Color of Truth"
Adopted by: Stephanie
info provided by: Brian Greene
a black man in the deep south, Sam must fight racial
prejudice while preventing his employer "Miz" Melny from being
by a train.
of "Driving Miss Daisy" abound this leap as Sam tries to change "the
way it is" with the elderly widow.
also must find a way to save his granddaughter after she is forced off
the road by two "good-ol' boys" who are trying to teach Jesse a lesson
for sitting down at a whites-only lunch counter.
from this episode
TV Guide Synopsis
Name of the
Person Leaped Into
Al's Outfits Worn in the
Guest Cast Notes
appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Production # 65013
TV Guide Synopsis:
appears as a black man in the South of 1955, and he uses his borrowed
identity to alter the life and conscience of the widow he works for.
Miz Melny: Susan French. Sheriff Blount: Royce D. Applegate. Sam: Scott
Bakula. Nell: Kimberly Bailey.
May 3, 1989 (Wednesday)
August 8, 1955
Tallageda / Red Dog, Alabama
The Imaging Chamber door is not seen in this episode. Most of the sound
effects when Al appears and/or walks through something are hardly used,
along with the handlink.
Al sees Sam as the Leapee. This
becomes a significant comical element for "What Price Gloria", and is adjusted in later episodes.
This is the first episode which suggests that the holographic Al could
be seen and heard by others, including those on the verge of
Sam saves 1 life in this episode.
Al saves 1 life in this episode.
terms to refer to African Americans
worn: Brown suit, bow tie,
Leap takes place on Sam's 2nd birthday.
Al smoked 2 cigars in this episode.
Al thinks that if he can reach Mrs. Melny, then maybe he can reach....
other women... younger women...
Al's Outfits worn:
1) Purple shirt and pants, silver suspenders, silver boots, and a black
2) White shirt, metallic red vest,
patterned tie, metallic gray dress
slacks, and loafers
3) Orange shirt and slacks,
matching boots, and a long brown coat
The Color of Truth pays homage to the popular Morgan Freeman/Jessica
Tandy movie, Driving Miss Daisy.
The Hill Valley courthouse set from "Back to the Future" was used in this episode.
This episode, like a few within the entire run of the series, has no
single Kiss. The entire episode serves as one, as it is set
within the southeastern US before the civil rights movement.
Scott Bakula - Dr. Samuel Beckett
Dean Stockwell - Rear Admiral Albert Calavicci
Jane Abbott as Ms. Patty
Royce D. Applegate as Sheriff Blount
Kimberly Bailey as Nell Tyler
Elyse Donaldson as Nurse Ethel
Susan French as Miz "Melny" Melony Elizabeth Charlotte Trafford
James Ingersoll as Clayton Trafford
Howard Matthew Johnson as Jesse Tyler (Mirror image)
Christopher J. Keene as Doctor Parker
Michael Kruger as Billy Joe Bob Blount
Michael D. Roberts as Willis Tyler
J.T. Solomon as Effie
Jeff Tyler as Toad
Royce D. Applegate has had a notable film career, including appearances
in Rain Man, Splash, and O Brother Where Art Thou. He also
provided an additional voice for the movie Driving Miss Daisy.
James Ingersoll may look familiar, as well he should be. He's
had a very extensive television career, with appearances on many series
like Emergency, Cheers, Remington Steele, V, Airwolf, Knight Rider,
MacGyver, and Enterprise (with Scott Bakula - episode
Susan French and James Ingersoll both appeared in Captain America
made-for-TV movie that was broadcasted in 1979.
Michael D. Roberts has also had an extensive television career, guest
starring on Knight Rider, Airwolf, and in the movie Rain Man.
But his most memorable role had to be as Booker Wilson on MacGyver, an
individual who ran a Challengers Club for troubled youth and was
who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes:
Royce D. Applegate - Play Ball
Howard Matthew Johnson - Shock Theater
Michael D. Roberts - Leap Between the States
Deborah Pratt (Co-Producer)
Leaping into an
African American in the heart of the segregated deep south, Sam
experiences racial hatred first hand. Although he is there to
save the life of his employer, he also struggles to change the hearts
of those who are set in their ways.
The Color of Truth is often said to be a controversial
because of the topic it covered (racial segregation) and how it dealt
with this issue. It is a bold move, for a first season
episode, on the part of the creative team behind the series . . . a
gamble which paid off.
Despite the controversy, the Color of Truth remains as one of the most
powerful episodes throughout the entire 5-year run. The
message contained within is a simple one, yet very effective.
Segregation is the unwillingness to accept an individual based on their
differences, thus creating a situation where they are, in a way,
shunned. The episode effectively shows the emotional trauma
caused as a result of segregation, as well as some of the hate crimes
committed, and indifference from those in a position of
authority. Bottom line: segregation, in any form,
Sam serves as the voice of reason, and the light of truth.
Before Leaping through time, he lived in a period where the principle
right of the Constitution was upheld . . . that "all men were created
equal." Although he tries to manage, Sam can't help but to
try and change the minds of those who he encounters. It's a
little more problematic than it would seem, since most people have
difficulty accepting such a radical change that goes against
everything that has been ingrained into their psyche since
birth. As Sam learns, he can't rush changes of that nature .
. . he has to do it one person, one heart at a time.
Although the episode deals exclusively with racism, one could expand
the same message across all boundaries - racial, gender, disability,
The Color of Truth accomplishes one other important aspect.
By having Sam Beckett Leap into an African American, this opens the
floodgates of creativity. It breaks all of the preconceived
boundaries that may have existed with the episodes that aired prior to
this one, thus allowing for further Earth-shattering Leaps - into
people from other races, into people with disabilities, into women,
into a chimp, etc.
Had the series continued for a 6th season or beyond, I firmly believe
that there would have been some more Leaps that would have stretched
the limits of our imagination.
Once you've seen the light, you cannot go back into the darkness. - Sam
Best Scene: There
are a lot of powerful scenes within the episode, but the one that
stands out the most is when Miz Melny decides to drive her own car,
heading for her impending death. Although she cannot hear
him, Al is in the car with her, pleading for her to stop, turn around,
or anything which would spare her life. At the last possible
moment, Miz Melny pulls into the cemetery, avoiding the train, and
thanking her dead husband Charles . . . although she remarks that he
didn't have to swear!
How in the world did Sam know the old lady that was calling out to him
was Miz Melny? Her name had only been mentioned once, and
Al wasn't there to help him.
When Sam leans back to look at the reflection of Jesse Tyler in the
rear view mirror of the car, the reflection of Sam's hat passes through
the mirror first before the image of Jesse can be seen. When
Jesse is visible, he's not wearing a hat.
