After helping a family save their restaurant, Quantum Leap‘s Ben found himself this week in the body of Rossi, the operations manager and third in charge aboard the U.S.S. Montana in 1989.
In a strange turn of events, Ben’s host body worked directly under Commander Alexander Augustine (played by guest star Brandon Routh), who also happened to be Addison’s father. His mission was to ensure that Augustine answered a distress signal which would rewrite history so that his military reputation wasn’t tarnished.
The story on record was that the commander refused to respond to an SOS call from a nearby U.S. submarine that had been working on a covert mission in the East China Sea before being sunk by an unexplained explosion. When everyone on board died, Augustine was forced to resign from active duty, and that day was remembered infamously by those within the Navy.
Given Addison’s close ties to the leap — and her complicated relationship with her father — Ben offered the military vet a chance to opt out of this one, but she declined.
When he and Addison saw Augustine order his crew to answer the distress call, they quickly realized there was more to the story. It was Captain Drake who ignored the SOS because he didn’t want to pull out of the war games for a call they weren’t completely sure didn’t come from Chinese forces. Ben eventually convinced the captain to change course and provide aid, but then Drake ordered a warning shot with live torpedoes as an intimidation tactic.
In present day, Magic met with a Chinese veteran to get the real story of what happened that day. The submarine was sunk by one of the mines the Chinese military laid around their territory to force America’s hand in revealing they violated Chinese waters. The plan was to then hold the ship under an “investigation,” steal U.S. tech in the process and then return the vessel when they were finished. Unfortunately, a terrible storm dragged the mines further out to sea and in direct path of the submarine.
Commander Augustine, in a private conversation with Ben, revealed a tender side he had never shown Addison. He recalled how he came from an abusive home and immediately enlisted in the Navy the night he almost killed his father. He was a mess, and Drake took him under his wing. Augustine knew the captain to be a good man just going through a hard time, which is why he was quick to defend him despite the potential for war if those torpedoes were shot.
Addison barely had time to process her father showing his vulnerability because the ship took a massive hit, and the crew wasn’t sure if it was a torpedo or something else. Ben pieced together that the explosion was caused by one of those mines and not a torpedo. Captain Drake ordered his crew to fire their torpedoes in response, which would most likely send them into war, and Ben turned to Commander Augustine to talk the man down. Augustine succeeded, a war did not break out, and Addison’s suggestion that they remotely detonate the remaining mines allowed the U.S.S. Montana to reach the sinking submarine and save everyone on board.
In a touching moment, Addison got some closure and told her father that everything would be OK, even though he couldn’t see her. Still, he somehow got the message and uttered the same thing to himself.
And just when it looked like things were calming down, Martinez (the mystery leaper from Episode 5) revealed he’d been there all along and even managed to help Ben out during the leap.
“If we’re being fair, I’d say you helped me,” he said cryptically to Ben. “Not sure I could have pulled this off from where I was sitting today. “
When Ben relayed that he didn’t understand what Martinez meant by that, Martinez added, “I know, and that’s why I’m going to win.” He then leapt into the next body, Ben shortly after.
Who else is scratching their heads after that twist ending? Drop your thoughts and predictions below.