Quantum Leap (1989–1993): Season 3, Episode 7 - Black on White on Fire - August 11, 1965 - full transcript

Sam leaps into the body of Ray Harper, a promising African-American medical student who has the opportunity at an internship at a Boston hospital. Ray currently lives in Watts and it's the eve of the 1965 race riots. He's engaged to Susan, a white girl, and faces not only her father's wrath but that of his brother Lonnie and his friends. Al tells him that his purpose is to keep Ray and Susan together but there is a chance that Susan might die in the riots. As the violence and race hatred grows, both Ray and Susan must face the challenge of each communities prejudice.

Theorizing that one could
time-travel within his own lifetime,

Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into
the Quantum Leap Accelerator

and vanished.

He woke to find himself
trapped in the past,

facing mirror images
that were not his own,

and driven by an unknown force

to change history
for the better.

His only guide on
this journey is Al,

an observer from his own time,

who appears in
the form of a hologram

that only Sam can see and hear.

And so Dr. Beckett finds himself
leaping from life to life,

striving to put right
what once went wrong,

and hoping each time
that his next leap

will be the leap home.

No fair, thinking
about anything but us.

You promised.

Yeah, I guess I did.

We get so little time together.

I won't have you off thinking
about anything but me.

Okay, medical school.

I won't be jealous
of medical school.

What are you doing here?

Take them anyway you want,
Papa Dee.


Ray, no!
No, make them stop!

No! Lonnie,
make them stop.

- You make them stop.
- They won't listen to me!

- I wonder why?
- Lonnie, please.

Now it's, "Lonnie, please."

What about when Lonnie said
please stay away from his brother?

I can't stay away from him.
I love him.

No. What you love is
having a toy nigger

to show off to your
liberal, honky friends.

Until she gets bored.

Or 'til it ain't hip no more.

Then what happens to Ray?

Isn't that my business?

Not as long as I'm busting my ass to
put you through med school, it ain't.

She got your nose so wide open,
you forgot what color you are?

- What does color have to do with this?
- Say what?

You know, I think you choked
him too long, Papa Dee.

Not long enough.

Color shouldn't have anything
to do with relationships.

No one should know that
better than us.

You've been sucking up
to this white trash so long

you're starting
to sound like her.

He sounds like the future.

Not my future.

She's talking about mine.

Doing what?

Dumping Mr. Charlie's bedpans?

Yeah, man, your M.D. Ain't gonna
stand for more than "Moving Doo-doo."

Ray's good. He'll be able to
practice anywhere in this country.

He's already breaking barriers.

You think that's what Mama and I
busted our asses for all these years?

To break honky barriers?

Ray's staying here,

taking care of his own people.

That makes sense.

- What about Boston?
- Boston?

You're gonna walk away
from an internship at Brigham?


You never said nothing
about Boston.

I must have forgot to tell you.

What you forgot is
who you are, nigger!

We both know why.

You're my brother, man,
and I love you.

But she goes, Ray.

She goes,

and you stay.

This is Melvin the Magnificent

and I know this heat's got
all y'all hurt so bad.

Have mercy on L.A.

It's another hot one.

Weatherman says it's over 100,

and it's gonna stay that way.

So I figure if we gotta be
sweating all night,

let it be in the arms
of the one you love.

That's L-U-V.
Right now it's 8:25,

and the last little bit
of summer sunshine

is about to fall into the sea.

And I, Melvin the Magnificent,

want to have a word
with all you fine party people

out there in party land.

Now get yourself
up close to the radio

'cause I'm about to give you

your party instructions
for the night.

The first thing you want to do

is turn the lights to red,
green and blue.

Then when the mood is right
and the moon is low,

take your rhythm down to a grind

that's real slow.

- Susan...
- Ray,

no one has the right to tell
you what to do with your life.

Not Lonnie,
not your mom, and not me.

I just want to be
part of your future.

And it's not in Watts.

Lonnie reminds me of that
every time I look in his eyes.

I love you

and I won't spend
my life without you.


You told me this was over.

We were studying and...

I asked you to stay away
from my daughter.

- Now I'm telling you.
- I don't think...

I don't give a damn
what you think.

You just stay away from Susan.

Stop it, Daddy.

