The Man in the High Castle Season 4 Episode 1: Hexagram 64 Recap

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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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The Man in the High Castle: Season 4 Releases Soon- We Have Season 3 Recaps & Analysis

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There’s only one day left until The Man in the High Castle Season 4 is released on Amazon Prime Video on November 15th. That means it’s time to catch up on previous seasons of the streamer’s alternate history series in which the Nazis and the Japanese Empire won World War 2. We’ve got everything you need right here.

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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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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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Black Spot (Zone Blanche) Season 1 Episode 1: Stranger Comes to Town Recap

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Zone Blanche/Black Spot is a French/Belgian 2 season series, with 8 episodes per season, that’s available on Netflix. The show takes place in the mysterious, isolated village of Villefranche, which is set so deep in the primeval forest that the entire village and its surroundings have no cell phone reception- the black spot, or zone blanche, of the title. People tend to die in the forest, giving Villefranche a high murder rate, but the forest is a living presence which occasionally gives someone back. The villagers are closely connected to each other and to the forest.

Main character Major Laurène Weiss, the chief of police for the village, is one of the survivors who came back from the forest as a young woman. Many years later, she remains haunted by the experience. In present day Villefranche, another young woman, Marion Steiner, the daughter of mayor and business owner Bertrand Steiner, has been missing for months. Laurène spends her spare time in the forest searching for Marion, who was close friends with her own teenage daughter, Cora. Laurène bristles when an outsider, prosecutor Franck Siriani, is sent to investigate the high crime rate in the small village.

Recap

We are introduced to Villefranche using the the 1964 song Mr Lonely by Bobby Vinton. Visuals include the mountainous forest, ravens, fog, and an emergency phone at the village boundary line.

You’ve been warned, Mr Siriani. Enter at your own risk.

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Emergence Season 1 Episode 3: 2 MG CU BID Recap

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In episode 3 of Emergence, Piper develops a mysterious illness which forces Jo to deepen her investigation into the mystery surrounding her foster daughter. She’s led to a tech corporation, Auger Industries, and its head, Richard Kindred, played by Lost’s Terry O’Quinn. Ed also has a follow up appointment with the oncologist, while Alex tries to sort out the airband radio frequency.

Recap

The episode begins in the early morning, with Jo listening to clicks and beeps on her computer that she tells Alex are sounds she recorded from the pirate airband radio frequency. He offers to use some pattern recognition software to help her figure out what the sounds mean.

They move on to discussing how long he’s going to stay at the house. He’s still worried that the family is in danger, but Jo is worried that Mia will get confused and start to think her parents are getting back together. When Mia comes downstairs and remarks on how nice it is that they’re all together, Alex sees Jo’s point and says he’ll leave today.

Jo goes upstairs to wake up Piper, who’s supposed to go to work with her, since Ed has an oncologist appointment. Just before she wakes up, Piper has a nightmare that the bedroom door knob disintegrates and she’s trapped in the room. Jo discovers that Piper has a fever and leaves to get the thermometer.

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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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Undone Season 1 Episode 3: Handheld Blackjack Recap

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In episode 3 of Undone, Alma tries to resume her normal life, Jacob begins to tell his story, and we begin to wonder just how bad an influence he would have been if he’d been alive through the girls’ teenage years. Alma, along with everyone but Jacob, questions her sanity, but she also finds a couple of new hobbies. Sam takes up a new hobby, too, gaslighting his girlfriend when she’s already in a delicate mental state.

And y’all wonder why I’m always so suspicious of men- even the nice guys.

Recap

Alma pops out onto the street at dawn in her pajamas with no idea how she got there. Well, some idea. She’s either sleepwalking or sleep time traveling. A neighbor yells at her to go back inside and put some clothes on. At least that’s what I think she said. It’s hard to be sure, since Alma doesn’t have her hearing device on.

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