11.22.63: ‘The Kill Floor’ Review

11.22.63 'The Times  They Are A Changin’

Jake: “What’s this thing about the past doesn’t want to be changed, like it pushes back? How do you know?
Al: “You feel it.”

The Kill Room just killed it. 11.22.63 is also killing it so far with back-to-back episodes that have been off the charts and a catchy intro sequence that will have you intrigued to no end. This time around (pun totally intended), Jake has arrived in Holden, Kentucky in October of 1960 and his plan is to prevent Harry’s father from butchering his entire family on Halloween night. Easy peasy, right? Well you would be wrong because the past totally hates being fucked with.

We caught up with a young Harry Dunning as Jake was finally able to introduce himself to the Dunning clan but no matter what he did to try and change things, it was no dice. The past was having none of it. Ultimately, this would all blow up in Jake’s face, leading to a showdown with Frank himself but I still have multiple questions going forward. If Jake is able to change the past, what happens in the present? Is Jake going to go back to the present to see what impact his actions in the past had or is he just going to wait it out for 2 years and hope for the best? It looks like we’re going to have to wait until the next episode to get some answers.

Still, this was an action-packed hour of time travel goodness. Now, it’s time to get comfy so quickly take off your pants, put on your best pair of tighty whitey’s and enjoy the review, fellow time travelers.

A Blast From The Past 

The Kill Floor got things rolling with a young Harry being chased through the woods by some asshole kids who eventually catch up to him and do this:

“Everyone knows an asshole.”

This kid is a total douche. Poor Harry gets his face covered in gross spit and let us all hope that karma catches up with these jerkface kids as soon as possible. If that’s not enough, they leave little Harry without any pants and he’s forced to walk home in his tighty whitey’s which Harry proceeds to do like a boss.

Like a boss.

This ultimately leads to a chance encounter between little Harry and Jake from the future. While having a bite to eat, pantsless Harry comes in to put on a spare pair of shorts he keeps hidden in case he happens to get bullied on his way to school. Jake briefly acknowledges Harry and decides to look for a place to stay in Holden which gives off an unsettling vibe as Jake rolls through town. Plus, this guy was there:

“Won’t you be my neighbor?”

Holden is definitely one fucked up place to visit. Jake rehashes Future Harry’s story about the night of the murders and it’s obvious that were setting things up for Jake to make an attempt at changing the past in a big way. I don’t think you can get any bigger than saving people’s lives and essentially bringing them back to life.

Jake is trying to get some intel on Frank Dunning but he doesn’t have to wait very long because Frank and his boys arrive at the bar and the plan is to get shit-faced drunk. Frank introduces himself to Jake and they end up hanging out all night, having drinks and deep conversation. Jake is pretending he’s a writer and trying to convince Frank that he should walk away from his problems. Of course, Frank is a violent drunk so he takes Jake with him so they can go create the epic first chapter of his new book.

Apparently the first chapter is taking place at the Brister And Sons Meat Packing Plant. Frank pays off the night watchman with a pack of cigarettes and takes Jake on a short tour of the creepy meat packing facility. They arrive at their destination, the Kill Floor, where cows are butchered so people like me and you can eat cheeseburgers. It was also awesome to see the cow from Under the Dome make a return appearance to television after fully recovering from being cut in half by the dome.

The Cow from Under the Dome

Unfortunately it was the same result on 11.22.63 for our cow friend because this time he totally takes a hammer to the head from the hands of Frank Dunning. I guess this cow was never meant to succeed in Hollywood.

Obviously this should illustrate to Jake and to all of us that Frank is an extremely violent and dangerous man and this is not going to be a simple task. We also have to consider the fact that the past doesn’t want to be changed and will likely create more problems for Jake as he attempts to stop Frank from becoming a psychotic mass murderer. The past be straight up crazy, yo!

Unmaking A Murderer

The next day, Jake swings by the Dunning home and pretends as though Mrs. Dunning has won a getaway prize, the idea being to get the family the F out of there the same weekend these murders are suppose to go down. Not a bad plan Jake but as we all know the past doesn’t like being fucked with, especially when fate steps in and deals ya a good hand. At this point, I’m thinking there is no way in hell the Dunning’s are going on this trip.

Later, Jake is back at the bed and breakfast he calls home and he has an interesting conversation with one of the owners who also happens to be a war vet. He tells Jake a lengthy story about one of his friends who was killed right in front of him by gunshot. He also tells the tale of how he drowned a German in cold blood just because he thought this guy may have been the one who shot his partner.

“The last thing you can say about killing a man is that it’s brave.”

It was all really intense and possibly provided a hidden message for Jake. But I think I would argue that Jake is pretty fucking brave for going back in time and trying to prevent the murders of three innocent people, even if that means possibly killing Frank to do so.

Things get even more interesting when Frank drops by to pick up Jake for another night out. This time they’re hitting up Dunning’s butcher shop so Frank can give Jake a lesson about breaking the rules. The past is super pissed off at Jake for trying to change things up so you just knew Frank was going to find out about those getaway tickets only it totally looks like Jake is having an affair with Mrs. Doris Dunning.

