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-   -   501 Lee Harvey Oswald (http://quantumleap-alsplace.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1570)

alsplacebartender 02-18-2003 03:02 PM

501 Lee Harvey Oswald
 
Lee Harvey Oswald
October 5, 1957 ? November 22, 1963


Atsugi & Negashaia-Yamato, Japan / Tustin, California / Moscow, Russia / New Orleans, Louisiana / Dallas, Texas


For the first time ever, Sam leaps into a notable figure in history! He has leaped into the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who supposedly murdered President John F. Kennedy. As Sam leaps back and forth several times throughout Oswald's life, his and Oswald's minds become intertwined to the point that Sam finds himself about to pull the trigger from the Texas Schoolbook Depository window.


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


Rate and comment on the feature-length fifth season premiere!

Vince Beckett 10-06-2005 07:22 PM

Yes, this is the perfect way to open the fifth season. Sam leaps into a real person. This episode was based on data gathered since the assassination. Coincidentally, I was writing a report about the JFK assassination at the time for school. This was the first time that Sam actually became his host and almost lost control, which makes it harder for him to accomplish his mission.

bluedana 03-30-2006 11:08 AM

I must have rewound the first scene with Marina three times before watching the rest of the episode. I had actually forgotten how amazing the characterization is. The brilliant and effortless shifting between Sam and Oswald, conveyed only by voice and expression; the confusion over whether he's speaking Russian or English; the lightning fast rage and then remorse - THIS is why the dude was nominated for an Emmy.

Adam 04-02-2006 04:40 PM

So... I hate to sound stupid but I don't think I really understand what happened in this episode. Or rather, I hope I'm wrong about what I do understand. Basically, we know that Jackie O didn't die right, both in "real life" and, since sam saves her, in quantum leap. But that's the problem, she didn't die! So I tried to justify this by with the fact that she only didnt die because Sam saved her (haha this is getting confusing!) but...if this is the case, wouldnt that mean that in Al's present, Jackie would be dead? Up until the end of the episode, of course, when Sam saves her. Does this make sense? Basically, if Jackie would have died in real life then this episode would make sense, because in "quantum leap world" we could see that sam has changed history by saving her. But sam hasnt changed history, because she didnt die in real life. Also, if Jackie was dead...why did it not occur to sam and al at any point that they might have been there to save her? They only ever talked about saving JFK.

I hope this makes sense to someone, because I'm really confused!

JuliaM 04-02-2006 07:58 PM

Quote:

Also, if Jackie was dead...why did it not occur to sam and al at any point that they might have been there to save her? They only ever talked about saving JFK.
Most of your answers lie right there. Sam and Al both are making the assumption that his mission is to save JFK. Since the only history we know is the assination of JFK as viewers it's a logical conclusion for us as well. The twist is finding out at the end that in the original history that Sam came from Jackie had also died. One can assume that Al did know this but never gave it considerations since saving the life of the President would most likely be considered the more important thing to do. There could have also been the assumption of a domino effect - if the life of JFK is saved then so would the life of Jackie.

Dman176 04-02-2006 08:12 PM

Okay...

Basically, think of it this way: the world as we know it today exists because of all of the good that Sam has done. We are living in an altered timeline, not the original one. So, in the case with "Lee Harvey Oswald," John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Onassis were both shot and killed by Oswald. Al obviously remembered because this is the history he lived through the first time around, whereas Sam didn't remember due to the Swiss-cheese effect. There are probably two reasons why it never occurred to Al that Sam was there to save Jackie. One: JFK was the main target; his assassination had a huge impact on the world at a time when we were at war. Plus, stopping Oswald would have automatically saved both of them. Two: revealing that Jackie was still alive in Al's time would have spoiled the "surprise ending," which had been advertised in the NBC promos. Up until that point in the series, we as the viewers didn't know that the time travel theory of the series worked that way.

That's why then in later episodes, like "Goodbye Norma Jean," for example, they started off by saying that Marilyn Monroe had died of a drug/alcohol overdose in 1960, when anyone who knows a lot about her knows that she actually died on August 5, 1962. Once Sam changed history, she was able to complete her last film, The Misfits, before she then died later in 1962. That was how the producers of the show were able to get around the "no changing real-life history" rule.

