The Man in the High Castle Episode 8 Loose Lips: Recap

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There were indeed a lot of loose lips this episode, affecting every plot line the show has going. Most importantly, Joe’s father’s agenda was finally revealed, Hitler died, and the Reichsminister was named Acting Chancellor. I knew Sebastian Roché hadn’t given up his evil ways just because he was being nice to Joe.

Joe has finally decided to stay in Germany and work with his father. The Reichsminister was picked by Hitler to be Acting Fürher if Hitler became incapacitated, even though he is “just an engineer” (ha!), and, in a classic play, he now wants Joe to leave for his own safety. This, of course, makes Joe want to stay even more. He’ll be in place as our point of view character to see what happens in the government’s inner circles now that Hitler is dead, and to lead the fight against his father once he realizes how evil his father is.

Juliana continues to grow closer to Helen and Lucy. From them she learns that Dr Adler was cremated against his wife’s wishes (3 guesses which high-ranking Nazi probably made that secret call). Lucy tells her that Hitler is in serious condition, but Helen stops the gossiping immediately. Helen runs a tight ship. Thomas is packed and ready to go on his trip when Juliana arrives at the house, but Helen quickly shoos him upstairs. She doesn’t want Juliana having enough contact with Thomas for her to figure anything out. Later, Smith tells Helen that events are moving too quickly and the trip is in jeopardy.

Smith visits Juliana to confront her about her visit with the Man in the High Castle. The power goes off just before he arrives, and comes back on just after he leaves, taking the camera and bugs with it. Juliana is afraid he’s there to arrest or kill her, but it’s more of a conversation, with both of them piecing together information they’d been missing. I’m glad we got to see these two being honest with each other. We still don’t know what Kido and Smith agreed to, but it was satisfying to see Juliana and Smith working together, trying to put the puzzle pieces together.

Juliana proved her intelligence and worth by having the loosest lips of all, but using them to warn everyone she possibly could that the end was nigh, both for San Francisco and Hitler. She and George managed to convince Arnold that the threat against San Francisco was very real, so he packed a bag and was ready to get out of town with Juliana’s mother. But first, he went to warn Frank, as Juliana asked. Now Frank knows that he’s been manipulated by the Resistance all along, that Juliana has been working with the Resistance all along, despite what things looked like, and that she never betrayed him. Much of his anger dissipates, but he’s left not quite knowing what his next move should be. Ed wants to go to Juliana, but Frank rightly points out that they’d both be killed in the Reich, which is such a chilling thought.

I like that this show is putting so much emphasis on the people the Nazis killed in addition to the Jews. Those people are often forgotten when the Holocaust is discussed. The disabled and people with other differences, like sexual orientation, are still at constant risk of losing rights and services, even in our own culture. For some of the chronically ill, losing access to health care is as good as a death sentence, and many are being threatened with that by the president-elect.

Juliana was the only person who could take on this mission, and she had to do it alone. Everyone else in the Resistance is too blinded by hate to be subtle, and her own allies would be in too much danger. I’m not sure how the Resistance lasted this long when they are so intent on the annihilation of everyone, including themselves. The people wouldn’t support their movement, and it would make it hard to recruit new members. They are so disdainful of everyone, even other members of the Resistance, no matter how skilled or intelligent someone is, how much someone’s done for them, or how good their idea is. It’s to the point that it doesn’t make sense for the story, it’s obviously just a plot device. A real Resistance functions based on cooperation and word of mouth. At the very least, some amount of gratitude to the living would be important, and listening to information brought by people close to power, whether they personally like those people or not. Spies are rarely likeable, and a Resistance movement is built on spying. Wars are not about personal feelings. It makes the whole Resistance plotline difficult to take seriously at this point.

Back to the story… Childan and Ed are becoming the best of friends while Frank’s busy skulking around. Childan suggests a business partnership, which delights Ed, since he and Frank are still technically unemployed. The conversation is interrupted by Arnold’s arrival to warn them to get out of town, so it’s tabled for the rest of the episode. More importantly, wasn’t Childan in the next room when they were arguing about Juliana and the Resistance? Does he know the truth about them now? He’s got a pair of loose lips himself, and isn’t above selling people out for security and profit.

Frank confronts Connell and Sarah, who show no remorse for lying to him. He gets over it, because there are bigger things at stake right now. They begin planning their “plague.” I’ve still got a bad feeling about this.

Tagomi continues to stay in the alternate reality. He fixes his grandson’s broken baby cup to show that he’s changed, and is forgiven. Juliana tells him she thought he’d jumped off a bridge after their last family argument, and was gone forever. (We learn in Inside the Episode that the alternate Tagomi is indeed dead, and that Tagomi can only travel to realities where his alternate doesn’t exist. It’s nice to have that confirmation, but we should be getting it through the story. The producers shouldn’t need to make sure we understand their intent by adding these little segments to the end. There’s been several times this season when no one I was watching with understood what was going on until we watched Inside the Episode. I love this show in many ways, but they are keeping some mysteries too mysterious, and some characters’ speech is too soft and muffled to understand.)

A high-ranking Nazi stationed at the embassy in San Francisco defects to Japan, and Smith realizes this is a warning sign. News of Hitler’s condition is spreading, and the conspirators are making moves. Smith offers aid to Kido, but Kido refuses to let Smith help him personally. He says that if he is found to be a traitor, he will accept his fate.

Smith goes to Heydrich, who he’s been keeping in a dungeon since the end of last season, and convinces him that Hitler’s dead and Heydrich’s people have taken over. Heydrich gives Smith the name of the conspirator’s man in line to take over as Führer: Joe’s father, Martin Heusmann. Smith realizes he is too late to stop the enemy faction from taking over the government. He is devastated. It’s a profound moment for Smith, and Rufus Sewell, as always, plays it beautifully. Heydrich is also terrifying. His face and head look like a bleeding skull, and he sounds like a prophet of doom. It’s easy to believe in this scene that this overzealous Nazi faction could bring about the end of the world.

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