The Right Hand of God is the fourth episode of Season 1 of Quantum Leap also the fourth overall series episode. The episode, which was written by John Hill, and directed by Gilbert Shilton, originally aired on NBC-TV on April 7. 1989
Sam leaps into a boxer that is owned by a convent of nuns who need him to win a boxing match to finance their new chapel.
Having leaped into Kid Cody, a boxer on the take, Sam has to win the championship to fund a new church for his trainers, a group of nuns. Sam must face the bookie who counts on him to take a dive in the final bout, and, with the help of several trainers, streaking, and Al's appearance in the ring to guide his punches, Sam wins the bout and finances the chapel.
Sam leaps into Clarence "Kid" Cody, a boxer on the take from Sacramento, California. Sam must learn how to fight so he can win the heavyweight boxing championship in order to provide a group of nuns with the money they need to build a chapel for the poor.
October 24, 1974: Sam leaps into Clarence "Kid" Cody (Michael Strasser, as the leapee) during a qualifying match for the heavyweight boxing championship. Little does Sam know that the match is fixed in Cody's favor so Sam is able to knock out his opponent with only a mild, defensive jab. After the match, his trainer, Mr. Gomez (Alex Colon), says it is their last fight together as Cody's contract has been inherited by a group of nuns, led by Sister Angela (played by Michelle Joyner) and Sister Sarah (Nancy Culp). Sister Angela is excitedly placing her hopes in Sam that he will win the championship so the nuns can build a chapel to help the poor. Despite his reservations, Sam muses to Al that his mission must be to win the championship match.
Upon returning to Cody's apartment, Sam is ushered into the limo of Jake Edwards (Guy Stockwell), a crooked boxing promoter who fixes matches for profit. Edwards has set up Cody's last ten victories but now wants him to lose the championship fight. Sam attempts to get out of the situation by suggesting he might retire. However, Edwards threatens that one of his goons will shoot him in the knee caps if he opts out of the fight.
Sam backs down from his retirement idea and is dismissed by Edwards, who tells him he will be in touch to tell him which round to take a dive in. Sam returns to the apartment and converses with Cody's girlfriend, Dixie (Teri Copley). Dixie is a stripper who is helping Cody save money so they can both buy a donut shop together. However, Cody owes money to local bookie, Roscoe (Jon Gries, in an uncredited appearance), which Dixie repays. Sam then tells her he must move in with the nuns so he can train for the championship fight.
Al suggests to Sam that his best shot for leaping is to win the championship. Al, who reveals he was once a boxing champion as a teenager, offers to train him. However, Sam knows he needs a real trainer, not a hologram, so he seeks out Gomez for help. Gomez refuses, stating he is tired of training boxers who take dives. Edwards approaches them and reveals he once owned Gomez and regularly paid him to take dives. Ashamed and angered, Gomez decides he will in fact train Sam.
Gomez commences the training by having Sam spar with church priest, Father Mulrooney (Lewis Arquette). However, Mulrooney easily defeats Sam and knocks him out. Gomez realises Sam is in need of serious training. With both Gomez and Sister Angela's help, Sam undergoes an intense exercise regime to help get him into shape. While they are jogging, Sam asks Sister Angela why building the chapel is so important to her. Sister Angela tells him that when she was a girl her family was killed in a fire and she ended up homeless. Her life was changed when she was taken in and cared for by the nuns. Since then, she has vowed to build a chapel as a shrine to commemorate her family, as well as to help destitute people like she once was.
Al tells Sam that in the original history Cody took a dive and lost the championship thus Sister Angela never got to build the chapel and realise her dream. Sam is now determined to win the fight for her. But when Mr Edwards learns of Sam's plans, he instructs him to take a dive in the first round. Sam tells Mr Edwards he will decide which round to bet on. However, Edwards eventually refuses and sends a message along with payment, via Sister Angela, reiterating his instruction for Sam to take a dive in the first round. Sister Angela becomes convinced that Sam is nothing but a cheat and retreats into disillusionment. Sam tells her he is not the same Kid Cody who took dives in previous matches and asks her to keep faith in him.
During the championship fight, Sam's opponent is Tiger Joe Jackson (Roger Hewlett). Initially, Jackson gains the upper hand and knocks Sam down. However, seeing Sister Angela's disappointed expression in the crowd, Sam gets back up. At his instruction, Dixie streaks for the crowd, creating a diversion which allows Sam to overcome Jackson. Finally, with Al's help, Sam applies the finishing jabs and manages to knock Jackson out, winning the match. After the match, Dixie tells Sam they have won $48,000 for betting the correct round in which Muhammad Ali would defeat George Foreman in their famous bout which had occurred that day. It was this round, in fact, which Sam had asked Edwards to bet on earlier but Edwards had refused.
Sam and Dixie plan to apportion $20,000 of the winnings for themselves, $20,000 for the nuns and the rest for Edwards, as repayment for the money he gave Cody to take dives. Dixie and Edwards leave the room to collect their money from Roscoe, who placed the bet. Meanwhile, Sister Angela enters the room and apologises to Sam for doubting him as well as thanking him for winning the championship so she can now build her chapel. With that, Sam leaps...
- Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing (performed by Aretha Franklin)
- Amazing Grace
- Takin' Care Of Business (performed by Bachman-Turner Overdrive)
- You Don't Mess Around With Jim (performed by Jim Croce)
- Dancing Machine (performed by The Jackson Five)
|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 ●.|