Quantum Leap – One Strobe Over the Line [3.4]

Sam leaps into high profile fashion photographer Karl Granson. One of the fashion models. He learns that one of the fashion models, Edie, is fated to die of a drug overdose in a couple of days. She is being pressured by her agent, Helen Le Baron, to use the drugs as a means of coping with the grueling demands of modeling. Sam helps Edie to detox from the drugs, but she is almost killed when Helen gives her the drugs secretly. In the end, Sam is able to save her life.

Written by Chris Ruppenthal. Directed by Michael Zinberg

Previous Episode: Leap of FaithNext Episode: The Boogieman

One Strobe Over the Line is an earnest drama about drug abuse in the fashion industry. As a non-drug abuser myself, I have no idea if the depictions of Edie’s withdrawal are accurate or over-simplified (I assume the latter), but it still makes for decent television. The show makes a good case for the dangers of relying on drugs to get through your day, and the emptyness of the relationships that flourish in a celebrity culture. But it also takes a lot of time with these parts of the episode and as a reult there simply isn’t all that much time for actual plot.

Without any personal connection in the story to either Sam or Al (beyond a few pieces of trivia) and without anything of any real depth for Scott Bakula or Dean Stockwell to play, the most exciting thing in the episode is the fact that Sam is shooting with a live lion on his set. This is, of course, ridiculous (although maybe this is the sort of thing people used to actually do?) Inevitably, the combination of Edie being strung up on drugs and deadly wild beast both being present together doesn’t help things, especially when Edie is egged on by Helen. The lion goes crazy and attacks some guy (not sure who that was–maybe the trainer?) and then stalks Edie through the cafeteria. Sam obviously intervenes and the whole thing is well edited together and pretty dramatic to watch. But it all seems a bit over-the-top, especially as the lone action sequence in an otherwise low-key episode.

Aside from that, though, and from the sweetness of Sam’s connection to Edie, there really isn’t a lot to watch here. One hopes there is something more substantial on its way.

Cast Notes:
• Marjorie Monaghan (Edie) appeared as a holodeck character in an early episode of Star Trek Voyager, and also featured in half a dozen or so episodes of Babylon 5.

Who and Where is Dr. Sam Beckett?
Sam is Karl Granson, a fashion photographer, in New York City from June 15 – 20, 1965.

What does Sam have to do?
Sam has to help prevent fashion model Edie Landsdale from dying of a drug overdose. By implication, he also helps to prevent Helen Le Baron from ruining other young model’s lives by pushing them onto drugs.

What do we learn about Sam Beckett?
Sam had two cats on the farm growing up — Donder and Blitzen.

What do we know about Al?
Al had some buddies who did photo shoots in New York City in the 1960’s and he paid some visits to the set. He implies that he got involved sexually with some of the models during that time.

What about the experiment?
Nothing really this time around.

God or Time or Something
There’s no reference this episode.

“Oh Boy”
Sam says one “Oh boy” when he arrives, and then again a bit later when he is trying to take his photos. And then there is another one as he leaps into The Boogieman.

Sam’s Complicated Love Life
Helen aggressively comes onto Sam, but he is quite resistant. Later, Edie kisses him, but she’s going through her withdrawals, and Sam doesn’t take advantage of the situation, although he later claims that he

The Many Loves of Al Calavicci
Al implies that he was involved with one or more models when he paid a visit to his buddy’s photoshoots in the 1960’s. He also spends some time ogling the models that Sam is working with.

Other Observations
• Sam is a complete disaster as a photographer with this lion!

• The lion’s name is Snowball?

• What about that other poor guy who got attacked by the lion? Is that just the trainer we see at the end of the scene?

• Helen has sort of lost her mind at the end.

Sam Leaps To
The Boogieman

Favorite Dialogue
There’s nothing great, but one cute moment is when Sam covers up his reference to Al by telling Edie that Al is his dog. She asks what kind of dog Al is, and Sam replies…

A great dog. The best friend a guy could ever have.

Special thanks, by the way, to this site for the episode transcriptions.

The Best Moment
I didn’t find any of the episode all that great, but I did find the lion attack at the end kind of fun.

Previous Episode: Leap of FaithNext Episode: The Boogieman

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