The Man in the High Castle Season 2 Episodes 3, 4 & 5 Recap: Nebulous Loyalties in a Tense Game of Chess

Travelers, Escalation, & Duck and Cover


As we move toward the midpoint of the season, it feels like almost everyone is a pawn being moved around the game board by someone. Some players are even being fought over by two or more sides. Frank and Ed (especially Ed) are being watched by the Japanese and the Western Resistance. Juliana is being torn in pieces by the Reich and the Eastern Resistance, by the Smith family, and by George Dixon. Joe’s loyalties are divided by his father and Smith, and a bit by Rita, who may or may not have connections to the resistance. Smith is caught between his loyalty to his family and the Reich. He may also now have a deal with Kido. Tagomi is caught between his desire to save his own reality and the pull to stay with his lost family in the alternate reality. Both Smith and Tagomi are being pressured by Inpector Kido and, ultimately, the General. The General’s motives seem clear, but Kido is too complex to put down to simple motives. His loyalty is to the law, the Empire, and his family, but we’ve seen him exercise his own judgement about what’s best for the Japanese people in the long run before. He appears to be operating on his own again, doing whatever he feels is necessary to accomplish his goal.

The Western Resistance still seems far from benign to me. They manipulated Frank into joining them. Connell withheld Juliana’s letter and made Frank believe she’d betrayed him instead. Lem and Sarah both know Frank’s being lied to, yet they’re going along with it. Sarah’s even sleeping with Frank. Was the seduction part of the plan? Connell is a sociopath who is willing to achieve his goals through any means necessary. A romance with Sarah would further cement Frank’s commitment to them. I hope that’s it’s not true, but Sarah seems to have lost everything and to be just as ruthless as Connell.

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