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S01.E08: The Day in Question 2016.04.04

 

The past pulls out every weapon it has to keep Jake from reaching Dealey Plaza in time to save Kennedy. If he fails, it could mean death for Jake or others close to him — and if he succeeds, it could create a world in which he loses everything he's ever known. What is the cost of doing the right thing?

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Nice ending. Doesn't need/shouldn't have another season--which is what Jake learned, heh.

This is probably the most character development I've ever seen. I'm just not sure it was worth slogging through 7 other episodes to get there. I think this would have been better as a movie. I think they could've cut a lot of the Bill and Lee stuff to do it, but maybe I'm wrong.

Edited by shapeshifter.
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Episode 7 left me a bit underwhelmed, but this final episode more than made up for it. And strangely, when it was over, I found I ultimately didn't care about Jake's quest to save Kennedy, or what the outcome would mean to the world at large. It was the smaller and personal story of the Jake and Sadie romance that held my interest. And I won't spoil it for anyone, but suffice it to say if your heart isn't touched by the final minutes of the series, you may want to check your pulse, as you have likely shuffled off this mortal coil.

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Was hoping for a happier life for Harry. 

 

I figured that it would be a world has gone to hell scenario if Kennedy was saved - but I didn't think it would be that bad.   

 

Was worried when they were taking Jake on the elevator that Jack Ruby  would end up shooting him.

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Was hoping for a happier life for Harry.

Yes, but when he hugged and patted Jake, telling him he was a good man, I was satisfied that Harry was the best Harry he could be.

I figured that it would be a world has gone to hell scenario if Kennedy was saved - but I didn't think it would be that bad.

I wondered if Jake would get cancer from being exposed to radioactive fallout--but he didn't stick around too long.

Was worried when they were taking Jake on the elevator that Jack Ruby would end up shooting him.

That crossed my mind too. Edited by shapeshifter.
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Well, that was beautiful. Live well, be happy, deal with your issues, the rest ain't so important.

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Loved the ending. Sam Cooke is by far my favorite singer, and that song ("Nothing Can Ever Change This Love") has always been one of my favorite songs by him, and I think it was perfectly used as Sadie & Jack's theme song. The ending was gorgeous.  The only thing complant was that I wish the 2016 universe post-Kennedy survival wasn't so predictably and obviously apocalyptic. It was too heavy-handed in that enforcing "nothing positive comes from changing the past". It would have been better had there been more of a balance, showing that saving Kennedy had its benefits and its costs. Small complaint, but other than that it was a beautifully done series. It almost made me like James Franco and that is a feat in itself.

Edited by AgentRXS.
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Nice ending.  I thought the finale was the strongest episode of the series.  Did you notice that during the opening credits the connecting red strings (between the gun, the car, the clock, etc.) were all slack and loose, rather than tight as they had been in the openings of all prior episodes?  And the string to the gun was not even connected.  (It reminded me of the song One Man Wrecking Machine by Guster).

 

My complaints were:

(1)  I would have liked to hear more detail about what actually ended up happening in the world without the JFK assassination.  All we got that JFK was re-elected, followed by George Wallace (!), something about riots and a vague reference to "the first bombing".  Given that Wallace was president, are we to assume that "riots" might mean race riots?  Is the "bombing" a reference to nuclear war?  Was there more than one nuclear war?  Why?  I know this was not meant to be the focus of the story, other than to point out that things were actually worse if JFK lived, but just a little explanation of the mechanism by which Kennedy's survival led to all this crap would have been nice. It only would have taken a few sentences from Harry (something like, "Kennedy's civil rights programs in his second term led to racial backlash by southern whites," "Kennedy intervened in a Czeck uprising, which touched off war in Europe and a nuclear exchange", etc.).  The alt-history nerd in me wanted to know.

