Quantum Leap (1989–1993): Season 2, Episode 19 - Leaping in Without a Net - November 18, 1958 - full transcript

Sam leaps into the body of Victor Panzini a trapeze artist along with his sister Eva and his father Laszlo. There is much tension in the Panzini family resulting from the death of the family matriarch a year ago. She fell during a performance while attempting a triple somersault and Laszlo blames his son who was acting as her catcher. Al tells Sam, who is afraid of heights, that in two days time, Eva Panzini will attempt the triple with her father as her catcher and she too will fall to her death. The only solution is for Sam to overcome his fears and take his father's place.

Theorizing that one could time travel
within his own lifetime,

Dr. Sam Beckett led an elite group
of scientists into the desert...

to develop a top secret project
known as Quantum Leap.

Pressured to prove his theories
or lose funding,

Dr. Beckett prematurely stepped
into the project accelerator...

and vanished.

He awoke to find himself in the past,

suffering from partial amnesia and facing
a mirror image that was not his own.

Fortunately, contact
with his own time was maintained...

through brain wave transmissions
with Al, the project observer,

who appeared in the form of a hologram
that only Dr. Beckett can see and hear.

Trapped in the past,
Dr. Beckett finds himself...

leaping from life to life,

putting things right
that once went wrong...

and hoping each time that
his next leap will be the leap home.

Don't mess up this time, Victor.

Here I come.


Oh, boy.

I thought by now that
I had done enough leaps...

to fill in most of the holes
of my Swiss cheese memory.

Wrong. I just discovered
I'm terrified of heights.

Real funny, Victor.

Maybe Big Moe can find you
a yellow wig and a red nose...

and the Panzinis
could be a clown act.

I suppose not flying for a year...

would make anybody
a little rusty.

- You'll do better this time.
- I-I don't know about that.

If I'm going to be the first
woman to do the triple since Mama,

we've got to practice.


Stop worrying. Come on. We have time
for one more before Papa gets back.

Not really.

I dreamed about Mama
last night, Victor.

She was wearing that blue dress.

You know, the one that made
her eyes shine like diamonds.

I-I love that blue dress.

We were walking
along the Danube.

There was ice in the river,
and it began to snow.

Mama told me
I could do it, Victor.

Just like her. She told me
I could do the triple.

Then she faded away.

I tried to touch her, but...

she just faded away.

Dreams have a way of...
of doing that.

Not mine.

I'm going to do the triple, Victor.
I swear I am.

- Not as long as I am your father.
- Papa!

What are you doing up there?

I-I wanted to practice,
so I asked, uh...

I am talking to your brother.

- Well?
- I don't know.

I-I don't know
what I'm doing up here.

Then get down.

Victor, get down!

- I-I can't.
- What do you mean you can't?

Quit fooling around and release.

- My fingers won't let go.
- Victor, get down!

Is Victor practicing for the belly flop,
or is that a Hungarian dismount?

Get out of my tent!
I just asked a question.

- Get out!
- Okay. Okay.

Don't get your goulash
in an uproar.

Let's get outta here.

Papa, no!

Two years ago, that trash
would have stood in line...

for the privilege
of setting up our rig.

And now, because of you,
they laugh at us.

It was my fault.
I wanted to work on the triple.

- There is no triple.
- There could be.

I can do it, Papa.

We could be headliners again.

- We are headliners.
- Of what?

A mud show?

Is this what we left
Hungary for?

What we risked our lives
to escape?

Papa, we used to be
the best fliers in the world.

You probably loosened the rigging.
Tighten it.

We have a show to do in an hour.

I hate this place. I hate the way it
looks, the way it smells.

I hate everything about it.

I'm, uh... I'm not too crazy
about it myself.

I know how hard it was for you
to be up there.

- You do?
- But someday you'll thank me.

We are going to do
the triple, Victor.

And nothing will stop us.
Not even Papa.

I don't know. He...

I do!

I used to love it as a kid
when the circus came to town.

But, of course,
I wasn't 50 feet in the air...

hanging upside down
in the big top.

To me, the circus was clowns and
animals, especially elephants.

But it didn't look
as if this circus had any.


- Yeah.
- Or maybe not.

Hot roasted peanuts here. Right here.

Anyway, except for the big top
and the trapeze,

it looked more like a carnival
than a circus.