Miz Melny reminds Sam/Jesse that they go to the cemetery every
Saturday. Yet, if you check a calendar for 1955, August 8 was
actually on a Monday. Did they get their days of the week
If Charles Trafford was the governor of the state, and both Miz Melny
and Jesse go to the cemetery every Saturday, why was the gravesite in
such a state of disrepair? Did someone else dump weeds from a
grave of a loved one onto the grave of Charles Trafford?
Where were the groundskeepers?
If a hologram is a three dimensional image, how could he cast a shadow
in the kitchen when Sam is cooking chitlins, or a reflection on Ms.
Malanie's car outside of the hospital?
Sam is supposedly a medical doctor, but why would he move Nell from
where she was at after a minimal assessment? If she had a
spinal injury, moving her would have paralyzed her.
Al had told Sam that the railroad is the Alabama and Pacific.
As the train approaches the crossing, several good angles of the engine
are given, but none of the artwork on the train shows a star.
Yet there's one on the front of the locomotive, right above and to the
left of the cowcatcher (behind the ladder). A symbolic
gesture, perhaps, or a clever reference
to the StarBright Project?
Al, as a hologram, doesn't physically exist where Sam is . . . yet how
is his coat able to brush up against the cot that Sam's sitting on?
When Sam was leaving the jail, why could we see his reflection in the
door windows and not Jesse?
1) Nell sings the gospel song "Right on Time" while she is
driving (right before
2) Al sings "We Shall Overcome" after Sam is released from jail.
Al: I've seen things that would curl your hair - no pun
Clayton: I swear you got ears like a hawk. Miz Melny: I'm old, not dead.
Al: Now, what am I forgetting?
Sam: How sick this is making me!
Sam: Are you crazy?
Willis: Not as crazy as you are, or at least that's what
people are going to say if they see you in here talking to yourself.
Miz Melny: Somebody has lowered the wick in your brain.
Sam: You're getting a little paranoid.Al: How do
you think I've lived this long?
Nurse Ethel: He's crazy as a loon, Sheriff . . . talks to
Al: Pull into the cemetery, dammit! Miz Melny:
Thank you, Charles, but you didn't have to swear.
Sam: Is sex all you ever think about? Al: Well,
except when I'm pulling you outta the fire, yes!
Sam: Well ya got me there Al.
Miz Melny: Sometimes I think they switched babies on me.
Summary With Spoilers:
Scenes from previous Leaps flash by as Sam, trapped somewhere in space
and time, talks about how he has become adjusted to Quantum
Leaping. For him, it is fun stepping into someone else's
shoes. He mentions that
he has saved two lives, a pig, fought for the faith of a nun and
against the mob, put together three couples, a father and daughter, and
help wrote the lyrics to Peggy Sue.
When the blue light of Quantum energy fades, Sam finds himself standing
in a small restaurant. Dining booths are lined up against a
wall and by the windows near the door. A lunch counter
stretches throughout the length of the diner with mounted stools for
people to sit on. The place
is packed, except for one stool that looks very inviting . . .
Ceiling fans spin as Sam looks around, thinking to himself that, now
that he's arrived, he has to figure out who's shoes he's wearing and
the path that he's walking. He reasons that he should grab
something to eat
since he's at a restaurant.
Sam moves to the lunch counter and sits down on a stool, grabbing a
menu. Everyone within the room, including those sitting at
the booths, look on in total shock. The place becomes
instantly quiet . . . so quiet that one could literally hear a pin drop.
As he gazes into the mirror, Sam is so fascinated by the fact that he
has Leaped into an African American that he has totally forgotten about
those around him. He comments to himself, saying that it's
got to be some kind of a mistake, only to be interrupted by two people
who get up from one of the booths. Billy Joe tells Sam that
it is the biggest mistake that he will ever make.
Sam turns around to look at them as the one who spoke grabs Sam's arm
and pulls him up off of the stool. A dark haired woman,
wearing a yellow waitress outfit, tells the two boys to stop because
she doesn't want to spend the afternoon cleaning up blood.
She asks "Jesse", as if searching for support, and Sam agrees with her.
She pulls out a small brown paper bag and hands it to Sam, telling him
to take Miss Melanie's lunch and get out of there before those boys
lose what little control they have. Sam grabs the bag, but
stammers as he makes his way out of the restaurant.
Walking out of the door, Sam stops and again looks around
him. The town square is of a moderate size. Old
cars are parked at various parking spots, and a few drive by on the
streets. Residents are well
dressed, milling about on the sidewalks . . . but all of them are
Sam pulls out a hankerchief and wipes the sweat from his
face. He turns around toward the restaurant to look at the
reflection of his host again, an older African American with a gray
mustache and curly gray hair. Just beyond the reflection, one
of the two who had antagonized Sam within the
restaurant walks up and glares at him menacingly.
Sam begins to walk away, musing to himself that he didn't know where he
was, but it was obviously too far south to be a black man.
The sound of an old woman's voice attracts his attention. She
calls out the name
of Jesse Tyler, telling him to come over this instant. Sam
turns and sees her, and then wonders if he's there to help her cross
the street, get her cat down out of a tree . . . or deliver a lunch.
Sam puts the hat within his hand on top of his head as he crosses the
street to her, instantly calling her Miss Melanie as he walks
up. She berates him for leaving her standing there in all of
the heat. She was going to Sumpter's for five minutes, and
all he had to do was pick up her lunch. She then begins to
rattle on about how she can't figure out why the egg salad was so good.
Sam walks over to the car and peers in through the passenger side
window, spotting the keys in the ignition. Sam thinks that
today isn't going to be a good day until he tests the car door and
realizes that it's unlocked. He tells Miz Melny that he had
left the car open for her, but she promptly berates him
again. Sam opens the car door for her so she can
get inside, and she orders him to roll down the windows with how hot it
After closing the car door, with Miz Melny inside, Sam walks around
to the driver's side and gets in. He looks into the rear view
mirror, and Miz Melny asks what he's staring at. Sam
quickly covers, asking where they were going. Miz Melny
replies that she's the one who is
supposed to be getting old and senile, and tells him to stop looking at
her like a lost sheep and drive.
Sam again covers, this time coming up with a story about how he fell
down, hit his head, and has been having problems remembering ever since
that time. Miz Melny berates him for swearing in front of
her, then the fact
that he had never told her about hitting his head. She starts
in as if she is going to mention a third thing, but hesitates as if the
memory is lost.
Taking advantage of the momentary lapse, Sam reminds her that she was
going to tell him where they were going. She reminds him that
they are going where they have gone every Saturday afternoon for the
past 7 years - to see Charles. Sam is a bit puzzled by this,
and Miz Melny's frustration gets the best of her as she finally gives
in and provides the directions. A knowing smile
crosses Sam's lips as he starts up the engine and drives away.