 

(2)  Jake seemed to give up on the idea of a Sadie-saving "reset" far too easily, just because the yellow card man told him it was pointless because Sadie would "always die".  Maybe in the book Jake learned that lesson by trying several resets that always ended in Sadie's death (which makes more sense), and given the TV format they just didn't have time for him to learn the lesson that way through multiple reset trips.  But since it was such a key decision -- arguably THE key decision of the show -- it seems odd that he would make it based on nothing more than the ramblings of some mystery man who he doesn't even know that much about.  Since Jake had already decided not to kill Oswald & stop the JFK assassination, why not do a reset just to come back and find/marry Sadie and live happily ever after (making fortunes in the stock market) and see what happens?

 

Finally, even if he is going to give up on Sadie, before he went back to 2016 for the last time he should have at least set up a trust fund and bought some stock in companies that he knew were sure to boom in the next 50 years and be worth a ton when he arrives back in 2016, or at least open a bank account and put all his cash in a savings account so he could have 50+ years of compounded interest when he arrives back in 2016. 

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Nice ending.  I thought the finale was the strongest episode of the series.  Did you notice that during the opening credits the connecting red strings (between the gun, the car, the clock, etc.) were all slack and loose, rather than tight as they had been in the openings of all prior episodes?  And the string to the gun was not even connected.  (It reminded me of the song One Man Wrecking Machine by Guster).

 

My complaints were:

(1)  I would have liked to hear more detail about what actually ended up happening in the world without the JFK assassination.  All we got that JFK was re-elected, followed by George Wallace (!), something about riots and a vague reference to "the first bombing".  Given that Wallace was president, are we to assume that "riots" might mean race riots?  Is the "bombing" a reference to nuclear war?  Was there more than one nuclear war?  Why?  I know this was not meant to be the focus of the story, other than to point out that things were actually worse if JFK lived, but just a little explanation of the mechanism by which Kennedy's survival led to all this crap would have been nice. It only would have taken a few sentences from Harry (something like, "Kennedy's civil rights programs in his second term led to racial backlash by southern whites," "Kennedy intervened in a Czeck uprising, which touched off war in Europe and a nuclear exchange", etc.).  The alt-history nerd in me wanted to know.

 

(2)  Jake seemed to give up on the idea of a Sadie-saving "reset" far too easily, just because the yellow card man told him it was pointless because Sadie would "always die".  Maybe in the book Jake learned that lesson by trying several resets that always ended in Sadie's death (which makes more sense), and given the TV format they just didn't have time for him to learn the lesson that way through multiple reset trips.  But since it was such a key decision -- arguably THE key decision of the show -- it seems odd that he would make it based on nothing more than the ramblings of some mystery man who he doesn't even know that much about.  Since Jake had already decided not to kill Oswald & stop the JFK assassination, why not do a reset just to come back and find/marry Sadie and live happily ever after (making fortunes in the stock market) and see what happens?

 

Finally, even if he is going to give up on Sadie, before he went back to 2016 for the last time he should have at least set up a trust fund and bought some stock in companies that he knew were sure to boom in the next 50 years and be worth a ton when he arrives back in 2016, or at least open a bank account and put all his cash in a savings account so he could have 50+ years of compounded interest when he arrives back in 2016. 

I too wish there could have been a more realistic alternate history. None of the catastrophic events seem to have been related to things Survivor!Kennedy did or didn't do. "The Past" did it. It seems like a cop-out: King didn't want to show the 60's-with-more-JFK as some kind of idyllic Camelot, but he didn't want to imply Kennedy would have been a bad second term president either.

 

And yes, I was very disappointed when Jake let go of 1960 Sadie's hand for the last time. 

In the book, he explains that he doesn't want to court her again because he can't take the slightest risk that changing the past--even in a relatively insignificant way--will lead to the dystopian future he saw.

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I liked how alt-2016 was all dull and 1960 was bright and colory.

 

I'm glad that saving JFK ended up with it being worse, though I don't agree with the alt-timeline. I think the Vietnam War would have escalated way worse. And if they weren't going to have LBJ be president, then I would think civil rights would be worse. I tend to think unless JFK's presidency would have been a total disaster, I don't see how LBJ isn't president. If anything, it might have avoided Nixon altogether and maybe Reagan is president in 1976.

 

So Oswald just missed? Oh, he always missed the first shot, but Jake distracted him on the second. I got confused. 

