Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Round Two: The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle: Season 1, Episode 2 “Sunrise” (B+)

This second episode definitely did a much better job of making its story interesting, though I’m still having some trouble distinguishing characters because I don’t know any of the actors aside from Alexa Davalos and Rufus Sewell. What caught me off-guard and really disturbed me about this episode is that it drove home the point that this universe is a terrifying and awful one, exemplified most not by Frank’s torture but by the fact that his unsuspecting family members were executed in a gas chamber. It’s hard to watch that, and makes this feel a lot less like entertainment, though this show was always going to be a darker and more upsetting show than most. What we got to see in this hour was a clear picture of the show’s multiple plotlines, centered on Juliana’s exploits in the neutral zone and Joe’s job spying on her. Predictably, Joe isn’t as committed to the cause as it might have seemed, and Juliana choosing to trust him and give him a letter was a solid decision that paid off in a big way since he rushed to save her from the bible man pushing her off a bridge and isn’t telling John what he knows. Sewell was a very good choice to play John, who allowed his son to study at the breakfast table and then recovered very quickly and mercilessly from a rebel assassination attempt on his car. Frank’s time spent in Japanese prison was harrowing, and the murder of his family members is going to egg him on to become a leader in the resistance and ensure that Kido pays for what he has done to him and to innocent people in general.

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