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View Poll Results: Promised Land
Excellent 6 28.57%
Good 7 33.33%
Average 6 28.57%
Fair 2 9.52%
Poor 0 0%
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Old 02-18-2003, 03:11 PM   #1
alsplacebartender
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Default 510 Promised Land

Promised Land
December 22, 1971


Elk Ridge, Indiana


Back in his hometown of Elk Ridge, Indiana, Sam finds himself as one of three brothers who are robbing the town bank in order to pay off a loan. Sam must uncover the reason the bank lent money to these farmers who could not possibly pay it back, while trying to prevent the brothers from being killed when they try to escape.


Written by: Gillian Horvath and Tommy Thompson
Directed by: Scott Bakula


Rate and comment on this Christmas episode!
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:34 PM   #2
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I love this episode. Sam gets to save his own farm and see his father again.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:33 AM   #3
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Only an Average episode,in my opinion.I think Too many elements from "the Leap home: part 1" were also used in this episode and for some reason i really didn't like it. it's looked to my like Gillian Horvath and Tommy Thompson borrowed too many things from DPB script of "The leap home: part 1", instead of trying and be more Original and maybe do it even better.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:42 AM   #4
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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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Old 09-01-2007, 11:12 AM   #5
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One thing I'd like to say about this episode:

Dean Stockwell was sad that QL never got to do an environmental storyline. But they did, and this is it. These days, developers grabbing farmland (by fair means or foul) and paving it over is a major environmental issue. Loss of farmland changes water flows, causing floods (we're seeing a lot of that here in PA). Loss of wildlife habitat and open space. Increases in the number of people who live in distant suburbs and make long, wasteful commutes to work.

They didn't recognize this when they made the episode, as that kind of awareness wasn't mainstream yet. But I enjoy thinking of it that way.

As far as The Leap Home, there is a similar feel because it's set in the same place so it's another small-town tale, but the storyline is quite different.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:57 PM   #6
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I didn't mean to the storyliny,i ment to a few dialogue in this episode - like Sam telling Al,he don't want to leap out from there,because he's home,again. the all little brother-big brother issue and a few more. But in any case,even if i'll ignore those things completely,I can't say this episode is more,then Average.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoniz
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.
Yeah I agree completely because when he is standing at the road that leads to his farm, Al even gives him the option to go home:
"I wouldn't blame you if you went on" as in "Go ahead home no one is stopping you". Which I think he actually meant it a test, challenging him to make the right choice and Sam passed with flying colors. I think that says that he really learned a lot from The Leap Home.

Since I am in this scene, right before he decides not to go home, a truck pulls up and the driver asks him if he needs a lift to which Sam declines. They don't show who the guy was, and Sam never looked at him. So you don't know who it is, but for some strange reason I want to think the guy in the truck was John Beckett. Kind of sounded like him.

This episode is also one of three that references what Kristen and I found to support that Sam did not make it to his father's funeral. In one scene Neil is getting made at him(Willy) yelling at him that he had been too busy being big college man when his father needed him during his last days and accusing him of not caring. Eventually Sam starts going into tears and gets so upset that he socks Neil in the face telling him to never say that again. he had really appeared to take it personally; that he had forgotten that he was Willy and felt like Neil had been scolding Sam Beckett. I thought that was strong especially after he had mentioned in front of Al (after finding out what year he was in) that his father was just barely still alive. I thought that was a very strong moment and it made Sam embracing his father at the end so much more meaningful.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoniz
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.
I agree, I just lost my father two years ago. Coincidentally I was 18, three years younger than Sam when he lost his father and the same way too. I had gotten to say goodbye but I had not realized it was that kind of goodbye. No one did. So seeing Sam getting to wish his father one last Marry Christmas like that is really sweet and touching.


*****

Another thing I would like to mention, Kristen and I just love when Sam and Al are in Vernon's house; they find the papers and then they go to high five each other but then realize they can't.
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isz
I didn't mean to the storyliny,i ment to a few dialogue in this episode - like Sam telling Al,he don't want to leap out from there,because he's home,again. the all little brother-big brother issue and a few more. But in any case,even if i'll ignore those things completely,I can't say this episode is more,then Average.
The concept of "home" is not unique to any one episode in the series but is a prevailing theme throughout. Right from the saga sell ending with "Hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home" that concept is constantly being driven home.

