Welcome fans to the first installment of the Man in the High Castle watchalong. The second season has made its premiere on Amazon Prime. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to run recap and reactions to the 10-episode season. If you haven’t started watching yet, read at your own risk. SPOILERS follow ahead.
We then learn that not much time has passed since the first season as we see Joe Blake still en route to Mexico. Once the crew radio had been fixed, it’s discovered Joe is a Nazi. Joe makes a counter offer to the resistance, offering 200K yen to each crew member. Once the Nazi’s deliver the money, Joe is escorted back to New York. However, the Nazi’s true to themselves had planted a bomb on the crate to kill the crew members.
Juliana Crain has been held captive by the resistance for her “betrayal”. Of course, Juliana pleads to be taken to the man in the high castle but is shot by the west coast resistance leader, Gary. Shortly after, we see subtle glimpses of Juliana’s past. Juliana wakes up to the company of Hawthorne Abinson, who many fans could deduce he’s the Man in the High Castle. Hawthorne has Juliana recite what she saw in the Grasshopper Lies Heavy, hoping she can identify key figures.
Juliana tries to hide the fact she knew Joe but Hawthorne didn’t buy it. He then had her identify a third mysterious figure, one who is crucial. This particular individual ended up a Nazi in a reality where San Francisco never got hit by an atom bomb. Though Juliana recognizes him, she can’t place a name. When Hawthorne alludes he has seen Juliana in the films, he remains quiet on her involvement. Once again, Juliana is shot by the resistance leader.
Frank makes his confession but Inspector Kido reveals Ed had already made his. Despite his efforts, they refuse to take him in as the guilty party. Frank then sought out Childan, hoping he has the right connections. They eventually find one in Paul Kaura, who Childan had sold a forged artifact (by none other than Frank) to. Paul refused the case, not wanting fame from it. As he has them escorted out, Frank notes the artifact he previously purchased was a counterfeit. Curious to see where this will go from here. Surely there could’ve been another way to capture Paul’s attention.
John Smith arrives in the comfort of his wife, reassuring that Heydrich is to be hanged for treason. At his New York office, John reunites with Joe, who expressed his disappointed that he killed the ship crew. Although John notes Joe is a capable asset, he needs to learn to keep his feelings in check. John is then left disappointed when he learns Joe decides to resign. The delivery from Rufus Sewell during the conversation was exceptionally well. Rufus Sewell is no stranger to that, he delivers words through various expressions.
When John Smith arrives in Berlin, Hitler himself noted his appreciation for his loyalty. However, he is then scolded for not having found the Man in the High Castle. Despite explaining he’s been searching for him, Hitler demanded him to be found, or all will be lost.
Trade minister Tagomi appeared to have been missing but shows in time for a meeting. Kido picks up on Tagomi’s strange behavior, which heightens when the General reveals they now have the data to build a Heisenberg device. Kido notes he’s aware that Tagomi had been in league with Rudolph Weagner in passing the plans. Still troubled by his visit to the alternate reality, Tagomi confides to his aide.
Despite orders from Hawthorne to keep Juliana alive, Gary planned to kill her instead. Juliana, who conveniently regained consciousness during the conversation makes her escape. The attention from Japanese officials was caught and a firefight ensued, killing Karen in the crossfire. Fortunately, Juliana escaped the firefight. Not before revealing the dark nature of Gary. As Juliana hides in the woods, she has a flashback which gives her a better understanding of who the mystery man from the footage is.
Overall, this was a great episode to kick things back in gear. There wasn’t a big time jump like many shows have. Furthermore, they’ve made the right reveals while keeping many things unanswered.
- In the opening sequence, there is a map of Germany’s occupation. It appears they have control of Canada as well.
- This show is making it difficult to decide who we should support. Even the resistance members are proving to be antagonists.
- It was quite surprising to meet the man in the high castle already. Was expecting a reveal in the later part of the season.