The Man in the High Castle Season 4: Official Trailer and Sneak Peek

mv5bzje4mmuzzdqtmdy4os00ndm4lwe3yzctnjq4ndnkmtiyzdrhxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymzy0mte3nzu40._v1_sy1000_sx1000_al_

Amazon Prime Video has released a full length trailer for the upcoming final season of their alternate history series The Man in the High Castle. It’s packed with action and intrigue, giving viewers a glimpse into multiple realities. The future of the the series’ prime reality is at stake, and the trailer reveals the main characters who will decide its fate.

All episodes of season 4, the series’ wrap up, will be released on November 15, 2019.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 4: Official Trailer and Sneak Peek”

Advertisements

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

mv5bmtuyntaxmdexmf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmzm4mtmxnze40._v1_sy1000_cr0014441000_al_

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.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 3: The Illustrated Woman Recap”

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

mv5bmtuwodi1njexm15bml5banbnxkftztgwodi4mtmxnze40._v1_sy1000_cr0014441000_al_

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.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 2: Sunrise Recap”

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

mv5bmtuxoduxoty5nv5bml5banbnxkftztgwmziymjk5mze40._v1_

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.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 1: The New World Recap”

Amazon Cancels The Man in the High Castle: Season 4 Will Be Series Finale

Plus Official Season 4 Teaser Trailer

Another one bites the dust.

As the title of the post says, the upcoming season 4 of Amazon Prime’s The Man in the High Castle, which will be released in the Fall of 2019, will be its last. Many suspected that this would be the case when the show was given an early renewal for season 4, after it had taken so long for season 3 to be released. Another high quality show lost to Jeff Bezos’ short attention span.

But, despite my sadness over the loss, I feel there’s some good news here as well.

For one thing, look at this amazing poster! For another, a teaser video was also released today. And, in an interview with Deadline, the executive producers of the show, Isa Dick Hackett and David Zucker, strongly hinted about the possibility of a sequel series or film.

Continue reading “Amazon Cancels The Man in the High Castle: Season 4 Will Be Series Finale”

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

mv5bzwixmmqyy2itnjrjni00zju5lwewn2qtnjc1yjnjngy5y2exxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjkwnzewmzu-_v1_sy1000_cr0013331000_al_

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.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 10: Jahr Null Recap”

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

mv5bn2u1y2m1ztctmjjmmi00otqylwe4yjetymq3nzllyzbhzgvmxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjkwnzewmzu-_v1_sy1000_cr0013331000_al_

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.

baku2c-konnoh-hachimangu-shrine

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?

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 9: Baku Recap”

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

mv5bodvkzmvmngytymfjys00zty3ltg4mtctzgjhntlly2zjzmvixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjkwnzewmzu-_v1_sy1000_cr0013331000_al_

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.

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

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

mv5byza5otbjmdctzwfmys00mmq1lwjizdetmdg2ztbhm2vhmdiwxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjkwnzewmzu-_v1_sy1000_cr0013331000_al_

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.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 7: Excess Animus Recap”

The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 6: History Ends Recap

mv5botayy2uymzgtnti5ny00nwm2ltg2otctnmzlzdvhmtg0ntq2xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjkwnzewmzu-_v1_sy1000_cr0013331000_al_

Episode 6, History Ends, is a profound episode, full of movement and transitions, but also quiet mourning and contemplation. The episode takes place during the 2 days after Joe’s death, and before John Smith’s swearing-in as Reichsmarschall. We see Juliana silently, but intensely, mourning him and trying to process what she’s done, and what this act says about her. She always has a bottle of liquor and a cigarette in her hands, and looks at as few people as possible. Her time is spent tying up loose ends in San Francisco, including sending a message to her mentor Tagomi. Then she enlists Wyatt’s help to get back to her other family, Hawthorne and Caroline.

The Smith family, on the other hand, should be able to breathe a little more freely, with the Rockwell/Hoover/Adler threat taken care of and John’s newest promotion. Helen is back to her old self, even feeling a bit frisky. But John is feeling renewed pressure from Himmler, and hasn’t properly grieved Thomas. Helen’s therapy has helped her move on and find renewed purpose, while John has another Thomas’, from other realities, dangling before him. With all of his loved ones and confidantes dead or threatened, and nowhere on this world for him to go, traveling to a better reality has got to be appealing to Smith.

But for now, he has to help Himmler destroy American history, and possibly the rest of his family. In this episode Smith gets word that Joe, his surrogate son, is dead, which causes him to revisit the betrayal he still feels over the murder of his surrogate brother, Erich Raeder, who was also under his protection. He’s lost his actual son and brother and his replacement son and brother, and he might not have the strength to lose more. He’s begun closing himself off to Helen and the girls, so that when he loses them, it won’t hurt so much. He focussing all of his energy on his work and on the Thomas in the films.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 6: History Ends Recap”