Another Mother was the 13th episode in Season 2 of the Quantum Leap TV series, also the 22nd overall series episode. Written by Deborah Pratt and directed by Joseph L. Scanlan, the episode originally aired on NBC-TV on January 10, 1990.
Sam leaps into Linda, a recently divorced mother of three - Kevin (played by Michael Stoyanov), Susan (played by Olivia Burnette), and Teresa (played by Troian Bellisario). According to Ziggy, Kevin will soon disappear, and the only trace of him ever found is some bloody clothes. And little Teresa can not only see Al, but she sees Sam as he really is.
Sam leaps into a suburban kitchen wearing a woman's shirt and pants, to the sound of food cooking on a stove, a radio, a barking dog, and two children arguing over a Queen T-shirt. Meanwhile, a small girl tugging at the bottom of Sam's shirt tells him that the dog, Wookie, ate the head off of her doll. Wookie yanks on a cloth on the kitchen counter, bringing a plate of breakfast smashing down onto the floor. The eldest of the children, a boy, snatches the T-shirt away from the girl he's been arguing with, and she kicks him in the shin. The two children both turn to Sam to complain about the other, referring to him as "Mom", much to Sam's dismay as he realizes he is a mother.
It's September 30, 1981, and Sam has leaped into Linda Bruckner (played by Molly Meeker), a divorced mother of three living in Scottsdale, Arizona. The older children, Kevin and Susan, continue to argue over the T-shirt, while Wookie eats the spilled breakfast. Sam studies the reflection of Linda in a small mirror stuck to the fridge, then, remembering how his parents kept order when he was young and fought with his siblings, yells at the arguing Kevin and Susan, who have now torn the T-shirt in two, to be quiet. This gets their attention, and Sam angrily yanks the radio out of its socket. Kevin is stunned and impressed, and Sam tells them that now the T-shirt doesn't belong to anybody.
Suddenly, the youngest girl, Teresa, asks where her mother is, and Sam realizes that she can see him and not Linda. Teresa hides behind Kevin, and says she wants her mommy. Sam tries to laugh it off, but Teresa gets scared and runs out of the living room. Kevin and Susan wonder what's wrong with Teresa, and Sam asks Susan to go and check on her. Kevin makes a joke about the effect of parents yelling at their children, and Sam tells him to go to school. However, Kevin points out that Sam hasn't served breakfast yet, and Sam starts making some toast. Kevin apologizes to Sam, and tells him he knows that the divorce has been tough on him, but the hard part is over. He adds that the "bimbo" his dad ran off with is punishment enough. Kevin tells Sam that it's time to think about himself, and that he is proud of him for getting his real estate license and getting on with his life.
Susan returns to the living room, and tells Sam that Teresa is saying that their mother is a strange man dressed in her mother's clothes. Kevin blames it on residual flashbacks from their mother's hippie days. Susan has convinced Teresa to come out and take another look, but Teresa still insists that their mother is a man, and so is "the guy in the yucky shirt". Sam realizes that Teresa can also see Al, who has just appeared. Kevin and Susan are more confused than ever, and Teresa runs out of the room once more. Sam asks Susan to check on her again, but Susan has to leave for school. She reminds Sam about carpooling the Girl Scouts and going to a fitting for her soccer uniform that afternoon, then leaves. Kevin protests to Sam that his swim meet is also that afternoon, and Sam has to be there. Sam asks again about Teresa, but Kevin has to leave for school, so Sam will have to deal with her himself. Kevin tells Sam that he should wear a dress to the house he's showing later, and leaves.
After Kevin has gone, Al tells Sam that according to Ziggy, children under five exist in a "natural alpha state", which is why Teresa can see them. Al talks about young children and animals being pure of heart, while Sam tries to write down everything he has to do today so he doesn't forget anything. Al tells Sam that Teresa only sees the truth, which is a problem, because the truth is that her mother is gone. From her bedroom, Teresa calls out for her mother not to hide from her, and Al tells Sam that they'll have to tell her the truth.
Teresa comes back into the living room, and asks Sam and Al where her mother is. Al kneels down and tells her that her mother had to go away for a while, but will be back soon. Sam introduces himself and Al to Teresa, and tells her that everyone is going to pretend that Sam is her mother for the next couple of days. Teresa asks why, and Al has to consult the handlink to come up with a suitable answer. He tells her it's so that her big brother Kevin can win his swim meet. Teresa asks Al if he and Sam are angels, to which Al says "yes" and Sam simultaneously says "no". Al offers to prove that he and Sam are angels by holding out his hand for Teresa to touch. Her hand goes right through Al's, and she delightedly runs back and forth through him with a giggle.
