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alsplacebartender 02-18-2003 12:36 PM

218 Pool Hall Blues
 
Pool Hall Blues
September 4, 1954


Chicago, Illinois


Sam has leaped into Charlie "Black Magic" Walters, one of the greatest pool players of all time! Magic also happened to be Al's mentor when Al was young and we get to hear a bit more about Al's family history. Sam is there to help Magic's daughter buy back the marker for her club from a loan shark.


Written by: Randy Holland
Directed by: Joe Napolitano


Rate and comment on this episode!

RossBeckett 10-19-2003 07:59 PM

Average Quantum Leap episode. My favorite scene was with the handlink assisting Sam at pool. There's a really good moral lesson to be learned too and that's to never depend too much on outer help. Sometimes the assisting that you need comes from within you. Like Sam, in the episode, ended up winning against that loan sharking nozzle.

~Steve(aka RossBeckett):D

"And that's all I'm gonna say before this really starts to sound like high school."-Catherine Bell from 10/17/03 episode of JAG :lol

Vince Beckett 10-05-2005 10:33 PM

Excellent. Kind of ironic how Sam leaps into Magic and needs Al's help, and Al learned from Magic how to play pool.

Mr.Fusion 05-02-2007 10:29 AM

Although 'Pool Hall Blues' isnt a particulary great QuantumLeap episode, its quite special to me as its the first episode I can remember. According to the original air date (March 14, 1990) I must have been around three years old, so dont know if I remember the original or a repeat. But when I started watching QuantumLeap on ITV3 last year all I could remember about the original airing was Al's handlink setting up the shots for Sam... see the lasting effect the Leap can have on a young mind (glad I rediscovered it).
My favorite parts on seeing it again would be the naming of the pool cues, Alberta and Basheba ('Thats a real pretty name'), and the slow-mo pool shot when Sam and Al look up at each other, that was then used it the opening credits of the other series'.

isz 07-13-2007 05:34 PM

A little bit less then an Average Quantum Leap episode. The plot wasn't so interesting and There wasn't any Hmm...real Magic(Except "Black Magic". ;) ) in this episode or something unforgetable.
Well...at list Scott Bakula sung.:)

bluedana 07-14-2007 12:41 PM

I like this episode, and rate it more than average. I think what I like the most, aside from seeing Sam try to remember that he's an old man, which is never NOT funny, is that even though all the characters are black, it isn't so much about racism as sexism. I could do without the bank scene (one of my only "STFU, Sam" moments in the whole series) but the compelling story for me was that the granddaughter was willing to go to such lengths to own that pool hall.

Snish 07-15-2007 04:13 PM

I like it too, although it's not a top favorite. One thing I like is the little backstory about Al and Magic. To me it helps explain the story Al told in "The Color of Truth" about being in the south when the civil rights movement started. I didn't see why a poor kid from Brooklyn would go to the south to work on behalf of black people, but this episode explains his reason to care about them. It's mostly highly educated people who develop an abstract moral sense that would lead them to that kind of activism without a personal connection. Al didn't get an education until after he joined the Navy.

Quote:

though all the characters are black, it isn't so much about racism as sexism.
Isn't that nice for a change? Er... not that sexism is nice! But so many stories that feature black people are about racism, and they have other concerns too, just like anyone else.

Quote:

one of my only "STFU, Sam" moments in the whole series
:lol

leaper1 07-15-2007 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluedana
(one of my only "STFU, Sam" moments in the whole series)

You mean you didn't think that when he was giving the huckster speech in Single Drop of Rain? Even Sam thought it when he'd delivered that one! :lol

bluedana 07-16-2007 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by leaper1
You mean you didn't think that when he was giving the huckster speech in Single Drop of Rain? Even Sam thought it when he'd delivered that one! :lol

Oh, I love the huckster speech! It's just so self-consciously cheese-tastic.

