Season 1 Episode 12

The Hanged Man

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Dec 17, 2007 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
217 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Hanged Man
While Dan struggles to save a mother and child in the past, Katie has to deal with her well-meaning sister who wants to help… just as Zack disappears.

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  • Great episode to end on!

    Excellent penultimate episode to an excellent series, just wish there was a season two!

    I liked the idea of something as simple as a camera now being super-high-tech not so long ago, and how the camera being left behind affected different technologies.

    One extremely annoying part though was when they first recovered the camera in the office, the office manager came and told them to give it back to the boy... and they did! What the hell? Why were they bowing to her authority? She had no authority over them. Very annoying plot hole!

    This episode is also notable for the eye-popping sight of Moon Bloodgood crawling around on the floor in lingerie! My god, that woman is adorable.moreless
  • Dan and Katie are messing about in the bedroom, taking some innocent pictures with the digital camera, then Dan jumps into the past and onto an rv hanging over the edge of the cliff, he gets the 2 occupants out, before it slides down the cliff face.moreless

    There is more of a family gathering, Katie's sister is in town, so there is a small dinner party, all are there including Hugh, when Dan jumps back, into a building, where a semi-clad figure of Livia is looking embarrassed, they see the lady from the rv, then the son, Dan is unable to get his camera back and they have to leave the offices. He gets back after the dinner party is over, and discovers that he now has a daughter rather than a son.

    Katie doesn't remember Zack, Dan is getting worried as he has changed the past, he goes upto Zacks room where Dan and Katie talk through the conception dates and events surrounding his daugters birth. It soon becomes very apparant that by taking the digital camera and losing it in the past, has had a major technological advancement than should not have occurred.

    He has to change things back to how things were and he realises that he can only get things back into line when he gets the camera back. He manages to get to talk to Mrs Supper regarding her son, as he had the camera last.

    Nat, Katie sister manages to persuade her to have a psychic do a reading on the future, whom confirms that something is unfinished and has been turned upside down, the answer is within, just then Dan walks in - she tells him that she has not met anyone with his presence before, that he is in turmoil and he needs to find something, someone, Zack.

    Dan tries to get back, he succeeds and Livia is there and he tells her about Zack and he's gone, they say they have to get the camera back and are walking into the office building as before.

    Nat and Jack talk in the kitchen, he manages to tell him that he knows that Dan has not gone back to gambling, they chat through alot of stuff before he admits that he's knocked his girlfriend up. Nat laughs and tells him that his life is sooooooo over and laughs again.

    Meanwhile, Dan and Livia go into the building, track down chris and they get the camera back, there's a lot of arguements about getting the camera back, but results in Dan taking the camera, him and Livia leave the building and dispose of the camera in a crusher on the way out, they both jump just as the security guards open fire killing the biotch head of security, which i thought was poetic justice.moreless
  • Good, but probably too late.

    This episode started on an up beat with Dan and Katie starting to get...intimate when Dan gets zapped away to 1984 in the back of a mom's and son's mobile camper as it's teetering on the edge of the cliff.

    Dan helps the two innocents escape, but gets trapped in the RV as it tumbles down a mountain. And, through no fault of his, Dan leaves a digital camera at the feet of the people he saved. Dan completes his tumble down the stairs of his newspaper's office building. He then goes home to regain his bearings, where he meets his daughter, Caroline for the first time. Zack's gone. First clue he did something to change the timeline. Cool.

    Dan recounts with Katie the time they conceived Zack, but Katie sets him straight with the story of how Caroline was born. Katie doesn't remember Zack, and she doesn't want him to do anything to "restore" the timeline. Nice conflict. When Dan goes back to the newspaper, his boss holds up a digital video flimsy with info on a story assignment (2nd clue), and he finds a virtual 3D GUI in place of a pedantic solid screen and hard drive tower (3rd clue). I want my own hyperadvanced personal computer, but I expect to wait a decade or two for tech in this timeline to get to that point.

    Dan does some research and sees that a computer company has been behind some major breakthroughs for the last 20 years, which everyone else takes in stride.

    He flashes back, meets up with Livia, and try to recover the camera, which the son is trying to sell to the computer company his mom just joined. No joy on the first try.

    Meantime, life continues as normal with Caroline instead of Zach. Dan's brother, Jack, is dealing with getting his girlfriend pregnant accidentally and Katie's sister, Annette, is urging her to leave Dan before he does something to hurt her. When Dan zaps back, he runs into a psychic, who Katie brought over to the house to ask about life, fortune, etc. The psychic gushes over Dan, saying she never met someone with his aura. Apparently, time travelers aren't too thick on the ground.

    Dan sees that nothing's changed, and he's got an uphill battle. When he contacts the mom in the present, he sees that she's blind and her son is missing. Dan and the viewer put two and two together, realizing that the son was apparently offed for the camera.

    He flashes back, meets up with Livia, and tracks the son as he mets with a company nerd to sell the camera to get enough money to help his mom, who's going blind from diabetes. It goes without saying that his buyers are dying to get their hands on "advanced technology that people will kill for." The company security chief, one very wooden lady, has some security guards pursue Dan and Livia when they take the camera. Dan tosses the camera into a trash compactor, where it goes CRACK, and he and Livia zap away as the security goons fill the space they'd occupied with lead--and nail their boss instead. The son runs off safe.