“You got some explaining to do!”

Frank is super duper pissed about this and decides to rough Jake up a bit before literally throwing him out the door like a cartoon character.

Get Out

After the altercation with crazy Frank, Jake immediately proceeds to buy a gun in the middle of the night. Luckily for him, the owner of the local gun shop is a total joker and she is more than happy to sell Jake a shit ton of guns.

11.22.63 has also done a marvelous job with explaining the rules of time travel and jumping back and forth to Al explaining certain things. This time, we get a flashback of Al telling a story about a woman who was shot and crippled in a hunting accident. Al thought there was no harm in trying to prevent this from happening but every single time he tried, something random and crazy would happen and prevent him from changing the past. So obviously if Jake plans on stopping Frank he’s going to have to expect the unexpected in order to succeed.

The first problem for Jake is the flu which he randomly catches the night before Halloween but this doesn’t stop him from getting out of bed and getting to work to stop a triple homicide from ever occurring. And this is fucking awesome.

Jake shows up at the Dunning home just as shit is about to go down and I was immediately freaking right out. Even if Jake fucks this up completely, at least he can always go back and hit the reset button but I really want to see what happens in the present if Jake is able to change a major event from ever happening. Of course, Jake is interrupted by a knife-wielding maniac who also happens to be one of Frank Dunning’s lackey’s.

“No need for that, Mr. Time Travel Man.”

We find out that this dude also hates Frank because he believes Frank murdered his sister twelve years ago. We also find out that buddy brought a knife to a gun fight and Jake is easily able to get the upper hand, even if he also admitted that he was from the future. Of course, this was all one big distraction caused by the past to ensure that Jake cannot change anything. By the time Jake is done dealing with this random dude, it’s already 8:05 and Frank has already begun his rampage.

Jake heads into the Dunning home and finds Harry in his room, still untouched. He tells Harry to hang tight so he can deal with Frank who is clearly going bat shit crazy on Doris because that is what murderers do. Luckily, Jake arrives just in the nick of time and shoots Frank but it’s definitely not a kill shot.

Jake shoots Frank

To make matters way worse, Frank clearly has the past on his side and he’s able to knock Jake’s gun from his hands and almost takes his head off with that Thor hammer he’s been holding:

Frank fights back

This is clearly not going to be as easy as we first thought. Luckily, Jake is able to fight back against the past’s resistance and he gets some help along the way when little Harry shows up and removes Frank’s hammer from the room. Smart, kid! This leaves Jake with just enough time to choke Frank to death with some metal wire.

The Butterfly Effect

For a second there, I was kinda hoping Jake was going to fail and have to go back and restart, just like playing a video game, but things are about to get very interesting now that he has succeeded in changing a key event in the past. Plus, it looks like Jake may have some help going forward because Bill seems to have gotten a hold of a newspaper article from the future that Jake must have misplaced.

Kennedy Slain on Dallas Street

Jake seriously needs to start being more cautious with his personal belongings from the future. At least this should convince Bill that Jake really is a time traveler trying to prevent the assassination of a future president. Admittedly, I was a bit disappointed to see that this was the direction the series was headed since I have no idea how Jake is going to know how he has influenced the future by stopping Frank. If I’m Jake, I’m not spending another minute in the past until I find out what impact my actions had on the future. I mean, he’s gonna have to wait this out for over two years before he’ll even get a shot at taking out Oswald or whoever the shooter is. And yes, I’m aware that this would undoubtedly reset the past but better safe than sorry, right?

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES IT

Mikey Likes It11.22.63 is moving right along and Jake has successfully completed his first mission by taking out Frank and preventing a triple homicide. Once again, this series has made a significant impact and I have enjoyed watching Jake’s journey back to the ’60s. I will be pretty surprised if Jake doesn’t go back to the present to at least see what changes he’s made to the present after literally fucking up the past. In my opinion, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for Jake to sit around for two years without confirming that it’s worth his time in the first place.

My only major complaint from The Kill Room was that the writers did not do a very good job of explaining how the past was going to fight back to prevent any change from occurring. It might have been smart to see Jake fail and have to reset a couple of times before succeeding and I think this would have really set the tone in showing us how the past is not so easy to manipulate. Instead, Jake was able to make quick work of Frank and really, not much got in his way. He ended up catching the flu and obviously his aim was way off but other then that, there wasn’t as much interference as Al was leading us to believe.

Still though, 11.22.63 seems to be well on its way into a story through time and it should be interesting to see how Jake sets himself up for a showdown with Lee Harvey Oswald. Jake will still have to confirm that Oswald was, in fact, the killer responsible for JFK’s assassination first but he’s going to have a lot of time to figure this out. And by the way, that would totally suck to have to wait two years and then mess it up and have to reset. This would literally be like playing the world’s longest video game. No thanks, mission unaccepted.

So what did everyone think of The Kill Floor? Are you ready to find your own time portal so you can travel back and start changing major events in the past? Or are you walking away from this series in your underwear like a boss? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow time travelers.

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