Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14 Review: S

master mentalism tricks

After several episodes that examined Ben’s parental backstory, it’s refreshing (and exciting) to explore Addison’s on Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14.

We’ve known that her relationship with her family wasn’t a warm one, but her reaction to seeing her father really drives home exactly how painful her memories of him are.

Of course, guest star Brandon Routh is probably best known for his roles as Superman on 2006’s Superman Returns and The Atom/Ray Palmer on various Arrowverse television series, so Addison has superheroing in her genes.

Ben In Trouble - Quantum Leap

An established pacifist by nature and choice, Ben has no idea how to conduct himself in a military setting.

As it is, he probably should’ve been pulled off duty for a psych eval within hours of arriving, considering how often he’s caught talking to Addison.

Checking In with Addison - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14

It’ll be interesting to see if Addison starts to remember her childhood differently after the changes they make to XO Augustine’s life.

By setting right the rescue of the USS Tampa, they’ve indelibly altered Captain Drake’s legacy, the weight of Augustine’s own “darkness,” as well as the families of the one hundred and seventy rescued crew.

Men, there is no such thing as peace, only pauses between wars…. And in those pauses, hundreds of skirmishes that never make the papers…. We are the tip of the spear. We protect the greatest nation in the history of history. Let that honor sink in. Let that honor be your guide.

Captain Drake

Captain Drake’s mental instability echoes the fanaticism of iconic literary captains like Bligh and Ahab.

Although his career is one of legend, the man himself is fallible and deeply affected by recent personal loss.

You have a good heart, but it’s an affliction that I’ve seen kill many a fine man.

Captain Drake

There’s an implied message here that men — specifically those in military settings — have few options for dealing with grief and loss.

A Hard Decision - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14

Drake channels the pain of his grief into a combative spirit, targetting the perceived Chinese threat.

It makes him dangerous to both the enemy and his own crew, as it compromises his judgment. Meanwhile, the chain of command and his XO’s hero worship nearly guarantee he’ll start World War 3.

Addison’s impression of her father shifts significantly as the blemish on his career — the ignored distress call from the Tampa — turns out to be him covering for Drake.

Magic: The man was a legend. Addison’s father fell on his sword to protect that legend.
Jenn: Why?
Magic: Because sometimes doing what’s best for the service requires sacrifice.

Magic is able to explain the motivation he felt from a military perspective, but Augustine shares even more with Ben in the privacy of his quarters.

My father is the most stoic man that I have ever met. He doesn’t stress, and he doesn’t show emotion. When I was a kid, I didn’t even know he knew how to smile.


Addison can’t help but wonder where this man was in her life. Her understanding balloons as she watches him try to do the right thing for the Montana and the Tampa crews while preserving Drake’s reputation.

Addison's Flashback - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14

I doubt she realized he’d decorated his quarters with tokens and photos of her and her mother.

Like Polonius’s advice to Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, isolation can be a self-preservation tool, but it will also prevent anyone from ever getting close enough to care for or support you.

Augustine: There’s an old hymn. ‘Set the walls around your heart. Build them strong with stone.’ Augustine & Addison: ‘And do what must be done.’
Addison: He used to say that to me when I was a kid. When I was really scared.

Logic dictates that Addison, as a hologram, cannot communicate with anyone but Ben. She has less presence or substance than a ghost (even if she occasionally casts a shadow).

However, when she’s alone with her father on the bridge, the audience can’t help but hope her words are felt if not heard.

I know you’re scared that you’re going to hurt me. And I know that you’re scared that you can’t be a good dad because you’re too hard or cold, that you carry some kind of darkness inside of you. But whatever your dad had, it stops with you because you have done nothing but love me and make me the person that I am today. It is going to be okay, Dad.


If you didn’t already know from reading TV Fanatic’s interview with Caitlin Bassett, playing Addison Augustine is her first role ever, and that continually astounds me.

A Thoughtful Addison - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14

She’s been solid throughout this inaugural season, but — Holy Hannah — she knocks it into the next galaxy with her performance here.

Edging out her “No, Ma’am”ing scene on Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 5, the tender moments where she invokes the child who just wanted her father to smile now top my list of Best Addison Moments.

Ben: I thought I leapt into the middle of a war. Where am I?
Addison: Uh, we still don’t know. Ziggy’s…
Ben: Ziggy’s running slow. Yeah, if I ever started a band, that’s what I’m naming it.

Despite the team being mainly on the back burner, Ben draws heavily upon their knowledge and solutions to save the Montana and the Tampa.

Magic meeting with his old Chinese counterpart is a compelling reminder that every war has multiple sides.

Magic: Jenn, Ben is sailing into a minefield.
Jenn: A minefield? Wait a minute, that’s great!
Magic: Great? Why’s that great?

Ian’s thoughts on why Ben’s leap has taken him to Addison’s father are food for thought and theorizing.

Meeting the Fiancee's Dad - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14

And then there are Ben’s mathe-magical skills. I love having a nerd/genius spearheading the mission.

I’m sure someone out there will have nits to pick regarding naval procedure and military protocol, but I enjoyed every part of this adventure.

I believe this is the first time trying to accomplish the leap’s mission — saving the crew of the Tampa — has escalated into a problem quite so global — starting WW3 — and the stakes at risk feel incredibly authentic.

Of course, there’s the quirky and effective Lt. Walker down in the coms room.

Lt. Walker - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14

Or should I say Leaper X Martinez?

Who saw that coming?

And, seriously, what is his problem?

Given how well they worked together when he couldn’t see that Rossi was Ben, one wonders if Martinez and Ben might’ve liked collaborating on the Quantum Leap Project in a different timeline.

Leaper X Again - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14

Now if Martinez, noticeably older than when he confronted Ben in Salvation, leaps according to the same rules as Ben, does that mean his mission was to save the Tampa crew as well?

Or was it to expose the Chinese minefield?

Or to ensure Drake was removed from command?

What if something else had gone wrong and needed setting right in an alternate history?

Magic isn’t the only one getting a headache from trying to figure out time travel.

I'm Gonna Win - Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 14

We only have four more episodes left in this super-sized season. Is it enough time to wrap up the Martinez plot as well as the Ian-driven Ben leap?

Or do the two dovetail somehow?

When you watch Quantum Leap online, consider how long it’s been since we saw Janis. I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust her when I can’t see her.

Leap into our comments with what you think she’s up to and where the season’s finale will take us!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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