Last episode of Quantum Leap.

The final episode to this brilliant show was a bit cryptic. I picked up the following things:

It seems to me that the bartender was God(read force of good) himself. The bar was just a metaphor god provided, they were really just in Sam Becketts mind. He had been controlling his leaps the whole time, without letting himself know that. He is at heart such a good person, that his soul could not bear to let suffering go on when he could do something about it. So God gave Sam the Power to leap as he chose. The evil leapers were the agents of the Devil(read force of evil). They were not allowed to jump as they pleased, but were required to do as commanded.

I haven’t seen it for a while, but it has stuck with me. I do so wish they would do a QL movie. Anyone got any thoughts on the finale?

DaLovin’ Dj

Sam wii eventually get to go home regardless of who is or is not controlling the leaps.

As I understood the ending, he can now jump wherever he wants, whenever he wants. God keyed him in to this fact and let him know he always could.

Incidentally, the actor who played God also played on Macguyver as one of my favorite charachters.


We batted this around a little bit back on the Worst TV Series Ending thread.

Yankee Blue, I’m afraid I have to respectfully disagree with you. The last line of the closing text states flatly: “Sam never went home.”

I watched this again last week on the SciFi Channel and, as dictated by long experience, cried my eyes out. That episode just pulls every string I have.

I thought that episode was wonderful. I realize that it was a suprise ending, and went against everything fans were hoping for, but I absolutely loved it. And my impression was that he wasn’t going home, and he couldn’t consiously control where he was going to leap.

My question is if he didn’t go home, how long he lives, and if he gets support from Ziggy for the rest of his life.


No. He made an intentional leap to help Al have a happy life. God the bartender told him he could, and that he always could. This sent Sam into tears.

DaLovin’ Dj


I only vaguely remember the last episode of QL, but I’m am 100% positive the message says Sam never returned home, since I almost cried. If he could control his leaps, why couldn’t he? IIRC, I remember getting the impression that while he could control the leaps, he never figured out how. I had an image of Sam being stuck leaping in and out, with no Ziggy or Al, and no way home. Really depressing.


What I inferred was that he could control them. After he figured it out he did it once to help Al, and then faced with the choice of going home, or going out and continuing to leap, he accepted it as his mission in life to leap and fix things for as long as he could. He never went home because he couldn’t bear the idea of not helping.

And he can leap into any one he wants, so he can leap into his family and friends to see how things are going. At least that’s how I took it.

I found it to be kind of inspiring AND kind of depressing. He sacrificed his family and any kind of real life to help people. What a terrible price, and what a noble decision.

DaLovin’ Dj

I know. I hated that and thought it was in effect an unnecessary torture for both the character who was supposed to have done so much good as well as the fans. Therefore my comment must be that regardless all other considerations, Sam must be allowed to go home one day. Never is a bloody long time.

dalovindj: The actor who was the bartender/guy in charge was also the man who played D Day in Animal House. My favorite in that film.

I love QL but I truly did not care for the final episode. Was Sam’s decision heroic? Sure was. Was it selfless? Absolutely. But it utterly sucked to realize that after all Sam had been through (and I always thought that while he initially just tried to correct matters so that he could go home, by the end his interest in helping those he leaped into was equal to his wish to return), all he was going to get for it was leaping forever without end.

I dunno. Maybe I need to see the final episode again. I’m working on restoring my collection of taped episodes, so if the Sci-Fi channel continues to cooperate, I should get there eventually. :slight_smile:

Lionors, with all due respect, you’re missing the point. What he “gets” out of it is to be able to help people and set right what once went wrong for as long as he wants. Since that was the object of creating Project Quantum Leap, the culmination of his life’s work, I can’t imagine how he could possibly be happier.

Obviously, I’m in the camp that reads “Sam never went home” as a joyous thing … he never went home because he found his calling, what Al the bartender called his next “difficult assignment.”

Aw, jeez, now I’m gettin’ all misty again.

here’s my interpretation:

-Sam is told he controls the leaps, and did all along, but he refused to believe that. So just because he’s been told he can control them doesn’t mean he knows how.

-With Time/Fate/God there next to him, Sam controlled one leap: the leap to help Al. Kind of like having T/F/G there “holding his hand through it all”, even though it may not have made a difference.

-After Sam helps Al, Al’s photograph “leaps”. I took this to mean that Al’s life is so drastically changed that he is no longer “in the picture” so to speak. It doesn’t mean Sam is alone in his future leaps, but it does mean that Al won’t be there to help him. This is WHY the future leaps are going to get harder.

-The line at the end that he never returns home is no different from Al telling Sam “Ziggy says X is going to die in two days” in any other episode. It can be changed, but as things are now he won’t get home.

Maybe I am being too simplistic, but I always thought that it meant Sam discovered he had the power to go home, but choose not to.


I think that when he started crying, it was because inside he knew it to be true. Like he was thinking “I could have gone back anytime, why didn’t I? Oh shit. It’s because I don’t want to. I’m so sorry family and friends, I’m sorry I have to give you up, but this is just too important. But I can at least make it right for Al. I have to. If I can control this, dammit, I’m going to!” I’m pretty sure starting with the leap to help Al he is in the driver seat concerning his leaps.

That’s the way it seemed to me. Maybe he can either do it himself now, or just let it happen randomly. I think that at the very least he can take some vacation leaps from time to time now.

DaLovin’ Dj

No, no, no. The first point I quoted is dead on. But Al being there is part of Sam’s “home”. Sam could still go back to his time, but Al won’t be there, because Al is living a happier life. Sam gave up his future relationship with his friend, and, therefore, returning to the life he left, to make his friend happier. He can still return, but it won’t be the same as when he left because he made a drastic change in the timeline.


I haven’t seen this episode for a while. But I remember getting the impression that Sam had in effect been serving an apprenticeship, and that now that his apprenticeship was over God was moving him on to something more important.
This is going to sound a bit corny, but I sort of thought that Sam then became an angel.

Here’s another thread based about Quantum Leap’s final episode:

Er…correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there an episode where Sam actually got to go back and see his wife, but the only way he could stay was if Al got stuck in his place? If my recollection of this episode is correct, Sam seemed truly heartbroken at having to leave her and they parted on a “someday” type of note.

My take on it is simply that yes, QL was the culmination of his life’s work, which he was now going to do at the expense of never seeing those he loved again. Help the world, but abandon those who mean the most to you? Yuck. NOT my type of happy ending. [sub]Okay, I love happy endings. Slam me in the jello for the hopeless romantic I am. [/sub]

Now, if Sam * didn’t * have that to go back to, that would be a lot more fine and dandy, but the whole premise of the series was that Sam was solving these problems “hoping each time that the next leap would be the leap home.” If he wants to go home, how wonderful is the news that you never really can again? Just didn’t cut it for me.

Grrr. Meant to add this on the end of the last post.

However, as I haven’t seen the final episode since it originally ran on the air, I’m willing to see it again and see if it still hits me with the same reaction. I seem to recall I wasn’t alone in disliking the way they wrapped it up, though.

Sam saves Al from a life of emotional pain and misery by convincing his first wife to wait out the war for him. But this means Al’s life must then take a different direction. He never meets Sam. They never initiate Project Quantum Leap. Al never becomes Sam’s only link with reality.

So time travel paradox and causality aside, Sam is now leaping by himself. He has no support. No confidant. No friends. In fact, no one even knows that this Sam Beckett ever existed. He sacrificed himself for Al’s happiness. But he’s still out there, righting wrongs and fixing history, one person at a time.

“Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home.”

It was the perfect way to end that show. Much better than the warm, sloppy hug that many of the fans wanted.