The very last episode of 11.22.63
Episode 8 The Day In Question recap starts now.
It's 11.22.63 and Jake and Sadie are racing through the streets of Dallas, desperate to get to the Book Depository by 12.30pm. The traffic is bad as they weave their way through, having several near misses. They round a corner and a road that is supposed to be clear is closed, and they can't turn around. They set out on foot, and begin to push their way through the crowd.
Jake bumps into someone and it's Frank Dunning. The image fades but Sadie has become separated from Jake. She herself them bumps into Johnny Clayton, before Jake finds her and they run on. Bill Turcotte then trips him, and the past is trying mighty hard to stop them. They take a shortcut through an alley and emerge into a crowded car park.
They run on, when a very Christine-ish red car starts to come straight for them. They head for a bus that has just finished dropping off passengers and jump through the doors seconds before the car smashes in to it. They're okay, and continue on to Dealey Plaza.
The crowds are gathering and they pass the grassy knoll complete with shifty looking CIA agents, Abraham Zapruder with his camera, the Babushka Lady, the Umbrella Man, the Newman family, and the lady in red, Jean Hill. Ah, I love that attention to detail!
They get to the Book Depository, but Bonnie Ray Williams is closing up the doors and refuses to let them through. This is not right, Bonnie Ray was a witness that testified for the Warren Commission, but he's not where he's supposed to be. The past is not gonna make this easy. Jake threatens him with a gun and he reluctantly lets them in.
They climb the stairs as Lee sits in his sniper's nest taking deep, calming breaths. The motorcade rounds the corner as time is ticking down. Lee steadies his rifle and readies himself to take the shot. Jake and Sadie are almost there, but it's gonna be close. The get to the fire door but it's stuck, and they force their way through as Lee takes his first shot. It misses, as the original first shot does, and they burst in, Jake yelling at Lee to stop. The motorcade speeds off, and Lee has lost his opportunity to follow through with the assassination. Whoa, the recreation of that scene was incredible, everything looks so true to life.
Lee fires at them and they take cover behind the piles of boxes as the fire doors slam closed trapping them on the sixth floor. In Dealey Plaza below, there is chaos as the crowd either lay taking cover on the ground or running for their lives. The police have heard the shots and have turned their attention to the Book Depository as Lee starts to stalk them through the boxes; Jake has Sadie stay where she is and hide. Jake yells out for Lee to put his gun down and has his gun shot out of his hand in reply.
Lee starts firing through the boxes as Jake makes his way closer. Jake tackles him, and tries to wrestle the rifle away from him. Jake gets control and shoots Lee in the chest, killing him instantly. Jake goes to check on Sadie, and she's lying on the floor, shot in the stomach. He tries to reassure he that she'll be okay, and he'll go get help. She wants him to stay and hold her hand, and he does. He tells her that she is really the reason he's here, as she passes away. The police arrive and demand that Jake step away, and they cuff him and take him away.
In a recreation of Lee being led through the Dallas Police station, Jake is pushed and pulled through the crowds of journalists and police officers. He has his mug shots taken, and is fingerprinted, then taken through into interrogation. The Dallas Police Captain, Fritz and Agent Hosty are waiting for him.
Fritz begins to question him, and Jake tells him that Oswald lived above him in Dallas and told him that he was planning on killing JFK. He wants to show everyone what he can do. He didn't believe him at first, but woke up with a bad feeling and went to the Book Depository to try and talk him out of it. Fritz doesn't believe him, telling him his fingerprints are all over the weapon. Jake asks Agent Hosty why he didn't stop Oswald, that was his job, Hosty asks to speak to Jake alone, and dismisses Fritz.
Hosty tells him he knows he goes by the name Epping as well, but there is no record of him at all before 1960. He demands the name of Jake's handler, thinking he's CIA, and was put it up to it. He tells him he can get him out of it, if he tells him the truth. Jake asks when exactly will Hosty's superior come in and ask him to burn the letter that Lee wrote to him two days ago. Hosty tells him they get crazy letters every day, but Jake tells him he's just covering his ass and should have known that Lee was planning something terrible.
Hosty has come up with the theory that Jake, Lee and Sadie are Russian spies, enlisted to assassinate JFK. The media and the public will eat that up. Jake strikes back with his knowledge of JFK's affairs with mob mistresses, Marilyn Monroe. Hoover's surveillance of JFK, and the FBI spying on Robert Kennedy. Hosty is shocked to hear how much Jake knows, and is even more taken aback when his superior enters the room and tells him to do exactly what Jake predicted.
