This episode was all about love, and the deep, dark places it can take people who aren’t careful with it. We had dueling storylines going on—even aside from the actual main kill-the-Oswald-save-the-world plot—along with a semi-return to the monster-of-the-week format that made episode two such a success. It works here, too, but on a relative basis—I’m honestly not sure if this most recent installment simply wasn’t as effective as the story of stopping the Halloween murders from earlier on or if I’ve simply been made numb by the last two weeks’ hum-drummery. But first, the boring stuff: According to history, on this one particular night, someone is going to attempt to assassinate the super-racist politician we met a couple episodes ago at a rally, and Oswald is going to be at the meeting where this takes place. So Jake decides that he and Bill are going to check it out, and if Oswald is the one who makes the assassination attempt (as Jake suspects he is), then that proves Oswald is also JFK’s killer… somehow. When Bill asks the question that the viewer is already asking—how the hell does that prove anything?—Jake reminds him that the same gun and bullet type used in this attempt will be used later to kill JFK, which proves, okay, nothing. But still. Have I mentioned before that the show’s clumsy attempts to explain the convoluted route Jake and Bill take to “proving” Oswald is JFK’s killer seem pretty drunk? I’m pretty sure I have. Anyway, that’s all filler compared to what really drives the story forward this episode: the two love stories. First, and most familiar, is the love story between Jake and Sadie, which, while still a pretty weak link overall, was the beneficiary this hour of being looped into the monster-of-the-week angle. When we left off last week, Sadie had come to Jake’s apartment to covertly leave him what looks like a casserole, and stumbles upon all his espionage equipment. She does the perfectly natural thing and listens to all the tapes, and then when Jake discovers her she breaks up with him for keeping secrets from him. And so this week Sadie’s husband, a sadistic little freak we met in the last episode, kidnaps her. This is the night Jake and Bill are supposed to be proving Oswald’s eventual guilt, but, alas, he has to save Sadie, instead. The whole thing ends up being a really tense sequence, with T.R. Knight, as Sadie’s tormentor Johnny, chewing up the scenery like he owns the place, and eventually taking a fire poker to the temple, via Jake. Sadie, though—appropriately—gets the literal kill shot. It’s a visceral piece of violence that the camera doesn’t shy away from, made all the more shocking and affecting as, up until now, most of the violence in 11.22.63 has been either implied or visually understated. The downside to all of this, of course, is that Jake has missed meeting up with Bill. Oh, well, I’m sure Bill came through on his own, right? Yeah, no. Bill, on his end, can’t seem to break the habit of sneaking around behind a lunatic murderer’s back to offer cigarettes to his wife. Bill’s fallen, hard, for Marguerite, and she seems just as enamored with him—even if it’s only because of the gentleness with which he treats her, juxtaposed with Oswald’s gruff, dismissive nature. For a couple of weeks now, Bill’s been receiving warnings about getting too close to Marguerite. His responses have been nothing but foreshadowing, ranging from assuring Jake that, Hey, nothing bad can happen! to, this week, handing Marguerite a cigarette and telling her, “It’s not gonna kill you.” This show hasn’t exactly been subtle with its symbolism and foreshadowing—as mentioned in previous reviews, characters have literally looked at Jake and told him, numerous times, “You shouldn’t be here”—and so I’m 100% convinced that: A. Either Marguerite will die, or Bill’s infatuation with her will kill him; and A.1. Said death may very well come about by literal fire. But Bill won’t be swayed, neither by his own tempting of fate in essentially asking “What’s the worst that could happen?” nor by the cultural norms of not waiting until your neighbor is taking a nap to chat up his wife in the stairwell. As Bill and Marguerite sit outside her apartment sharing a smoke, Oswald comes upon them. Bill is mortified, of course, and seems to just then wonder if he’s making a mistake getting too close to Marguerite—but Oswald’s true character is fully on display as, rather than beating the crap out of Bill, he instead asks him if he’s ever read Marx. When Bill says no, Oswald gives him a book of Marx’s writings. Then Bill asks him if it’s any good, and Oswald’s response is: “It tells the truth”. Then, he tells Bill to leave, inviting him to come back after he’s read the book. This could perhaps be another bit of foreshadowing, and if so would signal a huge turn of narrative events. Because later, after both Bill and Jake have missed the chance to catch Oswald in his assassination attempt—Jake because he’s at the hospital with Sadie and Bill because, Jesus Christ, he got distracted because he thinks he saw his dead sister’s ghost?—Bill apologizes, tearfully and profusely, for letting Jake down in their mission. And Jake, so disgusted with his partner he can’t even speak to him, simply drops the phone and walks away, leaving Bill, on the other end of the line, to slink to the floor and collapse into sobs. No mention, of course, is made that Jake screwed up, too, and also for the love of a woman—but no matter; he seems, at least in this moment, to blame Bill in a way he doesn’t seem to blame himself. Could their partnership/friendship be on the outs? It seems possible-to-probable, especially with the sympathetic ear Bill may have found in Oswald. And it may be that Bill himself feels a kinship to Oswald’s ideology—after all, he’s been listening to the man’s every private conversation for the past several months, knows the violence he’s capable of, and still accepts the book. I’m not sold, one way or the other, on how I’m going to feel if this particular turn occurs, but it will be interesting, to say the very least. All in all, this was a fairly solid episode, especially when viewed in light of the relative disappointments of the past couple weeks. It took a scene-stealing turn from T.R. Knight’s Johnny and a potentially game-changing move of Bill to the Dark Side, but 11.22.63 looks like it may finally be getting its groove back. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.