Quantum Leap

Season 2 Episode 17

Good Night, Dear Heart

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Mar 07, 1990 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
53 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

November 9, 1957: Rather than saving the damsel of the episode, who supposedly committed suicide, Sam is the coroner who must prove that she was murdered, and then find out by whom.

Watch Full Episode

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Sam leaps into a small town coroner who must prove that a young, working class woman's suicide was really a murder. This forces him to uncover the victims personal relationships with another woman as well as the son of her employer.moreless

    A great episode, which is much darker in its tone then other episodes. Everyone wants to believe that the young lady, a German immigrant, committed suicide, but Sam believes it was murder. To find the truth about the young woman's death, Sam has to dig into her personal life, which leads to some interesting twists and turns.

    This is also the first gay episode' for Quantum Leap. We learn that the victim was bisexual and was killed [by accident] by her jealous lesbian lover. It is a nice twist, revealed at the end, but it might seem seen as offering audiences the stereotypical crazed lesbian and one dead bisexual woman. Quantum Leap often tackled injustice and prejudice, but it was slow to do so with regards to homophobia.

    The second time that a gay character appeared on the series, [One Strobe Over the Line] she was another villain. The series did not really deal with gay rights until "Running For Honor", which was pressured to make writing concessions to bigots.

    The Quantum Leap comic book series created an impressive sequel to Good Night, Dear Heart, which directly deals with anti-gay laws and social prejudice in the late 1960s. So if you really want to fully appreciate this episode, you should probably read the comic book story as well.moreless
  • I couldn't find an appropriate classification for this episode, which is unlike many in the Quantum Leap series, due to its dark mood and dry dialogue, but which is still an excellent installment.moreless

    Good Night, Dear Heart is one of the darker episodes in the Quantum Leap series. Sam, who is used to Leaping in to save the damsel in distress at the last moment, instead finds himself arriving almost too late, since the person he's here to help has already died, apparently as a suicide. Sam quickly discovers that she has been murdered, and he must find the killer with almost no information to work from.

    Sam spends a lot of his time alone during this episode, since Al is leery around dead bodies, and is getting worried about Sam's obsession with the dead girl. Sam is also nearly ostracized from the other townfolk, who don't like to be around someone who handles dead people. Without the usual comedy team of Al and Sam to work against, the dialogue takes on a very somber quality.

    This episode is an excellent installment, however, because Sam proves that he doesn't always need to rely on Ziggy's fragmented data to bring a resolution to his Leaping, a fact that will become more relevant in later episodes.moreless
Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

William Cain

William Cain

Roger Truesdale

Guest Star

Marcia Cross

Marcia Cross

Stephanie Heywood

Guest Star

Robert Duncan McNeill

Robert Duncan McNeill

Greg Truesdale:

Guest Star

W.K. Stratton

W.K. Stratton

Sheriff Lyle Roundtree

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Aggie: You hear more in a beauty shop than a priest in confession.

    • Stephanie: Hillie understood life better than most people. Maybe because she'd seen so much death.

    • Sam: I knew very little about Hilla except that she survived a war when everyone else in her family died. She was either lucky or had a strong will to live. One of these had run out on her, I had to find out which one.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The writer of this episode, Paul Brown, won an Edgar Award for this episode in the cateogry of "Best Television Episode Teleplay". Edgar Awards are named after the author Edgar Allen Poe and awarded annually for distinguished work in various categories including film and television writing.

    • Marcia Cross is of course famous for 2 great TV roles: as Dr. Kimberly Shaw, the psychotic doctor on "Melrose Place" and now as Bree Van De Kamp on "Desperate Housewives".

    • In an issue of the Quantum Leap comic book "Up Against A Stonewall" the jealous murdering lesbian gets released from prison in 1969 and goes to work at the Stonewall Inn bar. The comic also goes into how the tv series dealt with gay rights issues.

    • Robert Duncan McNeill would later play Lt. Tom Paris in "Star Trek: Voyager". He would also go on to direct several "Star Trek: Enterprise", which also stars Scott Bakula


    • Name: Laura
      The second time Al catches Sam in Hilla's room, he warns him not to confuse her with Laura and expect her to come in drenched from the rain. Laura is the title of a 1944 movie where the detective falls in love with a murdered girl's portrait.

    • Episode Title: Good Night, Dear Heart
      The title for this episode comes from a Mark Twain poem, which Twain wrote after the death of his daughter. Sam reads this poem at Hilla's grave during the conclusion of this episode.