THE TALON

The Man in the High Castle: Season Three Review

Season Three (mostly) fails to disappoint.

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SPOILER ALERT: This review contains spoilers for the first three seasons of The Man in the High Castle.

The newest season of The Man in the High Castle (available on Amazon Prime) is an exciting continuation of the story begun in Seasons 1 and 2. If you’re not already familiar with the show based on the novel of the same name, the basic premise is this: the Axis won the Second World War and the Germans and the Japanese split the world between them. Germany rules Europe, Africa, and South America, while Japan controls most of Asia and Australia. In North America, the continent is split between the two powers, with Japan ruling the West Coast and the Nazis controlling the East. The two regions are divided by a ‘Neutral Zone’ which is left ungoverned. The main plotline revolves around time-travel and the existence of films, which show a parallel universe where the Allies won. At the end of the last season, nuclear war between the Nazis and Japanese is averted by two high-ranking officials: Obergruppenführer Smith of the Reich and Trade Minister Tagomi of the Empire.

Zach’s Take:

The third season of the show builds on the suspense and action of the first two seasons, introducing new characters and locations like Wyatt Price and Sabra. Characters from previous seasons are also reintroduced, some of which don’t make it through the season. The writers weave several different individual character storylines throughout each episode. The resulting effect tells multiple stories of different characters at the same time. Although this is an interesting idea, it is at times confusing to navigate five different plotlines. Towards the end of the season, however, characters and events begin to intersect, creating a clearer picture.

The end of the second season of The Man in the High Castle was tough to top. This season does a great job of building towards the finale, but the final episode leaves a lot of questions left unanswered. It’s also kind of depressing to watch the Statue of Liberty fall down and your favorite characters get killed off. It’s definitely an exciting, interesting experience in its buildup though, and I highly recommend the show to anyone, especially if you’re interested in history or science fiction.

Cannon’s Take:

The season opener “Now More Than Ever, We Care About You” answered the important question at the end of season 2 “How is Trudy still alive?” It also introduces Hawthorne’s wife, who is kind of a bad-ass. However, when their safehouse is attacked by Nazi commandos, it is Juliana and Trudy who saves the day. We also meet the wiley Wyatt who seems untrustworthy at first. Thomas’s funeral is moving, yet marred by the symbols of nazism and fascist ideology. Joe Blake is seen being repeatedly tortured leaving one to wonder what kind of mental state he is when he is finally released. Most of the episodes were good, but not great. The arc with Thelma and Nicole explored the dangers of homosexuality in the Nazi Reich We see that Frank survived the bombing towards the end of the second season and as he was recovering, had a prophetic vision of a rising sun, and his art has become a symbol for the resistance. One of my favorite episodes this season was “Baku”. An overall exciting episode, Ed and Frank take a trip into the nearby town to paint Frank’s rising sun on an old billboard This episode ends Frank’s character arc with his gut-wrenching execution at the hand of Kido.

The finale was somewhat lackluster compared to the finales of the first two seasons. However, it did incite hope, both in the attempted assassination on Himmler, and Ed, Jack, and Childan’s act of defiance in San Francisco. Both things symbolised a turning point in the story as the resistance to fascist and imperial rule will begin to grow. However Juliana “traveling” at the end left off with another important question; “which universe did she travel to?”

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