Monday, May 8, 2023

RW536 - Quantum Leap Revival S01E17-18 - Friendly Judgement


In this weeks episode of The Quantum Leap Revival, Cory and Tom are flying high at the end of the world as they discuss season 1 episodes 17 & 18, The Friendly Skies and Judgement Day.

The Friendly Skies:

Written by: Alex Berger

Directed by: Linda Mendoza

Airdate: March 27, 2023


Ben navigates leaping into a harried airline stewardess named Lois Mitchell, on a very turbulent Transglobal Airlines flight. At Quantum Leap, Ian faces off against Addison, Jenn and Magic who want to shut Ziggy down, due to Janis’ theory that Ziggy is helping Martinez in the future. Ian loses the battle, and they begin the process of cutting Ziggy off.

Addison arrives, and lets Ben know that the flight he’s on goes down later that night, but the reasons why it went down are always in question, with theories ranging from the dangerous weather to mechanical failure. To add to the danger, the black box was never found, nor was any of the plane except for a part of the wing.

Ben tries to talk with the sexist pilot about possibly diverting the flight, but he shuts Ben down. The First Officer, Paul Kirk, seems to agree with Ben but respects the chain of command and won’t act against the captain. Addison reports that the captain was being investigated but isn’t sure for what.

As Ben goes about his duties, he learns that one of his obnoxious passengers, Cory, is the son of the airline owner. The person accompanying Cory is an ex police officer named Leslie, who works for Cory’s busy father, taking the boy on vacations. Despite Addison pushing him to ask Leslie for help, Ben is a bit hesitant about trusting too easily due to the Martinez incident in the previous leap. He asks Addison to just keep finding information. 

Jenn manages to find out that the Captain was acting erratically for months, and had been receiving electroshock therapy off the record, due to the stigma of having a mental illness at the time. Ian reports one theory, suggesting that the pilot actually committed suicide, but when Addison heads back to Ben, they find the Captain and flight engineer dead from poison in their coffee.

Ben goes to find Holly, the flight attendant who was originally going to deliver coffee. Addison tells him again to get help, but he resists. When Ben confronts Holly, she is shocked to be accused and storms off. Back at the project, the crew investigates Holly further, revealing ties to her on and off again boyfriend, and his links to the Irish Republican Army.

Ben talks with Cory about how he doesn’t seem to be with his parents very often, before Cory notices the emergency equipment compartment is open. Ben finds a bag of money and a passport inside, revealing that the lone surviving First Officer was the one behind the poisoning. Cory tells Leslie of the danger but she immediately pulls a gun on him, revealing her part in the plan to hijack the plane.

After securing the stewardesses, Leslie and Paul announce that the plane will be making a pit stop while their 2 hired guns walk the aisles. Addison overhears the two talking about bringing Cory’s father down for exploiting working people like them. 

Back at the project, the team theorizes that this is a personal vendetta of Leslie’s, likely feeling mistreated and disrespected being a female cop in the 70’s. 

Ben comes up with a ruse that the passengers need water, and enlists help to subdue one of the gunmen using a passengers' insulin needle and some quaaludes to knock him out. Ben sees Cory hyperventilating and freaking out that his parents don’t seem to care about him. While Ben tries to help calm him down, another passenger grabs the water cart and starts shoving it towards the second gunman who gets off a few shots into the fuselage before ultimately being overtaken as well.

With the passengers starting to panic and wanting to try and take over the cockpit, Ben comes up with a plan with Addison. She tells him that he can’t do this alone, and despite being untrustworthy after the Leaper X incident, he needs to trust someone. Ben creates a chemical mixture under direction from Addison, and then decides to ask Cory for help. They use the mixture to create a noxious gas that fills the cockpit, and while Paul and Leslie try to escape, they find the door jammed and they pass out.

Ben asks Cory to help land the plane, but he admits that the lessons he took were in a light aircraft with people paid to tell him he was good at it. However, he does know enough to see that the plane has lost hydraulics due to the earlier gunshots, and that the plane will crash because of it. Addison reports that they can try a manual rerouting of the hydraulics system, and Ben asks Cory to do it while he stays to take control of the plane when they’re back online. Cory is hesitant but Ben gives him a pep talk saying he needs to learn to trust others, and trust himself as well.

Addison brings Ian into the imaging chamber to help Ben land the plane, and Ben surprisingly remembers them. The two have a heart to heart while they ready the plane to land. Cory completes his job, Ben lands the plane roughly but safely, and then leaps.

Back at the project, Addison reports that Cory ended up becoming one of the longest tenured pilots in the company’s history, and eventually started teaching at a flight school, while the hijackers were arrested and are still currently behind bars, and the flight crew received commendations with Lois herself being invited to the White House. As Ian begins searching for Ben’s latest leap destination, they are shocked to see he has no signal at all.

Ben finds himself in a destroyed room with snow falling down through a crack in the ceiling. In the ruins of a computer tower is a plate inscribed with “Ziggy.” From out of the darkness of the destroyed Quantum Leap facility, Ian enters, looking much older, telling Ben that they have been waiting for him. 

Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:

Who is Ben? 

  • Lois Mitchell

Where is Ben? 

  • Transglobal Airlines Flights 349, over the Atlantic Ocean

When is Ben? 

  • August 5, 1971 (17 year leap forward)

Closest Previous leaps- 

  • S01E03 "Somebody Up There Likes Ben" 1977

Closet location to Sam Beckett-

  • S04E16 "Ghost Ship" Bermuda Triangle August 13, 1956

Closet time to Sam Beckett-

  • S02E11 "A Portrait for Troian" February 7, 1971 Near Los Angeles, California

  • S03E19 "Last Dance Before An Execution" May 12, 1971 Tallahassee, Florida

  • S05E11 "Promised Land" December 22, 1971 Elk Ridge, Indiana

Cory was played by Casey Simpson. He’s best known for his role as Ricky Harper on the hit Nickelodeon series Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn. He also hosts the kids trivia show KC Pop Quiz. He was in the sequel Amazon series Just Add Magic: Mystery City (kids find a magic cookbook and chaos ensues); the sequel was 10 episodes whereas the original had 52. He was also a lead in Liza On Demand (the misadventures of a woman named Liza on her quest to become an "elite tasker”. This series also just starred the actress Patty Guggenheim who famously played Madisynn in She Hulk).

First Officer Kirk was played by Bart Johnson. He’s been the lead in many movies you’ve never heard of, such as Held, Once I was Engaged, Every Time A Bell Rings, Young, Stalked and Pregnant, The Christmas Spirit, The Harsh Life of Veronica Lambert, Animals, Monster Mutt, Vamp U, and Init!ation (yes with an exclamation point in the title that plays into the story). He was a lead in the 17 episode series Hyperion Bay (a nerd returns to his hometown as a successful computer programmer and finds his high-school crush unhappily married to his high-school bully). He was also Coach Jack Bolton in High School Musical, the father of Troy. 

The episode title "The Friendly Skies" is derived from the phrase "Fly the friendly skies,” coined by United Airlines in 1965.

Trans Global Airlines seems to be modeled on the former Trans World Airlines (TWA), right down to red uniforms worn by the flight attendants.

Many of the theories about the Trans Global Airline crash in this episode seem to be closely modeled on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared from radar in 2014, 38 minutes after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur. Just as discussed by the QL team, the only wreckage found to date is part of a wing, and there was a heavy theory that the pilot possibly committed suicide. There is plenty of speculation about the fate of the Boeing 777-200ER, but any hopes of finding the wreckage have since been abandoned.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a name used by various paramilitary organizations in Ireland throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Organizations by this name have the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic free from British rule.

Unsung Hero: Uncredited

Judgement Day:

Written by: Margarita Matthews

Directed by: Chris Grismer

Airdate: April 3, 2023


At the Quantum Leap project in 2023, Ian finally picks up a signature for Ben, but it then disappears before reappearing again. Janis explains the quantum accelerator is confused because Ben traveled to the future, and that Ben told her that his last leap was supposed to be to the past, so whatever he is doing in the future, it can’t be for long. 

Meanwhile in 2051, the accelerator tries to pull Ben away from the future, but Ian tells him to fight it. Ian reveals that they are the only one from the project left, with nuclear war being the least of their problems. Ian explains that the government blamed Quantum Leap for society collapsing, a scapegoat to blame due to them changing things in the past. Martinez was sent into the past to kill Addison, who leaped in the original version of history. Once Ian leaped to warn Ben, they returned to find that the government had destroyed their quantum accelerator. Luckily, Ian developed a way to beat them, coming up with a piece of the code they weren’t able to finish earlier. They tell Ben to give it to themself in the past, with the message that they need each other, before Ben is finally pulled away. He now finds himself in 2018, at the Quantum Leap project, as himself. 

Addison arrives and Ben delivers Ian’s future code, but the current Ian isn’t sure how to use it. Meanwhile, Ben runs into 2018 Addison and finds it’s the day of their first date. While 2023 Addison accompanies them, she warns Ben that they have to follow the original history or they might never fall in love. Ben says that if they do follow that history, Martinez will know exactly where to find them. 

On the date, Ben is nervous but he and Addison get along well, until 2023 Addison tells him that Martinez has been detected. Instead of sticking to the date plan, Ben tells 2018 Addison that they need to go. 2023 Addison pleads with Ben to not say anything, Ben reveals all before telling her to go home, lock the doors, and arm themselves, while he runs off to intercept Martinez.

At the project, Janis explains that they won’t know the effects of what Ben just did due to them being inside of a quantum bubble and Jenn tracks Leaper X to the Quantum Leap headquarters in 2018. Addison is upset with Ben for interrupting the date and possibly derailing their future, but Ben assures her they will be together. However when he gets back to the project, 2018 Addison is there to take him in.

Ben tries to convince her to trust in their relationship, but right now he is just a crazy coworker to her. She asks who the hologram is, but she doesn’t believe him when he says that it’s her from the future, and that he leapt instead. Ben tries to use his law of entanglement speech to get her to believe him, but as he moves her gun aside she fires and shoots a fire extinguisher, causing a distraction that he can use to get away. 2018 Jenn shows up and initiates a lockdown, but unfortunately Leaper X has already been detected in the building.

