The show, which explores an alternate timeline where the Nazis won World War II, was set up to be the next big Amazon original after Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle.
And while the first episode performed well -- it was Amazon's most-watched pilot at the time -- the show never grew into the Game of Thrones -level behemoth that the company clearly wanted. Still, the e-commerce juggernaut backed the alt-history epic to its dramatic fourth-season conclusion earlier this month. So what did we think of the ending?
And has it changed our overall opinion of the show? In this week's video IRL, Engadget editors Nick Summers and Matt Brian discuss the many highs and lows of High Castle and how they will remember the writing, acting and production design of the finale.
Let's jump straight into season four. What did you make of the slimmer cast? I was surprised that they killed trade minister Nobusuke Tagomi, a pacifist with a deep understanding of the show's multiverse, in the first episode apparently he was busy shooting the second season of Netflix's Lost in Space.
Overall, though, I think it was a smart move to focus on fewer characters, as they each got more screen time and deeper, more satisfying arcs. Well, most of them did, anyway. I agree. Season four offered a retrospective look at how and why the American family joined the Nazi ranks.
I appreciated the flashbacks that showed John choosing, for the sake of his family, to accept the food and military position offered by the Reich. If he had rejected this, their entire family would have become the enemy of the then-new state. We know this choice ultimately led to the death of his sickly and Hitler-devoted son, Thomas, in season two.John Smith Death Scene ｜The Man In the High Castle｜Season 4
But with the Reich's multiverse-traveling portal, John thought he had a second chance to save Thomas from an untimely death.
John eventually became the Nazi leader of North America. He could have rebelled against the Reich and made the country an independent state, but he doubled down on now-dead Himmler's invasion plans and the cleansing of non-Aryan citizens. In the end, he lost control and died because he was an inherently evil human being.
John's wife, Helen, was a wonderfully well-written character too. Unlike her husband, she's unable to live with the Reich's awful deeds and flees to the Nazi-free "Neutral Zone" at the start of season four.
It causes a massive rift in the Smith family -- one of their daughters, Jennifer, begins to question the Reich too, while the other, Amy, is still a firm believer in the Aryan ways. John drags his family back to New York City, but it's no use -- Helen and Jennifer can't accept their old way of life.Will Frank Spotnitz and the team will stick the landing?
After being thrown in a dark room, Juliana reveals that she was supposed to leave town with Frank Rupert Evanswhom we see refusing to skip town without her. After she admits that she thought she might run to South America with Joe — and we wonder how that part of the world would develop under Nazi and Japanese influence — Juliana is grabbed by a burly man and taken to the head of the Yakuza.
Nothing matters but money. Imagine that: A would-be assassin scams a wealthy Japanese couple, then is asked to rescue a Nazi. Erich is crippled, a victim of the Resistance ambush that Smith survived in episode two. He thinks Heydrich Ray Proscia ordered the ambush, but why would he want to kill Smith? Kido has been a bit misguided all season, but is this really his best plan of action?
He wants to go to war with the Yakuza? When Juliana asks him for money to save Joe, Frank is understandably furious. If they pay the Yakuza and Frank is arrested, what would that accomplish?
Juliana convinces Frank that Joe saved her life, so they have to try. Frank is going to do the deal. Colonel Wegener Carsten Norgaard dines with the remarkably creepy Heydrich, who is aware of his treasonous attempt to pass weapon designs to the Japanese. He cuts a deal. In many ways, Wegener shares a fate with Frank and Joe — men caught up in things greater than them.
Later, Wegener gives Heydrich a list of ten lives to protect in exchange for his own, and Heydrich reveals his end game: Wegener will assassinate Hitler. Meanwhile, Frank gets the gun that he had when the crown prince was shot. What is he planning? Is he going to kill Joe? The gun turns out to be protection, as the Yakuza leader takes the money and releases Joe. However, Joe still wants the High Castle film.
