The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 6: Three Monkeys Recap

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Buckle up, Buttercups, it’s VA Day in the Reich and things are about to get crazy. Obergruppenführer John Smith has not just one, but two potential traitors over for dinner with the family, Joe Blake and Rudolph Wegener. He has ulterior motives with both, because when does he not? Juliana begins her job at the Nippon building and learns she’s working in the office of Trade Minister Tagomi.

Recap

It’s VA Day and every house in the neighborhood is proudly flying the swastika and stripes. Joe arrives at the Smith house with a bouquet of flowers for Helen and is introduced to the whole family, including the dog, Max. He mentions that he saw John in the parade earlier in the day. Thomas offers to show Joe around. It’s obvious that life couldn’t be better in the American Reich.

Over in the JPS, Juliana finishes dressing for her new job, just as Frank wakes up. She asks how the memorial service was and he says it was fake. She thinks they need to spend some time together, but he doesn’t want to make her late for the dojo, so she suggests they plan on dinner. Frank asks if he heard her on the phone earlier. As she’s walking out the door, Juliana says it was a wrong number.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 5: The New Normal Recap

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In episode 5, The New Normal, Juliana and Joe return to their home cities after their missions in the Neutral Zone. Each undergoes a debriefing and must try to navigate the tense atmosphere of their respective empires. Frank tries to put the pieces of his life back together after the deaths in his family and his aborted assassination attempt. Tagomi and Wegener try to complete their mission before getting Wegener out of San Francisco. Kido begins his investigation into the shooting of the crown prince, with the knowledge that, according to Japanese custom,  his life depends on bringing the shooter to justice.

Recap

The episode picks up with the ending of the previous episode, as shots ring out and the crown prince falls, desperately wounded. Tagomi and the princess rush to his side. Kido springs into action, shouting out orders to stop anyone from leaving, find the shooter and confiscate all cameras so that no one sees their beloved leader in his weakened state. Wegener is on the podium, watching the drama play out.

Frank has the gun in his hand, but hasn’t fired. The little Japanese boy standing next to him and the boy’s father both see the gun in Frank’s hand as all three scatter. Frank puts the gun in his coat pocket and at the same time the necklace he made for Juliana slips out of the pocket, onto the ground.

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Charmed Season 2 Episode 2: Things to Do in Seattle When You’re Dead Recap

In Things to Do in Seattle When You’re Dead, the Vera-Vaughn witches and Harry continue to cope with the loss of their powers and the demons’ war on witches. This week, a dream about the demon with Harry’s face leaves Macy troubled, Maggie discovers that everyone in Hilltowne thinks the sisters died in a house fire, and Mel struggles to bring a sense of order back to her life. They all deal with trust issues.

Macy and Harry go on a mission to rescue a witch from the demons. Maggie decides she needs to work on growing up more by taking on more responsibility and facing hard truths. Mel tries to reconstruct spells from the Book of Shadows to start bringing their magic back. They all find some success and a bit of their individual powers shine through in the process.

Recap

It’s night and Macy is wearing a silky, low cut nightgown and robe as she walks toward her bedroom mirror. Harry appears behind her, also wearing a robe. He says her name. She startles and turns, telling him he scared her. He asks if she’s happy to see him.

Macy closes her robe tightly around herself and asks what Harry wants. Sexy as this all is, even in a dream, she’s subconsciously figured out that it’s not the real Harry.

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Charmed Season 2 Episode 1: Safe Space Recap

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The CW’s reboot of Charmed reinvents itself again for season 2, thanks to new showrunners Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro. The Charmed Ones, Macy, Mel and Maggie, along with their Whitelighter, Harry, and their magical house, are whisked off to Seattle to be placed in the witch-ness protection program for their own protection from the latest round of evil that’s declared war on them.

This reinvention takes the show fully into the Buffy the Vampire Slayer realm of supernatural fantasy fighters. The witches may have a secret lair in one corner of the coworkspace basement, but you just know there’s a hellmouth in another corner and most of the other tenants of the building are also supernaturals on the run. The everyday, normal aspects of the characters’ lives are relegated to the edges of the show, while their roles as supernatural superheroes who are saving the world from evils large and small become the center of their lives.

With the Elders gone and evil running rampant, it makes sense for the Charmed Ones to put their magical duties first, but I hope they’re able to go back to their schooling and chosen careers eventually. And that they develop personal lives, though I doubt that will take long on a CW show.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 4: Revelations Recap

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Things take a major turn in episode 4 of The Man on the High Castle, as Frank seeks out illegal bullets for his gun and Ed desperately tries to stop Frank from following the suicidal path he’s on. Juliana and Joe continue to battle the Marshal and also confront Lem. Tagomi and Wegener attempt to complete their plan during the crown prince’s speech. Obergruppenführer Smith and Captain Connolly continue their search for the traitor who leaked Smith’s location, but lose their best potential source of information.

Recap

The episode opens moments after the end of episode 3, with The Marshal following Juliana into her hiding place. They play hide and seek until Joe catches up with the Marshal and knocks him out using a blunt object. With the Marshal unconscious on the floor, Joe and Juliana run back outside.