As Sam is driving, he muses about how comfortable he seems to be within
this Leap . . . within the aura of Jesse Tyler. He has
accepted being Jesse, but now has the task of trying to figure out what
he is there to do. Miz Melny is sitting forward in the rear
of the vehicle, her arms resting on the seat back from the front seat,
watching Sam drive.
She takes her foldable fan and taps Sam's right arm, asking how long he
is going to let the turn signal blink. Sam turns it off as
she notes that he had made the turn five minutes ago. Sam
apologizes, saying that his mind was wandering. Miz Melny
comes back, telling Sam to let his mind wander in his own car and to
stop running down her car's battery. Sam tries to correct her
about how the power is generated for the turn signal, but she promptly
cuts him off. Miz Melny says that Charles had told her
quite a bit about cars
and how they work, so she doesn't need him telling her anything about
her own car.
Sam begins to put the pieces together and realizes that Charles is her
husband. Miz Melny retorts, wondering if Sam has lost his
mind. She reminds him to watch the wheels on the railroad
tracks, and instructs him to take a turn just past the crossing, taking
them through a pair of iron gates. Miz Melny warns him to
stop with his "Tom foolery" or she
is going to get flustered, and she hates to see her husband when she's
Sam pulls up along a curb as Miz Melny sounds downtrodden, saying
that it's all gone to seed. Sam opens up the rear door and
helps Miz Melny out as she complains that they never keep the weeds
They walk through a cemetery to a gray obelisk headstone engraved with
the last name Trafford. Miz Melny falls to her knees and
immediately begins to pull at the weeds, telling Sam how they had
promised her that they
would take good care of the gravesite and clear the weeds.
Sam immediately moves over and kneels down beside her, asking her to
allow him to clear the weeds away. His compassion is clearly
evident as he looks at her and helps her to her feet, and then over to
a bench. For a moment, a grateful smile appears on Miz Melny's lips.
Sam says that she got her gloves dirty and helps to clean them off, and
then sets to work on removing the weeds. She admits that she
gets flustered knowing that her husband isn't being taken care of after
how they had taken such good care of each other for over 50 years.
In a thoughtful moment, Sam notes that it's hard to lose someone that
you love. Miz Melny agrees, realizing that Jesse would know
just as much about it as she did because his wife, Sally, lost four
children. She goes on and states that her husband had always
thought highly of Sally, commenting that there was never a finer Negro
woman in all of Alabama when she died.
Hearing this comment brings Sam to a sudden stop in his work for a
moment. It is almost as if he's in shock from hearing that
Jesse's wife had died, or that something else touched him deep down
inside . . . something with a more personal connection that he can't
fully get a grasp on due to the holes
in his memory.
With a weak smile, Sam regains his composure and tells Miz Melny that
he's going to throw the weeds in the trash. He begins to walk
away, turning back once to look at her over his shoulder out of concern.
As he moves through the cemetery, Sam hears Al's voice as he mentions
that they didn't supply trash cans in public places in the 1950s . . .
and it wasn't until the 1970s that the Pitch In campaign was
started. Sam asks Al what he thinks, but Al tries to play
dumb and has a knowing attitude
about him. Sam is excited about the Leap and the fact that he
bounced into a Black man, theorizing that the possibilities are
limitless, and then asks Al if he
finds it fascinating.
Al retorts, stating that the Leap is a dangerous one, but is undecided
as to whether or not it's fascinating. He reminds Sam that
he's a Black man in the south in 1955, and again says that it's
dangerous. He notes that he's seen things to curl his hair,
making it obvious that Al can only see the aura of the person that Sam
has Leaped into, not his best friend.
Al begins to recollect something from his past in Selma, Alabama, but
Sam cuts him off, asking what Ziggy projects what he needs to do in
order to Leap. As Al pulls out the handlink, Sam disposes of
the weeds near a headstone, and then brushes himself off.
Punching up the data on the small device, Al reads off that Miz Melny
Elizabeth Charlotte Trafford was killed when her car was struck and
demolished by a passenger train on the railroad crossing by the
cemetery. The accident would happen on August 9 at
5:18pm. Sam has
trouble believing it, but Al says that Ziggy is 86.7% certain that Sam
is there to save Miz Melny from getting squished by a choo-choo.
Sam turns around to face his friend and asks if Jesse was
killed. Al informs him that Ziggy is having problems finding
anything on Jesse . . . a birth certificate or a death
certificate. His words dripping with
sarcasm, Sam comments that he has replaced a person who doesn't
exist. Al quickly covers, explaining that it wasn't uncommon
for there to be no records for
southern Black men in the 1950s, especially in small towns.
Al recalls that some of the first civil rights protests started near
the area where Sam is now at, and tells Sam about the first Black
female that integrated the University of Alabama. Sam is
incredulous and asks Al how he knows so much about it. Al
replies that all of his friends
are black, but Sam is disbelieving. Al tells him that it's
true. He had gone on the marches, was arrested and beaten,
and saw a lot of good people fall during
those powerful days.
Sam wonders if getting involved in the civil rights movement is what he
is there to do. Al tries to dissuade him, but Sam is more
optimistic. As the sound of a train whistle blares in the
background, both men look toward the tracks and Al reminds Sam that he
is there to keep Miz Melny from
being killed by the Alabama and Pacific.
Miz Melny walks through the screen door to her home with Sam close
behind her, carrying two brown bags of groceries and holding a small
plant within one hand and a box in another. Miz Melny is
talking about the jade tree and how it came from California.
A male is sitting within the living room, reading the paper.
He gets up from his seat and walks over to Sam and Miz Melny,
addressing Sam as Jesse.
Miz Melny instructs Sam to put the jade in some water until it gets a
chance to root. Then she turns to Clayton, her son, and tells
him that he's early and dinner isn't until 6pm. Clayton tells
her that he was coming by to talk to Jesse. Miz Melny tells
him that he can talk to Jesse after he has put the Jade in some water,
but is curious as to what he wants to talk
to Jesse about. Clayton tells her that it's nothing for her
to worry about, and then turns to Sam telling him that they'll talk in
Sam gives a weak smile, and then moves toward that room, putting the
paper bags on the counter. Clayton informs Sam that he upset
nearly the entire town with the business he did today. Sam's
response indicates that he isn't sure what Clayton is talking about,
but Clayton tells Sam not to act
dumb. He reminds Sam about how he sat down at Miss Patty's
Sam rationalized that he sat down to have some lunch because he was at
a lunch counter. Clayton doesn't believe him and asks why he
would do something so stupid, and then uses vulgar language to ask if
he has another African American with a lot of ideas staying with
him. Sam doesn't believe so, and Clayton tells him that he
can't figure it out since Jesse can't read. Sam again tells
him that he was hungry, but Clayton gets angry and, in a stern voice,
advises Sam not to get that hungry.