Not while you're under my roof.

Then I'll move in with Ray.

Wait a minute, don't you think
we should talk about this?

You don't want me to move in?

I didn't say that.

He doesn't want you in Watts
any more than I do.

I didn't say that, either.

You stay away from him,
and you stay out of that damn ghetto.

I work there.


coloreds are beating whites
in Watts right now.

You think they're not
going to turn on you

because you volunteered
during the summer?

No, because it's
the 20th century.

Because this is Los Angeles,

not Redneck, Mississippi,
100 years ago.

Negroes and whites are
getting married all the time.

It doesn't matter anymore.

It does to me.

Now get in the house.

Go on, Susan.

We'll work this out.

The hell you will.

Go in the house, Susan.

Daddy, the only difference between you
and Lonnie is the color of your skin.

When you first started
coming around here,

I tried to deal with you
as an individual.

But then I realized I have to
deal with you for what you are,

a colored man who is going to
hurt my daughter.

I'd never hurt Susan.

But they will.


Your brothers,

as that fanatic,
Malcolm X, calls them.

They will hurt her.

And there won't be a thing
you'll be able to do to stop it.

How's it going, kid?

I'm black again, Al.

I can tell.

I'm a black man
engaged to a white girl,

and nobody wants us together.

Not her father or my brother,

or any of his so-called friends.

It's 1965, Sam,

and California may be
as far to the left

as you can go
without leaving the country,

but there's still a lot
of ignorance and bigotry.

- What am I here to do?
- We don't know.

Ziggy's been running
scenarios on the riot,

but he hasn't figured out
a way to plug you in yet.


Don't you know where you are?

Yeah, Watts.

It's August 11, 1965.

One of the worst riots this country's
ever seen is about to go down, right here.

I don't remember.

A black man named Marquette
Frye gets arrested in Compton.

That lit the fuse.

When it was over,
35 people were dead,

hundreds of people were injured

and the main drag became known
as Charcoal Alley.

It made me sick
when it happened.

Pushed the
civil rights amendment

and the voting rights bill

then everything
goes up in smoke.

Maybe I'm here
to stop the riots.

You can't, Marquette just got
arrested hours ago.

It's already started.
It's too late.

I can warn people.
I can warn them.

Who'll listen to a
fourth-year medical student?

- Maybe my brother.
- Lonnie? He's a militant.

You're his little brother,
he'll never listen to you.

Nobody'll ever listen to you.

Susan would.

Have Ziggy run a scenario
on me and Susan Bruster.

You mean Ray and Susan?

Yeah, right, yeah.
She loves him so much, Al.

When she looks
at me, I feel like

she wants to just crawl inside

and never come out.

Only one woman that ever
looked at me like that.

Bingo. That's it, Sam.

Ziggy says 87% you're here
to keep Ray and Susan together.

He lost Susan
because of the riot

and when he lost her,
he lost his dream of becoming a doctor.

That can't be right.
She loves him too much...

You haven't spent much time with
her, how can you be sure?

No, no, she loves me, Al.

Why do you say me?

You mean Ray, don't you?

That's the second time
you've done that.

Are you starting to
fall in love with Susan?

No, no.

It's just that even though I've
only been here a few hours,

I can see how much
she loves Ray.

She wouldn't let anything
come between them.

The Watts riots were
not just anything, Sam.

And we can't stop it?

No. We would've had to
come here 50 years ago.

You said it started this
afternoon when Frye was arrested.

It started when the first
black couldn't find a job

or live where he wanted to.

It started when the first baby
went hungry.

Or the first cop
hassled some guy

just because he was black.

This match has been
burning a long time, Sam.

All right,
it's Dr. Moving Doo-doo.

You know, I figured out
exactly what your problem is.

I... I don't...

I don't have a problem.

Be cool, Sam.

You, my man, have forgotten
the fine flavor

of sweet brown chocolate,
melting down

to the rhythm of a 45.

Oh, oh.

- You need to party, my man.
- Party? There's a riot starting.

I know, it's right over
at Cherry Hill's set.

Go with him, Sam.

I got to get some data anyway.

Come on.

What about Susan?

Forget Suzie Sunshine
for one night.

