Spoiler warning: Do not read on unless you’ve seen “11.22.63,” episode 7, titled “Soldier Boy.”
Jake’s damaged mind becomes even more corroded in the penultimate episode of the series. When he wakes, he struggles with figuring out what timeline he is in. Anderson Cooper is on TV, he’s visited by his ex-wife Christy and his doctor is none other than Al Templeton, who scolds him for failing so miserably at his mission. Sadie eventually breaks through the fog and brings him back. Jake struggled for a while, it’s Nov. 5 — just 17 days before the assassination.
The couple go for a walk and Jake can’t remember many of the details of his life. All the progress he made during his years in the past are now futile following his beating. Aside from the big picture, Jake also can’t remember things like who (or where) Bill is. He finally recalls checking Bill into the asylum when he signs his release papers.
He and Sadie learn that Bill is not the person they knew. He has been undergoing shock therapy and has become a shell of his former self. Unfortunately for Jake, he also thinks all the things the duo had been working toward were figments of his imagination. Team Save Kennedy has certainly seen better days mentally.
Jake pushes Bill to remember. He needs the information that the two spent years gathering. He reminds Bill that they are friends and they need to help each other.
“If you’re my friend, why did you do this to me?” Bill asks blankly.
While Jake and Sadie go to sign the release papers to release Bill from the asylum, he decides there is an easier way to check out. He jumps out of the window while there backs are turned and ends his life.
By Nov. 15 no progress has been made, in Jake’s mental recollection or on the information-gathering front on where the assassination will take place. After a few days of popping pills for his pain, Jake is talked into figuring things out and washes the pills down the drain.
Meanwhile, Lee Harvey Oswald has approached the FBI about planting bugs in his home (which were Jake and Bill’s), was berated by his mother for not showing the same promise his second grade teacher saw in him (which Lee assured her he still had) and notices that the Kennedy motorcade will be driving right by the book depository he works at. Learning this, Oswald seems to have reached an epiphany.
Jake’s finally made some progress as well: he remembers he lived on Madison Street. He and Sadie head to the street and after going door-to-door they find his old place. There is a new tenant living there who won’t let them in. They try the upstairs apartment and find Oswald home. Oswald recognizes Jake from the birthday party but Jake doesn’t recognize him. They sit down together and talk. All the talking sparks something in Jake’s mind and all the information on Oswald comes flooding back in. He remembers everything and realizes he can handle things now. He excuses himself to the kitchen and grabs a knife. He’s ready to finish his mission, but finds Oswald holding his baby when he comes around the corner, and backs down.
Jake decides he will take care of this himself and leave Sadie out of it. He tries to sneak out at night only to find Sadie already in the car. Jake tries to explain it is better if she doesn’t come, but she is tired of being told what is best for her. The two will finish this together.
Everything Jake has done to try and stop things before the big day have gone up in flames. The two decide to stay in Dallas near the plaza and take Oswald out in the morning. They sit in the car and talk about the future, and Jake admits that he doesn’t miss much of anything from there. Then the radio and street lights flicker and Sadie is replaced by the Yellow Card Man.
For the first time, the two have a real conversation. The Yellow Card Man reveals why he has been trying to stop Jake. Apparently, he is a failed time traveler himself. He tried to travel back and stop his daughter for drowning, but found it impossible to succeed no matter what he did. The constant attempts trapped him in a never-ending time loop where he is forced to watch his daughter drown over and over. He warns Jake to let the past be. Then he disappears.
Jake considers it. He asks Sadie if it would be better to just “let history happen.” They could grow old together in this time and raise a family. They could be happy. Sadie points out that Jake came here for a reason, which is now her reason too, and he needs to see it through.
They awake at 8:30 a.m. on the big day and find that their car is dead. Luckily Bill taught Jake to hotwire cars so they are only halted for a moment. They race off to the book depository.
Oswald arrives at work at 9 a.m. His friends are excited they can take a few minutes off to watch the president drive by. Oswald says he plans to just work through the motorcade passing. Whistling “Soldier Boy” by the Shirelles, Oswald finds a spot on an abandoned upper floor of the depository and sets his things up. With everything ready for the big moment he sits … and waits.