Welcome to The Man in the High Castle season two watch-along, episode four, “Escalation”. The second season has made its premiere on Amazon Prime. Over the next few weeks, we are running recap and reactions to the 10-episode season. If you haven’t started watching yet, read at your own risk as SPOILERS follow.
At the conclusion of “Travelers“, Tagomi mysteriously disappeared while meditating. That is exactly where we pick things up in this episode. Tagomi wakes up in his home as cherry blossoms blow past just outside his window. His late wife arrives home, and Tagomi awakens just as she faces him. Did he visit his past or is this an alternate reality where his wife never passed away? This is continued once again at the conclusion of the episode, where he meditates his way to another reality.
Tagomi warns the General of the dangers of his plans but the General doesn’t seem to care. Chief Inspector Kido, however, makes his attempts. He does the oldest trick in the book and takes him out for drinks. Once the General had more than enough, Kido had General Onada subconsciously stamp the seal on a routine order.
Gary tries to calm Frank after the latter killed for the first time. Surprisingly, Frank claims there was nothing wrong and that he never felt better. Unfortunately, Frank is getting lost in his work with the resistance. The deadline to pay the Yakuza is fast approaching but much to Ed and Childan’s dismay, Frank chooses the resistance. Frank eventually witnesses the execution of several Americans and is severely disappointed when Gary refuses to take action. He is reminded that the oldest way to take your enemy down is by causing panic, which eventually tears the enemy apart within.
Juliana arrives at John Smith‘s house, where Thomas Smith prepares her ACT exam. Helen Smith comforts a friend who recently lost her husband who is the doctor that John Smith killed. As Juliana leaves, John Smith continues to treat Juliana with hospitality by inviting her for dinner the following night. Unfortunately for John, Helen quickly realizes he was responsible for the doctor’s death. John ultimately reveals that Thomas is sick and there is no cure. He then promises to cover up their son and protect him at all costs.
Of course, Juliana continues her search for George Dixon. She visits an old address of his, where she runs into a mysterious man who recognizes her. Juliana quickly escapes but is followed. Juliana attempts to hide but is caught. Luckily for her plot armor, she escapes. That night, a man calls her – it’s George Dixon.
In the midst of all this, Joe makes plans to leave Berlin. His father claims that his mother left them, and severed all contact, including burning any mail sent. Whether it’s just a lie for Joe to side with him, Joe isn’t buying it. As Joe checks out of his hotel, the mysterious girl from the previous episode just so happens to show up. She convinces him that he should take advantage of his father’s power. Based on her impeccable timing, she has to be working for Joe’s father, right?