That's the data
I'm gonna be getting.

Don't leave me.

Ain't nobody leaving you,
young blood.

You really do need a vacation.

However, I, Dr. Dee,
the Doctor of Love,

prescribe one major dose of partying.
Come on, let's get you a cherry...

Get down, y'all. Cherry.

Lord have mercy on my soul,

Dr. Strangelove
has come to party.

Come on, sugar,
I've been waiting for you.

You know, um,

I... I really should...

Put your arms around me like you
used to in high school, and dip.


I really should
go home and... and study.

Good, I could help you.

Like I used to with
your anatomy lessons?

I appreciate the offer,
but I'm engaged.

You mean to tell me you're gonna
honestly marry that sugar-cookie?

Susan is a...
is a very nice girl.

And so am I,
if you let me show you.

I, uh,

I really think that
you would like her.

How am I supposed
to find that out?

Is she gonna
invite me over for tea?

Well, maybe. Or maybe... maybe
you could invite her.

Yeah, I'll put that
on my social calendar.

But, until then, uh,

what if you and I...

Hey, listen up.

Hey, man, have you lost your mind?
Don't bust up the party.

The party's over!

It's my party, and it's not over
until I say it's over.

Shut up.
Just shut up and listen.

What's your problem, man?

The streets are
swarming with cops, man.

They're arresting brothers
for walking down the streets.

For what?

For what? Does it matter?
Does it ever matter?

They beat a pregnant woman
in the middle of a street

because she tried to stop two
cops from clubbing a black man.

Lonnie, don't start this.

Start what, man?

Are we gonna let
a bunch of honky cops

stomp us into the ground, man,

'cause we're
fighting back for once?

We gotta take back our streets!

You can't go out there.

If the police are beating
and arresting people,

you're asking for it.

It's the honky cops
that are asking for it.

Use your head.
People are going to get hurt.

He may be right, man.

You think Mr. Charlie's right,
Papa Dee?

I didn't say that.

It's not about right or wrong.
It's about saving lives.

You've been running
for Mr. Charlie for too long.

He's been running us all
too long.

Telling us when to go home,

when to go to work,
when to breathe!

We gotta take them down!

Going out there
is not the answer.

You hide in this room, Ray.
I can't.

Not when the man is
beating our women.

Not when the man
is imprisoning my brothers.

I can't hide. I gotta fight!

Move out of the way, chump!

Lonnie, wait.
Come on, Lonnie. Come on.

- Sam!
- Lonnie!

Go home, get in your house,
go get inside.

Sam, there's nothing you can do.

It's not your fault, Sam.

You're not here
to stop the riot.

You're here to see that Ray
and Susan stay together.

People are dying, Al.

Well, Susan may be one of them.


I don't know. Ziggy's telling
me now there's a 32% chance

she could die
in the next 48 hours.

Is it something I did,
some history that I changed?

No, I don't think so.
The... the odds are still heavy

that you're here to
keep them together,

but now there's
this outside chance

that maybe she could die.

Ray! Thank God!

What are you doing here?

I saw what was happening on
the news and I got so afraid.

I had this feeling something
terrible was going to happen to you.

I tried to talk sense into her.

But she swore if I didn't
bring her down here,

she'd... she'd come
on her own.

She's lucky
she made it here alive, Sam.

You've got to go home.

I can't.

I left a note telling Daddy
I'm staying with you.

Negroes aren't the only ones
going crazy tonight.

She quit tonight.

She said, after 11 years,
she didn't know who Daddy was.


Susan, this is crazy.

I've gotta get you home.

Daddy was right.

You don't love me, do you?

This has nothing to do
with love.

It has everything to do with it.

If you love me
as much as I love you,

you'll want me with you
at a time like this.

So that I can worry
about you being hurt?

Sam, carry on
this discussion inside.

Get her off the street
before somebody sees her.

You live over there,
apartment 218.

We've got to go inside.

The mayor will request that the National
Guard be called in, in the morning.

Firebombings of retail stores and
businesses continue in the meantime,

with no ending in sight.

Matty had me hide under an
old quilt in the back seat.

I almost told her
to take me home,

but I thought about you.

About us.

And none of it mattered.

It does matter.

It's too dangerous for you here.

