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Old 09-01-2007, 09:42 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 820

Aside from the fact that both episodes were took place in Sam's hometown of Elk Ridge and there was only a two year gap between them, I really can't see how one took elements from the other.

It was two completely different story lines - preventing someone from being killed in the completion of a crime...or bringing another crime to light is very different from having to win a highschool basketball game.

There's also a pretty big difference in Sam and how he's grown as a person in the time between the "Leap Home" and "Promised Land". In the Leap Home he's intent on doing whatever he can to change and better his own life no matter what Al is telling him he does have to do. In "Promised Land", when Sam does get out of the bank and would have the opportunity to go home he doesn't. Oh, he and Al mention it when he's running down the road but he doesn't do anything about it. That's a lot of emotional growth there if you ask me.

I find "Promised Land" to be one of the stronger episodes of the story. It resonates on an emotional level and you can also see growth in the character. It also answers the question from The Leap Home pt 2 - Did Tom make it out of Vietnam alive. It's alluded to in "Rebel Without A Clue" that he most likely did but it's not until "Promised Land" where one of the bank hostages says that Tom's just come home that the question is ever really answered. Aside from finding out about Donna in "The Leap Back", it probably the only other time we find out how what Sam's done on a leap has a direct effect on his personal life.

Of course, "Promised Land" does also leave the viewer with a new unanswered question. Since Tom has come home safely from Vietnam and through Sam's work what the bank has been doing to farmers has been brought to light, do the Becketts still lose their farm? That's a question that, at this point in time, can only be answered by the individual viewer themselves or by authors who choose to tackle the problem.

The simple moment at the end where Sam's able to hug his father and wish him a merry Christmas, though fleeting, is one of the more satisfying emotional moments of the series. As someone who's lost a parent, I can pretty much guess how much that means to Sam to be able to share his love with his father again for that one fleeting instant.
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