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Recap / Quantum Leap S 5 E 10 Trilogy Part 3 The Last Door

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Quantum Leap
Season 5, Episode 10:

Trilogy, Part 3: The Last Door

Sammy-Jo: Do you believe in miracles, Mr. Stanton?
Sam: Miracles?
Sammy-Jo: Someone, if they really love somebody, could go back in time, and... be part of their lives.
Sam: Well, if that's a miracle, then yes, I believe in miracles.
Sammy-Jo: I want to go back in time someday.
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Sam: You do?
Sammy-Jo: I want to meet my daddy. I want to tell him...
Sam: Tell him what?
Sammy-Jo: It doesn't matter.
Sam: Sure it does. It... It matters.
Sammy-Jo: Just that I love him. But he knows.

Written by Deborah Pratt

Directed by James Whitmore Jr.

Airdate: November 24, 1992.


July 28, 1978

Sam leaps forward another twelve years and finds himself in the place of lawyer Larry Stanton III who is drawn back to Potterville, Louisiana to defend Abigail, now facing the charge of murdering her long-time antagonist Leta Aider.

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Tropes:

  • Amnesiac Resonance: Despite being informed that he'll forget that Sammy-Jo's his daughter once he leaps out, Sam believes he will still remember somehow.
    Sam: Does she... know that I’m her father?
    Al: ...no. And, uh... Ziggy says, after this leap... you won't know either.
    Sam: I'll know, Al. (sighs) I'll always know.
  • Captain Obvious: Granted, Al goes on to explain that Abigail is going to be sent to the electric chair, but consider the following dialogue after Sam decides to take her case:
    Sam: I'm taking the case, Al. Does history change?
    Al: Not unless you do something to change it.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Right at the start, Abigail gave Sam her bills to drop off at her house, which he forgot to do. One of those bills was the phone bill...
    • Abigail's mother, Laura, had Violet's locket all along.
  • Child Prodigy: Sammy-Jo Fuller, Sam and Abigail’s daughter, has an IQ of nearly 200.
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  • Courtroom Episode: Last one of the series. note 
  • Despair Event Horizon / Rage Breaking Point: After being told there was not enough evidence to charge Abigail with Violet’s murder, Leta went to Abigail's house and, finding she wasn't home, tore apart her kitchen in a rage before grabbing a knife and committing suicide, effectively framing Abigail for her murder.
  • Did Not Get the Guy: As it turns out, after Sam leapt out of Will, he and Abigail never got married.
  • Disappeared Dad: Sammy-Jo laments not knowing the man she believes to be her father, Will Kinman. Due to time travel, Sam has inadvertently become this to Sammy-Jo.
  • Doing In the Wizard: As it happens, Laura's mysterious, borderline ghost-like appearances in Part 1 have an explanation: she was there in the flesh. The hospital she was staying at allowed her to come and go as she pleased. There's even physical proof in the form of her severe burn marks, proving she was in fact in the house when it was on fire.
  • Dramatic Irony: The above mentioned Disappeared Dad example becomes this when you consider that Sammy-Jo expresses her desire to meet her assumed father... when talking to her actual father.
    Sammy-Jo: I want to go back in time someday.
    Sam: You do?
    Sammy-Jo: I want to meet my daddy.
  • Exact Words: When Marie explains Abigail's about to go to trial for "that horrible murder", Sam and Al are confused, as the incident with Violet happened 23 years ago. It doesn't take long for it to be clarified that Abigail is being accused of Leta's murder...
  • Foreshadowing: Sammy-Jo has a particularly bad reaction to the idea of going into the kitchen. As the learn at the end, it's because she saw Leta's suicide take place there.
  • Heroic RRoD: As it happens, during the start of Abigail's trial, we learn that Larry Stanton had left a little bit of a residual inside Sam. Namely, his bad heart. While Sam was able to find his nitro pills soon after a recess was called, the fact remains that Sam almost had a real heart attack in the middle of the courtroom. Not only that, it turns out that when Sam had his heart attack, back in the Waiting Room, Larry had a seizure.
  • Hope Spot: The discovery of Violet Aider's bones gave her mother hope that she could finally see Abigail charged with her murder. Her hope is short-lived (see Despair Event Horizon above).
  • Identical Grandson: Sammy-Jo is played by Kimberly Cullum... who played Abigail at the start of the trilogy.
  • Multitasked Conversation: Once Sam and Abigail are left alone in the police station, she (thinking she's talking to Larry Stanton) thanks Sam for taking her case. Sam responds that he shouldn't have left in the first place.
  • Photographic Memory: Like Sam, Sammy-Jo has an eidetic memory.
  • Posthumous Character: The plot of the episode concerns Abigail being accused of murdering Leta Aider, and the only time she appears on screen is in Sammy-Jo's flashback of seeing her suicide.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Invoked: As a result of Sam changing history by proving Abigail's innocence, Sammy-Jo grows up to become a key member of Project Quantum Leap, something that Sam learns of through Al. This also doubles an an inversion as Sammy-Jo has no idea that Sam's her real father.
  • Repressed Memories: Sammy-Jo panics at the thought of going into the kitchen. People think that it’s because that’s where Leta’s body was found. It’s really because Sammy-Jo actually witnessed Leta's suicide and blocked it out.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The fact that Sammy-Jo is played by the same actress as ten-year-old Abigail adds a lot of weight to the final scene, where Sammy-Jo's testimony of what transpired in the kitchen is what finally ends Abigail's long journey of suffering at the hands of Leta Aider.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: As it happens, the day after Abigail's attempted lynching, Larry Stanton took his family and moved out of town, disgusted with how willing everyone was to "[lynch] one of their own".
  • Self-Serving Memory: Discussed: despite having vividly remembered what happened between her and Violet the last day she saw her alive, Abigail began to become worried she was misremembering it.
    Abigail: I remember that day Violet disappeared so clear. And yet, sometimes I feel... Well, everyone else was so sure. (unsure) Maybe I remembered what I wanted. Maybe...
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It finally comes to light what had happened to Violet... and it turns out Laura was the one to blame for her death. She had come across her after Abigail beat her up, and tried talking her out of telling her mom what had happened. She had grabbed her when they were by the well, and when Violet broke out of her grasp, she fell in.
  • Wham Line:
    • After providing Sam the locket, Laura proceeds to say something which reveals she had a bigger role in the trilogy than anyone else was aware of.
      Laura: She wanted that locket so much. So very, very much. Clayton wouldn't let her have it... but I kept it. I kept it and all of its secrets.
    • After Sam manages to prove Abigail's innocence, Al in forms him that Abigail eventually marries "a wonderful guy" and lives a happy life. Sam wonders how Al knows that. Al's explanation?
  • Wham Shot:
    • When meeting with Sam for the final time, Laura holds out a hand and proceeds to give Sam something. Namely, the locket.
  • You Can See Me?: Sam meets with Laura the final time, in order to get her testimony regarding Abigail's innocence. And naturally, it's suggested Laura is able to see Sam as he is. And what's noteworthy with this encounter is that this is the only time Laura had gotten up.
    Laura: I remember you. (approaches Sam) You were here... a very long time ago. You were gonna marry my Abigail. But you didn't. You went away. Well, you broke her heart, you know.
    Sam: (nervous) I think you've mistaken me for someone else.
    Laura: No. I've been waiting for you for a very long time. Very long time. Clayton said that you'd come. And then, I'd have to tell about Violet.


Al: Sammy-Jo is working with us on Project Quantum Leap, Sam.
Sam: What?
Al: Yes. As a matter of fact, she has a theory on how to bring you back home.
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