 

Was worried when they were taking Jake on the elevator that Jack Ruby  would end up shooting him.

 

Me too. I was hoping for a mafia angle, but he was just a one off. 

Good job by Jake dropping info on Hosty to get himself saved and out of there. 

 

Eh. I still might have gone back and forth to either bet on big things or buy stock in IBM, Microsoft, etc. 

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Nice ending.  I thought the finale was the strongest episode of the series.  Did you notice that during the opening credits the connecting red strings (between the gun, the car, the clock, etc.) were all slack and loose, rather than tight as they had been in the openings of all prior episodes?  And the string to the gun was not even connected.  (It reminded me of the song One Man Wrecking Machine by Guster).

 

My complaints were:

(1)  I would have liked to hear more detail about what actually ended up happening in the world without the JFK assassination.  All we got that JFK was re-elected, followed by George Wallace (!), something about riots and a vague reference to "the first bombing".  Given that Wallace was president, are we to assume that "riots" might mean race riots?  Is the "bombing" a reference to nuclear war?  Was there more than one nuclear war?  Why? 

 

I agree, I would have liked more of an explanation of what happened. Couldn't Jake have gone to the school and looked for a history book or something? Did alt-2016 not have Google for him to search? I feel like they needed to establish some causality between JFK being alive and what we saw. The best I can come up with was not having the Vietnam War impacted some other country getting more powerful and being able to bomb us.

 

(2)  Jake seemed to give up on the idea of a Sadie-saving "reset" far too easily, just because the yellow card man told him it was pointless because Sadie would "always die".  Maybe in the book Jake learned that lesson by trying several resets that always ended in Sadie's death (which makes more sense), and given the TV format they just didn't have time for him to learn the lesson that way through multiple reset trips.  But since it was such a key decision -- arguably THE key decision of the show -- it seems odd that he would make it based on nothing more than the ramblings of some mystery man who he doesn't even know that much about.

 

Yeah, if they had shown 1960 Sadie getting hurt while he was talking to her in Lisbon that would have even worked for me. I wouldn't have needed multiple attempts, just one. But I guess they wanted to leave him with a happy shot of Sadie.

 

Finally, even if he is going to give up on Sadie, before he went back to 2016 for the last time he should have at least set up a trust fund and bought some stock in companies that he knew were sure to boom in the next 50 years and be worth a ton when he arrives back in 2016, or at least open a bank account and put all his cash in a savings account so he could have 50+ years of compounded interest when he arrives back in 2016.

 

No one ever thinks of this in time travel stories and it is always the first thing I think about. Maybe it's supposed to show money wasn't important after all his character growth, but money always help. How hard would it have been?

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Well, I supose one reason not to try a money making scheme would be that if History really had it in for Jake, it could have tried to destroy the world economy and leave him penniless.

Actually, thinking about it, perhaps that already happened. Thanks, Jake.

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The best I can come up with was not having the Vietnam War impacted some other country getting more powerful and being able to bomb us.

That was the best they came up with during the Vietnam War. Google Domino Theory if you're not familiar. When I first saw the bombed out alt-2016 that's what I thought of--that China was supposed to have bombed us because we didn't fight the proxy war in Vietnam--and it bugged me quite a bit. But I don't think the structural remnants shown were supposed to be that old. Still, it seemed like they were catering to any old Domino Theorists still living and watching. Anyone else think that?

Well, I supose one reason not to try a money making scheme would be that if History really had it in for Jake, it could have tried to destroy the world economy and leave him penniless.

Actually, thinking about it, perhaps that already happened. Thanks, Jake.

Heh.

I assumed Jake decided the only way to be sure Sadie didn't die an untimely death (or marry the abusive weirdo) was to not change anything--including making investments.

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That was the best they came up with during the Vietnam War. Google Domino Theory if you're not familiar. When I first saw the bombed out alt-2016 that's what I thought of--that China was supposed to have bombed us because we didn't fight the proxy war in Vietnam--and it bugged me quite a bit. But I don't think the structural remnants shown were supposed to be that old. Still, it seemed like they were catering to any old Domino Theorists still living and watching. Anyone else think that?

