Amazon Prime Video has released a full length trailer for the upcoming final season of their alternate history series The Man in the High Castle. It’s packed with action and intrigue, giving viewers a glimpse into multiple realities. The future of the the series’ prime reality is at stake, and the trailer reveals the main characters who will decide its fate.
All episodes of season 4, the series’ wrap up, will be released on November 15, 2019.
John Smith: “America is a rebel nation. Only an American can truly control it.”
Helen Smith: “The Reich murdered our son.”
Inspector Kido to John Smith: “These two empires that we fight for- they are little more than sand castles. Only the tides are forever.”
Helen Smith: “This thing we have been a part of- it has to stop.” John Smith: “I don’t know how.”
(Hawthorne Abendsen?): “Why did you come back?” Juliana: “To kill John Smith.”
Wyatt Price (Jason O’Mara), season 3’s big addition to the cast, is shown briefly in the trailer, but doesn’t get a line. He is among the 6 in the poster at the top of this page, so he’s still likely to play a prominent role in the season’s storyline.
We get a look at new characters Bell Mallory (Frances Turner) and Elijah (Clé Bennett). Bell is pictured in the lower left of the poster. In the trailer, Bell tells Elijah, “We fight back.” Deadline described Bell, Elijah and a third new character, Captain Iijima (Rich Ting), a Kempeitai officer:
“Bell has escaped from a Nazi concentration camp into the Japanese Pacific States, where she meets Elijah (Bennett), a militant Black nationalist. Together the couple become members of a cell in the BCR, an urban guerrilla movement dedicated to the liberation of African-Americans. Ting will play Captain Iijima, a driven, ambitious young detective in the Kempeitai and Kido’s close deputy.”
Kido is also given his moment in the trailer, with the surprising line, quoted above, that suggests he’s continuing his journey away from loyalty to duty, honor and the empire above all and toward individualism combined with more open minded thinking. If only he could have reached that point before he found Frank in season 3.
Tagomi doesn’t get a line in the trailer, and I didn’t spot him either, but it’s hard to believe he won’t play a prominent role in the endgame for the series. Robert Childan and Ed McCarthy are also missing, so their Resistance activities are a mystery.
The biggest cast question marks are Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank) and Frank Frink (Rupert Evans), since both characters no longer exist in the prime universe. Thomas Smith has been kept as a recurring character, despite his death, and is seen in the trailer. He exists as an iconic figure in the Reich and in his parents’ minds, particularly as John’s greatest regret and motivator.
Frank and Joe were both important to Juliana and others and have the same potential. As a Lebensborn, Joe’s murder by Juliana, an infamous Resistance member, could be used by the Reich. He was one of the surrogate sons John lost, along with Erich Raeder, in addition to Thomas, which magnifies all three of those losses in John’s mind.
Frank was Kido’s nemesis, along with Juliana. Kido killed both Juliana and Frank’s sisters in the very beginning of the series, then continued to torment them. Frank got his revenge when he bombed the Kempeitai building and killed Kido’s close friend and assistant, Yoshida. But Kido was incapable of letting things lie and insisted on hunting Frank down, despite the fact that he was by then a disabled burn victim who was living quietly in the Neutral Zone, far outside of Kido’s jurisdiction.
Kido got his revenge for Yoshida’s death, and Frank allowed the execution without a fight because of his own guilty conscience. The irony there is that Kido is responsible for so, so many more innocent deaths than Frank. By Kido’s own standards, he’s the one who deserved to die (much as I love Kido, he went one step too far, even for me). But Kido has the traditions of his military and his empire to back him up for his murders, so he feels no remorse for his actions.
So, long story short, Kido has potentially turned Frank into a martyr for the Resistance and himself into someone who is even more hated by them. Ed won’t go after him, but others who are moved by Frank’s work might.
Frank and Joe could both show up in the alternate worlds Juliana visits and of course they could be seen in dreams, flashbacks and the films. Joe especially travels with Juliana in the films, though Frank was also seen in films with them in season 1. Either could return with her to this reality, though throughout the seasons, the films have showed that Joe’s presence in her life always leads to death for one or both of them. If it’s possible for Juliana to get a happily ever after, it appears to be more likely with a version of Frank. Or maybe in an alternate world with Tagomi’s son (her husband in the alt world Tagomi visited in season 2), in this one with Liam/Wyatt, or, call me crazy, but I see some chemistry with Thomas Smith, too.
But is it possible for Juliana to save the worlds and go on with her life? The trailer’s momentous message is that Juliana and Helen are coming for John Smith. Juliana is determined to end his reign of terror by killing him, while Helen believes there’s still another side to him that she can reach. Or at least she believes she has to try. An epic three-way battle is looming.
I’ve been waiting for Helen to have this storyline since season 2, so I’m very excited. I find Juliana, John, Kido and Helen to be some of the most compelling characters in the series, so if the final season is focused mainly on them I’ll be happy.
The season 3 decision to trade Frank and Joe for Wyatt was an insanely stupid one, since Wyatt is the least interesting character this show has introduced, tied only with Ed’s boyfriend, Jack and NY propaganda artist Billy Turner. This show doesn’t need anymore bland, overconfident white men. Rufus Sewell/John Smith proves that you can make a Nazi fascinating and Stephen Root/Hawthorne Abendsen proves that confident white men can still be mysterious and sympathetic. There’s no need for more Wyatt’s and Billy’s, or to see much more of those two.
