"M.I.A."


Leap Date:

April 1, 1969


Episode Adopted By: R. Joy Helvie
Additional info provided by: Brian Greene


Synopsis:

As an undercover police officer, Sam is caught in a familiar scenario to Al when he must prevent a M.I.A. Naval officer's wife from marrying another man until he returns from captivity. But the other man keeps showing up and Sam thinks it may just be fate that the two come together. Is Sam there to do something else?

 

Audio from this episode

 



 

TV Guide Synopsis
Place
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into
Songs

Music Artists
Project Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Women
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode

Miscellaneous Trivia
Writers
Director
Producers

Crew
Broadcast Date
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Personal Review
Best Lines
Best Scenes
Quotable Quotes
Say what?

Awards

Spoiler

 


Production # 65412



TV Guide Synopsis (TVGuide.com):
As a detective in 1969, Sam tries to keep an emotionally vulnerable Navy nurse (Susan Diol) from forsaking her MIA husband---who she thinks has died in Vietnam. Skaggs: Jason Beghe. Dirk Simon: Norman Large. Sam: Scott Bakula. Al: Dean Stockwell.

TV Guide Synopsis (Original):
Sam’s leap lands close to home for Al (Dean Stockwell), who insists Sam’s mission as a detective in 1969 is to keep a vulnerable nurse from forsaking her M.I.A. husband.



Broadcast Date:
May 9, 1990 (Wednesday)




Leapee:
Jake Rawlins





Place:

San Diego, California





Date:

Tuesday, April 1, 1969




Songs:
"I Heard It Through The Grapevine" -- Marvin Gaye
"Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay" -- Otis Redding
"This Guy's In Love With You" -- Herb Alpert and His Tijuana Brass Band
"Someday We'll Be Together" -- Diana Ross & The Supremes
"Unchained Melody" -- The Righteous Brothers
"Georgia" -- Ray Charles




Project Trivia:
Ziggy is referred to as "He."




Al Trivia:
Al married Beth in June 1961. By April 1969, with sea duty and TDY assignments, Al was only around Beth for two of the eight years they had been married. 

Only four months after Al's first tour in Vietnam ended, he volunteered for a second. 

Al didn't want children because he didn't believe in constantly relocating them. 

During Al's second tour, he was shot down over the highlands in his A-4 somewhere around March of 1967. 

When Al was declared MIA, Beth felt it was only another way of saying that Al was dead. 

In April 1969, Al was in a cage near Cham Hoi. 

During his time as a POW, Al was forced to live in a tiger cage that was "too small to stand up in" and "too narrow to sit down in". His nourishment consisted of rainwater and weevil-infested rice. 

Al was repatriated in 1973 (later changed to 1975 after the events of "The Leap Home: Part II") only to find that Beth had asked the Navy to declare him dead and then married Dirk Simon in June 1969.



Al's Outfits:
Silverish-gray slacks, black shirt with a purple maze-like pattern, slender silver tie. Al spends the entire episode in this single outfit.




Al's Women:
Al believes that Tina would love the clothing in Sam's locker.

Al's first wife (and love of his life), Beth, was a Naval nurse. When it seemed Al would never return from Vietnam, she had Al declared dead and married Dirk Simon in June 1969.





Miscellaneous Trivia:
In an early draft of the script, Beth is described as being a blonde-haired, blue-eyed babe with long legs. 

The conversation Beth has with Dirk at the restaurant takes place at a laundromat in the early draft, which is why Beth states in the episode, "We ran into each other at the cleaners."

In the early draft, Skaggs' first name is Robert. In the final episode, his first name is Roger.

It is also confirmed in the script that Al is able to physically kiss Beth on the forehead as a gift from the entity leaping Sam.

Dean did not enjoy acting the painful moments in the episode. He said he would much rather act when Al was lighthearted and fun.

Calavicci was the name of a friend of Donald P. Belliasrio in Cokeburg, PA.

The photo of a young Al was donated to the set by Dean Stockwell's friend and fellow actor, Roddy McDowall.

This is the first of only 4 episodes not to show the leap out into the next episode. The others are The Leap Back, Lee Harvey Oswald,
and Mirror Image.




GUEST CAST
Jason Beghe as Roger Skaggs
Susan Diol as Beth Calavicci
Norman Large as Dirk Simon
Dan Ziskie as Sergeant Riley
Pat Skipper as Tequila
Sierra Pecheur as Carol
William Shockley as Boner
Leticia Vasquez as Rosalie
Cyndi Strittmatter as Hippie Girl
Rob Mendel as Hippie Guy
Gregory Millar as Pusher
Javi Mulero as Taco Man
Sierra Pecheur as Carol Simon
Doug Bauer as Jake Rawlins (Mirror image)




Guest Cast Notes:
Susan Diol is married to Shaun Cassidy.