 

Yeah, I know that was the basic idea behind the Vietnam War at the time, but seeing as how we didn't actually win the Vietnam War and still managed to get through the 20th Century without nuclear destruction, it seems like it wasn't the most accurate theory. So I would have enjoyed more details on that.

 

But I really love time travel theories and would have been happy with a whole other hour devoted to explaining exactly everything that changed and why. I know the character side of the story is what's important, and I did really love that part, but I would have liked more explanation too. 

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The book provided a very satisfying explanation of how the world went to hell because Kennedy got saved. I agree the show didn't.

 

But I loved this final episode anyway. Felt it said something true about life, which I would be hard pressed to put into words.

 

I wasn't loving this show for the first 7. Felt it was aiming pretty low. But now I'm glad I watched.

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I really wouldn't have bought that Sadie would always die either since the first time she died was literally in the midst one of the most important historical events.

The other was that 2016 Sadie never re married. Maybe she would have been happier with only 20-25 years married to Jake.

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I really wouldn't have bought that Sadie would always die either since the first time she died was literally in the midst one of the most important historical events.

The other was that 2016 Sadie never re married. Maybe she would have been happier with only 20-25 years married to Jake.

In my mind, Sadie didn't marry the weirdo in the reset (natural/original) timeline, because when she was talking about her life at the banquet (when Jake asked if she had a happy life) she mentioned having a dog but didn't mention children or a husband. I realize that could just mean she successfully divorced him, but that's not an interpretation I want to accept. Edited by shapeshifter.
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I don't like it much either, but if that's what we're accepting for this show, then it's kind of sad that Sadie never re connected with Jake. It's kind of selfish in a way on Jake's part. He's the one that decides they shouldn't get together, and she doesn't really have a say in it. 

 

I'm also not really buying Jake going back and the world becoming awful just because he was there. Al had been going back how many times to get the meat for the burgers? Clearly, everything was ok. 

 

You don't have to wait too long for Vegas to be invented, and then you can gamble all you want. 

I guess I was a little more interested in a few resets than a single story. For "all that studying", all Jake did was break into the building and barely distract Lee from the second kill shot. We never found out about Walker either. I was interested in all the government spying on each other too, and they didn't get into that. 

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I enjoyed this series very much. Overall, an entertaining, intriguing story.

 

Two things did stand out for me. First, the Yellow Card Man - what or who exactly was he?  He is supposed to be a fellow time-traveller, if I understood it (from another portal?), and has been repeatedly failing at trying to stop his daughter from drowning. I can follow that. But he is in Lisbon Maine, and then Dallas, and is following Jake around???  Anyone who could explain this would have my thanks.

 

Second, although time and distance does fade our memories, would not Old Sadie have recognized Jake while dancing as the wet and dirty handsome man who approached her on that day in Lisbon Maine?  He certainly made an impression on her.  I suppose he may have done another journey that wiped out and reset everything (perhaps just to watch her drive by?), but that is not shown.  Odd!

Edited by Benedictine.
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One thing I like about all the new platforms for original content is that there's been a lot more miniseries. I'm a big fan, so I'd be down to see what these TPTBs come up with next. 

 

I think we're supposed to take our own interpretation away as to whether Old Sadie actually remembered Jake for real. That's ok with me. 

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I'm also not really buying Jake going back and the world becoming awful just because he was there. Al had been going back how many times to get the meat for the burgers? Clearly, everything was ok.

I'm pretty sure that when Al first shares time travel info with Jake that Al has done a complete reset. So, based on most time travel "rules," I think that means the Jake we meet would have no memories of an apocalypse. Answering your post makes me wonder if Al's "cancer" was more radiation poisoning from nuclear fallout that he experienced at least once.
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I'm pretty sure that when Al first shares time travel info with Jake that Al has done a complete reset. So, based on most time travel "rules," I think that means the Jake we meet would have no memories of an apocalypse. Answering your post makes me wonder if Al's "cancer" was more radiation poisoning from nuclear fallout that he experienced at least once.

