Blind Faith was the fifth episode in Season 2 of Quantum Leap also the 14th overall series episode. Written by Scott Shepherd, the episode, which was directed by David Phinney, originally aired on NBC-TV on November 1, 1989.
Sam leaps into a concert pianist. As if that weren't challenging enough, he realizes that he's supposed to be blind! Sam must prevent his leapee's girlfriend from being murdered in Central Park, as well as help her angry mother to finally accept him.
Sam finds himself just finishing a piano performance in a huge music hall. As the audience bursts into applause, Sam has no choice but to stand up and take a bow. He notices a dog at his side, barking at him, realizes he's wearing dark glasses, and concludes that he's supposed to be blind. A woman off-stage, his assistant Michelle Stevens (played by Cynthia Bain), calls over the dog, Chopin. It drags Sam along with him and she congratulates Sam, referring to him as Andrew. The crowd calls for an encore while Chopin growls at Sam, sensing who he really is, and Michelle is surprised that Sam isn't going out for the encore. Realizing he has no choice, Sam goes back to the piano, hesitates, and then starts playing Chopsticks. The audience thinks he is ending the performance on a lighthearted note and applauds. As Sam leaves the stage, Michelle says she's looking forward to seeing what he'll play tomorrow night.
Outside, Michelle escorts Sam home and she talks about how much she admires him. Sam spots a newspaper confirming he's in New York City on February 6, 1964. When Michelle wonders how he knew they were at a newspaper kiosk, Sam claims he heard newspapers rustling. As they continue on, neither one notices a head line about a third girl strangled in Central Park. Michelle asks him why he decided to play Chopsticks and Sam claims it's the only thing that came to mind. They go to Sam's apartment building and she says her mother wants her home by midnight, and that she hopes Sam will like her. She kisses Sam on the cheek and says goodnight.
A French woman comes out with her dogs and takes them for a walk, as Sam realizes she lives in the building as well. He confirms what apartment he lives in and starts to go in, and mounted police officer Peter O'Shannon (played by Kevin Skousen) comes out of the neighboring apartment on his way to work. He complains about the fact the police are working double-shift to protect some British rock performers in town. Peter feeds Chopin some peanuts and Sam goes into the apartment.
Michelle takes the bus home and removes some hidden books from a cabinet. Her Agnes is waiting and complains that Michelle didn't call and is running late. Michelle claims she was studying and was out with friends. Agnes knows she's lying because she left one of her books behind. Michelle says she went to Carnegie Hall because she got a ticket for a concert at the last moment. Agnes complains about how she's working to give Michelle the money she needs to enter nursing school, and how she'll end up alone with a daughter when her husband abandons her. Michelle gives in and Agnes takes a more sympathetic tone, saying that nursing is steady work and there'll be no Prince Charming to sweep her away.
Sam is trying to find Andrew's music when Al arrives and explains that Andrew learned to play by ear. Al checks his hand link and confirms Sam is in New York three days before the Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show. Andrew's concert is a huge success, but afterward, Michelle is strangled in Central Park. Sam figures since he can see, he can prevent Michelle from being killed. He's concerned that he won't be able to play at the piano, but Al says that he can help him with that and says that he'll be there the next night for Sam. In the park, the French woman is walking her dogs when the killer finds and murders her.
The next day, hordes of teenage girls have gathered for the Beatles, and the police try to keep them back. Sam is walking past and ends up catching a girl as she faints. When he almost walks into traffic, Chopin warns him. Peter notices and comes over, and tells Sam they found another body in the park.
Sam meets Michelle at a diner for lunch and she wonders if he's feeling okay. He slips again, noticing his sandwich doesn't have mustard, and quickly covers by saying he didn't smell it. Sam then notes she has a pretty smile and claims that he can tell her from her laugh. Michelle admits she doesn't have much to laugh at around the hospital, but she feels relaxed around him and can be herself. When she mentions her mother, Sam asks when he'll get to meet Agnes, and Michelle makes excuses, saying her mother is too tired after work. Sam realizes Michelle is reluctant to be a nurse and the girl admits she likes being around great music. She heads off for class but not before Sam asks her to have dinner after the concert. Michelle says she'll have to ask her mother but then has second thoughts and promises Sam she'll go out with him. As she leaves, she's unaware that Agnes has been following her.