Sam tells Teresa that he and Sam are angels who are going to help Kevin win his swim meet, after which he promises her that her mother will come back. Teresa gives Sam her doll to fix, then asks Al to read her a story. Sam tells her that Al can read her a story, but she'll have to hold the book and turn the pages. Teresa agrees. Al tells her to go and pick out a book, and he'll come and read it to her soon.
After Teresa leaves the room, Sam asks Al what he is really there to do. Al says that he didn't want to say it in front of Teresa, but sometime in the next twenty-four hours, Kevin is going to run away from home and disappear without a trace. Six months from now, his clothes are going to be found in an abandoned van, though his body will never be found, and Linda will never allow the case to be closed. Meanwhile, a van is shown crossing the state line into Arizona.
Later, Sam has changed into a floor-length skirt and blouse. He asks Al why he would leap into a mother, and Al explains that the father is away having a mid-life crisis. Sam stresses over everything he has to do today. Al responds that being a mother is never easy, but tells Sam he has to figure out why his fifteen-year-old son is going to run away. Sam asks Al about the worst thing he can remember about being fifteen. Al starts telling him about being with a girl and getting caught by her parents, but Sam doubts that Kevin's disappearance has anything to do with sex. He realizes that he can't follow Kevin around all day, but Al can. Al says he is happy to read stories to Teresa, but refuses to follow Kevin around. As Sam tries to convince Al to do it, the front door opens behind him, and Rafaella (played by Alina Cenal), the maid, walks in. Al leaves to go and check on Kevin, and Rafaella asks Sam if someone named Al is coming over for dinner.
At the Indian Grove High School, Kevin and some other students are admiring and joking about one of the female students. Al is nearby, listening in on the conversation. One of the boys suggests that Kevin should try and score with Jackie Arnett (played by Allison Barron), a pretty girl who is sitting across the quad and reading a textbook. Kevin tells them that Jackie isn't his type, and explains that she lives a couple of blocks away from him and the two of them are friends. The other boys joke that Jackie has had a lot of encounters with boys at their school, which Kevin quickly denies. They make fun of him for defending her, but he insists that Jackie isn't like that, which impresses Al. The other boys announce a challenge, daring Kevin to score with Jackie, but Al senses a set-up and returns to Sam. One of the boys crosses the quad and starts talking to Jackie.
Back at the Bruckner house, Sam tells Al that he's not going to help a fifteen-year-old learn how to seduce a girl, but Al argues that Sam doesn't have a choice, as Kevin is inexperienced with the opposite sex and needs help standing up to his friends. He tells Sam that Kevin is genuinely interested in Jackie, but that his friends are going to set him up somehow, which will cause Kevin to run away. Despite Al's insistence that Kevin defended Jackie to his friends because he really likes her, Sam says he is not going to encourage Kevin to have sexual intercourse.
Teresa, who has returned from the bedroom, asks Sam and Al what sexual intercourse is, though she has trouble pronouncing the words. Al starts to tell her it's a game that grown-ups play, but Sam quickly interjects and says to Teresa that they should wash up for dinner. He suggests to Al that maybe they can teach Kevin about romance instead. Opening the oven door, Sam realizes that he has burned that night's dinner, and Al hopes that Sam is better at romance than he is at cooking. Sam tells Teresa that they should pick up Kevin and Susan and go out for dinner, and Teresa excitedly asks for pizza. Meanwhile, the van from the earlier scene is shown getting closer to Scottsdale.
Later, Sams returns home with the three kids, and tells Susan to get her books and soccer uniform from the car before going inside. Susan argues that she is going to miss "Magnum, P.I.", and Sam responds that it's going to be on for the next eight years. He then tells her to take Teresa inside and help wash the ice cream off her face. Teresa wants to stay with Sam instead, and Sam asks her to take his purse into the house, which she does, following Susan inside. Meanwhile, Kevin has been silent, and doesn't seem like himself. Sam asks him if he's okay, and Kevin says he's fine as he gets out of the car. Sam follows Kevin into the garage, and offers to play a game of ping pong with him. Kevin is confused, knowing that his mother hates ping pong. Sam insists on having a game, and the two of them start to play.
Sam tells Kevin that when his dad wanted to talk to him about something important, it was over a ping pong table. Kevin wonders what Sam wants to talk about. Sam says he can tell something is wrong, and asks if Kevin is too cool to talk to his mother. Kevin says it's just "guy stuff", and Sam tells him he might know more about girls than Kevin thinks. He awkwardly tries to talk about what a girl likes to hear from a boy, then asks Kevin if he knows where to put his hands when dancing with a girl. Kevin is becoming uncomfortable with the conversation, but before Sam can continue, Teresa appears covered in fingerpaint, as is Wookie. Sam takes Teresa back into the house to clean her up, and yells at Wookie to get off the couch.
On a road leading into Scottsdale, the van is shown following a school bus. Two students get off the bus, but before the two men in the van can approach them, a car pulls over and the students get in.