At the end of "One Strobe Over the Line", Sam knows that Edie will be ok without Al telling him. His reason - she's going home.

Going home...being home is a driving force behind what Sam is doing. In two instances he ends up home - or at least what was home to him at one time in his life. It's only natural that in both of those instances he'd want to remain there. Not only is he home in comfortable surroundings, but the people he's lost in his life are also present. I've always felt that the deaths of Tom and John Beckett were driving forces behind Sam's creation of PQL so being at a point when they are both still alive, it's natural that he wouldn't want to leave - especially since he has no idea where he'll end up next.

The concept of brothers is also one that resonates throughout the series. Aside from seeing it with Sam and Tom it's also apparent in "Jimmy" where you have the brothers Jimmy and Frank Lamotta; in "Disco Inferno" with the brothers Chad and Chris Stone; "Heart of a Champion" with Ronny and Terry; "Nuclear Family" with Eddie and Mac; and "A Single Drop of Rain" with Ralph and Billy. The sibling relationship is also explored in the epsisodes "Kamikazi Kid" and "Runaway" where it's a brother/sister combination.

The concept of family, in general, is explored in a number of episodes. It doesn't mean that these episodes are "stealing" ideas and concepts from other episodes. It's more of a case of an underlying theme to the series that's explored in different ways. In all of the episodes dealing with family, Sam's basically experienced the concept from just about every front possible...grandparent, parent, child, older sibling, younger sibling, uncle.

Even in the relationship between Sam and Al, a familial connection exists. Though not brothers by birth, there's definiately a fraternal vibe between the two of them.

Home and family are two the main concepts explored throughout the series run of "Quantum Leap" and one of the things that makes it appealing - at least to me. I'd venture to say that it's treatment of both concepts - as well as many others - is what led to Scott and Dean winning a combined five (5) "Viewers For Quality Television" awards.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:05 AM   #9
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Yeah Julia is right, the whole point of Quantum Leap is that Sam is trying to get home. In The Leap Home Sam tells Al that he does not want to play basketball because as much as he loved it, he does not want to leap and Al reminds him that one of his leaps could be the one home to which Sam replies
"I am home"
Home is the goal in the series, so of course its going to be a repeating concept in various episodes.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:36 AM   #10
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O.K let me say it this way - One of my top problems in this episode(ignoreing,for a moment that i found the story itself no more then average) is the fact that in this episode, in some ways,Sam leaps into himself - not his body,but a person,who is, in some ways, has a similier personality and history as Sam's .who also came from Sam's hometown- Elk ridge,Indiana.
The viewer even hearing this fact,very clearly, during one of Sam's thoughts in this episode.
That why i wrote what i wrote about this episode,that seems to have Too many(or quite a few elements,if you'll prefer) from "the Leap home: part 1".
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
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.
You know, I never thought about that until now. All the post-MI fanfic pieces I've read assume they still do, but now I'm not so sure.

While I enjoy the fish-out-of-water aspect of QL, I do appreciate those times when Sam leaps into something familiar. It make it harder for him to do his job, really, because he starts relying on his instincts as to what he wants to happen, rather than what GTFW wants. In Promised Land, he gets too close to see the situation clearly, and that produces a different dramatic effect from episodes where he just has no idea what to do.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:17 PM   #12
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Wait - When did we hear,before this episode, that The Becketts lost their farm?! I don't remember anything like this during the show,'till this episode.The only thing i remember is that we heard John Beckett died in 1972(or 1973,i don't remember Exactly) during "The leap home: part 1.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:29 PM   #13
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No, previous to this leap it's not mentioned outright that the Becketts lost their farm. However, Sam comes from a point in time before the events of "The Leap Home pt. 2" where Tom's life was saved and before "Promised Land" where it's found out what Gus Vernon is doing. The life he remembers is his brother getting killed, his father losing the farm and then dying. Even though he's lived through those history changing leaps (and others), there's never any kind of evidence given that he remembers how they would have altered his life when he was growing up.

By the end of "Promised Land" no information is given that would answer the question of whether or not history changed from what Sam remembered...from the history he lived through. True, Al does say that the bank loans are looked over and foreclosures reversed but he never specifically states that one of those mortgages was on the Beckett farm. It could be that the farm had been lost through legitimate means.