Anyway, this means Frank, Juliana, and Joe are really stuck together now. In a scene that should teach us all a lesson, Smith interrogates the Nazi mole on a ledge high above New York City. Not much later, Smith gets a call from Joe, who needs his help to get them out. Smith refuses. She is to be shot. Kido must make an arrest by tomorrow, or else he will commit seppuku.
What Does That ‘Man in the High Castle’ Ending Mean?
Will he bury the information and frame Frank? That would strengthen the idea that Frank is the Lee Harvey Oswald of this world, an alleged patsy for conspiracy theorists. He invites Smith hunting, then insists on it.
Is this going to be a Nazi showdown at dawn? Finally, Frank and Juliana watch the newest High Castle film. It shows the aftermath of an atomic bomb. The earlier ones showed the positive impacts of the real end of World War II.Published and set inthe novel takes place fifteen years after a different end to World War IIand depicts intrigues between the victorious Axis Powers —primarily, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany —as they rule over the former United States, as well as daily life under totalitarian rule.
There is a "novel within the novel", an alternate history within the alternate history where the Allies defeat the Axis though in a manner distinct from the real-life events of the war. The Nazis then, with help of their allies, conquered most of Africa. Bythe US and the remaining Allies surrendered to the Axis, ending the war. In the East, there are two countries: "The South" is a racist puppet regime which collaborates with the Nazis.
The United States of America still exists by name in the Northeast of the former territory and are controlled by a German military governor. For unexplained reasons, Canada remains independent despite being part of the Allies. The Nazis have drained the Mediterranean to make room for farmland, developed and used the hydrogen bomband designed rockets for extremely fast travel across the world as well as space, having colonized the MoonVenusand Mars.
The novel is set mostly in San Francisco. Here, Chinese residents first appear in the novel as second-class citizens and black people are slaves. Childan is contacted by Nobusuke Tagomi, a high-ranking Japanese trade official, who is seeking a gift to impress a visiting Swedish industrialist named Baynes.
Childan's store is stocked in part with counterfeit antiques from the Wyndam-Matson Corporation, a metalworking company. Frank Frink formerly Finka secretly Jewish-American veteran of World War II, has just been fired from the Wyndam-Matson factory, when he agrees to join a former coworker to begin a handcrafted jewelry business. Meanwhile, Frink's ex-wife, Juliana, works as a judo instructor in Canon City, Colorado in the neutral buffer zone of Mountain Stateswhere she begins a sexual relationship with an Italian truck driver and ex-soldier, Joe Cinnadella.
Throughout the book, many of these characters frequently make important decisions using prophetic messages they interpret from the I Chinga Chinese cultural import.
Many characters are also reading a widely banned yet extremely popular new novel, The Grasshopper Lies Heavywhich depicts an alternate history in which the Allies won World War II ina concept that amazes and intrigues its readers.
Frink reveals that the Wyndam-Matson Corporation has been supplying Childan with counterfeit antiques, which effectively works to blackmail Wyndam-Matson for money to finance Frink's new jewelry venture. Tagomi and Baynes meet, but Baynes repeatedly delays any real business as they await an expected third party from Japan.
Suddenly, the public receives news of the death of the recently-ill Chancellor of Germany, Martin Bormann. Childan tentatively, on consignmenttakes some of Frink's "authentic" new metalwork and attempts to curry favor with a Japanese client, who surprisingly considers Frink's jewelry immensely spiritually alive. Juliana and Joe take a road trip to Denver, Coloradoand Joe impulsively decides they should go on a side-trip to meet the mysterious Hawthorne Abendsen, author of The Grasshopper Lies Heavywho supposedly lives in a guarded fortress-like estate called the "High Castle" in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Soon, Joseph Goebbels is announced as the new German Chancellor. Baynes and Tagomi finally meet their Japanese contact as the Nazi secret police, the Sicherheitsdienst SDclose in to arrest Baynes, who is revealed to be a Nazi defector named Rudolf Wegener. Wegener warns his contact, a famed Japanese general, of Operation Dandelion, an upcoming Goebbels-approved plan for the Nazis to launch a surprise attack on the Japanese Home Islandsin order to obliterate them in one swift stroke.