That evening at Jackie's house, Kevin's school friends are trying to convince Jackie to go along with their plan to mess with Kevin, calling it an "initiation". Jackie thinks it sounds mean, but they assure her that Kevin will find it funny. One of the boys hints that as class president, whoever he takes to the upcoming school mardi gras will be crowned queen. Jackie reluctantly agrees to go along with their scheme, and the boys excitedly plan to invite Kevin over to Jackie's house later that night.
Susan is in the living room watching "Magnum, P.I." when Kevin comes in. He jokes about what Susan sees in Tom Selleck, then awkwardly asks her what a boy who likes her would have to do to get her attention. Susan says that she's eleven and doesn't has to deal with that stuff, but tells him that a boy who likes her wouldn't be the school joke. Kevin angrily turns off the TV and leaves the room, and Susan leaves to go watch TV at her friend's house next door. Kevin is about to leave too, when Sam walks in carrying Teresa, who has just had a bath. Sam wants to know where Kevin is going. Kevin says he's going out with his friends to watch "Raiders Of The Lost Ark", and tries to convince Sam that he told him about it the night before. Sam, knowing what's going to happen to Kevin, wants him to stay at home tonight. Kevin argues that Susan wants to go out, and opens the front door to leave, but Sam refuses to let him out of the house. Kevin closes the door in frustration, and angrily tells Sam he's going to his room.
Upstairs, Kevin climbs out his bedroom window, having left the stereo on to cover his escape. He drops to the ground and rides away on his bicycle. The van, which was parked down the street, starts moving and follows Kevin.
Sam is trying to put Teresa to bed, but Teresa wants him to sing her a lullaby like her mother does. Al appears, and sits down to sing to Teresa while Sam goes to Kevin's room to turn off the stereo. Al sings "The Inch Worm" to Teresa, and smiles as she drifts off to sleep. Sam calls Al out into the hall, and Al starts talking about having never wanted to have a child before. Sam interrupts and tells Al that Kevin has snuck out, and blames himself for not letting Kevin leave the house. Al says that it's not Sam's fault, because Kevin's friends are manipulating him over Jackie Arnett. Al looks up Jackie's address on the handlink so Sam can go and find Kevin, and offers to stay in the house and watch Teresa. Since Al is only a hologram, however, Sam decides to bring Susan back home and call Rafaella over to watch the girls while he goes out to find Kevin.
At Jackie's house, Kevin and Jackie are sitting together on her couch. Kevin nervously tells her that it was nice of her to invite him over. Jackie tells him that he doesn't have to be nice to her or talk to her, because if he wants to, they can just get started. Kevin worriedly asks about her parents, but she tells him that they're out with friends and won't be home for hours. She moves closer to him and touches his leg, but Kevin is still nervous. He wants to know why Jackie is doing this, and asks her if she even likes him. Jackie asks him if it matters, and he says that it matters to him. She tells him to take his clothes off while she puts another song on the stereo, and Kevin starts unbuttoning his shirt.
Jackie puts on a romantic song, then lies down on the floor near the fireplace, inviting him to join her as he takes his shirt off. The two of them start kissing, but Kevin breaks off the kiss, telling her he doesn't know what to do. Jackie asks him if he is a virgin, and Kevin reluctantly admits that he is. As soon as he says this, his friends burst in from the next room, laughing at Kevin's admission. Jackie also laughs at first, but stops when she sees his hurt expression. Humiliated, Kevin runs out of the house, and rides away on his bike. The other boys continue to laugh, and an upset Jackie calls out for Kevin to come back. Outside, Kevin passes the van on his bike, and it starts moving again to follow him.
Jackie complains to Kevin's friends that he was supposed to find the joke funny, but he was really hurt by what they did to him. Sam enters the house, and Jackie tells him that Kevin rode off on his bike. Al appears, and Sam asks him where Kevin has gone. Al tells him where Kevin's bike was found, and Sam leaves to try and catch up to Kevin before he disappears.
The two men in the van are driving away from Scottsdale, and Kevin is now bound and gagged in the back, trying to break free. Sam and Al are in Linda's station wagon, and Al is trying to pinpoint Kevin's location with the handlink. They pass Kevin's bike, overturned on the side of the road. Al tracks Kevin down, and tells Sam he's in a vehicle three kilometers ahead of them. Sam hopefully suggests that maybe Kevin hitch-hiked, but Al somberly tells him that Kevin is in a van. Sam spots the van ahead, and asks Al to go and check on Kevin. Al responds that he won't be able to do anything, but agrees to go.
