This is a reposting of a series I did for Killer Moose.
It’s the final episode! We are at the very end of the line, folks!
If you haven’t read last week’s recap, you can do that here.
Otherwise: let’s not waste anymore time!
Our finale opens with Jake driving like a maniac! (Because apparently he does not care how many people’s lives he risks in order to get to Lee Harvey Oswald…)
You see, he and Lady Whitebread need to get to Oswald before 12:30 pm because that’s the precise time Oswald’s first shot goes (and misses.)
But oh no! They reach a blocked road that should not be blocked! Jake and Lady Whitebread jump out of the car, and Jake proceeds to drag her like a sack of potatoes! They are going to make it there by RUNNING!
They start racing through a crowd and suddenly the universe starts getting shitty! (Sort of.) Jake runs into Abusive Husband Josh Duhamel (whom he killed!) … Lady Whitebread runs into dead husband Johnny (whom Jake and her also killed!) … And then Jake is tripped by gasp! Bill (whom Jake, by extension, might as well have killed!)
Next a random car tries to run them down! It’s the past says Jake! They manage to escape by jumping onto a bus! (As opposed to simply running around the bus…?)
PS I am totally using extensive exclamation points because the show is acting like this is all very very Dramatic! (It’s kind of not.)
Jake and Lady Whitebread make it to the book depository. But oh no! It’s closed when it’s supposed to be open! “The past is changing things!” Jake cries. “Anything can happen!!!” (Yup. Those quotes are exact.)
Cue opening credits.
Quick aside here: I genuinely kind of like the opening credit sequence. Its reminds me of Fringe… or like Fringe crossed with Daredevil… It makes the show seem rather epic and thrilling. It’s like salt in a wound.
Back from the credits… Jake proceeds to harass and then PULL A GUN on the poor confused employee who was in the middle of locking up. Jake demands of this man that the depository be open! Because HISTORY!
At this point I might have been more enraged… but unfortunately it’s about what I expect from Jake.
Jake makes the poor employee unlock the door (at gunpoint, of course) and tells him to go get the police because someone is trying to kill the president!
Jake and Whitebread proceed to run up 6 fucking floors. Her in a skirt and heels.
At one point they even reach a level where the exact words YOUR THE PATSY are scrawled in large dramatic graffiti!
At this point I have to pause so that I can literally fall off my couch laughing at the universe’s apparently poor grasp of grammar.
… It undercuts much of the tension…
“YOUR THE PATSY”
YOUR. Not YOU’RE. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
After regaining some composure, I start playing the episode again.
Jake and Lady Whitebread are still running up stairs… Jake asking her for updates on the time. IS IT 12:30 YET???
At this point I would like to point out that if this is all a question of exact seconds, they are banking a lot on Lady Whitebread’s wristwatch.
As a matter of fact this makes me wonder: why couldn’t the universe get more creative with its intervention? Forget running them over with cars! All it would have to do is fuck with their watches. MISSED OPPORTUNITY, UNIVERSE!
Lee misses his first shot (as he was meant to)… but huzzah! Jake and Lady Whitebread arrive in time! They stop him from getting off his next shot! Kennedy is saaaaved!!!
Of course now the universe locks them both up there with a murderous, unstable ex Marine carrying a sniper rifle.
Somehow Jake manages to lurk around with his little hand gun, hoping to go toe-to-toe with said unstable ex Marine with the rifle..
The show clearly wants this to be tense and dramatic.
It’s really not. Jake should easily have been dead a dozen times over.
Jake drops his gun down a grate. My above statement is only confirmed.
Oswald fires a series of shots while shouting “fuck you.” He and Jake scuffle… Jake manages to get the rifle… and shoots Oswald in the chest, killing him.
For those keeping track: Jake Epping has been involved with killing FOUR different people by now.
So Lee Harvey Oswald is dead… But GASP! Lady Whitebread has been shot in the stomach! Despite the wound not quite seeming like a fatal shot, she dies very conveniently right before the authorities arrive.
Can we FIVE people then..?
Jake is arrested and taken to be interviewed/interrogated by Texas cop Captain Fritz and FBI Agent Hosty (whose name I literally thought was Hoisty at first — which I like better.)
Jake feeds them a story about living below Oswald… overhearing him say weird and threatening things… and then he came to stop him!
Captain Fritz says that’s horseshit!
Jake wants to know why Agent Hoisty didn’t stop him! (Yeah… I’m not calling him by his real name… it’s the last episode and I don’t care anymore…)
Hoisty’s response to this pointless and crappy baiting is not to roll his eyes, but to dismiss Captain Fritz so he and Jake can speak alone (and essentially verbally measure their dicks.)
Hoisty knows Jake’s other last name is Epping! (I suppose this is a shock…? But I mean, hey, if Ms. Mimi was able to find out, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that an FBI agent could.)
And more surprise surprise! Hoisty thinks that hey, it’s kind of odd that Jake has two different names and two different houses in two different cities… and that he had a “brother” who suicided after being committed under a false name… and that he was present for the murder of the husband of the woman who is now also dead… along with another dead guy and a rifle that tried to shoot at the president… Oh, and the fact that Jake seems to have had no identity prior to 1960…
In other words: Hoisty is entirely justified in being suspicious of Jake.
Yet Jake and Hoisty go back and forth in some unnecessarily extended, poorly written bullshit about who is to blame… and whether or not Jake is going to face trial.
Seriously. The show is doing some truly remarkable narrative/character gymnastics in order to make Jake seem steely and tough. (It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so painful.)
Jake says all he wanted to do was save Kennedy.
Then his interrogation is interrupted by a call from the president!
JFK calls Jake at the police station to personally thank him for saving his life… And then Jackie Kennedy gets on the phone to also profusely thank Jake for saving both their lives… All while there is swelling music and everyone looks on Jake fondly…
SERIOUSLY! That’s exactly what happens!
