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alsplacebartender 02-18-2003 03:23 PM

521 Mirror Image
 
Mirror Image
August 8, 1953


Cokeburg, Pennsylvania


In the final episode of Quantum Leap, Sam leaps into a bar in Cokeburg, Pennsylvania on the date of his birth at the exact time he was born. He drinks a beer and looks in the mirror. He sees his own reflection. This begins a rollercoaster ride of strange occurences as people from the past appear to him, but with different names. Al the Bartender seems to know everything and may be able to offer some insight to the reason Sam has been leaping in time for the past five years. And back in the future, Al and Gooshie are troubled to discover that there is no one in the Waiting Room. While they feverishly search for a lock on the lost Dr. Beckett, Sam tries to unravel the mysteries of his own life's work, save a pair of miners from a collapsed mine shaft, and finally takes the opportunity to right a major wrong in Al's life.


Written by: Donald P. Bellisario
Directed by: James Whitmore, Jr.


Rate and comment on the final episode!

jmstone65 03-06-2003 08:46 AM

:D I really liked Mirror Images because it really made you think
how and why Sam was acuatly their.It took me a couple times
to see why,Sam didn't have to change Al's live but he did.I also liked the way how they had all the people from other leaps in it.The bartender Al knew he would help his friend,also
how they were nicknamed the same.

DeadZoneLeaper 10-06-2005 07:39 PM

For those who liked AL the Bartender and his establishment AL's Place, the Virtual Season's expands on it...CHeck out Brian's Mirror Expression trilogy at the end of Season 9 and episodes of the Project Liberty arc in Season 11

Vince Beckett 10-06-2005 07:50 PM

This was an excellent episode, except for the finale. It leaves you hanging with a lot of questions. Sam finally get Al and Beth back together. Al's place has been described as the place Sam goes between leaps. It's been said that it may have been a dream or even a scam. It's too bad that this was the final episode, Quantum Leap has so much more potential. But at least you have the virtual seasons, so read those.

Unknownforce 12-01-2006 02:48 PM

I really liked the ending as well. It was both tearful and happy to see Al and Beth together, but Sam's "future" seemed alone. A very nostalgic episode that bookended the "Weird Ernie" and "Al the Bartender" and met with many other familiar faces.

Sophie Oliver 01-13-2007 10:27 PM

After watching the 2nd season episode where he leaps into someone playing Don Quixote I finally understood why Sam had that strange look on his face when the bartender said "who knows what don quixote can accomplish"

desirelife 01-13-2007 10:39 PM

I'm still a bit unsure of bits in Mirror Image. But it's a good conclusion considering that it was not meant to be THE end.

'Sam never returned home'

Damn,

newleaper 01-13-2007 10:58 PM

I have a lot of issues with this episode. I do acknowledge that the episode wasn't meant to be the finale, but I really don't like it as an episode, or a finale. Being partial to Al, I thought the writing for him seemed 'off' when he was talking directly to Sam (although I did like his search to find Sam). As horrible as this sounds, I'm not sure I like Sam changing Beth and Al's fate either. I don't know why, I just have a hard time grasping it, I guess.

I do agree with saying Sam never returned home, though. I don't think Sam would ever let himself go home, so it is 100% true to character.

jmellissa 01-14-2007 01:53 AM

I love this one it is on my top five list. I think it makes me question things and it did put a few things together while it didn't for other things. My mom and both really like this. :D

SamBeckett94 01-21-2007 07:38 AM

In a nutshell...
 
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this episode, as it's nothing quite like the other episodes. It was a suprise to see Sam as himself, and it was interesting watching for the references to the earlier episodes and characters.

Snish 02-21-2007 08:59 AM

God, I hate this episode. No TV show should ever make me feel this bad.

Excuse me while I go cry...

