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QL episode 4x10 Unchained

Sam as prison escapee Chance Cole in "Unchained".

Episode No.   Season
63 4x10 Four
Episode Information
Original Broadcast Date November 27, 1991
IMDB: IMDb logo Unchained
Written by: Paris Qualles
Directed by: Michael Watkins
Leap Information
Leap Date: November 2, 1956
Place: Talawaga County, Mississippi
Leapee: Chance Clarence Cole (leapee)
Chronological Information
Preceded by: "A Single Drop of Rain"
Followed by: "The Play's The Thing"

Unchained was the tenth episode of Season 4 of Quantum Leap, also the 63rd overall series episode. Written by Paris Qualles, the episode, directed by Michael Watkins, premiered on NBC-TV on November 27, 1991. The premise for the episode is based on the 1958 film "The Defiant Ones" starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier.



Sam and fellow convict Boone are the defiant ones when Sam has to rescue his companion from a fifteen-year sentence on a chain gang.


November 2, 1956: Sam leaps into Chance Terence Cole (leapee played by Mark Kemble), inmate at Talawaga County Prison, in Mississippi, doing nine months for petty theft. He is on a truck, being carried somewhere. There are many prisoners in the truck, and he is handcuffed into a black man, Jasper "Jazz" Boone (played by Basil Wallace), a black man doing 15 years for armed robbery who, according to Al, has been unjustly imprisoned after a jewelry store robbery. Things then go from bad to worse when Al reports the real jewelry store robber is still at it and is known to them through his frequent visits to the prison farm, in Jake. He's not the only one involved in the crimes, however. Sam and Jazz run-off with the local authorities, namely Boss Cooley, (played by J.C. Quinn) the corrupt prison guard, in hot pursuit and Sam has to find a way to keep his partner alive.

Recaptured by their jailers, thanks to Cooley, the equally corrupt warden, they both soon find themselves in the punishment pit as later, while in the pit, Chance tries to explain to Jazz, who almost chokes him from behind the locked door of the pit, that it was Jake Wiles, (Don Sparks), who works a daily truck deliver of goods from his family's grocery business, and part-time assistant on the search party with Cooley when a prisoner escapes, was the culprit in the rash of robberies that had been occurring, and that he was posing as a black man in the latest, which had Jasper accused and convicted wrongfully.

Later the next morning, Cooley is under orders of Elias to have the prisoners on a road work detail, when Sam, as Chance, tries to explain to Captain Elias, the equally corrupt prison camp warden that Wiles, who arrives making another grocery delivery, is the culprit in the rash of robberies that have been occurring, but he won't listen, as Wiles defensely, and adamantly denies inovolvement in the robbbies, saying to Elias, "Are you gonna listen to him!?".

Some time later, when Wiles's body is found nearby, murdered, and a bag with $4000 is also found nearby, Cooley prepares to have the two square off in what they call in prison terms a "cockfight", meaning a fight to the death, of two inmates. Cooley, in trying to figure how Chance could know about the robberies, had a stake in them, as he suspected moments earler when he sees Sam "talking to himself", as he's really conversing with Al about the possibility of him having killed Wiles, whom they would soon moments later, be found dead near the area where the cockfight was to take place.

This is when Sam asks Cooley, as he asks the two "You two got any last words?", "is that what you said to Jake Wiles before you shot him?". Cooley repsonds "Too bad you're not gonna live to regret what you just said, boy!"

It turns out that indeed, Cooley was the one who murdered Wiles, so that he would not be exposed as a profiteering partner in the rash of robberies that had been occuring, as he had confronted Wiles the night before, as he made another grocery delivery to the camp.

Anyhow, just as Cooley gets the two to square off, Sam gets Jasper to go along with his plan to cause a distraction so that they could try still another escape attempt, as he finds a garter snake in the pond which they were tussling in and tossing it on another inmate, causing an uproar which the other inmates disperse, as they are able to sneak off to where the prison trucks are located, and start a fire by igniting the gas tank of one of trucks and slip just ahead of his search team and dogs, as Al is able to mislead them completely off the trail of Sam and Jasper, but, eventually, minutes later, Cooley, with his dog, manages to catch up with Chance and Jazz in a wooded area, just minutes away from the prison camp border line.

Fortunately, unknown to Cooley, the convicts have one thing to their advantage, Al. As a holographic guide, he is able to agitate the Cooley's search dog, which can see him, as he shouts, "Hey, you stupid mutt!" The dog lunges toward Al, causing Cooley to lose grip of the leash and his shotgun, which fires accidentally. He falls several feet into a nearby ditch, killing him instantly, which helps Sam and Jazz to escape easily from the camp and over to the Louisiana border, about 20 miles away. As Jazz heads over a hilltop out of the state scott free, Sam then leaps to his next mission.

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