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Camikazi Kid (episode)

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"Camikazi Kid"
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Camikazi Kid Jill Sam & Cheryl

Sam leaps into geeky Los Angeles teen Cam Wilson, as he, with the help of Al and prospective girlfrined and tomboy Jill (left) tries to prevent his sister Cheryl (right) from getting into a bad marriage and acting on her ambition of working with the Peace Corps in "Camikazi Kid" in Season 1 (ep.#8).

Episode No.   Season
8 1x08 One
Episode Information
Original Broadcast Date May 10, 1989
Network: NBC-TV
IMDB: IMDb logo Camikazi Kid
Written by: Paul Brown
Directed by: Alan J. Levi
Leap Information
Leap Date: June 6, 1961
Place: Los Angeles, California
Leapee: Cam Wilson
Chronological Information
Preceded by: "The Color of Truth"
Followed by: "Play It Again, Seymour"


SummaryEdit

June 6, 1961: Sam leaps into Cam Wilson, a pimply teenager who is regularly bullied by his peers for his geeky appearance and the fact he drives the slowest car on the boulevard. Cam's older sister, Cheryl, is engaged to a seemingly decent guy named Bob, who Sam discovers is actually an abusive alcoholic. Haunted by memories of his own sister's brief marriage to a similarily abusive man, Sam is determined to stop the wedding.


PlotEdit

Sam leaps into Cam while competing in a drag race against another teenager. After the race, Sam drives to a local takeaway to order lunch, where he is harrassed by a group of bullies known as the Impalas. Moments later, Cam's older sister, Cheryl Wilson (Romy Windsor), arrives with her fiance, Bob Thompson (Kevin Spirtas), a close friend to the Impalas. Cheryl excitedly announces to Sam that she and Bob have been accepted into the Peace Corps and are preparing to travel to Tonga after their wedding. Meanwhile, the Impalas have now begun bullying a young tomboy named Jill (Holly Fields).

They steal her purse and begin throwing it around to one another. Sam intervenes by grabbing the purse and handing it back to Jill. Embarrassed, Jill tearfully flees the scene while Cheryl goes after her to offer comfort. Cheryl tells Jill that the Impalas are merely insecure juveniles. Jill says she would never date any of them, though she would date Cam. Cheryl says she will pass on the news, despite Jill's opposition.

Cheryl and Bob leave, while the Impalas gather around Sam to administer punishment upon him. They pin him down, strip off his clothes, carry him to a garbage bin and hurl him inside. Jill witnesses Sam attempting to climb out of the garbage bin, naked, and gathers his clothes to give back to him. She is flattered that Sam was punished for standing up for her.

Now clothed again, Sam proceeds to eat his takeaway lunch while Al tells him about his mission. He explains that, though Cheryl and Bob appear to be a happy couple, Bob is in fact a mean-spirited drunk, who regularly beats Cheryl. After they got married, Bob never lived up to his promise of joining the Peace Corps, and Cheryl never got to see the world like she wanted to.

Sam suddenly remembers that his own sister, Katie, married at the age of 17 to a young man who was also an abusive alcoholic, and that, like Cheryl, she never told anyone or left him because she was ashamed and scared. Disturbed by the memory of his sister's painful circumstances, Sam is determined to prevent Cheryl from suffering the same fate.

Back at home, Sam notices that Cheryl is jittery about the big changes in her life: her marriage, college graduation, leaving home and joining the Peace Corps. He encourages her to delay the wedding until after the Peace Corps, but she says Bob won't go unless they get married beforehand. Sam advises her that maybe Bob is the wrong man for her, stating that he has a drinking problem. Cheryl defends Bob, and is upset at Sam for criticising him.

The next day, Cheryl is trying-on Bob's mother's wedding dress and becomes flustered with wedding preparations. The knot at the back of the dress becomes entanged and, while helping her fix it, Sam notices bruises on the back of Cheryl's neck. Sam demands that she admit that Bob caused them, but she runs off, telling Sam to drop the matter. Bob arrives to visit Cheryl, carrying flowers. Sam confronts him over Cheryl's bruises. Bob professes ignorance, and Sam responds by grabbing Bob's neck and demonstrating how such bruises are usually inflicted on a person. Bob becomes angry and throws the flowers he is holding in Sam's face, then storms off.

That evening, Sam attends Cheryl and Bob's wedding rehearsal. Bob's father, a used car salesman, shows up, visibly drunk and boasting about a recent car sale. Sam tries to warn Cheryl that Bob will become the same way, but Cheryl ignores him. Later, during dinner, Sam is seated at the children's table. Bob announces to the audience his wedding gift to Cheryl: a color TV set. Sam stands up to make a speech. He praises Cheryl for having the courage to join the Peace Corps and help the less fortunate while jokingly thanking Bob for the TV, since he and Cheryl will be in Tonga and will be forced to leave the TV set behind.

