TV Review: 11.22.63 – 1×5 “The Truth”


In this week’s episode of 11.22.63, “The Truth,” Jake Epping (James Franco) has found himself in a rift with Sadie Dunhill (Sarah Gadon,) after she stumbled upon one of Jake’s spy recordings of Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber). Realizing he can’t juggle both his mission and his love life at the same time, he decides to let Sadie go knowing there’s nothing he can do to convince her he isn’t a bad person. With his mind more focused, he begins setting up surveillance outside General Walker’s home with Billy (George Mackay), in order to see if Oswald was truly the one who shot at his house. However, the past has a funny way of pushing back, as Sadie’s ex-husband Johnny (T.R. Knight) begins stepping back into the picture.

Easily the episode’s best aspect is when Sadie’s ex-husband Johnny begins stepping back into her life. The trio of Johnny, Sadie and Jake end up blowing up together in one giant confrontation, and anyone who is a fan of genuine Stephen King silliness and seriousness will absolutely love T.R. Knight’s performance through it all. Franco and Gadon’s chemistry remains as strong as ever, but their personalities more or less take a back seat when Johnny Clayton is on-screen. There’s also a lot more depth into Billy’s past revolving around his deceased sister, as her memory plays one of the biggest twists this episode has to offer. When said twist is all said and done, it becomes one of the series’ biggest heart-breaking moments thus far. You feel for Billy’s pain through it all, even if it just might end up screwing everything up for everyone. Finally, we get to see get further development in Billy and Marina Oswald’s (Lucy Fry) relationship and further brings about mystery as to what consequences this could bring on to the mission.


The downside to this week’s episode is that, once again, the romantic subplot gets in the way of the JFK storyline. Sure, we’re given something a little more interesting than just a cute romance to go off of, thanks to a brutal scene between Sadie’s ex-husband and Jake, but what we’re given as far as following Lee Harvey Oswald’s plot is relatively constrained. With only three episodes left, it’s possible that, from now on, Oswald’s plot will begin to heat up and take the main focus. Nevertheless, the past couple episodes have been almost entirely about Sadie and Jake’s relationship, and the fact that it’s once again the biggest focus is the episode’s biggest detriment.

Regardless, there are a grand amount of twists and suspense in “The Truth” to keep regulars engaged, and even some rather sad or heart-tugging moments to especially grab the audience. T.R. Knight’s performance as Sadie’s ex-husband is pure Stephen King insanity, thanks to its enjoyably over the top nature, yet still being meticulously sinister at the same time. It looks like all the romantic drama will be mostly out of the way from now on, so I’m excited to see where they’ll go with Jake and Billy’s mission to save Kennedy from this point on. As a whole, this week’s episode of 11.22.63 isn’t entirely well-blended with its two plots, but there’s still more than enough here to grab you into the universe Hulu has provided to us.

Rating: 8/10

​Donald Strohman is a Pennsylvania State University film graduate currently residing in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. Before being a part of The Young Folks team, he contributed to GameDeck and the satire website The Black Sheep. He also writes for the game journalism site GameSkinny. When he's not trying to fulfill his life long dream of becoming the "Hash Slinging Slasher", Donald enjoys watching movies, playing video games, and writing; sometimes all at once.