Sea Bride was the 21st episode of Season 2 of Quantum Leap, also the 30th overall episode in the series. Written By Deborah Pratt, the episode, which was directed by Joe Napolitano, premiered on NBC-TV on May 2, 1990.
Sam leaps into Philip Dumont on board the ocean liner, the Queen Mary. Philip's ex-wife, Catherine, is on board - in a wedding dress. Catherine's father, Weathers Farrington, has convinced her that Philip is dead. Sam has to stop Catherine's marriage to Vincent Loggia, a felon who is also known as Vinny the Viper. If she goes through with the wedding, it could be fatal to both Philip and Catherine. Fortunately, Sam has the help of Catherine's kid sister, Jennifer.
June 3, 1954: Sam has leaped into Phillip Dumont (the leapee is played by Kent Phillips) aboard the RMS Queen Mary leaving New York. No sooner has he adjusted to the feeling of being on the water than a woman wearing a wedding dress enters the room and kisses him. Then, just as suddenly, she slaps him across the face and asks him what he's doing here. The woman, Catherine Farrington (Beverly Leech), who happens to be Dumont's ex-wife, tells Sam that she thought he was dead after becoming lost at sea, and is upset that he didn't come home. She insists that she is over him, and that he can't stop her from marrying Vincent Loggia (James Harper), a felon who is also known as "Vinny the Viper", the next day.
As Catherine is about to leave, someone knocks on Sam's door and demands to be let in. Recognizing that it's her father, Weathers Farrington (played by J.G. Hertzler), Catherine hides in the closet. Sam lets in Weathers, who angrily tells Sam that he shouldn't have shown up to Catherine's wedding after refusing to take a job with the Farrington family cruise business and leaving Catherine three years ago. He warns Sam to stay away from his family, and punches him to emphasize the point.
Al arrives, and tells Sam that he has to stop Catherine from marrying Vincent, or as Al calls him, "Vinnie the Viper". Sam promises to Weathers that he will not interfere with the wedding. After Weathers leaves, Al insists to Sam that Phillip and Catherine were in love with each other before Phillip was lost at sea, but Weathers convinced Catherine that Phillip was dead and had their marriage annulled. Another knock sounds, and Sam realizes that Catherine is still in the closet. He lets her out, and she asks him again why he's here. Al tells Sam that Phillip committed suicide after failing to stop the wedding, and a broken-hearted Catherine died two years later. Catherine tells Sam that if he still loves her, he should jump off the ship and swim back to New York.
After Catherine leaves, Al says that maybe jumping off the ship is exactly what Phillip did. Sam is unconvinced, but Al tells him that what Phillip and Catherine have is true love, which only happens once in a lifetime. Sam asks Al what he would know about true love, bringing up his numerous marriages. Al responds that he found true love with a woman once, and married her. Sam asks why they aren't married still, but Al shrugs off the subject. He tells Sam that helping Phillip and Catherine is what's important right now.
Another knock sounds, and a young girl wearing a dark hat, glasses and trenchcoat comes in. She tells Sam that everything is going according to plan, and Catherine is feeling confused and miserable. Al guesses that this is Catherine's little sister, Jennifer Farrington (played by Juliet Sorci). Jennifer tells Sam that she overheard Vincent threatening to cut him up into little pieces and feed him to the fish if he comes near Catherine. Al wonders if Phillip's death was a suicide after all. Jennifer begs for Sam to talk to Catherine, and Sam agrees.
Later, Catherine is refusing to come out of her bedroom. Weathers passes it off to Vincent as pre-wedding jitters. Vincent asks Catherine to come out and join them, but soon turns angry, pounding on the door and yelling at her to come out. He tells Weathers to have his wife and daughters ready for dinner in seven minutes, and leaves. Catherine comes out, and tells her father that she can't go through with the wedding. Weathers confesses to Catherine that the family business is in financial trouble, and Vincent has offered to buy them out. He tells Catherine that she'll learn to love Vincent, and she'll always have her family. Feeling reassured, Catherine agrees to get ready for dinner, though Weathers seems conflicted after she leaves.
After dinner, Sam is telling Al that although Jennifer has given him a key to the first-class pool so that he and Catherine can have some alone time, Catherine is still refusing to talk to him. Al has an idea, and suggests a way that Sam and Catherine can be in a room full of people and still have an intimate moment.
Sam finds Catherine in the ship's ballroom, where the guests are being entertained by a live band. He requests a tango to be played, and whisks a stunned Catherine onto the dance floor. As the two of them dance together, and Vincent watches in anger, Sam asks Catherine to meet her at the pool at midnight, and promises that if she still wants him to leave her alone after that, he will. The dance ends, and Catherine agrees to meet him. As Sam leaves, he is intercepted and escorted outside by Victor and his bodyguard. Vincent warns Sam that he doesn't want him getting Catherine confused before the wedding, and threatens to kill him if he doesn't stay away from Catherine and her family. Sam spots the ship's captain nearby, and manages to get himself out of trouble by requesting a tour of the ship. The captain agrees, and the two of them leave Vincent and his bodyguard behind.