But Al never actually saved Kenedy, which was why he still believed it was a great idea to do that. He still believed that he and Jake were making a better world. Any changes that Al caused spying on Oswald until 1962 when he got too sick to continue wouldn't have resulted in any major changes to the timeline. And anyway, when Jake went back the first time, he wiped out any minor differences that Al might have caused to any lives he touched.

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I'm pretty sure that when Al first shares time travel info with Jake that Al has done a complete reset.

 

Al went back and forth frequently for the meat for the burgers. "So all this time I've been eating meat from 1960?" In his last trip, he lived there for 2 years, compiling info on LHO and got to see him at the airport, but that was it. 

 

What caused his cancer is up for interpretation, but he never got enough info to conclude that LHO acted alone and never affected a major change. 

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I'm pretty sure that when Al first shares time travel info with Jake that Al has done a complete reset. So, based on most time travel "rules," I think that means the Jake we meet would have no memories of an apocalypse. Answering your post makes me wonder if Al's "cancer" was more radiation poisoning from nuclear fallout that he experienced at least once.

I thought that Jake kept all his memories, alt-2016 and all. That's why he was so afraid of going back to try and win Sadie again. Al never experienced alt-2016, so could not have contracted radiation poisoning from it. 

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I thought that Jake kept all his memories, alt-2016 and all. That's why he was so afraid of going back to try and win Sadie again. Al never experienced alt-2016, so could not have contracted radiation poisoning from it.

Oops. You're right. I guess that's the exception to the rule of reset? Time travelers retain memories.

"Window of Opportunity" (one of my favorite SG1 episodes) had the same rule.

Edited by shapeshifter.
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Kennedy camps?

Laughable.

I never thought saving kennedy would necessarily. Make things better, a big weakness in the story all along. But coming back to a post apocalyptic world where wild cats roam the streets? Snort.

Also I'm sick and tird of the "all for the best I. The best of all possible worlds" moral of time travel. It's cliched and predictable. Time almost has a persona here which is also kind of silly.

And jake should know better than to believe the yellow card man... Who I sisted that his little girl always died. BUT WEVE JUST SEEN JAKE COULD IN FACT PREVENT KENNEDY FROM GETTING SHOT,

it didn't turn out as he hoped but he did do it. Unlike yellow card guy and saving his Daugter.

I just don't believe that courting Sadie would have changed the world.

However he dance at the end was nice and a nice reminder that peope, in their 20s in 1963 are often still alive and well.

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I never thought saving kennedy would necessarily make things better, a big weakness in the story all along. But coming back to a post apocalyptic world where wild cats roam the streets? Snort.

 

This is why the show would have been well-advised to include more of the explanation contained in the novel. It was actually pretty plausible, and, more than that, entertaining/engrossing. It wouldn't have bored people. 

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Maybe so but I'm bored with that whoe tro

Bored bored bored. It's dr. Pangloss

I don't think either the novel or the show pretended this was the best of all possible worlds, but it's the one that was Meant to Be. 

 

I just don't believe that courting Sadie would have changed the world.

 

Probably not, but Jake didn't want to risk it. Still, I would have liked to see him try once. If Sadie still died in 1963 far away from the scene of the Kennedy assassination, then OK, do one more reset and then leave her alone.

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meant to be = dr Pangloss to me. Sorry. In my opinion it's lazy world building. Time travel is fictional and I've seen that particular moral over and over and over again and it BORES me.

kennedy camps is preposterous. The bobcat walking the street! Sheesh. Way to hit us over the head.

I agree why not tRy once? Got nothing to lose.

And Al brought meat back.

While I likd the final scene overall what a let down.

Edited by lucindabelle.
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meant to be = dr Pangloss to me. Sorry. In my opinion it's lazy world building. Time travel is fictional and I've seen that particular moral over and over and over again and it BORES me.