And I looked very weird.

Is it true?

Is it true?

- What?
- That Eva's gonna do the triple.

Well, um, she wants to.

If she does the triple,
we can quit this cow-and-pig circuit.

Move on to the big cities...
Little Rock, Texarkana, Shreveport.

You will keep the act with us.

Well, I...

Oh, what am I even
talking to you for?

Your old man makes
all the decisions.

- Al.
- Yeah?

Uh, it's, uh,
good to see you again.


Gee, that was a coincidence,
wasn't it?

Her name must be Allison
or Alberta or something.


You wanna know why you're here?

- Yes.
- All right. All right.

Well, I don't know.

Ziggy's having a little trouble
zeroing in.

Your name is Victor Panzini.

You're a part of
a Hungarian aerial act.

- Aerial act?
- Yeah. Isn't that great?

Just imagine, 50 feet above the
ground, hanging from a thin wire...

and swinging back and
forth and back and forth.


And then finally there's a drumroll
and you release and tuck and spin.

And fall to the ground and die.


No wonder everybody's
giving us the cold shoulder.

I mean, compared to them,
we're living pretty well.

Well, hey, you're the star.

The Panzinis were, at one time,
the most famous aerial act in the world.

- That's what Eva said.
- Eva? Oh, Eva.

That's your younger sister.
She's 18.

She's beautiful.
I wonder where she is.

She's probably getting changed
in the trailer with her name on it.

Don't you dare.

You know, sometimes you take all
the fun out of being a hologram.

What kept you?

Al, what's an act like theirs
doing in a carny?

Well, one year ago,
they were on... top.

Oh, they were the star attraction
of the Circus Vargas.

And then Maria,
who is your mother and Eva's,

uh, she got killed trying to
do the triple in Chicago.

And ever since then, Laszlo's reduced
the act to just simple catches.

- Stuff anybody could do.
- Except me.

I don't care if it's just easy stuff
that they're doing in a carny.

To me, it's all impossible.

No, y-you don't say "carny," see.
Only rubes say that.

This is a mud show.

Let me guess.

You ran away from the orphanage when
you were a kid and joined the circus?

- Yeah. Didn't you?
- No.

No. I-I was happy at home.

Yeah, see, that's easy
for you to say.

You grew up on a farm.
I grew up in an orphanage.

You had a mother and father.
I had a probation officer.

You had a cow.
I had a roach.

A what?

Well, when I was eight years old,
I had a-a pet roach.

Only problem was,
the kid in the next bed had a pet lizard.

I'll never forget him.
His name was Kevin.

- The kid in the next bed?
- No, the roach.

Why do I even ask?

Did you tighten the rigging?

I was supposed to tighten the
rigging, but I-I didn't know how.


Uh, no. I-I didn't have, uh...

I'll do it myself,
like I do everything!

We are on in 20 minutes.
Don't be late.

Al, I am not an acrobat.

I cannot go out there
and perform.

Well, you'll never know
unless you try.

Ladies and gentlemen,

boys and girls,

right here in Buckstooth, Iowa,

all the way from
Brazil, South America,

the world-renowned Carmenina
and her friends.

♪ Someone said he just came back ♪
♪ from somewhere ♪

He's late.

- We still have five minutes.
- Five minutes is late.

There he is.

I-I put 'em on backwards, or...

I don't know
what you are trying to do,

but it's not going to work.

I'm fine.

- You strained your arm again.
- I said I'm fine.

I don't want to
ever see you in tights again.

And now...

the act you've all
been waiting for.

Direct from Europe,
the world-famous,

death-defying Flying Panzinis.



Hold the ladder.

Hold it taut, Sam.

Al, I'm not a part of the act.

You're the safety man.
That's important.

That's great. That's fine.
Just as long as I don't have to...

do that.

You do.
I just got an update from Ziggy.

There's a 97.2% chance that
you're here to catch Eva.


- Yes.
- No.

In two days, she's gonna
get killed doing the triple,

because her father drops her.

Unless you're up there to catch,
Eva's gonna die.

- What time is it?
- 4:30.

- In the morning?
- Uh-huh.

I thought you always
slept in shorts!

Uh, not always.

If you don't mind,
I'd like to go back to sleep.

No. We have to practice.


On the trapeze?

Unless you wanna try
flying from the trees.