Damon

Adam 04-03-2006 07:00 AM

Ah thanks for your replies, I think I did actually understand it after all, was just looking at it the wrong way. I just thought it was a little bit disappointing for an episode which, by it's own admission, was based around facts (as it says right at the beginning of the episode) to go and just make something up for the ending (i.e. that Jackie had originally died) but I guess that it is still fiction after all. I suppose this is why "real-life" leaps would have been a bit more problematic than fictional ones, since we actually know the original story. But yeah, thanks for the different perspectives, am not disappointed with the ending now, there was not much else they could do, it would have been even more silly for them to save JFK's life. Still a brilliant episdoe.

Samantha Beckett 04-03-2006 12:15 PM

I had always been scared of this episode, lol. I saw it for the first time when I was 8 years old, and it freaked the crap out of me. I had to change the channel, and I literally avoided watching the ep when it was on TV until the most recent sci-fi marathon a few weeks ago....11 years, lol.

It still freaked me out, but for a different reason. Stuff like the music, the suicide scene, Sam hitting Marina was what scared me then. Now, it was more along the lines of how Sam was out of control and how Oswald had taken over. The music, suicide scene, and all still scared me but still. Despite it all, I loved it. It really was a brilliant episode. I know Don Bellisario was reluctant to having to resort to leaping Sam into real life people because of his original rules/ideas for the show, but it really was one of the best episodes that was done.

Samantha Beckett

SamBeckett94 01-23-2007 02:42 PM

Lee Harvey Oswald
 
I've only seen this episode once, and I didn't enjoy it. It had me confused, and it seemed to go on longer than any other episode (other than 'Genesis of course). I have to admit, there was hell of a lot of good acting in this episode. Maybe after I watch it again I will enjoy it more, but for now, I am left complaining about the length and quality of the script, like Father Jack complains when he runs out of drink.

Al The Observer 01-25-2007 01:09 AM

This was a "feature length" episode, meaning it the fifth season was opened with a two-hour episode.

jmellissa 01-25-2007 02:33 AM

I only seen this one once on T.V. But from what I can remember I enjoyed this one a lot it had a lot of unforseen things that I didn't seen coming. Sam/Scott did a wonderful job!

SamBeckett94 01-29-2007 12:26 PM

I just re - watched this episode on DVD, and seeing it a second time, I've enjoyed it alot more.

samnal 02-09-2007 07:51 PM

I will never be able to watch this episode. I have never even been able to get through it since it's first run. I hate the music they changed to 5th season and I think that it is a terrible TERRIBLE mistake to fool around with anything like this--LHO was a pawn. He was a victim, and as LHO said himself in the news footage you can watch any time--and I offer anyone a challenge that sees this to even believe ONE second of LHO/QL--when a reporter told LHO that he was the only suspect in the Kennedy assasination take a really good look at his face, see the surprise the horror and then the disgust. Then hear his words, "I was a patsy," at another time. I'm sorry if the writer of LHO (I know who it was, I just refuse to discuss him) has some hard feelings about a guy he knew for 5 minutes several decades ago, and really just wanted to show the world that LOOK I KNEW THIS GUY!!! I KNEW HE WOULD DO THIS BECAUSE I SAW HIM GETTIN' DRESSED IN A LOCKER ROOM IN 1959!!!!!!! Right. I am not one to mince words about this or anything QL that hurt--this hurt. This made me sick. To think it could have been Sam leaping into Magnum....as bad as that might have been I would have rather had that.

redanime 03-15-2007 08:40 PM

Sam strugling?
 
