Welcome back to the Japanese Pacific States, the American Reich and the Neutral Zone. In its final season, The Man in the High Castle focuses mainly on the Smith family, Chief Inspector Kido and a new West Coast resistance group, the Black Communist Rebellion. Juliana Crain, Wyatt Price, Robert Childan and Hawthorne Abendsen also have storylines that the show checks in on periodically. It’s still the same show, with a sweeping story that spans continents, worlds and the astral plane. Events shift between the existential difficulties of everyday people and the rivalries shared by world political powers, in an exploration of what makes us who we are and the war of good vs evil.
While there’s a lot to like about season 4, and some storylines and characters have satisfying conclusions, others are dropped with little or no explanation. Both the TV division of Amazon Prime and this show have had a major amount of staff turn over behind the scenes since the series began, and that shows in the final season, as it has since mid-season 2.
It’s still one of my favorite shows of all time. I’d give both season 4 and the complete series somewhere in the B+ to A- range if I had to give them grades. But it has to to go in the brilliant but flawed category, with so many other shows of the recent era. I can’t help but imagine what it could have been with a single showrunning team in charge for its entire run, instead of the fractured visions we have now.
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