After Quantum Leap Raised The Stakes With One Character’s Return, Can Ben Get Ahead?

Walter Perez as Richard Martinez in Quantum Leap on NBC
(Image credit: NBC)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Quantum Leap Season 1 episode "S.O.S." Read at your own risk!

Quantum Leap's latest episode took Dr. Ben Song on a journey that put him on a collision course with Addison's father. While actor Brandon Routh gave a great performance as Executive Naval Officer Augustine, I have no doubt fans will look back on this episode mainly due to the return of the mystery leaper, Richard Martinez. Martinez's latest appearance raised the stakes for Ben's mission and has me questioning if Ben can get ahead of his new rival. 

After Ben's actions on the naval vessel prevented a war between the United States and China, he was approached by Richard Martinez. Ben greeted the mysterious leaper by his last name, perhaps to catch him off guard. Martinez was briefly confused that Ben knew his identity but quickly put it all together:

That’s right, your team must’ve found me. Well, the past me. Can’t imagine I had any intel to give you.

Martinez confirmed that the past version of himself that Magic and Jenn interviewed in the present was as ignorant about his life as a leaper as the character seemed during that episode. He also confirmed he's from the future, which is interesting considering we recently learned that a future version of Ian will eventually leap as well. We know that future Ian was working with Ben in that instance, so it seems both may know Martinez much better in the future. 

Martinez said one additional thing of note before departing, which hinted that while they worked together this time, it doesn't seem like it'll be a consistent thing. Ben admitted to Martinez he was confused about what was going on between them, but instead of offering answers, the mystery leaper said this: 

I know. And that's why I'm going to win.

Not only is Ben working to prevent some future incident that will impact Addison, but the Quantum Leap lead apparently has some competition in Richard Martinez. It's unclear how Martinez may "win" and if that meant they have competing interests or they're literally competing for some sort of prize. I doubt it's the latter, but with so little information to go on, we can't rule anything out. 

Ultimately the audience, along with Ben, needs more intel on the situation. Ben will either have to rely on the Quantum Leap team to figure out who could be working against them or start remembering why he did this in the first place. Ben has slowly been remembering details of his life but hasn't indicated how much he knows. 

One person who might have more answers is Janice Calavicci. She hasn't been seen in a couple of episodes, and I'm assuming she's still under the custody of the Quantum Leap project. Janice was apprehensive about sharing details with Addison and others at first but was swayed into giving a small detail not long ago. Could she help in determining who Richard Martinez is working with or what Ben needs to look out for? Probably, but who knows how much she's willing to risk revealing if it might alter the timeline and jeopardize Ben's original plan?

It remains to be seen if the hit NBC show will unravel the mystery of Richard Martinez in Season 1, though it's possible his story and the mystery will continue into the reportedly "wild" Season 2. All I can say so far is I love this season regardless of the lack of answers, and I am still very invested in finding out what's going on!

Quantum Leap airs on NBC on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. ET. Episodes are available to stream for those with a Peacock Premium subscription, and viewers can even binge the original series there as well. That might be a good idea, based on what recent reveals CinemaBlend heard from an executive producer about about Scott Bakula potentially reprising his role

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.