It doesn't have to have been mentioned before this episode for the fact to remain that the Becketts did lose the farm or for the question to exist of whether or not that part of history was ever changed.

Personally, I prefer to believe that the combination of Tom surviving Vietnam and the shady dealings of the banker being brought to light had the cumulative effect that the Becketts didn't lose the farm. Of course, that's my opinion and my interpretation of what could have happened based on the facts that were presented. Someone else's opinion on that matter may greatly differ but that's what happens when you get into the speculative part of a story where not concrete facts are provided. We simply do not know, based on the facts presented, if there was any kind of alteration in what happened to the Beckett farm.

Interestingly, between script rewrites there was a change in what came first, the farm being lost and then John Beckett dying or the other way around. In the version filmed, Sam states that the farm was lost first:

Quote:
Al, my father worked our farm sixteen hours a day, seven days a week. It was his life and when...and when they took it away from him...well, it was wrong then and it's wrong now.
The script I have appears to be an earlier version. The piece of dialogue I quoted above was instead:

Quote:
My father worked our farm sixteen hours a day, seven days a week. He'll be in the field when he...when he has his heart attack. A month after we buried him, they were auctioning off our equipment. It was wrong then and it's wrong now.
When you really think about it, even the fate of John Beckett is open to speculation. Going by the excerpt from the script, John was in the field when he had his fatal heart attack. Sam's stating that from his memories...memories that don't include Tom coming home from Vietnam. With Tom around, it's likely that John might not have been in the fields by himself and that Tom could have been with him when the heart attack happened. Maybe he could have gotten his father to medical help in time to save him. Again, though, it's something that's never concretely answered and is left open to interpretation.
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoniz
Tom could have been with him when the heart attack happened. Maybe he could have gotten his father to medical help in time to save him. Again, though, it's something that's never concretely answered and is left open to interpretation.
Yeah I was also thinking with my BFF that Tom being saved also benifited Katie's fate because now she had Tom to show Chuck who's boss so she did not have to suffer as much or at all becuase he could have talked her out of running away with him. They have concepts in TV all the time where someone in the family has a feeling that there is something wrong with the byfriend and girlfriend and are usually right. Tom could have been uncomfortable with Chuck and talked Katie out of seeing him anymore and told Chuck to keep his damn paws off his sister. In one of the books it even states that Tom was pretty much Katie's favorite brother because he was the one to always come to her side when she was upset or hurt and hug her and make her feel better. I know its not canon but it makes sense since Sam was always busy with his own business. So that was a thought that occured to us. And I hope you are right about John Julia that would be good.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoniz
Going by the excerpt from the script, John was in the field when he had his fatal heart attack.
Maybe took that out because they thought it would confuse viewers to hear Sam talk about John Beckett's death when John is still alive in this episode, and Sam talks to him at the end. But changing it to "when they took it away from him" pretty much makes it canon that he was still alive when the farm was sold.

We also don't know what Tom did after he came home from Vietnam. He might not be eager to go back to doing farm work when he's had a position involving a lot of skill and responsibility in the military. He might stay in the navy, go to college, or go on to something else. Of course anyone can write that story any way they want. I just wanted to suggest a different alternative.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Snish
We also don't know what Tom did after he came home from Vietnam. He might not be eager to go back to doing farm work when he's had a position involving a lot of skill and responsibility in the military. He might stay in the navy, go to college, or go on to something else. Of course anyone can write that story any way they want. I just wanted to suggest a different alternative.
That's part of what I was getting at. There's pretty much no answers given to tell the viewer how these changes Sam has wrought in his hometown...his family...could have changed what happened with his family. There's a lot of room for speculation.

Technically, when Tom comes home from Vietnam he'd still be in the Navy. As a graduate of the US Naval Academy he'd be required to serve a minimum of five years after his commissioning (graduation). His time in Vietnam is approximately a year. I've seen it generally assumed that he shops out to 'Nam the same year he's graduated so, all together, that's just about two years. There'd still be three years left to Tom's commission.

Since 1933 when Congress authorized it, the USNA has awarded its graduated Bachelor of Science degrees. In 1969 it awarded it's first dedicated egineering degrees to that graduating class.