People know me, Ray. I've worked
all summer at the health center.

Nobody cares about that now.

This is a riot, Susan.

People don't care
about what you've done.

They only see
the color of your skin.

I'm gonna figure out a way for you to
get home, and I want you to stay there.

- Not without you.
- I gotta stay here.

No, you don't.
You don't belong here.

You're better than this.

We should get a place on
campus until after our boards,

and then we go to Boston.

- She could be right, Sam.
- No.

I can't explain it.
I've got to stay.

Then so will I,

until I can talk
some sense into you.

Lonnie! Ray!


I think that's Ray's mother,
your mother!

We were coming up
on the bus up Avalon.

And all of a sudden there was all these
people in the middle of the street.

They were screaming,
and throwing rocks and bottles at us.

I thought they were going
to turn over that bus.

They grabbed the driver,
and they started breaking windows.

There was police everywhere.

I don't know how
I got off that bus.

I don't know how
I even got home.

Susan! Oh Lord, child,
what are you doing here?

I wanted to be with Ray.

You got to get her out of here.

They'll kill her
if they see her.

Oh, Lord, what's that?

What in God's name
is happening to us?

Ray. Ray, honey, wake up.

The electricity
came on around 7:00.

I think the coffee's still hot.

- What time is it?
- 11:00.

I tried to wake you, but...

Where's Susan?

I shooed her off to your room.
She's still asleep.

I guess I better
call her father.

It don't work.


I saw the repair trucks,

but folks pulled
the driver out and...

You know.

Back in Marapossa
it was the white man's hatred,

now it's the Negroes angry
about what's supposed to be.

Seems no matter where we go,
we can't get away from the hate.

Maybe it's not the place that
makes a difference, but the people.

That's why you being
a doctor here is so important.

Show these kids in the street
they can be somebody better.

In a way, that's what
Lonnie wants.

That boy troubles me.

So much hate and yet, he cares.

He cares, Ray,
or he wouldn't be working

so hard to put you
through school.

He's afraid I won't stay here.

You won't go. I raised you
better than that.

You won't go.

God gave you a gift
to make these streets better.

You won't go,

unless she takes you away.

I just want what's best for Ray.

I love Ray, Mama Harper,

and I don't want to
see him lose his chance

to be someone great.

He can be great right here.

No, he can't.

He can do good here,
but he can't be great.

You know, um,

sometimes... sometimes
doing good is more important.

Ray, do you want to spend
your life in Watts?

Raise our children in it?

Raising your children is going to
be hard no matter where you do it.


Because wherever you go,
they won't fit in.

They won't be black
and they won't be white.

They'll be human.

Of course
they'll be human, child.

I'm talking about race.

I know, but maybe

if we teach our kids
to say that they're human,

instead of black or white
or red or yellow,

maybe race won't matter.

Huh. Not in my lifetime.

Ray, what the hell
is she doing here?

What are you boys doing
in my house with guns?

She shouldn't be here, man.
She could get hurt.

Our brothers and sisters
are dying out there

and you're worried
about this racist.

Susan ain't no racist.

What's she doing here, Ray?

She came to be with me.

Why, to ease your jones?

Cut it, BB.
See what her being here does?

It's not her that does it.

What happened?

We burned out
Weintraub's market.

Mr. Weintraub's been in this
store for over 30 years.

Now, why? Why you have
to burn him out?

'Cause he's just another cracker
stealing money from black folks

and ain't giving
a damn thing back.

It was wrong.

Junie Parsons has worked there,
as long as I can remember.

As a stock boy.

Why don't you ask him how he feels
not having a place to work anymore.

You'd think that Jew would have
trusted the man after 15 years.

Taught him something
other than sweeping up.

Maybe he just needed someone
to suggest the idea.

- This is gonna need stitches.
- Then sew it.

Or has all that money
that Lonnie's been working for

to get you through medical school
all these years been for nothing?

You don't make it real easy
to want to help you, BB.

If gratitude ain't enough, do it
because you're a black man and so is he.

Being black has nothing to do
with helping him.

I'm doing it because, if I
don't, he's gonna bleed to death.

I've got
a sewing kit in my room.

There's needles and sutures
at the clinic.