Al arrives and congratulates Sam on his speech. He asks Sam about his progress in stopping the marriage. Sam says Cheryl won't listen to him because she perceives him as a dorky kid. One of the Impalas notices Sam talking to thin air, and throws food in his face. Sam tells Al they should continue their conversation in a more private setting. The two retreat to the bathroom where a young Michael Jackson briefly enters, and Sam shows him a few of Jackson's famous dance moves. Meanwhile, Bob and his father loudly approach the bathroom. Sam hides in one of the cubicles and overhears Bob's father telling Bob that he has just made him a partner in his Used Car business and has bought him a house as a wedding gift. Bob asks his father to keep the news a secret as Cheryl will be upset when she finds out he is taking the house and his father's job offer and has no intention of joining the Peace Corps. Bob's father recommends that getting Cheryl pregnant after the wedding will further stall her ambitions and force her to stay home.

Sam reports the details of the conversation to Cheryl, who angrily confronts Bob about the matter. Bob tells her he is going to reject his dad's offer after the wedding. Sam accuses Bob of lying and Bob lashes out at him. Cheryl tells him to stop or she will cancel the wedding. Al advises Sam to challenge Bob to a drag race, the winner of which will inherit the other's car. Sam does so, and the Impalas burst out into laughter. Bob accepts the challenge and mockingly tells Sam to meet him at the underpass the next day.

Sam questions Al's recommendation, and Al explains that, if Sam wins the race, Bob will explode in anger and reveal his true, violent nature to everyone, and convince Cheryl to finally break up with him. Sam agrees that it is a good idea, however, the further problem is that Bob has the fastest car on the boulevard. Al tells Sam to inject the car with nitrous oxide, which will give the car enough short-term speed to win the race against Bob.

The next day, Jill helps Sam install the nitrous oxide tank into the car's intake manifold, hooked up to a triggering mechanism at the front of the car. Sam arrives for the race against Bob, with Cheryl, Jill, and the Impalas as spectators. Bob and the Impalas tell Sam to prepare to lose his car. The race gets underway and Bob races ahead of Sam. Al appears next to Sam and advises him to wait until the last minute before triggering the nitrous oxide. As he does so, Sam's car surges ahead and overtakes Bob, comfortably winning the race. Sam gets out of the car, cheered by Cheryl and Jill, while the Impalas groan in defeat. Bob, angry and embarrassed, slams his foot on the accelerator and attempts to run Sam down. Sam quickly dives out of the way, and Bob crashes into a pillar. With the car wrecked, Bob angrily gets out of the car and throws the car keys at Sam. Cheryl, horrified that Bob attempted to kill her little brother, removes her engagement ring and dumps Bob. Bob grabs Cheryl by the arm and tells her she isn't leaving him. Sam rushes over, punches Bob in the face, and tells him to stay away from Cheryl. Bob instructs the Impalas to take Sam out. The Impalas refuse, agreeing that Bob's violent actions were inexcusable. Everyone leaves Bob by himself, while Jill throws Bob's pink slip to the ground, allowing him to keep his now-wrecked car.

Later, Sam sees Cheryl off at the airport as she prepares to leave for Tonga on her Peace Corps mission alone. Sam wishes her well, and Cheryl tells him she has a surprise waiting for him in the courtyard. Sam goes out to see what it is: Jill is awaiting him, having shed her tomboy image, and gotten dolled up in dress and make up. Sam discovers that Jill has never kissed anyone before and, with Al's advice, awards Jill with her first kiss, before leaping...

Kisses with HistoryEdit

Sam teaches a young Michael Jackson various dance moves, including Jackson's famous Moonwalk. Jackson clearly appears to be dressed up in a tux for a performance, and is ushered away at the end of the scene by one of his brothers, who refers to him as "Mikey". Problematically, Jackson did not actually begin performing in a band with his brothers until 1964, three years after this episode was set. Also, since Jackson was born in August, 1958, and the episode is set in June, 1961, he would only be two years old at the time, whereas the boy in the scene appeared to be several years older than that.

ContinuitiesEdit

This is the second time that Sam mentions his younger sister, Katie, the first being in "Genesis." We learn that Katie married a guy named "Chuck" at the age of 17 (which would have been 1974-75 since it is established in "The Leap Home" that Katie was born in 1957). As we learned in "Genesis," her second marriage was to Jim Bonnick, though it is unclear how many years later this marriage took place. Katie's marriage to Chuck is mentioned again in "The Leap Home," when Sam attempts to dissuade her from dating him in the future.

Behind the ScenesEdit

This was the first script by Paul Brown, who would be a regular writer in the following seasons.

MusicEdit

  • The Wanderer (performed by Dion)
  • Oh Boy (performed by The Crickets)
  • Baby, It's You (performed by The Shirelles)
  • Rockin' Robin (performed by Bobby Day)
  • A Teenager In Love (performed by Dion & The Belmonts)
  • Let It Be (performed by The Everly Brothers)

PodcastEdit

http://quantumleappodcast.com/episodes/season-one/007-camikazi-kid/

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