After waiting an interminable time for Season 3 to come out, I finally sat down and binged on “The Man in the High Castle”. It was definitely worth the wait! Part alt-history, part sci-fi, mostly brilliant, “High Castle” envelopes us in the nightmarish world of Nazi dominance, and the dystopia of perfection, where the Nazis and Japan have won World War II.
In Season 3, we find our heroine, Julianna, holed up in the country, with her sister from another dimension, Trudy, and The Man in the High Castle (literally). On the run from the Japanese and the Nazis, every moment together is a gift, both of friendship and solidarity – their fight is a fight for the future of man kind, and that’s no exaggeration.
At what cost the truth? That’s a good question because each character in the resistance, and otherwise must ask himself, “Is this worth it?”. Is it worth it to know that there are other universes that you can access if you learn how? Is it worth it to know that the superiority of the Nazis, and the Japanese is just a sham? Is it really worth it to pursue ideals that are not your own when the alternative is death? Everyone comes to terms with these, and other questions in their own time, and therin lies the strength of the story. What is freedom worth? And if the truth will set you free, how free do you really want to be?
One of the most important story lines follows Julianna Crane through the seasons as she struggles to give birth, so to speak, to her own strength. In seasons 1 and 2 she becomes stronger, and more resolute in her belief that life could be better for her and her family. She quickly comes around to the fact that she can no longer look away, and follow the rules of the Japanese. Working for the Resistance as a double agent, she risks her life repeatedly to save not only her world, but future worlds, as the Nazis race to inject their ideology into other dimensions.
Her boyfriend Frank, a Jew in a world where his race is considered ‘defective’, confronts his own struggles, and in season 3 transforms his anger into positive action. After bombing the Japanese Embassy at the end of season 2, in what he felt was a suicide mission, he is transformed into a force for change through his art. Unwittingly, he becomes the father of a new revolution.
John Smith’s (the Nazi Commander’s) family completely transforms from the picture of Nazi perfection, to one of tortured allegiances. The family reels from their son’s death, and just as they’re beginning to settle into a new life in Manhattan, their oldest daughter must be tested for the same disease as her brother. If she has it, the state will euthanize her as well. While John becomes obsessed with seeing his son again in another world, his wife Helen works to save the children she has now. They both have choices to make, and none of them are good. But they have to be made.
There’s so much more to Season 3, but the most important take away is that our characters make those tough choices, they do the hard work and bravely face the truth. The truth makes them stronger, and leads them to new roads and, indeed, new worlds. But what of these new worlds? What truths do they have in common with ours? We can only wait and see…
Season 4 is being filmed now, and will hopefully be out in the Fall of 2019. We can hope!