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Who Is Addison's New Man Tom on Quantum Leap - And How He Does He Change The Team?
The latest Quantum Leap episode introduces a heartbreaking twist for Ben. Who is this guy?
Spoilers ahead for the Season 2 premiere and Episode 2 of NBC's Quantum Leap!
Who else was growling at their TV when it was revealed in the latest Quantum Leap episode, "Ben and Teller," that Addison Augustine (Caitlin Bassett) has a new guy?
There were a lot of revelations about what's been happening at HQ and with Addison's life since Ben (Raymond Lee) went poof after he vanquished Leaper X (Walter Perez) in the Season 1 finale and then tried to jump home. At the end of the Season 2 premiere, Ian (Mason Alexander Park) appeared to let Ben know that he's been gone for three years, and in the interim the program was closed down as he was assumed lost.
Ben then leaped into his next mission, Lorena Chavez. She's a bank teller close to retirement in Tucson, Arizona in 1988 when Ben leaps into her just a few minutes before a bank robbery ensues. Ben quickly finds out from her work pal Rebecca (Janet Montgomery) that one of the robbers is her misguided younger brother, Sean (Graham Patrick Martin), who has been a problem child for some time. And that means Ben has to try and talk down Sean so the kid doesn't get killed as the police surround the bank.
Because Ziggy and the HQ have been in moth balls for three years, Ben gets a very glitchy Ian as his support for this leap. He discovers that the Pentagon determined Ben was lost/dead two years ago and Ian was the one keeping the mainframe percolating undercover looking for Ben...just in case.
Even more important is that we see Addison is back in the field, doing tach training with a team of agents and her serious new boyfriend, Tom Westfall (Peter Gadiot).
Who Is Tom Westfall?
Those who are committed to 'shipping Addison and Ben had a really tough time disliking this Westfall guy because he sure seems like perfect partner material. NBC Insider recently spoke with Quantum Leap executive producer and director Chris Grismer said that this episode was meant to flesh out the big changes Ben (and the audience) will face in Season 2.
"We get a taste of the the HQ characters coming in and participating more in the leaps," Grismer said of Ian's role of observer this week.
And then there's Westfall, who is revealed to have been Addison's boyfriend 13-years ago, so technically she is the one that got away for him. Maybe that's why he's such an empathetic shoulder for Addison to cry on after he is the one to reveal the news that HQ has found Ben alive, still leaping.
While the twist is another big shock to process, Grismer said that Gadiot's addition to the regular cast was dynamic from the get-go. "The whole story got a kick in the pants, when [he] came along and really, really added a lot to the storytelling," the director said with enthusiasm.
Going against the grain of typically making Westfall the villain, the episode instead makes it pretty clear that as the former special forces soldier and current Army Intelligence officer is in some level of oversight of the program, he also wants Ben back, safe and sound. He totally understands Addison's dilemma, as he was the person who helped Addison dig out of her major depression when Ben was formally labeled by the program as lost/dead. As such, he certainly doesn't throw any shade at her potentially conflicted feelings about how she might still feel about Ben because he was with her every step of the way and seems pretty secure in their bond. So, how can we hate a guy this nice?! Even Jenn (Nanrisa Lee) loves Tom!
Initially, Addison decides that she does not want her job back with HQ. But it's Tom who reminds her "we're soldiers and we don't leave people behind." That advice and knowing that Tom will be part of the HQ team too ultimately gives her the strength to reconnect with Ben during his leap and share that she's moved on with someone new.