Monday, October 10, 2022

Quantum Leap: A Decent Proposal

Given current cultural fixations, it shows unusual restraint on the part of the writers to wait until the fourth episode to have Dr. Ben Song leap into a woman’s body. By leaping him into the early 1980s, the algorithm chose a time when men were men and women were women, who sometimes met each other in hip night clubs like The Whiskey a Go Go. However, Song’s latest host, Eva Sandoval is there on business: bounty-hunting. Song must track a skip while navigating her workplace romance with her partner in the latest episode of Quantum Leap, “A Decent Proposal,” premiering tonight on NBC.

It is 1981, when the entire world was watching the Royal Wedding. Jake wanted to start planning one of his own with Sandoval, but his proposal caught Sam off guard. According to Addison Augusitne, his holographic companion (and lover before the leap), the two bounty-hunters never tied the knot, which doesn’t sit well with Song. However, Augustine is convinced the leap is more about Tammy Jean, who skipped out on her parking ticket hearing and was never heard from again.

Again, the 1980s details are smartly chosen for quick nostalgia value. Director Rachel Talalay (who helmed
Tank Girl) does a nice job conveying Eva and Jake’s romance, without leaning into in-your-face gender-bending possibilities. She and the cast just make us root for the couple to get their act together.

For franchise fans, the highlight of this episode involves Ernie Hudson’s “Magic” Williams, who addresses his character’s history in the previous Scott Bakula series for the first time. It further stokes our hopes that Dr. Sam Beckett will eventually make an appearance in the continuation series. “Decent Proposal” also features one of the best guest appearances, so far. Sofia Pernas is entertainingly flamboyant as Tammy Jean. She’s a lot, as viewers will learn.

Compared to previous episodes, “Decent Proposal” does relatively little to advance the continuing storyline, but it will be one of the most satisfying for long-time fans. Again, the 2022 series really does right by its predecessor. If you haven’t jumped onboard yet, “A Decent Proposal” is a decent place to start. Still enthusiastically recommended, it airs tonight (10/10) on NBC.