Joe’s truck is gone, so they find another storefront to hide in. The Marshal follows them outside within another minute. The guy who helped him earlier tells him they drove out of town in Joe’s truck. After the Marshal leaves town to follow them, the guy tells Joe and Juliana where he moved Joe’s truck and where they can find Lem.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 3: The Illustrated Woman Recap

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In episode 3, The Illustrated Woman, the characters react to the deaths and near deaths of the last two episodes with desperates attempts to protect themselves and to get revenge. The infamous bounty hunter, The Marshal, comes to Canon City, looking for his friend the SD agent. He proves to be even worse than the stories that were told about him. The Japanese crown prince and princess arrive in San Francisco and show themselves to be very aware of the local and international political situations. Tagomi and Wegener continue their scheming in relation to the royals. John Smith searches for the traitor in his midst who leaked his driving route to the resistance, but faces unexpected setbacks.

Recap

Joe brings Juliana back to his hotel room to help her recover from the shock of the SD agent’s attack. He wraps her in a blanket and gives her a shot of liquor. Then he confesses that he murdered someone once. He describes killing someone who tried to hijack the truck. It’s a modified version of the man he shot while escaping from the Nazis in New York, which wasn’t an escape at all.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 2: Sunrise Recap

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In episode 2 of The Man in the High Castle the relationships and events which will drive the rest of the series become much more clear. John Smith’s family is introduced and his son Thomas is held up as a shining example of Nazi youth. Smith and one of his surrogate sons, Erich Raeder, are attacked, showing that the apparent stability of the Reich is maintained through the frequent use of violent force.

In the Neutral Zone, Juliana and Joe get to know each other better as they await communication from their contacts. Juliana also gets to know a custumer at the diner. In San Francisco, tensions between the Germans and the Japanese continue to escalate. Kido, under pressure to find Juliana and the film, takes drastic steps to get Frank to talk. Frank must decide between protecting his family and fighting for the freedom he longs for.

Many of the series’ central themes are introduced in these first 2 episodes: The near impossibility of making rational choices about big issues when people one loves are in immediate danger and how that is exploited by torturers and oppressors; The choice between fighting and suffering for justice, possibly even dying for the cause, or surviving through moral compromise in the form of expedience, opportunism and collaboration; The incompetence, near apathy and disorganization of the North American resistance movement; The overall role of apathy and amorality on all sides in allowing oppression to continue; And the power of art, literature and music to influence hearts and minds, whether it’s the Christian Bible, Mark Twain’s Huck Finn, a catchy pop tune or an effective visual advertisement.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 1: The New World Recap

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Heil Hitler! We’ve got about 2 months before the November 15 release of the final season of Amazon’s chilling alternate history series The Man in the High Castle. Since I haven’t recapped season 1 yet, I’m going to spend some of that time catching up. Recaps of seasons 2-4 are here, at the show’s tag. Season 2 was one of the first seasons I recapped on the blog and I was still figuring out my style, so if I get time someday I may revisit it more thoroughly.

For now, let’s journey back to both the Amazon Prime Video of 2015 and an alternate version of 1962, where the Nazis and the Japanese won World War 2. The Germans developed the atomic bomb first and dropped one on Washington DC, leading the US to surrender. 17 years later, Hitler continues to lead the German empire, while the Japanese continue to be led by Emperor Hirohito.

The two empires have divided the world between them, leaving various swaths open as lawless neutral zones. The eastern and midwestern portions of the former United States are now part of the Greater Third Reich. The West Coast states are now the Japanese Pacific States.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 9: Baku Recap

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As the penultimate episode of season 3, Baku marks the end of this season for several characters, while it serves as the set up to the finale for the rest. We say goodbye to Frank, Mark and Tagomi in this episode. We’ve already seen the last of Sabra and Lila for this season.

The focus of these last two episodes shifts away from the details of the characters’ personal lives, and toward the implications their lives have for the larger universe. This emphasis shows how much the characters have grown, as tensions rise within each political state and the characters are called to respond to it. Most rise to the occasion. But not all. Not surprisingly, the Nazis typically fail the test, except for Helen.

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The episode title, Baku, refers to the alias Kido uses in the Neutral Zone. Baku is a mythical Japanese creature who eats nightmares when called. If called too often, it will also devour the sleeper’s hopes and dreams, leaving their lives empty. The Baku’s body is made up of spare parts that were leftover when all of the other animals had been made, leaving the Baku looking strange but fierce.

Kido’s choice of this name suggests that he sees himself as a protector, but has realized that he can go too far. It also suggests that he is reevaluating who he is. He’s been in America a long time, and is now made up of spare parts taken from experiences gained during the War, pre and post War on two continents. He is no longer simply a Japanese soldier. Does he see himself as living an empty life, having chased so many nightmares away that he lost track and chased away the hopes and dreams of his own life as well?

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The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 8: Kasumi (Through the Mists) Recap

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As the Reich draws closer to the full implementation of Jahr Null, episode 8 explores reinventing oneself and changing directions. Some, like Himmler, stay on the course we’ve seen them follow all season. Others, like Ed, Frank, Nicole and Helen, attempt to explore new paths.

After they’ve seen Juliana’s film, the Jewish characters of Sabra refuse to see that there could be another way, and stick to their traditional fight. Ed and Frank are inspired to use art to inspire others. Juliana has the science behind the knowledge in her acquired memories confirmed, and moves forward with her fight.

In the American Reich, Helen experiments with a little independent thinking about Reich orthodoxy, which causes Dr Ryan to call John again. John puts an end to Helen’s analysis and tries to end her independent thinking, but I suspect that’s impossible.

John tries to make Himmler see reason when Himmler courts another war with Japan, this time on American soil. But Himmler sees the Western Hemisphere as his plaything, to be toyed with or broken as he sees fit. He has no sympathy for the people who’d be affected by an American war.

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