2023 Jenn enters the imaging chamber to help Ben get away from her past self. 2018 Jenn and Addison talk about Ben and how he seems nothing like their Ben, more confident and sure of himself. Ben reaches Magic’s office, but Martinez is revealed to have leapt into him. Addison enters the room with her gun trained on Ben, and due to his memory loss, Ben is unable to answer the team’s personal questions and they put him in confinement. 

2023 Magic visits Ben from the imaging chamber as he breaks down about how he’s helped all these people through leaping, but he can’t help the one person he needs to. Magic directs him to get a pen and tells him to write “turtle time” on the wall. 2018 Ian and Jenn uncover the code from 2051 Ian. Martinez confronts Ben, he reveals he knows he will never get home, because the plan was his idea. His goal isn’t to kill Addison, but to destroy the accelerator and to kill them all because one way or another, no matter who he takes out, the project continues. Ben tries to grab Martinez but he punches him, not realizing that Ben grabbed his pen. 

Upon writing on the wall, Jenn and Ian know Ben is who he says he is because of Jenn’s private code for meeting her future self. 2018 Ian states that the code looks like a video game cheat code, sparking a thought in 2023 Ian. 2018 Addison is brought into the fold and faces off against Martinez who has just programmed the accelerator to implode. As Addison has him at gunpoint Ben attacks him, but he gets a shot off, hitting Addison. The fight spills over into the accelerator where they both rush at each other and vanish.

They find themselves back at the Island Asylum in 1954, with Ben reasoning that the accelerator is tracing their path. The two continue their fight with Ben taking the brunt of the punishment, but then they leap again, finding themselves on The USS Montana in 1985. As they begin to face off again, Ben remembers his training as Danny Hill, and gets his own punches in, getting the upper hand before they leap again, this time back to 1879 Salvation. 

Meanwhile in 2023, Ian believes the code will allow Ben to restart the 2018 leap again, and do things right. They begin inputting the code but get an error message, something that the 2018 Ian is also facing in their time. As they try and work out why, they realize that their far future self wasn’t offering an affirmation, but an instruction that they need each other. With Addison recalling the quantum entanglement story, Ian realizes that they and their other incarnations all exist as one and they input the code at the same time.

In 1879, Martinez gets the win and holds Ben at gunpoint as a shot rings out, and Martinez falls, shot by Salvation bar owner, Frankie.

With the code now entered, Ben leaps and finds himself back at the beginning of the day in 2018. After a brief joke from Addison, they search for a way for Ben to leap. Ben asks if he can do things the way he wanted to on their first date, reasoning maybe they didn’t do things right originally and she agrees. Ben confidently strides out, embraces 2018 Addison and kisses her as he leaps.

Back in 2023, the accelerator powers up as Addison eagerly awaits Ben’s return.

Ziggy’s Data Retrieval:

Who is Ben? 

  • Unknown future survivor

  • Ben Song

  • Liam O'Connor

  • Commander Rossi

  • Diego de la Cruz

Where is Ben? 

  • Los Angeles, California

  • Boston, Massachusetts

  • U.S.S. Montana, East China Sea

  • Salvation, California

When is Ben? 

  • 2051 (81 year leap forward, and first leap into the future)

  • 2018 

  • 1954

  • 1989

  • 1879

Closest leaps- 

  • S01E12 "Let Them Play" 2012

Anthony Ma played the waiter. He has a list of 40+ one off roles, but he was the lead in Love Arcade (a carefree teen must defend his family's bubble tea shop from a real estate developer with a mysterious link to his past), Elevator (a story about two strangers, a young pregnant Japanese woman & a young criminal, who get stuck in adjacent elevators and share a conversation that may alter their realities), and Little Jar (Ainsley (Kelsey Gunn) is a misanthrope who hates people but when she suddenly finds herself in isolation with no one to talk to, she realizes how much she actually misses connection. Enter Ulysses, a dead mouse in a jar. With a little bit of loneliness, a pinch of imagination, and a mouse-sized tuxedo, Ulysses becomes her training wheels in this newly discovered world of friendship). He was a lead cast member in Bigfoot Famous (when a viral video of Bigfoot emerges, a once-popular influencer launches a mission to film a vlog with Bigfoot and regain her fame) and one season series Before I Got Famous (Alex is an Asian-American actor is fights against getting cast in stereotypical roles and is also a gay man surrounded by supportive friends but a little more secretive among his conservative family). He was also the creator and star of Anthony Ma Presents, which appears to be a sketch show of some sort; aside from episode synopsis, there’s no info on where to find this show.

Chris Grismer previously directed episodes 7 & 14, “O Ye of Little Faith” and “S.O.S.”

Margarita Matthews previously wrote episodes 7 & 11,  “O Ye of Little Faith” and “Leap. Die. Repeat.”

Further Resources:

Quantum Leap IMDb

Quantum Leap Wikipedia

Original Series IMDb

Original Series Wikipedia

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