Monday, May 1, 2023

RW534 - Quantum Leap Revival S01E15-16 - Defense Interrupted


In this weeks episode of The Quantum Leap Revival, Cory and Tom are overworked and losing their minds as they discuss season 1 episodes 15 & 16, Ben Song for the Defense and Ben, Interrupted.

Ben Song for the Defense:

Written by: Romy Loor

Directed by: Kristen Windell

Airdate: March 13, 2023


Ben leaps into overworked public defense attorney Alyeda Ramirez. Addison informs Ben that they’re due in court to defend a client named Camilo Diaz against a murder charge. Camilo is the sole caretaker for his brother, Leo, and their aging grandmother and is alleged to have shot a gang leader Nathan Herrera after Leo was being pressured into joining a gang, Viento Este. Despite no evidence to help him, and after Camilo says he didn’t do the crime, Ben recommends that they fight this, because he shouldn’t have to go to prison for something he didn’t do. 

While Ian comes up with a way to track Leaper X, Addison asks Jenn to go into the imaging chamber due to her experience in the court system and because she earned a law degree while incarcerated herself. At the hearing, things go downhill as Assistant District Attorney Barnes is shocked they are fighting the charge due to new evidence, and the trial is set.

As Ben tries to juggle the busy court schedule and trying to get familiar with the case, the other Assistant DA, Vicky Davis, approaches. She scolds Ben for fighting the charge because now they will be working all night instead of doing what they really want to do, which she demonstrates by kissing him, revealing that Aleyda and her have a relationship.

As the trial begins, everything is seemingly stacked against Ben with witness testimony clearly on the side of the DA, but Ziggy finds out that a page is missing from the official police report and Ben goes to track it down. Furthermore, he’s trying to help out other clients with Jenn’s future information to win a bet that will allow the client to pay off his bail bondsman, and discovering that Camilo’s brother got arrested. Ben gets the 16 year old out and asks him to give him another day to help before deciding to join the gang and deal drugs. Meanwhile, the Project team has found the missing page and the critical name on it, Edwin Soto, a gang member who is a suspect in other gang related murders. 

Ben goes to ask Vicky about Soto, but she doesn’t want to talk about work related matters at home. Ben asks her anyway and her reaction reveals that she knows more about why the page was left out than she says. 

As Ben returns to court the next day, he comes across another client, Stuart, he couldn’t attend to the day before, and he explains that he needs his motorbike out of impound so he can take part in an AIDS fundraiser for his uncle who passed away a year ago. 

In a meeting with the judge and ADA Barnes, he reveals that Vicky doesn’t work with him anymore, and gladly hands over the missing page with Soto's name completely removed.  Exasperated, Jenn gives him a pep talk, and Ben starts figuring out how to prove Barnes’ corruption. Vicky shows up and Ben shows her the changed page, and she is floored that her mentor would do this, realizing that all Barnes wants is to win, justice be damned. Meanwhile, The Project team learns of the gun used by Edwin Soto in other murders, and start planning on how to use that to help Ben. With help from Stuart, Ben gets to the place where the gun was found years later. They discover it and rush through a ballistics test.

As Ben talks to Leo to try and encourage him, Barnes shows up with a plea deal for only 4 years in prison. Ben is torn, but Jenn reveals Ziggy says he can leap if they take this plea deal, whereas fighting it has a 50/50 chance of Camilo going away for life. Ben offers Camilo the deal, but he agrees with Ben that he should fight, not wanting to see Leo end up as a dealer. 

After Ben’s impassioned closing statement, Vicky finds him in the restroom and apologizes for being blind to Barnes’ behavior, and the two reconnect. She finds out that Barnes apparently withheld evidence in other cases as well, and took her findings to the DA, resulting in him losing his job. As Ben walks into the courtroom to hear the verdict, he leaps, now a man being admitted to an asylum by his wife.

Back at the project, Jenn reads the result of the leap that shows Camilo was found not guilty, and his younger brother Leo eventually becomes a lawyer himself. Additionally, Barnes went down for corruption, Edwin Soto went to prison, and Aleyda and Vicky became part of the Innocence Project which helps wrongly accused victims find their freedom.

Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:

Who is Ben? 

  • Aleyda Ramirez

Where is Ben? 

  • Queens, New York

When is Ben? 

  • 1985 (4 year leap back)

Closest Previous leaps- 

  • S01E01 "July 13th, 1985"

Closet location to Sam Beckett-

  • S01E06 "Double Identity" Brooklyn, New York November 8, 1965

  • Sam was in New York 16 times

Closet time to Sam Beckett-

  • S03E15 “Piano Man” November 10, 1985, Tularosa, New Mexico 

  • S04E13 "Temptation Eyes" February 1, 1985, San Francisco

  • S04E19 "Moments to Live" May 4, 1985, Los Angeles

  • S05E14 "Dr. Ruth" April 25, 1985, Manhattan

ADA Barnes was played by Jonathan Chase. He’s had lead roles in series such as Chemistry (after meeting under near-fatal circumstances, a policewoman and a betrothed lawyer embark on a scandalous, sexually-charged courtship), and Love Thy Neighbor (gun-toting Grandma Hattie from Tyler Perry's plays gets her own sitcom. Managing the Love Train Diner with her brother-in-law Floyd, she dishes out justice in the best way: with love).

