And now we are on episode 3 out of 8 of 11.22.63.As per usual, there are some spoilers located within.
If you watched last week’s episode, you will recall it ended with one of the newly introduced characters, Bill Turcotte (George McKay) , confronting Jake with a newspaper clipping indicating that Kennedy would be assassinated. Well, it turns out that Jake now has an ally, and this is where the actual plot starts to kick in.
Jake finally manages to make it back to Texas, where he stays with Bill in anticipation of the arrival of Lee and Marina Oswald. His goal at this point is to see if he was the one behind the attempted assassination of General Walker. While there, he gets a job at a Jodie, Texas, high school teaching English
This episode is actually even shorter than last weeks, by about seven minutes. In terms of pacing, it still seems like a lot of stuff was either cut down or condensed, but it is still, in my opinion, better paced than the first episode. I’m glad that the story has moved on to Texas, which is where the bulk of Stephen King’s novel takes place. The episode also skips about a year or two, moving at one point from November 1, 1960, to sometime in 1962.
I’m also happy that we’re given a proper introduction to Sadie Dunhill (Sarah Gadon), a character that was seen briefly in the first episode. Sadie is probably one of my favorite characters in the original book, starting as Jake’s love interest but later playing a major role in Jake’s plans later on.
This episode also introduces Miz Mimi, a character who, in the book, becomes one of Jake’s closest friends in Texas. Interestingly, Mimi is played by a black actress in the series (Tonya Pinkins), which leads to some particularly interesting changes from the book (in which her race isn’t brought up). One scene in particular that stands out to me takes place at a gas station. Jake and Mimi run into each other, with Mimi in particular looking rather upset. She had tried to buy a can of gas, but the white station attendant refuses to serve her. Jake grabs the gas can, takes the station attendant to task, fills it, then offers her a ride home.
I think that this is a pretty important scene, as it adds some interesting commentary. You see, while legal segregation in schools was ended in 1954, it wasn’t completely abolished until 1964 (the scene takes place in 1962). Even after that, de facto segregation still existed (and, in a lot of areas) still exists. So this is actually one change from the book that I can get behind, since it adds to the story rather than taking away from it.
Something else I found interesting is the scene where Jake is in an airport, where he watches Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber) and Marina Oswald (Lucy Fry). It mirrors, almost frame for frame, the scene that takes place in the first episode where Al is telling Jake about the same moment. Jake is standing in the same place, wearing very similar clothes (a suit and hat, though a different color) with almost the same posture.
I like the direction that the series is going. Despite what I felt to be a little bit of a shaky start, it is growing on me and, even though I have read the book, I am still anxious to see what happens next.
The next episode of 11.22.63 airs on March 7 on Hulu.