Double Identity was the sixth episode in Season 1 of the Quantum Leap TV series, also the sixth overall episode in the series. Written by series creator Donald P. Bellisario, the episode, which was directed by Aaron Lipstadt, originally aired on NBC-TV on April 21, 1989.
November 8, 1965: Sam leaps into Francesco "Frankie" La Palma (the leapee Frankie is played by Page Moseley), a handsome mafia hitman involved in a dangerous tryst with the lover of crime boss, Don Geno Frascotti (Mike Genovese). Sam must avoid the wrath of Geno, while also following Ziggy's instructions, who has formulated a theory to help retrieve him...
Sam leaps into Frankie after having apparently just copulated with Teresa Pacci (Terri Garber), who's the lover of mafia boss, Don Geno, while in Geno's attic. The two are attending the wedding of Frankie's brother, Primo, to Angela (Patricia Veselich), Geno's daughter. After leaving Frankie, Teresa is approached by Don Geno, with whom she has been having an affair for some time. Teresa wants to end their relationship but Geno tells her it will be over when he says it is. Geno suspects that Teresa is seeing another man and, while she denies it, he orders one of his henchmen to find Teresa's lover.
Sam, meanwhile, is wandering among the guests at Primo and Angela's wedding. The two newlyweds request that Sam sing "Volare" for them on stage. Sam is thrust in front of the crowd, and with the guidance of Al, who is fluent in Italian, is able to sing the entire song. Afterward, he and Al retreat from the crowd to talk. Al tells Sam that Ziggy is being uncooperative, which means Al is unable to give Sam any details about his mission except that Sam is a mafia hitman, a fact which horrifies Sam. Al also tells Sam that Ziggy has a theory to retrieve Sam back to his own time, however, it will require Sam to follow all of Ziggy's instructions.
The next day, while walking along the street with Frankie's two brothers, Primo and Segundo (Tom Silardi), Sam spots Teresa working as a haidresser in a salon. Sam decides he must talk with Teresa and steps inside to ask for a trim. Teresa is pleased, though startled, with Sam's appearance and sits him down for a haircut. She tells him that if Geno were to see them together Sam's life would be endangered, alerting Sam that Teresa and Geno are having an affair.
Outside the salon, Frankie's father Tony La Palma (Joe Santos) has joined Primo and Segundo in waiting for Sam. Geno drives past and stops to approach them. When he spots Sam receiving a haircut from Teresa, his suspicions are raised. Frankie's father attempts to convince Geno that he sent Sam into the salon in order to discover the identity of Teresa's lover from the hairstylists and female customers inside. Geno is incredulous, but nonetheless says he will spare Sam's life so long as Sam confirms the story. Geno steps into the salon and tells Teresa to move aside. Holding a shaving razor to Sam's throat, he asks Sam why he is sitting in the salon with Teresa. However, Sam cannot undertstand him, as Geno is speaking in Italian. Al shows up, telling Sam he knows what Geno wants to hear, and gets Sam to repeat his answers. Speaking in Italian, Sam is able to tell Geno it was his father's idea, and that he believes he can find out who Teresa's lover is by listening in on the conversations of the women in the salon. Satisfied with the answer, Geno smiles and leaves Sam alone.
Meanwhile, Al tells Sam that Ziggy has now put together a theory to retrieve Sam back to the present: Sam must duplicate the event that took place just before he leaped in, and at the same time, plug in a hairdryer at a specified address in Buffalo, New York. Since Sam is in Brooklyn, he decides he must send Primo and Segundo to Buffalo to plug the hair dryer in, while he must contact Teresa to meet him in Geno's attic and make love like they did the day before. Though Teresa is unsure, Sam convinces her that the meeting is important for their future.
Primo and Segundo borrow a hairdryer from Teresa's salon and drive to Buffalo. They pull up at what appears to be a fraternity house and insert the hairdryer into the house's external power outlet. After Primo switches the hairdryer on, an electrical surge suddenly causes a blackout on the entire street. Meanwhile, Geno's henchman informs him that Sam and Teresa have just ascended the trellis of his home and are meeting at his attic. Geno is outraged and plans to enact revenge.
The electrical power outage that Primo caused is now spreading across the east coast. Sam and Teresa are in Geno's attic, making out. Sam is unsure whether he can go through with the act. Uncomfortable about lying, he admits to her that he is not the same Frankie she knows. Teresa says it doesn't matter if he lies; she is used to men lying to her. Sam tells her she is special and deserves better. The two begin to kiss, until Geno arrives and holds them at gunpoint. Sam takes responsibility for the affair and tells Geno he insisted on bringing Teresa to the attic, despite her refusal. Geno replies that he respects a man who faces his death with honesty. Teresa intercedes and tells Geno she was the one who wanted to come to the attic. Geno is about to shoot them both when the power outage suddenly reaches his home and knocks out the lights. Sam uses the distraction to grab Geno's gun, and the two wrestle for control. As they do so, Sam suddenly leaps out of Frankie and into Don Geno. The real Frankie now returns, suffering amnesia. Upon seeing Sam/Geno he pleads their innocence. However, Sam now has an idea of what his mission is: to keep Frankie and Teresa together. He asks the both of them if they love one another, and they both confess that they do. Sam knows that he must find a way to announce his acceptance of their union to an audience so that when the real Geno returns, he cannot continue his revenge.
Sam takes Frankie and Teresa to the local church hall, where Frankie's grandmother is playing bingo. Sam asks the priest to announce Frankie and Teresa's engagement with Don Geno's blessing. The priest does so; and Sam further tells Frankie that he is no longer to continue in the mafia business. Al appears to explain that Ziggy's theory didn't work because Ziggy claims Sam did not follow his complete instructions. Sam is nonetheless confused as to why he hasn't leaped out of Geno's body. Al tells Sam that he has one final task to do: pick the winning bingo number, allowing Frankie's grandmother to win a game for the first time...
Kisses with History
Primo's decision to plug in the hairdryer at the frat house in Buffalo, as directed by Sam, causes the famous North East Blackout, which occurred on November 9, 1965 and reportedly affected over 30 million people who lost their electricity supply for up to 12 hours.
The Science of Leaping
Ziggy attempts to use the Retrieval Program to bring Sam home. The only other time the Retrieval Program is mentioned is in the episode "The Leap Back."
This is the first, and only, on-screen occasion in which Sam leaps out of a Leapee, the Leapee returns to their own body, and the Leap's immediate after-effects on the Leapee are shown. After Sam leaps out of Frankie and into Geno, Frankie is shown to be a bit disoriented and amnesiac. Frankie initially believes that he's still at the wedding on the day before, the occasion at which he'd been Leaped into.
Behind the Scenes
This was the first episode to be filmed after the pilot, but Bellisario requested that the episode be pushed back in the rotation, because he thought that Sam's double leap in this episode might confuse new viewers.
"Primo" is the Italian word for "first." "Segundo" is a regional Italian pronunciation of "secondo," the Italian word for "second."
- Stop! In The Name Of Love (performed by The Supremes)
- Hang On Sloopy (performed by The McCoys)
|Quantum Leap Season One|
|● Genesis: Part I ● Genesis: Part II ● Star-Crossed ● The Right Hand of God ● How The Tess Was Won ● Double Identity ● The Color of Truth ● Camikazi Kid ● Play It Again, Seymour ●.|