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Cocktail Recaps: 11.22.63 (episode 5 – The Truth)

This is a reposting of a series I did for Killer Moose.

We’re back to the madness, darlings! If you missed my recounting of episodes 1-4, you can catch up here.

Otherwise let’s dive right in!

We pick up immediately where we left off: Lady Whitebread runs out of Jake’s basement after hearing the Oswalds having sex. In Russian. Outside, in the middle of the street, she demands to know what she just heard.

(I happen to think it would be obvious: your boyfriend was recording people having sex.)

Jake’s answer, however is that it was a special drama with Russian actors. Lady Whitebread is insulted by this TERRIBLE lie. And for the first time I really can’t blame her.

She runs away, saying she never wants to see him again. And Jake, distraught, mopes his way back into his house and finds her casserole.

At this point I yell at him to EAT HIS FEELINGS!

Alas, he does not and instead dumps the entire casserole in the trash. Yet again I am questioning Jake’s decision making as a human being. THAT CASSEROLE WAS PROBABLY DELICIOUS!

Suddenly we’re in flashback! … And I am horrified by the notion that we are re-introducing flashbacks to this show…

Jake is in his English class, “teaching” The Odyssey. Conveniently Naturally it leads into him asking his students what they would do if they could travel back in time in change something. One of his students (Glenn) demands details on the precise concept of time travel Jake is talking about, but Jake is confused by such a silly question and says it doesn’t matter.

I’m totally on Glenn’s side here.

The students’ plans all revolve around murdering various bad people throughout history, and Jake seems disappointed by that.

At this point I think someone needs to sit Jake down and explain to him how his own plan sounds.

Now we’re back in the present  the past?  the 1963 timeline.

Jake listens as his teacher boss / principal person who bailed him out of jail in the last episode explains that Jake has a moral clause in his contract, and thus he is being let go.

At this point I am forced to laugh maniacally at Jake’s misfortune.

Especially since Jake is apparently shocked! to discover that encouraging one kid to act and another to learn poetry does not quite make up for being arrested in a whorehouse and discovered to have Russian sex recordings in his basement…

(Ok. To be fair: it is unclear if Lady Whitebread told about the recordings. But even if she didn’t, I think the whorehouse is damning enough all on its own.)

Time for another flashback!

Chris Cooper talks about how his last time in the rabbit hole he made it until December 3, 1962.

Yeah. That’s pretty much it.

Back to 1963!

Jake and Bill are hanging out in the woods outside of General Walker’s house, indulging in Jake’s favorite new pastime: unparalleled leaping to conclusions!


please, Bill, I beg of you: get out now and SAVE YOURSELF

Bill once again proves to have a modicum of semi-reason because apparently the fact that General Walker and JFK are shot at with the same gun is not quite enough evidence for him…

Once again, Jake, if Bill is acting as your voice of reason, you may need to step back and reconsider things.

Jake then begins prepping Bill for the would-be Oswald shooting attack on General Walker. He thinks they may need to intervene, and he wants Bill to be prepared for the past to lash out at them.

PS Jake — I feel like everything you just said should, oh I dunno, TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRUDENCE OF THIS PLAN!

Bill (understandably) wants to know what happens if they do catch Oswald trying to shoot at General Walker’s house. Then what?Jake’s response? “Well, I hope I kill Oswald… and then don’t get arrested.”


Bill asks: “How?”

Oh silly silly naive Bill… You should know better than to ask Jake a question like that!

Jake shrugs and says he has no clue!


Jake then says that once Oswald is dead, he’ll just mosey on back to 2016 and… see what happens.

I really don’t like Jake.

Jake proceeds to clean out their house, dumping everything (including all of his recordings of Oswald) into a trash bag. Yes, a humble trash bag.

Uh, Jake? Haven’t you been super paranoid about the CIA and FBI? You’re telling me your super paranoia doesn’t lead you to believe that these secret spooks might look through the trash of the fellas who lived in the apartment below Lee Harvey Oswald???

Cue threatening phone call from Evil Husband Johnny! He has broken into Lady Whitebread’s house and has a bloodied bag over her head in her kitchen.

Jake jumps into action! He immediately calls Bill and tells him that he’s going to have to go to General Walker’s by himself! Then he sprints (total Tom Cruise runs!) all the way to Lady Whitebread’s house!


Oh TR Knight… you deserve better than this…

At this point I’m so glad women everywhere are being validated by this turn of events. Because there’s nothing like barely existing as a person until you become a victim pawn for an abusive / mentally-ill husband so that your new boyfriend can come and save you.

And so we move into an extended, unnecessarily menacing sequence about Johnny losing it, slicing Lady Whitebread’s face up, and threatening to shoot her in the head if Jake doesn’t kiss her and then drink a glass of bleach.

