Interviews Videos

Breakups, Family Drama, And Gideon: Quantum Leap ‘Family Treasure’ Interview with Writer Shakina and Guest Star Wilder Yari

Whew! NBC’s Quantum Leap season 2 episode 10 titled ‘Family Treasure’ offered a lot of insight and dropped some major bombshells for everyone involved, including the realization Addison and Tom may not be best for each other, Dean coming out to their family, and Ben’s appreciation for his friendship with Ian.

Just when fans thought everything is going to end in smiles, confidence and reassurance, writer Shanika dropped a bomb with the appearance of Gideon; the always feared by never seen creator of the quantum chip. And hell, hath no fury like a smiling devious boss who is going through everyone’s office. “Once he finds me, he finds you, he finds everything.” He’s “the last person any hacker wants to tangle with,” Rachel warns, way too late.

“She’s fine. I told her I wasn’t upset. I totally get it. Water, bridge. Jenn, it’s good to meet you,” Gideon says nefariously while walking over and introducing himself. “Wow, look at this place. This is something. Ian, it’s good to see you,” Gideon says while staring way to hard at Ian.

Oh, this is bad.

QUANTUM LEAP — “The Family Treasure” Episode 210 — Pictured: Alice Kremelberg as Rachel — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

To breakdown this episode and to provide further insight into what’s to come, The Koalition spoke to the Co-Executive Producer/Writer of the series, Shakina and guest star Wilder Yari to learn more about the importance of Dean’s coming out story and the shocking revelations of this week’s episode.

‘Family Treasure’ takes us to the year of 1953, where a cursed treasure hunt draws Ben to Mexico, putting him between two estranged siblings struggling with their late father’s legacy. As they navigate a series of lethal obstacles, Ben finds the real challenge lies in repairing this broken family’s bond, Wilder Yari the adventurous sibling stars as Dean whose coming out story not only impacts their family but changes how Addison views her relationship and just announced plans to elope with Tom. Through Dean, the episode continues to give a voice to nonbinary characters like Ian and fans watching worldwide.

“What really impacted me right away with this script was that Dean was already in their bodies. There wasn’t this narrative of shame or needing permission from other people. I saw that on the page and also on set that was reinforced by our director Jude Wang. This character isn’t apologizing for who they are and didn’t need permission from other characters. They were inviting other characters to see them for who they really were, which I think is kind of a rare narrative.” said Yari.

“Dean [gave] me the knowledge you have to size way up when you are wearing vintage pants because there no stretch at all,” Yari jokes. “On a serious note, the thing I really loved about this character and has taken on is that Dean sees the world as this huge playground. It’s this huge sandbox, it’s this desire to experience everything they possibly can, and I found that really inspirational, really heartening. I love that in a person. I think it’s easy to forget that sense that there’s a whole world out there for the taking. I’ll definitely will be taking with me their ability to be open and honest with their family. I also hope that’s something that our viewers can take as well. Coming out however you do it to your family, to your friends, in whatever timeline you want, is an opportunity for the people you love to know you better. You don’t have to ask permission or ask for their permission to be who you are. It can be the moment to let them see you. Whatever timeline you want, that’s the best,” Yari finished.

QUANTUM LEAP — “The Family Treasure” Episode 210 — Pictured: Wilder Yari as Dina — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

Shakina used this episode to explore her ability to expertly balance a singular story with the overall journey of Quantum Leap. “I feel like one of my superpowers is taking these sorts of canonical stories we know and are familiar to us and injecting them with queerness in a way that makes them accessible because everything else is familiar. I can take this new step into unfamiliar territory because I know Indiana Jones and Goonies and Adventures in Babysitting. I get the vibe of the story we’re in. This new addition of a queer element isn’t as intimidating to take on for viewers. I feel like it’s just adding a new layer on that [and] people are ready for [it].”

”In terms of balancing that with the rest of the stories that need to get told, that’s the fun of the collaborative storytelling. Being in a TV writer room we’ve developed a whole season together. I know I get these moments throughout the season to pipe up with some suggestions to make things super queer in another way and that might not only be through gender and sexuality, but that might be a queer lens on race and ethnicity or on economics. There’s a lot of ways I can bring my point of view into all the stories we’re telling in the show. That’s the fun of doing it collaboratively,” Shakina finished.

“You have to be whole yourself before you can fill your life in,” is a line said by Wilder’s sister, Sarah, when she reveals she’s leaving her awful husband Douglas. While Sarah is off to discover what her life means without being a wife, Addison is deeply impacted by these words. Is she whole? Is it fair to marry Tom if she still has growing to do? Did Addison truly move on from Ben? Fans gasps in anticipation for these answers.

“The importance of being comfortable with yourself before filling your life in is about coming to terms with your own insecurities, your own identity [about] who you really are before trying to seek that external validation through a relationship [or] through a partnership. It also pertains to not necessarily following a path that has been laid out for you especially in this narrative. [This] takes place in 1953 [where] there are very thin narrow ideas about what womanhood is like, about what family is supposed to look. My interpretation of that line was, ‘create a life that you like before trying to fill in these roles you’ve been given,'” said Yari.

QUANTUM LEAP — “The Family Treasure” Episode 210 — Pictured: Caitlin Bassett as Addison — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

“The way Wilder unpacked for all of us [also] applies to Addison’s life. In every episode of Quantum Leap we get these stories where we go back in time, and we get to address a conflict that may [have] a better way through and by showing that better way through in the show we give audiences a way to find it in their lives. Hopefully, ideally. There are so many layers in which it’s happening in this episode. It’s Dean’s journey which is reflective of a lesson Addison is learning, which is really reflective of a lesson we’re all trying to learn in our lives. That’s the way Quantum Leap works,” said Shakina.

“We care about Addison as her own woman and so the decisions she’s making for her life, her career, her heart, and her journey is just beginning. I think you can’t go through what Addison has gone through and not be transformed in the ways you relate to the world around,” Shakina finished.

‘Family Treasure’ shocked fans with Gideon Ridge, the mysterious mogul who Ian had partnered with out of desperation to find Ben. Gideon, played by James Frain, was the only person who has the money and access to make the quantum chip. But what are the consequences of Rachel and Ian’s actions and will others like Magic have to answer for his team’s crimes?

“We’ve been building all season to a new big bad and now you got him. That’s all I’m gonna say. You wonder what happens when the technology could get into the wrong hands, and I hope we can answer that question for you in an exciting way that only Quantum Leap can do. The writer room has worked really hard to bring you an exciting back half of the series and the season. We make the most of everyone on our show. We love writing for these actors and we have a great time creating stories for them,” Shakina teased while revealing nothing.

To learn more about Quantum Leap check out our full interview in the video above.

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