Quantum Leap Episode 2 Review: Atlantis

The writing in “Atlantis” allows us to see Ben’s skills as a negotiator, and not just tell us about them, when Ben, in the body of a doomed astronaut aboard a ship with a damaged heat shield, convinces the shuttle Commander to send an S.O.S. to the Russians, who are also in space and not too far away. Ben’s aptitude as an intermediary between disagreeing factions in a life-or-death situation is further highlighted by his courage when he flings himself through the abyss and uses his body as a door knocker. For the first time, a real similarity between Sam and Ben is clear: both men have hearts of gold and are willing to risk it all for hope in the common good.

Not only do the viewers begin to understand that Ben can be trusted, Addison also remembers that, no matter how mysterious and problematic their current circumstances, Ben is on a mission that must be good and necessary because that is his nature. Apologies eventually abound between heavy-handed Magic and sleight-of-hand Addison. As the team coalesces, Magic realizes just how critical Addison is when she hands over the key that is the first clue in unlocking Ben’s true intentions for his mysterious, unauthorized leap. And Addison, who has been training for years to be the leaper flying solo through dimensional time, realizes she can’t solve the problem alone. The Quantum Leap Project’s team is finally working together.

In fact, a lot of things in this Quantum Leap sequel are starting to work. When Ben unbuckles his seatbelt on the shuttle Atlantis for the first time and drifts weightlessly up to the sky window, he appears to be entranced and stargazing to his fellow astronauts, but he is also using the reflection to gaze into his new face. When his space journey ends and he leaps into his next body, he quickly receives just punishment for running off from his engagement party to meet another woman who assists his leap into the great beyond.

This “other” woman is confirmed in “Atlantis” as Janis Calavicci, the daughter of Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), the original holographic sidekick. Janis (Georgina Reilly) is fairly creepy when she comes on the screen and is in Ben’s and Addison’s home, searching the bookshelf where hours earlier Addison found Ben’s hidden thumb drive that would unlock part of the mystery. Apparently, Janis knows more about Ben than Addison does. That can’t sit well, but it serves to enliven the drama that must ensue as Janis continues to clash with the team. Even though it’s clear that Janis is well-equipped to thwart the team, what’s not clear yet is whether she can be trusted. For instance, Janis tells Magic in their phone conversation that Ben reached out to her, not the other way around. Yet, Magic has gone through Ben’s finances with a fine-toothed comb and there is no evidence that Ben was paying Janis or funding their illicit work.       

There is much to look forward to as Janis’s intentions and plans are further revealed. Showrunner, Martin Gero, confirmed to TVLine that Magic’s experience as a body leapt into by Dr. Sam Beckett in season 3 of the original series will be explored in the sequel’s episode 4. As all these links between the original show and the sequel are unveiled, we draw one step closer to bringing our leaper home.

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