Sunday, March 13, 2016

Take Three: 11.22.63

11.22.63: Season 1, Episode 3 “Other Voices, Other Rooms” (B)

With only eight episodes to cover three years, it’s understandable that this show was inevitably going to have to skip some time. After a game-changing start in which Bill, who could easily have been a major threat and obstacle to Jake’s progress preventing Kennedy’s assassination, became Jake’s number one ally and he interviewed with a school principal played by Nick Searcy, best known as Art from “Justified,” to easily land a job teaching, the show jumped ahead nearly two years to 1962. We don’t really know what happened during that time, and it seems like they weren’t doing much research or other productive things, like, say, learning Russian as Jake later realized they probably should have been doing. Jake casually meeting Jack Ruby was a surprising moment, and after they started tracking Oswald, they got awfully close to a messy situation between him and General Walker. There’s plenty of racism in 1962, and Jake casually offering to pour coffee for his African-American colleague and then filling up gas for her when the station owner turned her away are instances of behavior that might be ethically right but irresponsible given the low profile he’s supposed to be keeping. Fight back as the past may, sometimes it does the opposite and brings a welcome face like Sadie back into Jake’s life. She wasn’t even angry enough at him for ditching her at the dance not to kiss him. He’s got bigger things to worry about now, because even though his tapes have been destroyed by a homophobic neighbor, they’ve just stumbled upon a very disconcerting interaction involving one extremely agitated and unstable Lee Harvey Oswald.

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