Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Round Two: 11.22.63

11.22.63: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Kill Floor” (B)

This show is definitely much darker than I expected. I heard Harry’s horror story when he read his essay, but I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention. The people in Kentucky in 1960 are not nice, and some of them are downright awful. Frank Dunning is a particularly deplorable human being, forcing a stranger he didn’t like to kill a cow just for the fun of it and then beating his wife and trying to kill Jake when he found out what Jake had done to try to get his family away from him. Josh Duhamel deserves credit for a surprisingly effective grim turn, and it won’t be easy to forget Frank. Unfortunately, Jake’s decision to kill the man to change the future didn’t go off without a hitch. While the past didn’t fight back, he now has an unintended coconspirator to whom he’ll have to explain the fact that he has a newspaper proclaiming Kennedy’s death in 1963. As I thought, we won’t be seeing any of the future playing itself out since this is all happening over a span of two minutes, and Jake is going to stick it out rather than returning to his present before he has completed his mission. The way that Frank said “You shouldn’t be here” was eerily reminiscent of the “You don’t belong here” creepily uttered by the random man when Jake first went back, and Jake’s amazement at having actually changed things underscores just how monumental a feat he has achieved. Now that he has righted one wrong in Kentucky, he’ll have a much bigger challenge to undo a massive conspiracy to save one man in Texas.

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