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View Poll Results: M.I.A.
Excellent 64 94.12%
Good 3 4.41%
Average 1 1.47%
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Old 02-18-2003, 12:40 PM   #1
alsplacebartender
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Default 222 M.I.A.

M.I.A.
April 1, 1969


San Diego, California


As an undercover police officer, Sam is caught in a familiar scenario to Al when he must prevent an 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?


Written by: Donald P. Bellisario
Directed by: Michael Zinberg


Rate and comment on the second season finale!

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Old 03-06-2003, 01:19 AM   #2
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Man... that guy's heart was just BREAKING!!! :yikes
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Old 10-01-2003, 12:15 PM   #3
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Yes it was,I thought it was great episode,but after the leap out I thought of how Sam changed his own past so Donna would marry him.I always made me mad
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:44 PM   #4
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I just finished rewatching this episode, and I thought I'd come here to post my thoughts... this is a very moving episode, and both Dean and Scott have their true acting talents shine through. IIRC, Dean was nominated for an Emmy for this episode, but didn't get it... grrr... wish I could find out who did, and maybe Sam can leap into them and ruin their showing. <L>

Anyway, we get to see a piece of Al's past that is quite painful for him, and as we see in "Mirror Image", it's a guilt that Sam carries with him (unless he forgets) throughout the rest of the series.

This is a perfect season ender, which leaves one wanting to see more when season three started. (Err, can't get the tenses right there...) It's definitely one of the top five QL episodes, and I know it's a favourite to many Leapers.

... Mike. ^_^
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Old 10-21-2003, 03:01 PM   #5
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Excellent episode!!! This did make me a little mad though about how Sam changed history for him and Donna but passed up his chance to make things right with Al and Beth's marriage. That was a bad move on the writer's part. It was so unlike Sam. That's my opinion. We don't get to see Al's "sex drive" in this episode. We get to see a side of him that we never saw before this ep was aired for the first time.

~Steve(aka RossBeckett)
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:38 PM   #6
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This was an emotional episode. Definitely one of the best in the series and it was the perfect way to end the second season.
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:18 PM   #7
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yep i agree. this is my favourite episode. i agree that dean should have got that award for the episode, definatly turned my thoughts about Al around and made me pay more attention to him from then on.
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:18 PM   #8
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The most moving moment for me in the episode was when Al tried to hold onto Beth, but she just passed through him. Amazing.
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Old 11-20-2006, 04:00 PM   #9
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this episode still makes me cry everytime... i absolutely love it although i do agree about being mad that Sam can't change history for Al.
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:24 PM   #10
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Regarding a detail: I never saw this detail until I got the DVDs, due to quality and clarity of picture. But when Al's watching Beth smoking on the couch, teary eyed, he slowly takes a seat before her on the floor . . . and a tear drips down. Is it just me or is there something fundamentally earth shattering about watching Dean Stockwell cry?

Spoiler - Highlight to read

Now, granted this gets changed at the end of the last episode (curse that episode). Sam tells Beth that Al's alive and she waits, and they celebrate their 39th wedding aniversary with four daughters. No one else sees major problems with this idea? I know Bellisario said that Sam and Al were destined to meet and would have become partners no matter what timeline they were in. But Al being a married man and a father of four would seriously impact his character. That's thirty years that are totally, absurdly different.

For example - Al learned quite a lot from various women he's met in his life. Fi Fi Boom Boom LaRue was a stripper in New Orleans. Would Al have gone to see strippers in New Orleans while he was faithfully married to Beth? I'm sure there's more, but he simply wouldn't be the same. IMHO.
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Old 11-23-2006, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LunarCrystal
Regarding a detail: I never saw this detail until I got the DVDs, due to quality and clarity of picture. But when Al's watching Beth smoking on the couch, teary eyed, he slowly takes a seat before her on the floor . . . and a tear drips down. Is it just me or is there something fundamentally earth shattering about watching Dean Stockwell cry?
Nah, it's just you. I'm kidding. I had to go and look at this, and I don't think I've ever seen a tear fall from Dean's eye before.

About the spoiler--I agree with you. I feel like DPB pulled the rug out from under us. I can believe Al would still be part of PQL, but he would act quite differently than the Al we know and love. Sure I want him to be happy, but I don't want him to be a stranger either.

