Quantum Leap

Season 1 Episode 8

Camikazi Kid

Aired Friday 12:00 AM May 10, 1989 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
90 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


June 6, 1961: As a high school teenager, Sam must prevent his sister from marrying an abusive drinker before the wedding takes place in three days. Sam remembers that his own sister had a similar problem and he was unable to help, and he vows not to fail this time.


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Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Sam leaps into a goofy high school teenager in 1961, where he must save the boy's kind older sister from the future she will face with an abusive, bullying alcoholic she is due to marry in three days time. A lovely episode...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    The previous episode,"The Color of Truth", is undoubtedly the classic episode of 'Quantum Leap's first season, due to it's superb racial commentary on the Deep South in the 1950s, but in my book, "Camikazi Kid" comes a very close second. It is a wonderful episode, which really whisks you away from yourself for fifty minutes, taking you back to a more innocent age, and introducing you to characters that you really want to see what happens to them.

    Sam feels doubly obliged to help Cam's older sister Cheryl, after his (Sam)'s own sister led a miserable life at the hands of an abusive, alcoholic husband.

    It is the love between brother and sister that really makes this episode. Although I am an only child myself (cue years of psychotherapy(!)), Cheryl is perfectly played by Romy Walthall, and reminds me so much of a really good friend I had, with her kindness and charm, and really pulled me in to the story.

    The episode's "kiss with history", where Sam seems to encounter a very young Michael Jackson in a restroom, doesn't really to fit with the show's feel and timeframe (see goofs listed under this episode), but it is an interesting sequence none-the-less.

    Things lead up to the climatic race, where, at Al's recommendation, Sam wins the race by rigging his car with nitrous oxide. It is an exciting peak to the story (containing several shots that would be used on the opening credits for much of the rest of the show's run), and proves how dangerous Cheryl's husband-to-be can be, persuading her to call off the wedding.

    All-in-all, this is a delightful episode of 'Quantum Leap', and one that I never tire of watching. It kind of sums up what QL is all about, and how magnificent it can be when it fires on all thrusters. I give "Camikazi Kid" a top scoring 10 out of 10.moreless
Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When Sam examines his braces in the mirror shortly after he arrives, he only bares his upper teeth, but Cam's reflection has upper and lower teeth bared.

    • None of the children at the children's table are old enough to see or hear Al. However, one boy giggles when Al yells "Food fight!"

    • If the boy in the restroom is Michael Jackson, who was born in 1958, that would make him three years old. Not only is the boy shown clearly older than that, but if he were three years old, he would be able to see Al.

    • Sam leaps into June 6, 1961, which is a Tuesday. However, when he returns home that night, an episode of Leave it to Beaver, "Eddie's Double-Cross", is on the TV. That episode aired November 19, 1960, on a Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Since new episodes were on June 3 and June 10, there was no repeat on June 6, so the episode couldn't have been airing as shown here.

    • The episode title, "Camikazi Kid" uses the Japanese word meaning "Divine Wind," used to describe suicide pilots. However, it is spelled incorrectly. The correct spelling is "kamikaze". The reason that it's spelled that way was to link the title back to the leaper's name, Cameron (Cam, for short).

    • Just before he leaps, Sam is about to kiss the teen girl and the song playing is "Let It Be Me". But the version playing is from 1964, by Betty Everett and Jerry Butler, 3 years in the future. The Everly Brothers original should have been played, from 1960.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Sam: If you're going to have to quantum leap through time, you have to be ready to leap at a moment's notice... to help your fellow traveler, to be open to new friends, to eat and leap. And to expect... the unexpected.

    • Sam: My God, I'm a dork. A dork with teeth that could pick up radio transmissions. Oh, boy.

    • Jill: Cam?!? Are you naked?
      Al: Do the initials B.A. mean anything to you?

    • Sam: Al. Al! What year is it?
      Al: 1961.
      Sam: Great. The tail end of the most immature period in history. All the guys still drink malts, drive hot rods and wear butch wax in their hair. And the girls all have pillow fights, chat on the phone, blind dates and get their panties raided.
      Al: Ah, those were the good old days.

    • Janie Wilson: Excuse me. What is this?
      Sam: An old Playboy magazine.
      Janie Wilson: Old? Miss May looks pretty fresh to me.

    • (after Cheryl's bridal shower)
      Al: Oh, Tina would look good without that on.
      Sam: Al.
      Al: Hi, Sam. Oh, you missed all the fun.

    • Sam: What are you doin' here?
      Al: I'm confirming that Ziggy's data retrieval circuits are fully functional.
      Sam: What?
      Al: Well, you see, he predicted that Cheryl's lingerie party would start precisely at 2:07 Pacific Daylight Time. He was eight seconds off.
      Sam: Al, you didn't stand in here and watch Cheryl trying all this stuff on?
      Al: Well, you know, uh--if you're gonna publish, you gotta have data.
      Sam: What are you gonna publish, a lingerie catalog?
      Al: That's a good idea, Sam. I could do some inside research, if you get my drift.
      Sam: Yeah, I get your drift. What... what else you here for?
      Al: Nothing.
      Sam: Nothing?
      Al: Nothing, no. I thought lingerie was enough.

    • Mrs. Thompson: You're not going to know what to do on the day of the wedding.
      Chuck Thompson: Sure I am. Drink heavily.

    • Sam: Leaping about in time, I've suffered some humiliation and abuse. But I can't recall anything as horrible as being forced to sit at the children's table.

    • Sam: I'd like to make a toast. First, to my sister, Cheryl. I just want you to know how proud I am to have you as my big sister. You're a person with incredible strength and vision. A person brave enough to answer President Kennedy's call to... "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I'm so proud of you for having the courage to go out and make a difference in the lives of people less fortunate than ourselves.

    • Al: You know, normally, I'm against spreading men's room gossip. But in this case…
      Sam: It would be criminal not to.

    • Al: Look what I picked up this morning.
      Sam: The girl or the car?
      Al: Both. I met her at the car auction. She offered to wax my hood.
      Sam: Well, she looks like she does good work.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music: The Wanderer (Dion and the Belmonts), Oh Boy (Buddy Holly), Baby It's You (The Shirelles), Rocking Robin (Bobby Day), Why Must I Be a Teenager In Love (Dion and the Belmonts), Let It Be Me (Betty Everett & Jerry Butler)

    • The episode of Leave it to Beaver airing when Sam comes homes home is "Eddie's Double-Cross", which premiered November 19, 1960, during Season 4. (See Trivia for a goof, however.)

    • This episode's "kiss with history": Michael Jackson. As Sam stands in the bathroom of the reception hall, a young (and somehow familiar) boy exits a stall. When the boy does a small dance step, Sam counters with dance moves of his own, possibly "teaching" the moonwalk to the young Michael Jackson.