My God, that's where
we should be.

If we can't stop
what's happening out there,

we can help the people
it's happening to.

How are we going to get in?
Only Dr. Michaels has a key.

One thing we don't need
in Watts right now is a key.

Okay, let's take
a look at this arm.

All right. Yeah, okay.

Susan, I'm gonna need
some splints.

We used the last one.

I'll see if I can
improvise something.

Mama, get me some tape.

Are you okay?

No sleep. No food.
I feel like a doctor.

It's great.

Somebody, please help my baby.

He's cut pretty bad, Ray.

All right, you go take over there.
I got him. I got him. Easy.

All right, what happened?

We were standing by the shoe
store, and it just blew up.

Glass went flying everywhere.

You're a lucky guy.

A couple of stitches
gonna take care of this.

Susan, I need your help.

Get that honky away from my son.

Get away from my child.

- She's going to help me.
- I don't need no help from her.

Wait, wait, wait, wait.


Mama and I will
take care of him.

We'll take care of him, child.

It's okay. It's okay.
I got you.


It's all right.

get me scissors and sutures.


You see, Ray?

You see what it would be like?


you helped a lot of people
today who appreciated It.

Did they, Ray?

That's not what I saw
in their eyes.

I saw anger and hatred.

They tolerated me only because
they were hurting and needed help.

That's not true.

How would you know?
You're one of them.

You're tired,
or you wouldn't be talking like this.

Maybe that's when
the truth comes out.

I can't go through life
fighting people

who hate me
for the color of my skin.

I think that's how everybody
in Watts must feel tonight.

Your mother was right.

We'll never be just
a husband and wife.

We'll be a black husband
and a white wife.

And neither race
will ever let us forget it.

All that matters is that we do.

I'm not sure anymore, Ray.
I'm just not sure.

Ray! Ray!

He's bleeding bad, man.

Mama, get me a tourniquet.

Please, don't let me die.

It's okay, Papa Dee.
It's okay.

Hey, he don't need
your help, honky.

Damn it, BB! Back off!

He's lost a lot of blood.

Talk to me, man.

The bullet severed
his femoral artery.

We've got to get him
to a hospital.

My car's burned, man.

- Well, call an ambulance!
- The phones are dead.

Then we'll carry him.
Come on.

LA General's
the nearest hospital.

That's five miles, man.

If we don't get him to an operating
room fast, he's gonna die!

Go to the police.

They can take him to a hospital.

They're the ones that shot him!

She's right.
Now call the police.


Fine, if you won't, I will.

It's too late. He's dead.

Damn it, he can't be dead.

He can't be.

I'll go to the police.

Come on, get him to a hospital.

Get him to a hospital.

He's dead, Lonnie.



This is all your fault,
you know that?

No! It's your fault!

Papa Dee didn't want to go
with you and Lonnie.

He went because
he believed in you.

And you were wrong.

You were wrong, and he's dead.

No more black people die.

I pray to God you're right.

I'm right, Mama.

I'm gonna see
no more black people die.


Any more brothers die,

then she dies.



I've got to go get them, BB.

You move and I'll blow you
in two, man.

Lonnie can't stop the killing
by threatening her.

He'll just end up
getting them both killed.

Lonnie's ready to die.

Well, Susan's not.

Don't make me do this, Ray, man.

You ain't gonna kill my boy.

Stop it, BB.
BB, I said, stop it.

Go find them, Ray.

Where'd he take her, BB?

I don't know.


You boys are all fools.

This is the police.
Return to your homes.

Return to your homes.

Looters will be shot on sight.

Return to your homes.

Freeze. Stop where you are.



Susan, where's Susan?

You don't know?

Lonnie took her hostage.

He said he's gonna execute her
if another black is killed.

- So that's what happened.
- What?

That's what I came to tell you. The odds
of Susan dying just jumped up to 82%.

Can Ziggy get a lock on her?

He could barely
get a lock on you.

That's what took me so long
to get back to you.

Get out of here quick.
It's the cops.

Run! Run! Go.

Come on, let's go.
Let's go.

Rumors are rampant.

One of the most disturbing is that
the white daughter of a police captain

is being be held hostage in
Watts and will be executed

if another Negro
is killed by police.