The prime universe’s Frank and Joe were doomed from the very beginning. If you go back and watch the early episodes of season 1, Frank tells Ed that his life is over after his sister Laura and her kids die and he takes on the blame, though it’s really all due to Kido. But Frank is living on borrowed time from then on. He goes peacefully to his death because he’s avenged his family, feels that he’s paid somewhat for other crimes, and done some good in the world with his paintings. He accepts that his death is a fair price to pay for the innocents who died in the bombing.
Joe is always hollow inside and searching for an identity. John Smith tells him in episode 2 or 3 that he should be ready to die for his mission. For a while, Joe wants to become someone who could be with Juliana, but those feelings aren’t any deeper than any others that he has about his father, Nicole, the Resistance or the Reich.
That’s why Himmler is able to brainwash him so thoroughly. Himmler senses that Joe is essentially an empty vessel who’s looking for something to fill him up and Himmler is the strongest presence to attempt to do so. Unfortunately, Himmler also sees people as disposable and doesn’t take women seriously, so he and Joe underestimate Juliana. In the end, Joe dies for his mission, just as John Smith ordered him to do.
But are there worlds where Juliana died (so she could travel there) and Joe and Frank are happy and reasonably well adjusted, living normal lives since the Allies won the war there? Juliana has traveled to a new world, possibly the one that season 3’s Alt Trudy came from. Who else might be alive in that world?
The song in the trailer is The End of the World by Skeeter Davis.
Press release from Amazon:
THE FOURTH AND FINAL SEASON OF EMMY AWARD-WINNING “THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE” TO PREMIERE THIS FALL EXCLUSIVELY ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – February 19, 2019 – Amazon Prime Video today announced that the fourth and final season of the Emmy Award-winning series The Man in the High Castle will premiere this fall. The final season is currently being filmed in Vancouver and will wrap next month.
“It has been a great privilege to work alongside our extraordinary High Castle team, in partnership with David Zucker and Scott Free, to bring my father’s classic novel to life, particularly during this tumultuous period in our real world. I believe fans will be thrilled and satisfied by the epic conclusion we have in store for them,” said Isa Dick Hackett, executive producer, The Man in the High Castle. “I am very grateful for the ongoing support from Amazon as we produce this final season, and look forward to building on this extremely successful partnership. Stay tuned; there’s more to come!”
“The undertaking of High Castle has been simply extraordinary from the start: the seven years it took to land an ideal home at Amazon – the behind-the-scenes artistry which has been as awe-inspiring to experience as hopefully the work on-screen so powerfully delivered – and an audience whose high standard to meet was our unyielding goal,” said executive producer David Zucker. “It’s all gratitude to the talent, who persevered and so masterfully excelled, to Amazon for their deep support, and to Isa and her team, for the trust and valued partnership in which we’ve thrived every step of the way.”
“We are incredibly proud of all of the hard work from the massively talented executive producers, cast, crew, and everyone who has worked on The Man in the High Castle over the years,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “With production ongoing on our fourth and final season, we can’t wait for fans to see how this final chapter in the story unfolds. The Man in the High Castle helped define Amazon Prime Video in the genre space, and we are grateful and excited that we’ll continue to be in business with Isa and Electric Shepherd Productions for future Philip K. Dick adaptations.”
Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning 1962 alternate history novel, The Man in the High Castle explores what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. The final season of The Man in the High Castle will be rocked by war and revolution. The Resistance becomes a full-blown rebellion, driven by Juliana Crain’s (Alexa Davalos) visions of a better world. A new Black insurgent movement emerges to fight the forces of Nazism and imperialism. As empires teeter, Chief Inspector Takeshi Kido (Joel De La Fuente) will find himself torn between his duty to his country and the bonds of family. Meanwhile, Reichsmarschall John Smith (Rufus Sewell) will be drawn towards the portal the Nazis have built to another universe, and the tantalizing possibility of stepping through a gateway to the path not taken.
The Man in the High Castle made history when it debuted on Prime Video in 2015 and became the most-viewed original series on the service. Since its debut, the series has received critical acclaim and has received and been nominated for numerous awards, winning two Emmy Awards and most recently being nominated for the ADG Awards, the ASC Awards, the CDG Awards, VES Awards and the MPSE Golden Reel Awards. Amazon Studios also recently announced its first look deal with The Man in the High Castle executive producer Isa Dick Hackett and Electric Shepherd Productions to continue to develop and produce new Prime Original series which will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
The Man in the High Castle stars Alexa Davalos (Mob City), Joel De La Fuente (Hemlock Grove), Brennan Brown (Focus), Chelah Horsdal (You Me Her) and Jason O’Mara (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with Rufus Sewell (Victoria). Recently announced cast members for season four include Frances Turner (The Gifted), Clé Bennett (Homeland), Rich Ting (NCIS: Los Angeles), David Sakurai (Iron Fist), Carter MacIntyre (Benched) and Bruce Locke (Hero). The series was developed by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), with Ridley Scott (The Martian), David W. Zucker (The Good Wife), Richard Heus (Ugly Betty), Isa Dick Hackett (Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams),Wesley Strick (The Loft), Daniel Percival (Banished) and David Scarpa (All the Money in the World) serving as executive producers for season four. Percival and Scarpa are co-showrunners for season four.