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Quantum Leap

Season 4 Episode 1

The Leap Back

Aired Friday 12:00 AM Sep 18, 1991 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
69 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

June 15, 1945: Struck by lightning, Sam and Al find their roles reversed, as Sam returns to the future, and to a long-lost love, while Al leaps back to 1945 to prevent the death of a returning World War II hero and his former girlfriend.

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  • Funny stuff....

    This episode is worth watching just for the scene in the diner. It's an absolute riot; it makes me laugh every time I see it (and that's been a lot of times). Sweet, straight-laced Sam with part of Al's personality. LOL. It says something about a show when you can watch it over and over and never get tired of it. :-)
  • After getting struck by lightning, Sam and Al have switched places. Al is now the leaper and Sam is the guide.

    I love this episode. So much fun to see Al as the leaper instead of Sam. what makes the episode even more fun is seeing Sam act like Al and saying all the innapropriate remarks usually made by Al.

    The story is yet another good one from the show. Al must prevent the death of a World War II hero and his girlfriend. Fairly standard type of Quantum Leap tale. but the great side story is Sam getting to return to the woman he loves, only to lose it once again to save Al.

    So basically it is a fun episode.moreless
Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell

Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Dr. Samuel "Sam" Beckett

Gigi Rice

Gigi Rice

Tina Martinez

Guest Star

Jeanine Jackson

Jeanine Jackson


Guest Star

Deborah Pratt

Deborah Pratt

voice of Ziggy

Guest Star

Dennis Wolfberg

Dennis Wolfberg


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Trivia: The episode ends with Al telling Donna where Sam is, as opposed to showing Sam leaping into his next persona.

    • In this episode, the present is revealed to be 1999 and Sam is said to have been leaping for four years, meaning Sam began leaping in 1995.

      This fact contradicts the previous episode "8 1/2 Months"'s time frame, as "the present" was revealed (based on the mathematical difference in years between Sam's "present" and leap year) to be 1995.

      This implies that Sam's leaps through time are not shown in order chronologically to the audience, or that this year is simply faulty calculations (or retroactive canonization) on the writer's part.

      It would seem that all episodes after this one operate around Sam's first leap having occurred in 1995, implicated the latter theory.

    • Without the handlink or Gushie being able to center him on a target, how was Sam able to get into Tom's house before Al reached it in Mike's milk truck?

    • In the episode, Sam leaps into "Al", and he ends up sending the villian down a cliff or an embankment. There are no such cliffs or embankments in Crown Point, Indiana.

    • After the second commercial break, Sam is talking and looking at a calendar that says July. They leaped in during June. It had the wrong month.

    • When Sam leaps back into Al to save him, after he saves him he hits the handlink yells out Gooshie in Al's voice then he hits it again and its Sam's voice.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Ziggy: With a million gigabyte capacity, I'm quite capable of rubbing my tummy, patting my head, and doing a trillion floating point operations at once.

    • (Talking about saving Al)
      Ziggy: You must stop him from sending the car over the cliff.
      Sam: How? He's in 1945, I'm in 1999!
      Ziggy: I didn't say it would be easy.

    • Sam: What do you got on Al?
      Ziggy: He is 175.26 cm tall, weighs 70.91 -
      Sam: Ziggy!
      Ziggy: Yes, Doctor?
      Sam: Give me what I want, baby.
      Ziggy: Oooh. If you weren't my father...

    • Sam: Observing isn't the same as Leaping, though. This may be more than Al can handle.

    • Mike: Are you sure you're all right?
      Al: I'm still a little woozy after the Le - flight.
      Sam: Nice save.

    • Kelly: Even with the cafe I'm rationed a half a pound of sugar a week. And Mike tries to put all of it into in his cup.
      Mike: Are you forgetting who slips you an extra pound of butter every now and then?
      Kelly: I didn't know I was swappin' sugar for it.
      Sam: Well if a pound of butter is all it takes, I got me a dairy farm that I...
      Al: (to Sam) Stop that!!

    • Sam: Revenge is mine, thus sayeth the Hologram!

    • Sam: Damn it, Ziggy. Tell me something I don't know.
      Ziggy: Tina's having an affair with Gushy.
      Sam: Something to help Al.

    • Al and Sam: [After they discover that Sam can walk through the cannon, but Al bumps into it.] Oh, boy...

    • Al: Do you have any Sweet 'n Low? Or Equal?
      Kelly: Sweet 'n low? Equal?
      Sam: No, no, no, no, no. They didn't have any artificial sweetner in 1945. Okay? (looking at Kelly's breasts) But boy, did they have women with big kazooms!

  • NOTES (7)

    • Different actresses play Donna and Tina, the love interests of Sam and Al, respectively, than the actresses who played them in previous episodes.

    • Surprisingly, in all his leaps, Sam never remembers that he has a wife.

      (This is most likely because in original history, he doesn't; she didn't originally marry him because of her father abandonment issues, which Sam cured because of his leaping. It would appear that the things Sam remembers during his leaps are his "original" memories, not ones changed by his leaping. However, he does remember, on occasion, the things he changed, such as saving his brother Tom during Vietnam.)

    • In this episode we learn that Sam is married to Donna Eleese, the woman who, according to his previous history, had stood him up at their wedding by leaving him at the altar.

      In Season One's "Star-Crossed", Sam meets a younger Donna Eleese (Teri Hatcher), who he believes will marry him in the future if he helps her get over her abandonment issues with her father. In the course of the episode, he does, after which he leaps.

      It appears Sam's leaps are partially meant for him to change his own personal history, a fact later proven in "Mirror Image".

    • Ziggy informs Donna that Al has saved Sam's life twenty three times.

    • The Season 4 opener "The Leap Back" establishes the "present" as 18 September 1999, yet in Season 5 during the "Lee Harvey Oswald" two-parter the "present" is Feb. 14-16, 1999.

    • Beginning with this episode, Ziggy is now referred to as a female instead of as a male.

    • This episode features the same prolouge as seen in the third season. However, after this episode, the opening prologue is altered to feature exterior shots combined with the third season prologue narration by Deborah Pratt. This opening prologue (and the opening credits used this season) replaces all prologues and openings for the first three seasons' episodes when aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. The opening credit sequence from this season also replaces all season five openings on the Sci-Fi channel.


    • When Sam (as a hologram) sticks himself out through the door and greets Al with a "Hellooo, Baby!", this is a reference to the '50s rock song Chantilly Lace by the Big Bopper, who starts the song off by saying the phrase in the exact same manner.