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11.22.63

112263 Title Card

Year - 2016
Studio - Bad Robot, Warner Bros. Television
Stars - James Franco, Sarah Gadon, George MacKay, Chris Cooper, Cherry Jones, Daniel Webber, Lucy Fry, Constance Towers
Director - James Strong, Frederick E.O. Toye, John David Coles, James Franco, James Kent, Kevin McDonald
Writing Credits - Stephen King, Bridget Carpenter, Quinten Peeples, Brigette Hales, Joe Henderson, Brian Nelson
Music - Alex Heffes

Synopsis

Jake Epping (James Franco) is a high school English teacher in a small Maine town. As he lunches at a local diner, his friend, the proprietor Al Templeton (Chris Cooper) leaves the dining area for a few minutes. When he returns he is very ill. Jake is baffled by the sudden change, and Al asks him to go into a back storage room. Jake enters the darkened room and walks deep into it when, all of a sudden, he finds himself out on the street. The surroundings have changed entirely; everything appears as several decades earlier. Astounded, he retraces his steps and is swept back into the diner. Al explains that it is a portal to October 21, 1960, what he calls a “rabbit hole.”

Al further explains that he hasn’t revealed the discovery to anyone else, and that his plan had been to go back to 1960 and prepare to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, but that he developed cancer in his attempt. He says that he was actually away for several years, but that was only a matter of minutes in the present time. He implores Jake to take up where he had failed. But he warned that the past doesn’t “like” change, and will attempt to work against Jake’s efforts.

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Jake ultimately agrees to repeat Al’s mission, and travels back to 1960. He takes information on historical boxing match results, so that he can place bets to fund his adventure. He buys an old car and travels to Texas to begin preparing for November, 1963, securing employment as a high school English teacher in Jody, Texas. One of his fellow teachers is Sadie Dunhill, and the pair are soon romantically involved.

Circumstances force Jake to take a young man, Bill Turcotte (George MacKay) into his confidence. They rent an apartment next to that of Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber) and his wife Marina (Lucy Fry) so that they can learn more about his motivation and plans.

Sadie’s estranged husband, Johnny (T.R. Knight) is angered at her for her relationship with Jake, and for revealing to him facts about his deviant sexual practices. He carves a deep scar in Sadie's face and attempts to kill Jake, but Sadie shoots and kills him.

On November 22, 1963, Jake and Sadie drive into Dallas and go to the Texas Book Depository building where Oswald is waiting for the presidential motorcade. They manage to divert his attention, causing his shot to miss President Kennedy, but he fires at the couple, killing Sadie.

Jake returns to Maine and enters the portal back to the present. To his shock, the town is an apocalyptic nightmare, with destroyed buildings and roaming gangs of predators. He learns that John F. Kennedy had served two terms in office, and that George Wallace was elected to succeed him. Then the country was ravaged by nuclear war.

He again goes through the time portal, this time to “re-set” everything, and is careful not to become involved with Sadie. When he returns to the present, all is back to normal as he knew it. He does some Internet searching for Sadie Dunhill, and discovers that she is being honored as the “Texas Woman of the Year”. He travels to Dallas to attend the banquet in her honor. After Sadie (now played by Constance Towers) speaks to the crowd, Jake dances with her, and asks her if she'd had a happy life She responds that she indeed has, but admits that she has a vague sense that she and Jake have met before.

Show Spoilers

This is a very abbreviated synopsis of the eight episode mini-series, adapted from Stephen King's novel, produced by J. J. Abrams.