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SYFY WIRE Quantum Leap

Magic’s OG ‘Quantum Leap’ connection finally revealed in latest episode of NBC revival

We finally know what it's like to experience a leap from the other side.

By Trent Moore
(l-r) Justin Hartley as Jake, Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song, Caitlin Bassett as Addison

Ben leaped into a female bounty hunter this week, but the real Quantum Leap action took place in the present where we learn what it’s like to be on the other side of a leap.

**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for “Salvation or Bust,” the latest episode of NBC’s Quantum Leap revival.**

First up, the leap: Ben lands in the body of a young woman in the 1980s, and comes to find out she’s a bounty hunter who works with This Is Us fan favorite Justin Hartley on a nice bit of NBC cameo synergy. Ben is in the body of Eva, and is grappling with Justin Hartley’s marriage proposal (who would say no to that guy, by the way?) and his mysterious leap mission that seems to revolve around a seemingly small-time criminal who jumps her bail.

But with a bit of sleuthing, gunplay and car chase action, we come to learn the seemingly innocent bounty is actually a criminal mastermind who goes on to run one of the biggest cartels in the future. So Ben and Justin Hartley have plenty of awkward relationship conversations (since Ben was dumbfounded by the surprise proposal), and track down the dangerous bounty — leading to a final face-off at a train station. Ben saves the day, the criminal is caught, and he even manages to do just enough matchmaking to ensure Eva and Justin Hartley get their happy ever after.

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The leap story is fun if not a bit thin (at least compared to last week’s excellent leap), but still a capable, cameo-filled adventure.

More importantly, though, the love connection got Ben’s memories jogging up enough to remember he left behind someone he loved — and after spending the day with Addison again on this leap — it finally clicked. He remembers he’s in love with Addison, and she’s the woman he left behind. But before he can process that information, he leaps, opening his eyes in what appears to the the wild west. Oh boy, indeed.

(l-r) Justin Hartley as Jake, Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song

Back in the present, the team continues its investigation into exactly what led Janis and Ben to go rogue and leap in the first place. To do that, the team will need to access a lot of old files, including the sealed history of Magic (Ernie Hudson), who runs the program. As old school Quantum Leap fans already know, there’s plenty in his old file that connects to the Quantum Leap program.

Magic explains to Ian that while he was serving in Vietnam, he felt a knock at his very soul, and decided to open the door. He woke up a day later, learning he’d saved his entire platoon, including his platoon leader… Tom Beckett. That mission took place in the original Quantum Leap in an excellent two-parter, and had Sam leaping into Magic to save his brother’s life. But this time, we get to hear it from Magic’s perspective.

As for how Magic wound up running the new Quantum Leap? Once he’d climbed the military ladder enough, he was able to access the old Quantum Leap files to learn what had really happened. He also learned that Sam — the man that saved his life — had still never returned home. So, he fought to restart the mothballed Quantum Leap project, which is what brings us to today.

The new series has made no qualms about connecting to the original series, but having Magic as that connective tissue has never felt more tangible than here. We even get a bit of flashback footage to that old episode, showing young Magic and his platoon.

We also get some intel on what Janis has been doing while poking around in Ziggy, and it seems she’s trying to use the time predictive technology to game out how the Quantum Leap team’s current actions could shape the timeline in the future. It’s an interesting twist, and a use for Ziggy and that tech we’ve never really heard about much up to this point. Is Janis playing the long game here, trying to figure out what she needs to do in the present to get the future outcome she wants? So many questions.

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