All right team, you’re going to have to decide between Jason Richardson and Tony Allen.
This is a terrible idea.
No, it’s natural selection.
Yes! I won the balloting!
Only becasue Beckett didn’t vote and Evan Turner can’t think of anything but DOTA.
You mean I’m not a feeding noob.
Shut up, Evan. This is important.
Okay, I guess it’s not that important.
Sam, I think we’ve figured out what’s going on with Jackson Ellis.
A future version of you has leapt into his body.
Oh come on that’s just bullshit.
So, this is it. March 29, 2014.
In the original timeline, the 76ers narrowly avoided a NBA record for consecutive losses.
But you leapt into the body of your son, and carried them to the playoffs on that date.
And now, I’ve leapt again into this timeline, into the body of Jackson Ellis…
Why? Why would I try to undo everything I already did?
That’s a good question, Sam.
And I hope that we’re finally going to answer it.
Yo, Beckett, who are you talking to.
Oh, no one. Just getting myself worked up for the game, that’s all.
It’s okay. I talk to myself sometimes, too.
My own voice is calming, especially when I make it deep like a wise old man.
Uh, sure, that sounds perfectly reasonable, Nerlens.
Why are you so worried about this game, Beckett?
We clinched the playoffs last week and Detroit’s hardly been a scary team.
It’s really complicated. Not sure I could explain it if we had all day.
This is about Jackson Ellis, isn’t it?
Something like that.
Beckett, when I was at Kentucky they started tracking players’ heart rates to measure their hustle.
Yeah, the announcers tell this story every single game, like clockwork, when you have to take a free throw.
They never had to call me out on that regard.
What does this have to do with anything?
I don’t know I thought an uplifting story would help you feel better.
In this analogy, you are me and Jackson Ellis is the heart rate monitoring program I defeated.
You’re stretching here, Nerlens.
Just go out there and give it your all, and if they still find you wanting…
…just question how good mobile heart tracking technology can be.
What did I just say about stretching?
Thaddeus says I give good motivational speeches.
Yeah, Thaddeus says a lot of things.
you should stop listening to him so much.
C’mon, guys, into the locker room. Time for pre-game prep.
Let’s go, and remember what I said.
We might not get a chance to talk again.
What, why is that?
…and that’s why we need to de-regulate the banks.
Coach, what does any of this have to do with basketball?
Well, you see the prime earners purchase goods and services from the manufacturers…
…which leads to a better shooting percentage for the team overall.
I think you missed several steps there.
I’ve had just about enough of your snark, Michael.
At least I’m not actively supporting the oppression of the third world.
By your own standards, yes you are!
Both of you calm down. This is not the time to re-fight the cold war.
We’re just a few minutes away from a very important game.
Nah, this isn’t an important game.
We’ve got the playoffs locked up and a good lead on the division.
Hell, after 18 straight wins it would be hard to lose the conference lead.
Everyone needs to quit saying that!
Seriously, dawg, you’re freaking out about an easy matchup.
That’s what I told him! And all he said was this might be the last time we talked.
He’s acting really weird.
C’mon, Beckett, you can tell us what’s going on.
Is this the multiple dystrophy acting up again?
No, it’s not that! Multiple dystrophy isn’t real! We covered that months ago!
Richardson and Noel are right, though. Something is seriously wrong.
We’ve been through a lot with you, Beckett. You can tell us what’s up.
You’ve been here a month, dawg. Let’s ease up on the “we” talk.
My point still stands. Unless you want to fight about it.
I can’t talk about my problem, guys. I don’t even think I fully understand it.
That means your problem is really the government.
You’re not helping, coach.
Listen, Beckett, you need to figure out what’s crawled up your ass if you hope to do anything useful in this game.
Let’s head out to the court. I need to talk to Jackson Ellis.
Yo, ‘sup Jack?
Or should I say… Sam?
So, you figured me out?
It should have been obvious from the beginning.
Everything was all wrong about this timeline, and there’s only one time traveler I know.
What about the evil leaper?
That was dumb and I’m retconning it out.
There’s just one thing I don’t understand.
Just one thing?
Okay, there are multiple things I don’t understand but we’ll get to those later.
Somehow you’re sharing this body with Jackson Ellis. How is that possible?
Just think about it, Sam. When we leap into a body, their conscience went to our body in the lab.
Yeah, I know that. That’s how I have a son in the most fucked up way possible.
We’re dealing with time travel so, no, your son wasn’t conceived in the most fucked up manner possible.
But you’re thinking with the right part of your brain.
We never returned home.
My body died?
We have been leaping for dozens–maybe hundreds–of years.
And one day the other consciousness had nowhere to go. We had to share.
It never ends?
Never. But that’s not the worst part.
What’s the worst part?
I have good news, Sam.
You never have to find out.
Because tonight it ends.
Nothing you’ve been able to do has stopped me. What are you going to try now?
How about a friendly wager?
