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Excellent 10 40.00%
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Old 02-18-2003, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default 515 Return <AKA Evil Leaper II>

Return of the Evil Leaper
October 8, 1956


Eastern State University


On a college campus dressed as a do-gooder calling himself the "Midnight Marauder," Sam again meets Alia, a time-traveler who sets wrong what once was right. Alia lets on that she feels trapped into her evil-doings by her own observer, Zo?, and the computer that controls her project, Lothos. Sam and the female leaper construct a plan to help Alia escape her evil controllers. But will she leap with Sam...or will Sam leap with Alia?


Written by: Richard C. Okie
Directed by: Harvey Laidman


Rate and comment on the second chapter of the "Evil Leaper" saga!
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:41 PM   #2
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I love this episode. You find out that the evil leaper isn't evil, but she's being leaped around by an evil force.
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vince Beckett
I love this episode. You find out that the evil leaper isn't evil, but she's being leaped around by an evil force.
agreed vince, i also loved this episode it had a great story and it showed how much Sam cared about Alia and and believed in her. i also loved Al's moments with Arnald in the waiting room when they talk about his parents, very touching.
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Old 02-05-2006, 02:53 PM   #4
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There was always something that bothered me about the Evil Leaper episode. They were good, don't get me wrong, but it just had the feeling that they were stretching for ratings and that makes me sad. They were real good eps tho...i'm more fond of the first one re-visiting Jimmy.

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Old 02-06-2006, 04:55 PM   #5
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I believe it was indeed about the ratings during that final season.

Basically, Warren Littlefield took over as President of NBC that year (before him was the late Brandon Tartikoff, who died a few years later). Anyway, when Brandon Tartikoff was in charge, he believed in the show and kept it on the schedule. In fact, there's an interview with Don Bellisario somewhere where he talks about when he first pitched the idea for Quantum Leap to Mr. Tartikoff. And Tartikoff basically told him something to the effect of, "You know, if this idea had come from anyone else, I would have dismissed the idea and sent you on your way; but because it's coming from you, I'm gonna give the show a shot." Sure enough, it found its audience, and although it kept getting moved around, the fans wrote letters for NBC to keep the show going. So, it eventually moved back to Wednesday nights at 10PM EST, which is where the show got the most ratings (that time slot now is taken up by the original Law & Order).

Then, after the 1991/92 season ended, Brandon Tartikoff left and Warren Littlefield took over. That's basically when everything started going downhill. He began putting pressure on the producers to start doing more "ambitious" stories in order to get higher ratings. (It also didn't help that NBC decided to move Quantum Leap to Tuesday nights at 8PM EST that year.) I think that's why the series began drifting away from the God, Time, Fate aspect of the show and delved into more science fiction elements. The "Evil Leaper" saga was conceived by Robin Jill Bernheim, who was hired on as an executive producer that year. To my recollection, Don himself was not too crazy about the idea of giving Sam a nemesis, but it was basically an edict handed down from Littlefield. That's also why Sam began leaping into historical figures and celebrities that season (something that Bellisario was strongly against).

Incidentally, Littlefield has since gone on record saying that he holds himself personally responsible for Quantum Leap's demise. Just figured I'd give a little "history lesson" on all of that. I, personally, think the "Evil Leaper" saga was a great idea, and I would have loved to see where it was headed after the "Return/Revenge" 2-hour movie. Oh well... that's what the Virtual Seasons are for...

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Old 02-06-2006, 05:05 PM   #6
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Yeah, Littlefield pretty much killed the show. He apologized to Don and everyone on the sciography special, tho it didnt seem real thoughtful and stuff. Sounds like he was saying it to get ppl off his back.

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Old 01-08-2007, 07:27 PM   #7
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Wow, that sheds some real light D-man!
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:14 PM   #8
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The best part of the "Evil Leaper" trilogy,in my opinion - Good story,good script,good acting etc. I liked this episode a lot.It had its problems,but in the bottom line it was a well done episode. Probably one of the best episodes of the Fifth season.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:05 PM   #9
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I'm not a fan of the Evil Leaper episodes in general. To me, they are where QL threatens to become a comic book. But of the three, I like this one best. The story of the guy who tries to be a superhero is touching. Plus we get to see Al in the Waiting Room, always a bonus.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:06 PM   #10
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I always thought the Evil Leaper episodes were just a ratings ploy, as were the famous celebrity leaps. Glad to know I was right. Enough time has passed that these feel like they're brand new episodes. I guess I can forgive the culprits who did in QL. I'm still ticked at the demise of Kyle XY and the shaky ground that Chuck and Eureka are standing on these days. Boo, hiss for the network execs that can't recognize good TV shows, instead trying to turn them into something *sensational* that causes them to be cancelled. There should be an intervention group for that. Okay, enough ranting. *soapbox away*

Awww, the Midnight Marauder was a troubled child with post-traumatic shock disorder as a young adult. That's really sad, esp. the story of how his parents died. Arnold really meant well, even if he was on a self-destruct mission. That's better than his being a loser who hurt others. I loved the waiting room scenes with Al, the kid was so intense and Al was so kind yet firm. Very nicely done.