As Frink is elsewhere exposed as a Jew and arrested, Wegener and Tagomi are confronted by two SD agents, both of whom Tagomi shoots dead with an antique American pistol. Back in Colorado, Joe abruptly changes his appearance and mannerisms before the trip to the High Castle, leading Juliana to deduce that he intends to murder Abendsen.
Joe confirms this, revealing himself to be an undercover Swiss Nazi assassin. Juliana mortally wounds Joe and drives off to warn Abendsen of the threat to his life. Wegener flies back to Germany and learns that Reinhard Heydrich a member of the anti-Dandelion faction has launched a coup against Goebbels, possibly installing himself as Chancellor.
‘The Man in the High Castle’ Season 1 Finale Recap
Meanwhile, Tagomi remains shaken by the shootout and goes to Childan to sell back the gun he used in the fight; instead, sensing the energy from one of Frink's jewelry items, Tagomi impulsively buys it from Childan.
Tagomi then undergoes a spiritually intense experience during which he momentarily perceives an alternative-history version of San Francisco.
Later, Tagomi on a whim forces the German authorities to release Frink, whom Tagomi has never met and does not know is the maker of the jewelry.His fate was revealed in the premiere episode, which we are about to discuss now.
I can recommend my previous speculation post about whether there were hints of his fate during the summer. This is your last chance, leave now….
Juliana is adjusting to living a life in the neutral zone and one where her sister is alive, but a sister from another world.
The Engadget staff on 'The Man in the High Castle' finale
Smith are adjusting to their new position and the strain of what happened to their son, Thomas. Finally, we have the Japanese Pacific States and the aftermath of the bombing on the Kempeitai. Kido has a board filled with pictures of all those responsible for the bombing, one of them being Frank. There were also images of his corpse, making it very clear to us, that Frank is dead.
But the Frank we know and love is dead. Did you predict this would happen? American Gods season 2 teaser is a visually beautiful world at war by Rachel Roth. More from Amazon. Load Comments. Hidden Remote 1 year Jack Ryan: Compelling show when showing turmoil of war. View all TV Sites. View all Streaming Sites. View all Movies Sites. View all Gaming Sites. View all Comics Sites. View all Cars Sites.
View all TWD Sites. View all GoT Sites. View all Star Wars Sites. Tweet Share Pin Comment.You have been warned. So as we arrive at that final scene, things are looking up in the, ah, Prime Earth of this story. The Japanese have abandoned North America, and the Black Communist Rebellion is setting up a new, presumably much better government.
The east coast has autonomy from Germany, and is now being run by a guy who clearly wants the Nazis gone. John Smith Rufus Sewellperpetrator of so many crimes against humanity, is finally dead and gone. These are all good things. Something weird has been going on there all season, with the portal turning itself on a couple times and giving Juliana Alexa Davalos weird feelings that something is about to happen with it. And once the portal stabilizes, out walks a whole bunch of people.
These folks just stroll right through the room, not really acknowledging the people who were already present. It was a very moving moment for me to watch, even though I honestly do not understand what it means.
The Man in the High Castle Season 3: Frank’s fate revealed!
Was this some kind of metaphor, with the souls of those killed in the past two decades of atrocities around the world returning? Or was it really, literally happening? It never established firm details about the travelers who had been bringing those alternate universe films to this version of Earth, and those films came from many more Earths than just the one the Nazis had been using the portal to travel to.
And they decided that now was the time to pay it a visit? Or maybe these were refugees who had fled this reality and were now returning? Over at Entertainment Weekly, showrunner David Scarpa said the scene was intentionally ambiguous. In effect, what that means is two worlds have become one. I like the vibe of it. Here's every TV show and film in the works for the streaming platform.
Premiere Date: Nov. What is time?Tagomi enlists Kido in a deception to save Japan from destruction. As Smith's life crumbles around him, he makes a dangerously bold play to hold onto his power.