LunarCrystal 02-21-2007 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newleaper
I have a lot of issues with this episode. I do acknowledge that the episode wasn't meant to be the finale, but I really don't like it as an episode, or a finale. Being partial to Al, I thought the writing for him seemed 'off' when he was talking directly to Sam (although I did like his search to find Sam). As horrible as this sounds, I'm not sure I like Sam changing Beth and Al's fate either. I don't know why, I just have a hard time grasping it, I guess.

I do agree with saying Sam never returned home, though. I don't think Sam would ever let himself go home, so it is 100% true to character.

I agree with you here, on both Sam "fixing" Al's marriage with Beth and Sam not coming home. I was on my soap box about how Al would be a completely changed person from the way we know and love him if he were married to Beth all those years. And also, Sam wouldn't let himself come home - unless he had a damn good reason. ^.~

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snish
God, I hate this episode. No TV show should ever make me feel this bad.

Excuse me while I go cry...

I'm right behind you, Snish. No kidding.

/sob

isz 09-11-2007 04:36 PM

This is it - The Finale episode,and the completion of "my mission" - to sit and watch QL from first to last. it took me a few month,but it's happend in the end.
What can i say about this episode - Well after today it was finally clear to me,that it wasn't supposed to be the last episode of the series. But if the decesion to shut down the plug on the show were already been determined ...why leave us hanging with "Sam Beckett never returned home"?!
As an episode this episode had some very good moments,but it, clearly, wasn't as good as most of DPB episodes ,that, he wrote for the show(Except LHO). To be honest it wasn't one of his best.The main reason is that he didn't really answered none of the question that came up during the 5 seasons of the show. he even raised up more questions after this episode.
To be honest this episode were a bit letdown. it,probably,won't get into my top 20 of QL.

P.S.
The kids outside of Al's Bar in the begining of the episodes...weren't they 2 of the Boys from the episode "A tale of two sweaties"?!

JuliaM 09-11-2007 04:46 PM

I don't believe it was actually known when this episode was written and filmed that Quantum Leap was being cancelled. This episode was supposed to be a "cliff hanger" type ending that would lead into a 6th seaon opener and would take us to the future. Since that ended up not being the case, changes had to be made. I believe the cards at the end were put there by NBC and not Bellisario.

isz 09-12-2007 05:18 AM

I ment to NBC not DBP. I know DPB had no control over it,but i'll always wonder if some other Network could find interest on filming a sixth season. in the past decade i know of at least two shows that were cancelled by the original network ,that air them - DPB's "Jag" that were cancelled by NBC after one season but CBS(if i'm not mistaken) took it and air it for 9 more years,and "Buffy the vampire slayer" that were aired for 5 seasons in the "WB" network and were cancelled,but "PBS"(if i'm not mistaken) took it and they filmed another 2 seasons of theshow.

JuliaM 09-12-2007 08:59 AM

It may sound like a simple answer but NBC basically owned QL at the time and could do what they wanted with it. Whether or not another network decided to obtain the rights to it once NBC cancelled it wasn't NBC's concern or care.

Oh and I don't know what network did pick up Buffy once it was initially cancelled but I can assure you, it wasn't PBS. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is so not something that would air on PBS. I believe the network may have been UPN but I really don't know.

Snish 09-12-2007 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmoniz
Oh and I don't know what network did pick up Buffy once it was initially cancelled but I can assure you, it wasn't PBS. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is so not something that would air on PBS.

It's pretty funny, but only an American would get the joke. PBS is our educational, cultural, fine arts network. (I love PBS. It's an oasis in the desert.) I think Buffy did go to UPN for its last couple years. But it's really quite rare for a series to be picked up by another network, when you consider how many shows get cancelled every year, and how few turn up again on another network.

JuliaM 09-12-2007 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snish
It's pretty funny, but only an American would get the joke. PBS is our educational, cultural, fine arts network. (I love PBS. It's an oasis in the desert.)

Thank you. I could not verbalize exactly what it is that PBS generally shows. I guess you could say Buffy showing up on PBS would the equivalent of NASCAR races on the Food Network...it just wouldn't be a good fit at all.

isz 09-12-2007 02:29 PM

My mistake - it was UPN not PBS.
BTW i'm quite sure at the time(1989-1993) - All rights of "Quantum Leap" belonged to "Universal studioes" not NBC.

angvav 07-19-2008 08:06 AM

Mirror Image
 
What I think made Mirror Image such a good episode is the fact that it had more questions than answers.

