11.22.63 – The Eyes of Texas

Eight months until the assassination of JFK, 11.22.63 continues apace and with increasingly satisfying performances.

The episode begins with the recreation of the infamous shot of Lee Harvey Oswald, posing with his rifle. His Russian wife might be giggling, laughing at how ridiculous he looks, posing with gun and papers, but it’s different for us and Jake. For those familiar with JFK lore, as Jake is, this photo taken on March 25th, 1963, eight months before the shooting, has been pored over an analysed relentlessly. History is chillingly unfolding before Jake’s eyes. Bill though, he has no eye on history; his eye is firmly on Oswald’s wife, Marina.

Bill and Jake continue their investigations, trying to determine whether Oswald really was a lone gunman, or being handled by the CIA; whether the CIA was behind the assassination.

Jake though has his own problems; his cover story, thin as it was has been blown apart by Miss Mimi. His new cover-within-a-cover story is just as thin, but it appears to work. Miss Mimi and Jake’s lover Sadie are indicative of one of 11.22.63’s strengths: smaller characters, not central to the main plot, that have a compelling strength to them. They make us want to spend more time in this world, even as time runs out. Time that, once again, is pushing back against Jake and Bill’s endeavours.

Lots of use of mirrors in this episode, artfully done by a director as experienced as Fred Toye, and he had some difficult emotional moments to deal with this time around. Miss Mimi, Sadie, her husband; issues of truth and honesty; all deftly handled. And James Franco continues to impress, lending the role just the right amount of pathos.

Stephan Burn

Updated: May 03, 2016

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