In the scene where Al comes in between Marina and Sam/Oswald.When Marina left and Al is telling Sam that he leaped in after Oswald shot General Walker.
when the camera shows Sam.It looked if Sam was struging to regain control over his body,like he was fighting Oswald.
What do you think?

bluedana 03-16-2007 12:56 PM

I think you're right. This scene has a very chilling moment (at least for me), when Al is yelling at Sam to get his attention, and Sam (as LHO) is totally fixated on why he missed the General since it was such an easy shot. Al yells, Can you hear me, and Sam snarls, I hear you, Al, you don't have to yell. But he does it in LHO's voice and inflection, so you don't know who exactly is in control at that moment. I think they conveyed that struggle so well both in voice and mannerism, and, as you point out, in showing Sam's physical struggle with his own body.

Aging Boomer 03-23-2007 10:07 PM

This was a freaky episode. I really missed the gentle Sam I'd come to know and love when Oswald took over his personality! Why did this man never receive an Emmy?

cookiemom6067 05-21-2007 12:23 PM

My husband and I both felt that this episode was a cop-out. We don't believe for one second that LHO was the lone assassin.

***HOWEVER***
After I saw this for the first time on DVD a couple of weeks ago, I watched it again and again. I was never so shocked by QL in my life as when Sam slaps Marina in the first scene. It was one of those things I just couldn't look away from. I was so impressed by Scott's acting and the writing in this episode that I can actually put aside my absolute opposition to the position it takes. That is a very rare quality for any work of fiction to achieve.

isz 08-25-2007 09:19 AM

From the first time i've seen this epiosode - I never liked it -It was much too long,the subject itself is very problematic,and the end...it was much too surreal and unbelivable - Yeah right... in the original History Jackie died too. DPB should have came up with a much better idea to ends this episode.
And Last but not least... I found this episode quite boring. The acting was great,but this episode was too hmm...wierd.
This episode is without a doubt my least favourite episode of the series.

margarita_salt 11-07-2007 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aging Boomer
This was a freaky episode. I really missed the gentle Sam I'd come to know and love when Oswald took over his personality! Why did this man never receive an Emmy?

:hurray: Thank you for finally saying that. Why did Scott Bakula never receive an emmy. Especially in the 5th season. His acting in "Lee Harvey Oswald" and "Nowhere to Run" was extraordinary.

ohboy 09-28-2008 07:52 PM

I just watched this episdode, and it personally did not do it for me. It was a great episode, but I didn't really like the "feel" of it in the sense that Sam leapt around too much. My favorite part of the show was where it deals with social issues. I know that gets old and boring after a while, but this just seemed a little over the top. I was surprised by the ending though. Overall, this wasn't a bad episode, but I didn't really enjoy it.

julieannboo 08-03-2009 07:55 AM

i found this 90 minute episode a bit too much.

maybe they were trying to be too clever?

i know they were setting the scene for november 22nd 1963 but i found it hard to follow.

sonea 04-14-2010 02:24 PM

I've just gone over everyone's posts here.

Had I posted my feelings here after the first time I watched LOH it would have been negative. I remember commenting to myself how dark it seemed. I immediately felt the acting was incredible but the story and how it was presented was very dark. It didn't leave me with a good feeling.

But since then I have seen this episode several more times. I have to say that as I watch it over again I am more drawn to the way the whole thing was presented and acted than how dark it is. Really, the emotions and feelings Sam goes through as he switches between himself and LOH were amazing to watch. Seeing Sam angry is so rare and interesting to see how he reacts to that. The scene with Marina and how he reacts to his slapping her comes to mind. Or even seeing Sam switch over to Oswald such as when he gets angry with the sergeant when he was shooting.

I don't really hold any position on how JFK was assassinated and I don't feel it reflects on QL that this particular point of view was taken. And, I thought the idea that Sam leaped in to save Jackie and not JFK was fabulous, not weak.

Overall, I now find this episode quite captivating.

Stakker 08-03-2011 06:42 AM

I thought this episode rather disappointing in the unquestioning nature of the subject. Lee Oswald being a bad tempered wife-beater seemed to be artistic license.

Anyway, aside from that, I noticed that Willie Garson, who played Lee Oswald in the Imaging Chamber, is only the 2nd actor who has starred in QL twice. (the other being Charlie Rocket in 'Leap for Lisa' and 'A little miracle'.

Willie Garson also played Seymour in 'Play it again, Seymour'.

