Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 18 Review: Judgment Day

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Ben ends up somewhere unexpected on Judgment Day, the 18th episode of Quantum Leap Season 1. He must therefore work quickly to undo what went wrong in the past. It’s the season finale of the rookie show and unquestionably its best episode. Yet, it is not without faults.

Judgment Day immediately plunges us into the action, which keeps the story going quickly. The majority of the episode comes across as an expositional slog, almost as if we all need to be held accountable for understanding the story. With Quantum Leap, exposure is expected, but Judgment Day ratchets up the exposition.

It gets tiresome, especially in the first scenes with Ian and Ben when Ben repeats back what Ian says to him. This further exposes the dialogue’s flaws.

The dialogue is one area where this series has faltered. It has a particularly clean, wooden feel about it. It doesn’t flow naturally or freely. It occasionally hinders the actors as well.

Quantum Leap Season 1 Episode 18 Review: Judgment Day - TV Fanatic

In his sequences with 2051 Ian, Raymond Lee, a reliable and dependable lead for Quantum Leap, slips a little bit when delivering the lines. As the episodic plot develops, the language kinks gradually disappear, but perhaps more show and less tell would have worked better.

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Notwithstanding its flaws, Judgment Day provides information on Martinez and his attempt to murder Addison. It was more like his intention to eliminate them all. He and Ben had a good fight sequence, and it’s entertaining to see them go back to the times when they first met.

Martinez’s death is hastened, so it doesn’t feel like the conclusion of his saga. When will we next see him? Given that end, that would make the most sense.

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Finally, Magic can transform into a hologram like the rest of his squad. His interaction with Ben perfectly captures the season’s main theme: caring about others makes you stronger when trying to save the planet. The veteran performer with the longest career among the main group, Ernie Hudson, unquestionably merits greater screen time in Season 2.

Particularly in her scene with Raymond Lee in front of the elevator, Nanrisa Lee shines out as a good performer. She does a wonderful job of capturing Jenn’s fragility as an introverted person. She shows the vulnerable side of the usually acerbic, biting Jenn. Lee excels at all the writers give her, taking it all and making it her own.

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From having Ben jump into his own body four years earlier to the three Ians from 2018, 2022, and 2051 coming together to rescue the day, Judgment Day enjoys playing with and developing the show’s mythos. Al Calavicci is mentioned quite a bit, which is very nice. Judgment Day feels like a step in the right direction despite the show’s initial struggles to find its footing.

The Quantum Leap season finale isn’t particularly impressive overall. Even so, it’s adequate in that it resolves some long-standing issues while still leaving some unresolved issues (such as the Ziggy mole dilemma, who appeared again in the Quantum Accelerator) for viewers to hold onto until Season 2). There is sufficient entertainment for viewers as well as some acts of valor that establish Ben Song as a likeable sci-fi hero.

Unexpected Observations

  • 2018 Ian is just as irritated about someone skipping out on trivia night as 2022 Ian. There is no difference.
  • More of Nanrisa Lee in Season 2, please, and thank you. Jenn is a nuanced, layered, fun character who deserves more screen time.
  • If Season 2 doesn t open with Sam Beckett in the Quantum Accelerator, I won t do much about it but silently fume. Maybe fire off a strongly-worded tweet like the internet warrior that I am.
  • At some point, will we learn why Ziggy was dubbed the mole? Perhaps it has something to do with the Lothos-sized elephant in the room?
  • I was hoping Turtle Time was a reference to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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