Shock Theater - October 3, 1954 - Recap

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Sam leaps into a man who is strapped to a gurney. Butch, a male nurse, calls Sam Beederman, hits him, and says nobody gets away with hitting him. A nurse, Chatam, comes in and asks what Butch is doing. and realizes he's going to administer shock treatment to Sam. Chatam tells him to wait while she gets Dr. Masters. However, Butch sets the charge too high and administers the shock treatment.

Four hours later after recovery, Butch takes Sam back to the ward at the Havenwell Mental Hospital. One of the patients, Libby, accuses Butch of trying to kill Sam. Butch says it'll be Tibby's fault if Sam dies, and Tibby claims that Sam isn't Mr. Beederman. Butch dismisses his claim and leaves, and Tibby tries to warn Sam that he won't be cured there. He insists that Butch wants him dead but Chatam and the orderly, Freddy, come over and check on Sam. Freddy notes that Sam has gotten worse since he arrived there. Chatam insist that Sam is a classic depressive and needs their help.

Al arrives and tells Sam that he's Sam Beederman, and gets to use his own first name. He explains that Beederman is there for acute depression. Sam is confused and doesn't recognize Al, who explains they have Dr. Beeks working on it but she won't have an answer for another 15 hours. He realizes that Sam has had electro-shock therapy, while Chatam promises it won't happen again. When Al says they need to figure out how to get him out, Sam starts talking to thin air as far as Chatam can tell. Tibby still insists that Sam isn't Beederman, and appears to see Al.

Dr. Masters arrives but Sam is still shocked and points at Al. Al tries to explain to Sam that they can't see him, and Sam wonders how Al can help. Sam suddenly reverts and says that he's Samantha Stormer, a former person he Leaped into. He explains that he's an executive secretary in Detroit, Michigan, in 1961. He thinks he's there because he hit his boss, Buddy Wright.

As Dr. Masters observes Sam, Al tries to get through to his friend. Sam says that he knew a Sam Beckett in Elk Ridge, Indiana, and describes him as a boy he knew a long time ago. Al describes Project Quantum Leap, and then warns Tibby not to say anything or they'll lock him away for good. Dr. Masters believes that Sam is suffering from multiple personality disorder. Al convinces Sam to say he's tired after his therapy and Dr. Masters agrees. However, he tells Chatam to prepare an observation room.

Once he's alone, Sam asks Al who he is. Al explains that he's his buddy and Sam believed in him and brought him onto the project. He demonstrates that he's a hologram and can't touch anything. Al soon realizes that the other patients can see him as well as Tibby. As Sam dozes off, Tibby wants to know what the future is like. Al doesn't say much, leaves to find Gushie, and asks Tibby to tell Sam he'll be right back and to keep an eye on him.

Dr. Masters and Chatam discuss Sam's case and Masters is impressed that Sam has seemingly created an entirely new persona, unrelated to anything Beederman has ever experienced. He suggests using sodium amytal on Sam as they perform the tests, and Chatam suggests he might be letting his eagerness overlook Sam's mental problems. Dr. Masters abruptly dismisses her concern.

Al returns and tells Tibby that Sam Leaped to the hospital to get Tibby out, but now Al is going to have to complete the mission. Tibby explains that he's had bad headaches since he was young, and his parents left him there. He still gets headaches and Al explains he has mild Down's Syndrome, and will be released out into the streets in seven years. Sam wakes up and Al explains they have to help Tibby get set up with a job. Freddy arrives to come get Sam, and Sam now believes that he's Jesse Tyler. He insists that he shouldn't be punished for sitting down at a lunch counter. Al warns that it took them full power to get him back to 1961, and he fades in and out. Before he leaves, he warns that if Sam keeps switching, they'll lose contact forever.

In the observation room, Masters wants Sam to look at some Rorschach ink blots. Al gets enough power to come back. Outside, Chatam explains to the other doctors that Sam believes he's from 1955. As he looks at the ink blots, Sam remembers Jesse's injured granddaughter and trying to take her to a white hospital. He knew the proper medical procedure and Al reminds Sam that he has seven degrees, including a medical degree. Sam rejects the idea that he can read and argues with Al. Al tries to explain to Sam again that no one else can see Al, and tells him to finish the test. Sam goes along with Al's suggestions. The next ink blot, Sam describes a sub-atomic quark and demands water. When Butch comes in, Sam has flashes of Vietnam and accuses the nurse of being a VC, and then panics as he taps into the memories of Magic Williams. Al convinces him to ask Dr. Masters to take him back to the ward.

Later, Al explains that they have to teach Tibby how to read. Tibby insists he can't, although he's learned how to sing. Al has an idea and accesses a rap song they put into the databanks. He then makes up lyrics to teach Tibby the alphabet and the rest of the inmates join in. Freddy runs in and tries to stop the patients from tearing up the ward. Sam wakes up, but this time he's Captain Tom Stratton. Al realizes that he's succeeded and tells Sam to Leap, but then disappears again.

Sam falls back to sleep and remembers his Leap home to Elk Ridge, and his time as boxer Kid Cody. He wakes up as Al returns to calm him down. He explains that Ziggy only has ten minutes of emergency power, and he's brought Dr. Beeks with him. Sam can't see her, but Al takes her hand so that Sam can see her through Al. He can't hear Dr. Beeks and Al asks him to trust him. He explains that the shock treatment kicked out Sam's ego, and it's being filled in by the memories of the people he's Leaped into. Al has to let Dr. Beeks go because it's draining too much power. Once she's gone, Al tells Sam that Dr. Beeks believes he'll get his ego back if he takes another electro-shock treatment. Sam refuses but Al insists it has to be done.

Butch confronts Chatam and warns that if she tells Dr. Masters what he did, he'll implicate her. Chatam walks away and goes to the observation room, where Sam has now taken on the personality of Jimmy LaMotta. Dr. Masters now believes the electro-shock therapy revived some childhood trauma. However, nothing in Beederman's file indicates any such trauma. Dr. Masters comes in to see Sam as Al arrives and says it's time for him to ask Dr. Masters for another therapy session. Sam finally agrees and goes berserk. Butch bursts in and Dr. Masters orders the electro-shock over Chatam's objections.

Sam is taken to the shock theater and strapped to the gurney, and begs Al not to leave him. Chatam objects but Dr. Masters overrides her again. Al tells Sam to insist that he have the same setting as yesterday. When Dr. Masters asks what charge was set, Chatam finally tells him that Butch administered the shock treatment. While Masters argues with Butch, Sam begs Chatam to administer the treatment at the proper setting. She finally does so just as Al fades out for good, and Sam and Al Leap out simultaneously.

Sam wakes up lying on the grass in the park. He realizes that he's back to normal. Al is there, dressed in a soldier's uniform. He discovers that his hand link doesn't work, and that he's solid. Sam walks through a nearby cannon and discovers that he's become a hologram.