09 March 2015

+JMJ+

Early Edition: Presidential Assassination

What does yesteryear's news have to do with tomorrow's?

In this episode, the same magic that makes the cat a reliable delivery animal gives Gary Hobson another newspaper to study. And he's not sure what he's supposed to do about it. Changing tomorrow's news is one thing; changing 1964's news, when you're in 1997, is kind of a tall order.

It becomes even more daunting for him when he realises that his predecessor, Lucius Snow, would have had to read the same headline twice: first on the day when Snow did everything he could to change it, and again on the day when he woke up to his failure. But exactly what did Snow do wrong?

Doesn't this headline want to be read twice?

Like most stories dealing with the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, this one is thick with conspiracy. For it turns out that someone else knows about The Paper--someone whom Snow met when he was trying to save Kennedy and whom Gary hopes can help him figure out why the headlines referring to a new presidential visit are smudging badly. But that someone else may not want to be found . . . and may be willing to kill to stay hidden. 

*Cue paranoid music!*

I saw the twist coming pretty early on, but since I don't read a lot of Thrillers, it was still fun to watch the story unfold. On the other hand, I do watch a lot of Early Edition episodes--and this two-parter's sticking so closely to the conventions of another genre is what makes it such an interesting variation on the show's usual format. And the headline smudging isn't just window dressing, either: I love the moment when Gary finally figures out how he's supposed to read it!

Indeed, I almost included a screencap of that very moment . . . before realising that it would be too spoilery for those who haven't seen this yet.


Your Turn to Be the Hero: If you ever learned the truth behind the "official version" of a historical event in very recent memory, would you take the trouble to set the record straight?

4 comments:

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Well, I happen to take some trouble setting records straight at least when non-official but very pervasive versions make truth inaccessible to a great part of the public.

How much of what you actually think you know was actually even in th text book and how much was "left to your imagination" by an excited and exciting history professor who, just, happened to be wrong?

Middle Ages, for instance?

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

That's a little beyond the scope of my question (which you deliberately side stepped to begin with!), but you and I can still play. =) I did get pretty upset when The Duchess with Kiera Knightley came out, and made sure everyone on the literary forum I was a part of at the time knew why it was historically inaccurate, to the point of character assassination.

Brandon said...

I agree that this was a fun one. Part of it is that it made very good use of the cast of friends and allies. The conspiracy-theory structure fits this show quite well, since the story is itself already a strange sort of conspiracy -- just a conspiracy for good. When series try to pump up the drama with these big-event two-parters, they often fall flat -- but this one was gripping despite (as you say) the twist being fairly obvious. I think the good use of already established characters played a role in that -- even if we know what's coming, what we really want to see is how they find out.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Detective Crumb does make a great ally! I wish he had been the detective in the Pilot, but he seems to have been more of an afterthought that took on a life of his own. And I'll miss Hawkes. =(