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I am a writer and dreamer, currently working on blogs and a book series.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Halloween Spirit: Quantum Leap's "The Boogieman"

This is one of my favorite episodes, mainly because it diverts from the usual Quantum Leap story line of Sam Beckett changing someone's life or several people's lives in order for himself to leap home.  For those of you who have not seen this episode, do NOT read on because there are spoilers.  And you do not want this episode spoiled! 


I never realized all the clues that pointed to Al not being Al.  In fact, on my first viewing, I only noticed one of the clues and thought it was a goof.  Boy, was I kicking myself at the end!  Having watched so many episodes, I should have noticed the clues.  At the end, Sam mentions a few of the clues, but I want to provide a more complete list:
  • Sound: when Sam is with the Sheriff after Tully's death, "Al" speaks off-camera and instead of the usual chords that play when he appears, there is haunting music
  • Visual: The Sheriff and Mary can sense "Al's" presence throughout the show (I associated this to the time of Halloween when spirits are thought to come back to our world)
  • Visual: "Al's" clothes are not of his usual style, although this may just be me.  I find Al wears flashier more hip clothes than the ones "Al" wears 
    "Al" versus Al
  • Sound: Whenever "Al" types into his hand link, it sounds like a typewriter instead of the usual funny sounds it makes; he also never hits his hand link to get information
  • Visual/Sound: "Al" coughs and looks at his cigar at least twice during the episode: 1) when he and Sam go up to the office and 2) when he and Sam are looking around Mary's house.  Al has never done this in other episodes as far as I know.
  •  Right before Dorothy screams, "Al" has disappeared suddenly and he only reappears when the black mamba snake disappears
  • Visual: Sam mentions that "Al" never walked through anything 
  • Visual: Sam also mentions that "Al" never used the imaging chamber door
  • Sound: When "Al" tells Gooshie to center him on Mary, he just disappears without the usual sound effect (This is the one I thought was a goof)
  • Sound: "Al" never makes any lewd remarks 
  • Visual: When "Al" enters Mary's house, the first number of her address, 9, becomes a 6, making three in a row
  • Sound: When Sam and "Al" are confronted by the Sheriff while snooping through Mary's house, "Al" is unusually quiet while he listens to Sam and the Sheriff talk; the real Al often talks over everyone making it hard for Sam (and us viewers) to follow both conversations
  •  Sound: As Sam says at the end, "Al" repeats the quote Tully said earlier about "Them who dance with the Devil..." when there is no way "Al" could have known about that quote.
  • Sound: After Sam looks through a book with images related the Devil, "Al" remarks that maybe the "Boogieman" is responsible for all the deaths.  (Side note: This relates to the first episode when Sam leaps for the first time and doesn't remember anything.  In Sam's narration, he first talks about a being in a nightmare and that eventually a Boogieman shows up.  Later, he refers to Al as the Boogieman: "The Boogieman had arrived")
If I missed any clues, please leave a comment.
Happy Halloween!

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