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Awesome / Quantum Leap

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    Season 1 
  • In "The Colour of Truth" the whites-only hospital was refusing to take Sam's granddaughter even though she was bleeding out. Ms. Melanie, who'd thus far stayed on the fence about the racism of her community, steps up and demands they take her. The hospital staff don't even blink before accepting her.
  • In "Camikazi Kid", Sam (under prompting from Al) challenges Cheryl's boyfriend, Bob, to a drag race: his souped-up car against Cameron's mom's car. Why? By having Bob lose, he will wind up exposing his anger to Cheryl, and cause her to call off their engagementnote . Al's suggestion to give Sam an edge? Laughing gas. Or, as it's more scientifically known, nitrous oxide. By rigging up a laughing gas canister in the back of the car, one ten-second blast into the gas tank during the final stretch of the race winds up giving Sam the boost required to overtake Bob and win the race. And Bob's response? Attempting to mow Sam down the second he gets out of his car. While Sam is able to quickly dodge, Cheryl is so digusted that she throws Bob's engagement ring to the ground and leaves him, followed by Sam Dukes of Hazarding over his car in order to punch Bob to the ground once he tries forcing her to stay.
    • As a special bonus, it's worth mentioning that the stakes of the race were that the winner got to keep the loser's car; they were racing for pinksnote . Bob wound up totaling his car attempting to kill Sam. When everyone heads out, Jill (the girl that had assisted Sam in setting up the laughing gas, and has had a crush on the leapee, Cameron) makes a point of showing Bob his pink slip... and dropping it to the ground. Not only is Bob out a girlfriend / wife, and his group of friends (who had decided to abandon him after his stunt), but now he's stuck with his wreck of a car.

    Season 2 
  • In the season two premiere, "Honeymoon Express," Al has to defend the importance of Sam's leaping to a government committee, or their funding will be cut off and even if Sam keeps leaping, it'll be without Al's help. He's convinced their only chance is for Sam to create a change in history far bigger than the single lives he's helped, and at the time he's at now, the best chance is to stop the 1960 U2 Incident by having the leapee's love interest, Dianne, call her father (an influential Senator) and get him to convince Eisenhower to abort the flight. Sam ultimately fails (as Dianne's father was in the middle of a fishing trip, and unable to be reached), but then corrects Dianne on a practice question for getting a law degree, and she realizes that one mistake would have affected so many answers that she would have failed the exam without his help. Suddenly, Al's hearing changes from the announcement that the project is being shut down, to Dianne saying it'll be kept running.
    • Right at the climax of the episode, Dianne's ex (Roget) has a gun buried into the back of Sam's head, with Sam seemingly defenseless (as he was ordered to throw his own gun out the window). Right when it seems like Sam's going to get killed, Dianne shoves his gun arm away as Sam spins around to face Roget... and Roget abruptly grunts in pain. And as we pan down, we see Sam's hand covered in Roget's blood... as he lets go of the knife he stole from Roget in their earlier confrontation.
  • At the end of "What Price, Gloria?" Sam wonders why he hasn't leaped. Al tells him that he wants to get revenge on Buddy for the sexual harassment he's been guilty of the entire episode. Sam pretends to seduce him, tells him that he's actually a man and punches him out.
  • The climax of "Catch a Falling Star". Hoo boy, the climax of "Catch a Falling Star". The fact that the final act of the episode is practically entirely dedicated to the performance of Man of La Mancha works significantly in the episode's favor.
    • To start with, at this point in the episode, Sam has decided to screw the leap: Sam had been tricked into thinking that Nicole (his old piano teacher that he still had feelings for) had slept with John, the lead of the "Man of La Mancha" production. Samnote  was informed earlier in the episode that he was there to save his life that night (as he would wind up drunkenly falling off the set and injuring himself); but because of what he assumed happened the previous night, Sam implicitly decides that "[he's] not saving that arrogant ass", and actually tells John to "break a leg". And sure enough, John begins his trek down the set's giant staircase as Sam watches bitterly... and he stumbles... and then he slips and falls... into Sam's arms as he rushes onto the set.
    • Because of his stumble, John decides that he shouldn't be performing that night. And since Sam's the understudy, he has to go on in John's place. What follows is a brilliant display of Scott's singing talents and Sam's newly gained confidence on being on stage as we cut to Sam belting out the opening to "Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)", followed by a cut to the soft, emotional performance of "Duclinea", followed by one more cut to Sam acting his damnest out of the reprise of "Man of La Mancha" and Don Quixote's death. This in turn gives him the opportunity to patch things up with Nicole.
    • And then you get to the way the episode ends (which doubles as a Heartwarming moment): Sam is ascending the staircase as the cast does one final reprise of "The Impossible Dream" and, after sharing one final glance with Nicole, has the following conversation with Al as they ascend the stairs together:
      Al: You gonna be alright?
      Sam: What matter wounds to the body of a knight errant? For each time he falls he shall rise again and woe to the wicked... Al!
      Al: Here your grace!
      Sam: My armor, my sword!
      Al: More misadventures?
      Sam: Adventures, old friend.
      (the cast hits the final note; Sam leaps out)
  • In "Animal Frat," Sam has to stop Vietnam student protesters from blowing up a school building, which wasn't going to be as empty as they thought it would be. One is a particular Jerkass that harasses Sam over the war. When Sam lets it slip his brother Tom died in the war, the Jerkass says he deserved to for being over there. Keep that moment in mind for later on when Sam beats that little punk silly.
    • The scene where he thwarts the bombing is itself thrilling, with the normally peaceable Sam pinning the perpetrator to a table to guarantee that they'll all go down if the bomb goes off. But it's hard to fault him for taking this tack.
      Sam: Thirty seconds, Duck. You ready to die?!
      • And then Sam and the rest of the frat slingshot the bomb out of the science room, right before it explodes. And then "Wild Thing" plays in celebration.