The two look at each other for an awkward moment as the tension builds
between them. Sam moves forward and Clayton moves back,
almost as if he is afraid that Sam is going to assault him.
Sam then takes the jade that he had put in water and puts it on another
counter. Instead of risking the outcome of another heated
conversation, Clayton hastily leaves the kitchen.
Walking back into the main area of the house, Miz Melny tells Clayton
to bring some buttermilk from Mr. Sumpter's when he comes back for
supper. Clayton walks up to her and tells her that they need
to talk. Miz Melny continues working on her cross stitch as she says that she
doesn't care what Jesse did at Miss Patty's. Clayton comments
that she has ears like a hawk.
She points out that she's old, not dead.
Clayton removes his hat and reminds her that she is the widow of a
governor of the state, and when a servant starts to get "uppity",
people take notice. Miz Melny puts down her cross stitch as she turns
to look at
him. She addresses him sternly, telling him that he doesn't
need to lecture her as she knows who she was married to and the
responsibilities that go with it. Clayton asks her if she
will be responsible if Jesse steps out of bounds again. Miz Melny
picks up her cross stitch again and tells him flatly to forget
As Clayton leaves, Miz Melny puts drops her cross stitch and puts her
hands to her head as she rises to her feet. She puts her
hands on a coffee table in front of her as she calls out for
Jesse. Sam rushes into the room and asks if she's all right,
and then helps her to sit back down. Miz Melny looks a little off kilter, but tells him that she's
fine. She explains that Clayton gets riled and bothered about
things that aren't his concern, and it makes her head swell.
Sam asks if she's dizzy, to which she replies yes. He holds
up a finger in front of her eyes and asks her to watch it, but Miz
Melny promptly asks him what he is doing. Sam explains that
he is just checking to see if she is okay. Miz Melny
wonders when he got a medical degree, forcing Sam to cover by stating
that he has done some doctoring in his time.
Miz Melny advises Sam to keep his colored voodoo to himself, then
asks him to get her a glass of lemonade and insists that she'll be
fine. As Sam walks away, Miz Melny closes her eyes and lets
out a long sigh . . .
Sam is holding a glass and tipping a pitcher
within the kitchen, pouring lemonade into the glass. A knock
attracts Sam's attention and he walks over to the screen
door. He sees a young African American woman standing on the
other side. She tells him that she's proud of him.
Sam opens up the screen door and doesn't seem to believe it.
She tells him that she is, with all of her heart.
The sound of Miz Melny's voice can be heard asking where her lemonade
is. The young woman remarks that Miz Melny is going to run
him ragged, and then asks if she's going to keep him late.
Sam replies that he
doesn't know, but he'll find out when he takes her the
lemonade. He smiles at her and starts to move away, going
back to look at her once more and telling her that he'll be right back.
Sam walks into the main part of the house and Miz Melny asks if Nell
is here to take him home. Sam hands her the glass and
responds that he guesses so. She mentions that she meant to
get him to work on a leaky
faucet that keeps her awake all night, but says that he can work on it
first thing tomorrow.
Once more, Sam asks if Miz Melny is okay and notes that he doesn't
like leaving her alone. Miz Melny tells him to let his
granddaughter take him home and stop worrying about her, and then adds
that Clayton will be coming over for dinner. She bids him a
good night, and he returns
the gesture of good will. Sam begins to leave, but pauses for
a moment and turns around to look at Miz Melny.
A maroon car travels down a country road. Nell is behind the
wheel and asks him about what happened earlier. Sam somewhat
dismisses it, but Nell presses on saying how everyone was talking about
the incident at Miss Patty's. Sam agreed that it seemed like
the talk of the town. Nell wonders what it felt like, to
which Sam simply replies that it felt like sitting down to
eat. Nell notes that it's about time that someone shook up
the white folks in the town and reminded them what century they were
As Nell continues to drive, a yellow pickup truck emerges from
alongside the road, cleverly concealed by a bunch of trees.
There are two individuals within the truck, which begins to follow the
car that Sam and Nell are in.
Nell continues on, saying that she will sit at the lunch counter
someday, drink from the white fountain, ride in the front of the bus,
and do everything else that will make the white folks mad.
Sam catches this and asks her if she wants to do it just to make them
mad. She quickly answers yes, and then adds that it's right.
A slight bump causes Sam to reach for the dashboard to steady
himself. He asks Nell if she always drives this
fast. Nell tells him that her dad would have a fit if he knew
that she was driving over 35mph, but she has to get him home early so
he can cook. Sam knows nothing about it and parrots her last
word, turning it into a question. Nell asks if he's going
senile on him and reminds him that he promised to cook chitlins for the
Sam muses to himself that he thought chitlins were one of those rare
southern delicacies that taste as good as they sound, but never
realized that they were pig intestines. For him, the smell
was something that had hung around too long in autopsy class.
A mass is within the sink , with Sam's hands hovering over
it. The expression on his face clearly indicates that he is
not enjoying the smell and is struggling to keep himself from
upchucking. In the background, Nell and her parents sit at
the table. Her mother comments that someone would have to
certify her as crazy before she eats someone's chitlins, no
matter how many times they clean up.
Sam puts the intestines within a steaming pot, and mentions that he may
have lost his taste for them himself. Reverend Willis Tyler
asks Sam if he's okay since he looks a little pale. Sam tries
to brush it off, saying he's a little tired. Al appears next
to the pot and revels once he notices what Sam is making.
Although he is a hologram, he takes a whiff as if he could smell what
Nell finishes chopping the greens and gets up from the table, telling
Sam that she's done and then calling her mother over. Sam
turns around and asks if they're going to help. Nell's mother
notes that she promised Nell that she would help her finish her dress,
followed by Willis who gets up and says that he has to work on his
Sunday sermon. Sam begins to stammer, but Willis tells him
that he shouldn't have volunteered if he didn't want to do it.
Sam is left standing there alone, and Al tells him not to worry because
he has a killer recipe for chitlins.
The concoction in the pot looks somewhat like a solid witches
brew. Al looks down at it and comments that this is when he
hates being a hologram. To him, the smell of chitlins and
greens cooking is like a religious
experience. Sam retorts, saying that he feels like the Wicked
Witch of the West.
Al ignores him and starts to rattle through a list of
ingredients. When he gets to hog maw, Sam cuts him off to make
sure he was talking about animal stomach. Al gives an
affirmative reply, telling him that it should be chopped
finely. He tries to recall some more and rhetorically asks
what he is forgetting. Sam quips about how sick it's making
Al tells Sam to give him a little gratitude since he's busting his
brains out to remember a recipe, but he can't even taste it.
