11.22.63: Soldier Boy – Yellow Card (Review)

11.22.63. Soldier Boy brings Jake up to the date in question. Epping is missing huge chunks of memory since his savage beating. Bill gets a release and the yellow card man turns up the night before the assassination attempt.

James Franco in 11.22.63.

11.22.63. Soldier Boy brings Jake up to the date in question.  Epping is missing huge chunks of memory since his savage beating. Bill gets a release and the yellow card man turns up the night before the assassination attempt.   This episode combines frustration with suspense and manages to disturb as well.  It seems that the past is handing out a  metaphorical yellow penalty card to Jake in an effort to stop him.

Jake is slowly recovering from his head injury. Sadie and Deke are helping him to piece his memories back together, but headaches and the medication Jake is taking make the process difficult.  A lot has happened since Epping was hospitalized. For one thing, Miss Mimi has “passed on.”

There is at least one moment of dark hilarity. As Sadie and Jake accompany a guard through the mental facility, the official drones on about rules that the visitors must obey. “Do not stare at the inmates, it makes them go batshit.”  Blackly funny yet impossibly sad at the same time; this man is in charge of these poor people.

Later another comic moment occurs when Deke and Sadie are talking about Jake who is in the other room leafing through a Jodie High School yearbook. As the two discuss whether he is afraid of getting better, Jake says loudly and irritably, “I can hear you.”

Sadie tries to get Jake motivated enough  to remember anything that can help him.  Epping becomes churlish and when Sadie snaps at him, Jake tells her he is sorry. Sadie is made of stern stuff however and replies, “I don’t care about your ‘sorry.'”

This gets through to him and Epping begins trying to remember in earnest.

Jake remembers Bill.

The young man has been moved from the wing Jake placed him in to one where with  patients who cannot pay their bills.  Treatments in the new facility are draconian in nature and Turcotte has been damaged by the electro therapy treatments. The young man looks “shell-shocked” and does not really seem to know who Jake is.

Bill believes that Jake and Sadie are not really there and he becomes agitated.

Sadie and Jake  start the steps to get Bill out of his living nightmare.  The scene is as upsetting as it is poignant. “Don’t be sad,” Bill tells Sadie just before leaping to his death from the office window. Equally sad is his statement to Jake about friendship.

Turcotte has paid double for messing with the timeline as well as his getting involved with Oswald. After Bill’s death, Jake and Sadie search for the name of the man Epping and Bill were spying on, the man who will kill Kennedy.  At one point Deke and Sadie are dancing “The Madison” to a song on the radio and Jake remembers the house that he and Bill shared.

Sadie and Jake find the house and end up going to Lee’s upstairs apartment and as they take with the Oswald, everything comes flooding back. Jake starts to kill Oswald but stops when he brings out his baby daughter.

Back home, Jake lies to Sadie saying he is going to lay down.  Getting his gun he goes to get into the car. Sadie is there already and when he sits in the driver’s seat, she says, “Liar.”

There are two scenes with Oswald that reveal much about his relationships with the women in his life. Both his mother and new wife control Lee, one in a seemingly positive fashion and the other, Marina, in a negative one. In both cases Lee is the pawn in the women’s lives.

Jake and Sadie try to find the gun Lee will use only to find he has already picked it up.  The couple head to wait in front of the book depository and are moved on by the police.  Jake takes the car to a backstreet to wait.

The two talk and Sadie drifts off to sleep.  The car radio messes up and the streetlamp the car is parked under starts flickering. Jake leans out to check the light and when he leans back in the card, the yellow card man (Kevin J. O’Connor) is in Sadie’s seat and the man tells Jake that he “loves Elvis.” 

During the conversation between Yellow Card and Jake, the mysterious visitor implies that time moves on regardless.  Telling the story of trying to save his daughter from drowning in a swimming pool, the yellow card man says to Jake, “she is still drowning.” This sounds like time marches on its original path even if another direction is prompted by action.

After yellow card man leaves  Jake tells Sadie he would rather stay in the past and not save Kennedy and she explains that he cannot do that. The two rush back to the presidential route and Lee sets off to work.  At the end of the episode, he has set up his sniper’s nest and whistling he waits for the motorcade to arrive.

With one episode left of 11.22.63 it is now obvious that Jake will not return to his time unless he has to.  This makes it apparent that something will happen to Sadie, otherwise Jake would chose to stay in the past.  Regardless of the outcome, the Stephen King adaptation has managed to entertain despite differences in the storyline and characters.

The final episode of 11.22.63 airs next Monday, 4 April on Hulu.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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