Blood and death, Time and Time again. James Franco continues to impress in the adaptation of Stephen King’s time travel mystery.
When we left Jake Epping, it was 1960 and he was frustrated with his ability to change or affect anything in the past that wouldn’t have Time push back against him, often in disastrous ways. So, in the hope of doing at least a little good, he recalled the story of Harry Dunning, who’s father had butchered most of his family Halloween 1960, scarring him psychologically for life. If he could just achieve one good thing…
He settles himself into the community of Holden, down-at-heel, rugged and fading even then. Harry’s father Frank, a big man in his mind, an abusive, violent bully rules the roost through fear and violence. We know from the future that Frank will kill his entire family except for Harry. A tragedy that surely could be averted?
In the attempt to learn the paths of time and community, in an attempt to avert a massacre, he meets barman Bill Turcotte. Bill, it turns out, has as much of a grudge to bear against Frank as Jake. All that stands against them is the inertia of the anthropomorphised Spirit of Time.
The first episode was very much setting the scene, establishing the rules, introducing us to the runners and starters. In an obvious contrast, this second episode is more about establishing mood, ominousness, Bill Turcotte as a confidante, and Time as the antagonist. Epping continues to try and take the path of levity in depressing circumstances; this helps us, a coping mechanism for us all. But none need it so much as Jake.
The cinematography and attention to detail continues to impress. Even the acting of bit part characters is strong, pulling us into the narrative, hand in hand with the lush visuals. We continue to look forward to subsequent episodes, and a return to the JFK narrative.
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