This means he has starred in two eponymous episodes. (Where the name of the episode includes the name of his character)

blue enigma 10-25-2012 12:11 AM

I'm probably in the minority but I never liked this episode, although I do acknowledge that it was well-written, the acting was absolutely superb and the way they did the work-around so that Sam changed something around a real event was inspired.

This episode inspired one of the most chilling QL fanfics I've ever read (and it's actually a short one-shot), in which Sam leaps into Jack the Ripper and the same thing happens where the Ripper's personality over-powers Sam - only the Ripper is much stronger than LHO.

MichelleD 12-10-2012 11:58 PM

This was hard for me to watch, but Scott did a great job with what must have been a difficult part. It was interesting to see Sam leap into a real historical event, but the idea that Sam could come so close to murdering anyone and have such a struggle controlling Oswald's personality was creepy.

He did kill several people throughout the series, but it was always to keep them from killing him or the people he was supposed to be helping, and Al usually had to yell at him before he did anything.

Spudgun 07-04-2013 04:52 PM

They shouldn't have made this episode. Leaping into real people is a bad idea, as people know the story. The switching between LHO/Sam was just weird. It's something they never did before really, so why here?

Also, I'd say the vast majority of people know LHO didn't assassinate Kennedy, and I didn't like how they were trying to convince people that he did. It was a bit like those 9/11 propaganda movies. Bad move.

ChickenStu 07-29-2013 05:33 PM

The episode itself wasn't bad and pretty well done. And that was a hell of a twist at the end! But the thing is, even in the first episode - you can tell the writing is on the wall for series five. Once a show breaks it's own rule it's over.

Kind of like Twin Peaks when Lynch was forced to reveal who killed Laura Palmer halfway through season two.

Consider the shark "jumped".

blue enigma 08-05-2013 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChickenStu (Post 59893)
The episode itself wasn't bad and pretty well done. And that was a hell of a twist at the end!

Yeah, the twist at the end is brilliant and a clever way to work around the actual history.

I didn't like Sam leaping into real people in general despite the fact that some of those episodes were enjoyable. This episode is well written and very well acted but I didn't like it.

Lightning McQueenie 09-15-2013 03:36 AM

Thinking about this episode really, did Sam have any missions during the mini-leaps? I know they wrote it so that he changed history each time (e.g. not killing the guy who insulted him in the Japanese bar) but did each of those mini-leaps actually have a mission? Or was he there simply to try to gain information to solve the conspiracy?

As an example, what purpose did the original leap where Maria took the photo have? Or the leap where he is handing out the propaganda about Cuba? Or where he had to carry out the attempted suicide as Oswald had done in the original history?

blue enigma 09-15-2013 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 60248)
Thinking about this episode really, did Sam have any missions during the mini-leaps? I know they wrote it so that he changed history each time (e.g. not killing the guy who insulted him in the Japanese bar) but did each of those mini-leaps actually have a mission? Or was he there simply to try to gain information to solve the conspiracy?

I guess we can assume there were missions during the mini-leaps. But there is a lot in this episode that doesn't make sense. They kind of threw out the rules so they could show how bad LHO was at all times of his life.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 60248)
As an example, what purpose did the original leap where Maria took the photo have? Or the leap where he is handing out the propaganda about Cuba? Or where he had to carry out the attempted suicide as Oswald had done in the original history?

I've only watched this episode all the way through once because I really don't like it, even while respecting the effort and the acting. Someone above suggested that this episode read like propaganda and I agree, it felt like that. Wasn't this supposed to be DPB's response to Oliver Stone's JFK?

QL was very good about keeping controversial issues focused on individual situations with some grey areas. Even when it dealt with hot topics like the death penalty, it didn't become an argument for or against it, it was about other more complex issues surrounding it and the specific situations of the people involved. This episode is the first one where it steps beyond that.

Sam Beckett Fan 11-05-2013 09:11 PM

Apologies but as amazingly this episode was done and how beautiful the performance by Scott was it didn't belong in the Quantum Leap world. It broke all the rules and was seemingly mostly pointless. Pratt herself had gritted his teeth when NBC had requested these such gimmick leaps.

