Episode TWO of the new revival series Quantum Leap, has arrived!! Episode two is simply titled Atlantis, and takes place on the space shuttle aptly named Atlantis on March 7th, 1998!
This leap takes place entirely on a shuttle, in space. The good about this scenery, and this episode, are the moments when Ben is able to take in the gravity of being in space. The moments when he gets lost in the stars, and the small moments when he lets the stars scare him. In my opinion, what this new series has done well, like the original, are the moments of interaction that the whole cast has with each other. The interactions that we get between Ben & Addison are different from Sam & Al, but we’re still connected by knowing that Ben & Addison love each other. That only gets stronger in this episode with Addison reminding Ben that he’s essentially the glue of PQL, and that is how he saves the day in Atlantis. Because nobody knows why Ben leapt, he’s being kept in the dark, but there is a great moment where, instead of talking about Ben, he wants to learn about Addison. He asks her about her ring, who the lucky guy is, and his hope to be back in time to be at Addison’s wedding. THESE are the moments that are the most compelling so far.
Ben has leapt into astronaut, David Tamara. In the original history David dies on this mission, his first mission, and NASA never released why/how. The first “climax” is when the team finds out that Ben dies after getting hit with space debris during a space walk. This actual event in the episode though, is pretty anti-climactic. The space debris seems to be very small, and something that looks like it likely wouldn’t injure anybody, and Ben avoiding the space debris seemed cheesy, as all he did was duck. There was never a real “close call” or sense that he was actually going to get hit. He ducked, and it was done. He changes history, which ends up making things worse, with the whole crew possibly dying. Now some thermal tiles are destroyed, but his body protected the tiles in the original history? With the tiles damaged the shuttle will be destroyed upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Commander Reynolds and Samantha Stratton argue over the best approach, when Ben steps in, and shows why ultimately he was going to be a great hologram, and convinces Reynolds that Samantha is right. The choice is made to contact the Russians in their shuttle Mir. The Russian crew is sleeping so Ben has to make a heroic jump from shuttle to shuttle in order to wake up the crew, and save the day! Ben thanks Addison for them being able to do this together, and leaps………..
The team is completely fractured during this episode, and nobody trusts anybody, with everyone working in different ways to the very same end goal. So, all of the scenes that involve the PQL team, build and build to a point where it’s necessary for everyone to get on the same page. Magic thinks it’s a good idea to keep Ben in the dark until they find out why he leaped without telling anybody, but Addison, in part trusting Ben and in part being scared of what Ben is hiding, thinks this is a bad idea. Addison, after destroying her apartment, found a thumb drive hidden in a book, and is using Ian to help her crack what is on the thumb drive. Ultimately they sides want the same thing, which is to get Ben home, and this is essentially what ends up uniting the team at the end.
In the middle of all of this, we finally get to meet our mystery character, Janice Calavicci. Using his friendship with Al as bait, Magic takes a visit to Beth (Al’s wife) in order to tell her that Janice is in trouble, knowing that Beth was never going to tell him anything, but also knowing that Beth would reach out to Janice. Because of the call from Beth to Janice, Magic & Jenn are able to track Janice’s home, and found the bunker that we saw in the first few moments of episode one. Janice has rigged the bunker to burn in cases like this which prompts a very quick exit for Magic & Jenn, but not before they’re able to secure one of Janice’s hard drives. During their burglary, Janice calls Magic and informs him that he needs to back off, and stay out of her and Ben’s way. She also tells him that Ben was the person that reached out to her for help in whatever is going on. With Jenn working on Magic, and Ian working on Addison, the team FINALLY comes together in order to realize that the only way that they’re going to get to the bottom of everything, and get Ben home, is to work together, without secrets. So, with the hard drive in hand, the team figures out that Addison’s thumb drive has the digital key on it to un-encrypt the hard drive. Once accessed, they find it holds, essentially a 3D map of millions of variables that represent millions of places in time, with ONE date/time blinking. It’s an assumed destination that Ben was trying to jump to when he leaped, and this is where the episode ends…………….
Where the heck is the waiting room? Are we just supposed to assume that the “law of entanglements” that Ben explains in episode one, also applies to his leapee’s? Does he actually take over their body simultaneously now, instead of those effected, being in the waiting room? Not sure how I feel about such a big change.
A featured character is Samantha Stratton, an astronaut. She was referenced in Quantum Leap: Genesis: Part 1 – September 13, 1956 (1989). Sam, as Tom Stratton, prevented Tom’s wife, Peg, from going into premature labor with Samantha.