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Quantum Leap's New Baddie: Who Is Gideon Rydge?

On the latest Quantum Leap, Ian's biggest nightmare walked right into HQ. Who is Gideon Rydge?

By Tara Bennett

In the last run of episodes in Season 2 of Quantum Leap, the quantum chip processor storyline — simmering since it was semi-resolved in "Secret History"came back to haunt Ian (Mason Alexander Park), Jenn (Nanrisa Lee) and Rachel (Alice Kremelberg).

How to Watch

Watch Quantum Leap on NBC and Peacock

RELATED: Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Leaps? Quantum Leap Season 2 Finale Explained

Its maker was revealed to be a tech mogul by the name of Gideon Rydge (James Frain), and he seemed to have a vested interest in controlling the chip and the whole Quantum Leap Program. Before Ian could spill to Magic (Ernie Hudson) or Tom (Peter Gadiot) the whole messy back story, Rachel and Rydge busted into HQ and started making demands. Turns out, Rydge had a very personal reason to hate on the Program and more specifically, Ben (Raymond Lee). 

Who is Gideon Rydge in the Quantum Leap mythology?

A close-up of Ian looking at another character while in a car at night.

As a reminder, back in Episode 6, "Secret History," Ian is contacted via phone by one of Rydge's employee's demanding that he continue to share information from Ben's leaps gathered by using the one of a kind quantum chip provided by Rydge. He never shows his face, but Ian and Jenn ask Rachel to rewrite the firmware from her side of the company to "jailbreak" the quantum chip so they can't track it, or use it as extortion anymore. While that puts Rachel's job at risk, she does it for the good of Ben and the project.

RELATED: Quantum Leap Shocker: Hannah is [SPOILER] in Latest Leap - What Does It Mean for Ben?

They then meet one of Rydge's corporate representatives, Simone, and reverse blackmail her by threatening her to release the recording of her blackmailing a federal employee. A stalemate is won. But Rydge then discovered the tweaked chip cover-up and he arrived to make Ian and Jenn pay the piper.

How does Rydge connection to Hannah?

Gideon on Quantum Leap Episode 213

In the second season finale, "Against Time," Rydge's villain origin story is finally revealed. Turns out the angry CEO is Hannah's son Jeffrey, just with a changed name and hidden history. For 50-years, Jeffrey/Gideon has been holding a grudge against Ben. He was certain that the strange man his mother hugged caused the rift between his parents and spurred his father to leave the house and get into a car wreck, and die. Hellbent on using technology to get even with Ben and the Leap Program, he amassed a fortune based on his own tech inventions, created a new persona and invented the quantum chip that would allow him to finally get his revenge. 

Rydge revealed to the HQ Team that his plan was to use his mother's code and his own chip to swap places with Ben. As the leaper, he could correct time or at the very least, make adjustments through time to erase his painful loss. Meanwhile, he could then throw Ben into a prison and let him rot in isolation for his "crimes" against his family. Of course, the way young Jeffrey thought he saw it was not the whole truth and Ben tells him exactly what happened. Ben also asks for young Jeffrey's help to save another family — his latest leap mission — who are about to suffer the same pain of a lost parent. Using honesty and his compassion to sway Jeffrey, the two race to save the day. Their success changes Jeffrey's entire perception of Ben and the good that the program does across time. The changed boy becomes an altruistic benefactor in the future, and a champion of the Quantum Leap Program. 

Where have you seen actor James Frain before?

Actor James Frain has filled out quite the career resume playing impressive villains, especially in sci-fi shows. The British actor played Eric Renard in NBC's Grimm (now streaming on Peacock) and Franklin Mott on True Blood. He also played Theo Galavan/Azrael on Gotham, and Black Peter on What We Do in the Shadows. For non-genre fans, Frain has appeared in seasons of 24 and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He certainly made a passionate mark as Jeffrey/Gideon determining the outcome of Season 2. Perhaps he'll show up again on the right side of science in Season 3.

Quantum Leap is back on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and the next day on Peacock