The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 10: Jahr Null Recap

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The Man in the High Castle has saved its big event, the Jahr Null kick off celebration with an ostentatious toppling of Lady Liberty, for the final episode of the season. As befits such a grand attention-getter, this episode is full of other surprises as well. It’s one of the most exciting episodes in the series’ history, with exits and rearrangements of characters worthy of Shakespeare. All that’s missing is a bear.

Liam’s friend Richie, a raunchy filmmaker who appears from nowhere mid episode in order to help change the course of history, will have to substitute for the bear. Deus Ex Richie and Jeremy is still a pretty satisfying plot device.

Jahr Null begins with Hawthorne returning to the ranch, where Caroline is waiting on the porch. It’s a trap, of course. As soon as he’s out of the car, a swarm of Nazis appear from the bushes and buildings. Hawthorne pulls out his gun and threatens to shoot himself in the head unless they let Caroline go.

John Smith steps forward. “Your brain, Mr Abendsen, is of great value to us. Your wife is not. Put the gun down. I’ll see to it she gets the medical attention she very badly needs. You shoot yourself, you’re gonna force my hand.”

Caroline signals for Hawthorne not to surrender, but he won’t risk her life. He throws the gun to the ground. Hawthorne says, “Oh John, I always wondered if I’d see you again.” The SD agents cuff him and Caroline.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 7: Excess Animus Recap

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In episode 7, Excess Animus, characters’ arcs continue to come full circle, just as Juliana and Joe’s did in episode 5. Kido delivers his brand of justice to the traitor Nakamura with extra zealousness, since he’d given the “hapa dog” a chance, despite his better judgement. But Kido also discovers that Tagomi hasn’t found him worthy of sharing important secrets, because of his ruthlessness and inability to see nuance.

Sabra faces more challenges to its seclusion, from bounty hunters looking for their friend who Layla killed and from Juliana, who hopes to recruit a few members to join her cause. Mark goes to Denver to take care of the bounty hunters, since he feels responsible for bringing that trouble to Sabra’s door.

Juliana has an unexpected reunion with her two oldest and dearest friends, Frank and Ed. It feels like they’ve each had a lifetime’s worth of experiences since the last time they saw each other. But everything has brought them back around to being on the same page again when they meet at Sabra, which is as tragic as it is wonderful. This reunion can’t last, and Juliana and Frank are both wanted fugitives. The odds of the three of them surviving until the end of whatever rebellion is coming are small.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 4: Sabra Recap

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Episode 4, Sabra, focuses on the strained partnerships and heightening tensions of the alternate reality of The Man in the High Castle. Ed and Robert begin their journey back to the west coast, complaining at each other the whole time. John and Helen continue to struggle with their grief over Thomas’ death and the increasing scrutiny and pressure on them because of John’s promotion. Joe and Juliana grow physically closer, but choose every word they say carefully.

Meanwhile, the JPS begins experiencing protests over the fuel shortage because of its effect on everyday life. Wyatt shows up at Juliana’s door, wanting to get to know her better. Thelma and Nicole also get to know each other better, in an illegal way that could get them both reeducated at best and executed at worst. Tagomi and his painter get to know each other better over dinner, but Joe has plans for dessert.

The title, Sabra, refers to the Catholic community outside of Denver that secretly shelters a community of Jews, called Sabra. The term sabra means a native-born Israeli Jew. It’s taken from the name of a cactus fruit that’s tough on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside.

The Neutral Zone and the Japanese Pacific States turn people into this version of themselves, people who are tough and wary but can still have normal relationships with those they trust. In the Reich, trust is virtually impossible, as even one’s closest friends and loved ones might be convinced to turn one in for the good of the state. Joe was once a  young cactus fruit, but now he’s been squeezed dry, and the shell that’s left works for Himmler.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 2: Imagine Manchuria Recap

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The title of episode 2 of The Man in the High Castle season 3, Imagine Manchuria, refers to a line Kido says to his would-be new assistant. If Nakamura thinks San Francisco weather is unpleasant in the winter (it tends toward cool and frequently rainy), imagine what it will be like when Kido turns on him and has him sent to Manchuria, which can be as cold as the Arctic in winter. In other words, things can always get worse.

This is the theme of the episode, as the solution to one problem inevitably causes a bigger problem down the line. If we don’t see the bigger problem in this episode, we’re likely seeing the set up for it. Helen solves the Smiths’ gossip problem one way, but now has a crime scene to deal with. John solves it another way, but now has an ongoing blackmail scheme to finesse at a time when he’s being watched very closely. Kido arrests Juliana, but also catches Trudy, who he executed in the opening scenes of season 1. The triumph of catching a Resistance operative is overshadowed by the mental discord of seeing a woman he knows to be dead, now inexplicably returned to life. And of being put in conflict with Tagomi once again.