Fritz re-enters, but Hosty tells him that the FBI is taking over the case. Fritz is not having it, but an officer enters, and tells them that Jake has a phone call. It's JFK and Jackie, calling to thank him for saving their lives. Jake doesn't really react much, other than to tell them that they're welcome. All he can think about is Sadie, and Jackie gives him her sympathy at her loss. It seems the tide against Jake has turned, and he's now the hero.
Hosty takes him to the bus station, and will tell the public that Jake wants his privacy, and that Lee was the real shooter. Jake returns to Lisbon, Maine and is pretty much a shadow of his former self. He finds the rabbit hole, takes one last look around and dives through, vowing to fix things for Sadie.
Jake lands in a sepia toned wasteland, and the diner is no longer there. Buildings are in ruins, and the streets deserted. He walks past a building with Captain Trips sprayed on it, and that is not a good sign for anyone who has read a lot of Stephen King. He goes to his old house, but it's boarded up and been left to rot. Jake walks on and comes across Harry Dunning being harassed by a group of men. Jake helps him fight them off, and Harry recognises him. He asks Jake to follow him, and they go to a dank, abandoned factory.
Harry tells his he remembers him as the man who killed his daddy. He always knew he'd see him again, but thought he'd be older. Jake asks when everything changed, and whether JFK served a second term. Harry tells him he was President two terms, before George Wallace. There was no Vietnam War, and Robert Kennedy wasn't killed. Harry can't remember much about what Kennedy did, but tells Jake he did start the Kennedy refugee camps after he was President. In fact, Harry's brother, sister and mother were taken to one in 1975 after the first bombings and riots. The camps were not good places, his sister disappeared and his brother got taken away to join the militia at 15 and he never saw them again. His mother died of the flu, and Harry ran away.
Harry starts to cry as he laments the loss of his whole family, and asks why he saved them. Jake tells them he wanted to help, and and save them from Frank Dunning. Harry tells him that Frank was his dad, even with all the bad stuff he did, he was still his dad. Jake tells him he never thought things would end up this bad.
It's pouring with rain as he makes his way back to the rabbit hole, and he dives through once more. Back to 1960, and that picture perfect day. The milkman drops his bottles on cue, and the pink car drives past but this time Jake sees that it's Sadie in the back seat. When they first met they talked about the coincidence of Sadie having cousins in Lisbon, and that their paths must have almost crossed once before. Jake is soaked and filthy, but chases the car through the streets to the diner where Sadie and her cousins are having milkshakes.
He goes in and tries to talk to Sadie. He comes across as a creeper, but Sadie finds it more amusing than anything. He tells her everything he knows about her and what she likes, and he just wants the chance to talk to her. The Yellow Card Man is standing outside the door, and Jake tells her to wait and goes out to talk to him. The man tells him he's stuck in his own loop now, and that nothing will change, Sadie will just keep on dying no matter what he does. Jake tells him he's not going to do anything, he just wants to be with Sadie, but the Man tells him it'll never work out and leaves. Sadie comes out to see if everything is okay, and asks how they met. She holds out her hand for him to shake, and she feels their connection and tells him that she does know him, who is he? Jake lets go of her hand, and tells her he made a mistake and lets her go.
Jake goes back to the present and the diner is back, and everything is back to normal. Except Jake. He's back at work, but can't shake his feelings of melancholy. Harry comes in and tells him he didn't get his promotion, and Jake breaks down and cries in his arms, apologising for not being able to change anything or help him. Harry tells him it's okay, that he's a good man .
Jake looks up Sadie on the internet and finds that she's still alive and living in Dallas. She's being awarded the Texas Woman of the Year, for her dedication to Jodie's school and library over her long life. Jake goes to the Jodie Jubilee where Sadie is being presented, and watches as Sadie as an old lady appears. She doesn't have her scar, and seems happy and healthy. After her speech, Jake asks her to dance and she asks if she knows him, he seems familiar. He says no, that he's a teacher from Maine, and just wanted to come and see her. He asks if she's had a happy life, and she says she loves her work, and the people around her, so yes, she's happy. For a moment he sees Sadie as he knew her, and she says "I do know you. Who are you?" Jake replies, "Someone you knew in another life."
Okay. So this wasn't perfect, but holy shit, an A for effort. It's a looong book, with a lot of detail, and to fit it into 8 episodes is commendable. The sets, clothes and music were uh-mazing. I still can't get over how well the Dealey Plaza, the Book Depository and the motorcade scenes were done. The attention to detail was what really won me over, overall. I liked James Franco too, I think his character Jake suffered a little given the limited time given to develop it, but I believed him and his sadness in the last episode really moved me. Sadie was luminous, and her character is what really ended up holding the whole series together. And Daniel Webber as Lee was uncanny, you could honestly really believe he was the real deal. Well worth a watch, I highly recommend. Think I'm gonna go re-read The Stand now.