11.22.63: ‘Solider Boy’ Review

11.22.63 'Countin' Down The Days'

“There’s no stopping it. You can’t stop the past.” -The Yellow Card Man

11.22.63 counted down the days to the JFK assassination and we are now only mere hours away from the big event. There was a ton of surprises in ‘Soldier Boy’ and, with Jake trying to regain his memory before the big day, shit is definitely about to hit the fan. It’s hard to say whether befriending Sadie was a good idea considering the massive scar on her face but it also appears that Sadie may be the sole reason Jake was able to remember his mission. Without her involvement, I’m not sure Jake ever remembers what he was supposed to do.

Of course, the same cannot be said for Bill. Jake will have to live with his decision of admitting him into an insane asylum for the rest of his life. I’m not sure what Bill’s fate would have been had he never met Jake in the first place but obviously meeting Jake was the worst possible outcome for Billy the Kid. It was also a total surprise to see what happened to him and I was a little sad to see him go.

‘Soldier Boy’ also showed us Lee Harvey Oswald’s journey to the book depository and we have official confirmation that Oswald did, in fact, act alone and is definitely the shooter. More importantly, however, is whether Jake can actually change the past after his conversation with the Yellow Card Man. For me, this was the most interesting aspect of the episode. Can the past be changed? Well, Jake has already changed a whole bunch of stuff so I’m led to believe that it can but at the same time, I’m left wondering what effect preventing JFK’s assassination will have on the world. This is something the finale BETTER address and Jake must return to the present at some point before the series wraps up or I will be extremely disappointed and so will you.

Now let’s all take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the review, fellow time travelers!

You Can’t Change The Past…Supposedly

Jake is still unconscious after getting his ass kicked for placing bets all over Texas. He’s drifting in and out of consciousness and appears to be having some inception-like dreams that only a time traveler could have. Al shows up in Jake’s dream and this time he’s playing doctor. He’s also insulting Jake for being a useless tit.

“You look like hammered dog shit, son.”

Al gets straight to the fucking point about how pissed off he is at Jake for bringing Bill and Sadie into the mix and I totally agree. Jake should have listened to Al’s advice but at the same time, Sadie ultimately helps him regain his memory so without involving her, Jake would have been totally fucked.

First though, Jake has to get his memory back because he has no clue why he came to the past and he’s running out of time as the days continue to count down to 11.22.63. Without Sadie, I’m not so sure he ever recovers in time for the big day so maybe this whole ‘making friends’ thing wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Meanwhilke, Oswald is still super pissed after finding the bug in his apartment so he decides to make a special visit to the FBI to confront Special Agent James Hosty who obviously doesn’t feel like talking to Lee. Oswald is not too happy because he totally thought this was America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

"I thought that this was the United States of America?"

This immediately reminded me of Randy Marsh from South Park so I figured I might as well include this hilarious clip!

Oswald ends up getting absolutely no where with the FBI though and it’s becoming clear that this is just the beginning of his spiral into bat shit craziness.

Speaking of bat shit crazy, Bill is still locked away at Briarcliff Asylum and this place really does appear to have the same atmosphere as the asylum featured in American Horror Story. Plus, this guy:

When Bat Shit Crazy Hits The Fan

As you can see, Jake is a terrible fucking friend for admitting Bill into this asylum. Bill is super surprised to see Jake but he’s also in complete denial regarding everything that him and Jake were working on. At least he’s having a very fine day…that is until Sadie and Jake turn their backs for one second.

A Window of Opportunity: "I can fly!"

Yup, don’t turn your back on a crazy dude for one second or they’ll be jumping out a window before you know it. Also, Bill is totally dead now.

Picking Up The Bill

Wait, WHAT?! I certainly did NOT see this coming and either did you! Jake has now officially caused an innocent man’s death and I’m willing to bet he’s not feeling to good about it. Murder totally makes you feel like shit after all. It’s crazy to think that had Jake never admitted Bill into the asylum, this would have never happened but that’s what happens when you don’t listen to Al and follow the rules of time travel. May you rest in peace, Billy the Kid.

Retracing Your Steps

Obviously it would totally suck to lose your memory but what makes Jake’s particular situation even worse is that if he’s unable to remember anything, he’s never going to be able to return to the present. This is not good because it pretty much ensures that Jake would only have one shot to prevent the JFK assassination without being able to reset time.

Luckily, Sadie is around to help Jake refresh his memory so no more pills for Jake. It’s time to retrace his steps and this brings us back to Dallas where Jake and Bill were living not so long ago. Things have changed though and some random dumb bitch has taken over Jake’s old apartment. She refuses to let them in and basically tells them to go to hell.

Meanwhile, Oswald is also getting a memory refresher from his mother who shows him his second grade report card to illustrate just how full of potential he is. This moment also factors in to Oswald’s trip to crazy town. Keep in mind that no single event caused Oswald to randomly decide to assassinate the president. It was a collection of events that ultimately led him down this path and he eventually has his moment of clarity while enjoying a snack in the park.

