The problem the new Quantum Leap faces is the original did one hell of a Halloween episode back in its third season. Fans who only casually watched the original know about “The Boogeyman” because Sam met Stephen King and faced off against the devil.
Topping “The Boogeyman” in terms of sheer shock value was going to be difficult to do.
Give “O Ye of Little Faith” credit for trying, even if the final result isn’t exactly as memorable or over-the-top bonkers fun as the original version.
Ben leaps into a priest, who has been summoned to perform an exorcism on an apparently demon-possessed young girl who just turned eighteen. Eerily enough, as Ben attempts to follow the script for an exorcism, he’s cut off from Addison.
As with most of the episodes of the new Quantum Leap, the stuff in the past works very well (even hitting a few, great creepy moments) while the things in the present feels like it’s being forced on the script. This week’s biggest culprit is a conversation between Addison and Jenn where we discover that Addison had never vowed to get married – until she met Ben. I’m all for character development for all the characters on this show (quick tell me one thing about Ian besides he’s good at computers), but even this one felt like it was written to get screen time for Narisa Lee and less about advancing the plot or characters in any significant way.
Plus, I think it fails the Bechdel test on just about every level.
Meanwhile, in the past, Ben is faced with a conflict between his skepticism and the belief that he can save the girl from demon possession. The first three-quarters of this worked pretty well and had me guessing – could the demon possession have been an evil leaper or the other leaper screwing with Ben, I thought? Given how “The Boogeyman” went all out with the devil angle, I was fully expecting something equally wacky here. And then, we find out that it’s the brother poisoning the kid to get the inheritance so he can run off with the wife.
Yeah, I guess it’s a twist, but it just felt like one that was forced on things. I was on board with it up to that point and even enjoyed the moments when the kid admits she saw Ben when he first arrived on the scene, and not the priest he replaced.
And then, we get Janet.
Talk about a complete tease to try and keep you interested in the future storyline. So, Janet shows up just in time for Ben for to leap with a cryptic warning about….Ummm…well, I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.
As I’ve said before, I’m all for the show doing an arc story, so long as it doesn’t feel like it’s forcing an arc story. And Janice showing up feels like a forced arc moment – or one designed to tease us into tuning in next week for the fall finale because we hope there might be answers.
I get it – we are in a different era of storytelling than the original. But honestly, I’m getting weary of this whole teasing Janice thing with no answers forthcoming or moving the story forward. She’s been in the mainframe of Ziggy for weeks now and the team seems to be doing nothing about it.
Give me some answers or let’s just move on.
And it’s a shame that I am ending like this because except for the last three minutes, I really liked this episode.