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Quantum Leap Episode 1 Recap and Ending, Explained

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NBC’s ‘Quantum Leap’ is a sci-fi drama that reboots the story of the 1989 series of the same name. Carrying on the premise of a scientist jumping to and fro in time, this version of the story is tweaked for the contemporary audience. The first episode introduces us to the major players in the story while setting the ground for the mysteries that will define the course of the season. With some references to the main characters of the original series, the 2022 ‘Quantum Leap’ carves a place for itself and proves to be an exciting watch. The ending of the first episode shows just how far the show is ready to go. Here’s what it means for its protagonist. SPOILERS AHEAD

Quantum Leap Episode 1 Recap

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Image Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

In 1995, Dr. Sam Beckett’s leap in time rendered him unable to come home. The project was temporarily abandoned but is now back in business. The mission is to make the leap safer, such that the time traveler is able to come back home in one piece. For this, Ben Song and his team have been working to perfect the machine. Everything had been going as planned, until one night, that too when he is engaged, Ben receives a message from someone. Rather than talking to his team about it, he leaps in time and finds himself on July 13, 1985.

One of the kinks of time traveling that Ben’s team wanted to iron out is memory loss. When someone travels back in time, they forget everything about their previous life, though things do tend to come back in bits and pieces. When Ben finds himself in the body of another person, who is a getaway driver for a crew who has stolen a “terrifying” amount of C4, he doesn’t remember that he has time traveled. A hologram of Addison, who he has forgotten is his fiancee and co-worker, shows up to help him get back home. Technically, he should leap back in time if he helps the person whose body he’s currently in. Soon, however, he discovers that more than one person is in need of his help.

Quantum Leap Episode 1 Ending: Where Does Ben End Up?

On July 13, 1985, Ben Song finds himself in the body of a man named Matt. He is an undercover cop going by the name of Nick. He infiltrated a crew who planned to steal the Hope Diamond. Their plan is to use C4 for an explosion to create a distraction which will then allow them to steal the diamond without hurting anyone. But Ben knows that one man dies that night, Brian. Before Ben traveled back in time, Matt, as Nick, convinced Brian to vouch for him to the crew and make him a part of the heist. The undercover cop wanted to stop the heist, but things somehow fell apart with Brian getting shot at the end of it. Matt couldn’t recover from this guilt and handed in his resignation. Now, it is on Ben to change both their fates.

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Image Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Helping Brian soon takes preference over stopping the theft of Hope Diamond because, as it turns out, Brian is committing this crime to save his family. His wife is sick and her treatment needs a lot of money. His restaurant has been foreclosed by the bank and there is no one who can save him from this financial disaster set to ruin his life. While Ben knows that his actions will probably not change anything about Brian’s life, he consoles himself with the fact that at least he won’t be dead. So, while the crew succeeds in their heist, Ben gets Brian away from them just in time.

Ben’s actions create a ripple where averting Brian’s death changes his life. The crew had planned to keep the security guards away while they stole the diamond, but Ben’s meddling set the guards free. Due to this, the crew is eventually caught and the diamond is recovered. For his help in disposing of the C4, Brian gets to cut a deal with the cops and is allowed to go free. When his story becomes public, people show up to help him and raise the money that he needed to save his family. Having succeeded in saving Brian, Ben’s purpose in this timeline is served and he starts to leap again.

Back home, Addison and the team start preparing for Ben’s return, but something goes wrong. Before Ben left his original timeline, he had added a new code to the system, which no one else knew about. The purpose of the code is not known yet, but it is clear that Ben hadn’t planned to return so easily. He time leaped with a specific plan in mind, something that also involves the daughter of Al Calavicci. While the AI, Ziggy, tries to make sense of the code, the team can do nothing but wait for Ben’s plan to come to light.

In the final scene, we find Ben in the space shuttle, Atlantis, launching on its voyage. In real life, Atlantis embarked on its maiden voyage on October 3, 1985. This is quite close to Ben’s previous time leap, so it makes sense that he has leaped to a couple of months in the future. The error in the code might have prevented him from arriving at his own timeline and restricted his leaps significantly. However, Atlantis had thirty-three missions before it retired in 2011. This opens up the possibility of Ben’s leap extending at least a couple of years, but it is more likely that he would want to stay around 1985, assuming that he knew where he was going when he traveled from 2022.

Read More: Where is Quantum Leap (2022) Filmed?

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