Is Quantum Leap Teasing a Mole Reveal?

Quantum Leap becomes a medical drama as Janis begins to wonder who can be trusted.

QUANTUM LEAP -- "Paging Dr. Song" Episode 110 -- Pictured: (l-r) Caitlin Bassett as Addison, Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song.
Photo: Ron Batzdorff | NBC

This Quantum Leap review contains spoilers.

Quantum Leap Episode 10

The Quantum Leap revival has led fans on a journey from the criminal back alley (twice) to outer space, the boxing ring, backstage at a rock concert, the Wild West, a “haunted” house, a youth camp, and a natural disaster. At the end of last week’s midseason premiere, Dr. Ben Song (Raymond Lee) finds himself in the body of Alexandra Tomkinson and in a dark parking lot helping to deliver a crowning baby that is arriving a month too soon. Fortunately, Alexandra is a medical resident at a Seattle area hospital and in the right place at the right time to help this mama in distress.

Ben, on the other hand, lacks medical skills beyond catching the child and keeping the infant off the asphalt. At the outset of this episode, viewers are implicitly reminded that Ben didn’t train for this. While he’s been lucky in his leaping so far and has landed in places that he could manage (more or less), “Paging Dr. Song” places Ben in the emergency room of a hospital, and he is clearly out of his league.

When Alexandra’s pager goes off, Ben looks at it and declares it a “throwback.” While pagers may have been all the rage in 1994 and a clear sign of pre-cellphone times, the majority of hospitals’ medical staff today still use pagers due to the Wi-Fi and cellular dead zones created by walls that block x-rays. Clearly, Ben hasn’t spent much time in the hospital environment.

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In a moment of calm in the E.R., Ben learns from his hologram helper and fiancée, Captain Addison Augustine (Caitlin Bassett), that he is there to save the lives of three people. Logically, Ben proceeds to the nurses’ station to inquire about the three patients by name, but they are not in the hospital’s patient database. Seconds later, a Code Trauma is announced over the intercom, and they learn that the victims of a train crash are arriving at the hospital. So many injured people, in fact, that the lead doctor announces: “If they can walk, they can wait.”   

As Ben takes time to find his bearings in the chaos, the Quantum Leap writers, directors, actors, and crew are due the utmost credit in creating a scene that allows the viewer to feel as discombobulated and uncertain as Ben does. I found myself wondering in that moment how…if at all…Ben is going to pull this leap off. This tension went a long way in reminding us about all that is at stake, and all that Ben risks, by leaping. More than just his own life, the lives of innocent people hang in the balance, and nowhere is that more keenly felt than in medical drama.

It’s also in the medical arena where little escapes the notice of nurses. The nurse who Ben asks about the three patients puts two and two together when those three names appear on the list of the injured from the train accident. She questions the doctor’s psychic abilities and coins a new nickname for the leapee: Nostradamus. When Ben tells Addison that he plans on “saving lives without ruining Alexandra’s in the process,” he’s not joking…he’s walking a very fine line.

Beyond the three people that Ben is tasked with saving, he also must navigate a big problem with an experimental drug that the hospital is being incentivized to administer: an anesthetic called Respiratrex. The drug has been shown to cause severe adverse reactions in those with preexisting conditions. Ben chooses to alter the head doctor’s order for Respiratrex, which could lead to Alexandra losing her residency, at best, or tanking her whole career in medicine at worst. Hundreds of future lives hang in the balance as Ziggy reports that the original timeline and the continued use of the drug causes the deaths of countless innocent patients.

Ben has a lot on his plate in this episode. And now that Janis Calavicci (Georgina Reilly) is being held at Quantum Leap headquarters, the whole team is contending with their fair share of drama. If viewers are hoping that Janis’ capture leads to more information about Ben’s motives, then they are in for disappointment. In fact, Janis tells Addison that she has to tell Ben to stop talking, even if he remembers new details, because the only safe place for that information is in his own head.

We do learn from Janis that there are “other people” out there, likely the ones who sent the (maybe) evil leaper–Marine, Richard Martinez–into spacetime. If Ben talks to Addison about his memory coming back, then these “other people” can hear it–they are listening. The more these others know, the less likely Ben will be successful at saving Addison and solving the problem that caused his rogue-leap in the first place.

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The truth of Ben’s leaping remains a menace to the team. As Janis says, a “myopia” has fallen over the Quantum Leap project and they are asking the wrong questions and still focusing on the why of it all. While we should get comfortable with the not-knowing, we can at least eliminate two members of the team from the list of people Janis doesn’t trust: Ben and Addison. That leaves Jenn (Nanrisa Lee), Magic (Ernie Hudson) and Ian (Mason Alexander Park) on the list of possible people with hidden agendas.

Quantum Leap airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. The sequel’s episodes, as well as all five seasons of the original show, are available to stream on Peacock.         


3 out of 5