No, I don't really
wanna fly at all,

unless it's in an airplane.

Papa made you afraid again,
didn't he?

No, it wasn't him.


You didn't kill Mama.

- I was catching that night.
- It wasn't your fault.

Mama had a cold.

She had trouble with her balance
at the matinee.

Everybody knows that.

Including Papa.

- He blames me.
- He can't blame Mama.

He loved her too much.

You're as good a catcher
as Papa.

Better, since he hurt his shoulder.

I wouldn't count on that.
I would.

That's why I want you catching me
when I do the triple.

Eva, I can't.

Come on. We'll be hearing
from the circus any day now.

We have to be ready.

I-I can't go up there again.

Well, then I practice alone.

And when the circus call comes,

I'll find a catcher.

Even if it has to be Big Moe.

Mama's dead, Victor.

Not us.

But if we don't even try
to be the best,

well then, we might
as well be dead too.

Well, that's
a little scary, Sam.

I mean, doing the triple and
getting caught is hard enough.

But pretending to get caught and
then setting up to land in the net,

that's a little dangerous.

Any more dangerous than
being caught by someone

who doesn't know what
the hell they're doing?

Well, you got a point. Because if
you make contact and don't catch her,

that could make her
miss the net entirely.

Is that how her mother died?

Making contact
and then missing the net?

- No, there was no net.
- What?

I told you... they're
the best in the world.

They flew without a net.

Eva told me that her mother had a cold,
that her balance was off that night.

Probably an inner ear infection.
Why would she go on?

Why? For the same reason...

that that kid is up there
practicing all alone.

It's in her blood.
She has to do it.

Al, I can't have leaped in here
to catch her.

Well, Ziggy says there's
a 97.2% chance that...

I don't give a damn
about Ziggy's statistics.

- I'm not a catcher.
- Well, you could be.

You're athletic. You've got a
good sense of timing and balance.

And you've got
the strength for it.

What you've gotta do is you've
gotta get over your fear of heights.

How'd you know?

Are you kidding?
How long have we known each other?

- I don't remember.
- Oh, Sam.

Even with a Swiss cheese memory,
that hurts.

Have I always been afraid?

Uh, ever since you were nine,

and your brother took you
to see a Tarzan movie.

Tarzan? Yeah, we came home
and played Tarzan in the barn.

We tied a rope to a beam
a-and swung out from the loft.

At first it was great,
but then the knot loosened,

and Tom sent me
up the rope to... tighten it.

And... And when I got up there,
I froze.

Well, listen. You better get over
what happened to you as a kid.

Because if you don't,

she's gonna die when her old
man drops her tomorrow night.


Did you see that?

- Yeah, you looked terrific.
- I did four triples in a row.

Mm-mm. One was only
a two and a half.

Well, one was only
a two and a half.

You were watching.

Practicing without a catcher
is dangerous.

Well, I don't have a choice.

Yes, you do.

Oh, Victor!

That-a-boy, Sam.

First... Now first,
I-I need to change clothes.

And need a little time
by myself to warm up.

Sure. Sure.
I-I'll fix Papa breakfast,

and maybe I can get him to go into...

Eva! Victor! Where are you?
I told you they would call.

Sam, I got an idea
how to help you.

I'm gonna go see Gooshie and run it by him.
See if it'll fly.

No pun intended.

I told you they would need us!

- Who, Papa?
- Circus Vargas!

"To the Flying Panzinis.

"Can you make Denver,
evening performance, 18th? Stop.

"Center ring. Stop.

"Wire reply ASAP."

Uh, what is A.S.A.P.?

- As soon as possible.
- As soon as possible.

I knew those Mexican fliers couldn't
bring crowds like the Panzinis.

I'm surprised that they didn't
realize their mistake sooner.

So you're going?
As soon as I can wire them back.

Well, what about us?

- What do you mean "what about us"?
- We've got to make a living.

Ah, I see.

So we are not goulash
anymore, huh? Ha!

- Laszlo, come here.
- What?

Let's talk.

- Laszlo.
- Yes.

The Flying Panzinis is the only
real attraction we have here.

Without you, we might as well
just fold up our tent.

I'm sorry, Big Moe.
We go.

I'll give you 25% of the
midway take after expenses.

- It's not the money.
- Okay, 40% then.