    Season 3 
  • The Halloween Episode was mostly just Nightmare Fuel, but the climax is, when you think about it, pure awesome. Turns out that the "Al" we saw throughout the episode was actually the Devil, and he's decided that it's time to off The Hero, and sets to strangling Sam. Sam Beckett, however, decides that he's not going to have that, and chokes the devil into oblivion. Repeat, Sam strangles Satan.
  • In "Miss Deep South", Sam has to make sure one of the beauty pageant contestants, Connie, doesn't get her life ruined by the scumbag photographer, Beaumont. Sam ultimately accomplishes this by getting him to give up the location of the film by kicking his ass and then threatening to drop him out a window.
    • What's better is that, despite Sam and Connie destroying the film, Beaumont brushes this off, planning on trying his shit again next year... only for Miss Myers, the Pageant Coordinator, to show up and tell him flat-out that he's fired. This is especially powerful as she too had been a victim of Beaumont in the past.
    • Then you have how the episode ends: Despite saving Connie, Sam still has to compete in the pageant, and the talent portion is up, and Al informs him he's hanging on to fourth placenote . As such, inspired by a bulletin board backstage, Sam decides to change the song he chose for his talent from "Cuanto le Gusta"... to "Great Balls of Fire", which he belts out on the piano. The end result? Sam doesn't get fourth place. He doesn't even get third. He gets first place.
  • In "Future Boy", Sam leaps into an actor who plays the co-star of a 1950s sci-fi TV show, and his mission is to prevent the star from dying or being committed to an asylum because of his belief in time travel. Near the end of the episode, the man straps himself into the machine and fires it up...and actually starts to leap, much to Al's shock. The only reason he failed is because he didn't have enough power.
  • In "Private Dancer", Sam letting his hair down and dancing with Debbie Allen's character. Considering how serious and focused he is most episodes, it was refreshing to see him have fun for a few minutes.