Al appears in the back of the van, and is relieved to find Kevin still alive. He tells Kevin to hang in there. One of the men in the front of the van starts crawling menacingly toward Kevin, as Al watches in helpless disgust. Sam is right behind them now and starts honking his horn, and the man returns to the front seat. Sam tries to pull up alongside the van, but has to swerve back to avoid an oncoming truck. He tries again, and this time manages to run the van off the road and into the scrub, where the van stops. The driver of the van checks his rear view mirror, and smiles as he sees a reflection of Linda getting out of the car. Sam approaches the van, but as the driver gets out, the other man grabs Sam's arms, pinning them behind his back. The driver rips open Sam's blouse, but Sam fights out of the other man's grip, knocking the two men down with experienced fighting moves. Sam is stunned to discover that he knows how to fight, and Al tells him he knows judo, karate, muay thai, and tae kwon do. One of the men pulls a knife, but Sam takes him out with a roundhouse kick. With the two men unconscious, Sam quickly opens the van and rescues Kevin. Kevin is surprised to see Sam, and tells him that he wasn't running away. Sam says that he knows, and the two of them embrace. Kevin asks Sam how he knocked the two men out, and Sam replies, "Girl Scouts."
The next morning, Susan gets up from breakfast to go to school. She tells Kevin that although she picks on him sometimes, she's glad he's okay. After Susan leaves, Sam joins Kevin at the table, and says he has a pretty good idea of what happened at Jackie's house the night before. Kevin is reluctant to talk to Sam about it, especially when Sam brings up the word "sex". He tells Sam that his friends found out he's a virgin, and now they're going to tell everyone at school. Sam tells Kevin that he was a virgin at sixteen, and that there's no special age when anyone is supposed to lose their virginity, whether they're a boy or a girl. He explains that there should be a special reason, however, and being in love with someone is the best reason to make love. Kevin says that he never thought about it that way. Sam says there are other things to talk about before then, and tells Kevin he should just give himself some time. Kevin agrees, then get up to go to school. Before leaving, he thanks Sam and gives him a hug. Sam tells him to have a good day.
After Kevin leaves, Al, who has been listening in, compliments Sam on how he handled the conversation. Sam asks Al why he hasn't leaped yet. Al jokes that it's because he's been having so much fun with Teresa, then says that Sam will probably leap once Kevin stands up to his friends.
At school, Kevin's friends look on as Kevin cautiously enters the cafeteria. He passes Jackie, who quickly gets up to talk to him. She apologizes, and says she understands if he doesn't want to speak to her, but that she'd really like to be his date to the mardi gras. Kevin smiles at her, and the two of them start walking together. Kevin's friends continue to ridicule Kevin for being a virgin, but Jackie responds by saying, "You've got to be kidding me," and gives Kevin a lengthy kiss in the middle of the cafeteria, drawing exclamations and applause from the other students.
Sam and Al are in Teresa's room, and Al is using the handlink to show Teresa holographic pictures of dinosaurs so she can guess their names. Sam is doubtful at first, but smiles as Teresa correctly names a tyrannosaurus rex, a stegosaurus, and a diplodocus. Suddenly, Sam senses that he is about to leap. Al takes this in for a moment, then gently tells Teresa that her mother is coming back. She asks Al if he can stay, and he tells her that he can't. She says she doesn't want him to go. Al says he doesn't want to go either, but he promises to come back someday. He puts his hand up, and Teresa puts her hand through his one more time. From across the room, Sam smiles at the two of them, and leaps.
Science of leaping
Ziggy's explanation for why Teresa can see Sam and Al is that "kids under five exist in a natural alpha state," so they see the truth.
- Kevin parodies Rod Serling's intro to The Twilight Zone ("You see a signpost up ahead...").
- Later, he does an impression of Yoda from Star Wars. Additionally, the family's dog is named Wookiee, presumably after the race from Star Wars.
- Susan is a big fan of Magnum, P.I.
- Kevin says he and his friends are going to "see Raiders again," and mentions "the rock rolling out of the cave," referring to the Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Call Me (performed by Blondie)
- Shake It Up (performed by The Cars)
- Give Me The Night (performed by George Benson)
- He's So Shy (performed by The Pointer Sisters)
As originally aired on NBC, this episode is the first episode of the series to feature a standardized narrated introduction. It is only slightly different from the later versions narrated by Deborah Pratt, most notably in that it features a male narrator. Prior to this, most episodes featured a unique narrated introduction by Scott Bakula, with clips from the preceding episode.
|Quantum Leap Season Two|
|● Honeymoon Express ● Disco Inferno ● The Americanization of Machiko ● What Price Gloria? ● Blind Faith ● Good Morning, Peoria ● Thou Shalt Not... ● Jimmy ● So Help Me God ● Catch A Falling Star ● A Portrait For Troian ● Animal Frat ● Another Mother ● All Americans ● Her Charm ● Freedom ● Good Night, Dear Heart ● Pool Hall Blues ● Leaping In Without A Net ● Maybe Baby ● Sea Bride ● M.I.A. ●.|