It's just a pity the showed ended :(

It would have been interesting to see what those answers would have been.

The show could have gone anywhere.

Explored any possibility!


Quote:

Originally Posted by alsplacebartender
Mirror Image
August 8, 1953

Cokeburg, Pennsylvania


In the final episode of Quantum Leap, Sam leaps into a bar in Cokeburg, Pennsylvania on the date of his birth at the exact time he was born. He drinks a beer and looks in the mirror. He sees his own reflection. This begins a rollercoaster ride of strange occurences as people from the past appear to him, but with different names. Al the Bartender seems to know everything and may be able to offer some insight to the reason Sam has been leaping in time for the past five years. And back in the future, Al and Gooshie are troubled to discover that there is no one in the Waiting Room. While they feverishly search for a lock on the lost Dr. Beckett, Sam tries to unravel the mysteries of his own life's work, save a pair of miners from a collapsed mine shaft, and finally takes the opportunity to right a major wrong in Al's life.


Written by: Donald P. Bellisario
Directed by: James Whitmore, Jr.


Rate and comment on the final episode!


osfan 07-22-2008 10:44 PM

Just a little observation i made at the beginning of this episode:

When Sam leaped into the bar, the radio/juke box was playing Accentuate The Positive, a theme song for another excellent TV series in the early 90s called Homefront (1991 - 1993), David Newsom, who played Tom Beckett in QL, is one of the main characters on the show.

Lightning McQueenie 07-23-2008 03:53 AM

I didn't like this episode the first few times I watched it, but now that I understand the underlying "Wizard of Oz" theme it makes more sense...

I just wish that Sam could have clicked his heels and made it home, at least for short periods of time in between leaps...

QL Fan 08-22-2008 02:33 PM

Great Episode that left a TON of questions:

Why his birthday?
Why the (assumed) time he was born?
Is Sam dead as the Stoppa character was?
Maybe a combination of the time and day of Sam's birth, plus the line about dead people returning to help the living is a sort of "Butterfly Effect" (2004 movie with Ashton Kutcher)? (I know QL was first. :D ) But Al Calavicci finds him with help from Gooshie and Ziggy, so is Sam really dead? Continuing down this path, Angelita from "It's a Wonderful Leap" was a returned dead person helping Sam and the father/son team get the badge for the cab company. Does this represent a parallel for Sam's future?
Do Sam and Al ever meet now that Sam changed Al's history?
Was Al the Bartender actually God?
Will Schlitz Beer EVER make a comeback? (nah... just kidding)
But you had to feel for Sam because of the look on his face when he said, "I just wanna go home."

CynthialovesQuantumLeap 09-02-2008 08:36 AM

I thought this episode was heartbreaking and moving. I cried when the screen went black and it said Sam never returned home. It broke my heart.
When Al finally found Sam and they talked outside the bar I cried and to see the tears in his eyes both of joy to see his friend and also to wonder if he would ever go home.
Maybe this is just me I would of wanted him to at least go home to be with his family or Donna not alone.

Lightning McQueenie 09-05-2008 02:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QL Fan
Great Episode that left a TON of questions:

Why his birthday?
Why the (assumed) time he was born?
Is Sam dead as the Stoppa character was?
Maybe a combination of the time and day of Sam's birth, plus the line about dead people returning to help the living is a sort of "Butterfly Effect" (2004 movie with Ashton Kutcher)? (I know QL was first. :D ) But Al Calavicci finds him with help from Gooshie and Ziggy, so is Sam really dead? Continuing down this path, Angelita from "It's a Wonderful Leap" was a returned dead person helping Sam and the father/son team get the badge for the cab company. Does this represent a parallel for Sam's future?
Do Sam and Al ever meet now that Sam changed Al's history?
Was Al the Bartender actually God?
Will Schlitz Beer EVER make a comeback? (nah... just kidding)
But you had to feel for Sam because of the look on his face when he said, "I just wanna go home."