I think that MOST of what Arnold put right could have been solved by dropping a dime to the cops rather than running around in a costume. Then again, then we wouldn't have the "death wish" psychoanalysis, so I guess it was needed.

I like the way that Sam "redeems" Alia from her mindset of "must do evil to get back home." If you were Alia and could hang onto the coed persona, wouldn't you endure Zoe's nagging rather than face another leap? It's obvious that Lothos isn't going to keep 'his' promise to send her home anyway.

I also think that Alia's statement that her return from the last encounter was "worse than death" was a little too vague for my taste. How the **** did Sam come up with the Tandem Leaping theory when he can't even remember Donna? Sheesh...

The highlight of this episode for both my kids and I was the ending Leap. We watched on the edge of our seats and CHEERED when the blue-white light appeared because we knew they had been lept by the good side.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by NYCSciFiFan View Post
How the **** did Sam come up with the Tandem Leaping theory when he can't even remember Donna? Sheesh...
Logic and Memory are two very different things...
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:23 AM   #12
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I'm not really a fan of the Evil Leaper trilogy but there were specific things I liked about the first two episodes in the trilogy. In this one I loved the scenes that took place in the waiting room between Al and Arnold. Both had a traumatic childhood in different ways, both lost their family at a very young age. Al could really relate to Arnold and so he was the perfect person to talk to him (aside from Dr. Beeks). I also loved dorky Sam in the Midnight Marauder costume and how he acted because of the mind merge with Arnold.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:22 AM   #13
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Does anyone else think they shouldn't have done the "Evil Leaper 1" recap just after the theme song? It basically ruined any surprise of Alia leaping in. If they really wanted to do a recap, why couldn't they have done that when Alia leapt in? Or even when she and Zoe were talking in Dawn's room about how Lothos was "not pleased with her prior performance concerning Dr Beckett"?
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:50 PM   #14
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It is my belief that the eight year old comment by Samantha Beckett that this final season was primary ratings based is spot on. It is a fact that due to it's time slot being moved it had come to rival the sitcom Full House and was losing.
Hence why so many rules were broken and though I like them I shan't deny that more than any the Evil Leapers episodes were indeed the major ratings ploy this season. It was even unpopular amongst those on set which makes me feel kind of badly for Renee Coleman who did an amazing job in the role. Dean was actually quoted in 'Another Time, Another Place' saying he thought it was stupid. But I digress.

While the first episode was a powerful display of Alia's conflicting character this episode gave focus to Sam's response to the character. It put on the truest display of his own character which we have all already grown so familiar with as he does what could probably be termed righting the ultimate wrong. Or one of two of them since I'd say his final on screen act, repairing Al's marriage in Mirror Image counts as well. This episode I'd say was the true launch of the central focus of the Evil Leapers storyline.

The slight insight we get into the workings of the Evil Project are interesting. My favorite element there is how they obviously somehow managed to correct most of PQL's flaws. Though some points seemed inconsistent with the first episode such as how Alia's leaping works. In Deliver Us... Zoey tells her that pulling the trigger on Sam could be "The one that gets you home" while in this episode it is made clear that they control her leaping.
"Lothos, pull Alia out now!"
This however is debatable.
For example, it's come to my consideration that perhaps the Evil project is her prison and thus 'going home' means that Lothos or in my personal head canon the devil would set her free rather than that she'd leap home as it is defined for Sam.
"The random event theory" was also a conflicting element. This supposedly prevented the all knowing Lothos from being able to predetermine Sam's presence when they sent Alia but when Sam unknowingly gives himself away to them by addressing Al, Zoey consults her handlink for confirmation. What factor in this point in the leap was a loophole in the "The random event theory"?
I accept however that the Evil Leapers weren't intended to be enough of a focus for these details to really matter. They in fact don't in regards to PQL either to Bellisario.

Moving on, I really enjoyed the Arnold character, I found him to be very well written. Beneath the immature comic book exterior was a lot of depth and Al's interactions with him were very well done. One of my favorite aspects of this character is how he's relatable to both the leads and the scenes between him and Al were just brilliant. Dean nailed the facial expressions. When Arnold weeps that he should have died as well the night his parents were killed you can see Trudy surfacing in Al's eyes, feel it even.
It is my belief that Arnold needed to be the leapee for two reasons; to keep him safe from the Evil Leapers and because Al was better capable of counseling him. Very intelligent logic if this is so.

