305 The Boogiem*n

The Boogiem*n

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So was it all a dream? This episode doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If it was a dream, then he only told Stevie about the flying knives, which is a scene from Carrie. But that scene only happens in the movie and not in the novel.
Last night I watched some episodes of Quantum Leap on Hulu for the first time in a while and this was the last one I got in before going to sleep.

I'd like to explore the skull decoration shooting across the room and Mary's subsequent seizure, the turning point at which the episode abruptly gear switched from biblical subtext to more or less pseudoscience.

It bothers me how serious Sam is in his assessment.
"Psychokinesis is very real Al".

This coming from the renowned scientist who wasn't convinced that a police consultant had psychic abilities until it made an inarguable manifestation as an unprecedented use of his real name.

Correction: It's a very real stretch. Psychokinesis isn't proven to exist and albiet there is scientific theory connecting it to specifically temporal lobe epilepsy nonetheless, it's incredibly reaching according to this excerpt titled: Psychokenisis and Neurobiology from a book called Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums and Other Extraordinary People by Stanley Krippner and Harris L. Freedman.

Actually, my research indicates that epilepsy/seizures is most commonly connected to precognitive dreams.
For example, on a particular forum, a woman claims that her epileptic daughter who suffers from petite mal seizures knew of her little brother by name before he was even conceived.

My hypothesis is that either:
1. Sam was so traumatized that he needed to grasp onto the one explanation behind an occurrence presented throughout the entire leap even if it was complete and utter nonsense.
2. The Devil planted that explanation into Sam's mind to distract the time traveler from his most prominent act.

I believe it was the Devil who manipulated the skull and caused the seizure.
It's perfectly complementary to his simultaneous exclamations of:
"She's possessed" and "She's a witch".

Possession and witchcraft were even associated in the Salem accusations.
Abigail Williams and her cohorts started the witch trials when all were seen having "fits" that were deemed non-medical.

In November of 1694, Abigail Williams' uncle, Reveran Samuel Parris wrote an essay titled 'Meditations for Peace' in which he states that not only does the devil afflict by means of the innocent but can also dilute “the senses of the afflicted that they strongly conceive their hurt is from such persons, when indeed it is not.”
This was an admission that basing an entire case on the accusations of one (there were multiple girls behind the accusations but Abigail being the initial afflicted was the only one put on the stand as a witness) was probably rash.

Source: Abigail Williams: The Mysterious Afflicted Girl

Throughout the entire episode, even before the revelation, the Devil's attempt to paint Mary as the killer is strongly present to the extent of being too obvious.
In the climax, Sam even reveals that he noticed more abnormalties with "Al" than he let on.

I'm guessing that he got desperate at this point because he wasn't convincing Sam and he clearly didn't get to know thy enemy if he thought psychokinesis and "A fit" this would do it.
The one thing he ever managed to convince Sam of is that Mary was in danger which was, in fact, the actual case. He just didn't imagine that the Devil himself was the danger.

If both men hadn't been so disoriented at the revelation, I'd have liked Sam to comment on Al's accusation towards the Devil for Beth and Dirk.

"Who gave you the right to go bungling around in time putting right what I made wrong!?"
"Does that include Beth?"

I imagine him calling that one of his greatest masterpieces. Oh well.

On another note, at last, I understand the H.P Lovecraft reference. It took another reference in another series, I believe it was Supernatural, for it to become clear.
He was a horror, fantasy and science fiction novelist.

It's incredible the amount of religious research has been put into making this episode, thanks for bringing it to my attention SBF :) would it be ok if I quote you when we do the podcast for this episode?

****, it's too late to answer, yes absolutely isn't it?

So was it all a dream? This episode doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If it was a dream, then he only told Stevie about the flying knives, which is a scene from Carrie. But that scene only happens in the movie and not in the novel.

It's heavily implied to have not been a dream but that at the end God reversed time and the damage done.
Though I expect that had this experience been discussed later, Sam would have written it off as a dream.
Chris Ruppenthal actually confirmed in his interview with the Quantum Leap Podcast that the events in the episode actually happened. That is a primary source.
Well, well, well. What can I say about The Boogiem*n...other than to say that it is a stone cold classic. Even people who don't seem to know much about the show always seem to have heard something about this Halloween episode. A definite top 10 episode for me for so many reasons.

First of all, I've always loved the religious aspect behind the show. The whole concept of GTFW guiding Sam through time is basically what gave the show life. If the whole time travelling shtick had just been a complete mistake and everything that happened did so at random...it wouldn't have given Sam or the viewers any sense of purpose. So if it's established that God exists...then it's no stretch of the imagination to believe that the Devil exists also. The whole standoff at the end of the episode is one of the best scenes in the entire series. Not only is the scary level off the charts but it also sets up another future storyline concerning some rather...shall we say mischievous leapers. Haha. I know the evil leaper storyline wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but I always liked the idea and believe it was the Devil's attempt at thwarting Sam once again.

The whole feel of the episode is just so deliciously off. We don't get even a moments rest right from the get go. It's just one thing after another, and makes it seem like the leap from hell (pun definitely intended). It's only towards the very end that the pieces seem to fall into place, and create a disturbing picture.

The finale and episode as a whole would not work without Dean Stockwell's magnificent performance here. Right from the start you can just sense that something is off with him. It's done subtly enough so that if you're watching it for the first time you probably wouldn't guess, but re-watching it the clues are all there. From the way he cocks his head to the tempo of his voice, Dean does a great job as Devil Al. And sure, the acting towards the end is hammy, but it had to be that way. He's playing the Devil for crying out loud!

I'm glad that Chris Ruppenthal has confirmed that the events of the episode did take place. I mean, it was already hinted that GTFW reset the leap but it's good to have it confirmed.

My rating. Excellent. A really spooky, classic episode.