as creative people, but the opportunity to tell a complicated love story that takes twists and turns, it's not clean and it's not simple doesn't get to happen very often. Our entire production knew it was a chance to do something special. It made making it really hard work but a joy."

RELATED: Will Ben Ever Come Home? Inside That New Quantum Leap Theory

With that storyline came the season finale reveal that Hannah's only son, Jeffrey, grew up to become the revenge obsessed and rage-filled tech bro, Gideon Rydge (James Frain). Gero said that outcome was something they figured out right at the beginning of their Hannah planning because the result of having Ben being compassionate enough to help Jeffrey not become a monster is the type of thing the show is all about.

"It's about the extremely small moments of kindness that can change the world and reverberate so powerfully through people's lives," Gero said of Donald Bellisario and Deborah Pratt's series premise. "For us, telling a more serialized version that could take place over 13 episodes, we just knew it would have a bigger punch of saying the same thing. To have this final episode really be about letting Jeffrey participate in changing someone's life, letting Jeffrey participate in that kindness, and having that change him, as well as the people around him, that's what the show is about. The show is an empathy machine. The show is about walking a mile in someone else's shoes, and being changed by it. This was just the biggest version of that, where you can see how that reverberates through 40 years of time and changes everything because of a single act."

The return of OG Ziggy, Beth and Janis were long-planned

If you're also a fan of the original Quantum Leap series, the season finale was chock full of direct connections to the Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) era of leaping. We got a return appearance of Beth Calavicci (Susan Diol), the former wife of Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), and their daughter, Janis (Georgina Reilly). There was also a glimpse of the OG accelerator and Addison had to use the original Ziggy interface, replete with bugs and classic sounds. 

RELATED: Quantum Leap's Original Series Cliffhanger Finale Explained

Gero said they booked both actors early last year knowing they would be needed in the season finale. "Anytime we can harmonize with the the old series, we do it. It's harder and harder to do but there's a couple of moments, just in that section [of the finale], where they're all together talking about what the original show meant to them. We were able to introduce even some score from the original show. It just gives me chills every time," he smiled. "We're all fans first and foremost, so anytime we can do that, we take that opportunity."

What about the Sam Beckett of it all?

Deborah Pratt and Scott Bakula embrace

Speaking of Sam Beckett, with two seasons of the revival under their belts now, we wondered if Gero and Georgaris were still interested in having Scott Bakula make an appearance. Gero said that it's actually more about being respectful of Bakula's interest, or lack of interest, in appearing.

RELATED: Quantum Leap Season 2 Finale Makes Huge Callback to Biggest Moment From the Original Series

"He's been nothing but so kind to this version of the show," Gero said. "He's made it really clear that he wants to leave Quantum Leap where it was for him. And we're so grateful for all of his kindness and all of his support for us. When he blessed the show, it was a huge relief for everybody," he admitted. "It's just moved past that point and it now wants to be its own thing."

But Gero added, "If he called me tomorrow and was like, 'I'd love to be on the show,' then we would figure that out. But it's not a variable that's part of our equation right now."

What does the future hold for Ben and Hannah, and Addison and Tom?

Dr Ben Song and Hannah Carson on Quantum Leap Episode 213

The episode gave Ben and Hannah a bittersweet goodbye that Gero said closes their story in the series. "As disciplined writers, I think that's it," he confirmed. "But then as fans of Eliza and making the show, it would be great to have her back. It's kind of like Janis. We love that character but it just didn't make sense to have her in the season this year. But we found out a way towards the end. So, who knows? We would all love her to come back but that story does feel very finished."

RELATED: Who Is Addison's New Man Tom on Quantum Leap - And How He Does He Change The Team?

Georgaris said the same for Tom's story as he left the HQ Team when Addison called off their elopement. "It was interesting because modern audiences were like, "He's got to be the bad guy!" and Martin and I now talk about how it's satisfying that people were bummed when Addison and Tom broke up," the producer admitted. "But like Hannah, I feel like Tom, in his own way, led to Ben and Addison being together on that street in Europe in that final moment. And that's so lovely that he did that. And it's so consistent with who he is."

He continued, "Tom's a great character and Peter's a wonderful actor. If we follow the story, and if the story calls for Tom, then we'll call for Peter. But we do want the season to feel like it was a complete story and that every character's journey had a beginning, middle and end so that we can launch you into a whole new story."

How the heck does leaping work now for Ben and Addison in a potential Season 3?

Quantum Leap 213 Addison After Air Only

And that leaves us with the shocking ending that had both Addison and Ben sharing a leap to the same place in time. What did Hannah's code do?

Georgaris said he hopes viewers are full of questions that they get to answer if Season 3 is picked up. "Obviously, we have an overall shape that we're excited about. What is safe to say is, for two seasons we told a story where the two most important characters have been separated," he said of Ben and Addison. "We knew we always wanted to bring them back together. But we realized that to bring them together this way, is essentially to give you the first chapter of Season 3. It's a whole reinvention of what can happen and how will leaps work and who do they land in? You get to ask all these great questions, and every question that you're asking, our job gets a little easier because that's an episode."

He continued, "What we're really excited about is, we have so many places we can take the show now. We have characters that the audiences have seen go through things. Which is why it's so satisfying at the end when they reconnect. Even though it's not a giant kiss and a swell of strings and a spinning camera, It's not game over. It's still so satisfying. And when you find that, you know you've really found something special."

Watch both seasons of the Quantum Leap revival on Peacock now, or dig into the classic Quantum Leap series!

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