I'm sorry, but we must go back
where we belong.

Then why don't you get
on a boat, Hunky?

Listen. If you weren't a dwarf...

Dwarf? Who you calling
a dwarf?

No one says that to Big Moe
without a fight.

Nobody steps on Big Moe
and gets away with it.

Victor, watch out!

Victor, it was very good.

Thank you, Papa.

Would you please?

Thank you.

He shouldn't have
called you a dwarf.

And you shouldn't
have called him a Hunky.

He's a Hungarian, and you're...

Simply, a little person.

Yeah, a little person.
I like that.


And you're still a Hunky.

- You okay?
- Yeah, yeah, I think so.

Good. I was afraid
you wouldn't be able to practice.

See you up there.

Sam, it's gonna be a
hell of a lot easier

for you to catch her
if you open your eyes.

- Is that you, Al?
- No, it's Peter Pan.

Of course it's me. You think I'm
gonna let you go through this alone?

- Now look at me.
- I can't.

Just focus straight ahead and
don't look down. Look at me!

Al, you're floating in thin air.

I'm a hologram.
I am thin air.

What do I do, Al?

Okay, you lock your arms
around the wires.

Attaboy. Now pump.

- Pump?
- Pump.

Like a kid on a swing.
Go ahead. Pump.

Go ahead.

Up and back.

- Up... Okay, now.
- Yeah.

Take your hands,
put your hands on the wire.

Like this. That's it.

Now slip your butt off
and hook it with your knees.

That's very good.
All right, now.

You grab the bar in the middle
with your hands.

One at a time. Go ahead.
One. Very good. Very good.

Now, at the top of your swing,
you bring your legs out...

and go around the wires and in,
and then hook 'em with your knees.

That's it. That's it. In.

Okay, here we go.

- Now let go of the bar.
- I can't.

- What are you, a wimp?
- Yes.

- Let go of the bar!
- I'll fall.

No, you won't. But Eva will if you
don't let go of that bar. Let go!

Al, I'm doing it.

Of course you're doing it.
Look who you got for a teacher.

- I can fly.
- Of course you can fly.

Tell her to start
with something simple.

Maybe we should just start
with something simple first.

- A double layout?
- Cute.

Uh, a straight catch, tell her.

Why don't we just start
with a straight catch first?

- A straight catch?
- Uh-huh.

- Anybody can do that.
- Good.

I can't believe
I'm doing this, Al.

Well, if it'll make you
feel any better,

Ziggy says this practice will increase your
chance of catching Eva tomorrow night...

by, oh, 20%.

Twenty percent?
Which will make it?

Well that'll make it 30%.

- Thirty percent.
- Hey.

- Without you, her chances are zero.
- Ready?

Here I come.

- All right! Uh-oh.
- Let go.

- Don't let her go now.
- What?

- Let go!
- Sam, no!

Al, I did it. I mean...

I mean, it wasn't very pretty,
but for the first time, it wasn't too bad.

Yeah, I just hope it
wasn't the last time.


Oh, no.

- What happened?
- I don't know.

She must have bounced
off the net.

Is she all right?

Yeah. I think she just had
the wind knocked out of her, Al.

Breathe deep. Easy.

Where... Where did El go?

- El?
- Elvira.

I heard you talking to her.

The stripper.
Her name must be Elvira.

Uh, maybe she went
to get some water.

Wait. Easy, easy, easy, easy.
Not so fast.

- We have to practice.
- Not any more this morning.

- And not with me.
- Sam!

I almost killed her.
I-I could have killed you.

It was my fault.

I forced you to release me when
you knew I wasn't in position.

- She's right, Sam.
- I didn't know.

I have no idea
what I'm doing up there.

Victor, stop talking
like you don't know how to fly.

- I don't, Eva.
- You can learn.

By tomorrow night?
Tomorrow night, we'll be in Denver.

She said "God willing"
in Hungarian.

My second wife was... Maybe it was my
third wife was Hungarian. One of them.

God willing, you won't fly.


If you do, something terrible
is going to happen.

Did you see a bird
in my trailer?

- What?
- That's Hungarian folklore.

If a bird flies in the house,
someone dies.

Yes. Yes.
A bird flew in your trailer.

- Two birds flew in your trailer.
- Oh, Sam.

- Two birds?
- Yes.

- Two birds in the house is good luck.
- Good luck.