Sam tells Al to trust him as he will be able to taste all he
wants. Al gets a brilliant idea from this, telling Sam to
taste the stock as he should be able to tell what is missing.
Sam asks Al if he's crazy.
Right at that moment, a voice is heard telling Sam that it's not as
crazy as he is, or at least that's what people will think if they find
him talking to himself. The voice belongs to Willis, who
walks through the door into the kitchen. Sam tries to cover,
saying that talking to himself helps him when he's cooking.
Willis assumes that being crazy might have been
behind what happened at Miss Patty's.
Al jumps in and asks what went on, to which Sam replies that nothing
happened. Willis again assumes that Sam is talking to him,
reiterating what Nell had told her about how he had walked into Miss
Patty's and sat down at the lily white counter as bold as he
pleased. Al is
disbelieving, but Sam affirms that it's true. Al tells Sam
that they have to have a serious talk, while Willis goes on and
lectures him about how he can't try and change something that a bunch
of rednecks have been taught since the day they were born.
Willis begs Sam not to sit at lunch counters, and Sam gives him a smile
in response. He then taste tests the chitlins and tells Sam
that it needs a little more salt. He bids Sam goodnight, and
then walks out of the room. Al is almost beside himself about
how Sam had promised that he would lay low, save Miz Melny, and then
Leap out. Sam tells Al that he didn't know he was Black, but
he still had a right to sit at that lunch counter either way.
Al explains that wasn't the case in 1955.
Sam again insists that he is probably there to help further the civil
rights cause, but Al defeats that, telling him that Ziggy has the train
wreck figured to a 96.2% certainty. Sam suggests that maybe
he can do both, to which Al tells him that he's out of his
league. Al walks away, but Sam points out that he sat at that
counter because he was hungry.
People went nuts because they saw him as a Black man and not as a
hungry man, and that was wrong.
Sam is about to continue as a scream pierces the air. He runs
out of the kitchen, only to find that a cross is planted in the front
lawn and is set ablaze. The two individuals he tangled with
in Miss Patty's diner laugh as the get back into the pickup and speed
away. Nell cries out that they have no right, but Willis
rushes forward and holds her back. Nell then goes up to Sam
and cries in his arms.
Sam is walking down a street within the town talking to the Sheriff,
asking why there is no need to do anything. The Sheriff tries
to blow it off, telling Sam to go home, clean up his yard, and they'll
forget about all of this. Sam informs him that he could
identify the two . . . Toad and Billy Joe. The Sheriff again
tries to brush it off, this time laughing that those two are boys and
they are just being mischievous. Sam argues that burning a
cross on someone's lawn is being mischievous.
As they walk up the stairs to a building, the Sheriff tries to change
the subject, countering that he should have thought about that before
he sat down on a stool at Miss Patty's. With a more
determined tone in
his voice, Sam again asks about Toad and Billy Joe. The
Sheriff tells him to leave his son to him, and he'll talk with him and
Toad. Sam turns as if to walk away, but turns back and says
that it doesn't end with this. The Sheriff replies that it's
entirely up to him, and then disappears through the door.
Toad and Billy Joe are walking down the street and stop as they spot
Sam. They watch as he walks over to the water fountain marked
for whites only and drinks out of it, and then proceeds to cool his
face by shaking his head and then wiping his brow. Toad tells
Billy Joe that Sam has gone too far and is about to cross the street to
confront him when Billy Joe holds him back, advising him not to do it
Pulling out a handkerchief, Sam wipes his face dry and then walks away,
oblivious to what he has just done . . .
Water flows from a fountain in front of Miz Melny's house.
Her voice is heard complaining that she doesn't have a drop of water in
her kitchen, unable to cook or to wash. Sam is crouched down
under the sink, trying to work on the plumbing. Miz Melny
is in a kneeling position next to him, watching as he tightens a
fastener, and then opens the valve.
For a moment, it looks as if Sam's repair will hold, but then a stream
of water sprays through two joints in the upper section of the pipe,
getting Sam wet and startling Miz Melny. He's laughing as
he shuts off the valve and retreats, saying that the pipe is
broken. He pulls out the
handkerchief again, noting that they will have to get a new one as he
wipes down his face. Miz Melny tells him that it can wait
until after tea, and then gets up to move into the dining
area. Sam then gets up and follows her.
Miz Melny sits at the head of the table as Sam brings over a tray
with the tea and cups. He starts to pull out settings for
both of them, and a shocked Miz Melny asks what he is
doing. Sam said that he thought he would join her since she
made tea for both of them. Miz Melny points out that
someone has lowered the wick in his brain since she makes tea every
afternoon and he always drinks it in the kitchen.
Sam tries to counter, saying that it seems like good manners to sit and
share her company when she was kind enough to make the tea for
them. Miz Melny says that she can't have tea with
him. When Sam asks why, she explains that coloreds and whites
don't eat at the same table. Sam wonders if she wants to eat
with her, who says that she can't? She firmly tells him that
she is the one who says that she can't. Sam again asks why,
to which she notes that it is the way things are and they way they have
always been. Sam suggests that it might be time for things to
A knock interrupts their discussion and Miz Melny asks Sam to answer
the door, leaving the conversation unfinished with a lot of things for
both to think about . . . especially Miz Melny.
Sam walks away and sees Nell at the back screen door waiting for
him. He notes that he forgot to tell her that he's going to
drive Miz Melny's car home tonight. Nell doesn't believe
that she will let him
drive it to their place, but Sam reveals that he has to work on the
Nell wonders what Sam is up to, but he denies that he's up to anything
and tells her to go ahead. Nell brushes it off and says that
she's late for choir practice as it is. She walks away and
Sam goes back inside, intent on finishing his conversation with Miz Melny.
Standing within the dining area, Miz Melny
turns around when Sam returns to the room, immediately blurting out the
word hogwash. Sam is confused and asks for clarification, to
which she tells him that what he had been
talking about was hogwash and nobody is going to change the way things
are. Sam insists that they will and Blacks . . .
turns and watches the car drive
away, and then calls out to the air,
Miz Melny interrupts Sam and asks him about that term. Sam
clarifies, saying that is what African Americans will be called instead
of Negro. Miz Melny wonders what is so bad about being
called a Negro, but Sam points out that it is a little too close to the
vulgar term Nigger. Miz Melny seems offended and defends
herself, saying that she has never used that word in front of his face
or behind his back.
She goes on to state that when he sat down at Miss Patty's counter, she
figured that he was getting old or it slipped his mind, but now she is
beginning to think that he is crazy. Now it's Sam's turn to
feel offended, pointing out that he's not the one who's burning crosses
in front of people's homes.
