Honeymoon Express was the premiere episode of Season Two of Quantum Leap, also the 10th series episode overall. The episode which was written by series creator Donald P. Bellisario, and directed by Aaron Lipstadt, originally aired on NBC-TV on September 20, 1989.
April 27, 1960: Dr. Beckett leaps into a policeman, Tom MacBride (the leapee is played by Ron Chabidon), on a honeymoon with a woman whose possessive ex-husband is trying to kidnap her - and kill him. Meanwhile, Al must convince a Senate committee to renew the project's funding or he will lose contact with Sam forever.
Al is appearing before a Senate committee in order to convince them to renew the Project's $2.4 billion annual budget. Reading over the report, the members of the committee are incredulous towards Al's assertion that the project has mysteriously been taken over by God, who is using Sam to "put things right that once went wrong". Furthermore, without proof that the time travel experiment ever actually happened or that Sam's accomplishments carry any global or historical significance, the senators conclude that they are unable to justify renewed funding of the project. Al contests that if they cut funding, Sam will be trapped alone in the past. The committee chairman, Senator Weitzman (played by Warren Frost) mockingly suggests that Sam will not be alone, as he will have God to watch over him.
Al goes to visit Sam, who is a fireman in the year 1957, in the midst of rescuing a little old lady's cat from a tree. After Sam dives for the cat and falls to the ground, the cat lands on him and safely jumps into the grateful arms of its owner. Having accomplished his simple mission, Sam leaps once more. This time, he leaps into Tom McBride, a New York cop, who is riding the Honeymoon Express train with his newlywed, Diane (played by Alice Adair). When Dianne discovers that he brought her law books along for the trip, she thanks him for being supportive of her goal to pass the Bar exam. Uncomfortable at the prospect of making love to a complete stranger, Sam suggests that Dianne do some study while he wanders off to speak with Al.
Without mentioning his appearance with the Senate committee, Al tells Sam that he has the opportunity to affect an event of global proportions. In two days, the U-2 spy plane, flown over Russia by Gary Powers, will be shot down. The event contributes to the breakdown of U.S-Soviet relations and extends the Cold War for decades. Al tells Sam that Dianne's father is an influential U.S Senator, who is also one of President Eisenhower's golfing partners. If Sam can get Dianne to contact her father and convince the President to call off the mission, Sam will have stopped the event from happening. Sam is confused, as none of his prior leaps have ever required him to affect a major historical event. He wants to know what Ziggy says about his mission. According to Ziggy, Sam must simply help Dianne pass her Bar exam.
After Al leaves, Sam hears Dianne scream. He watches from down the hall as Dianne is being dragged from her carriage by a man carrying a knife. Sam runs over to rescue her and draws his gun on the alleged kidnapper. The man, Roget (Mathieu Carrière), reveals himself to be Dianne's ex-husband. Roget says that Sam does not look like the sort of man who is capable of killing another person, and voluntarily exits the train. Dianne apologises for not telling him about her former husband. She says that Roget was a possessive and jealous husband who prevented her from leading her own life. He is also a dangerous arms dealer who began his profession by smuggling arms to the French resistance during WW2 and continued the lucrative business thereafter.
Meanwhile, Al convinces the Senate committee to delay their ruling until after the weekend. He declares that Sam is in the midst of preventing the U-2 event from taking place thus proving to the Committee that Sam has travelled in time, and that his mission carries global and historical significance.
Sam and Dianne are enjoying champagne in the dining cart. Dianne sees a man sipping champagne and becomes paranoid that it is one of Roget's bodyguards (which turns out to be true). Al shows up and Sam excuses himself to go and talk with him. Sam is annoyed with Al because Dianne was nearly abducted by her ex-husband, a fact which Al failed to warn him about. Al confesses that the project has been forced to make cuts in the researching unit. He also tells Sam it is important that he prevent the U-2 event, but Sam contests that he has more important things to worry about.
Sam returns to the carriage where Dianne wants to make love. Sam tries to get out of it by telling her he is not Tom MacBride, but a quantum physicist named Sam Beckett. Dianne assumes he is simply having fun, and goes along with it. However, she becomes startled when she sees Roget through the window, preparing to re-board the train. Sam sets off to confront him. As he is walking down the hall, Roget's bodyguard deliberately bumps into Sam and snatches his gun from him.
Sam finds Roget seated in the dining cart. Roget says he still loves Dianne, and that her vow to "honor and obey" him requires her to stay with him. Sam says she changed her mind. Roget says Sam is foolish for defying him, as he killed his own mother for betraying the members of the French resistance, and has no qualms about killing him too. Al arrives to confirm that Roget did indeed murder Tom MacBride and urges Sam to kill him first. However, Sam realises his gun is missing and leaves the table.
