“Underrated,” I’d say, of course referring to the amazing NBC sci-fi show, Quantum Leap.
Scott Bakula, who starred as Dr. Samuel Beckett in Quantum Leap,would take a sip of his strawberry daiquiri (in a collectible glass), casually stir his clam chowder, and ask, “Are you talking about Star Trek: Enterprise?”
I’d smile. “No, Scott, Quantum Leap. Can we raise a glass to Quantum Leap? I fucking love that show. It’s mindblowing.”
“Sure thing. By the way, thanks for taking me to Red Lobster, I’m looking forward to the Fisherman’s Platter.” Scott Bakula would then raise his glass, glance around the restaurant, lean in and say, “But seriously, did you enjoy Star Trek: Enterprise?”
I’d mutter, “Um, you’re paying, Scotty,” then I’d take a bite of my delicious garlic cheese biscuit. “So do you keep in touch with Dean Stockwell?’ I’d inquire, ignoring his question about Enterprise. Dean Stockwell played Al, the lovable womanizer and sidekick to Dr. Samuel Beckett in Quantum Leap.
“Not as much as I’d like,” he’d say. “I guess we’re both pretty busy. You know how it is.”
“I do Scott. I do. So in Quantum Leap, was it tough, leaping from body to body, with a new, challenging, unknown mission time after time?” I was already nodding because, like anyone who had ever watched Dr. Beckett in action, I knew it was tough.
“Well, it was a TV show, but yes, it was tough as an actor to have a different setting and situation for each episode — did you even watch Enterprise?”
At this point, I would realize he was trying to drag me away from talking about Quantum Leap. I’d know why too. I’d also know that with the question I was about to ask, I’d never get a chance to enjoy the Shrimp Feast I ordered, but I had to know.
“It was more than a show, wasn’t it, Scott? Leaping is real. Ziggy is real. It’s all real. Tell me it’s real!!” I’d raise my eyebrow inquisitively, “Tell me now.”
Scott, shocked at my line of questioning, would accidentally knock over his collectible glass, covering the table in daiquiri. “Look man, this is getting weird. I think you need help and I think I should go. Seriously though, Enterprise, did you know it existed?”
I’d stand up and, in a rage, overturn the table, sending biscuits and clam chowder flying. “No one cares about Enterprise,” I’d growl, “No one. Stop messing around Bakula, tell me Quantum Leap was real!!”
The music in Red Lobster would stop. A waiter, wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt with colorful fish all over it, would drop the treasure chest full of toys he was bringing over to the Barkley twins at table 29 and stare at us. Hell, everyone would be staring at us. Even the Barkley twins. A patron with a bib would crack a lobster claw loudly, breaking the silence.
Scott, his suit covered in clam chowder, would sniff, holding back tears, put his hand on my shoulder and whisper, “You’re right. It’s real, man. It’s all real.”
He’d then be surrounded by a blinding blue light…