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"Permanent Wave"
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QL episode 4x5 Permanent Wave

Sam, as a Beverly Hills hairdresser, with the help of Al and Ziggy, must protect a boy and his mother from mobsters after the boy witnesses a murder outside of the beauty salon.

Episode No.   Season
58 4x05 Four
Episode Information
Original Broadcast Date October 16, 1991
Network: NBC-TV
IMDB: IMDb logo Permanent Wave
Written by: Beverly Bridges
Directed by: Scott Bakula
Leap Information
Leap Date: June 2, 1983
Place: Beverly Hills, California
Leapee: Frank Bianca
Chronological Information
Preceded by: Justice
Followed by: Raped


Permanent Wave was the 5th episode of Season 4 of the Quantum Leap TV series, also the 58th overall episode. Directed by series co-star Scott Bakula, the episode, which was written by Beverly Bridges, originally aired on NBC-TV on October 16, 1991.

SynopsisEdit

Sam leaps into a hair dresser to prevent the death of a murder witness.

StorylineEdit

June 2, 1983 - Dr. Sam Beckett leaps into Frank Bianca (leapee played by Robert Jacobs), a popular hair stylist, just in time to let his girlfriend’s son Kyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) go next door to go buy some candy. One of the workers at the place, Chloe (Lela Ivey), tells him that Laura (Doran Clark) never lets him go off on his own. Sam asks why just in time for two gunshots to be heard. Sam tells everyone to get down and then goes off to check on Kyle who he sees hiding behind the counters. The gunman’s gloved hand is visible as he shoots at Sam before he manages to duck down behind the counters himself.

The owner of the pharmacy, Phil, was killed and witnesses saw Sam and Kyle running into the store. Sam did not see anything significant and Laura won’t let Sam tell the police about Kyle although Detective Ward (Harry Groener) suspects that he saw something. Sam further worries Ward when he needs to look in his wallet to get his home address and doesn’t realize that he lives on top of his store. Sam does get to have some fun, though, brazenly flirting with two gorgeous blonde twins in front of Al just to get revenge for Al always complaining about how Sam handles women whether he flirts with them or not.

Sam tries to convince Laura to go to the police but her husband was killed after agreeing to testify to a mob killing she witnessed and so she is too scared to let him. Sam independently tries to get Kyle to describe the killer to him but Kyle says that he can’t really remember. He knows that the man was white and in a suit but he mostly just saw the man’s shoes which had money in them.

Kyle also remembers that the man who shot Phil was arguing with him first and said he didn’t need any more of Phil’s junkie money. Al examines Phil’s financial records and finds out that he was in deep debt awhile ago but has since managed to pay back all of his creditors with interest and had $200,000 in the bank. The obvious conclusion is that Phil was selling drugs illegally. The biggest customer was Eloch and so Sam tips Ward off to this but can’t explain how he knows.

Because Al says that Kyle’s body is found on the way to Frank’s cabin and Laura’s body is never found at all, Sam is taken by surprise when gunshots come through the apartment window and Chloe suffers a flesh wound. Sam goes back to the pharmacy to see if he can find anything and manages to locate a penny. When he returns, Chloe tells him that Laura took Kyle out to Frank’s cabin.


Sam decides that it’s gone too far and he disobeys Laura’s wishes and calls Ward. He learns that Ward has already left as a woman called twenty minutes ago and gave her location. It might have been Laura but Sam is still concerned and takes off after Laura. Since he has to bother Chloe’s car, she insists on coming after him.

Al reports that Laura’s car is wrecked in an accident but she and Kyle are both fine. When he checks in on Ward and tries to will the detective to go faster, he notices that the man has a penny on the top of his shoe and realizes that that was where the penny Sam found came from and thus Ward must be the killer. Sam thinks it’s okay because Ward is going to the cabin and Laura and Kyle are stranded ten miles away but they manage to hitchhike to the cabin.

Ward arrives before Sam does and hits Laura over the head before chasing after Kyle. Kyle’s leg brace makes it difficult for him to escape Ward but eventually he gets to the lake and Sam dives in after him. Sam assures Kyle that he is safe but this is premature as Ward has arrived and points a gun at him. Sam gets a terrified Kyle to tell Ward that he has no idea who Ward is so killing him is not necessary. Ward points out that Sam knows, though, and so is prepared to shoot them both. Sam tries to shield Kyle with his body when suddenly Ward falls over, dead.

Chloe got out of the car and shot Ward dead for shooting her. Sam thinks that they are safe until she points the gun at him. Sam realizes that Eloch is an anagram for Chloe and that they really should have realized this sooner. Sam tries to stall Chloe while a bloody Laura sneaks up behind Chloe with a heavy tree branch but Laura ultimately collapses just before reaching her. Chloe spins around to look at Laura once she hears the fall and Sam takes that opportunity to put both himself and Kyle underwater.

Kyle just hides while Sam finds Ward’s gun and, when Chloe won’t surrender, is forced to kill her. Back at the cabin, Sam finds out that Kyle goes on to win a medal in the special Olympics and when he automatically calls Kyle his son ends up proposing to Laura who accepts…a few seconds after Kyle accepts first.

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