Nell is singing a gospel song as she is driving along, trying to get to
choir practice. Her voice fills the vehicle with an
incredible range, mainly covering the alto range, but occasionally
going up into the soprano scale.
Toad and Billy Joe are sitting in the truck, waiting for Jesse's car to
drive past. Toad sounds worried, telling Billy Joe that he
isn't going to kill him, and rehashes a story about a friend who had to
move to Georgia for doing something similar. Billy Joe tries
to explain that they're just going to whack him back into place, but
not kill him.
Oblivious as to what is about to happen, Nell continues to sing while
she is driving. She reaches the same curving stretch of road
where Toad and Billy Joe had hidden the truck the day before to follow
Billy Joe starts up the truck and pulls out, blocking Nell's
path. She screams and turns the steering wheel hard to the
right to avoid a collision, but it sends the car careening off the
road. The car becomes airborne and flips over before landing
on the passenger side in a ditch.
Billy Joe remarks how Nigger can't drive any better than a
mule. Toad tries to get out, wanting to check on Nell to make
sure she's okay, but Billy Joe pulls him back inside and says that they
have to get out of there. They speed off, leaving the scene
of the accident and an injured and bleeding Nell
to certain death.
Sam tells Miz Melny that change can be bloody or peaceful.
She can make a difference since people in the town respect
her. If she changes, then others might too. Instead
of addressing what he had just said, Miz Melny complains that the tea
is cold, and then asks if he is going to fix her
leak or not. The expression on Sam's face is clearly one of
frustration at her avoidance of the issue, but he straightens up and
tells her that he will have to go into town and get a new pipe.
Miz Melny gets up and starts walking out of the dining room, telling
Sam that she has to get her pocketbook. Well aware of Miz Melny's fate, Sam goes after her and tells her that she can't go
because it's too hot today. She counters, telling him that
she isn't going to melt, and that she also has to start at Pap's
pharmacy and get some things. Sam offers to get them for
her. Miz Melny blurts out that they're personal.
Still desperately trying to keep Miz Melny from going out, Sam
stammers as he tells her that he thinks that he can fix the pipe
without going out to get a new one. Miz Melny picks up her
purse and pulls the keys out of it, countering that she will drive
herself. Sam immediately tells
her no and wrestles the car keys out of her hands. He points
out that if she is that set on going, he'll drive her.
As Sam walks off to get his coat, Miz Melny looks on in shock . . .
Sam again muses to himself, saying that he has a knot in his stomach
the size of Ziggy's control mouse. Even though they were
driving away from the tracks, it wouldn't go away.
Sam is clearly uneasy as he looks out over the road while he's
driving. The trees on the passenger side parts, revealing the
wreckage of a car. Miz Melny cries out to Sam, asking him
if that is Willis' car. Sam immediately turns around to look,
and quickly brings the vehicle to a
stop. He backs up and gets out, running down the embankment.
As he gets closer, he can see that Nell is laying on the ground,
unconscious and bleeding. Sam immediately attends to her as Miz Melny gets out and asks if Nell is okay. Sam quickly
examines Nell and pulls out his handkerchief, wrapping it around her
forehead. He tells Miz Melny that Nell has a severe
laceration and he has to stop the hemorrhaging. He then pulls
her out from the wreckage and orders Miz Melny to get back in the
Miz Melny obliges as Sam makes his way back up the embankment with
Nell in his arms. He puts Nell in the back seat with Miz Melny, who quickly notes that there is a lot of blood. Sam
tells her that they have to get Nell to a hospital and quickly runs
around the front of the car to the driver's seat. As he gets
in, he advises Miz Melny to keep pressure on Nell's wound.
Sam starts up the car and immediately turns it around, heading back the
way they came. Miz Melny tries to comfort Nell, telling her
that she will be fine, and then looks up and notices the direction
they're traveling in. Miz Melny promptly asks him where
they are going, to which Sam replies
that he's driving to the hospital on the other side of the cemetery.
Miz Melny points out that Rigada is a white hospital and they won't
take Nell as a patient. The only colored hospital is in
Vaida. Sam asks which one is closest, and Miz Melny admits
that Rigada is. She again insists that they won't take her,
but Sam is determined to get her to the
nearest medical treatment.
The car approaches the railroad crossing that Al had warned Sam
about. He stops the car and looks in both directions, making
sure the coast is clear before continuing. Sam pulls the car
to a screeching stop in the arching driveway leading to the front doors
of the hospital. He
quickly gets out and runs around to the passenger side of the car,
opening the rear door. Miz Melny informs him that Nell
feels cold, but Sam says that they are going to fix that as he gently
lifts Nell up into his arms.
A couple of nurses are outside by the entrance to the hospital and spot
all of the commotion. They run inside and get a gurney,
rolling it out to the edge of the steps. A male doctor also
comes out, but he gestures to the nursing staff to hold their
positions. Sam immediately reveals that Nell is in shock,
lost a lot of blood, possibly severed a temporal artery, and
will need a transfusion.
Sam is about to go on when he realizes the medical staff isn't rushing
to help her. Sam asks them what they are waiting
for. The male, who is robably a doctor, tells Sam that they
don't accept colored at the hospital.
Sam retorts, saying that they're going to be even sorrier if they don't
help Nell. One nurse whispers to the doctor that she is going
to call the Sheriff.
The doctor again tells Sam that it is against the law, but Sam tells
him to hell with the law. At that point, when all seems
hopeless, Miz Melny emerges from the car and asks the doctor if he is
Judelia Parker's son. He delivers a quick and respectful
affirmative. Miz Melny then
tells him that he should know who she is. Dr. Parker replies
yes. Miz Melny orders him to help Nell.
The medical staff hesitates while Dr. Parker looks at Miz Melny for
what seems like eternity. Sam looks back toward Miz Melny
and smiles at her. The tension breaks as Dr. Parker tells the
staff to get Nell inside. Sam quickly walks up the stairs and
gently puts Nell on the gurney. Dr. Parker orders an IV and a
Sam moves with the gurney as if to go inside, but Miz Melny stops
him, telling him that it's best that he waits outside and she'll make
sure Nell is taken care of. No sooner do the words escape
from her lips, Miz Melny also disappears through the door, which
closes in front of Sam, revealing
the reflection of Jesse.
Sam turns around, breathing a sigh of relief, and begins to walk down
Nurse Ethel watches Sam through a window as he's seemingly talking to
What she doesn't see is the holographic Al, who notes that he doesn't
know how he managed to pull it off. Sam tells him that it was Miz
Melny who got the bigoted idiot to do something. Al
suggests that he gets Miz Melny, puts her in the car, and drive
away. When Sam asks why, Al
tells him that he's got 23 minutes until that train will hit her.
