Recaps, Reviews, Television

Katie Watches Stuff: 11.22.63, “The Truth” & “Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey Oswald”

11.22.63 logo

You may have noticed that I skipped last week’s episode of 11.22.63. Some real life things got in the way (happy real life things, for the most part), so I decided to do two episodes in one post. I do apologize for not getting this out sooner.

On the other hand, you get two posts for the price of one. Which I realize is actually quite literal for my Patreon subscribers.

We shall begin with episode 5, “The Truth.” As always, spoilers.

If you recall where we left off from the previous episode, Jake has got some ‘splainin to do. Sadie heard the surveillance recording of the Oswalds going at it, and now thinks he’s a gigantic pervert.

So this leads into quite the downward spiral. Jake not only loses Sadie, but his job as well. And, to make things worse, his relationship with Bill is starting to deteriorate, with Bill starting to question exactly what it is they’re doing there (though his starting to get a little too chummy with the Oswalds is certainly not helping). True to form, however, these aren’t even close to the worst things that happen in this episode.

Remember how Jake threw a secret Sadie had told about her ex in his face? Well, he certainly didn’t forget.

11.22.63 ep 5

This is easily the tensest, most disturbing sequence in the series so far. So, John Clayton has attacked Sadie in her home, and is keeping her prisoner. He calls Jake to tell him to come over, or he’ll kill her. Once there, Clayton reveals that he’s basically just sliced open Sadie’s face. He then tries to force Jake to drink a glass of bleach, threatening to kill Sadie again if he doesn’t. Well, after a bit of back and forth, Jake manages to throw the glass of bleach in Clayton’s face, and a scuffle ensues. This ends with Jack stabbing him in the side of the head with a fireplace poker, and Sadie shooting him with his own gun.

As I mentioned before, this scene is quite intense, and my description doesn’t really do it justice. It also cements why I like Sadie so much. She’s scared as hell and wounded, yet still manages to find the courage to taunt Clayton. Also, having her land the final blow on Clayton was pretty damn satisfying.

There is, of course, also the conclusion of the whole thing with General Walker. Jake sends Bill to stake out the general’s house, to try and see if Oswald acted alone. However, something happens that causes him to miss it: he looks at a crowd leaving a nearby church and thinks he sees his sister Clara. If you recall, Bill had told Jake in a previous episode that she was murdered by Frank Dunning. The woman he sees turns out not to be his sister, but this distracts him just long enough to miss Oswald taking the shot. As the series has mentioned a few times, the past likes to fuck with people who try and fuck with it.

The episode ends with Jake visiting Sadie in the hospital, and he finally tells her the truth: he’s from the future. She thinks he’s joking at first, but soon realizes that he’s dead serious. I think she accepts this explanation just a little too readily, but I’m willing to look past it since it moves the story along.

As I stated earlier, a lot actually happens in this episode, but not a lot of it is linked to the main plot. It’s another episode that mainly serves to push Jake and Sadie’s relationship forward. However, I think that this is the best episode of the series so far. It’s certainly the most intense.

11.22.63 ep 6

This, of course, leads into the sixth episode, “Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey Oswald.” The episode skips ahead about six months to October 16, 1963. Oswald gets his job with the Texas School Book Depository at the beginning of the episode, Jake and Sadie are settling in, and Bill…well, remember how he started to get a bit chummy with Marina Oswald? Well, he’s been getting a little more than chummy with her, and is starting to get a little too close to Lee as well. And, of course, this end up fucking pretty much everything up.

See, Bill goes to Lee’s birthday party and knocks over a lamp (which appears to be intentional, seeing as Bill and Jake are not on the best of terms at this point), revealing the bug that they had planted in the lamp. So, Lee now knows he’s under surveillance (but not by whom; he thinks it’s the FBI), and this basically fucks up Jake’s plan.

That’s not all, though. After this, Jake sees Bill and Lee chatting on the front stoop, where Lee shows Bill his rifle. You know how there are all these theories about the Kennedy assassination, where people think there was a second gunman? Jake has basically the same thought. Which leads to him having Bill committed to a mental institution.

Other things happen in the episode as well. Miz Mimi tells Jake that she has terminal cancer and that Deke (who is very much in love with her) wants to take her to Mexico for some experimental treatments. Deke and Mimi both tell Jake that he needs to marry Sadie, which leads to him proposing over the phone to her at the end of the episode.

It was about this point that I started thinking: doesn’t Jake end up getting the shit kicked out of him around this point in the story? And, sure enough, the episode ends with Jake getting the shit kicked out of him. See, his bookie has figured out that Jake has basically been cheating with his bets, and is none too happy about that. So he has some of his goons beat Jake in a back alley, leading to his hospitalization for traumatic brain injury. And on that happy note, the episode ends.

This is actually starting to get interesting at this point. The episode focuses a bit more on Lee Harvey Oswald, which is all right as he’s fairly instrumental to the whole story. Things are starting to ramp up more as we go into the seventh (and penultimate) episode, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story turns out from here.

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