Joe tries to do the right thing but Tagomi faces a dilemma: to stay with his family or return to the world he left behind. Desperate to escape the Reich, Juliana strikes a final, dangerous deal with the Resistance.
When Ed reveals a Smith and Helen's true loyalties are placed on trial by an old nemesis. Kido is forced to confront his atrocities. Bands of roving vigilantes We're watching " Tiger King " on Netflix for sure. Our recommendations also include " Night on Earth ", " Ozark ," and more.
See our picks. Title: The Man in the High Castle — An up-and-coming CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, is thrust into a dangerous field assignment as he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit.
A police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter, and an earth-bound United Nations executive slowly discover a vast conspiracy that threatens the Earth's rebellious colony on the asteroid belt.
A con man on the run from a vicious gangster takes cover by assuming the identity of his prison cellmate, Pete, reuniting with his estranged family, that threatens to drag him into a world just as dangerous as the one he's escaping. A human detective and a fairy rekindle a dangerous affair in a Victorian fantasy world, where the city's uneasy peace collapses when a string of murders reveals an unimaginable monster.
The survivors of a plane crash are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island. At the height of the Cold War two Russian agents pose as your average American couple, complete with family. Elliot, a brilliant but highly unstable young cyber-security engineer and vigilante hacker, becomes a key figure in a complex game of global dominance when he and his shadowy allies try to take down the corrupt corporation he works for.
A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him. A disgraced lawyer, now an ambulance chaser, gets a case that could bring him redemption or at least revenge on the firm which expelled him.Viewers can turn a blind eye to these bumps because the show possesses magnificent pacing where tedious episodes switch to interesting ones in a heartbeat with shocking and powerful moments.
This show truly elevates Amazon to the level of its rival Netflix in the original programming arena. Joe enters the auditorium and asks for the film.
Frank refuses, so Joe starts a fight before he snatches the film and runs away. He mentions that they must sacrifice anything in order to secure its protection. Next, the couple asks for passage out of the city, yet angers Karen even more with the news that Frank is a wanted man. Karen offers the couple a voyage to Mexico in exchange for their aid in retrieving the film and killing Joe.
Once Juliana objects to killing Joe, Lem takes the job as the shooter as long as Juliana lures Joe into an open area for a decent shot. Kido and Yoshida confront the German shooter in his apartment. As Yoshida searches the apartment for any incriminating evidence, he eventually finds a sniper rifle under the floorboard.
As the men destroy official papers and dispose of the body, Kido reveals to Yoshida his decision to pursue Frank rather then arresting the German.
Yoshida reluctantly accepts this answer as he truly cares for his superior and displays a great deal of respect; naturally, he does not want Kido to commit seppuku.
After Smith warns his wife to keep their family away from Heydrich, he walks with Heydrich into the forest for their hunting trip. Heydrich reveals that his order to kill Smith is simply a recurring theme for the Germans in which senior officers attempt to kill officers, such as Smith, who strive for the common good. Although Heydrich admits that he underestimated Smith, he presents Smith with the choice to join the future or to remain in the past.
His daughter gives him a gift for both Wegener and the Fuhrer. Wegener pleads for his son to at least hug him. He gently informs his young boy about the difficulties of being a good man, but each man must at least try no matter how tough.
Wegener kisses each member goodbye in a heartbreaking farewell since he is about to assassinate the fuhrer. Diels Alex Zahara then asks Smith about his mission as well as his superior Smith, whom Joe declines to discuss any detail as well as on the status of his mission. Unfortunately, Diels enters the room in the middle of the conversation as he leads Joe to the basement.
Joe realizes that Diels set an ambush, so he escapes to the ground floor. Both want to ensure the security of the Japanese empire. Kido then issues a touching line on how each man must bear the weight of his responsibilities, and that day has come for Kido.
Here is a great performance by Joel de le Fuente. He delivers gravity yet vulnerability on the delivery of this line. He reminds viewers that an imposing figure like Kido is also human and also fears death despite its purpose for the greater good. In the interrogation room, Kido interrogates Ed, who assumes ownership of the pistol.