Papa is gonna drop you
tomorrow night,

and you're going to die.

I'm sorry.
I have to tell you what I know.

How could you know?

No one can see the future.
Not even...

You just... You just
come with me, Victor.

Gooshie, center me on, uh,

wherever she's going.


What have you been
telling my brother?

The truth.

That I'm going to die
doing the triple?

Uh, I-I never said
that she told me that.

Then what did she tell you?

Only what I saw.

In your crystal ball?

That ball is for rubes.

I told him what I saw
in his soul.

Uh, Sam, this is getting
a little weird.

I-I think she can sense me.
So, uh, I'm gonna... I'm gonna retire.

- Al.
- Elvira?

See ya.

You saw Elvira in Victor's soul?

- Yes.
- No.

The eyes do not lie, Victor.

Victor, you've been in
this mud show way too long.

Sybil didn't tell me that you were
going to fall tomorrow, but...

- Then who did?
- An angel.

An angel?

What do you mean, an angel?

I don't know.
It just came out.

You were visited by an angel.

Well, yeah, he...

He kind of appeared to me
in... in my dreams.

Like Mama did to you.

Look into my eyes, Sybil.

Am I going to die
on the trapeze?

You could,

but not for a long time.

Why not for a long time?

Because I see children
in Eva's eyes.

It wasn't an angel.

It was your fear
causing the dream.

I'm going to pack.
Papa'll wanna leave before dark.

Elvira? Really, Victor.

You said that she could die
on the trapeze.

- Not as long as you catch her.
- As long as I...

Wh-Why didn't you say that
wh-while she was here?

Well, I didn't think
it... was necessary.

I never noticed before how many
times you've been reincarnated.

I, um...

I don't believe in reincarnation.

You would if you could see
all the souls I see in your eyes.

I've never believed in tarot cards,
crystal balls or reading horoscopes,

but Sybil had touched enough truths
to send me back to the trapeze.

Even though I dreaded it.

I'm proud of you, Sam.

What's Ziggy say?

Uh, oh, well,
it's still the same.

If you don't catch her...

- Sorry.
- That's okay, Al.

I-I gotta overcome it.

Attaboy. You will. You will.
Now come on, pump.

Pump. That's good.
Gotta get higher now, Sam. Come on.

I can't believe
I'm doing this, Al.

Now drop into
your catcher's position.

Attaboy, Sam.
You're doing great.

I told you there was
nothing to it.

Victor has the talent, Maria.
You always said that.

And he should be catching Eva,
not me, but...

I don't know
if I'll ever trust him...

or forgive him.

I was proud of him.

I was proud of him today,
the way he fought those hoodlums,

like a true Hungarian.

Maybe it's time
to give him another chance.

It would be good...

It would be good...

to smile and hug my son again.

She extends
and grabs your wrists here!

You're light as a feather, Al.

I may practice
with imaginary partners,

but I don't talk to them.

The last time I talked to an
imaginary playmate, I was six.

Wanna start with a double?

- Single.
- Single.

- Too easy.
- Humor me.


Ready? Here I come.

Oh, she did a double!
Great catch, Sam!

- That wasn't a single.
- The Flying Panzinis don't do singles.

- What are you doing?
- As if you didn't know.

She needs to get more height
to do the triple.

- Triple?
- Take it easy.

Now, you already caught the double.
The hard part is on her.


If you can't do it now,
how are you gonna do it tomorrow night?

I'm gonna watch this
from the ground.

Here I come.

Oh, my God!

What are you trying to do?
Kill your sister too?

I like this song.

First heard it in Pensacola
when I was a cadet.

Me and Dave Healy,
we knew these girls that were animals.

- Al.
- What?

Will you pretend,
just pretend to sit next to me?

- If it'll make you feel any better.
- It does. Where have you been?

I was riding in the other truck
with Eva and Laszlo.

They didn't care where I was.

They couldn't see you.

I was watching him drive. He's got
something wrong with his right arm.

Torn rotator cuff.

Do you suppose that's
why he drops her tonight?

No doubt.

You know, I don't know how he's been
managing even the simple catches.

He must be relying
on his good arm.

What are you gonna do?

What do you mean, what am I gonna do?
I can't catch her.

- Yes, you can.
- I cannot. You saw me this morning.

