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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Well-intentioned but flawed

Author: GusF from Ireland
2 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is is one of the darkest, bloodiest episodes of the entire series but it is not of one of the better social commentary episodes. Sam leaps into a young black medical student named Ray Harper who is engaged to a white woman named Susan Brewster and they soon find themselves in the middle of the Watts riots in August 1965. Although Sam has been tangentially involved in historical events before such as the Watergate break-in in "Star-Crossed" and the 1965 Northeast blackout in "Double Identity", this is the first time that an historical event has been the main focus of an episode as opposed to merely a backdrop.

I can't imagine what it is like to caught up in such a bloody riot but the scenes which depicted the fighting on the street were very well done and suitably disturbing, not least because such things sadly still happen in the 21st Century. Deborah Pratt's script depicts both black people and white people as having shades of grey and being very human in that respect. There are good and bad people on both sides. That said, I'm not convinced that it was a very good idea to make Ray's militant brother Lonnie the de facto villain of the piece. It meant that the social commentary was not as effective as it could be since the episode pivots around a black man terrorising a white woman.

I think that it was a mistake to give such prominence to Ray and Susan's "Romeo and Juliet" inspired star-crossed romance as it was more distracting than anything else and wasn't particularly well done. Obviously, the romance was intended to show that everyone can live together in peace which is certainly a laudable attitude but I would have preferred it if a more subtle approach had been taken. For instance, it could have featured one or two white civil rights workers being caught up in the violence and excluded the romance angle altogether. In any event, I much preferred the far simpler and considerably more memorable moment seen in "The Color of Truth" when Miss Melanie invited Sam (as Jesse Tyler) to sit with her at the counter of the whites' only diner in Alabama in 1955.

I'd give it a somewhat generous 7/10 but it had the potential to be a 10/10 with stronger writing. It was especially disappointing since I think that Deborah Pratt is the series' best writer.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Beginning of a New Era

Author: Jordan Agent (theaterjordan) from United States
5 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For two and a half seasons, I have loved "Quantum Leap." The way that the show can constantly keep bringing in new characters and situations, and almost every time make it seem as if it was impossible for Sam to complete the task given to him by Ziggy. I think that this episode begins the start of what made the rest of the season so interesting. "Quantum Leap" was famous for a number of things, but up to this point twists were not one of them. They have always brought controversial content on the show, but this is the first time the ending ends up not being so happy when (spoiler) his brother dies. This is brought back up in "Last Dance Before An Execution," and, to a point, the Season finale. Also, I'm very happy this was the last episode the creators of "Quantum Leap" used that bad stock footage. It was only used in two episodes, this and "Miss Deep South," but both of the episodes had stock footage so bad it was laughable.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:


Author: CDTrannyLez
18 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is my least favorite episode of Quantum Leap. Its devoid of the usual intelligent and creative storyline that made me a fan. This silly episode is another over done, melodramatic, interracial love story. Unfortunately, the script and story is so embarrassingly bad that its difficult to watch. The episode takes place during the Watts Riot. But the story completely misses the point of that tragic historical event. The blacks are shown as the bad guys and racists while the whites are shown as the victims. Talk about total role reversal! All the black characters are either militant thugs or martyrs. Why couldn't the writers have written this episode where the black character is a hero? And the white girl is portrayed as this loving, kind, person who wants to help blacks but is discriminated against due to the color of her skin. Are they serious? Its absolutely asinine. And they use a talent like CCH Pounder to play a stereotypical "black mom" character who looks down on her own people rather then taking up arms against her oppressors. In one scene she holds a gun against her son's friend but wont take up arms against the whites who killed her husband. Just a shamefully bad episode.

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