No, the bank scene speech in PHB misses the mark a bit. Sam's lecturing this loan officer about his responsibilities to the people "behind" him as if the loan officer's life is peaches and cream. From my experience (and that of people close to me), that guy probably had a more miserable work life than the janitor. The janitor, assuming he's black, is in his "place," so there'd be no reason for the white employees to constantly put him there. But the derision directed at the loan officer, which he compellingly describes, would not stop once he "makes it." It would only get worse, as his white counterparts would constantly remind him that he really isn't good enough to be on their level, and he'd better not get uppity about himself. They wouldn't stop telling the n-- jokes; they'd tell more. And he'd have to swallow his pride like a lump of acid and take it. Every. Single. Day. He's got a desk at the very back of the bank, and he probably doesn't get paid as much as the man reading the newspaper. If he had submitted that loan, his bosses would only have used it as a reason to find him deficient and sack him.

So, yeah, Sam, STFU.

Sam Beckett Fan 07-17-2007 02:13 AM

I like this episode. It does not go on my top favorites list but I loved how Al valued Black Magic so much and set his heart to helping Sam help him in return for the kindness the old man had shown him as a kid. I liked how Black Magic was so nice to Al and wanted to help him find a family rather than send him back to the orphanage. I wish he had succeeded because Al really did need a family to love him.

Another thing I liked about this episode was the charactor of the Granddaughter, a determined young woman out to make something of herself and will not give up on whats she wants despite that society will not cooperate with her. I like how she has no fear when it comes to something she believes in, a trait also shown in other episodes as well and even by Sam himself throughout the series. Even though he must play his part there are situations in which Sam's true heart and beliefs can not be pushed back into hiding and even are necessary to complete the task. Violet also is very cheerful despite her failure and I lover her little catch phrase "poppy if you live to be a hundred you will never cease to amaze me". Which in a sense is true for all of us, good ole Sam can never cease to amaze any of us. I also loved the song that she and Sam sing together at the piano, its a real pretty song.

I thought Grady was a great charactor as well. Teddy Wilson is a great actor I have seen him in other shows as guest roles and seeing him in Ql, twice at that as he also plays Ernie the diner owner in Rebel Without a Clue, was a delight. His charactors always have a cheerful and positive attitude and are pleasent to be around. Its a shame that is has passed and that he can not be seen him in more.

CynthialovesQuantumLeap 10-01-2008 06:05 PM

I love this episode not only ofr the wonderful scene of the pool playing and how Al was so thankful to Black Magic for his help as a mentor to him in a way when he was a young man.
But recently my favorite scene in the episode is the one where Sam and the granddaughter play the piano and sing that beautiful spiritual song. I was so touched by that song. It has given me hope too.
:angel

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
I like this episode. It does not go on my top favorites list but I loved how Al valued Black Magic so much and set his heart to helping Sam help him in return for the kindness the old man had shown him as a kid. I liked how Black Magic was so nice to Al and wanted to help him find a family rather than send him back to the orphanage. I wish he had succeeded because Al really did need a family to love him.

Another thing I liked about this episode was the charactor of the Granddaughter, a determined young woman out to make something of herself and will not give up on whats she wants despite that society will not cooperate with her. I like how she has no fear when it comes to something she believes in, a trait also shown in other episodes as well and even by Sam himself throughout the series. Even though he must play his part there are situations in which Sam's true heart and beliefs can not be pushed back into hiding and even are necessary to complete the task. Violet also is very cheerful despite her failure and I lover her little catch phrase "poppy if you live to be a hundred you will never cease to amaze me". Which in a sense is true for all of us, good ole Sam can never cease to amaze any of us. I also loved the song that she and Sam sing together at the piano, its a real pretty song.

I thought Grady was a great charactor as well. Teddy Wilson is a great actor I have seen him in other shows as guest roles and seeing him in Ql, twice at that as he also plays Ernie the diner owner in Rebel Without a Clue, was a delight. His charactors always have a cheerful and positive attitude and are pleasent to be around. Its a shame that is has passed and that he can not be seen him in more.


ohboy 10-01-2008 09:32 PM

I always love when Sam beats up the people that, quite frankly, deserve their beatings. My favorite is when Sam leaps into a person who would look to be physically frail, and then see the look of shock on their face as they fall to the ground. This was a good example of that (since I believe there's a fight scene in this episode).

