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Brooks Walker
Brooks Walker

[S5E1] A Leap Of Faith

His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

[S5E1] A Leap of Faith


The South Side of Chicago carries daily danger, and the smallest and simplest of decisions can have life or death consequences for the residents. Life continues as the kids prep for school and their parents shuffle off to work. The young adults of the area are trying to scrape a living for themselves, while the elders sit on their front porches and observe the goings on. The South Side has the potential to crush dreams, and this coming-of-age series focuses on Kevin, a preteen who embraces the normal rites of childhood, Brandon, who makes a leap of faith to succeed in love and life with Jerrika, Emmett, who seeks guidance from his mother, and Ronnie, who is a drifter struggling to be loved. All of them are linked together by sheer coincidence as they seek redemption.

(Dukat fires disruptors, destroying a patrolling Klingon Bird-of-Prey)"Was that really necessary?!""It was either that or trust in Mr. Worf's ability to lie. And frankly, I have more faith in my weapons."

This is a leap unlike any other. When Sam leaps in, he is crouching in a field of seed corn, and immediately realizes from the height of the crops and the smell that it must be November. He also realizes that there must be pheasants around, and when he flushes one out, pretends to shoot it. He is being watched by three high school cheerleaders, who giggle and ask if he got it.

John goes to buy more cigarettes (which Sam has burnt along with the trash) and Thelma tells Sam that he had been very mean to his father. Katie thinks it's because John is the same age his father was when he died. Thelma agrees to cut some fat out of their meals after Thanksgiving, but tells Sam not to remind John about his father's death again. Sam thinks he will change their futures, but Al tells Sam he has to get to basketball practice. Sam doesn't want to go because he doesn't want to leap, but agrees when Al tells him he will get to see his old friends again, but says he's not going to play in the game. Al says if Sam really believes he is here to help his family, he shouldn't worry about leaping if they win the game.

Al soon discovers that Sam is there to ensure that his high school wins a basketball game they originally lost, but with his father and brother Tom still alive and an opportunity to make sure his sister Katie doesn't run away with Chuck, an abusive future husband, Sam refuses to play in the game because he doesn't want to leap. Al tries to convince Sam that he shouldn't try to fix things for his own benefit, but Sam doesn't listen.

Sam does everything he can to save his family; he tries to force his father to give up smoking and live a healthier lifestyle and confesses he can tell the future to get them to believe him about Tom and Katie's grim futures. Obviously no-one believes him but they decide to humor him. Later when talking to Katie about her future, he starts playing Imagine by John Lennon. Although she initially enjoys the song, she soon bursts into tears as she starts to believe that Sam really can tell the future and is right about Tom being killed. As the rest of Sam's family try to comfort Katie, Al tells him that he's not changing anything about their futures and is only making their present worse. Seeing first-hand the misery he's piling on their family, Sam lies that he made up everything to stop Tom going to Vietnam before running off in distress and telling Al he doesn't want to leap anymore if he is expected to save strangers but can't save people he loves. Al eventually convinces Sam that he's got a great opportunity to spend time with his loved ones again, a chance he would give anything for. Sam decides to make the most of the time he has left and returns home and enjoys Thanksgiving with his family.

While practicing basketball with Tom, Sam strikes a deal with his brother... If Sam's school wins the game, Tom must crawl into a concrete bunker on April 8, 1970, the day he was originally killed in Vietnam, and stay there until April 9. Tom agrees and Sam goes on to win the game. During the winning celebration Al informs Sam of all the things he has changed, but Tom is still killed in the war. Reaching for Tom and screaming his name, Sam leaps... only to find himself in Vietnam alongside Tom again, possibly giving him another chance to save his life.

By preventing the marriage of Lisa Parsons and No-Nose Pruitt, Sam also prevents their children from being born. The ramifications of this are never discussed, neither temporal nor ethical. Also not mentioned is whether or not Sam's sister, Katie, had children by her new (post-change) husband. (In fact, the latter is not changed: It had already been established in the pilot that, at the time Sam leapt, Katie had remarried to a man named Jim and had two children, and this episode states that her marriage to Chuck still happened.)

The idea of soul leaping vs. body leaping is still not firmly resolved in this episode. At one point, Al mentions the sexual benefits of having a mature mind in the "persona" of a 16-year-old. Obviously, this comment makes more sense if Al believes that Sam is physically 16 years old. 041b061a72


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