    When Dan flashes back to the present, his Star Trek PC is gone, the son is on his way to inventing a digital ocular implant that'll give sight back to the blind, and Zach is back. Dan gives his son a squeeze that takes the blood from his head.

    And the psychic reappears to tell Dan that he and one other (Livia) were born during the passing of the Joseph Lee Comet (fictional I believe).

    Good drama throughout. Regarding the Comet, I would think that if it's passing marked and linked Dan and Livia as special, there'd be others who'd be part of the time travelers club. That angle hasn't been developed in the previous episodes and won't be in the future if NBC doesn't pick up the series' option. I also feel that this sort of info needed to be included in the pilot episode to help new viewers suspend their disbelief and buy into the premise. Too little, most likely too late I expect.

    Rightly or wrongly, the show has bled viewers from the beginning, which led to a ratings plummet, and the series' likely death knell in NBC's eyes.

    Too bad because I feel this "Quantum Leap"-like show has the potential to improve and overcome its shortcomings, but it'll never be.

    Except in the alternate reality where the show's option has been picked up and a full first season is ordered. Being a leaper would be helpful about now.

  • If you're looking for a word to sum up this episode, then maybe they should make up a new word to describe outstanding, amazing, interesting, different, mind-blowing, shocking, emotional etc.

    If you're looking for a word to sum up this episode, then maybe they should make up a new word to describe outstanding, amazing, interesting, different, mind-blowing, shocking, emotional etc. etc. Did I mention amazing?!

    I absolutely love this show, and this episode by far is probably the best to date. The episode shows just how much Dan's life can change by something so little as leaving behind a digital camera in the past. I was utterly surprised when he went back home to find he'd never had a son, Zack, but a little girl called Caroline. I'm disheartened by the fact that this series may get cancelled. It truly is one of the best shows on TV, and it'd be a big mistake to throw it away. Especially now after this episode!moreless
  • excellent

    Dan goes back in time and finds himself inside an RV with a mother and teenage boy who are about to die by falling off a cliff. Before Dan travels back to the present, he drops his digital camera and it brings problems in his current life. The digital camera brings a lot of suspense in this episode. Every time Dan tries to get it back, there are people who are preventing it from happening. This episode ends in a cliffhanger, something else changes in the present and Dan doesn't know what happened. This can be something that will play out in future episodes, it could be a very interesting future episodes.moreless
Jordan Garrett

Jordan Garrett

Christopher Cupper

Guest Star

Jake Richardson

Jake Richardson

Dewey Boyd

Guest Star

Natacha Roi

Natacha Roi

Sandra Cupper

Guest Star

Tom Everett

Tom Everett

Elliot Langley

Recurring Role

Lisa Sheridan

Lisa Sheridan

Theresa Sanchez

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Dan: Okay, job done. We can go now.
      Livia: Yeah.
      Dan: Can we ever control it?
      Livia: No, I haven't yet, but let me know when you do.

    • Caroline: Are you mad?
      Dan: Yeah. Sorry. I shouldn't have talked like that.
      Caroline: Do you want to know what I do when I'm mad?
      Dan: What?
      Caroline: Sometimes I scream. And sometimes I think of red licorice.
      Dan: (chuckles; smiles) Red licorice?
      Caroline: See, it works.

    • Georgina: You're looking for something you lost. It's small, but important. Something very small that has changed your world in a very significant way. You're looking in the wrong, place, Dan. It's not where you think it is.
      Dan: What isn't?
      Georgina: You have to find it.
      Katie: Find what?
      Georgina: Zack.

    • Dan: I need to get our life back tomorrow.
      Katie: What?
      (Caroline enters)
      Caroline: (to Katie) Are you done?
      (Katie puts her hands around Caroline)
      Katie: (to Dan) Don't you change anything.
      Dan: Of course not. This is our family. I wouldn't change a thing.

    • Caroline: Good night, Daddy.
      Dan: (laughs) Who's this? Where's Zack?
      Katie: Who?
      Dan: Zack.
      Katie: What's going on, Dan?
      Dan: Where is our son?
      Katie: What son?

  • NOTES (2)

    • Music:
      "I Want to Be Loved" by Cassandra Wilson
      (Katie undresses & Dan plays with his new camera; present)
      "Der Kommissar" by After The Fire
      (Livia gets zapped to 1984, where she & Dan try to recover the camera)

    • It is revealed that Dan came into existence as a result of the 'Joseph Lee Comet'. There have only been two of these reported within the last 100 years. Dan and Livia are the two results of these.


    • Jack: Maybe you could say you, you travel all the time and leave the Slautherhouse-Five stuff out.

      Slautherhouse-Five is a satircal novel by Kurt Vonnegut about a man whose consciousness randomly travels back and forth through periods of his life.

    • Butterfly Effect:

      Both of Dan's children draw pictures of butterflies, alluding the Butterfly Effect of Chaos Theory which claims that the flapping of a butterfly's wings can cause a tornado on the other side of the world.

      This is of particular significance as something as simple as losing a digital camera can cause a different child to be born.