Errowyn 10-02-2008 11:17 AM

Sam is a very gentle soul but you don't want to hurt him or make him angry.

Sam's Crow 10-02-2008 11:53 AM

My favourite bit was probably when Sam walked over and sat down at the piano with his granddaughter and started singing.

CynthialovesQuantumLeap 02-25-2009 09:23 AM

That is my favorite too when Sam sang that song. It has special meaning to me cause I listened to it when my mom was in the hospital last year and it gave me hope each time.
Also I watched the episode yesterday on ION Tv and I noticed they played this Billie holiday song when Sam walks into the club the night of the match and in the dvd they played this blues music.
Is that the original song. the one by Billie Holiday.




Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam's Crow (Post 45703)
My favourite bit was probably when Sam walked
over and sat down at the piano with his granddaughter and started singing.


Donofrio_QLTD 08-31-2013 01:19 AM

Classic episode. For some reason, it's the episode that most people, especially those who were never into Quantum Leap, remember. You mention Magic or Alberta and they say "oh yeah, THAT show, of course I know about it." Alberta is of course something that will always be stuck on your mind.

I liked the episode in itself but, aside from those classic moments and names here and there, I thought it was nothing special. In all honesty it was kinda boring and every character was unlikable, except for Alberta and the mirror images of Magic. Grady got on my nerves most of the time (the actor who played him also played Ernie in "Rebel Without A Clue" and I liked him better in that ep.) and, while there was nothing wrong with the girl, I didn't find her so engaging. The bank scene was not well-written. It was seen from a very rough and one-sided perspective.

My favorite parts were the laser lights from Ziggy and later at the end when Sam has to shoot without a light cue because Ziggy had already sucked out all the power. Those were very cool effects and visuals.

My rating: Average.

Lightning McQueenie 02-10-2014 09:44 AM

Just an interesting bit of QL trivia - this is the first episode where it's confirmed that Al sees Sam as Sam. Al mentions that he couldn't get over his shock and happiness from seeing MAGIC in the waiting room (as he was long dead and Al was sure he'd never see him again). There you are, he sees Magic as Magic in the Waiting Room, so he must be seeing Sam as Sam in the Imaging Chamber :D

themacgyverproject 07-06-2016 10:48 PM

I did a short Q and A with Randy Holland (the writer) about this episode and posted it on my blog.

http://themacgyverproject.blogspot.c...all-blues.html

MO 10-24-2017 02:05 AM

I really enjoyed this episode. Really the only part I didn't like was when the daughter was about to agree to sleep with Eddie. Though when she walked in, the men's faces were hilarious, especially Grady's! I loved watching the pool scenes; they remind me of the many nights I spent playing pool (badly) in a smoky bar in town quite a few years ago.

This episode won accolades for cinematography, if I'm not mistaken. It definitely gets an Excellent from me.

chris-oates 05-11-2019 02:42 PM

If I did top 20 rankings for QL, this would definitely be in it. In fact, I'd say it would be knocking on the door of the top 10 episodes. A very memorable one this. I just love so many things about it. Firstly, I love playing pool, so it stands out for that reason alone. I also think it's great that they put this touch of personal history between Al and Magic. I think that was really cool for some reason. I think it's because I can buy it. Some of the things about Al's past sometimes come out of nowhere sometimes, as though they just need him to have experienced something for the script (him running away to the circus came across as odd, for example (as we'll hear about in the next episode)). But this one rings true, and adds depth to proceedings.

I love the characters of Grady and Violet, but especially Grady. The same actor would appear again in Rebel Without A Clue, and I loved him in that episode too. There's just something really likable about him.

The match at the end is thrilling every time I watch it. I love the use of future technology through the handlink, and the way Sam beats up Eddie's goon and Grady's reaction to it. My only fault with this episode is the bank scene. I don't think it was really needed. It just seemed tacked on somehow.

The best scene for me has to be the one with Sam and Violet at the piano. That song, He'll Be There, is really, really moving. It's actually gotten me through some tough moments once or twice, and seems to embody the whole message of the series as a whole. Moments like that are what Quantum Leap is all about.

My rating. Excellent. A real personal favourite.


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