11.22.63: The Day in Question
April 5, 2016 7:47 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The past pulls out every weapon it has to keep Jake from reaching Dealey Plaza in time to save Kennedy.

If he fails, it could mean death for Jake or others close to him - and if he succeeds, it could create a world in which he loses everything he's ever known. What is the cost of doing the right thing?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich (17 comments total)
This episode worked surprisingly well for me, despite all my expectations (even as I was watching it) that it would fail. Among the few things I more strongly recall from the books was the extended, tense sequence of them trying to get to downtown Dallas to the Book Depository and the show just condensed that to a few blocks in a car and some weird stuff while walking downtown. And then they were there.

Didn't the book end with him actually going back and meeting Sadie again? You can see how little I recall. If so, however, this is a big change. I'm okay with it. Well, maybe. Okay, not really. I don't know. Maybe.

But I was super-pleased that they got a different actor to play present-day Sadie rather than using makeup. I liked that scene a lot. I didn't so much like the scene in 1960 at the diner. He was soaking wet with a cut on his head and acting like a stalker. Someone thinks that creepy stalker types didn't exist in 1960, except that of course the show had just shown us an example of a 1960 creepy stalker type in Sadie's own husband.

I had to restrain myself from throwing things at the television, again, when the show was convinced that every damn person in Dallas, including every member of law enforcement, is a character from Dukes of Hazzard.

Also, Jake must have somehow pretty radically changed the past in unexpected ways because apparently the Reunion Tower exists in 1963 Dallas. (Visible through one of the BD windows.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:00 AM on April 5, 2016

RE: The 1960 Lisbon diner scene, I don't believe that was in the book but Rock Steady called it back in episode 3. To be honest I wouldn't have minded too much if they'd gone with a happily ever after ending where Jake stays in the past with Sadie, but apart from the diner detour they did stay pretty true to the book, which also ends at the present-day dance in Sadie's honor. (I was glad that they went with an older actor for 2016 Sadie too.) After being lukewarm about this series for the last 3 or 4 episodes, the emotional payoff of the last 10-15 minutes caught me quite by surprise.
posted by usonian at 10:17 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

One thing we've not mentioned, but was written about elsewhere, is that the credits have changed every episode. I didn't notice this until I read that article, but I definitely noticed in this last episode, when there were major changes. I thought that was a nice touch and that generally the titles were quite good.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:54 AM on April 5, 2016

Now that this is over, when will I be able to watch it out without paying for it?
posted by entropicamericana at 2:50 PM on April 5, 2016

"After being lukewarm about this series for the last 3 or 4 episodes, the emotional payoff of the last 10-15 minutes caught me quite by surprise."

Right there with you. Having such a strong reaction to some of the ending scenes caught me completely off guard.
posted by komara at 7:13 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, that ending wiped me out! My love for the clothes and cars and furniture just barely eclipsed my doubts about James Franco (in an earlier thread, some mentioned there was something winking about him, and that's exactly it), but the ending was genuinely sweet.

I'm still unable to understand why he didn't take advantage of resets more -- why not take down LHO at the earliest possible moment in 1962 (in comparative safety) and then pop back to 2016 Maine to see if it worked? Jake kept saying he wouldn't kill LHO until he was sure, but he'd already taken down Harry's dad. I feel like I missed something there...
posted by mochapickle at 8:11 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Everything was compressed to an almost annoying degree, but somehow the ending did work. I wasn't terribly emotionally invested though, having read the book. I am glad they didn't make ending Sadie really remember their brief encounter in 1960. That would have been way too pat. That scene, of all of them, is the one that really worked for me.

In the book, there is at least one more reset, by the way, but given how much they had to cut down and leave out entirely I'm not surprised that was also dropped.
posted by wierdo at 8:54 PM on April 5, 2016

I thought it was really sweet without being a Hollywood ending. I cried. I also loved the classroom scene with him and Harry.
posted by Brittanie at 1:08 PM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

I was with y'all on the feels train at the end.

The only thing that itched at me was that they made a point that she was single. I read this as hamhanded wish fulfillment for James Franco that he was the only other person she could have been with, but maybe that's uncharitable.
posted by ftm at 1:55 PM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

In the final timeline, how did Sadie avoid getting involved with her murderously jealous husband? Or did she marry him but it had a less monstrous ending this time?
posted by scalefree at 3:48 PM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I imagine she had a somewhat easier time extricating herself from her ex without a reckless time-travelling boyfriend to deliberately antagonise and provoke him.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 6:57 PM on April 8, 2016 [4 favorites]

...Or that murdering Johnny Clayton on her own volition gave her enough spring in her step to last a lifetime.
posted by mochapickle at 7:01 PM on April 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

I wrote this a week ago and there are a lot of things I don't post because I'm not sure I agree with myself ('n other reasons) but hey.

My feeling is that a person could watch episodes 1, 2 and 8 and get most of what they need to out of this. The middle episodes do surprisingly little to complicate or inform the basic plot. Instead they are concerned with giving the protagonist exposition-friends because hey this isn't a novel -- and then they have to tie those up when it's time to dispense with a friend (Bill) because the other friend is taking over (Sophie). Moreover, a fair amount of time is spent in early parts of some episodes "reminding" the viewer of what's going on, which seems odd given the show's provenance. This is a long way of saying I would have been happy with someone giving me an inartfully edited four-hour cut of this. One would not lose much from it.

They seemed to give Lee more complexity towards the end of the show. I wanted more of this. I guess the Hierarchy of Actors (and the story's origin) prevents it. I started to see glimpses of how much the actor could do with the character; for me he almost stole the show but for lack of screen time.

I think many actors would have been more compelling than Franco. He breaks into that big grin and I feel like he's responding to something in the real world, not acting in the show.

In the same way that I enjoyed the first third of the book (where I stopped, for some reason), I enjoyed the start of this series -- King is good at making the protagonist's adjustment to the 60s feel real and personal. And I think Chris Cooper's presence in those early episodes probably helped them a lot. Maybe the show needed that "veteran story teller as character" throughout.
posted by sylvanshine at 7:40 PM on April 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

So, when Jake arrives in post-apocalyptic 2016, did anyone else see what looked to be "Captain Trips" written on the building across from the diner. I'm not sure if they showed the full name, but I do think I at least saw a "Captain Tr".
posted by blueberry at 12:00 AM on April 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, neat, blueberry... I didn't notice that when I watched it but it totally does say Captain Trips -- the whole word is visible when he first comes out. I did notice the REDRUM on the stairs on the first floor of the book depository. And also Jake saying in an earlier episode that he was JFK's number one fan.

I bet there are more.
posted by mochapickle at 12:33 AM on April 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was kinda ho-hum on the storyline (in general I hate time travel stories) but I really felt for Jake, Sadie, and Harry.
posted by Monochrome at 12:14 AM on April 8, 2017

I'm annoyed that James Franco just believes the yellow card man. I mean. If you loved someone that much, wouldn't you test it out to be sure? Give it a good try? Or why not spend a couple days hanging out with her and then leave? The rabbit hole had such potential and he didn't even try.
posted by LizBoBiz at 4:21 PM on May 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

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