Vicky was played by Jess Dunn, who recently appeared as a main cast member in the Disney series Secrets of Sulphur Springs (a boy and his family moving into a supposedly haunted hotel on the edge of a small town), and Beauty and the Baller (a pro athlete, his hot wife and what their life is like off of the court).

Isaac Arellanes played Leo. He was a lead in the series Ghostwriter (when a ghost haunts a neighborhood bookstore and starts releasing fictional characters into the real world, four kids must team up to solve an exciting mystery surrounding the ghost's unfinished business).

Saul was played by Dean Cameron. He was big in the 80’s in the movies Summer School, Ski School, Ski School 2, Miracle Beach, and the Fast Times TV Series as Jeff Spicoli (also starred Claudia Wells of Back to the Future fame, Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy, and Courtney Thorne Smith from Melrose Place). 

Unsung Hero: Valentina Guerra was Aleyda. She’s mostly doing one offs right now, in series such as CSI: Vegas, American Housewife, and Days of Our Lives. She went to school studying math and science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she graduated with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. She was active in their theater program and completed a Concentration in Theater Arts. She briefly worked in the aerospace industry before returning to acting, and has since been formally trained in the Meisner Technique, and has become a full-time actor. The Meisner approach to acting emphasizes three elements: emotional preparation, repetition exercises, and improvisation.

Ben, Interrupted:

Written by: Annelise Kollevoll Medina

Directed by: Jude Weng

Airdate: March 20, 2023


Ben leaps in as Liam O’Conner. He is told by wife Elaine, and a Doctor Mueller, that he has short term memory loss at the very least, and needs help. Ben tries to push it off that he’s fine, but Elaine asks for a moment alone and quickly reveals to Ben that he is actually an undercover investigator that she hired to find her sister, Judith, inside the asylum.

As Ben is shocked at the living conditions, he becomes agitated by the orderly who exudes a menacing and controlling presence. Addison informs Ben that Judith was committed after her husband claimed she had hysteria, and then remarried someone just three months later. More information is brought to light that this was Liam’s last job and that neither he nor Judith ever left the asylum.

Ben meets Ralph, who reveals that Judith is here. He hasn’t seen her in a couple of days, something that happens often when someone stands up for themself, returning broken, with a dead look in their eyes as if they are switched off. The statement is something seen firsthand as Judith enters the room and sits down with a vacant stare, not even responding as Ben tries to talk to her. The orderly, Lawrence, gets angry with Ben, but Ralph causes a distraction when the orderlies attack him. In the commotion, Judith tells him to find her during their shared library time.

Ian meanwhile, has learned more about the horrors of the Island Asylum, with the patients treated as guinea pigs, and Mueller covering up deaths that occurred. An escape route is quickly found with Addison rushing back to find Ben.

Magic goes to see Beth after they discover Janis removed her ankle monitor, and she is angry they haven’t kept her up to speed on what’s going on with Ben. When she finds out Ben is in 1954, she reveals they have to go because this is their last chance to help Ben due to the order that Ben’s leaps have to occur in.

Ben talks with Judith and she says she won’t go unless they can get Mueller’s files, so they can rescue everyone in the asylum by getting the doctor arrested. Addison works with Ian on a way to help, but suddenly the tracking system alerts them to the presence of Martinez, who leaps in as Lawrence. Ian also discovers a report from the original project that described Sam Beckett’s involvement with the Evil Leapers.

Ben manages to get him and Judith put on bathroom duty, enabling them to escape to Mueller’s office, make a call to Elaine, and get the files. Martinez suddenly appears and says he’s there to help, and looks right at Addison while saying it again. Unfortunately, Mueller shows up and orders Judith prepped for surgery, and she and Ben are separated. Ben gets put under truth serum and begins telling Mueller about Quantum Leap. Mueller believes him to be delusional and tells him he wants to study and operate on his brain while he keeps him alive. 

Janis tries to convince the team that Ben is supposed to let Judith stay in the asylum, and that his leaping needs to stop now. They don’t believe her, with Addison instead going to get Martinez’s help with the situation.