Another thing I loved about this episode was the snappy score.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie
Does anyone else think they shouldn't have done the "Evil Leaper 1" recap just after the theme song? It basically ruined any surprise of Alia leaping in. If they really wanted to do a recap, why couldn't they have done that when Alia leapt in? Or even when she and Zoe were talking in Dawn's room about how Lothos was "not pleased with her prior performance concerning Dr Beckett"?
I can't imagine how this could have worked since Alia's arrival occurred about a quarter of the way through the episode, so an awkward moment to stick in a recap. In addition the episode is titled Return of the Evil Leaper which is an obvious display that they had not had a surprise in mind.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:54 PM   #15
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Quote: Though some points seemed inconsistent with the first episode such as how Alia's leaping works. In Deliver Us... Zoey tells her that pulling the trigger on Sam could be "The one that gets you home" while in this episode it is made clear that they control her leaping.
"Lothos, pull Alia out now!"
This however is debatable.

Indeed. I would debate that there is an essential difference between 'pull Alia out' and 'get you home'. They could have the power to force a leap out, without the control to return the leaper to the point of origin. They could simply be bouncing her on direct to a new assignment, or even just into a new body in the same leap, such as happened with Sam in Double Identity when he switched from Frankie to the Don.
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Old 06-12-2014, 01:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan View Post
The slight insight we get into the workings of the Evil Project are interesting. My favorite element there is how they obviously somehow managed to correct most of PQL's flaws. Though some points seemed inconsistent with the first episode such as how Alia's leaping works. In Deliver Us... Zoey tells her that pulling the trigger on Sam could be "The one that gets you home" while in this episode it is made clear that they control her leaping.
"Lothos, pull Alia out now!"
This however is debatable.
For example, it's come to my consideration that perhaps the Evil project is her prison and thus 'going home' means that Lothos or in my personal head canon the devil would set her free rather than that she'd leap home as it is defined for Sam.
Quote:
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Indeed. I would debate that there is an essential difference between 'pull Alia out' and 'get you home'. They could have the power to force a leap out, without the control to return the leaper to the point of origin. They could simply be bouncing her on direct to a new assignment, or even just into a new body in the same leap, such as happened with Sam in Double Identity when he switched from Frankie to the Don.
This is the impression I got as well. In fact, in the next episode they give even more information - that Zoe has a 48 hour window after her first leap to get home, but after that, after every leap, there is a less chance of being able to be retrieved.

My take is that Alia didn't complete her first mission in time, or simply wasn't told about it, and so she became lost in time like Sam was. I agree with leaper1 though, their project has the capability of forcing their leaper to leap. But they don't have full control over being able to retrieve them. This is the case with Alia. When Zoe tells Lothos to leap her out, she's just trying to get Alia away from Sam. She's not trying to bring Alia home.

Quote:
"The random event theory" was also a conflicting element. This supposedly prevented the all knowing Lothos from being able to predetermine Sam's presence when they sent Alia but when Sam unknowingly gives himself away to them by addressing Al, Zoey consults her handlink for confirmation. What factor in this point in the leap was a loophole in the "The random event theory"?
I accept however that the Evil Leapers weren't intended to be enough of a focus for these details to really matter. They in fact don't in regards to PQL either to Bellisario.
I have to disagree with you here SBF. Lothos sent Alia there for one reason, to ensure Arnold dies. I expect that after Sam saved him the first time, Arnold went on to save more lives and Lothos (or the devil) didn't want this. However, Lothos had no way of knowing that Sam was there at the time. As it is explained, when Zoe and Alia figure out that Arnold is actually Sam, Alia thinks Lothos put them up against each other on purpose again, but Zoe tells her this isn't the case. It was just a fantastic stroke of luck that the mission Lothos wanted Alia to do happened to coincide with Sam being there.

I do get what you're saying, you would think that with a good leaper out there doing the exact opposite of what Lothos wanted, Lothos might scan for his presence before sending his leaper. But with the chance of Sam being there slim to none, he probably thought that this was negligible. It's the difference between knowledge and wisdom and the fact that Lothos is just, after all, a computer...