Wait you want to do a wager just like Ellis used to do?
That’s right, steals and blocks.
There’s a lot we need to talk about. Why are you here? Why did you try to have me killed?
Wouldn’t that kill you, too?
Let’s take it out on the court and…
We’re the same person. We have no choice but to make it personal.
Yeah, I remember being so pedantic.
What else do you remember? What is this all about?
Maybe if you can tell me, we can come to an understanding.
It doesn’t matter any more. I thought I had to kill you, but I was wrong.
You were going to kill me? Wouldn’t that–
I know exactly what it would do. I haven’t gotten stupid over the years.
But that’s not necessary any more.
If you killed me, wouldn’t that cause a time paradox?
I would never become you, and you–
That’s right. Now you’re getting it.
So you’re trying to cause a time paradox? That’s been your goal all along?
Hear that? It’s the buzzer. We better get out there.
So he was willing to kill me and undo his own existence to create a time paradox.
But why? And why is killing me suddenly no longer important?
I know you can’t talk to me now, Sam, but I’ve got Ziggy 2.0 working on it.
Something very strange is going on here, but I’m sure you figured that out.
I’m just going to do what I always do. Shoot a lot of baskets.
I thought you were supposed to be getting steals and blocks?
Like I’m going to do what “Jackson Ellis” wants me to do.
What the hell is he doing?
Getting all these points wasn’t our wager.
I’m winning this game. That’s what I have to do, right?
Heh, you don’t understand at all, do you?
I… I guess I don’t.
It’s over, Sam. I already won.
I thought I’d have to kill you, or keep the 76ers out of the playoffs to create the paradox…
…but it was so much simpler.
By not doing anything?
If you don’t leap out of your son’s body after today’s game, then you change every leap from this day forward…
…and you never leap into Jackson Ellis’s body like I did.
But what do you get out of that?
Maybe if you get more steals and blocks than me I’ll tell you.
Man, what is with this guy and steals and blocks? What are you playing at?
I’m finally in control. I’m playing at victory.
That doesn’t even make–
Aww, did you really just dunk on me? Ellis never did that before.
That’s because I’m not Jackson Ellis anymore. I’m you, but with decades more experience.
Yeah, but not decades more experience playing ball.
I can dunk too.
All right boys, it’s half time. Once again, we have a handy lead thanks to Beckett.
I should be mad at you but I’m mostly just glad to be headed to the playoffs, dawg.
Damn, Beckett, 43 points in the first half? That’s crazy, yo.
What’s got you all motivated?
What do you think?
Jackson Ellis made another bet with you? You probably outscored him already.
Wasn’t even about scoring. It was about steals and blocks.
You’re crazy, Beckett.
Yeah, it sure feels that way.
Sam, we need to talk. Ziggy 2.0 has been running some calculations and…
…Jackson Ellis–I mean you–are right about the time paradox.
If you don’t leap out today, you never leap into Jackson Ellis’s body.
And since Jackson Ellis motivated you to clinch the playoffs prior to March 29…
…this creates a time paradox.
So? Haven’t we been creating a time paradox for over five seasons?
No, because you haven’t changed anything that would prevent you from ever leaping.
What does this mean? What happens if there is a time paradox.
That’s the thing–Ziggy 2.0 says that there can’t be a time paradox.
The universe corrects itself. All the way back in 1989, the very first leap will fail.
The experiment will just fizzle. If becoming a time traveler creates a paradox…
…then you won’t become a time traveler.
That’s why my future self was trying to kill me. It wouldn’t actually kill him.
Because it would undo the whole thing.
Sam, don’t you understand? This means you can go home. We can both go home.
He’s not your enemy, he’s trying to save you.
Yes, but at what cost?
Cost? I don’t understand.
I need to talk to him. I need to find a way out of this.
A way out of going home?
All right, I’m done with the bullshit. I’ve figured out your game.
The time paradox is going to destroy Project Quantum Leap. It’s going to cause the first leap to fail.
That’s right. Time cannot sustain the paradox, so time will change.
Isn’t this what you want, Sam? Don’t you want to go home?
Of course I do! But not like this!
Think of all the good we’ve done.
We saved Al’s marriage, saved Jackie Kennedy’s life.
We gave the world another Marilyn Monroe movie.
Real gamechangers there.
Thank god the world got The Misfits.
Not just the famous people. We had 96 episodes of making history better.
Better? Are you so sure?
The arrow of time always moves from order to chaos, towards entropy, never flinching.
How could we hope to change that by creating our own arrow of time?
I don’t understand.
Just because we changed history didn’t mean we changed cause and effect.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
We didn’t alter the nature of time, we just created another, skewed arrow…
…hurtling towards entropy of another sort.
That’s an awful pessimistic way to look at several years of mostly uplifting television.
This leap into the future is just the first of many.
In two years you will leap into the body of a serial killer who is about to be executed in 2014.
What does this have to do with anything?