 

I do get what you're saying, lucindabelle. You might be surprised, though, that the novel does not put forward the "moral" that the world we live in is the best of all possible worlds. It's more like, "alter the past, and you won't necessarily end up with a better world." There's no suggestion that the world we live in is beyond improvement. Much to the contrary, in fact. Jake's (Stephen King's) impressions of the world of 1960-63 are that it is a far better world in many important ways than the one we live in. The fascination of the ending (in the book) lies in its message that you have no idea the unintended consequences you're signing on for in any action you take. Not so much that any particular future is pre-destined, let alone that the pre-destined one is the best one.

Edited by Milburn Stone.
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I highly doubt there would have no Vietnam war either, since JFK was the first to send "military advisers" over there. I don't mind a bleak future, but I'm not seeing how the dots are connected. 

 

Because at the height of the Cold War, everyone was worried about the Soviet incursion into *Maine*. It would have been interesting if Maine was largely untouched, and Jake resumed his life, only to find all the bad stuff that went down elsewhere. 

 

Probably not, but Jake didn't want to risk it. Still, I would have liked to see him try once. If Sadie still died in 1963 far away from the scene of the Kennedy assassination, then OK, do one more reset and then leave her alone.

 

To be fair, Sadie almost died in the hospital. So the show was at least being consistent with her dying in that timeline. However, that's Jake's fault for mouthing off to her ex husband. There's several scenarios where Jake could go back and reconnect with Sadie. I agree that maybe one more trip to the past would have been interesting given that he actually was successful. Maybe he and Sadie could have settled in Lisbon. 

 

These boomers have this fascination with JFK and Camelot and all that. If anything, JFK dying allowed LBJ to push through massive improvements for civil rights, but we never get that angle. Granted, it's Al's selfish motivation to save his friends in Vietnam that kicks it all off, but it's a huge leap to link that to saving JFK.

 

Though, in the end, while I would have been more into a mafia plot, showing that LHO was basically just a mama's boy was entertaining. It was fairly suspenseful when we didn't know if there was a conspiracy and if George was pulling the strings. 

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This is why the show would have been well-advised to include more of the explanation contained in the novel. It was actually pretty plausible, and, more than that, entertaining/engrossing. It wouldn't have bored people. 

I would have liked to see that.  I really want to know why JFK's continued existence leads the election of George Wallace instead of Richard Nixon in '68.  (And was Col. Sanders the VP?).   I'm also wondering about things like...if there was no Vietnam War, what was the counterculture like?  Was the 1968 Democratic National Convention a calm, dignified affair?  What happened with the civil rights movement?  And was the devastation we saw in 2016 caused by nuclear war, economic meltdown, conventional warfare, or what (and in which decade)?

I don't know if I want to read the whole book, since I just saw the series, just to find out the details of the ending.

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I would have liked to see that.  I really want to know why JFK's continued existence leads the election of George Wallace instead of Richard Nixon in '68.  (And was Col. Sanders the VP?).   I'm also wondering about things like...if there was no Vietnam War, what was the counterculture like?  Was the 1968 Democratic National Convention a calm, dignified affair?  What happened with the civil rights movement?  And was the devastation we saw in 2016 caused by nuclear war, economic meltdown, conventional warfare, or what (and in which decade)?

I don't know if I want to read the whole book, since I just saw the series, just to find out the details of the ending.

 

I would be happy to give you a synopsis of this, but as I recall, the explanation went on for pages and pages--all of which was engrossing, as I say! 

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Hmm, maybe I will read it after all.  I dipped into the book vs show thread and everyone seems to love the book.

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I don't know if I want to read the whole book, since I just saw the series, just to find out the details of the ending.

 

I feel the same way. I usually either read books then see a movie/show, or just skip straight to the movie/show.  Reading the book second feels wrong, but I do really want the details. Maybe I'll just read the end.  Or would it not make sense because of other changes?

 

The thing with saving Sadie, he would have had to go back and wait two years before he even got to start dating her again. So going back to try and save Sadie just once was still a pretty big deal. Possibly worth it for true love, but still a long term endeavor. But it is also really weird Jake didn't question Yellow Card Man when he had proven him wrong by saving JFK. He saved Harry's family too.

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You could argue that Harry didn't turn out much better for Jake having saved his family, but that's more due to the wider implications of JFK. 

