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In Quantum Leap the character Sam Beckett frequently leaps into the place of people who are in dangerous, life threatening situations. What would happen if he were to be killed? Would he leap to a new person, leaving the displaced person to be the one to die, or would Sam die in the past and the displacee would be stuck in the future?

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    That's a question Sam really didn't want to learn the answer to.
    – cjm
    Sep 2, 2012 at 20:03

2 Answers 2

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I'm not aware of any episode where Sam is injured in one body before leaping out. Such an instance would be the easiest way to answer your question, whether injuries stick or not.

According to Wikipedia, it's not entirely clear how Sam's body relates to the host body. He appears to have the abilities of his own body (walking even when the host has no legs), but the sensory input of the host body (feeling labor pains). The simplest explanation is that Sam's body is, in some sense, actually there when he leaps. If Sam were shot in his (invisible) leg while in the body of a legless man, the bullet would actually penetrate Sam's leg. It can't penetrate the host's leg, it's not there!

So my answer would be that if Sam was killed in someone else's body, Sam would die. Whether the host leaps back (and comes back from the dead!) or not (and is stuck in the future looking like Sam!) would probably depend entirely on the will of "God, time, fate, or whatever."

Always assuming whatever power leaps Sam doesn't intervene and leap him out first, leaving the host to die.

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    At the end of "Revenge of the Evil Leaper", Sam shot Zoe, the evil leaper, just as she was beginning to leap out of the body of the prison governor. The leap continued to its conclusion, and the real governor stood up, alive. Presumably Zoe ended up back in her own body in the future, dead. By that logic, any damage to a leaper when in someone else's body affects the leaper, not the host.
    – Wallnut
    May 6, 2016 at 13:38
  • @Wallnut, why not make an answer with that? you have an episode reference and a good answer!
    – max pnj
    Jul 7, 2016 at 8:45
  • Can I do that? Is it allowed to rewrite a comment as an answer?
    – Wallnut
    Jul 8, 2016 at 8:21
  • It's established early on that time passes in between leaps for Al and Team Quantum Leap. Perhaps Sam can heal in this time. In various episodes (the one where he's a wrestler comes to mind) he does take a beating before prevailing, but he always seems to be fine, even rested, when he leaps into the next person. Jul 12, 2016 at 14:26
  • @Wallnut it's encouraged! Jan 6, 2017 at 14:36
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At the end of "Revenge of the Evil Leaper", Sam shot Zoe, the evil leaper, just as she was beginning to leap out of the body of the prison governor. The leap continued to its conclusion, and the real governor stood up, alive. Presumably Zoe ended up back in her own body in the future, dead. By that logic, any damage to a leaper when in someone else's body affects the leaper, not the host.

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