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Old 01-05-2007, 06:44 AM   #12
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fantastic episode, and yup i was in tears at the end, very moving
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:22 PM   #13
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In my opinion, had the series continued on the ending note.....Al could have awakened the next AM to hear the sounds of a woman in the shower. Being Al, he would not be sure who he had taken home with him. Then he would notice the surroundings were a house rather than his apartment at the complex. Beth would come out of the bathroom in her robe, kiss Al and tell him she was going to fix breakfast. Al would know that Sam had changed the past, however Al would have the memory of all that had happened since he came home from Viet Nam the first time. So, he would still work at PQL. He would also have a vague memory of the girls births and growing up years. A bit like both timelines were in his memory. Only he and Sam would know different. Al would know that he could never tell Beth of the alternate timeline.
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBeckett
In my opinion, had the series continued on the ending note.....Al could have awakened the next AM to hear the sounds of a woman in the shower. Being Al, he would not be sure who he had taken home with him. Then he would notice the surroundings were a house rather than his apartment at the complex. Beth would come out of the bathroom in her robe, kiss Al and tell him she was going to fix breakfast. Al would know that Sam had changed the past, however Al would have the memory of all that had happened since he came home from Viet Nam the first time. So, he would still work at PQL. He would also have a vague memory of the girls births and growing up years. A bit like both timelines were in his memory. Only he and Sam would know different. Al would know that he could never tell Beth of the alternate timeline.
that's just what i'd have liked to see, exept i could imagine it being more like; "honey, i just had the strangest dream that you weren't there when i got back from vietnam and that i had a whole bunch of failed marriages!"

...exept that's just so cheesy...

- tess
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:18 PM   #15
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This episode is my all time favorite. I was sick and half crazed with the flu when I first saw it, but by the end, I was sobbing and yelling at Sam so much I sent myself into a coughing fit.

This episode still makes me cry every time I see it. Dean's acting in the episode is amazing.

I don't totally get the whole Skaggs/setup/baby thing, but it doesn't bother me because it's not the focus.
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:38 PM   #16
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Reading all these makes me want to go and watch it again. It been a while and there are parts I don't remember. So I am off to see M.I.A. I will be back to tell me thoughts. I will be on the look out for Al's tear/crying. I don't remember him doing that.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:13 AM   #17
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I absolutely love this episode. I watched it not too long ago. Very sad. It also makes me a little annoyed that Sam got to see his family and change the way his brother goes in Vietnam. It's selfish. Still a great episode.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:37 AM   #18
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You really think differently about Al after this episode.

Why it just about made me a little Al obsessed :O
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:19 PM   #19
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Yeah, another of the best episodes of the entire series. What really bugged me was how Sam did not save Al's marriage. I know this was early on and he was not doing two goods rather than just the one, but this was his companion and best friend. Hard to forgive Sam for that!
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:16 AM   #20
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Well I did it! What can I say...this is a great episode! Like all the others I wish that Sam would have helped Al. At least we know that Al get's his later in IM. I have to ask why Sam thought of the "rules" when it was Al's life but when it was Sam's he didn't care about the "rules"... sounds like a bummer deal. A nothing how would Sam know where his partner was if Al haddn't put it though Ziggy yet. Sam still saved the day. I had forgotten how sweet Al's wife looked. I love her smile! Oh and I got to see Al trear up, I had forgotten how Dean really did well in this one. He kinda of took the show at the end at least.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:18 AM   #21
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Dean did take the show and ran with it.

I remember watching it and being really confused at the first part thinking that Dean was overracting a bit, but when it all comes together, it was nothing short of beautiful.
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Old 01-09-2007, 12:35 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newleaper
Dean did take the show and ran with it.

I remember watching it and being really confused at the first part thinking that Dean was overracting a bit, but when it all comes together, it was nothing short of beautiful.
I had that thought last night when I watched agian. It had been so long that I had forgotten a lot of it. I had this feeling like Sam Should have noticed how Al was reacting. That in other leaps Sam has always had to put right somthing that was in the close family or friends life. But this time it was so out of the way and even the way Beth reacted to Sam. In a way Sam knew "somthing" wasn't right. He had that "feeling" that things weren't right. But, I still feel that Al should have gotten his "chance".
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:58 PM   #23
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I didn't know the whole Al/Beth backstory the first time I got in on the series, so this was a real eye-opener for me catching it on DVD for the first time.

Lots of criticism of Sam's behavior on this thread, but he seemed to me to be in a no-win situation. I understand perfectly Al's desire to save his marriage, but I had the sense that he was hijacking Sam's mission (saving his police partner) to serve his own agenda. To God (or however you define the Unknown Force), that's a no-no.

Sam likewise failed to save his brother when he tried to do it himself after Al had told him that was not why he was back on the farm. He had to get the UF's permission before he could be put in a position to save Tom. I don't remember the exact circumstances of his setting himself up with Donna, but I don't think he lost sight of his mission in the process.
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:30 PM   #24
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I think Sam got a little emotional when he realised the husband that was MIA was Al.

I can't believe what Sam said "Al! If you close that door don't ever open it again!" Then Al is stuck in conflict. Anger...then into sorrow and dispair as he step back through the door.

That bit broke me and I started to cry.

But the end sealed it when Beth wispears "Al..."

I was glad when I watched this episode. Because it helped fill in some of the gaps from "Mirror Image" because I didn't know who Beth was until then. I heard her name 2 in season 5. But I didn't have a clue. I started to watch QL during season 3 "glitter rock".
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:29 PM   #25
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This is the only episode on U.S. DVD that the music replacement was truly mutilating. The last, wonderful Dean Stockwell scene, when Al is dancing with Beth, is darn near unwatchable because of it.
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