Sam is somewhat disbelieving that putting Miz Melny in the car will
save her from her fate, but Al insists that he should go in the
opposite direction of the train crossing. Sam tells Al that
he's getting paranoid, but Al retorts, asking how does Sam think that
he lived this long. Al goes on to state that he has a bad
feeling about this. Sam comments that
Al always has a bad feeling.
At that very instant, the sound of a siren fills the air, and a police
comes into view, pulling into the driveway by the hospital.
Nurse Ethel steps out of the hospital as Sheriff Blount gets out of his
car. She tells him that Sam's the one. Sam puts his
jacket back on as the Sheriff warns him about causing any more
trouble. Sam points out that all he was doing was bringing
someone to the hospital who needed medical assistance. Nurse
Ethel promptly points out that it was a Negro girl. Sheriff
Blount tells him that
he broke the segregation law, to which Sam asks if he was supposed to
just let her bleed to death.
The Sheriff says no, and Sam echos that sentiment. He starts
to move away as the Sheriff pulls out his handcuffs and slaps one on
Sam's right wrist. Sam asks the Sheriff what he's doing as
the other handcuff if applied. Al urges that Sam has to get
out of this, to which Sam replies that he's trying. Nurse
Ethel walks down the stairs to the hospital, saying that Sam is crazy
as a loon and talks to himself.
Sam struggles and pleads to the Sheriff, but he won't hear of
it. Sheriff Blount warns that Sam had better ease up or he'll
have to get rough. Sam relents, but asks the Sheriff for one
condition. Curious, Sheriff Blount asks what it is.
Sam starts in, asking that Miz Melny not be allowed to leave the
hospital, no matter how much she wants to . . . and then hesitates
until Al jumps in and suggests 20 minutes. Sam then finishes
his request, stating half an hour.
Sheriff Blount asks Nurse Ethel to enforce Sam's request, no matter how
crazy it sounds. She agrees, and Sam is led away into the
squad car. As Sheriff Blount pulls away, Miz Melny exits
out of the front door of the hospital with good news . . . that Nell is
going to be just fine. She
is under the impression that Sam is still out there until she looks
around and asks where he is. Nurse Ethel tells Miz Melny
that the Sheriff arrested him, and Al comments that pig-butt turned him
Miz Melny asks what Sam was arrested for, and Nurse Ethel points out
that it was because he brought a Negro girl to the hospital. Miz
Melny then states that Sheriff Blount will just have to arrest
her as well, and begins to walk down the stairs to her car.
Al comments that he wouldn't do that.
Nurse Ethel tells Miz Melny that Sheriff Blount wants her to wait at
the hospital. Defiant. Miz Melny tells her that he's in for
a surprise. She then closes the rear passenger door and
proceeds to walk around to the driver's side. Al, at first,
encourages Miz Melny, and then takes it back as he realizes what he's
saying. He tries to talk to her,
forgetting that he's a hologram, and then prays that Sam has the key to
the car in his pocket.
That prayer is soon dashed as the engine of the car roars to
life. Al again continues his desperate plea, telling her that
they have a problem . . . and then realizes that she can't hear
him. Despite this, as Miz Melny puts the car in reverse, Al
rattles on, telling her not to back up and then asking what he's going
to do. Miz Melny backs the car up onto the
curb as Al begs her to wait for Jesse, and reminds her that the Sheriff
told her to wait for 30 minutes.
Frustrated, Al moves out in front of the car and orders Miz Melny to
stop, waving his arms as if trying to attract her attention.
She can't see or hear him, so Miz Melny shifts the car into gear and
drives right through the holographic Al. Once the car has
completely passed through
him, Al puts his hands to his head and says to never mind.
telling Gooshie to have Ziggy center him in on Miz Melny.
Although the response is not heard by others, it obviously is not
satisfactory as Al orders Gooshie to do it or he'll smash his brains
off. He then proceeds to run after the car and vanishes from
view . . .
A cloud of dust kicks up behind the car as Miz Melny drives down a
dirt road. She is in disbelief that Sam could be arrested for
caring about his own. Miz Melny then wishes that Charles
was there as he
always knew what to do. Al is in the passenger seat right
next to her, agreeing with her sentiment. He suggests that
she stops the car, but she still can't hear him. Instead, she
wonders if she's even in the right gear.
Smoke billows out of the smokestack of the engine of the
train. It speeds along the tracks, heading for the certain
doom that Ziggy projected.
Oblivious to her fate, Miz Melny comments that it's been so
long. Al tries to tell her that she'd be better off in
reverse, but she continues on, musing that it doesn't make any
difference as long as she gets there. Al points out that she
isn't going to get there.
Miz Melny continues to drive along the road, as the train also
proceeds down further down the track. The whistle is blowing
wildly in an attempt to warn drivers and pedestrians to get off the
Miz Melny says that it's better late than never, and Al agrees with
that, commenting that it'll be never unless she stops the
car. Al's movements are getting more and more frantic as time
ticks closer to her impending death . . . and Sam isn't there to
The train races even closer, the black smoke from the forward stack
spewing out ominously, almost as if it is foreshadowing what is about
to happen. The train whistle begins to almost sound like the
wail of a banshee,
warning of the arrival of the angel of death.
Miz Melny hears the whistle, but it doesn't register in her mind what
it really is. She thinks that it's a ringing noise.
Al tries to counter and tell her that it's a train whistle, his voice
getting louder with each
desperate plea, almost to the point where he's on the verge of
yelling. Miz Melny says to herself that she should go to
see Dr. Clifford, even though she never cared for his bedside manner.
Al strictly orders Miz Melny to stop the car and pleads with her,
saying that she has to hear the whistle. As the car rounds
the corner, approaching the crossing, Al spots the cemetery and gets an
idea. The train is practically on top of them, and drawing
closer by the second. Al begins yelling at Miz Melny,
telling her to pull off into the cemetery.
The front of the train looms even closer and is just about to pass
through the crossing. Al delivers one last and final plea,
yelling at the top of his lungs, for Miz Melny to pull off into the
cemetery. He's so worked up that he even swears.
At the last possible second, Miz Melny turns the steering wheel,
pulling the car off the road and barely avoiding disaster. Al
removes his hands from covering his eyes as they both look at the
passing train, realizing just how close Miz Melny came to certain
Miz Melny turns in the direction where she had heard the voice, which
happens to be where Al is in the car. She thanks him but
calls him Charles, her late husband, and remarks that he didn't have to
Al looks at her, totally and completely dumbfounded, wondering how in
the world she could have heard him.
A horse-drawn wagon travels through the streets. Two people
are riding on it . . . one at the reins, and the other sitting on a
pile of hay in the back.