If Tom did choose more schooling while still in the Navy, he could have gone to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA which grans Master's degrees and some doctoral degrees to it students that are mainly active duty officers. He also could have chose to go to the Naval War College in Newport, RI which grants Masters of Arts.

Of course, if Tom chose to delay further schooling until he was out of the Navy, he would have been able to choose any civilian school to continue his post graduate work.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:20 PM   #17
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Ok why does it seem like my comments in this thread are all being ignored. The whole time I have been in this thread I have not been acknowledged once. I know that not everyone in the world has something to say in reponse to everyone but I have been replying to certian comments here and sharing and comparing ideas but about three times now I have been completely overlooked.

Sorry to shake things up I honestly mean no complaint but I am just feeling slightly hurt because I am here and trying to be a part of this conversation but I seem to be invisable.
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
Yeah I agree completely because when he is standing at the road that leads to his farm, Al even gives him the option to go home:
"I wouldn't blame you if you went on" as in "Go ahead home no one is stopping you". Which I think he actually meant it a test, challenging him to make the right choice and Sam passed with flying colors. I think that says that he really learned a lot from The Leap Home.
Unless it was Al's way of using reverse pshycology on Sam...
But in any case i think the reason Sam choosed not to go and visit his family was because the only thing his family would see is his host,not him...and i believe if he would go to his family farm - it could be more painful for him then it was in "TLH-P1"."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
Since I am in this scene, right before he decides not to go home, a truck pulls up and the driver asks him if he needs a lift to which Sam declines. They don't show who the guy was, and Sam never looked at him. So you don't know who it is, but for some strange reason I want to think the guy
in the truck was John Beckett. Kind of sounded like him.
If it was John Beckett,I can't see Sam refusing to his ride suggestion...
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isz
If it was John Beckett,I can't see Sam refusing to his ride suggestion...
Considering how drawn he was to his father when he saw him at the end, I have to agree with you.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isz
Unless it was Al's way of using reverse pshycology on Sam...
But in any case i think the reason Sam choosed not to go and visit his family was because the only thing his family would see is his host,not him...and i believe if he would go to his family farm - it could be more painful for him then it was in "TLH-P1"."
I think it was a little of both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by isz
If it was John Beckett,I can't see Sam refusing to his ride suggestion...
Yeah but like I said he didn't see who the driver was he was not paying attention. It probably was not him though.

btw - sorry about the vent above, my math class was cancelled due to the teacher being absent leaving me with an extra hour to waste before my history class. two an a half hours is a lot of time to waste and I got really bored. So I decided to go the library and check on the convo here.
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
Yeah but like I said he didn't see who the driver was he was not paying attention. It probably was not him though.
Even without looking at the driver, I think Sam would have known if the driver was his father or not just by the sound of his voice. If my father came up behind me and I didn't see him but he started to talk, I'd know it was him. More to the point I'd recognize my mother's voice and she's been gone 20 years. Some things you just don't forget and some things you can't resist. I can understand Sam not going on to the farm. What could he accomplish there when his family wouldn't recognize him for who he was. Like I said before, though, there's no way Sam would let his father (or any family member) go without somehow acknowledging them.
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:57 PM   #22
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I guess that makes sense, I see your point.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:57 PM   #23
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I'm glad Sam got another chance to visit his late father, but it seemed a bit hokey to me. No matter - it was touching.

I think that, in the current US financial situation, the subject of mortgages and loans that people can't pay back is very timely. Too bad more people can't salvage their farms with a letter of intent.

The whole bank holdup was a little flaky to me, but I guess it was to highlight how the oldest brother was a hothead who didn't plan ahead. Loved the Andy Griffith-style sherriff! "Let's all take it easy and have a piece of pie!" lol
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan View Post
Yeah I agree completely because when he is standing at the road that leads to his farm, Al even gives him the option to go home:
"I wouldn't blame you if you went on" as in "Go ahead home no one is stopping you". Which I think he actually meant it a test, challenging him to make the right choice and Sam passed with flying colors. I think that says that he really learned a lot from The Leap Home.
I don't really think Al was testing Sam. I think Al knew this might be Sam's only chance to see his family during this leap and left the decision with Sam and was truthfully telling him "No one would blame you" if he went to see them. He ended up making the right choice and got rewarded with seeing his dad before leaping.
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