"Well the network wanted the famous people and I have to admit I did not like the idea of it because it made it un-Quantum Leap to me. Quantum Leap was simple stories about simple people. Lee Harvey Oswald, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis and Dr. Ruth and I kind of went 'Grrr' because it's not like that."
- Deborah Pratt, Another Time, Another Place

(Though the Marilyn Monroe leap could have been worse, apparently it was supposed to have been Madonna but because she was and still is currently living her permission was required which she denied. Seriously? At least Marilyn Monroe makes some sense!)

Bellisario as well was unhappy with a lot of season five which had violated the premise of the show.
In all honestly this episode seems more to me like a combination of Dr. Who and Men In Black (and I happen to know very little about Dr. Who, I have watched but two episodes).

The reason for the multiple leaps into Oswald's life in connection to sparing the life of Jackie Kennedy was never clarified. It appears as though the interest was simply to portray a version of a story that in fact is still a major controversy today. Which is a secondary reason why this episode shouldn't have been made. As stated above it does seem to pressure one of a few versions of the events. It's not even a solid fact that Oswald was guilty let alone whether or not he acted alone. It appears no facts of this tragedy are solid and most likely they never will be.
I am not well researched on this subject, I could easily be incorrect in my statements and I will always acknowledge that. It is a peeve of mine to witness people speaking of something that isn't solid as though it's personal.

This for example (Apologies I mean no offense):
Quote:

Originally Posted by spudgun
Also, I'd say the vast majority of people know LHO didn't assassinate Kennedy, and I didn't like how they were trying to convince people that he did. It was a bit like those 9/11 propaganda movies. Bad move.

Do we really know this to be fact Spudgun?

Some of the project logic in this episode kind of bugged me in addition, namely the attempt to leap Sam's neurons and masons to him through the accelorator to battle Oswald's heavy mind melt (and thanks again to Lightning McQueenie who had some time ago reminded me of this). Sloppy in my opinion, I see no sense in it.
Admittedly though things I did enjoy were Oswald spitting out psychics facts and the fact that he is portrayed by the same young man who was always breaking his glasses and speaking in Hollywood detective tongue in season one. None other than Seymour, Willie Garson. XD

Interestingly what drew me to this thread was my finding of this article on Yahoo an hour or so ago regarding the house of Ruth Payne where Oswald and his wife had been taken into the night before the assassination. It's apparently about to be opened as a museum.
http://travel.yahoo.com/blogs/compas...172357346.html
It is supposed to contain holographic images of Oswald and other involved parties portraying significant events by actors. The attraction seems unnecessary and somewhat a glorifying of a tragedy but it came to mind how honestly awesome it would be if they used the scenes from the Quantum Leap portrayal if creditable.

MichelleD 11-29-2013 03:28 AM

I'm catching up with some of the new posts in this thread. I agree with the idea that having Sam leap into famous people didn't fit in the QL world. In fairness, from what I understand, the network decided they wanted Sam to leap into famous people. I'm by no means an expert on how exactly they go about deciding on scripts for T.V. shows, or what goes on between networks and the people working on the shows. I'm assuming Don and company probably did their best under the circumstances to keep QL on the air. Whether they went about that in the right way or not, or who might have been responsible for the show being cancelled, is a matter of opinion. I think it would make sense if they had to do episodes with famous people for Don to do something about someone he had actually had contact with (and I have no idea how well he might have known LHO or how much contact he did have with him). It was probably a way to try and keep the network happy and still maintain some creative say-so. LHO is well-written, and to me it's worth watching just for the great acting.

Good Bye Norma Jean was worth watching just to see Al go bonkers over Marilyn skinny dipping. That was a riot. :roflmao:

Memphis Melody was worth watching just to hear Scott sing.

And Dr. Ruth...Of all people for Sam to leap into! And Al getting counseling from her! That alone made the episode funny. :roflmao:

One of the good things about QL was that I could find something to like about every episode even if it wasn't my favorite.