Al is in Sam's jail cell, ecstatic about what happened and the fact
that it was like the Twilight Zone. Sam, who is sitting on a
cot, isn't so amused and tells him half-heartedly that it's
great. Al ignores him and rambles on, theorizing that if he
had been able to reach Miz Melny, he could
maybe reach other women . . . younger women.
Sam laughs, and Al asks him what it is. Sam wonders if sex is
all that Al thinks about, and Al admits to it, except when he's pulling
Sam out of the proverbial fire. Shaking his head, Sam gets up
from the cot and tells Al that he's got him on that one.
Al tells Sam that Ziggy finally found something on Jesse. Sam
asks what happened, and Al says nothing. The guy is still alive in the
time of the Project and must be 105 years old. Sam thinks
that's great, but then wonders why he hasn't Leaped. Al turns
as he hears the sound of a door opening and suggests that they're about
to find out.
Sheriff Blount enters the holding area and unlocks the cell that Sam is
in. He tells Sam that Miz Melny got him to drop the charges
against him and he talked to the hospital that morning. As
Sam tries to make his
disheveled clothing somewhat presentable, he asks how Nell
is. Sheriff Blount tells her that she's fine and told others
how the accident happened . . . a couple of boys ran her off the road,
but didn't mean to hurt her. Sam then asks what they really
meant to do. Sheriff Blount suggests that they assumed that
Sam was in the car, and he had been acting strange of lately.
Sam can't believe that the Sheriff is still trying to put the blame on
his actions. He walks away to put on his tie, wondering if
they were going to try and teach him a lesson. Sheriff Blount
gives his word that nobody is going to hurt him or his family
again. Sam says that it's not good enough.
Al advises Sam to take it easy, and the change is going to
happen. Sheriff Blount gets upset and raises his voice,
informing Sam that those boys were sorry. Al states that,
four months from today, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King host the
Montgomery Boycotts. Sam ignores Al and asks the Sheriff what
boys he's talking about, but Blount decides to stop before he reveals
much. He tells Sam to get out before he changes his mind.
Sam picks up his coat and steps into the open doorway of the
cell. He pauses for a moment and turns to look at the
Sheriff, advising him that he is going to need to change his mind about
a lot of things. Sheriff Blount doesn't reply . . . he just
looks at Sam as he walks away and says a goodbye to Al.
Sheriff Blount closes the jail cell, and looks at the other cells to
see if there's anyone inside. What he can't see is the
holographic Al, who begins to sing the refrain to the song "We Shall
The door to the jail opens and Sam emerges into the sunlight, and
freedom. He closes the door behind him, and sees that Miz Melny and Clayton are waiting for him. Sam walks up to her
and says that he's glad that she got home safely. Miz Melny
says that it was no thanks to him, going out and getting himself
arrested. Sam tells her that he won't let it happen again,
but Clayton points out that Sam would still be in jail if it was up to
Miz Melny addresses Clayton, telling him that it isn't up to
him. Clayton argues that Jesse is just using her, but she
puts him in his place, pointing out that her relationship with Mr.
Tyler is her business. She tells him to mind his own business
and she'll see him for supper. Clayton obeys and walks away.
Sam thanks Miz Melny for what she has just done. Miz Melny comments that she sometimes think that they switched babies on
her. This causes Sam to laugh, and he clarifies, thanking her
for what she did at the hospital. Miz Melny tells him that
she was glad to do it, and she's doing fine
after the move to Vaida.
Sam gets upset when he hears the news since Nell was in critical
condition and he knows that a move could have killed her. Miz
Melny says that the move didn't kill her, she's fine, with her own
people, and that's the way it's supposed to be. Miz Melny
then suggests that they both try to forget about the horrible business
and go back to normal.
Sam wonders how she could let things go back to normal after
yesterday. He suggests that she couldn't have done what she
did without it opening up her eyes. Miz Melny counters,
asking to what . . . that the world isn't just? She knows it,
but her knowing it doesn't change it. Sam
argues that she changed it yesterday and she could change it
today. Miz Melny gets firm and tells him that if he wants
to go off and change the world, he's welcome
to it, but if he still wants to continue working for her, he will close
the conversation forever.
With that said, Miz Melny asks Sam to go to Miss Patty's to pick up
her lunch. Sam tells Miz Melny that once she's seen the
light, she cannot go back into the darkness. Miz Melny
again tells him to get his egg salad. There's something
within the sound of her voice that indicates that she's struggling . .
. perhaps unable to bring herself to fire Sam for what
he had just said, despite her warning.
Sam obeys and walks away . . .
Inside the restaurant, it seems like business as usual.
People are sitting at the counter and at tables, chatting away and
enjoying their meals. The moment Sam walked into the room,
the place falls instantly quiet once more . . . just as it had a couple
of days ago when the whole Leap started. All eyes turn to
Sam, who looks on firmly.
Miss Patty is behind the counter and asks Sam if he's there to pick up
Miz Melny's lunch. Sam replies that he is and walks toward
the counter. As he is handed the bag, Miz Melny walks
through the door and tells Miss Patty to never mind and she will eat
her lunch at the restaurant.
Miz Melny walks around to the lunch counter and, with Sam's help,
sits down on one of the stools. She asks Miss Patty how she
is doing, to which Miss Patty replies that she's doing fine and asks Miz Melny if she would
like something to drink with the egg salad. Miz Melny tells
her that a lemonade will be just fine.
Sam turns around as if to leave, but Miz Melny calls out to him,
asking if he will join her for lunch. Again, the whole
restaurant falls silent and all eyes turn to both of them.
Sam walks back and stands in front of an empty stool. At the
table behind him, Billy Joe stands as if to deal with Sam, but Sheriff
Blount grabs him and tells him to sit down.
With a smile on his face, Sam looks to Miz Melny, tells her that he
will, and then eases himself onto the empty stool. Sam and Miz
Melny look at each other, while the reflection within the mirror
shows Jesse and Miz Melny. Sam turns back to look at the
mirror just before he
is surrounded in an aura of blue and white energy.
When the aura fades, Sam finds himself behind the steering wheel of a
car. A cigarette is hanging out of the corner of is mouth,
and the vehicle he is in is traveling at a high rate of
speed. As he continues to drive, it becomes apparent that Sam
is racing another vehicle. There are
concrete support pillars either side of the cars, plus one down the
middle, creating what would seem like a well defined dual drag strip.
As he slides the vehicle to a stop, narrowly missing a collision with
the other car, Sam looks through a pair of sunglasses into the side
view mirror at his new host. The reflection he sees is that
of a young male who others would probably deem as a nerd due to the
complexion and braces. All Sam can say in reaction is "Oh boy
. . ."
Gish Women in Film: Best Writing in a Drama Series - Deborah Pratt