Kido Must Make An Important Choice In The Man In The High Castle’s “All Serious Daring”

Credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon Prime


It’s time for John to go back to his world. Helen is suspicious of her normally happy husband’s dark mood. When Thomas comes home to say he’s already enlisted in the Marines and the recruiter is on his way, John loses any remaining composure. He snaps at Helen and then tries to prevent the recruiters from taking Thomas. But his son is 18 and there’s nothing John can do. Just like in his world, Thomas is led off by two uniformed men to a white van. As my viewing companion said, “In every universe, he’s gonna just go off and die for his father’s cause, even though his father doesn’t believe in it.”

Shaken and unwilling to accept what’s happened, John rushes to leave. He hurriedly promises Helen he’ll fix it but can’t explain what he means. Returning to the Reich, John immediately meets with Abendson to find out how to change his son’s future. Specifically, John is wondering what repercussions his future interfering may have but Abendson points out he’s already living with the repercussions. His presence in that world, and the Reich’s presence, has already changed what might have otherwise happened.

In addition to worrying about his alt-world son, John should be worrying about his daughters. Amy, his youngest, tells Helen she’s noticed that her parents aren’t happy around one another. Amy suggests Helen go to a reeducation camp, which she believes is perfectly innocent. Helen gently points out that most people don’t return from those camps but Amy doesn’t seem to hear her. When John comes home, Amy proudly presents him with a cupcake with a swastika that she made herself. 

It’s obvious that his experiences in the other world have affected John. He hugs Helen tightly, something they haven’t done all season or in over a year, presumably. Helen questions him but he reveals nothing except that he missed them. She thinks he’s having an affair but he swears that’s not true. When she angrily tells him about her new wife companion, Martha, John snaps back that he’s not sure he can trust his wife anymore. And with good reason. By her own admission, Helen wants “out of this f***ing cell” that is the Reich. She wants to know when their lives here will end. John doesn’t have an answer. Neither realizes Jenny is listening in the hallway.

Liberty is Dead

The BCR attempt to regroup but they’re in shambles. Mallory excuses herself from their fraught meeting. She and another woman share their experiences of being in concentration camps, where Mallory was forcibly sterilized at 13. The BCR rescued her and her family. It’s during this conversation that she realizes what they need to do next. If they destroy the pipeline delivering oil to Japan from the Pacific Northwest, they’ll have the upper hand.

Juliana also has a plan for the resistance. Part one: decipher the codes she believes Abendson is hiding in his Twilight Zone films. Part two: meet with Helen to try to get her help. Wyatt is opposed to both parts but he agrees to travel with Juliana to New York. On the way, she deciphers John’s name and that he takes a train to the portal in the mountains. Glancing out the window, Juliana calls for the car to stop suddenly. Horrified she stares out at the Reich statue that’s replaced the Statue of Liberty.

Kido in Crisis

Kido hides the taped confession of Tagomi’s actual killer in a locked desk drawer and then goes to visit Admiral Inokuchi, who is under arrest for treason. Inokuchi astutely points out that Kido is simply General Yamori’s puppet and asks if the Inspector still keeps his promises. This seems to be tied to their shared past but we’re left wondering. The Crown Princess arrives to intervene in Inokuchi’s upcoming trial. Under the pretense of keeping her safe, Yamori has her confined to her room and cuts her phone lines. 

The court-martial for Inokuchi begins and it’s a complete sham. However, when Inokuchi asks Kido who Tagomi’s real murderer is, the Inspector can’t bring himself to respond. Captain Iijima, who is the killer, brings out the false evidence they collected. Kido agrees that there was a conspiracy to murder Tagomi but says nothing else. To no one’s surprise, Inokuchi is found guilty of both treason and murdering Tagomi. Kido objects to this secondary charge but is silenced by Yamori. Then he’s ordered to execute the Admiral himself.

Outside, the firing squad lines up with Inokuchi defiantly refuses to be blindfolded. Yamori comes to watch as Kido commands the squad. Just as they are going to fire, Kido orders them to stop. He turns to Yamori and draws his gun. When Captain Iijima tries to intervene, Kido shoots him in the chest. The firing squad is ordered to arrest Yamori for the murder of Minister Nagasaki. Kido gives the Crown Princess all of the evidence he’s collected against Yamori, who has been behind everything. She promises to deliver everything to the Emperor.

Stray Observations:

  • Hiding out with Yukiko in his shop, Childan believes if he spoke with Kido he could clear his name. To dissuade him, Yukiko shares the story of how her father made her marry her rapist in order to preserve her honor. She knows Japan’s control over the Pacific States is wrong and for the first time, there’s a spark of rebellion in her eyes.
  • Toru, Kido’s son, has landed in an opium den, likely to have somewhere to sleep and to try to quiet the demons from the war. But he’s still suffering nightmarish flashbacks and is too indebted to leave.
  • There was something very touching about the way John insisted to Helen that he’s only interested in her… even if he can get away with saying that because he hooked up with an alternate version of her in another world.
  • The decision to make the scene where alt-world Thomas leaves with the Marines mirror when he surrendered himself to the Reich was very clever and effective. But this time, John was there to see his son stoically and proudly walk towards his almost certain death and that may make a major difference.


Stephanie Coats
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