At this point I take a very very big drink of my wine and refill it.
Next we cut to Hoisty and Jake in a car as Hoisty drives Jake to a bus station and tells him that he’s the hero people need right now.
Yup. One second Hoisty wants to put Jake on trial, and the next second he’s talking to him like they’re buddies…
I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THIS TURN AROUND HAPPENED.
Jake and his one brown paper bag of belongings get a bus ticket to go back to Maine. As he waits in the station, he sees a vision of Lady Whitebread sitting on a bench, reading like she was when they first met.
At this point I love the idea of the universe just giving up..??? Apparently it just hits an end point of “aw shucks I guess you thwarted me! you win!” (as opposed to continuing to attempt to course correct in any way!)
Jake returns to Maine, and goes back through the rabbit hole.
But GASP! The diner is gone! Jake now finds himself in
Fallout 4 a washed out grey-scale colored apocalypse complete with roaming wild dog.
OH NO. I DID NOT FORESEE THIS HAPPENING AT ALL.
Jake, however, is very perplexed about what is wrong. He sees a group of men beating up someone. The ever-noble Jakes attacks them with a rock. They scatter.
Ah yes. Because you see, in the apocalyptic future whole groups of thugs are no match for one man with a largish rock.
It turns out the man Jake saved is Harry! Remember Harry? Harry is Jake’s adult student from previous 2016…? Jake killed Harry’s abusive dad in order to save Harry’s future?
It’s ok if you don’t remember Harry. It doesn’t really matter.
Anyway… Jakes follows Harry into his
Fallout 4 bunker warehouse-type-place with a vintage fridge and scattered canned goods.
Turns out Harry remembers Jake killing his dad! He wants to know if Jake is an angel.
DEAR GODS I FUCKING HOPE NOT.
Jake starts asking Harry questions about history… Was JFK reelected? (Yes.) Was there a Vietnam war? (No.) Was Robert Kennedy killed? (No.) Did 9/11 happen? (Does not appear so.) Jake also wants to know if JFK did anything good… And Harry answers that there were the refugee camps that Kennedy set up after “all the bombs.”
Jake is MYSTIFIED! And a bit glum. He says he doesn’t understand.. he thought Kennedy would be better…
THAT’S BECAUSE YOU DO NOT CONSIDER ANYTHING THROUGH, JAKE. BUT OK!
“Why did you save us?” Harry asks tearily…
“I never thought everything would get so screwed up,” Jake sighs sadly.
PRETTY SURE I TOLD YOU THIS IN THE FIRST EPISODE, JAKE. BUT OK!
Jake decides the only thing to do is reset the timeline.
At this point I finish my latest drink very quickly. Because WHY IS THIS SHOW THE WORST??
Jake walks through the rain in order to go back through the rabbit hole again.
And we’re back in reset 1960!
I HATE EVERYTHING.
Jake sees a car drive by and hey! Lady Whitebread is in it! All young and not “horrifically” scarred!
Jake shouts her name and literally goes chasing the car after her.
He has still learned nothing.
Jake chases the car to a small diner and goes inside. And Jake Epping, ever the wise decision maker, approaches 1960 Lady Whitebread’s table (still soaking wet and filthy, by the way) and begins rattling off a bunch of her personal details! LIKE A TOTAL CREEPER!
Somehow this young woman is actually charmed by this, and is not completely freaking out.
Jake then spies Mr. Yellow Card standing outside the window, watching him. Jake excuses himself and goes outside to talk to Yellow Card who tells Jake that now he’s in his very own time loop of awful! And that it will be the same over and over and over again. “She’ll die” over and over again, every time.
Jake says no! It will be different! He won’t save JFK! He won’t save Harry! He just wants Sadie! (Sadie = Lady Whitebread, by the way… I was just quoting Jake directly.)
Leaving Yellow Card, Jake spares another moment with Lady Whitebread before she goes jumping back in her car to drive away. He holds her hand in total BAD TOUCH! moment… It’s creepy. Yet she continues to be charmed by him for some reason.
And then, you guys, you’ll never guess what he does. He selflessly lets her go.
Continuing! I’m almost done!
So Jake lets Lady Whitebread drive away, and goes through the rabbit hole once again, returning at last to his original 2016. Everything is exactly the same as the beginning (only 2 minutes, remember?) Jake sits sadly on the diner steps…
Cut to him going back to teaching… but he’s sad. He cries when students turn in their test papers…
Harry appears and tells him he didn’t get the job that Jake recommended him for… Jake sobs into Harry’s shoulder… Harry comforts him and tells him he’s a good man…
At this point I am counting the minutes until I am freed from this nonsense.
Jake looks Lady Whitebread up on the internet. Turns out she’s still alive, and is being awarded Texas Woman of the Year.
Jake goes all the way to Jodie to attend her awards ceremony. He listens while she gives a four line speech about influencing lives and reads a poem about living the life you’ve been given… The music swells…
Jake Epping has learned a lesson about life.
He approaches Lady Whitebread afterwards and randomly asks her to dance. It is extremely inappropriate and creepy. But she remains charmed by it instead… As they dance she asks things like “what brings you to Jodie?” and he says creepy ass things like “you.”
Suddenly it’s like he’s dancing with her young again! And then she’s old again…
And then the show ends.
Nope. Seriously. That’s the end.
At this point I am about to start complaining about everything wrong with everything… but then I realize I don’t have to because I am at last truly free.
Yes, that’s it, darlings! We’re done. We’re all free. There is no more 11.22.63.
My parting thought to you all is actually a request. I would like to implore each and every one of you: do not be like Jake Epping. Make good choices out there, darlings. Please.