Leapers! We are FINALLY back with a new episode. Coincidentally, just in time for the start of Pride Month, we’re discussing Quantum Leap’s infamous “very special gay issues” episode, “Running For Honor – June 11, 1964”.
Sam leaps into Tommy York, a naval academy track star. As Tommy, Sam must help his friend Phillip, who was expelled from the academy because he was gay. In the original history, Phillip was killed by “The CHAIN”, hate group comprised of naval academy students. Or was he?
When the CHAIN catch Sam (as Tommy) with Phillip after his expulsion, his own sexuality is called into question. Sam must fight to keep Tommy’s place in school, confront the CHAIN, and also confront even Al’s homophobia and his views on whether gay people should serve in the military.
As we always do, we contextualize the episode – from the time period it took place, when it was written and produced, and how it holds up today.
CONTENT WARNING FOR THIS EPISODE: Discussion of suicide, and hate crimes against LGTBQIA persons
Supplemental Info: This is the LA Times article we reference throughout the episode: NBC Takes Hit Over Gay Issue on ‘Leap’ Show
Beyond the Mirror Image: The Observer’s Guide to Quantum Leap