Norman Large is a former opera singer and had a bit part in "In The Line of Duty: The Price of Vengeance"--a TV movie that Dean Stockwell co-starred in.




Guest Stars Who Appeared In Other QL Episodes:
Susan Diol reprised the role of Beth Calavicci in the series finale, "Mirror Image".

Gregory Millar portrayed "Lonnie Harper" in the episode "Black On White On Fire".

Pat Skipper portrayed "Lucas 'Luke' Marlet" in the episode "The Beast Within".





Crew:


Written By:
Donald P. Bellisario



Directed By
:
Michael Zinberg

Co-executive Producer: Deborah Pratt
Co-executive Producer: Michael Zinberg
Supervising Producer: Harker Wade
Co-Producers: Paul Brown & Jeff Gourson
Produced By: Chris Ruppenthal
Associate Producer: David Bellisario

Story Editors: Randy Holland & Tommy Thompson

Director of Photography: Michael Watkins

Production Designer: Cameron Birnie

Edited By: N. Mario Di Gregorio

Stunt Coordinator: Diamond Farnsworth

Supervising Sound Editor: Paul Clay

Music Editor: Tom Gleason

Dean Stockwell Photograph Courtesy of RODDY McDOWALL



Say What?
The chain Sam is wearing at the beginning of the episode disappears while he’s changing clothes in the locker room.

Al previously says that his first wife was a redhead. Beth is a brunette.

Beth moves her hand from the car and rubs it on the right side of her
nose, which leaves a smudge behind. In the next shot it’s on her
left.

Sam is very skeptical of Al's prediction of what he's there to do.  Sam is usually there to repair small events in time, so why doesn't he take it at face value?

Beth's M.I.A. bracelet was not created until 1970.

How does Skaggs know that Dirk is a lawyer?

"Someday We’ll Be Together," didn't release until about five months after the episode takes place.

When Al kisses Beth at the end, her hair moves as his lips touch her forehead. However, in the script, this is intentional.




Quotable Quotes:
I'm bleeding to death over here, and you pigs are talking about guns and ammo.
-- Pusher, "M.I.A."

I want you to wait for me Beth...  don't give up on me... 'cause I'm alive out there, and I'm only alive because of our love... and some day- oh Beth, some day I'm gonna come back home to you.
-- Al, "M.I.A."

What am I here to do?
I don't know ... but it looks like my kind of work.
-- Sam and Al, about the contents of Jake's locker, "M.I.A."

Are you trying to tell me you have some kind of moral code for picking up women?
Yes.
-- Beth and Sam, "M.I.A."

Flying was his first love, the Navy was his second and I guess I was his third, but I knew that when I married him.
-- Beth, "M.I.A."

Oh no, no no no no! Not a woman! Not high heels! Not again!
-- Sam, "M.I.A."

Personally...uh...I think you would look kind of foxy in this little purple number with the white fuzz.  Just my opinion.
-- Al (to Sam), "M.I.A."

Pants . . . thank you!
-- Sam, "M.I.A."

Ziggy says the odds are real good.
How good?
Oh, you know. They're way up there.
--Al and Sam, "M.I.A."

Beth, was the only one I ever really loved, the only one I wanted to grow old with. That's why none of my other marriages worked Sam.
-- Al, "M.I.A."




Sam's Best Lines:
"Oooom..."


"Are you trying to tell me you have some kind of moral code for picking up women?"





Al's Best Line:
"I want you to wait for me, Beth. Don't give up, honey. 'Cause I'm alive out there... and I'm only alive because of our love... And someday... Oh, Beth... someday, I'm gonna come back home to you."





Best Scene:
The best scene is undoubtedly the last scene, which Al-coholics have affectionately named the "Shadowdance". 

At first, it seems that Beth cannot hear nor touch Al, and she passes through his holographic image when she moves to change records on her player. 

But at the very end, after Al has pleaded with Beth to wait for him, some extreme miracle is bestowed upon Al by GTFW: Al is allowed to touch Beth. He lays his hands on Beth's shoulders and he lightly kisses Beth's forehead as Sam Leaps. 

According to the script, Beth DOES feel this. 

After Al has vanished, Beth tearfully whispers Al's name in a sort of acknowledgement that she knew he really was there with her.



Personal Review:
MIA is my favorite episode of Quantum Leap; there is no doubt about it. I can't even begin to describe how much I love this episode. It was one of the first episodes I ever saw, and it helped to cement my entry into the Quantum Leap fandom.





Awards:
Emmy nomination for Dean Stockwell for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (1990)



Spoiler:
This episode is resolved and concluded at the end of the series finale, "Mirror Image."

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