    Season 4 
  • In "The Leap Back" Al, having temporarily inherited a few of Sam's characteristics, manages to bust out Sam's classic spin kick.
  • In the episode "Raped", Sam leaps into a rape victim named Katie, who had previously fled town because she couldn't deal with the humiliation and fallout for failing to convince a jury that she had been raped by the town's football hero. Sam is anxious because he's... well, Sam, and he can't go on the stand to testify for the rape of someone else. So he hits on an idea - bring Katie, in the future, into the imaging chamber with Al, and (literally and symbolically) give her a voice, so Sam can repeat her testimony, word for word, to the jury, from two decades in the future. Despite the bizarre situation, Katie shows up with Al right on time, and the incredibly disturbing testimony she gives is a CMOA for a very brave Katie, and one of the biggest Tear Jerkers of the series. Al looks completely beside himself throughout, and understandably so.
    Sam: So things got a little out of control, huh?! So you [PUNCH] SLAPPED her! But that wasn't enough! So you had to [PUNCH] HIT her! And then you [PUNCH] HIT her again! [PUNCH] [PUNCH] You son of a [PUNCH] BITCH! [PUNCH] [PUNCH]
    • Sam's so utterly furious with this piece of human garbage that he lets out this primal growl while punching the guy. It is chilling to see do-gooder Nice Guy Sam Beckett that pissed off with someone.
    • And we get a Heartwarming Moment right afterwards, when the girl's family comes out and sees what happened. The father incredulously asks "You did all this?", to which Sam responds "Well, I am a McBain." note 
  • Towards the end of "A Single Drop of Rain", Sam (having lept into a self-proclaimed rainmaker) is nearing the end of his rope: he doesn't know how to make it rain for the drought-afflicted hometown of the leapee, and he has to save the marriage of Ralphnote  and Annie. What follows is two-fold:

    Season 5 
  • "Lee Harvey Oswald"'s climax sees Sam leaping out of Oswald and into a Secret Service agent, thus saving the person he was meant to save... Jackie Kennedy.
  • In "Killin' Time," Sam leaps into Leon Styles, a serial murderer, who escapes from the Waiting Room (and the project as a whole). Eventually, he makes his way back to the project compound— and runs into Gushie, who's a rather timid, meek guy by nature. Styles demands that Gushie send him back to his own time, to which Gushie replies that it's not possible. Styles response is to point a gun at the base of Gushie's throat and tells him to send him back to his own time or he'll kill him. To which Gushie calmly replies, "Well, you're just gonna have to kill me then."
  • "Return of the Evil Leaper" sees Sam decide to help Alia escape the Evil Leaper Project purely because he wants to; after the two of them bail from their car before it crashes off a cliff, Zoe tries to get Lothos to leap Alia away, only for Sam to circumvent them, causing the both of them to leap out together.
  • In "Revenge of the Evil Leaper," after Alia escapes, Zoe intends to kill Sam as a consolation prize. Sam responds with this threat by shooting her with a shotgun.
  • Sam getting up and walking to punch out an abusive orderly in the episode "Nowhere To Run," where he's leaped into a double amputee.
  • Sam beats the crap out of another rapist, while in the body of Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Utterly surreal to watch, but still great.
    • Do-gooder Sam is initially very skittish about offering sex advice to listeners. But then he stammers out a solution to a listener's question about breast implants, and Al later tells him that he wound up changing history and talking over four hundred women out of getting dangerous procedures.
    • While all that is going on, the real Dr. Ruth (As Herself, by the way) is in the waiting room, sorting out Al's terrible commitment issues. When Al finally has a breakthrough at the end, he leaves the room with a new lease on life, and Dr. Ruth leans against the table with a grin and just says "Next!"
  • "Memphis Melody" on a meta-level has Scott Bakula doing a great impression of Elvis Presley, singing a classic from Elvis' Sun Records days, "Baby Let's Play House." God bless Scott Bakula.
  • Sam sees what seemed to be just a crusty prospector help save his friends, then vanish in a blue light. Sam realizes that the old man was a Leaper, and the bartender (God) tells him that that's what guardian angels do.

  • The cast as a whole. Scott Bakula for being able to wear dresses with a straight face (the handful of times he leaped into women) and the remainder of the cast for being able to react to this 6-foot tall white guy as though he were a woman, a black man, even a chimpanzee, with nary an indication that they saw him as otherwise, not to mention act completely unaware of Al's presence, even as he snarks at them.

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