Quantum Leap Season 2 Episode 2 Review: Ben & Teller

It takes some true dialogue-forging skill to drop tiny details into conversation without drawing a lot of attention only to become incredibly significant later on.

Quantum Leap Season 2 Episode 2 is rife with finesse as it pilots Ben through a classic catastrophe-aversion leap while providing catch-up on the lives of the rest of the QL team.

Moreover, it introduces Peter Gadiot’s character, Tom Westfall, in a benevolently ambiguous manner. While his appearance bears little likeness to his recent One Piece character, I suspect Tom will be just as full of surprises.

It goes to show how well the show’s creators shaped the characters and relationships throughout Quantum Leap Season 1 that bringing a new face onto the team immediately triggers the stranger danger alert in our head.

Nothing about Tom’s behavior indicates he is anything but supportive and understanding, but he sets off all sorts of alarms.

Largely, it’s the fact Addison and him are romantically involved. We instinctively want Addison and Ben together. Tom is an obstacle to that.

But does it make him evil? Logically, no.

HOWEVER. There is something suss about how incredibly supportive and understanding he is. Especially since it appears that he and Addison knew each other before she joined the QL project.

Tom: I didn’t pass my first time either.
Addison: That is true. Tom and I may have failed this a few times at Fort Rucker.
Tom: Except we were shooting at cardboard cutouts.
Addison: That was thirteen years ago. Things have progressed.
Tom: Yeah, we’re old. Don’t remind me.

Permalink: Yeah, we’re old. Don’t remind me.

Added: October 10, 2023

Which means their acquaintance predates her relationship with Ben.

Has he been lurking in the shadows, waiting for her to be single and grieving and vulnerable? That’s not a good look.

If we want to be superficial about things, the precision facial hair screams villain. And the fact that he’s Department of Defence, an agency synonymous with spies and espionage means he’s trained to fool people.

After all, he was willing and able to fool the FBI security supervisor without breaking a sweat.

Agent Lee: This is a restricted area and your credentials expired eleven months ago. How did you even get past the security system?
Jenn: I designed the security system.

Permalink: I designed the security system.

Added: October 10, 2023

There’s also the matter of him viewing the Quantum Leap Project as a mission and Addison’s role as a straightforward matter of bringing an operative back into the fold.

We’re soldiers. We don’t leave people behind.


Permalink: We’re soldiers. We don’t leave people behind.

Added: October 10, 2023

If he really thinks it’s as simple as that, he’s wrong. And if he knows it’s more than that, he’s not being honest.

Maybe I just don’t like that he sits in Magic’s chair.

Besides Tom, there are a lot of crumbs of information sprinkled in for us to wonder about.

We know the Quantum Leap project was shut down a year ago, with credentials expiring eleven months ago. When Jenn and Ian find Magic, he’s shopping for a one-year anniversary gift. FOR WHOM?

Ian doesn’t look like their holding down a standard office techy job. What lines did they have to cross to find Ben?

Jenn: Magic and Addison. You need to tell them what you did here. How you actually found Ben.
Ian: I told them that I left Ziggy running in the background. That is true.
Jenn: It’s true but it’s not the truth.
Ian: They don’t need to know the truth!
Jenn: You sure about that? This is a hard place to keep secrets, Ian.

Permalink: You sure about that? This is a hard place to keep secrets, Ian.

Added: October 10, 2023

Jenn seems to know, but what has she been up to in the meantime?

Not that it isn’t awesome if she’s funding her life with high-stakes poker games, but I feel like she has more than that iron in the fire.

And it’s clear that Addison’s been through the most. The grief of losing Ben, burying him, and moving on. Risking herself emotionally in a new relationship with Tom.

Perhaps returning to the military training she worked in before Quantum Leap (and a relationship with someone she came up the ranks with) was a way to find comfort in the familiar?

Addison: Y’know, I keep expecting you or Ian or Magic to shake me or yell at me. Tell me to get back in there and at least talk to him. I just don’t know what to do with all this quiet acceptance.
Jenn: Yeah, well, any chance you’re expecting us to fight you because that’s what you really want?

Permalink: Yeah, well, any chance you’re expecting us to fight you because that’s what you really want?

Added: October 10, 2023

It’s a lot of information to convey through fairly elegant expositionary dialogue. Color me impressed.

It’s also fascinating to see the team living a QL Project-free life. Granted, we didn’t see what hobbies Ian and Magic had picked up, but there’s only so much time they could devote to shading in the details.

Addison got the most screen time in her new role — and isn’t the resemblance between her and Lt. Grier on Quantum Leap Season 2 Episode 1 remarkable? — before Tom delivers the news that brings it all crashing down.

Considering how the premiere was solely focused on Ben in his leap, it’s fitting that his bank heist leap feels backseat to everything we’re learning back at HQ.

When the government lost all hope of getting Ben back and they shut us down a year ago, I snuck back in here and I turned on one single computer station and I just left it running. Like a SETI program that’s searching for aliens, except I was scanning for a mild-mannered physicist.


Permalink: When the government lost all hope of getting Ben back and they shut us down a year ago, I…

Added: October 10, 2023

However, the emotional complexity in Rebecca and Sean’s relationship seems to echo the feelings Ben is having about his current situation.

Throwing back to Magic’s words about those left behind, is it possible that the team has now left Ben dangling in the unknown?

Rebecca: I just don’t know how we got here. It’s like I blinked and everything changed.
Ben: I know what you mean.

Permalink: It’s like I blinked and everything changed.

Added: October 10, 2023

There’s also something prophetic in the words Rebecca reaches out to Sean with. Something about her words feels far more dramatic and grandiose than the situation warranted.

We’ve traveled through this life together with no help. And we still have so much further to go. I won’t take another step without you.


Permalink: We’ve traveled through this life together with no help. And we still have so much further to…

Added: October 10, 2023

Will those words — like Ben’s toast from their engagement party on Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 1 — reflect back later with more profound meaning?

Speaking of resonance, isn’t it interesting that Ben’s first leap was a heist where he was part of the team doing the robbing, whereas here, he’s in with the robbery victims?

Also, Leap Number One was into 1985 and this one is in 1986. One year later, and we’re one year later. Very clever, writers, we see what you did there.

All in all, these first two offerings comprise an incredibly satisfying recap and launch. If there hadn’t been a writers and actors strike, I suspect they could’ve run a double to kick off Season 2.

Jenn: Turn around.
Magic: Excuse me?
Jenn: If you don’t see me dark webbing through the bank security files, then you won’t have to go to jail if I get caught.
Magic: Fine. You’re lucky I’m no longer a government employee.

Permalink: Fine. You’re lucky I’m no longer a government employee.

Added: October 10, 2023

As exciting as Ben’s solo leap was, it feels right to have the team together again. But we need some questions answered! In addition to Magic’s anniversary gift recipient, what is he doing now if he’s no longer a government employee?

How will Tom get Jenn and Ian’s access back considering their very legal-adjacent antics?

And how will Ben be able to process the news that Addison’s moved on?

Over to you, Fanatics! What do you think the future holds for Project Quantum Leap?

Will Ben lose his desire to leap home if there’s no longer a future with Addison to look forward to? Is Tom everything he appears to be?

Hit our comments with your thoughts and theories, and check out our interview with EP and director Chris Grismer on how far this season will take Ben and the team!

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