Quantum Leap – Maybe Baby [2.20]

Sam leaps into a bouncer who is romantically involved with Bunny, a stripper, right in the middle of the pair of them kidnapping a baby.  Bunny has claimed that the baby is hers, but Sam eventually discovers the truth that she is taking the baby from the baby’s mean and brutal father.  The father is a criminal, and threatens their lives as they attempt to get across state lines and return the baby to her mother.

Written by Julie Brown and Paul Brown. Directed by Michael Zinberg.

Previous Episode: Leaping in Without A NetNext Episode:  Sea Bride

Comments:
Maybe Baby has got all the hallmarks of being a slightly inappropriate early ’90’s TV show, complete with a highly dated female stereotype masquerading as sensitive but light-hearted drama.  The main guest character is a somewhat airheaded stripper who is bad at math and science, and uses her body in a comical exotic dancing scene to get the money needed to advance the plot.

However in spite of this it’s still a pretty enjoyable episode whose heart is obviously in the right place.  The first half of the story has an interesting mystery going about whether Bunny is lying or not–or rather, what she’s lying about, exactly and whether Sam is right to trust her.  This gives Sam and Al an interesting dynamic to play off each other, as they disagree about what needs to be done to complete the leap (something that hasn’t happened all that often).  And Julie Brown does a good job giving Bunny a decent sense of humanity and tenderness, in between all the scenes of people responding to her lasciviously.

For all of Sam’s genius, he turns out to be pretty inept at looking after a baby.  That gives us some cute moments with him shaking a mattress and all in order to rock her to sleep– although it’s all layered with some awkward wincing as one watches cliches like Sam getting peed on, and so on.

And really, that’s a good summary of the episode–cute, but a little bit wince-inducing.  It’s nice to watch, if one can just dodge the awkward bits.

Cast Notes:
• Julie Brown (Bunny O’Hare / Thelma Lou Dickey) is one of the writers of this episode!  She’s also the sister of Paul Brown, her co-writer who is also one of the show’s producers.

• Ray Young (Big Bob) played Bigfoot in the TV series, Bigfoot & Wildboy that I used to watch on Saturday mornings.

• Eve Brenner (Madeline) has 79 credits listed on IMDb.com at the time of this writing.  The first was from 1953, in an episode of Adventures of Superman–she appears to have been in her mid-late 20’s at the time.  Her second role is in 1965, in a movie called Rat Fink.  Her third role was in 1977, in a movie called March or Die.  Then comes 1985, when she appears in an episode of the George Burns Comedy Week.  From then on she works steadily until the time of this writing, with her most recent role being in 2019.

Who and Where is Dr. Sam Beckett?
Sam is Buster (no last name given), a bouncer and romantic partner to Bunny O’Hare (real name, Thelma Lou Dickey).  He starts in near Abilene, Texas on March 11, 1963, and drives over the state line to Clayton, New Mexico the evening of March 12.

What does Sam have to do?
Sam has to help Bunny to return baby Kristy to her mother in New Mexico, and help Buster and Bunny avoid prison.

What do we learn about Sam Beckett?
Sam is obviously not comfortable caring for babies.  However, he demonstrates excellent knowledge of how to care for them medically.

What do we know about Al?
Al says that when he was a kid, they couldn’t afford sock puppets.  Back at the orphanage, Al and the kids thought of reform school as doing “hard time”.

What about the experiment?
Al reminds us that babies and animals and people with low IQ can see Sam and Al as they really are.

God or Time or Something
Sam

“Oh Boy”
There’s a funny use of the catchphrase at the start, where Sam says, “Oh boy,” and Bunny replies, “No, it’s a girl,” about Kristy.  He say sit again when Kristy pees on him.

Sam’s Complicated Love Life
There’s lots of kissing between Bunny and Sam (initiated by her), but it doesn’t go any further because they have the baby to look after.

The Many Loves of Al Calavicci
Al once knew a stripper that was called Velma, who also lied (like Bunny).  He stares lasciviously at Bunny (to be fair, almost everyone in the episode does), and regrets missing her dance.

Other Observations
• At one point, Sam, as Buster, fully grabs Bunny in a way that would be definitely be considered to be inappropriate today.

• In a medium well known for using dolls and bits of cloth to substitute for babies whenever possible, I’m impressed that this episode seems to make use of a real baby, almost all the time.

• I like Al’s sock puppet to try to calm the baby.  Cute.

• Cute moment when the guy sells his car as soon as Sam bumps the offer from $200 to $210.

• This episode has some good dialogue.  There’s a cute speech about why the Barbie doll is so anatomically wrong.  And Bunny and a local farmer have a funny conversation at the vet’s office:

Bunny: Nice pig.
Farmer:  Thank you.  Nice baby.
Bunny:  What’s it’s name?
Farmer:  Cindy.  What’s her name?
Bunny:  Kristy.
Farmer:  Nice name.

• I also like the bit where someone asks an old lady what happened in the toy store, and she replies, “There’s been a murder in the toy store.”

• The stripping scene is annoying, but Sam laughing at Al is kind of funny.

• Sam accidentally inspires Bunny to take the deputy’s gun, which is funny, and then gives one of his famous roundhouse kicks to Reed.

• Al looks amusingly annoyed when the police car drives through him

Sam Leaps To
Star-Crossed

Favorite Dialogue
I like the line about the toy store, but outside of the episode, it doesn’t really read like anything special.  Instead I’ll go with a fun like that Bunny has as they are driving:

All we got left is a quarter, two dimes and a Chicklit.  Want to split it?

The Best Moment
The conclusion is touching, when Sam tells a weeping Bunny that Kristy won’t forget her, not in her heart.

Previous Episode: Leaping in Without A Net • Next Episode:  Sea Bride

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