Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What I’m Watching: The Man in the High Castle (Season Finale)

The Man in the High Castle: Season 2, Episode 10 “Fallout” (B+)

I was thrilled to see that this show was finally reaching its potential at the end of its second season, and this transformative finale didn’t disappoint. I’ve expressed frustration at the notion that Juliana is the center of the world, but apparently that’s true - she was in all of the films and played such a vital role. I never would have expected her to shoot George since she doesn’t always follow through when other people tell her that she can’t do what she wants, and fending off an assassination attempt and walking away clean showed her inner strength. Finding Stephen Root’s Hawthorne acting like the man behind the curtain demonstrated her success, and who would have thought that, after all this, Trudy is still alive? We didn’t see any of supporting characters like Ed or Robert, and Frank is long gone, and so instead we got to watch two of this show’s most notorious and magnetic villains, Inspector Kido and Obergruppenführer Smith, come together to act in the service of both of their countries, preventing catastrophic war based on totally false pretenses. It was stirring to see John honored in Berlin, and a harsh reminder that, decent as some of these people may be, they’re still Nazis. Thomas giving himself up didn’t seem all that honorable since it accomplishes nothing, and better for him to achieve greatness in spite of the limitations he is supposed to have given his condition. I have no idea what comes next but after these two strong episodes, I’m more than willing to come back for what I hope will be a better-defined and more satisfying season three.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Rufus Sewell as John Smith

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