Al advises Sam to have the conductor radio the police as Roget is wanted for murdering his psychiatrist. However, he also urges Sam about the importance of preventing the U-2 mission. When Sam refuses knowing that isn't what he is there to do, he finally reveals that the Committee is threatening to cut off the project's funding unless Sam can stop the mission and prove he's gone back in time. Sam realizes that if the project is shut down, Al won't be able to contact him anymore and Al confirms that this may be their last conversation. Sam tells Al that without him he cannot go on, but Al assures him that he'll manage no matter what happens. After saying goodbye for possibly the last time, Sam returns to the carriage to ask Dianne to contact her father. She cannot do so, as he is on a fishing trip and can't be reached by any means.
The train conductor attempts to radio the police until Roget's bodyguard knocks him out. Both Roget and the bodyguard appear outside Sam and Dianne's carriage. Sam pulls the emergency cord to stop the train, and hides Dianne in the overhead luggage compartment. Sam jumps out the window to lure both Roget and the bodyguard off the train. As they split up, Sam tackles Roget and manages to steal his knife. Roget's coat becomes trapped underneath the train, and Sam escapes. He jumps back on the train and tells the driver to restart the train. Roget's bodyguard attempts to board the moving train until he slips and falls under the train to his death. Roget, however, manages to climb back on the train.
Sam asks the Porter for a gun, and returns to the carriage to collect Dianne. Roget appears behind them with a pistol and forces Sam to throw his gun out the window. Dianne tells Roget she will come with him as long as he spares Sam's life. Realising that Dianne truly loves Tom, Roget is about to pull the trigger, until Sam produces the knife he stole from Roget and plunges it into his chest.
Al has returned to the Senate Committee. The Chairman reads a history book which demonstrates that the U-2 event is unchanged and that Sam failed to prevent it. Al, however, argues that Sam was able to save the life of Dianne MacBride. The Chairman becomes annoyed and accuses Al of posturing. He says that he was the protege of Dianne's father, Senator Max Brown, and that he beat Dianne in an election race to succeed him after he died. He tells Al to accept that he has lost.
Sam, meanwhile, is with Dianne, helping her revise for the Bar exam while also allowing himself to succumb to her advances. Sam tells Dianne that one of her answers is wrong; a mistake which Dianne says could otherwise have cost her the exam. Sam suddenly realizes that he's succeeded in his mission, and leaps. Back in the present, the Chairman is preparing to announce his final verdict on the project's funding, when an elderly Dianne suddenly appears in his place (a change which only Al notices). Due to Sam's helping her pass the Bar, Dianne has gone on to become a Senator and is now the Committee Chairman. She says that the project's ambitions are noble and thus worthy of renewed funding. She also recalls having met a man Sam Beckett in the past but cannot remember when or where. Al is left very relieved, knowing that he can continue to help Sam in his future leaps.
Kisses with History
The U-2 spy plane, flown by Francis Gary Powers, was flown over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960, and subsequently shot down. Theoretically, Sam could have stopped the incident by telling his wife, Dianne MacBride, to get her father (Ohio Senator, Max Brown) to convince Eisenhower to call off the mission. Whether it could have been achieved in practice is another matter. For the record, the two Senators from Ohio in 1960 were Stephen M. Young and Frank J. Lausche, both Democrats, whereas Eisenhower was a Republican President.
In the new timeline, Dianne MacBride succeeds her father as U.S Senator from Ohio in 1965 (thanks to Sam helping her pass her Bar exam). However, it is worth noting that, to this day, Ohio has never had a female U.S Senator.
As Al is appearing before the Senate Committee, one of the Senators jokes that, given the size of the Project's budget, Sam should have been able to accomplish something more substantial like "altering the results of the last Presidential election". At the time of the episode's transmission in 1990, the last Presidential election was the 1988 contest in which George H. W Bush defeated Michael Dukakis. However, since the episode is set in 1995, the last Presidential election would have been in 1992, when Bill Clinton beat George H. W Bush. By inference, the Senator making the joke, an African-American male, must have been a Republican. In the real world, the only African American senator at the time was Carol Moseley Braun, a female and Democrat.
- The statement may very well have been referring to the politics of the day. Alternatively, it could be a reference to Ray Bradbury's time travel short story, "A Sound of Thunder"; and in fact the arc of this episode follows a similar themes, where small changes in the past have larger consequences in the future. In the short story, as the main characters prepare to travel back in time, they discuss the results of a recent presidential election. Upon their return, after a fairly disastrous trip into the past, which culminates in one of the travelers stepping on and tracking back a butterfly from the past, they find history has changed, including not only the outcome of the election, but the person who had previously sung the praises of the original candidate who won is now a staunch support of the other person.
|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. ●.|