Spoiler warning: Do not read unless you’ve seen episode six of “11.22.63,” titled “Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey Oswald.”
This episode begins on Oct. 16, 1963, a six month time skip from the confrontation with Johnny Clayton last episode and only a little more than a month away from the big day. Things have changed for everyone.
Starting with Oswald, he manages to get a job at the Dallas book depository. Yes, that one. On his way out, he is confronted by an FBI agent who has been keeping his eye on Oswald. The agent makes a comment about what the traveling Oswald has been doing — and about how Marina has apparently moved out on him.
Oswald visits Marina, who is living with a friend and pregnant with a second child, and tells her to come home. Marina is pleased he found a job but says she won’t move back in because she needs “people who are kind.”
Things with Jake and Bill haven’t got better since they botched learning who attempted to assassinate General Walker. Bill doesn’t like that Jake spends so much time in Jodie with Sadie, essentially ignoring him and leaving him in the house to do the work of spying Oswald. Speaking of spying, George de Mohrenschildt shows up to talk with Oswald. He mentions the Walker assassination attempt and, though Jake is nearly convinced Oswald was the shooter, the man laughs it off in the conversation.
Bill and Jake have another argument about the repercussions of time travel. Bill asks if maybe the butterfly effect of Jake having traveled to the past was enough to push Oswald off course from being the shooter. Jake points out that couldn’t be possible because they haven’t interacted with Oswald once. So why doesn’t Jake just take Oswald out if he’s so sure, Bill wants to know. He’s already killed two people. Jake still isn’t sure enough on Oswald and admits to looking for a way to stop him without murder.
In Jodie, it appears that Jake and Sadie’s relationship is the only one that has improved in the six month jump. Thanks to Jake’s honesty in the previous episode the two have grown closer. Sadie has one last surgery, for the scar on her face left by Johnny, tomorrow. Jake asks if she wants to wait a bit longer before the surgery but she says she wants to be done with hospitals.
Surgery is pricey, even in the ’60s. Jake has been paying for Sadie’s procedures with gambling winnings and he heads off to place a bet. He clearly doesn’t remember that high stakes gambling hasn’t worked in his favor in the past.
With the bet placed, Jake heads to Dallas to work with Bill. Unfortunately, Bill isn’t home. Jake turns on the equipment to learn Oswald is having a party to celebrate his birthday. He doesn’t have to listen in long before he hears Bill talking to Marina upstairs. Jake heads to the party and confronts Bill, saying he’s messing everything up. Bill thinks he is changing Oswald and Marina for the better. He also lets Jake know that there hasn’t been one mention of Kennedy since they’ve been talking.
“If you fight the past, the past fights back,” Jake warns. To punctuate that point, their small shoving match in the corner of the birthday party leads to a knocked over lamp. Oswald finds one of the bugs in the lamp and throws a fit. How can this be considered the land of the free if the FBI can surveil him whenever they want. Could this have been the inciting incident?
Downstairs, Jake spots Bill kissing Marina. When he walks in the house the two fight. Jake swears, Bill punches, the two go to the floor before Bill pulls a gun on Jake. He asks how it is fair that Jake gets to be with Sadie while he can’t be with Marina. He tells Jake not to come back, that this is his place only now.
“F–k you, f–k your mission, and f–k JFK,” he screams as Jake leaves.
Jake tells Sadie about Bill but there isn’t a lot of time to worry about that. It’s the day of Sadie’s final surgery. They have a touching moment before Sadie is taken to the operating room. A moment that is quickly undercut by the appearance of the Yellow Card Man. His appearances have only led to bad things happening (which is foreboding considering the first time he was seen was immediately after Jake came to the past) and Jake freaks out. He uses a fire extinguisher to bust through a door and stop the surgery. It was apparently just in time. Sadie hadn’t been getting any oxygen.
At home, Sadie worries if she may be getting in the way of Jake’s mission. He assures her that she isn’t, though evidence is mounting that it may in fact be the case.
Jake has to deal with Bill though, who has quickly morphed from ally to someone that time can use to get in Jake’s way going forward. He sees new BFFs, Bill and Oswald, sitting on a porch with a rifle. Oswald is good with the gun and Bill shows that he’s no slouch with it either.
“The second shooter,” Jake says astonished.
He has a plan to deal with Bill though. He tells him that Marina went in to labor and she was asking for him. They head to the hospital only to find that Jake is taking him to a mental hospital to have him committed. Bill screams Jake’s secrets as he is held down and drugged. Yelling that your friend is on a mission from the future is only going to dig you in a deeper hole, Bill.
Jake then confronts George. He asks if he had recruited Oswald. Turns out the only reason George spent time with them was because him and Marina were from Minsk and he wanted to help her. He asks about the plot against Kennedy but George doesn’t want the man who is taking on “those communist s—s” who took over his country to be killed. Why would he? A flashback to a conversation with Al affirms that if George wasn’t involved then Oswald was acting alone. It was time to take him out.
First he calls Sadie and proposes over the phone and asks her to come to the future with him. She seems up for it but says she will give Jake an answer when he gets home.
But of course he is attacked by the people he set his high-stakes bet with. Jake had apparently put money on the same bet all over town in an attempt to make more money. Those places were all owned by the same person though. Bill had also placed bets on the fight. Assuming they have been cheated, the men work Jake over good and leave him in an alley.
In his delirium, Jake sees flashes of both Sadie and Christy, his ex-wife from 2016, telling him they love him. Sadie speaks to the doctor and lets him know that Jake doesn’t seem to recognize her. The doctor lets her know that due to the severity of Jake’s head trauma he’ll need time to recuperate. Apparently he’s already been out for a while. Sadie asks how long it will take him to get back on his feet.
The doctor doesn’t give an answer.