Man in the High Castle is on Season 4 now and that season was released tonight, all ten episodes.
4 out of 10 stars. There’s a lot of stupidity this season and entire episodes wasted. 🙁 The black communist rebellion was particularly disappointing. Instead of coming up with a group of Americans who were worth rooting for, they chose a group of black people who are fighting only for themselves and no one else, so they’re just as racist as the Nazis and the Japanese.
This review has plenty of spoilers. Keep reading at your own risk.
Juliana ends up in a universe where the allies won WWII and John and Helen have only one child, Thomas. John and Thomas save her after she pops up in front of their car with a bullet wound. Then Juliana sleepwalks through an entire year and does nothing. That was probably the most shocking thing about this season–a heroine who sits it out for an entire year.
Meanwhile, Tagomi is assassinated, Japan and China are at war, and the Nazis are taking over the neutral zone clobbering the resistance who are outgunned and outnumbered.
Helen, Jennifer, and Amy are staying with Helen’s brother in Montana. Jennifer loves it and is exposed to the truth about the Nazis and the concentration camps while Amy hates it and immediately reports on Jennifer, Helen, and her uncle as soon as John takes the girls away from Helen and back to Nazi land. :0
Kido’s adult son has PTSD which is driving a wedge between the two of them. In the war between China and Japan, Japan sent teenage boys to kill women and children in China. Kido’s son had to bayonet babies and he still hears them crying. 🙁
The Black Communist Rebellion are introduced and are extremely unlikable. They hate everyone else. They turn each other in at the drop of a hat. And they turn on their allies at the first opportunity and leave their men behind. These are not guys to root for and the only reason they seem to have been added this season was for all the naked sex scenes.
The Nazis are traveling back and forth between worlds stealing technology and state secrets, weapons, and assassinating free thinkers who are leaders, altering the future. That’s terrifying.
Jennifer makes a phone call to Helen begging to come back to Montana so Helen says goodbye to her brother and goes back to New York City and to John who has truly become a monster worse than Hitler (believe it).
Kido’s son murders a Yakuza in a bar then becomes indebted to the Yakuza much to Kido’s shame.
Childan is holding a rare Americana auction with the Royal Princess, the Admiral, and all of the generals present. Liam and his men cater it and partner with the BCR (Black Communist Rebellion) to assassinate all the Japanese there. Only the BCR starts to leave without them when their cover is blown (by a BCR mole) so most of Liam’s men are killed and several generals escape.
Juliana has a secret meeting with the good John in the parallel universe, but the Nazis have someone there watching her and in his attempt to murder her she gets the good John murdered instead. 🙁
Abendsen is doing propaganda films for the Nazis in exchange for time with his wife, but he is secretly encoding messages in them to Juliana.
John goes to the parallel universe to see Thomas.
Kido figures out that the two remaining generals plotted together to assassinate Tagomi.
Juliana meets up with Liam.
The BCR asks the Japanese for a free state for blacks only and the Japanese decline.
The Japanese Admiral meets with the BCR, by Kido is told of the meeting, kills several of the BCR and arrests the Admiral.
John’s past is revealed. After the bombing of Washington DC by the Nazis, they came in and told John if he put on a Nazi uniform and joined them he’d be promoted and safe, but if he didn’t he’d be killed. So he and Helen chose to become Nazis. Their friends were rounded up and put in trucks to be killed. They watched and refused to help them.
Mallory Bell, one of the leaders of the BCR, tells of how the Nazis pulled her aside when she was thirteen and removed her uterus so she couldn’t have children.
Amy tells Helen she should go in for reeducation, making Helen realize that Amy could very well turn them in to the Reich.
The BCR plan on bombing the pipeline from Portland to San Jose to cut off the Japanese fuel supply.
Kido saves the Admiral and exposes the generals as Tagomi’s killers.
The BCR blows up the pipeline.
The Japanese Emperor announces their withdrawal from America so they can concentrate on their war with China.
Abendsen’s wife kills herself in the Reich prison and Abendsen tries to kill himself but is saved in time.
Hoover turns against John and exposes his family as subversive in front of Himmler at the meeting in Berlin.
The Nazis fly over San Francisco dropping pamphlets that say: “Overthrow your Negro overlords!”
Juliana tells Helen the truth about John traveling to another world where Thomas is alive.
Helen searches John’s desk and finds the key, then the videotape of Thomas, so she meets with Juliana to turn in John to the resistance.
Himmler takes John into his study to let him know how disappointed in him he is and just when you think John’s going to be killed, he kills Himmler. When he comes out of the study everyone is dead except for Goetzmann. Apparently they had a deal. Goetzmann will control the rest of the world and John will control America. He kills Hoover then returns home.
John takes over control of America and part of the plan is to set up concentration camps through the country and send all subversives there to die.
Kido is captured by the BCR when they take over San Francisco but Jews come to kill him and he gets free. He immediately goes to the Yakuza to get his son and in order to free him must become Yakuza. (Yes, he chops off his pinkie in traditional Yakuza fashion.)
Throughout the season Childan has fallen in love with his new assistant, a beautiful and kind Japanese woman. They marry right before the Japanese leave America and suddenly the two of them find themselves separated. She gets on a boat to Japan and Childan must barter with the Yakuza for passage on their trawler, the same trawler that is taking Kido’s son home to Japan.
Nazis start defecting to the BCR when they learn that the Reich is going to bomb America and set up concentration camps. These were the soldiers who, like John, were originally American soldiers and born in the US. Some of them even have the old American flag with stars and stripes, but the BCR refuses to fly any American flags. :0 (That alone is enough to hate the BCR.)
Helen sees John’s elaborate plans for the extermination of Americans in concentration camps right down to how many humans can be git into a cattle car and then into a gas chamber. :0 Makes you wonder if the Nazis had similar documents during WWII.
Helen tells Juliana and the resistance when John’s train leaves so they can derail it, but John insists she be on the train with him so she goes. They derail the train, but John survives. Helen, however, is killed. In ten of the dumbest minutes of the season Juliana chases John through the woods until she finds him just before he shoots himself.
John had set in motion an air strike on all of America. It’s already started, but once his second in command, Bill, finds out John is dead, he calls it off, removes his Nazi insignia, and takes over as an American.
In the last five minutes of the series, Juliana and the resistance are in the portal preparing to blow it up when hundreds of people from other worlds begin crossing to theirs. No explanation, nothing. And Abendsen walks through the portal to someplace else. That is the very anti-climactic end to what could’ve been a wonderful series. 🙁
4 out of 10 stars. Soooo disappointing. This is easily the most un-American season they could’ve come up with. Alexa Davalos acted like she was drugged through most of the season. It was painful to watch.
Precious time was wasted on the Tagomi assassination plot, the BCR, the romance between Childan and his assistant, Kido and his son, and other minutia. And they DIDN’T plug up loose ends like the parallel world that Juliana and John destroyed (Thomas enlisted in the marines and the good John was murdered, leaving the good Helen all alone), what happened to Ed and his boy toy, the people at the church in the neutral zone, Tagomi’s girlfriend, or a dozen other subplots. And the ending made absolutely no sense at all. It was already revealed earlier that you can only travel to a parallel universe if you don’t exist there or you’ve died. So how are these people just walking back and forth? Whoever wrote this season should be shot.