Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Take Three: The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle: Season 1, Episode 3 “The Illustrated Woman” (B)

This show is continuing to get even darker, with a very swift and brutal form of justice being meted out in the neutral zone and business as usual proceeding on both fascist coasts. The Marshal is a formidable and fearsome character, one who operates as he sees fit even when there is no one else around to enforce his law, giving himself no boundaries as a result. Hanging the bookstore clerk for all to see and insisting that he not be taken down until his body has been mutilated by the birds was a vicious punishment, and a sign of his tyrannical authority in a place that seemed safer from such things. At least Joe appears to be firmly on Juliana’s side, taking much more care to keep her safe than to follow the orders he’s getting from Smith, who has his own way of getting the truth from people that does not include sending them into a serene state where they will share information because it already feels like everything knows everything. On the West Coast, it’s disturbing to see that Frank’s brother-in-law’s first reaction is to attack him for being a Jew rather than join him in mourning the murder of his family, an act that is dismissed as an inevitability of a totalitarian state. The presence of important leaders is a worrisome event because Frank seems ready for some serious revenge, and whatever he does to the Japanese may just weaken them enough for the Nazis to try to steal even more power, trading one oppressive enemy for another.

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