Monday, November 07, 2022

Quantum Leap: Stand by Ben

Do you want to time-travel back to your teen years? Maybe if it was the early days of college, but probably not back to “scared straight” bootcamp. That is where Dr. Ben Song’s latest host just escaped from. Unfortunately, according to his holographic guide, the kids do not fare well in the wilderness. At least Song should have a pretty easy time acting like the geeky one in “Stand by Ben,” tonight’s episode of the Quantum Leap continuation series.

The “Stand by” title represents another Stephen King reference, but one not nearly as substantial as those in “The Boogeyman.” However, being trapped with three resentful, self-destructive teens, who believe they are victims of the world, certainly feels like a horror story. In the pre-Ben timeline, they all died from the elements and the camp successfully instigated a cover-up. Ben tries to serve as the voice of reason, but they do not want to listen.

Meanwhile, security chief Jenn Chou tracks Janice Calavicci’s location, but Al’s rogue daughter locks-down Quantum Leap headquarters, trapping her and Admiral “Magic” Williams in the elevator. They won’t be able to catch Calavicci this episode, but Chou will get some straight, honest life advice from Magic.

Ernie Hudson and Nanrissa Lee really have nice rapport as Williams and Chou. Frankly, they are one of the major reasons to watch “Stand by Ben.” The other is the next big just-before-Ben-leaps revelation. Obviously, this creates a cliffhanger effect, but sometimes they should have his sudden recollections come in the middle of the episode, for a little variety. Nevertheless, this one definitely advances the storyline in a major way.

This time around, Caitlin Bassett delivers most of the humor, with a nice deadpan delivery, as Addison Augustine, but the series should further expand on her military background. The whiny teens will test viewer patience, but the good thing about leaping is they won’t be showing up again so soon. Still recommended anyway (thanks to the great supporting cast), “Stand by Ben” airs tonight (11/7) on NBC and streams on Peacock tomorrow.