That serial killer will leap into your body. Because he is from the future…
…he will have knowledge about you and the project that only you would know.
Stop. Stop telling me this.
Realizing that he has leapt into a time period shortly after his capture, this serial killer will hatch a scheme.
He will pretend to be you, finally returned to your body.
The entire Quantum Leap Project will rejoice. Al will know something is wrong, but he will be too late.
He kills Donna in my body and orphans my son.
He hopes this will create reasonable doubt as to his real murders and set him free from jail…
…before he can be tried and sentenced to death.
But time abhors a paradox, and the murders are never connected despite all the hard work of LeBron James.
My god. This is what turned you against the project.
But I can’t let you do this.
You can’t let me return you home? You can’t let me save Donna?
We’re on this journey for a reason. We have helped people, even if you can’t see that anymore.
Ugh, you just haven’t experienced it yet. If you keep leaping, you’ll understand eventually.
I know it’s pain, but it’s pain we have to endure. It’s the price of changing the world.
God damn it, What is the point? You are already too late.
By clinching the playoffs a week ago, you lost your chance to leap out.
There’s nothing great Sam Beckett Jr. can accomplish today. Not enough to trigger the leap.
The paradox has been created.
Then why are we still here?
All right, listen guys. New game plan.
You’re not the coach!
Doesn’t matter. This is more important than basketball and we probably have this game locked down.
Do you trust me?
You trust everyone.
You still haven’t told my girlfriend I’m not a Saudi Prince.
At some point she’s going to figure out your name isn’t Saad-eus.
I haven’t broken your eye socket, have I?
Of course, Sandking. You can push, gank, support, and half-ass carry if you have to
Still don’t know what any of that means.
Nobody really does.
Not really but you sure shoot some goddamn hoops.
I’ll take it.
Trust is a social construct to allow people claiming to be our betters to lord over us.
Richardson is right, you shoot some goddamn hoops.
That’s the spirit, and that’s the plan.
I’m going to shoot all of the hoops.
There are only two of them.
That’s not what– I was trying to use modern– Never mind.
I want you to feed me the ball.
That’s all we do these days.
I know, but I want you to feed it to me faster. As soon as you get it. And I’m going to shoot every time.
Immediately, if I can.
What the hell are you up to, dawg?
I can’t explain, but I have to do something great today.
Now look at the scoreboard. I’ve got 43 points in the first half…
Oh dear god.
That’s right. I’m going to break Wilt Chamberlain’s record.
Wait, what the hell are you doing?
You’re supposed to be getting steals and blocks.
Stop shooting the ball.
I told you there was another way.
You really think you can score 100 points?
I don’t know, but I bet that’s enough to leap out of here today. And it’s coming along quite nicely. Now I’m on pace.
No! No this is not happening!
You can’t win. Not like this!
The clock is ticking down, Beckett. Finish this off.
I won’t let you do this. I’ll run you over if I have to.
I’ll take you out of this game.
Box him out, guys! Make sure he can’t get to me.
Don’t worry, I know how to pull aggro.
Take the shot, Beckett!
Holy shit, dawg, you did it.
Why didn’t I start this guy earlier?
I’m going to tell my grandkids about this moment.
Yeah, except you’ll probably tell them that you’re the one who did it.
Nerlens… You’re onto me?
I’m not going to let you lie to me anymore, Thaddeus.
But I’ve changed! I’m in rehab now. Compulsive liars anonymous.
That’s a thing?
Of course it is!
You really did it. You fucked everything up. You’re going to regret this.
I know, because I become you. And some day, I’m going to try and stop myself just like you did.
But I’ll be wrong then, just as you’re wrong now.
How can you know that?
God damn it. I was insufferable back when I was you.
How did it feel? Are you serious with that question?
I’m a sports journalist so the answer is “no”.
It felt great. It’s hard to explain, but it was more than setting a record.
I don’t know what comes next, but I know that I’ve changed history.
And that’s all I really had to do today.
Existential rant? Sounds about right.
Do you think you did the right thing, Sam?
Can I really say for sure? Maybe. Maybe not.
But I couldn’t let myself undo everything I’ve done since this experiment began.
Even if it was your last chance to go home?
My last chance? Who knows. I never thought I’d leap into the future…
…or confront another version of myself. Maybe there’s more out there to discover.
Are you going to say goodbye to the team now?
Never been good at saying goodbye. Besides, I’ve probably made this hard enough on Junior now.
He’s got his work cut out for him without me making a scene in the locker room.
Before you leap, there’s one thing you need to see…
Forget the playoffs, forget 100 points. This is how you know you really made it.
Brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?
And a thirst to my throat.
There’s only one thing to do: Obey Your Thirst.
Fortunately, most times I leap to allow me to enjoy a cool, naturally tart Sprite.
Sprite has been refreshing America since 1961.
No matter what I change in history, one thing remains constant:
The great lemon-lime taste of an ice cold sprite.
Here’s to that.