This is a reposting of a series I did for Killer Moose.
Welcome to the penultimate episode of 11.22.63, darlings! After the sheer agony of last week’s episode, I am very pleased that we are nearly to the end. If not for my own sanity, then at least for the sake of my liquor cabinet.
This week’s episode picks up on the date 11.05.63, and proceeds to count down the 17 days up to JFK’s assassination.
So let’s count those days down and see what happens…
11.05.63 (17 days until the assassination)
Jake is still unconscious in the hospital, and essentially he seems to be phasing in and out of 1963 and 2016. He sees Anderson Cooper… folk on cell phones… his ex-wife… he hears Lady Whitebread!… and then Chris Cooper appears to him as a his doctor and tells Jake that he’s a “complete disappointment.”
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU, CHRIS COOPER!
11.07.63 (15 days until the assassination)
Jake is awake now, and recovering in a wheelchair with Lady Whitebread. His memory is fucked, and Lady Whitebread is trying to help him remember things, including the fact that he’s from the future and he was on a special mission.
At this point I’m pretty sure this means that poor Bill is completely screwed…
11.12.63 (10 days until the assassination)
We get a very random scene of Lee Harvey Oswald throwing a fit at the FBI.
Jake is packing up to leave the hospital, and is trying to remember who this “Bill” friend of his is, and where he is…
Cue my grump face.
Lady Whitebread says she doesn’t know where Bill is, and that last she’d heard they’d gotten in a fight and then Jake said Bill was “safe.”
Oh — and we also find out that Ms. Mimi has apparently died at some point???
Jake is in the middle of signing his discharge papers when he remembers that GASP! That’s right! He committed Bill!
Jake and Lady Whitebread go to get Bill — except that since no one could get a hold of Jake to, ya know, pay for Bill’s hospitalization, he was transferred! And surprise! they’ve been giving him rounds of electroshock therapy! Tto treat his “delusions” about his “brother” being from the future on a mission to stop the assassination of JFK. Jake and Lady Whitebread are aghast!
Yeah somehow the show wants to act as if this is a horrific “realization.” As if that wasn’t exactly what was going to happen in 1963!! PART OF MY ENTIRE FURY IS THAT JAKE, AS AN “EDUCATED” MAN FROM 2016 SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!!
So Jake once again comes face-to-face with poor poor poor Bill, and proceeds to offer him about the shittiest, half-hearted “sorry” I have ever heard in my life. Just that. Just “sorry.” He might as well have just shrugged and went “ooopss?”
At this point it becomes clear that no one is going to make Jake really answer for what he did.
Ugh. You guys, I really really really hate Jake Epping. Like… on a supreme level. I think it may have consumed my entire being.
Jake tells Bill that they’re getting him out of here! Today! This very second! They’re taking him home! Bill manages to brighten at this. Home to Kentucky?? he wants to know.
Nope, not exactly, says Jake! You see, Bill can’t go home home because Jake needs Bill to help him remember shit!
At this point I may have shrieked something incoherent about Jake STILL COMPLETELY USING BILL!
But ho ho — just in case my rage was not boiling hot enough.. Jake THEN proceeds to try and coax Bill right there, right then into remembering everything that they were doing… About the assassination plot… and all the future stuff…
In other words: Jake waltzes in and tries to convince Bill of all the exact same fucking things that Bill was committed for believing / has been getting “treated” for!!!
JAKE. EPPING. IS. A. FUCKING. MONSTER.
Bill, not surprisingly, becomes very confused by all of this. And so as Jake is signing the papers for Bill’s release, Bill jumps out the open windows and goes splat and dies.
Yup. Poor Bill is now dead.
And at this point I down my entire drink. Because there is no goodness in the world.
11.14.63 (8 days until the assassination)
I have a new drink in time for Bill’s really pathetic funeral with just Jake and Lady Whitebread.
I am so fucking sorry, Bill. You deserved so much better than Jake Epping. It’s practically an insult that he should even be at your grave. But I suppose at least you are now freed from him…?
11.15.63 (7 days until the assassination)
Jake takes pills.
11.16.63 (6 days until the assassination)
Jake flips through a yearbook. Lady Whitebread tries to convince him to go on a walk, but he doesn’t want to go for a walk. Jake is being very self-loathing.
AS HE SHOULD BE!
11.17.63 (5 days until the assassination)
Lady Whitebread is still trying to get Jake to remember things / what his mission is. Jake gets angry at her. He takes more pills. Lady Whitebread reminds him that a man is about to be murdered, and Jake is the only person who can stop it!
Lee is having a weird sorta-creepy moment with his mom. It’s about his second grade report card… and having potential…
11.18.63 (4 days until the assassination)
Lee sits on a bench in the park. He sees a newspaper touting the JFK tour kicking off in Texas. He watches children in slow motion, and then dumps the newspaper in the trash.
11.19.63 (3 days until the assassination)
Jake thinks he remembers something! The name “Madison.” He thinks he lived on Madison Street!
11.20.63 (2 days until the assassination)
Jake and Lady Whitebread go to the old neighborhood in Dallas where Bill lived below Lee. They find the old house… There is a new tenant in the downstairs apartment who won’t let them in… So they go upstairs instead… And hey! It’s Lee Harvey Oswald! He remembers Jake!