BB got the word out.

Daddy can't stop this.

You better pray he can.

Killing me will
only make it worse.

For who?

Look out there.

You think it can get
any worse than that?


How is killing me
going to stop it?

When a nigger is shot,

Mr. Charlie says,
"Too bad, what a shame."

Then the next day,
he forgets it ever happened.

But when a honky's shot,
it's different.

Especially if she's the
daughter of a police captain.

Then, Mr. Charlie realizes
he's gone too far.

Pushed too hard.

You know they'll come after you.

I'm ready.

You're going to kill me,
no matter what.

If your daddy stops murdering my
people, I'll let you go.

He can't stop
what's happening out there.


I don't suppose he can.

Sam, over here.

Ziggy found her.
They're in your apartment.

I'm lost, Al.

It's two blocks east,
one block north.

Go to her.

I'm gone.

Take it easy, Paul.
We'll find her.

Can you stifle the reporters?

We asked the media to
withhold announcing

any more deaths
until Susan is safe.

I've ordered my men to pull back

and to fire only if fired upon.

Paul, you can't do that.

The hell I can't.
That's my daughter.

Where's Susan?

Ray! Ray, look at me.

Where's Susan?

Lonnie's got her.

That bastard.

He... he just wants
the killing to stop.

Tell me where he's got her.

- Tell me.
- Not unless I go with you.


Where is she, please?


Come on, guys, lets go.
Come on.

Come on, come on, move it.

He's my brother.

If anyone can stop him, I can.

Move it! Move it!

There have been no reported
deaths in the last two hours,

but the violence
seems to be escalating.

The National Guard
will be called in by morning.

Come on, Sam. Come on.

This is the police, Lonnie.

Put your weapon down

and step to the window,
with your hands on your head.


- Sir.
- Oh, thank God!

He's holding her in that
second-floor apartment.

That roof will do.

That's my daughter up there.

I won't shoot
unless it's a sure kill.

You! Get back there.

Clear those civilians
out of there, now.


It's Ray.

I'm coming in.

He's right behind the door.

Police are asking
onlookers to please stay clear

of the Watts and Compton area

unless you have
specific business...

There's no way out.

We have the building surrounded.

Traitors get shot.

I didn't betray you, Lonnie.

No, what do you call it, then?

We don't need
more killing, Lonnie.

It was the only way
I could get to you.

Get to me?
You can't get to me, nigger.

He doesn't want
to be stopped, Ray.

He wants to die.

I think she's right, Sam.

I think he wants to be a martyr.

Is that right, Lonnie?

Let the girl go.

You want to be a martyr?

Me, a martyr?

Well, man,
Watts is full of martyrs.

They don't need me to join them.

Then, why?

I'm tired of talking about why.

Tired or scared?

I ain't afraid of nothing.

Except living.

You can die for Watts,
but can you live for it?

You're talking like a fool.

You're acting like one.

I need you, Lonnie.

Mama needs you.

We all need you.

We need you
to make people listen.

I think you're
reaching him, Sam.

Give me the gun, Lonnie.


Her daddy's killing us
out there.

Then, be better than he is.

Be more just and more right

and stay alive to make sure

that what happens out there
never happens again.

Snipers on the corner of 103rd
and Compton were shot

after an intense gun battle
with police.

The snipers were
taken to LA General

where their condition
is unknown at this time.


...bring you updates
on their condition...

Those brothers are dead.

Come on, move your head
out of the way.

I love her, Lonnie.

And I can't believe

that my brother
would murder what I love.


So much pain.


Thank God.

Get out of my face, both of you.

Just get out of my face.

He let me go!
He let me go!

Oh, God, I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry.

You didn't have to kill him.

He was going to
shoot you, Susan.

No! He let me go!

We didn't know that.


Why does he have to die?

I don't know.

It can't be for nothing, Al.

I can't let his death
be for nothing.

I have to stay in Watts,

be a doctor.

Ray has to stay
in Watts, not you.

I have to stay.

No. We have to stay...



I'm staying.

Sam, you did it.

Is it enough, Al?

Is it enough?

And now for the Sword of Doom!


Ladies and gentlemen,
the Great Spontini!

Oh, boy.