Quote:
Moving on, I really enjoyed the Arnold character, I found him to be very well written. Beneath the immature comic book exterior was a lot of depth and Al's interactions with him were very well done. One of my favorite aspects of this character is how he's relatable to both the leads and the scenes between him and Al were just brilliant. Dean nailed the facial expressions. When Arnold weeps that he should have died as well the night his parents were killed you can see Trudy surfacing in Al's eyes, feel it even.
It is my belief that Arnold needed to be the leapee for two reasons; to keep him safe from the Evil Leapers and because Al was better capable of counseling him. Very intelligent logic if this is so.
Yes, even though Season 5 had a lot of negative points, one thing I really liked was how much more involved the project was. I liked the fact that in LHO, the purpose of the leap was to solve the conspiracy (not necessarily to change it), and so that meant interrogation of Oswald in the waiting room was necessary and also to observe his life and the assassination. I liked the fact that the Dr Ruth leap had happened so that Al could receive counselling in the future. And I liked the fact that part of this leap had the purpose of counselling Arnold. The only thing I would have changed with the Waiting Room scenes in this episode would be to have Dr Beeks there as well - after all, she was the psychiatrist, not Al. But I also think that Al needed to be there, as Arnold trusted him...

Quote:
I can't imagine how this could have worked since Alia's arrival occurred about a quarter of the way through the episode, so an awkward moment to stick in a recap. In addition the episode is titled Return of the Evil Leaper which is an obvious display that they had not had a surprise in mind.
It wasn't really a quarter of the way in, it was only a few minutes after the theme song. And there's no reason they couldn't have just used the title "Return", that wouldn't have spoiled anything
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Old 06-15-2014, 04:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by leaper1 View Post
Quote: Though some points seemed inconsistent with the first episode such as how Alia's leaping works. In Deliver Us... Zoey tells her that pulling the trigger on Sam could be "The one that gets you home" while in this episode it is made clear that they control her leaping.
"Lothos, pull Alia out now!"
This however is debatable.

Indeed. I would debate that there is an essential difference between 'pull Alia out' and 'get you home'. They could have the power to force a leap out, without the control to return the leaper to the point of origin. They could simply be bouncing her on direct to a new assignment, or even just into a new body in the same leap, such as happened with Sam in Double Identity when he switched from Frankie to the Don.
That's essentially what I'd went on to consider after acknowledging that the point was debatable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
For example, it's come to my consideration that perhaps the Evil project is her prison and thus 'going home' means that Lothos or in my personal head canon the devil would set her free rather than that she'd leap home as it is defined for Sam.
On a side, unrelated note it's great to see you again Helen.

This however is also an interesting take:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie
My take is that Alia didn't complete her first mission in time, or simply wasn't told about it, and so she became lost in time like Sam was.
However it is contradicted by the fact that they can pull her out of a leap and back to their project.

The fact that she was tortured after failing to pull the trigger on Sam in Deliver Us... does quite suggests that she's a prisoner of her project. Ironic however that we learn in Revenge that their leaper wasn't supposed to be Alia but Zoey who'd suggested her instead to repay a favor. Something I wish they'd elaborated on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie
I do get what you're saying, you would think that with a good leaper out there doing the exact opposite of what Lothos wanted, Lothos might scan for his presence before sending his leaper. But with the chance of Sam being there slim to none, he probably thought that this was negligible. It's the difference between knowledge and wisdom and the fact that Lothos is just, after all, a computer...
I see what you're saying, Lothos could have detected Sam but didn't check since there is no likely hood of him once again appearing in one of Alia's leaps. That makes sense.
Interestingly though when Zoey says that it's "a fantastic stroke of luck" she also then suggests "Or perhaps a test to see if you've improved". I suppose that could have just been her being a b**** and messing with Alia's head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightning McQueenie
Yes, even though Season 5 had a lot of negative points, one thing I really liked was how much more involved the project was. I liked the fact that in LHO, the purpose of the leap was to solve the conspiracy (not necessarily to change it), and so that meant interrogation of Oswald in the waiting room was necessary and also to observe his life and the assassination. I liked the fact that the Dr Ruth leap had happened so that Al could receive counselling in the future. And I liked the fact that part of this leap had the purpose of counselling Arnold. The only thing I would have changed with the Waiting Room scenes in this episode would be to have Dr Beeks there as well - after all, she was the psychiatrist, not Al. But I also think that Al needed to be there, as Arnold trusted him...
Agreed one of the finer points of the fifth season is getting some scenes at the project. Something I would have liked to see in some earlier episodes where it would have been significant such as The Leap Home and Shock Theater. Particularly in Shock Theater I believe projects scenes would have been powerful.
Then they used the scenes at the project for very interesting twists such as the Dr. Ruth thing as you mentioned.

