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Addison gets a classic hologram story as Brandon Routh guest stars on latest ‘Quantum Leap’
The latest leap dropped Ben into the middle of a naval rescue mission in 1989.
Some of the most touching, poignant stories in the original Quantum Leap came when Al (Dean Stockwell) had a chance to interact with those in his past as a hologram — and NBC’s revival has dropped a new story that should make OG fans proud.
Genre fan favorite Brandon Routh, likely best known for starring in Superman Returns and more than half-a-decade on Legends of Tomorrow, popped up as a guest star this week in a key role: Addison’s hardened, military man father. The latest leap dropped Ben into the middle of a naval rescue mission in 1989, aboard the ship where Addison's father served and had his career ruined when he allegedly failed to report a spotty distress call he couldn’t confirm.
Turns out, the distress call was from a submarine on a covert mission, and when the ship didn’t respond the entire crew perished. But it doesn’t take long to realize the official mission log is a cover-up, and Addison’s father did want to respond to the S.O.S. call — it was the captain who decided to ignore it. Addison’s father took the blame to protect the captain (who is getting old and dealing with some rage issues) and his legacy, since he was his mentor and had taken him under his wing as a young man.
So Ben’s mission is to save the crew and (hopefully) help set things right for Addison’s father, it just takes some tricky tiptoeing to make it happen. Ben manages to do a bit of digging on the distress call to confirm its legit, so the captain agrees to render aid. But he becomes obsessed with a Chinese submarine following them, and decides to fire a warning shot at it. When the ship accidentally stumbles upon a minefield, the captain is convinced they were attacked by the sub, and Ben has to once again prove that isn’t the case to avert what could be the start of World War III.
To buy time, Addison’s father goes so far as to break orders and drop the ship’s anchor to prevent the captain from firing — a move that lands him in the brig awaiting a court marshal. Ben convinces Addison’s father the right thing to do is stand up to the captain, even if it is mutiny, because to do nothing will start an all-out war. It leads to an incredibly tense standoff among the crew, though the captain finally comes to his senses and places Addison’s father in charge of completing the rescue mission. The submarine crew is saved, the captain’s legacy is intact, and Addison’s father is never disgraced.
As for the classic hologram tale, we get to see Addison watch her father and learn things about him that she never knew. In the episode’s closing moments, she gets a classic Al-style moment to talk to her father. Even though he can’t hear, it seems like can sense her, and it’s a very human moment to get a glimpse into Addison’s life. It’s also a great performance from Routh, and we’d love to see Ben cross paths with him again at some point down the line.
Though there was plenty of story to get through, they saved one last reveal for the end: Martinez, aka Leaper X, the mystery leaper who Ben crossed paths with in the Wild West, was also working a leap mission on the ship. Martinez was down in another department, and actually helped Ben on several occasions, relaying orders via the ship’s comms (so we never actually saw Martinez’s face until that final reveal). It seems Martinez was on a similar leap mission, though we still don’t know his motivations or what exactly he’s doing out there in the time stream. Regardless, it’s clear they’re keeping this mystery fresh as we head into the final stretch of Season 1.
So what’s next? Ben leaps and lands in what seems to be the body of a female public defender. Yep, Quantum Leap is tackling a courtroom story — which was a hallmark of the original series and made for some of its most compelling stories.