Quantum Leap

Season 2 Episode 1

Honeymoon Express

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Sep 20, 1989 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
81 votes

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Episode Summary

Honeymoon Express
April 27, 1960: As Tom McBride, a New York City cop on his honeymoon, Sam must save himself from his new bride's jealous, and sociopathic, ex-husband. To make matters worse, the Project's funding will be cut off, stranding Sam alone in the past, unless he can prevent the U2 flight from being shot down over Russia.moreless

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  • In 1960, Sam's on a honeymoon train ride with his new bride. Al's unsure if Sam's aim is to help her pass her law exam, or to influence her father to stop a U2 being shot down, but her bitter ex-husband endangers everything. Good start to the 2nd season..moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    After 'Quantum Leap's short but excellent first season, here it returns for it's second run, it's first complete-length season.

    The episode is highly unusual for the series, in that it opens with, and features many scenes outside of Sam's "leaps", set in the modern day (i.e. whatever the modern day is in QL universe), with Al desperately trying to secure funding to keep the Quantum Leap project going as they search for a way to return Sam to the present. This is a very rare concept in the series, as just about every other episode (bar literally just a couple) solely feature Sam's leaps, and nothing outside of them. Part of the reason for this different approach, which sets out the circumstances of the project, may well have been to reacquaint returning viewers, as well as introduce newcomers to the concept of the series.

    After Sam has his initial minor leap after the opening credits (a fire-fighter, saving a cat from a tree in 1957!), he leaps into the story's main scenario, of a newly wed cop on a luxury train ride with his new bride.

    This presents a number of possibilities: Is Sam there to help his new bridge pass her upcoming law exams, or – as Al, with a little pressure from the council he is trying to secure funding from – to influence the girl's important father into preventing the impending shooting down of a U2 plane over Russia.

    Sam's missions have always been unfocused and debatable previously, but nothing as complex as those tackled in this story. Either way, putting the girl's twisted ex-husband out of action becomes the main thrust of the story.

    This must have been one of the cheapest of all 'Quantum Leap' episodes to be produced, as it set nearly entirely onboard to the train set, with just a few stock footage external shots of the train thrown in to make it seem as if it were travelling. Not that this matters to much really.

    This is a likeable episode, and gets the second season off to a very decent start. It also throws up the question of just how far does Sam have to go (i.e. does he have sex) on his various leaps. But the episode's best, and unexpectedly powerful scene, comes as Sam realises, if funding is cut, this may be the very last time he sees Al, as he will be no longer able to appear to him as a hologram. This is a simple yet very strong scene, that not only leaves Sam worrying how he will complete this and future leaps, but also highlights the friendship the two have made over the short first season.

    The plot is good, although not really one of the show's classics (some might find it a little dull in places). It would probably go down as an "average" fare if tucked anywhere else in the show's run, but the prominence of it opening the second season, complete with the additional goal of securing funding for the project, makes it more noteworthy. Also, after the quirky, half-comedy, half-drama basis of the first season, the same basic formula is retained here, but things will slowly lean more to the side of drama (with exceptions); I suppose it was needed to keep the series fresh and bring in bigger storylines.

    After I got into 'Quantum Leap' during its original run, somewhere in the second season after a school friend recommended it to me, I watched most of the episodes, but with studying for exams and subsequently college, I maybe didn't follow it as closely as I might have liked. Then, for a while, late on Friday evenings on BBC Two here in the U.K., they took to showing a few "one off" episodes of the series, and this was one of the first. I happened to catch it (and record it), and it renewed my love for this excellent series.

    By the way, on those BBC Two broadcasts (and presumably the original US broadcasts), the early second season episodes had a slightly different opening credits sequence. Nothing major, but a few different shots, such as Sam skipping a rope with a nun from "The Right Hand of God", and having a razor blade held to his neck in "Double Identity". For whatever reason, the DVD versions and most rerun copies use the more standard second season opening credits version.

    Anyway, all-in-all, this probably isn't one of QL's greatest stories, but it has a decent plot, and the modern day elements of trying to save the project adds an extra layer of interest (and the final scene, of Sam's bride suddenly being in charge of the council in the present day, and permitting funding, is a nice twist). I'll give this one a decent 1/10.moreless
Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Roget: (after being stabbed by Sam) Next time, it will be easier.

    • Al: ...If you kill this project, you will end one of the greatest adventures mankind has ever undertaken. And more important, you will leave a brave man back there -- alone.
      Senator: He's not alone, Admiral. (mocking Al) He has God.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode is unique in that it is the first in which Sam's actions within the leap effect Project Quantum Leap. The man he leaps into helps his new bride study for her bar exam, which enables her to become a senator who chairs the present day committee that oversees Quantum Leap. It is her vote that determines the fate of whether or not to continue funding of the Quantum Leap project. If she voted to shut down the funding, Sam would have been trapped in the past. It would appear that Sam's mission behind this leap is to save Quantum Leap, implying that his leaps are not necessarily random, as he and Al previously believed.

    • This episode is unusual in that we see events outside of Sam's leaping. The episode opens and closes with Al trying to convince a committee to continue support in the Quantum Leap project (effectively re-introducing viewers for the new season). Nearly every other episode opens with Sam leaping into a new person, and ends with him leaping into another; we very seldom see events in the present outside of his leaping.


    • Diane McBride: The playwriter?
      Samuel Beckett was a famous Irish writer, dramatist and poet of 20th century, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969.