Allies, Not Lovers
Helen gives in. She has Hank drive her to the Reich and returns home. When she talks with Jenny, Helen admits she had to come back for her and Amy. But Jenny has had a taste of real life in the Neutral Zone and wants it back. She swears one day she’ll leave and Helen promises to help her. But she and John aren’t in agreement about what her return means. Most pressing is the upcoming dinner with the Fuhrer, Himmler. John would rather Helen not attend but she’s adamant she must be there for appearances and to help protect their daughters.
“You tell me your feelings have changed,” he says. “Okay. You think you’re the only one?” It’s the first time they’ve given voice to the lack of love in their marriage. Helen agrees but reiterates that they don’t lie to one another. That’s always been their agreement. She implores him to trust her as an ally for their family.
Toru’s Demons and Wyatt’s Box
Despite orders to close up the investigation into Tagomi’s murder, Kido expresses doubts that the man they arrested (who subsequently died) was indeed the killer. General Yamori once again tells him it’s over. For now, Kido has much bigger problems. His son, Toru, has been detained after beating a man to death in a bar. Toru did so in the midst of horrible war flashbacks and only avoid arrested because of the service medals he was wearing.
When Kido brings him home, Toru breaks down and speaks about the unforgettably terrible things his unit did to villagers in Manchuria. He (correctly) points out that he and Kido are both puppets of Japan, who he claims is losing to China despite what the Empire claims. Toru also shames Kido for abandoning his family. Enraged by all of this, Kido disowns Toru and throws him out.
At the auction, Wyatt and his team arrive and go over the plan one more time. He tells the other men that whenever a day like today comes around, he takes everything that happens and puts it into a box. When the day is over, he closes the box and doesn’t open it again until the next time. “What happens when the box is all filled up?” one of the men wonders. Wyatt doesn’t answer.
To rev up the BCR, Mallory recites Claude McKay’s famous poem “If We Must Die.” The BCR takes their positions but there are more guards than they’d anticipated. Kido has still not arrived but the plan moves forward. Wyatt and his men kill their own guards and smuggle the guns inside. Still at home, Kido receives intel that links Wyatt to the BCR. He phones the men at the auction and the BCR overhears. They know they’re blown but Wyatt doesn’t. He and his men begin shooting.
While Elijah and his men leave, Mallory keeps hers around to cover Wyatt and make sure the job is done. When she spies General Masuda wounded but escaping, she pursues him with a handgun and shoots him point-blank. Everyone regroups at the BCR hideout. Wyatt, who lost three men, angrily confronts Elijah for not providing any cover. Their argument is interrupted when Childan is found stowed away in one of their cars. He convinces them to leave him alive so he can get a message to the Crown Princess. Childan swears some of Japan’s ministers and the Crown Princess want to withdraw from the Pacific States.
A Good Man Goes to War
After finding someone watching her from the street last night, Juliana meets up with Russ in the morning to borrow a gun. He admits that he had the local sheriff look her up and knows that Juliana Crane supposedly died in the car crash. That’s doesn’t mean he won’t help her though, even after her seemingly insane statement that Nazis from another universe are coming to take over their world. Russ gives her a gun.
During her private lesson with Thomas, Juliana learns he’s thinking of joining the Marines. Having already seen another version of Thomas die for his loyalty to a regime, she cautions him that when something is truly worth fighting for, he’ll know. That night, Juliana mediates once more and sees more people walking towards her. Tagomi turns around by it’s Nazi John Smith. He shoots her, causing Juliana to wake up.
To gain insight into Smith, Juliana calls up his nice doppelganger to meet late at night before he leaves for a sales trip. She remains vague but tells him she’s preparing to face the man who shot her and wants to know more how powerful men think and operate. As such, she asks John about his time in WWII. He received a battlefield promotion and discovered he was good at command but he’s deeply troubled by the actions they committed in the Philippines. He left the military because he didn’t like the way the power made him feel and didn’t want to be consumed by that job. When Juliana wonders how you truly beat a powerful man, John replies simply, “He’s just a man.”
As she gets in her car to leave, Juliana is suddenly strangled by a man waiting in her backseat. He’s there on Smith’s orders to kill her. They struggle but Juliana can’t fight him off. Then John is there. He pulls the assassin away and they fight. John is stabbed several times but seeing the other man is no longer in the car, he tells Juliana to go. Those are his last words. As she speeds away, nice, suburban salesman John Smith bleeds to death in the parking lot.
- It’s nice to see Helen (and actress Chelah Horsdal) with much more to do this season. John may not realize or accept it but she’s always his best and most steadfast ally. Then again, if he prioritized their family the same way she does, he’s in danger of outright rebelling against the Reich, which scares him more than he’s willing to admit.
- I was fairly sure that the show would somehow get Smith into Juliana’s other universe. I thought maybe she’d do something horrible and drastic like killing Virginian John Smith in order to open the way for Nazi John Smith. But I never imagined Virginian John Smith would be killed quite like that. DANG. One of the biggest shocks of the series.
- The Man in the High Castle has always reflected our current world either purposefully or coincidentally. It seems intentional, then, that the youth are divided between those wanting glory for their race (such as American Nazis celebrating Year Zero) and those seeing through the lies and wanting to fight for a better, more inclusive world (Jenny and Toru, to an extent, rejecting the propaganda they’re fed).
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