That moment you decide you want to murder the president

After returning to his apartment, Lee is visited by Sadie and Jake since the bitch in the downstairs apartment is being, well, a bitch. Oswald immediately recognizes Jake and they end up having a discussion in the apartment so Jake can refresh his memory. Everything comes flooding back for Jake and he remembers that Oswald is the guy he’s been after this whole time. It was a super tense moment but Jake’s plan was pretty idiotic.

Dumbest Plan Ever

If you guessed that Jake was going to grab a knife from the kitchen and attempt to murder Oswald right then and there, you would be absolutely correct. Luckily for Lee, his little baby daughter saves the day and Jake decides that he probably shouldn’t stab Lee to death while he’s holding his baby.

If you thought that was a bad plan well, prepare yourself, because Jake’s next plan is even dumber. He decides that rather than killing Oswald, he’ll just steal his gun instead because no way Oswald will ever be able to get his hands on another gun, right? Seriously, this plan made me want to bang my head on a table. Sadie and Jake head over to where Marina has been staying and eventually persuade their way into the garage but the gun is no where in sight.

The Search For The Missing Curtain Rods

Yup, worst plan ever and an even worse cover story. Curtain rods? Sure, Jake.

He’s My Little Soldier Boy

Oswald is still trying to get back with Marina but she’s not budging. I know what that’s fucking like thanks to my douche of an ex so I can kinda relate with Oswald here. Add this to the list of shitty shit that keeps piling up in Oswald’s life and it becomes obvious why he eventually ends up in crazy town.

"Fuck Minsk."

Yup, Mother Russia totally blows and Marina has nothing but unpleasant memories from the Vodka capital of the world.

Meanwhile, shit gets really messed up when Jake has another vision, only this time he’s having a conversation with the Yellow Card Man. Based on this conversation, it appears that the Yellow Card Man is either a time traveler himself or he’s some kind of gatekeeper  who is attempting to prevent Jake from changing the past. We also find out that the Yellow Card Man is totally an Elvis Presley fan.

“I just love Elvis.”

The Yellow Card Man tells Jake a very vague story about how he doesn’t want the same thing that happened to him to happen to Jake. It sounded like he was trying to save his daughter from the past but was never able to do so which makes me believe that he was a time traveler himself. Every single variation he attempted ended in failure. So who in the fuck is this guy? And is the past really unchangeable? These are two HUGE questions that absolutely need to be addressed in the finale so here’s hoping that all will be revealed once the day in question goes down.

Jake finally snaps out of his trance and immediately decides that he would rather just run away with Sadie instead of saving JFK. Ummm, you didn’t just chill out in the past for 3 years to completely ignore the entire reason you came there in the first place. Not happening, bitch! Thankfully, Sadie is there to smack the stupidity out of Jake and she tells him there is absolutely no way they are quitting now. Even if the past is going to start fucking shit up on the way, which is exactly what happens when Jake can’t start his car in the morning.

Jake and Sadie make their way to the scene of the crime after stealing a car but it’s still very unclear how they are going to stop Oswald, who also arrives at the book depository with his rifle. And since this was the 1960s, security is at an all-time low and Oswald is able to easily sneak his weapon of choice into the building. Well, I shouldn’t say sneak since he literally just walked in, rifle in hand. We also finally have confirmation that Oswald acted alone and is, in fact, the shooter as he sets up shop 3 hours before showtime.

Soulja Boy

I don’t think they could have set this up any better and I cannot fucking wait to see the finale which is sure to be bat shit crazy in every way. Will Jake be able to prevent Oswald from assassinating JFK? If so, what effect will that have on the present? Is Sadie coming with Jake to the future? And who in the fuck is the Yellow Card Man? Stay tuned folks…shit is about to go down.

I also wanted to include the song that played during the closing credits. It really was the perfect track for this episode so check out Soldier Boy by Duane Eddy and the Rebels below:

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT

Mikey Likes It11.22.63 has set things up perfectly for the final episode. Jake was somehow able to recover his memory with some help from Sadie and we’re only hours away from the main event. We now have confirmation that Oswald is the shooter and is acting alone so it’s up to Jake to stop him. Still, after his conversation with the Yellow Card Man, we should probably ask ourselves whether the past can be changed.  I’m not sure I have an answer to that question yet which is why Jake better return to the present in the finale…or else, show!

I’m not sure how the series will conclude but they have an awful lot to address in the last episode. Will Jake be able to stop Oswald from shooting JFK? I think the answer to this is a big yes considering there would literally be no point in watching this series if he doesn’t succeed. The bigger question I want answered is what effect this will have on the present if he succeeds. And will Jake actually attempt to bring Sadie back with him to the future?

The Yellow Card Man seems to think that the past can’t be changed. He’s tried hundreds of times himself and has failed on every account but this does open the door for an interesting discussion. Personally, I really enjoyed the ending from the book so I’m hoping this series sticks to that ending but I’m also curious to see how this all plays out on the screen. It is going to be one epic finale.

So what did everyone think of Soldier Boy? Are you as ready as I am to head back in time and start trying to change historic events? Or would you rather lose your memory and forget the past completely? Let us know all of your thoughts and theories in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow time travelers!

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