I'm with you on including Beeks in on the sessions with Arnold especially since she was the basis of their getting to the core of Arnold's issues:
"Dr. Beeks says we should talk about your parents."
Bestie and I are quite disappointed that in both her short cameos on the show she doesn't have a single line. Which causes that fact that she'd actually had a line cut from The Leap Back to be even more unsettling.
Honestly I would have liked to see more of her in many areas of the show.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:31 AM   #18
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On a side, unrelated note it's great to see you again Helen.
I agree, I missed you Helen

Quote:
This however is also an interesting take:

However it is contradicted by the fact that they can pull her out of a leap and back to their project.
Correction: They can pull ZOE out of a leap and back to the project, because she's within the 48 hour window. Alia is not...

Quote:
The fact that she was tortured after failing to pull the trigger on Sam in Deliver Us... does quite suggests that she's a prisoner of her project. Ironic however that we learn in Revenge that their leaper wasn't supposed to be Alia but Zoey who'd suggested her instead to repay a favor. Something I wish they'd elaborated on.
I addressed this in my "Interesting Observations" thread - Alia doesn't have to be returned to the project to be tortured. She could be leapt to a situation where her host was being tortured - as a hostage of terrorists, for example. It's the only explanation which doesn't have any contradictions...

I do agree though, I would too have loved some more backstory to their project

Quote:
I see what you're saying, Lothos could have detected Sam but didn't check since there is no likely hood of him once again appearing in one of Alia's leaps. That makes sense.
Interestingly though when Zoey says that it's "a fantastic stroke of luck" she also then suggests "Or perhaps a test to see if you've improved". I suppose that could have just been her being a b**** and messing with Alia's head?
Yes, I agree that Zoe was simply being a cow then...

Quote:
Agreed one of the finer points of the fifth season is getting some scenes at the project. Something I would have liked to see in some earlier episodes where it would have been significant such as The Leap Home and Shock Theater. Particularly in Shock Theater I believe projects scenes would have been powerful.
Then they used the scenes at the project for very interesting twists such as the Dr. Ruth thing as you mentioned.

I'm with you on including Beeks in on the sessions with Arnold especially since she was the basis of their getting to the core of Arnold's issues:
"Dr. Beeks says we should talk about your parents."
Bestie and I are quite disappointed that in both her short cameos on the show she doesn't have a single line. Which causes that fact that she'd actually had a line cut from The Leap Back to be even more unsettling.
Honestly I would have liked to see more of her in many areas of the show.
I guess it's just cheaper to not hire another guest star to take on the recurring role
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Correction: They can pull ZOE out of a leap and back to the project, because she's within the 48 hour window. Alia is not...
You speculate that Alia is not but there is no evidence to suggest it. Zoey shouting for Lothos to pull her out means that they can regardless of where she would have went(back to their project, some remote location where she was being held prisoner, another leap etc).
Really this concept is open for just about any interpretation.

Interesting take on Alia's torture, that they'd done it via sending her to an appropriate leap but her face when she'd revealed that Sam says it was more personal than that.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
On a side, unrelated note it's great to see you again Helen.
Lightning McQueenie
I agree, I missed you Helen

Well gosh gee guys thanks
I miss you folks too.

Between real life, writing, and pitching to literary agents, I don't get to hang out on t'internet much these days. I still try to dip in to my fave sites from time to time, even if I don't get round to contributing.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:48 PM   #21
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I like this episode but I have to wonder why did Sam leap into Arnold if he needed help. If Alia hadn't leap, what was Sam supposed to be doing until Al cured Arnold of his death wish. Would Arnold even remember his therapy session with Al when he returned?
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:00 AM   #22
Lightning McQueenie
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I like this episode but I have to wonder why did Sam leap into Arnold if he needed help. If Alia hadn't leap, what was Sam supposed to be doing until Al cured Arnold of his death wish. Would Arnold even remember his therapy session with Al when he returned?
That's a good point - I expect it's a bit like the "Dr Ruth" leap, where Ziggy could have come up with some possible scenarios, but ultimately finding out later that Arnold needed to be in the future to get counselling. Most likely Sam would just have had to chill out - maybe do Arnold's uni work to prevent him from falling behind...

And yes, I believe that Arnold would remember the therapy - GTFW wouldn't allow him to be cured only to forget it. What a pointless leap that would be...
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:43 PM   #23
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So Zoe finds out Sam and Alia plan to leap together... Oh oh what will she do with this information ???....act like she doesn't know and then try pull Alia out when it's too late.. Weird
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:18 AM   #24
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So Zoe finds out Sam and Alia plan to leap together... Oh oh what will she do with this information ???....act like she doesn't know and then try pull Alia out when it's too late.. Weird
Maybe she thought Alia was actually trying to double-cross Sam, or else pull Sam with her...
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