Martinez tries to get Judith out of the operating room by murdering a nurse, but he’s stopped by Addison who talks with him. After recognizing each other’s military backgrounds, the two agree to help each other on the leap, starting with stopping another orderly from giving Ben a sedative. Together, Addison, Martinez, and Ben come up with a ruse that has the hospital staff rushing to a different area, while Ben pretends to capture Lawrence, allowing them to subdue Mueller and get Judith out of the OR. With Martinez’s help, they escape through the tunnels with the files, and Judith is taken away by Elaine. Before Ben can climb out of the tunnel, Martinez plunges a scalpel into Ben’s jugular, telling him he’s a threat to his greater mission. Addison, spurred on by Magic, gets Ben to climb the ladder and get to a car, where he asks her to tell him about their relationship. Ben remembers some things, and her efforts keep him alive long enough so that Judith can get over the bridge from the island, saving her and allowing Ben to leap.

Magic talks with Janis and says that Liam survived, Judith adopted a child, and Mueller lost his medical license. Janis decides to tell Magic that she believes the mole in the project is Ziggy.

Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:

Who is Ben? 

  • Liam O'Conner

Where is Ben? 

  • Georges Island, Boston, Massachusetts

When is Ben? 

  • 1954 (31 year leap back)

Closest leaps- 

  • S01E11 "Leap. Die. Repeat." 1962

Closet location to Sam Beckett-

  • S03E15 "Her Charm" Boston, Massachusetts September 26, 1973

Closet time to Sam Beckett-

  • S02E18 "Pool Hall Blues" Chicago, Illinois September 4, 1954

  • S02E21 "Sea Bride" Upper New York Bay June 3, 1954

  • S03E22 "Shock Theater" Havenwell, Pennsylvania October 3, 1954

  • S05E21 "Memphis Melody" Memphis, Tennessee July 3, 1954

Patrick Fischler played Doctor Mueller. While he’s mostly a character actor, appearing in one off roles here and there, he has been a recurring guest actor in shows such as Lost, Twin Peaks, Once Upon A Time, Barry, Californication, and Suits, to name a few.  He was a main character in a show called Happy! (an injured hitman befriends his kidnapped daughter's imaginary friend; a perky blue flying unicorn, with Patton Oswalt, Christopher Meloni, and created by Grant Morrison for SyFy). 

Dana Melanie played Judith. Her biggest role to date was in 16 episodes of GreenHouse Academy on Netflix (almost a year after their astronaut mother's tragic death, brother and sister Alex and Hayley Woods start to attend an elite boarding school for future leaders, but they soon realize that that everything is not as it seems). She was the lead in a movie called Treehouse (a teenage boy discovers the perpetrators of several brutal kidnappings in his hometown). She was nearer to the top of the cast for Jurassic City (prehistoric animals emerge from a science lab and tear up most of Los Angeles), and Hollywood (during a debaucherous four days in Las Vegas, David reunites with his estranged father and confronts his greatest fear -- that he is destined to become the man he has always despised). 

Elaine was played by Jules Wilcox. She was the lead in We Are With The Band (the adventures of Elle and Marci, two East LA hipsters), Alone (a recently widowed traveler is kidnapped by a cold blooded killer, only to escape into the wilderness where she is forced to battle against the elements as her pursuer closes in on her), and Cover Me (with Danny Trejo, Mia Stone is faced with an eerie supernatural opportunity when a strange encounter with an eccentric man gives her a second chance at saving her company, marriage, family, and future). She was a main cast member in the 11 episode series 10,000 Days (with John Schneider, a comet strikes the earth and knocks it off its orbit, causing it to become encased in snow and ice, making survival for one family difficult, until they find an object from the past that could save them, or destroy them), Equal Standard (with Ice T, the lives of New York City police officers collide with interwoven stories of race, rank, loss and betrayal), as well as DreamKatcher (in order to stop his bad dreams a young boy steals a dreamcatcher from a mysterious neighbor forcing his family to rescue him from a nightmarish entity). 

Electroshock Therapy and the Ice-Pick Lobotomy was considered the Gold Standard of Care for Mental Illness in the 1950's:

* Electroshock Therapy - originally developed as a treatment for severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression that were not responsive to other forms of treatment. It was first introduced in the 1930s and has been used over the years to treat various mental disorders, including bipolar disorder, catatonia, and some forms of psychosis. The goal of ECT is to induce a seizure in the brain using electrical currents, which can lead to changes in brain chemistry and improve symptoms. Today, ECT is still used as a treatment option for a narrowly defined number of cases, particularly in cases where other treatments have not been effective

* Ice-Pick Lobotomy - developed by American surgeon Walter Freeman, the 'ice pick' lobotomy, performed under local anesthetic, it takes only a few minutes, it involves driving the pick through the thin bone of the eye socket, then manipulating it to damage the prefrontal lobes, which is associated with working memory, planning, problem-solving, and novelty-seeking behavior

Although Georges Island is a real place, there is no information that reveals there was ever an asylum there.

Unsung Hero: Uncredited

Further Resources:

Quantum Leap IMDb

Quantum Leap Wikipedia

Original Series IMDb

Original Series Wikipedia

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