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Recap / Quantum Leap S 4 E 22 A Leap For Lisa

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Quantum Leap
Season 4, Episode 22:

A Leap for Lisa

Al: Ain’t that a kick in the butt? You leaped into me as a kid.

Written by Donald P. Bellisario

Directed by James Whitmore Jr.

Airdate: May 20, 1992.


June 25, 1957

Sam leaps into Al as a young Navy pilot and accidentally puts his friend’s very existence in jeopardy when the younger Al is suspected of the murder of a superior officer’s wife.

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Tropes:

  • Cliffhanger: After the leap, Sam finds himself as none other than Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Had Al not wasted time talking to his younger self, he could've told Sam what he needed to do.
  • Courtroom Episode: Unlike other in the series, Sam is not arguing the case, but is the one on trial.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Even after saving Lisa’s life, the younger Al did not end up with her. note 
  • Embarrassing Nickname: As a young man, Al’s wingmen called him “Bingo”.
  • Fridge Horror: In the new timeline created when Sam hit the quantum reset button, Marci Riker was never killed. Unfortunately, she’s still a self-destructive alcoholic married to a violent and abusive sociopath. One wonders how long she will stay alive.
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  • From Bad to Worse: Sam’s initial failure to save Lisa (and preventing her from providing Al’s alibi), Al ends up on trial.
  • Naked First Impression: When Sam first sees Lisa, she is naked on a beach (although this turns out to be a dream Al had that Sam leaped into).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Sam talking Lisa out of being his alibi leaves all suspicion of wrongdoing on the younger Al. Al himself also admits to some fault here, saying he should've gotten to Sam sooner instead of wasted time talking to his younger self in the waiting room.
  • Open Secret: Everyone on the base seems to know the truth about Al and Lisa’s affair. Marci Riker’s affairs with the men in her husband’s unit is also common knowledge.
  • Reset Button: After painting themselves into a corner, Sam and Al use time travel to hit the reset button.
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  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Sam recognizes that Edward has replaced Al. He struggles to keep reminding himself of Al so that he doesn't forget the original history.
  • Wham Line: Cdr. Riker delivers a powerful one on the witness stand.
    Cdr. Dobbs: You watched a man rape your wife for a minute or two, and didn't even yell “Stop”?
    Cdr. Riker: No, sir.
    Cdr. Dobbs: For God's sake, Commander, why not?
    Cdr. Riker: Because she deserved it.
  • Wham Shot: When the probability of Al’s execution reaches 100%, Sam turns around to see someone else in Al’s place, holding the handlink.
  • You Look Familiar: Charles Rocket (Commander Riker) previously appeared as Michael Blake in Season 3’s A Little Miracle.


Young Al: You're gonna put me into a nuclear accelerator chamber and send my body back into time?
Al: Right.
Young Al: Now, even if I believed you, would you do this if you were me?
Al: I am you.
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