Katie Watches Stuff: 11.22.63, “Soldier Boy”

11.22.63 ep 7

And here we have the penultimate episode of 11.22.63. Basically, as Jake begins to recover from his injuries from the last episode, Lee Harvey Oswald starts to make his plans.

The episode begins on November 5, 1963. Jake has been going in and out of consciousness for a while, having some fairly interesting hallucinations. He’s also having trouble remembering things, as people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries typically do. Thankfully, Sadie is there to help him remember.

Of course, there’s also what happens when Jake remembers what he did to Bill. Well, because Jake’s basically been incommunicado for quite some time, Bill’s been moved to the worst part of the psych ward, where he’s receiving electric shock therapy. Then, when Jake goes to sign him out because he needs his help, Bill decides that he’d rather jump out of a window.

Naturally, this does wonders for Jake’s mental state. He basically gives up until Sadie gives him a verbal kick in the ass, basically stating that he may be better off just taking all of his pain meds at once if he’s not going to do what he came to the past to do. Harsh, but it gets him off his ass.

At one point in the episode, Sadie takes Jake to his old neighborhood in Dallas to see if there’s anything there that would jog his memory. Of course, they end up running into Lee Harvey Oswald. At this point, Jake’s memory has been sufficiently jogged, and he remembers who Oswald is . He goes into the kitchen to get a knife and would have stabbed the hell out of him, if Oswald hadn’t come back into the room with his baby daughter. Jake and Sadie leave, and he explains to her who Oswald is.

Meanwhile, Lee’s has been dealing with some issues of his own. Marina is still staying at her friend’s house, and isn’t really sure she’s ever going to come back to him (mostly because Oswald’s still an abusive prick). Plus, he’s still being watched by the FBI. It is in this atmosphere that Lee sits down on a park bench and sees a newspaper talking about JFK’s visit to Dallas. And thus a plan begins to form.

Sometime after their trip around the neighborhood, Jake and Sadie are at home. He tells her he has a headache and is going to go lie down for a moment. Of course, he’s lying through his teeth, since he actually gets his coat, hat, and handgun and goes out to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. However, when he gets to his car, he finds Sadie waiting for him (since she’s not a complete idiot). She rightly takes him to task for lying to her again and basically says she’s going to help him whether she wants her to or not. They discuss plans a bit, and then decide that if Lee doesn’t have his gun, he can’t shoot Kennedy, and no one has to die.

So the two head down to Marina’s friend Ruth’s house, since that seems to be the most likely place he would have stashed the weapon. They tell Ruth that they’re friends of his, and he picked up a package for them. After some arguing, Sadie manages to convince her to let them look in their garage. After some looking looking, Jake finds that Lee seems to have already taken the rifle (because otherwise it would have been too easy). The next phase of the plan, then, is to go near the depository and wait until morning.

Then comes the big day: November 22. After being told to move by a cop, they settle into an abandoned parking lot to wait. This leads into a rather interesting scene where Jake has a conversation with the yellow card man.

One moment he’s with Sadie, who’s asleep. It’s pitch black outside and clear. The next moment, it’s lighter out, raining, and the yellow card man is where Sadie should be. He starts talking to Jake trying to get him to stop. He talks about how he can’t change anything, and about how he tried to save his young daughter from drowning and failed over and over again, and how he’s still trying and is stuck in a loop. The scene is extremely well acted, and heartbreaking.

Everything goes back to normal, and the two start waiting again for morning, both eventually falling asleep.

The episode ends with Lee Harvey Oswald coming into work with a suspiciously cylindrical passage. He goes up to one of the upper floors and starts setting up his rifle, whistling the whole time.

Things are starting to move very quickly, which makes sense since we’re on the second to the last episode. It actually skips around a lot, going from one day to another until coming to the day that gave the series and novel its title. The last episode, then, should be focused on the assassination, as well as the aftermath of Jake’s time jumping.

The last episode airs on Monday, April 4.

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