Sam Beckett Fan 11-29-2013 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichelleD
Good Bye Norma Jean was worth watching just to see Al go bonkers over Marilyn skinny dipping. That was a riot.

Agreed, this is the only scene my best friend and I will watch of the Norma Jean episode. XD

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichelleD
And Dr. Ruth...Of all people for Sam to leap into! And Al getting counseling from her! That alone made the episode funny.

Indeed, the awkwardness of the Dr. Ruth leap for Sam was enjoyable. This is the only episode among those of famous people that is worth watching from start to finish.

MichelleD 11-30-2013 01:19 AM

Oh, yes, of course, the view of Scott is nice in that particular scene. DEFINTELY worth watching. :dreaming: ;) It was funny the way Al set him up.

Lightning McQueenie 12-02-2013 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichelleD (Post 60837)
Oh, yes, of course, the view of Scott is nice in that particular scene. DEFINTELY worth watching. :dreaming: ;) It was funny the way Al set him up.

In which particular scene?

ladystoneheart 12-02-2013 04:09 PM

I watched both episodes the other and I liked them.They were darker than the other episodes I have seen so far.Still I liked QL when it was about the ordinary people.For example,for this episode Sam should have leapt into that bodyguard from the beginning.IMHO,that would be more exciting to watch.Like how Stephen King did in his book.

Scott Bakula's performance was pretty good.It is hard to believe that he couldn't win Emmy for his Sam Beckett :/

How was the episode received when it was first aired?

MichelleD 12-02-2013 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 60847)
In which particular scene?

The one where Marilyn is in the pool and Al is yelling; Sam thinks she needs help and that's not the case. Al's yelling because Marilyn is skinny dipping.

Sam Beckett Fan 12-02-2013 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie (Post 60847)
In which particular scene?

MichelleD and I had gotten slightly off topic discussing the scene in Goodbye Norma Jean where Al had set Sam up to see her skinny dipping in her pool claiming it an emergency. The only scene in both our opinions worth watching in that episode. Sam's embarrassed reaction was just priceless.

On one more note pertaining to this episode a couple things that bug me about it is how they duplicate the whole 'OD walk' from One Strobe Over the Line and how Sam breaks her heart denying her the promise of always being there for her when there was no reason he couldn't have made the promise on behalf of the leapee. He had gotten his own mind too into the situation since he was star stuck by her.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladystoneheart
I watched both episodes the other and I liked them.They were darker than the other episodes I have seen so far.Still I liked QL when it was about the ordinary people.For example,for this episode Sam should have leapt into that bodyguard from the beginning.IMHO,that would be more exciting to watch.Like how Stephen King did in his book.

Scott Bakula's performance was pretty good.It is hard to believe that he couldn't win Emmy for his Sam Beckett :/

That certainly would have made a lot more sense in connection with the saving of Jackie Kennedy. If they had to do this angle I would have liked to see JFK portrayed and perhaps even meeting Cheryl from Camakazi Kid.

Agreed how Scott never won an emmy for any of his amazing performances in this show, this but even more so Shock Theater or even maybe Dreams just baffles the hell out of me.

MichelleD 12-02-2013 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan (Post 60855)
MichelleD and I had gotten slightly off topic discussing the scene in Goodbye Norma Jean where Al had set Sam up to see her skinny dipping in her pool claiming it an emergency. The only scene in both our opinions worth watching in that episode. Sam's embarrassed reaction was just priceless.

It was slightly off topic but in this case it was a fun sort of off topic... ;)

I thought the idea that Jackie was killed in the original history and Sam was there to prevent that was an interesting idea. It was one of the few episodes where Sam leapt from one person to another in the same episode. It was well done, even considering the issue of doing leaps about famous people. That's already been discussed though, so I won't rehash that. :)

ladystoneheart 12-03-2013 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichelleD (Post 60856)
I thought the idea that Jackie was killed in the original history and Sam was there to prevent that was an interesting idea. It was one of the few episodes where Sam leapt from one person to another in the same episode.

Agreed.I mean, one of my favourite things in the episode was that twist in the end :)


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