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A surprise team-up and the secret mole revealed (?!) in latest 'Quantum Leap'
Who has been causing all the trouble on Quantum Leap? We might have an answer.
NBC’s Quantum Leap revival took a page out of the old series’ playbook — and nodded to a classic arc in the original show — with an episode that gave us two leapers and one heck of a potential reveal.
When last we’d left Ben, he dropped into 1954 at intake of a mental asylum. But all is not as it seems. Turns out, Ben is actually a private investigator hired to infiltrate the asylum to bust out his client’s sister, Judith. As is noted by the present day team, the 1950s were a dark time when it came to mental health treatment, and Ben has landed in one of the worst facilities. The shady doctor who runs the place is experimenting on patients.
RELATED: The Evil Leapers explained on Quantum Leap
The team in the present day starts digging into an escape route, and it seems the mission this week is to rescue Judith and get her out alive. But she refuses to leave until they can take down the whole asylum, so they hatch a plan to steal the doctor’s files to show the world the barbaric tactics he’s using.
Just when it seems like a plan is coming together, Ian’s Leaper X alarm goes off and they realize Martinez is also leaping into the asylum — meaning we have two leapers for the price of one this week. But instead of a patient, Martinez lands in the body of an orderly, so he’s in a much better position to get things done inside the hospital. They claim they’re both there to free Judith, and Addison hatches an uneasy alliance between the two leapers to try and get Judith out safely.
But just when it seems like they’re finding some common ground, Martinez stabs Ben in the neck (literally), and leaves him to die, claiming his mission was to complete the leap and stop Ben by any means necessary. In parallel in the present, we learn from Janis that Ben apparently knew he’d cross paths with Martinez three times during his leaps, and he had to try and stop him to prevent him from completing his overall mission (which seems in some capacity to be killing Addison in the future).
Ben obviously fails in stopping Martinez, but thanks to Addison’s guidance he does manage to survive in his host body long enough to make it to the next leap. He even saves his host’s life, using a car cigarette lighter to cauterize the wound and staunch the bleeding until help can arrive.
Along the way, this story plays around with some interesting ideas, dropping a man who sees people who aren’t there, and claims he’s from the future, into a mental institution. When Ben is dosed with truth serum, you truly start to see just how out of his mind he might sound to someone outside the program.
Key things we learned in this episode of Quantum Leap
Yep, that’s right, we did get a reference to the Evil Leapers. As they’re trying to figure out how Martinez’s mission fits into all of this, Ian reveals an old report from Al and Sam’s days referencing the Evil Leapers they crossed paths with in a few episodes back in the day. OG fans are likely well aware of those adventures. So is Martinez an Evil Leaper? We don’t know, but it doesn’t seem super likely. As far as we know, the Evil Leapers came from a rival project, while it seems Martinez is from the Quantum Leap Project itself — just some time in the future.
Janis finally seems to be coming around to trusting Magic and the Quantum Leap team, and she does still seem to have intel we don’t on Ben’s real mission. As the first season enters its home stretch, we’d guess she’ll become a bigger player working with (or betraying?!) the team in the end.
The episode ends with what might be the biggest reveal yet: the identity of the mole at the project who Janis was afraid to run across. She thinks she’s figured it out, and it seems the “mole” might not be a person at all. Janis thinks it’s actually Ziggy causing this trouble, which could make for a fascinating story about the power and motivations of artificial intelligence. It’d make some sense that Ziggy would simply be trying to solve its leaps by whatever means possible, even if that means crossing leapers or seemingly messing with the time stream between future and present eras of the Quantum Leap Project. But the real question remains: what is Ziggy’s endgame?
New episodes of Quantum Leap air Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, and stream next-day on Peacock.