This Quantum Leap review contains spoilers.
Quantum Leap Episode 15
Just when I thought that a straight man in heels could no longer cut the funny mustard, Ben Song (Raymond Lee) turned sensible pumps, high necklines, and massive shoulder pads into a comedy explosion. It’s not just that he trips when he takes his first high-heeled steps into this coiffed, 1985 leap, Ben moves with imitative grace as he wheels his oversized briefcase from scene to scene through the courthouse, and it keeps the chuckles rolling. Unlike the original series, the sequel hasn’t played much with the sophomoric humor of a man in women’s clothes. But there is something about Ben’s sincerity in pulling off the professional look and how he copes with its unfamiliarity that triggers a delightful farce.
A little humor is always welcome in Quantum Leap, especially since the purpose of each leap leans toward life vs. death. “Ben Song for the Defense” showcases a complicated legal proceeding where public defender Eleda Ramirez, the leapee, fights to free an innocent 18-year-old, Camillo Diaz (Michael Garza), who is the caretaker of his 16-year-old brother and his grandmother, from a murder conviction. Unlike the last leap on the Navy battleship where Captain Addison Augustine (Caitlin Bassett) was in her zone of military expertise, this leap requires the knowledge and guidance of someone familiar with the courtroom and legal codes.
Quantum Leap project security specialist, Jenn Chou (Nanrisa Lee), has a complicated history with the law having spent time behind bars. But she made excellent use of her incarceration. Jenn earned a law degree during her imprisonment. That, plus her no-nonsense attitude, makes Jenn the prime candidate to enter the Imaging Chamber and function in the role of hologram-lawyer for this leap.
Jenn is far from sanctimonious as she encourages Ben (unsuccessfully) to take a “teeny-tiny peak” into Eleda’s girlfriend’s ADA files, and she doesn’t hesitate to use the Marty McFly Almanac to make bail and help Ben keep another client out of jail and away from the men who Ziggy predicts would beat him there, causing the young man to be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. Not only is it intriguing to see another member of the team take on a hologram shift, but Ben and Jenn play so well off of each other that even more humor gets injected into this episode as a result.
Dr. Ian Wright (Mason Alexander Park) puts his nose to the grindstone and develops a program for Ziggy to track and predict the presence of other leapers. After Martinez (a.k.a. Leaper X) showed up at the end of episode 14, the Quantum Leap project wants to avoid such surprises (and potential interference) from the mysterious leaper who keeps crossing paths with Ben in spacetime. Like Magic (Ernie Hudson) and Ian, I’ll need to put a dollar in the he-who-shall-not-be-named-Leaper X toll jar for my reference above.
Over these 15 episodes of Quantum Leap, the team has coalesced and found their footing through Ben’s rogue leap and all that has since ensued. Just like the fans of the revival show, the Quantum Leap project team has had to figure out what to believe, who to trust, and how to proceed. But, for this fan, one thing is certain—in going on this journey together, we’ve become a part of the mission and we’ve come to know the characters through the same harried chaos of it all. Like all good journeys, it only gets better as we go.
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.