Quantum Leap Season 1 Broke A Major Rule From The Original Series, And I Have One Big Question Before The Finale

Updated with video.

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Quantum Leap episode "The Friendly Skies." Read at your own risk!

Quantum Leap showed Ben in an unexpected place at the end of its Season 1 penultimate episode, and it broke the rules from what we'd seen in the original series. Now that the Season 1 finale is near, I have one major question as we wait for what's next for Ben as he meets up with Ian in the future.  

The end of "Friendly Skies" showed Ben re-emerge in what seemed to be his own body and what looked to be the remnants of the Quantum Leap lab. Ben wondered why it was snowing in Los Angeles and was informed by a future version of Ian that it was actually the effects of "nuclear winter." The scene closed with Ian explaining they'd been waiting for Ben for a long time. That's right – Ben somehow managed to make his way to the future, which is something Sam Beckett never did. 

It seems that future Los Angeles was devastated by nuclear war, but my question is, who caused it? We know that Richard Martinez was sent on a mission to stop something and that Ben's goals got in the way of his mission. Is Martinez trying to stop Ben from inadvertently causing a global conflict and nuclear war, or is it the other way around? Is Future Ian trying to stop events Richard set in motion via Ben? 

Future Ian, who has lived through this disaster, will likely have more answers. The only thing we know about this character so far was that they were the person who first used the accelerator to talk to Ben back in the present day and possibly the person who encouraged Ben to leap. Ben's still missing a chunk of his memories, but maybe Future Ian will help remind him of their mission. 

And while we don't know for sure that Ben is back in his own body, that does seem to be the case considering Ian recognized him without being in a holo program. This could mean that it is possible to escape the leap cycle, which is potentially good news for Sam Beckett. Is it possible that he's also somehow alive in this future, and there's a secret Scott Bakula cameo we don't know about? 

Honestly, there's a good chance that Sam Beckett has nothing to do with Quantum Leap's Season 1 finale, and that's completely fine with me. This season has paced out its heartwarming and heartstopping moments perfectly, and now we're on the cusp of what looks to be a bonkers Season 1 finale with the promise that Season 2 is even wilder. I'll be curious to see what we learn and what other rules of the original series will potentially be broken going forward. 

Quantum Leap Season 1 is almost done at NBC, so tune in for the Season 1 finale on Monday, April 3rd at 10:00 p.m. ET. Catch up on this season now with a Peacock Premium subscription, and maybe binge the original series after the finale to bide time until Season 2. 

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.