Back at Andrew's apartment, Sam listens to Andrew's recorded performances and wonders how he'll get through the concert. Chopin asks for food and Al arrives to taunt the dog. He starts reading the dog's food mixture box out loud, unaware that Agnes has come in behind him. Al warns him too late and Agnes tells him to stay away from Michelle or she'll reveal his charade to the world. She refuses to let anyone take her daughter from her and walks out.
Later that night, Sam prepares as best he can for his performance but apologizes to Andrew's reflection. Michelle comes to his dressing room and Sam tells her about Agnes' visit. She explains that her mother constantly reminds her that she's not pretty enough and she has no talent. Sam tries to reassure her and Michelle wonders how he can get through his life with his blindness. He tells her that sometimes you have to do what you feel is best and ignore others, and tells Michelle she owes her mother her love, not her life. She considers what he's said and embraces him.
On stage, Sam hesitates until Chopin literally pulls him to the piano. Unsure how to begin, Sam whispers for Al, who finally appears in a white tuxedo and carrying piano music. Al has to touch it so that Sam can continue to see it through their neurological connection. Sam wonders how he can play it, and Al tells him to just try. Sam goes ahead and discovers that he can play perfectly. Al explains that Sam played at Carnegie Hall when he was 19.
Meanwhile, as Sam performs, Agnes comes to see Michelle and say that Sam will leave her. She dismisses Michelle as soft and sweet, and talks of how she's had to be tough for both of them. Agnes says that Sam can't want an ordinary girl clinging to him. When Michelle accuses her of jealousy, Agnes slaps her and says that Sam isn't blind. On stage, Sam finishes his performance and takes his bow, and then turns and clearly sees Agnes. Michelle realizes that Agnes was right and breaks into tears while running off.
Chopin drags Sam off momentarily and by the time he goes after her, it's too late: Michelle has merged with the crowd of teenagers outside cheering on the Beatles. Sam drops his glasses and turns as a photo flashbulb goes off in his face. Al finds him and Sam explains that he's blinded. He tries to cross the street and Chopin saves him just in time. Sam gets to a fountain to try to rinse his eyes out, but he realizes that he can't see.
Al directs Sam to the park to find Michelle. Meanwhile, the girl finally slows down but hears someone behind her. She turns and sees a masked man wielding a belt to strangle her. He chases her down and starts choking her. She stabs him with a nail file and breaks free.
When they come to a fork in the path, Sam tells Chopin to find Michelle. The dog guides them into the park where they find her discarded purse.
In the park, Michelle finds Pete and embraces him in relief. However, when she notices that he's bleeding, she realizes that he's the strangler. Sam hears her cries, follows them, and releases Chopin. The dog holds Pete down while Al directs Sam to the officer's handcuffs so he can restrain the killer.
As the police take the deranged Pete away, Agnes arrives and blames Sam for endangering Michelle. Sam has already provided a cover story for how he recognized Agnes by her perfume. She lights a cigarette and thrust the flame into Sam's face, but he doesn't react because of his temporary blindness. Agnes believes she's been wrong all along and walks away. Sam tells Michelle to go after her. Once she goes, Sam starts to regain his eyesight and can make out Al at his side. Sam wonders why he's still there and Al says he may not have saved Michelle's emotional life yet.
Realizing what he means, Sam goes over and says that Michelle loves her, so much she'll sacrifice her life for her mother. Agnes insists that she loves her daughter, but Sam warns that it's a smothering love. She asks Michelle what she wants to do. When it becomes clear what Michelle wants, Agnes says that she has her own life and Michelle could do with a little independence. Michelle embraces her mother while Sam smiles and leaps.
The Science of Leaping
This is the first episode which proves that Sam's mind and body leap together (i.e. he doesn't leap into other people's bodies), as the leapee is a blind man but when Sam leaps in, he can still see. This trait will again come in handy in the episode "Nowhere to Run."
Kiss with History
Sam runs into the Beatles as they're coming out of the Ed Sullivan Theater after their historic performance.
In an anachronism, the episode title card shows the completed World Trade Center towers. The episode takes place 4 years before construction of the World Trade Center started and 7 years before towers 1 and 2 were completed.
- Étude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor - Frédéric Chopin
- Piano Concerto in A minor - Edvard Greig