- Wasn't there an episode where Sam leapt into his teenaged self and attempted to prevent his sister's abusive marriage and his brother's death in Vietnam?
- He'll never leap into himself in his own time.
- His own time is any point within his life, so leaping into his teenage self would be his own time. Now, it is likely that he is incapable of leaping into any point after he started leaping since he technically wasn't present then; but you would have to figure out how his interactions with Al figure.
- He'll never leap into himself in his own time.
- DOCtor BECKett is...not AS ''hsssh''...''obsERvant'' as MisTER Freeman and SIMPly haSn't...''noticccced.''
He comes from an advanced future compared to us around that time frame. We are slowed technologically by the effect of many, many, many minor changes Sam does to make the future "better". Yes, he improves individual lives, but is slowing technological progress in the process. Imagine how many of those lives he "saved" could have spurred those around them to do greater things had the tragedy happened?
- This is actually backed up in the series itself (at least, the "Sam's creating our timeline" part - the technology difference between timelines seems to be confined to the technology involved in Project Quantum Leap itself, and we all know Reed Richards Is Useless). In the episode where he thinks his mission is to save JFK, he fails, but then learns that his mission was actually to save Jackie Kennedy who, according to his and Al's history, originally got shot and killed too. Since she survived in our timeline...
- Alternatively, we don't really know how Time Travel works in the Quantum Leap 'verse; it seems to be For Want of a Nail since the Quantum Leap Project still exists no matter how the past has changed, but the Future Computer still somehow knows what the "original" history was before Sam changed it. For all we know, Sam's been dimension-hopping and he's somehow accidentally erased the way back home—or, he rejected the possibility of going home so he's made a significant difference in at least one timeline.
This is a simplified version of an IRC discussion that involved This Troper and several fellow online Leap fans.
Okay, so Shinji, Haruhi, and Pickle Inspector all got to this one first. Think about it: the dominant theory in the first part of the show is that "god" controls Sam's leaps, and we later learn that Sam is doing it subconsciously. But if Sam never returns home, he leaps infinitely and thus has complete control over the timeline after his own birth. This gives him control over the circumstances of future Time Travel projects, which means he can theoretically leap into other time travelers, allowing him to go further into the past and influence the origins of the universe. Thus, Sam has complete control over the universe.
When Sam Beckett got stuck jumping through time, his dog was in the machine, too. Only the dog, Wishbone, ended up jumping through literary characters instead of actual people. Unlike Sam, Wishbone did eventually leap home and was adopted by some kids, to whom he attempts to impart the wisdom of his travels.
The end of his marriage to Beth was a character-defining moment in the original line, informing everything his did afterward. Since there's no indication that he doesn't still join the project in the new timeline, he and Sam must still be friends. The fact that he remembers the original line might contribute to the success of his marriage in the new one. If you remembered a life without your loved one, wouldn't you appreciate having them all the more given the chance?
- Right! Ziggy is the one who says that God is controlling the Leaps right. What if, having a personality, Ziggy believes in God. So just the same way religious folks say "it's god's will" when they do something, or to explain their own mistakes, maybe Ziggy's doing the same thing.
- Sam doesn't *want* to go home anymore: he has learned to let go of his drive to get home and accept that this is what he really wants to do.
- Not returning home doesn't mean that he loses contact with the Quantum Leap Project. Al and the Gang continue to help him on a regular basis.
- Sam eventually does retire, but settles in a *different* time and place than the one he originally called "home".
- In Sliders, it is implied that Maggie Beckett is in fact supposed to be Sams niece. Whats the problem with that? The problem is that this also implies that Maggies universe is Sams universe. Maggies world was destroyed. At first some of the mathematics on this doesnt seem to work. Sam left his time originally in 1995. In The Leap Back he temporarily came home in 1999 (though when he changed Als life at the end of the series he would have prevented the events of that episode from happening anyway). However, Maggies world was apparently destroyed in 1997. At the same time though, 1997 was never mentioned specifically in the episode (its just when that episode of Sliders aired) and there was an episode of Sliders before where they technically didnt travel in time because time passed more slowly there and so even though everything was exactly the same as it was in 1984 (even down to the characters calling it 1984) it was still supposedly the 90s (meaning 1997 in the Sliders normal time could have been 2002 in Maggies universe). Also, consider the fact that Sam was constantly rewriting history. He could have done something in the past which set humanity back technologically and stopped them being able to prevent the destruction of Earth. This would explain why he never made it home after the series ended. There was no home to go to.
- Sam almost always seems to leap into someone during a stressful moment. The finale suggests that Sam unconsciously controls his leaps meaning it's not unreasonable to suggest leaping has an emotional component. Given there shouldn't be anyone involved who would maliciously want Sam to always end up leaping in at an awkward moment, it would make sense if he had to leap in at awkward moments when the person he replaced was more susceptible to being replaced.
The episode directly before the introduction of the evil leapers featured UFOs. At the end, the man Sam had leapt into was being taken onto their ship while two government agents (whom Sam had told about Project Quantum Leap) were left standing on the ground. The aliens could have monitored the leap (having more advanced scanning technology than us) and could potentially have gotten information about the Project from any of these people.
Fearing humanity and our eventual technological advancement, they could have started their own project, using people theyd abducted. Zoeys reference to having climbed their way out of hell could have been a reference to some sort of alien experimentation camp which they were only allowed out of in exchange for working on the aliens plan to sabotage humanity by rewriting our history. Perhaps the aliens set up Lothos to choose the best humans to take from the experimentation camp and assign to the leaping project instead.
While it might seem petty to try to conquer Earth by breaking up a marriage and getting Jimmy locked up, they may officially have to conduct their affairs covertly (a Temporal Prime Directive, as Star Trek would call it). When you leap into a housewife in the 1960s, its a lot more discrete to sabotage her marriage by serving a few TV dinners than it would be to have her break into a nuclear missile facility. Ruin enough families and eventually you're bound to get to one that would have produced the next Albert Einstein or Sam Beckett.