The following contains major spoilers from Quantum Leap’s Season 1 finale. Proceed accordingly.
Quantum Leap’s Ben Song may have completed his mission, but his journey through time is only just beginning.
Monday’s Season 1 finale found him transported to the year 2051 with Future Ian, who gave him the cheat code they needed to defeat Martinez once and for all. Ben then leapt into his own body in 2018, where he stopped Martinez from killing Addison — making a few changes in the process. (Read our full recap here.)
Ian’s special code allowed him to return to the beginning of that day and right the wrongs made during the mission, including his disastrous first date with Addison. When Ben made what everyone presumed to be his final leap home, the episode ended before he could materialize in the Quantum Leap accelerator. According to showrunner Martin Gero, the conclusion is obvious: Ben did not make it home.
“I don’t think it’s a secret [that] what we’re saying is he doesn’t make it home,” Gero tells TVLine. “We had originally written the scene that went right after that which explained everything, but there was something to just going off on that moment with the music and the incredible performance that Caitlin [Bassett] is giving at the end. We felt like it communicated enough and was a lot less talky. It was going out on a feeling as opposed to a word.”
With Ben still stuck leaping from body to body, that means he and Addison will have to wait even longer to be reunited.
“They’re in a terrible long-distance relationship,” Gero explains. “It’s hard… You’re holding onto, like, ‘Well, I’ll see them in three months. At least I’ll see them tomorrow.’ When Ben isn’t able to come back, it’s definitely going to complicate their relationship in Season 2.”
One thing the couple can celebrate, though, is that their biggest threat thus far has been eliminated. Martinez and Ben’s face-to-face confrontation sent them to their previous crossing points, including the mental asylum in 1954, the U.S.S. Montana in 1989 and finally, the Western town of Salvation in 1879. It was in Salvation that Martinez was shot dead by Frankie, the saloon owner from Episode 5.
Gero confirms that Martinez is “very dead,” meaning that no alternate versions of him will appear. “We wanted to close that story,” the Quantum Leap showrunner said. “We need to have endings. We need to have deaths. We need to have conclusions, and so closing out that chapter was really important.”
For those wondering if Ben’s decision to kiss Addison ahead of their first date will have any residual effects, Gero notes that it’s such a minuscule change that it leaves the continuity “pretty much the same.”
Quantum Leap secured an early Season 2 renewal in December, and the show has already begun filming new episodes. As the team continues their efforts to bring Ben home in the new season, fans can also expect to see Ian, Jenn and Magic make more trips in the imaging chamber.
“[In Season 1], we really wanted to set up the dynamic between all of them. But I think for us, it’s an exciting way to vary up the show and also get to learn about those characters,” Gero shares. “Ian, Magic and Jenn kind of get the short end of the stick a lot because they’re stuck in exposition land. When they can spend longer moments with Ben, I think we get to fill out who they are and dimensionalize those characters in such an important way.”
According to Gero, Season 2 will be “even more focused on the leaps,” giving space for the NBC show’s secondary characters to really grow. “It’s deeply, deeply emotional in a way that I think is going to be surprising and exciting,” he teases.
What are your thoughts on Quantum Leap’s Season 1 finale? What do you hope to see in Season 2? Sound off below!