At this point I will confess I was honestly very confused about two things:
- I thought Lady Whitebread had been here before– she brought the love casserole, right? I did not understand why she didn’t recognize the place at all. But apparently she never had…? Because Jake apparently had two different apartments..? The Dallas apartment where Bill lived below Lee for recording, and his own house in Jodi…? But his house also had recording equipment? Somehow I’d completely skipped missed a couple of these details. I blame coping cocktails.
- Lady Whitebread apparently doesn’t know who Lee Harvey Oswald is…? Really? So you’re telling me that Jake filled her in on the whole future, and on his mission to stop the assassination of JFK, but he NEVER mentioned to her the name of the guy he was following that was the suspected assassin?? THAT SEEMS LIKE A VITAL DETAIL TO JUST LEAVE OUT, JAKE!!
Grrr. Anyway… Jake and Lady Whitebread are sitting in Lee’s living room, chit-chatting, when all of Jake’s memories come conveniently flooding back! He remembers who Lee is now! And that he has to kill him!
Jake excuses himself to the kitchen for some water, and grabs a knife.
YUP THIS A GREAT PLAN, JAKE! TOTALLY USE A KNIFE TO THREATEN THE VAGUELY UNSTABLE EX MARINE. I’M SURE THAT WILL GO AWESOME.
But when Jake returns to the living room, Lee is holding his baby daughter. Jake decides it’s probably not right to stab a man holding a baby, so he and Lady Whitebread just leave.
They go back home… Jake sneaks away to get a hidden gun… He’s about to run out and leave Lady Whitebread, but she surprises him by already being in the car! He feeds her bullshit about leaving for her own good… She says that’s bullshit… He says he needs to go kill that man with the baby… She thinks a second and goes “ok.”
Jake then tell her what they’re actually going to go do is steal Oswald’s rifle from that Random Lady’s house. Because if Oswald doesn’t have his rifle, he can’t kill Kennedy. So they go over to Random Lady’s house (i.e. the place where Marina is currently living.)
Jake tells Random Lady that he’s a friend of Lee’s and he’s supposed to pick up a package from the garage. Random Lady isn’t quite buying it (with very good reason!)… until Lady Whitebread utilizes that special magic of woman-to-woman talking that exists in tv and movies. She convinces her to let them in! Minutes later she and Jake are rummaging through this woman’s garage. But alas, the rifle is already gone.
11.22.63 — 12:30 am
Jake and Lady Whitebread arrive outside school book depository. Jake parks the car and says he won’t shoot Oswald! He’ll just talk to him while Lady Whitebread calls the police.
Jake mentions that they’ll have to stay on their toes! Because the past is going to throw everything at them!
Um… Is it really? Because lately the past has been pretty fucking lackadaisical on that whole “lashing out” thing…
Oh hey! It’s a police officer! Don’t they want one of those???
Apparently not! Because he wants them to move their car, and they simply move their car.
Lady Whitebread wants to know if they’re going to go stay in a hotel. Jake says no! It’s not safe! THE PAST! They can’t take chances!
So instead he drives into a shady, deserted alley.
AWESOME DECISIONS AS ALWAYS, JAKE!
In the oh-so-romantic alley way, Jake and Whitebread cuddle up… She asks him if he misses the future… He says he misses sneakers.
Apparently Jake’s memory is back to being spot-on perfect in all regards!
Lady Whitebread literally falls asleep listening to Jake talk. (And it is so much funnier to me than it should be!)
That’s when the streetlight starts flickering and the car radio starts getting creepy static.
GASP! Mr. Yellow Card appears in the car next to Jake instead of Lady Whitebread! And it’s suddenly daytime! And raining!
Mr. Yellow Card proceeds to rasp and squeak out some tale I can barely understand. I think it basically amounts to the fact that he tried repeatedly to change history by saving his young daughter from drowning, and now is somehow trapped doing so??
Jake says this is all totally different!
And then Mr. Yellow Card is gone again! It’s middle of the night again. Lady Whitebread is back. She wakes up.
Jake asks her if maybe they can just let history happen? They can buy a house with a swing-set, be teachers together, have 4 kids, and wear matching sweaters. (Literally. All things he actually says.)
But Lady Whitebread reminds him that he came here for a reason. And that now it’s her reason too.
At this point I can’t decide which one of them I hate more.
11.22.63 — 8:30 am
Jake and Lady Whitebread awake! GASP! It’s morning! They need to go stop Oswald!
But oh no! the car won’t start! Damn that cursed intervening universe Jake proclaims!
SURE, JAKE. “THE UNIVERSE” AND NOT THAT YOU LEFT THE RADIO ON ALL NIGHT??
Lee and Marina are in bed having “a moment.” Marina thinks they can all go to the zoo together as a happy family. She tells him she’s ready to talk now about their future for real. Lee leaves with his rifle anyway.
Back to Jake and Lady Whitebread running around trying to steal a car, but they’re all locked! Jake curses the supposed trusting-ness of the 1960s! (Seriously.) They finally find an unlocked one, and Jake knows how to hotwire it because apparently Bill taught him!
Yeah ok. Whatever.
11.22.63 — 9:00 am
Lee is at the book depository, setting up boxes… loading his rifle… and waiting.
And I’m momentarily reminded that Daniel Webber is genuinely one of the more engaging actors to watch on this show…
AND WE REACH END OF EPISODE.
Let us all raise a final drink for poor Bill…
Next week is our final episode, folks. Any bets on if the universe decides very suddenly to show up now?