 

Why would he have to wait 2 years for Sadie? When he reset, he met her in less than 10 minutes. 

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Why would he have to wait 2 years for Sadie? When he reset, he met her in less than 10 minutes. 

 

He met her on the park bench right away. But she was married then. Then later he met her when she became librarian at the high school and that was after the jumped ahead awhile. That's when they started their relationship.

 

 

You could argue that Harry didn't turn out much better for Jake having saved his family, but that's more due to the wider implications of JFK. 

 

Right, he could also have tried saving Harry's family and not saving JFK and seen how that worked out.

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She wasn't married when he met her on the reset when she was with her cousins in Lisbon though. So he could get with her then. There's no reason to wait until she turns up in Jodie. 

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She wasn't married when he met her on the reset when she was with her cousins in Lisbon though. So he could get with her then. There's no reason to wait until she turns up in Jodie. 

 

But the first time he went back, he met her in Dallas just a few days after that, didn't he? He left Maine pretty quickly and drove to Texas. I can't remember if he met her before or after he saved Harry's family, but that couldn't have added more than a week. So I assumed she must have actually been married in Lisbon when visiting her cousins, although I guess she wasn't acting like it.

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I don't recall a ring on her finger. He met her in Dallas in 1961 ish sometime. Jake doesn't get to Dallas until episode 3. He goes to KY first and then hooks up with Bill. 

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I didn't really need outside confirmation from a show runner. The scenes were rather clear to me what was going on. So, good for them and the actors for putting that together.

TPTBs seem to have this overwhelming need to over explain every scene in their show. Do a good job, and let us watch it. We will interpret the scene as we will.

In this case they did a good job, no need to explain it.

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I don't think they need to say much of anything. They put together a good series. There wasn't a single bad scene where we were all like, "what happened here?" or characters behaving OOC because Plot. 

 

Between this and OJ, it's been a good spring for miniseries. 

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I've never been a James Franco fan, but this series changed my mind.  His scenes with Harry and his sadness over Sadie were well done. He shined in the last episode.  Also, he can rock the 1960's attire almost as well as Jon Hamm.

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I don't recall a ring on her finger. He met her in Dallas in 1961 ish sometime. Jake doesn't get to Dallas until episode 3. He goes to KY first and then hooks up with Bill.

 

Jake goes to Dallas in the first episode. He heads out there after the trouble with the bookies in Lisbon.

 

He is scoping out Dealey Plaza, and he meets Sadie there. And Sadie gets picked up by her husband after meeting with Jake.

 

The business with young Harry and his family happens in the second episode.

 

This all takes place in October 1960. Recall that Harry's life changed forever on Halloween night, 1960.

 

George Wallace instead of Richard Nixon in '68.  (And was Col. Sanders the VP?).

 

Presumably his running mate was the same as it was in real life, General Curtis Lemay. For those who may not know, LeMay was an Air Force General. He was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Kennedy's administration. He is most remembered for clashing with JFK over the Cuban Missile Crisis. To say he was a hawk would be understating it. Greatly.

 

He was memorably portrayed in the film about the Cuban Missile Crisis, "13 Days".

 

Personally, I think Wallace might have stood a shot in real life in 1968 had he made Colonel Sanders his running mate. But that is neither here nor there.

Edited by reggiejax.
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Now I'm imagining we're living in a version of the world in which someone time traveled, and that's why Trump is the presumptive Republican candidate for POTUS. I just hope Bernie doesn't run as an independent against Hillary and Trump, or we'll end up with a post-apoclyptic world like was pictured in the show.

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This was a nice, tidy ending, though mostly sad. It reminded me of the best ever Star Trek episode, "The City on the Edge of Forever," where Kirk had to make a similarly difficult decision of time vs. love.

If I was to limit my review to just one criticism of this episode, it would be the implausibility of Jake heading back to Maine so quickly and anonymously after saving Kennedy.

But everything around Sadie was done well, and that was the strength of the series to me. The weakness: Bill...but I suppose they had to fill those 8 episodes somehow.

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I knew this series lagged a bit in the middle after an excellent opening 2 episodes so I was expecting a great finale and it was great!