- I dropped her. She fell.
- You certainly...

You missed her this morning...
because you made one mistake.

- Yeah, climbing up there.
- No, you reached.

You can't reach. You gotta wait for her
to come to you, and then you grab her.

If you had done that, you would have
caught her. Just like on the double.

You really think so?

Of course.
Am I ever wrong?

Marriages don't count.

See you in a minute.

Laszlo. It's good to see you.
How've you been?

Not bad.
Not as good as you, but not bad.

- Eva.
- Hello.

Laszlo, she looks
more and more like Maria.

Victor. I hate to say it, but Shari's
been pining ever since you left.

She has?

Come on.
I've got something to show you.

- Still smells the same.
- You're back.

I've made a lot of changes
in the last year.

I upgraded the side ring acts.
Added a terrific new cat show.

But you still need the Panzinis.

Yes, I still need the Panzinis.

- What is this?
- Your new poster.

- Don't you like it?
- We don't do the triple.


We don't do the triple.

Your letter said you did.

- What letter?
- I sent it, Papa.

And I signed your name.

- You had no right to do it.
- Yes, I did.

I'm just as much
a part of this act as you are.

Papa, I can do the triple.

I'm sorry, Cliff. She shouldn't have
done it. But we don't do the triple.

Victor and I do.

Look. I don't want to get
into the middle of family quarrels.

No, no, no, no,
there is no quarrel.

I'm the head of the family.
I decide what we do.

Well, then Victor and I
will form our own act.

- You'd break up the act?
- Papa.

We haven't had an act
since Mama died.


Great. I'll see you
under the big top.

Thank you.

You'll see. Victor and I
will make you so proud.

If anyone catches you doing the
triple, it will be me.


Uh, you know, maybe for the first
performance, it would be better...

No. He can't catch you, Eva.

He has a torn rotator cuff.

What are you, a doctor now?

It doesn't take a doctor to see
that you can't use your right arm.

I can catch better with one
arm than you can with two.

Do you really believe that?

- You killed Mama, didn't you?
- Papa!

No, I didn't.
I think pride killed her.

The same pride that's gonna make you go
in the tent and perform when you can't.

Only it's not gonna kill you.
It's gonna kill Eva.

We don't have to do this.


Ladies and gentlemen,

children of all ages,

may I have your attention please.

One year ago tonight, Maria Panzini,
the world's greatest woman aerialist,

was killed attempting the triple.

One year ago tonight?

Well, it won't be a
year until next Tuesday,

but, you know,
that's the circus.

Don't do that, Al.
I'm already a basket case.

- I'm sorry.
- Tonight,

the circus is proud to present
Maria's son, Victor.

And her daughter, Eva.

The Flying Panzinis
will honor their mother tonight...

by performing the triple.

I must ask for your complete and total
silence during this evening's performance,

since Eva Panzini
will attempt the triple...

- as her mother did...
- No.

Without a safety net.

Did you know about this?

Would you have gone through
with it if I had?

- No.
- Well, then I didn't know.

- Al...
- Hey, she's gonna do the triple.

And if she doesn't do it
with you catching her,

she's gonna do it with Laszlo,
and that's certain death.

Now you start pumping
and get in position.

Do what you have to do.
I'm gonna watch this downstairs.

And now, please,

your complete and total silence.

Once again,
because of the severe danger,

there must be complete
and total silence...

during the next several minutes.

All right!

Is the net up?

Eva and Victor,

those incomparable
Flying Panzinis!

Ladies and gentlemen, Eva's father,
and the greatest catcher of all time,

Laszlo Panzini.

I don't know
if I could do that again.

Ah, well, sometimes it's,
uh, once is enough.

But personally,
that's not my opinion.

- That's not what I'm talking about.
- Why haven't you leaped?

Well, I think maybe
you're gonna find out.

Ladies and gentlemen,
the Flying Panzinis.

How many times do
I have to tell you?

When you are up there
and the spotlight hits...

Wave to the crowd.

I must have forgotten.

Just don't forget next time.

I won't, Papa.

Buster! Buster! Hurry!

The basket!
G-Get the basket!

Come on!

Come on.
Before Reed catches us.

Buster, what are you
thinking about?


Oh, Buster, I love you
so much for doing this.

Oh, shoot. We woke her.

Come here, precious.

Oh, boy.