Quantum Leap

Season 5 Episode 18

Goodbye Norma Jean

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Mar 02, 1993 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • In this episode, we learn Sam's idol is Albert Einstein.

    • As the opening credits roll, you can see modern cars stopped in the background as the car comes up the street.

    • When Al is outside with Sam, telling him about his mission to save Marilyn's life, you can clearly see Al's breath in the cold air as he speaks.

      As Al is a hologram, this should not be possible.

    • Many cars are generally given the year ahead of their production year. For example, in 2005 the new cars being produced are considered 2006's.

    • It's April 4th, 1960 -- but that's a 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible that Sam's driving her around in.

  • Quotes

  • Notes

    • Alterate title: "For the Love of Marilyn", as listed in NBC promos for this episode.

    • This episode is riddled with star cameos from the 1950s. In this episode, Sam encounters director John Huston, actor and singer Peter Lawford, actor Clark Gable, and, of course, Marilyn Monroe.

    • This episode is one of several leaps this season to have Sam interact with History through his relationship with historical figures. Others this season are:
      "Lee Harvey Oswald"
      "Dr. Ruth" and
      "Memphis Melody".

  • Allusions

    • Tremaine: If things don't work out with Marilyn, maybe we can get Liz.
      Referencing actress Elizabeth Taylor, award-winning actress who was the other main "It Girl" in 1950s America.

    • Al: Double your pleasure, double your fun.
      Referencing the jingle for Doublemint, a brand of chewing gum. The advertising campaign featured a set of twins bouncing around town and having fun.

    • When Sam takes Marilyn out for a walk, he is shocked to realize they end up "where Rebel without a Cause happened".

      This building is known as The Griffith Observatory, which is featured prominently in the film and is the site of the movie's climax. The observatory is still in use today, and because of its pop-culture connection to films and television and its stunning internal displays, is still a well-visited tourist attraction.

      Rebel without a Cause was a famous 1955 film starring James Dean.

    • Al states that watching Marilyn Monroe skinny-dip is like looking at Helen of Troy or Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus".

      Helen of Troy was a Greek mythological figure (historically inspired) that was one of the causing factors of the Trojan War. According to the myth, when Paris, prince to Troy, fell in love with the renown beauty, he brought her back to his home, stealing her away from her husband, who, in response, began the subsequent invasion of Troy to get her back.

      Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus is a famous painting of the greek myth concerning the birth of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, who was supposedly conceived from sea foam.

      Both women are considered to be great beauties, and their appearances are historically, culturally, and socially recognized as such.

    • Apparently, Sam's speech to Marilyn inspires her to change the title of the movie for which she is auditioning to The Misfits.

      The Misfits was a 1961 film starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift. It was considered by both fans and critics to be Marilyn's best work. Tragically, it was her last picture, as is stated in this episode.

    • Episode Title: Goodbye Norma Jean
      The title of this episode refers to the 1973 song by Elton John, "Candle In The Wind." The song begins "Goodbye Norma Jean..." and is about the death of Marilyn Monroe.