I am not a huge James Franco fan but he was awesome in this. He really got me at the end when he visited Sadie at the end at her ceremony, beautifully done. I'm glad the sidekick Bill got offed because it gave him a chance to shine with himself and dealing with him doing what he came for (at the expense of Sadie) but finding it was quite terrible.  I do wish they explored the post-JFK world a bit more as a conversation underground in the dark seemed a bit rushed but I did like he went right back to 1960, found Sadie and realized he couldn't do it over and over again just to lose her.

People may think it was unrealistic for him to all the sudden realize he couldn't be with her, but at the same time, he just did. It was a bittersweet ending. I was for some reason, thinking she would have somehow realized who he was at the end (in dreams or something) but I like that he seemed familar but not really sure because in reality, she didn't know him.

I will say I loved Franco and Sarah. They were fantastic together. I loved how he mouthed "I love you" at the school and how he kept a hold of her hand as they were trying to get to Lee. They were wonderful and full of charm and fluff. 

I also liked that they represented the time period well. Nothing like suits and fedoras. The men were looking sharp.

Off to read the book for sure! I would love to see more of this from Hulu.

So glad I finally sat down and watch it all! :)

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I wish that instead of the series lagging in the middle and then being quite rushed in the alt-timeline, he had saved Kennedy and lost Sadie in episode 7. Then all of episode 8 could have been dedicated to the alt-timeline and his decision to stop travelling back again and again. I'd have liked to have seen more of the alt-present and for it to have been less immediately obvious that it was worse than the original timeline. In fact I think a more bittersweet story would have been for Sadie to have lived in 1963 and come to the future with him. They are happy for the first hour or so of their new life in 2016, then start to realise that this new present is much worse (100s of millions dead in wars, environmental disaster areas in large prats of the world, economic turmoil etc). They try to understand the new history and how saving Kennedy wrought this awful new world but discover that Jake's presence in 1960 caused the changes to be set in motion almost as soon as he arrived in the 60s (maybe through his 'gambling'). Or even that in some tiny way Sadie was integral to our timeline, perhaps she inspired someone more important than just the Mayor of Jodie to justify her award as Texan of the year. Either way, Sadie and Jake realise that they have to reset and never meet in order to recreate the original, better, timeline. They step back, Sadie disappears and Jake goes back to 2016 to see time is back to normal. But despite their resolve Jake doesn't want to live without her and convinces himself that this time he can be with her and still preserve the present. He goes back determined to try again, sees her in Jodie and then we get the same final scenes.

 

I prefer it because by giving them a happy ending and then snatching it away it makes the alt-timeline relevant. Jake going back for a bit of a lookabout but always with the intention to reset it anyway in order to save Sadie makes it more of a curiosity that makes little sense. Jake eventually giving up Sadie so that he doesn't waste his life in a futile loop of trying to save someone who can't be saved, makes little sense when he can actually effect enormous world shattering change by going back. As it is, it's a story both of the enormity of the unintended consequences and how the past can't be changed no matter how hard you try but it can't be both as those are too opposing theories. Making it just the story of unintended consequences works better. I also prefer the idea of Sadie having a little more agency in the end of their love story.

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I think the reason Wallace got elected in '68 was a backlash against the Kennedy perceived liberalism. And then Wallace started a nuclear war with Russia ... remember his running mate was that idiot General Lemay and Wallace was kneejerk pro-war. Eerily analogous to the present day situation!!

I wasn't too crazy about the Franco character. He was all about long, repeated dramatic looks of consternation (It was the exact same look Cary Grant gave in N by NW in that scene with his mother in that hotel room where she says something sarcastic to him and he gives this same look). The character "John" in Bloodlines had a similar style (but different look) (long silent facial reaction scenes, repeatedly, and I didn't like it there either). And the Franco character just didn't seem too bright a lot of the time. For example, in that earlier episode when Sadie's husband had a gun and had them both at the table, there seemed plenty of opportunities to just grab the gun or the guy's arm. And he just seemed to communicate very poorly, which also caused problems.

Edited by riverclown.
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