Quantum Leap

Season 5 Episode 17

Revenge of the Evil Leaper

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Feb 23, 1993 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

September 16, 1987: Having simu-leaped, both Sam and Alia find themselves trapped in a women's prison, accused of murdering a fellow inmate. Their efforts to unmask the real killer are not their top priority as the two attempt to keep Alia's location hidden from her observer, Zoey, who leaps into the same place and time, determined to make Alia pay for her betrayal.moreless

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  • To Observe No More

    Sam and Alia leap into inmates at a women's prison, who have been wrongly accused of killing a fellow inmate. Zoey has leaped into the male prison warden and is determined to find and exterminate Alia for her betrayal.

    This puts Sam and Alia in the difficult position of trying to escape from prison, clear their name and hide from Zoey (and her hologram observer) .

    Luckily , Al is able to hide Alia (temporarily) and one of the prison guards is willing to help Sam and Alia escape. In the end justice is served, but Sam and Alia do not leap together. In fact this is the last time in the series that Alia is seen or heard from again.

    The introduction of the 'Evil Leapers' in contrast to the Project Quantum Leap was a good addition to the series. It made sense that other people were interested in time travel, and it made the leaps more complicated for Sam.

    Unfortunately, the series never really explained much about the Evil Leapers. It is implied that they are working with the devil in order to change history for the worse. When bad Leapers Failed, their punishment was torture.

    When this episode ends, Alia leaps somewhere, but Al is not able to say where (when?), except that she is safe. Zoey also leaps, perhaps to be tortured for her failure.

    Yet, I doubt that Zoey and Alia were the only people working for the Evil Leaper project. Zoey has a hologram assistant, and it would seem logical that more members of this evil group would cross paths with Sam again. However, the entire Evil Leaper storyline is just dropped.moreless
Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Zoey says she convinced Lothos to spare Alia and make her a leaper again after she failed to kill Sam in "Deliver Us from Evil." She said she did so because she owed Alia, leaving one to wonder what exactly Alia had done for the woman to make her challenge Lothos, a being that had previously been hinted to be the Devil.

    • Apparently, the handlink design and sound effects are individualized to each Lothos Observer, as Zoey, and now Thames, are shown to have different configurations.

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (6)

    • This episode originally aired, along with the previous episode,"Return of the Evil Leaper", as a two-hour television event.

    • It is revealed that the Evil Leapers have 48 hours to complete their first mission in order to return home, after which the percentage of retrieval gets lower and lower every time they leap.

      If Project Quantum Leap follows the same rule, this explains why it is so hard for Sam to return to the present.

    • This is final episode in which Sam leaps into a woman.

    • It is never clear what becomes of Alia or Zoey. If God is the one making Sam leap then it could be argued that Alia was sent to heaven and Zoey was sent back down to hell.

    • This episode, taking place in 1987, is the closest to our present time that Sam has ever leaped.

    • This episode is based on actual events that happened in a women's prison in Central Ohio.


    • When first appearing, Thames sings "yo ho, yo ho, a hologram's life for me."

      This is a parody of "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" (written in 1967), the theme song for the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions at Disney theme parks.

      The song is loosely based upon "Dead Man's Chest," a pirate chant found in the 1881 novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

    • When Sam hypnotizes Alia, Al suggests they use a "safe word", in order to bring her back when necessary. Al offers Rumpelstiltskin, and when Sam questions him on it, Al remarks "hey, it worked for him."

      Rumpelstiltskin is a fairy tale in which a young woman, imprisoned by a prince, offers her first born child to an evil dwarf in exchange for the ability to spin straw into gold. The only way to break the curse is to say the evil dwarf's name - Rumpelstiltskin - and banish him forever.