It's on his birthday because GFTW (who we now know is Sam himself) knew that Al (the hologram) would think to look on his birthday. Sam wouldn't have thought that he was supposed to save Al's marriage if Al hadn't found him...

The time he was born? He (usually) can't leap beyond his lifetime. GFTWS wanted to give Al as much time as possible to find him.

Don Bellisario has said that Sam is definitely not dead. It's just a coincidence that he was hired for a job usually taken by dead people. Just a side note, Angelita didn't come to help get the badge, it was so that she could save SAM, because the project made the mistake and he WOULD have ended up dead.

We know that Al was supposed to leap to find Sam, so I assume that if he's successful, they'll meet again.

Al the bartended said explicitly that he's not God.

Hope that answered some of your questions :P

Staupah 04-15-2009 03:00 AM

I think, that Don Belisario began to prepear this episode as the final when The leap home episodes were issued.
Sam begins to change his close enviroment in the past. But at present time he has killed brother and unhappy sister. So randomity of the time track takes place. But the returing home is a definite action (point). So the coming randomity destroies plans formed in the past. I think that means the barny when he says about changes done by Sam. And he (Sam) came up to the non-return point, having in his mind at last to help Al. And the aim of God (barny) is to make Sam realize that the last leaping will be by his own willing (He doesn't warn him about consequences because it's naturally for God).
Why it was the non-return point? That's because Al in new reality will not deal with QL project bacause his life is successful. So in 1999 there will be no the fact of Sam's leaping.
We could have more episodes but Mirror Image is the only last episode.

NYCSciFiFan 06-03-2009 01:05 PM

Just a reminder: the series finale of Quantum Leap will air on ION Television TODAY.

NYCSciFiFan 06-05-2009 11:42 AM

This was a strange episode, but not surreal-strange, more like a "Waiting for Godot" strange. I hated "Waiting for Godot" so this episode didn't do much for me. It seemed unfinished and unrehearsed, maybe that was intentional or maybe the director was having an off day?

It was great to see all of his (male) past leap characters in one place. Wonder why they left out all of the female ones? There were no women other than Beth.

I thought it was strange that:
Sam never asks about his wife, Donna, or the Evil Leapers.
Sam being Sam, I expected him to call his parents and ask if they had had the baby, lol.
If all he wanted, more than anything, was to "go home," why didn't he?

The typo in his name on the closing titles is really annoying, lol.

My kids were so sad that "that was it."

jassian 06-06-2009 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYCSciFiFan (Post 53360)
It was great to see all of his (male) past leap characters in one place. Wonder why they left out all of the female ones? There were no women other than Beth.

A very interesting question. My best guess is that the setting was such that in that place women wouldn't normally frequent bars or be near the mens' work place.

Darlan 06-12-2009 05:55 AM

I really liked this final episode, but still were not happy with the ending of Sam never returning home.

I have a question about the last picture seen in this episode. There is a man holding a little child on his arms, who is he? Al?

Night Terror 06-16-2009 03:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darlan (Post 53494)
I have a question about the last picture seen in this episode. There is a man holding a little child on his arms, who is he? Al?

The little kid is Donald P. Bellisario, creator of this show, and he is with his father. He really likes planes, doesn't he? I think he used to be a pilot.

Darlan 06-16-2009 05:42 AM

Oh,ok Thanks for clarification :)

Samantha Beckett 06-23-2009 01:23 AM

Does anybody have a screencap of the final text screen that says Sam never leaped home? I can't find it anywhere...

Samantha Beckett

Janna Galaxy 07-01-2009 05:41 PM

I don't think people want to be reminded.

julieannboo 08-12-2009 05:46 AM

watched this last night.
sad episode -very touching.
i am pleased that Sam got to put right what happened between Al and Beth.