When Sam is safely away, he tells the captain that Vincent is threatening to kill him. Using information that Al has given him, Sam explains to the dubious captain that Vincent is a convicted felon, and the New York police can confirm his criminal record.
Later, Sam is searching through Phillip's luggage for a pair of swimming trunks. Al angrily tells Sam that right now in a room at the bottom of the ship, large amounts of garbage are being pushed out into the ocean. Jennifer enters the room, and quickly finds Sam a pair of trunks. She tells him he should be at the pool when Catherine arrives, then heads back so she can cover Catherine's exit.
Catherine has changed into her swimming costume, but is still nervous and uncertain about meeting with Sam. Jennifer assures her that all she has to do is listen to what Sam has to say. Catherine is convinced, and leaves. She heads to the pool, unaware that she is being followed by Vincent's bodyguard.
Catherine finds Sam at the pool, which unbeknownst to them had been emptied an hour earlier. Unable to swim, the two of them begin to talk. Sam asks Catherine if she really loves Vincent, and guesses that her inability to answer the question means that she doesn't. Catherine admits that she still wants to be with him, but now she's obligated to marry Vincent and help her family. Sam responds that she can't sacrifice her own happiness. The two of them kiss, but after a few moments, Catherine pulls away and leaves, telling Sam that it's too late for them. Sam tries to follow after her, but finds a gun to his back instead, courtesy of Vincent's bodyguard.
The next morning, Catherine is in her wedding dress, and the wedding is only minutes away. Jennifer comes in, and tells Catherine that she can't find Sam anywhere. Catherine's mother, Marian (Patricia Harty), tries to console her of Sam, or Phillip's, sudden disappearance, trying to reassure her that she will get over Phillip, whom she still has feelings for, and to go through with the wedding, as she also reveals that she, before marrying Weathers, had a relationship with a young man she called "Jerry", whom her parents, like Weathers feeling towards Phillip, did not approve of, but that she never regretted breaking their relationship and marrying Catherine's father.
Meanwhile, Sam is in the lowest room of the ship, where he has been held overnight by Vincent, hanging by his wrists from a rope attached to the ceiling. Vincent comes in wearing his wedding suit, cuts Sam free, and pushes him into the garbage below. His bodyguard starts the mechanism that pushes the garbage out into the ocean, and the two of them leave.
Al arrives, still venting about all of the garbage polluting the earth's oceans. Upstairs, Weathers is escorting Catherine down the aisle. He asks her if she's happy, and Catherine calmly tells him that she is. Catherine joins Vincent, and the ceremony begins. Downstairs, Al urges Sam to reach up and grab one of the chains hanging from the ceiling, which Sam frantically manages to do moments before being swept out into the water.
The ship's captain is about to pronounce Vincent and Catherine as man and wife, as Al desperately calls out for Sam. Suddenly, Catherine cuts off the captain's words, and tells Vincent that she doesn't love him, and she can't marry him. Vincent tells Weathers to talk to his daughter, but Weathers stands by Catherine's side, supporting her decision. Sam arrives, covered in garbage, and tells the captain to have Vincent arrested for attempted murder. Sam and Vincent get into a fight, and Sam knocks Vincent down with a punch. Vincent's bodyguard tries to intervene, but is met with a punch from Weathers (who was a boxing champion in his youth). Catherine throws her arms around Sam and kisses him. Al tells Sam that Catherine and Phillip are going to have six children, and Jennifer will write a bestselling book about Phillip's seafaring adventures, which will make enough money to keep the family stable until the cruise business recovers. Sam kisses Catherine again, and leaps.
J.G. Hertzler, who plays Weathers Farrington, would go on to star in multiple roles in the various Star Trek series. One such episode is the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Judgment", where Hertzler (as a Klingon warrior) co-stars with Scott Bakula (as Capt. Jonathan Archer).
The tango the band plays is an instrumental version of "Hernando's Hideaway" from The Pajama Game.
When Vincent is threatening him, Sam says that he's making him "an offer he can't refuse," referencing The Godfather. Vincent responds that he likes the sound of that phrase. The movie wouldn't come out for another 18 years.
In the twenty-ninth installment of The Quantum Leap Podcast, Albie and Heather discuss season two, episode twenty-one “Sea Bride”. There are first impressions, an episode recap, thoughts and opinions, listener feedback, and three awesome interviews, one with Beverly Leech, who played Catherine Farrington, one with James Harper, who played Vincent Loggia, and one with J.G. Hertzler, who played Weathers Farrington, the third episode of the original audio drama, Quantum Leap: The Impossible Dream, Need You Now: Part 3 with special guest star Jennifer Runyon. Also Chris DeFilippis is back with his segment, A Leap in Perspective. Also, an article from Hayden McQueenie about the Quantum Leap video game that never was.