Schemes within schemes are revealed within the Reich, until anyone who has any power there might wish they’d been sent to Manchuria. In addition to his other supersecret American operations, Himmler is playing Hoover and Rockwell against Smith, and it’s anyone’s guess which side he’ll favor in the end. Joe is a Lebensborn special operative who works directly for Himmler, apparently as an assassin, but his true purpose is unknown to almost everyone. Even Smith and the head of the Reich Embassy in San Francisco, who is ostensibly his boss, don’t know. And Himmler is a demanding, impatient taskmaster who accepts no excuses.

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Amazon Renews The Man in the High Castle for Season 3 (VIDEO)

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Amazon announced this week that it has renewed The Man in the High Castle for a third season and hired a new showrunner as well.  Eric Overmyer will take over for season 3, after the show spent the second half of season 2 without a showrunner, instead “operating like a republic,” according to executive producer David Zucker.

“As timely as ever, the exploration of characters at a dark point for humanity has provided incredible stories for two seasons,” said Joe Lewis, Head of Comedy and Drama, Amazon Studios. “Eric and his team are doing an incredible job crafting stories about the inner lives of those who struggle to do good in a world that is not.”

Below the cut, watch the season 3 announcement video.

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The Man in the High Castle: Speculation for Season 3 (That Will Obviously Turn Out to Be Wrong)

Here are our predictions for season 3 and beyond of The Man in the High Castle. (Or, probably more accurately, our hopes and dreams.) This is what we would do if we were writing the show:

Childan and Ed will be running their antiques business in the Neutral Zone, which will obviously also be a front for some less legitimate side business, and for the new and improved Resistance as well, once Juliana finds them.

Childan and Ed will be having an affair, both finally having admitted they’re either bi or gay. It’s clear Ed’s been in love with Frank since childhood, but he thinks Frank’s dead, so it’s time to move on. They may have him try to act on his crush on Juliana, but I think he knows she’s out of his league, and she’s emotionally unavailable anyway. Statistically, this show needs some queer characters. I’m going with the idea that same sex relations are forbidden in the Empire and the Reich, so no one is out, but things are looser in the Neutral Zone.

Abendsen will help Juliana and Trudy find Ed and Childan. Juliana will be in mourning for everything she’s lost. Tagomi may make his way to her at some point in this reality to make sure she is okay. She and Trudy might set off to find their parents and get them to the Neutral Zone. Eventually Trudy, Sarah, and Arnold will run the Western Resistance.

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The Man in the High Castle Episodes 9 & 10 Recap: Detonation and Fallout

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We start episode 10, Fallout, with the only cold open of the season, maybe of the entire series so far. It’s December 11th, 1945. Smith and Helen arrive at a small cottage outside of Washington, DC. Helen is very pregnant with Thomas, who she says is kicking up a storm. As they’re settling in, an atomic bomb goes off in the distance, seen behind them through the cottage’s picture window. They realize the Nazis have bombed Washington. As we know from watching the series so far, this is the event that caused the Americans to surrender to the Nazis.

This little scene is one of my favorite things they’ve done so far. It’s so brief, but it tells us so much, and reminds us of so much. And it’s shot gorgeously. We start out watching the couple from inside the cottage with the camera at a slight distance, framing the room as if it were a family portrait or a painting. There’s even a Christmas song playing in the background. Everything is perfect for them, despite the war. The room is dark, and the sky is graying outside the window as the sun sets. They are in the dark about what is about to happen. Change is coming. John turns on the lights, and they discuss his work at the Pentagon and the baby, with Helen telling Smith that she thinks it’s a boy. They are working to keep their situation happy and normal, despite the war. As they’re talking, a loud rumbling starts, along with a flash of light. For a split second, you think it could be thunder and lightning, but the flashes and crashes continue. Helen and Smith turn toward the window, holding hands. They, and we, realize something is very wrong, but they are in this together. The camera pulls closer and closer to them, then finally between them, up to the window, where we finally see the red sky and mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb in the distance. This is the event that will eventually come between them. This is the episode where that comes to fruition. They walk toward the window, and the camera pulls around in front of them. Now the camera is outside the window, looking in. We’re in the Looking Glass world now, no longer the world that made sense just 5 minutes ago. We see the mushroom cloud reflected in the window while we see Smith and Helen at an angle and shadowed, through the window. Everything in their world and their futures is now off balance, askew, dark.

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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

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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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