A Leap for Lisa

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Quantum Leap episode
"A Leap for Lisa"
Episode no. 422
Season 4
Leap Date June 25, 1957
Leap Location San Diego Naval Air Station, California
Airdate May 20, 1992
Leaped Into Al Calavicci
Writer(s) Paul Brown
Director James Whitmore, Jr.
Episode chronology
Previous "Stand Up"
Next "Lee Harvey Oswald"

"A Leap for Lisa" is the final episode of season four of the television series Quantum Leap; it tells the story of Sam leaping into a younger Al.

Plot[edit]

Sam's host is "Bingo," a Navy ensign under guard as a suspect in the rape and murder of Marci Riker, a superior officer's wife. On the night of the murder, he was with his girlfriend Lisa (guest star Terry Farrell), an enlisted nurse serving on the naval base. Lisa is eager to prove Bingo's innocence but doing so could ruin their careers; Sam assumes that he is there to prevent that, and discourages her from providing his alibi. He is confident he will find some other way to prove his innocence. Al arrives, later than usual, and reveals that "Bingo" is actually a younger Al Calavicci. Al was late because he spent extra time with his younger self in the future, but is now too late to prevent Lisa from dying in the car accident that killed her in the original timeline; she accidentally crashed because she was distracted by her distress over Al's situation. In the original timeline, she had shared the alibi with Al's lawyer, Commander Dobbs, and the charges were dropped after her death. However, Al is satisfied that Lisa will no longer become the subject of posthumous gossip.

Commander Riker, Marci's husband, visits Sam and acknowledges that Marci had been having sex with many men under his command−in actuality, Al was the only one to refuse her advances, because of his relationship with Lisa−but that this fell within the bounds of an arrangement they had. He then claims he saw Al rape and kill his wife from a cliff above the beach and promises to testify to that, intending to see Al executed for the crime. He repeats these details at trial, and says he knows Marci's assailant was Al, despite the distance from which he witnessed the attack, because he followed Al's car after Marci entered it at the officer's club. Riker further testifies that he didn't stop the attack because Marci "deserved it." Despite how badly Riker comes off in his own testimony, Ziggy calculates that the odds of Al being executed are rising; when they reach 100%, Al is suddenly replaced as project observer by the more formal Edward St. John V (Roddy McDowall)−who from his own perspective has always been the observer. He tells Sam that Al was convicted and executed.

Sam's memories of Al begin to fade, but after a tip from Edward leads Sam to search Al's car and find a cigar, Al suddenly returns with no awareness of having been gone. He recognizes the cigar as belonging to his best friend and wingman, "Chip" Ferguson. Sam confronts Chip, who confesses that he picked up Marci in Al's car the night of the murder. They had slept together before, but she rebuked him when he came on to her that night. He tried to force himself on her (though did not rape her), and she fell, striking her head fatally on a rock. A remorseful Chip claims he planned to turn himself in if Al were convicted. Sam and Al hatch a plan to use the quantum leap accelerator to send the real Bingo into himself shortly before Marci's death with instructions to stay with Chip at all times. The younger Al is sent back, but Sam and Al have no way to monitor what is happening. When the guard disappears, Sam realizes that Al is no longer a murder suspect; Bingo must have been successful in preventing Marci's death. Chip then arrives with Lisa, who came to surprise Al after getting off work early; with no crisis to upset her, she never crashed her car. A smiling Sam leaps away.