QUANTUM LEAP Post-Mortem: Martin Gero on the Finale Twist and Season 2's Changes - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

QUANTUM LEAP Post-Mortem: Martin Gero on the Finale Twist and Season 2’s Changes

April 3, 2023 by  

Quantum Leap season 2 spoilers

QUANTUM LEAP — “Judgment Day” Episode 118 — Pictured: Raymond Lee as Dr. Ben Song — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Monday, April 3 season finale of QUANTUM LEAP, “Judgment Day.”]

QUANTUM LEAP’s first season concluded with Ben (Raymond Lee) getting very close to home—with multiple twists.

Initially, Ben leaped to the future, where he met up with a 2051!Ian (Mason Alexander Park), who gave Ben an equation to give their 2023!self.

But Ben found himself in a difficult situation almost immediately: He jumped back into his own body, in 2018, on the day of his first date with Addison (Caitlin Bassett). Because he was there to save her life, he veered from their original plan, and told her that he was a leaper from the future—but when Leaper X went into Magic’s (Ernie Hudson) body, he convinced the 2018 team that Ben was actually the one there to harm them. (Leaper X was also able to pass the team’s test, while Ben’s faulty memory didn’t help his case.)

The 2018 team locked up Ben, but thanks to an assist from 2023!Magic and 2023!Jenn, Ben was able to write a secret message on his cell—leading to 2018!Jenn (Nanrisa Lee) realizing he was telling the truth, because he used the secret phrase she came up with in case a Jenn wanted to communicate with another version of herself.

Ben was let out and started fighting Leaper X—while jumping through places Ben had visited during season 1. 2023!Ian realized the equation was basically a cheat code, which could allow Ben to return to the start of the 2018 day and fix his mistakes of the leap.

Initially, the timing didn’t work, but the Ians realized they needed to work together. After Leaper X was shot during the western time—rendering him dead in all timelines—it bought Ben a little bit of time for the Ians “to exist as one.”

They brought Ben back to 2018, where he made one change to his day—he kissed Addison pre-date. As Ben prepared to leap home, the team waited for his arrival…and the season ended.

So what comes next? QUANTUM LEAP executive producer Martin Gero looks back at the season 1 finale and previews what to expect when season 2 debuts…

Where does the show pick up in the season 2 premiere?
We pick up right after that moment. And then I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Ben doesn’t leap home. And so for us, it’s exciting because it’s kind of unknown territory. This first season, Ben, Janis, and Future!Ian, they didn’t know exactly where he was going to land as he went, but they kind of had a path plotted. Whereas now, we don’t have that. So it’s very much more in keeping with the original show, where Ben is kind of just in the great unknown of time. And where he’s gonna go next and why is kind of a mystery. There was always something kind of mystic in the first incarnation of the show, and I think we get back into that in a real way in season 2.

Not to get potentially depressing, but how does that change possibly the tone of the show, as Ben had this hope that he was on this mission to get home, but now he’s a little bit aimless?
I mean, it’s a big part of the show. A big part of season 2 is what this means for them emotionally.

There was talk about not messing up things in the past—did Ben kissing 2018!Addison change things in ways we haven’t noticed yet?
Nothing notable has changed in the timeline. Just giving her that kiss early didn’t totally rewrite history.

That’s good they got that win. What can you share about how they’ll be navigating their relationship now that Ben is aimlessly leaping?
It’s gonna be really tricky for them, obviously…this is basically the long-distance relationship from hell. So like, anyone who’s been in a long-distance relationship knows how heartbreaking it is when you think you’re finally going to see each other, and then it gets delayed to an unknown amount. So for us, it’s tough. It’s gonna be tough for them. But I think that’s really awesome. It gives us so much fodder to talk about with them…creating organic conflict amongst our characters is kind of the goal with the present-day stories.

One of the fun things about the finale was seeing Ben interact with everyone. How much will you be playing with that in season 2?
We’ll see it a little in season 2 through some flashbacks and stuff that we’re able to do some more of, now that his memory is kind of loosening up. I think people don’t realize that it’s very rare for Ray to be shooting the same day as Mason, Nanrisa, and Ernie. So to have everybody all together was such a treat. And also I think so comforting for Ray, who we’re very lucky we’ve had an incredible guest cast all season, but Ray is constantly just meeting new people and starting from scratch and trying to build a rapport. And so I think to be on the home set again—or really, for the first time—it was really exciting for him.

There was the incredible moment when the Ians basically saved the day. What was the genesis of that twist?
That’s the great thing about a writers’ room is that it’s not one person; it’s not one person’s idea. And as we were trying to figure out kind of the plot of this episode, and making sure that the math worked, one of our writers, Shakina, just really was like, “What is the moment, though? We need to talk about the connectivity between all these timelines and the entanglement so to speak, that we spoke about in the first episode.” And so we really sat with that for a bit, and then that’s when the Ian communing with three versions of themselves, to know when to press the button…I thought it was really beautiful and gives me chills every time I see that moment.

Leaper X was a fascinating foe this season. What can you share about the villain they’ll be facing in season 2?
Well, it won’t conventionally be a foe. It kind of goes back to we’re trying to steer the ship back to kind of an earlier version of the show…like how they did it in the old days, where it wasn’t necessarily like a big bad every season that they were fighting against. The show works because of the leaps and because of the characters. And so there obviously will still be serialized aspects of the show, but we want to create a show that is a little more leap-heavy. Not so exposition-heavy about like, “Well, wait, who is this guy? What are they doing? What do they want? Why do they want to take over?” There will be that, to a certain extent, it just won’t be a season-long thing.

How much of those past leap scenes were done prior to filming the finale? Did you film the previous spots when you were filming those episodes and therefore have to really plan out where this finale was going ahead of time, or did you go back to film there when it came to finale time?
No, we knew that this was how we were going to do it pretty early on. And so for us, we shot all the sequences when we shot them, with the exception of the Western sequence, which we knew because the Western set is part of the permanent backlot on Universal [where QUANTUM LEAP films]…so that we knew we could get back to. But as far as the battleship and the insane asylum, those were temporary sets so we had to shoot them with those episodes.

What lessons did you take from banking those shots that could be brought into season 2?
For us, each season kind of is like a book in a series of novels you really like. So there’s a closed-ended aspect of the season that it’s like if you just binge the season, it’ll be a satisfying watch. And then if you wait a year to watch season 2, which I hope you don’t do, but it’s a satisfying watch on its own. So season 2 kind of stands on its own feet away from season 1 a little bit. But obviously all the same characters and it’s still QUANTUM LEAP and we’re leaping every episode, but the overarching arc of the season is very different.

Season 2 has already started production—what can you tease about the episodes you’ve filmed?
I can share that they are awesome. And I can share that I think fans of NBC will be really excited about some of the guest cast that we got. And I also think…the season premiere is the biggest episode I think we’ve done. it’s so huge, and has such incredible scope and incredible guest cast.

QUANTUM LEAP, Mondays, 10/9c, NBC


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