In a way i am glad that Sam never returned home - it made it much more touching and much more to Sam's Character.

It also leaves it open for a Quantum Leap follow up.

Imagine 08-23-2009 07:15 AM

When I saw the ending the first time, I couldn't do something, I couldn't speak, I couldn't move. I was only sad and needed some minutes to realize it. But finally I liked the final ep and it was fine, that Sam could help Beth and Al. But it was a bit unfair that Al has a good life (don't misunderstand, I'm very happy for Al) but Sam never returned home, although he did so many good things. That was very sad.

quantumwonderer 07-14-2010 09:25 PM

I hated to see the show ended so abruptly! I know NBC was not happy with the Season 5 ratings and pulled it fast! So they really could not come up with the perfect ending! This was to be a two part episode concluding in the never produced season 6.

However, it was sad to see that Sam never returned home spite the happy ending for Al The episode never answered the main question of who is actually leaping Sam, but creating more questions left unanswered. The statement made by Al the bartender did not explain how Sam was leaping himself, but why he is leaping himself.

If Sam really was leaping himself, that means in his first leap when the Quantum Leap Retreval program was activated while Sam was leaped back halfway to his own time and then came back to the person and time he leaped into, it was he himself that fought the return leap. That is impossible being he had severe memory loss at the time, and did not at all even remember him leaping to get to where he was at. If you cannot remember leaping through time, then you cannot leap through time. He would of had to return home and then later re-leap into Tom Stratton when his memory returned.

Then it was Sam then who leaped an unborn baby out of its mother in one leap when Sam's host was a pregnet woman! Then of all places to leap the baby into himself who is a man and biologically cannot have a baby inside him let alone deceive the doctors in the past into seeing the baby inside Sam. That takes a lot even for a smart man like Sam to accomplish!

Then if Sam really leaped himself why did he not leap when his life was in jeopardy like when a mobster held a razor to his throat threatening to use it if he did not answer a question that was directed to him in a foriegn language he did not speak. Even when his host leaper was a cold blooded killer who was ready to be murdered by a policeman who lost his daughter by this evil person that Sam was in he did not leap!

It would mean that Sam would have supernatural powers similar to God to leap by will. Then he would of never needed Project Quantum Leap to do that. He had no access to the Project's accelarator being in the past, and no one in the future was controlling it. So it had to be someone else or something else.

I think you owe us an answer Don.

Al's the Best 03-07-2012 12:47 AM

I was nearly crying when this episode aired! Why couldn't NBC finance a tv movie now and then while Scott and Dean were young enough to do a reunion as Sam and Al! Now they won't even reprise their roles...BUMMER!

blue enigma 10-27-2012 06:27 PM

This is one of Scott Bakula's best, most emotional performances.

I love this episode. I was glued the whole way through and I love the surreal, dreamlike quality - I know some people interpret this as Sam is dreaming the leap, up until he leaps to Beth, which is an interesting interpretation. I love the focus on the friendship and that Sam finally rights that wrong for Al, I love seeing Sam in a leap where he can't directly help out and how frustrating that is for him.

As for that last black screen: this is a time travel show about changing the past, so to me saying "Sam Beckett never returned home" is no different than saying "Tom Beckett died in Vietnam" or "Maggie Dawson never won the Pulitzer", both of which were true at one point but were changed. So, to me this is also changeable, especially since it's past tense. :) If TPTB were thinking of continuing the series later or doing a movie they would need to have Sam still leaping, so they gave us an ending that was 'final' but also open to a continuation. So, that's my two cents on that. :)

MichelleD 12-10-2012 11:46 PM

I agree, the acting is great...Scott does a wonderful job here, and so does Dean. I think the main reason so many people have such a hard time with it is because the idea that he wanted to go home so badly and didn't make it is so sad. It's hard for me to watch for that reason too. The idea that it is a dream is interesting. Sigh, all T.V. shows come to an end eventually. Some just have things turn out better for the character(s) than others. But in the end, Sam took the high road and did the right thing like he always did. :)


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