Yup. Seriously.

Meanwhile Bill is following in Jake’s footsteps and pursuing his own bland love story with Marina Oswald. They share a friendly cigarette in a stairwell until Lee interrupts.

Then Lee gives Bill a book by Carl Marx. Um… bonding…?

Back at the mentally-unstable house of horrors, Jake manages to throw the bleach into Johnny’s eyes, and he and Lady Whitebread make a run for it!

But not too far. Just to a corner of the house. Where they now have a blind, infuriated, mentally-and-emotionally-damaged dude who happens to have a gun.


Jake swings a fire poker into Johnny’s face, and then Lady Whitebread grabs the dropped gun and shoots her husband.

At this point I refill my drink because I HATE EVERYTHING.

PS — Where is the universe on all of this?? Why isn’t “the past” stepping in and ‘pushing back’ anymore? It’s like it just stopped. Jake Epping Amberson has spent three whole years running around and ingratiating himself in people’s lives! And now he just killed a guy! Is the universe just shrugging this stuff off?


The police arrive and Lady Whitebread is whisked off to a hospital in Dallas. A very reasonable deputy tries to question Jake about what happened with the brutalized woman and the shot-dead man with a fire poker embedded his face, but Jake just doesn’t understand why questioning is necessary.

The deputy lets Jake go to hospital where he talks to Doctor Donny Hendrix (hello, Kristian Bruun! our second Orphan Black actor to appear in this show!) You see, Lady Whitebread is in critical condition.

… from a face wound…? But…

Ok. Fine. Not dwelling on it!

Jake sticks around the hospital, waiting for news. He finally talks to the deputy and basically tells him that it felt great to bash a man’s head in. The deputy thinks that makes sense, and leaves him alone.

We jump back over to check in on Bill who is all alone on Operation Stake-Out General Walker’s House And See If Oswald Shoots At Him. He’s doing his best to follow through on Jake’s plan, but then! gasp! he sees a vision of his murdered sister exiting a church! He chases after her.

But gasp again! surprise! It’s totally not her.

And so Bill misses seeing who fires the gunshot at General Walker.

Ok. Wait. Pause! Question: Can the universe seriously just manifest apparitions now? That’s a thing it can do? Up until now it’s just sorta tried to kill you with cars and fire and chandeliers… But it’s to the point of creating whole illusions targeted at specific people? Could it always do this? Is it a new development?

Nope! Can’t get sucked in to the questions!


Damn. It’s Chris Cooper again. This time he’s talking about the hardest thing about living in the past.

Well, duh, it’s the universe trying to murder you, right? And possibly creating illusions to fuck with your mind?

Nope! According to Chris Cooper the worst thing about living in the past is making connections with people! forgetting who you are! and forgetting why you’re there…

I honestly still think it would be the murdery universe… but whatever.

Back at the hospital in 1963 Jake sees General Walker there with the shrapnel in his arm that indicates something must have gone wrong on Bill’s end. So he calls Bill to find out what happened.

On the phone Bill starts full on weeping about the fact that he missed the gunshot because he thought he saw his murdered sister.

Jake responds to this emotional breakdown by dropping the phone and simply walking away in displeasure.


Fuck you, Jake.

Doctor Donny Hendrix returns and gives Jake a misleading spiel about Lady Whitebread’s aliveness that is basically straight out of Arrested Development… No no no, he didn’t mean she was dead, he only said all that weird stuff because it’s 1963 and he was very grave about the fact that she might not be as pretty anymore and he wanted to brace Jake for the fact that she was going to have (gasp) a scar!

No. Really. That was it.


somehow he will find the strength to love her despite the scar on her face…

So Jake goes in to talk to not-dead-but-will-be-scarred Lady Whitebread. He tells her that he “can’t do any of this” without her…

Wait… he can’t stop JFK’s assassination without her? But…

Ya know what, nevermind!

He also says he’s never going to lie to her again. And then Jake confesses to Lady Whitebread that he’s from the future.

She has a moment, but then takes it fairly in stride. She asks him if he’s really an English teacher.

Whoa whoa whoa. Wait. No. This I cannot abide. Really?? Upon learning and accepting that your boyfriend is from the fucking future you’re very first question is not “Why did you come here?” or “How did you get here?” but is “Are you really an English teacher?”


Jake and Lady Whitebread then hold hands as they laugh and cry and talk generically about books.

… Meanwhile I can only assume Bill is still sobbing on the phone…

End of episode!


“Bill, you’d better not be crying again! You know I don’t give a shit about your feelings!”


I’m going to finish my drink and go eat a large cookie.

See you all next week.


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