Predictable Or Implausible, That’s The Question

Having watched the first 5 episodes – i.e. half a season – of Amazon’s Mad Dogs, it’s time to take a breather and see what we have here. Where did the pilot, ‘Xtabai’, ‘Well’, ‘Flares’ and ‘Hat’ take us, where are they presumably headed, and most important of all: do we care enough to find out?

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Sweet Time
The pilot, released a year ago, took its sweet time, but it didn’t really bother me. All I knew was Mad Dogs was Shawn Ryan’s (The Shield, The Chicago Code, Last Resort) newest project, and that was enough for me. I went in blind. So, unaware of what this potential series was all about, I climbed into the rollercoaster and just let it surprise me. Not a whole lot happened at first, and the longer nothing did, the more the suspense started building up. This wasn’t just going to be a nice holiday in Belize, with old friends catching up. Something had to go wrong, but how? And when? And then it did. As horrible as it was unpredictable. Please keep reading if you want to spoil it for yourself.

Arrogant And Obnoxious
Four old friends, with a lot of emotional baggage and unfinished business, travel to Belize (or the Puerto Rican version of it, anyway) to meet up with their long lost friend Milo who’s made it. He’s retired and spends his days in this luxurious villa, looking over the ocean, all by himself. Joel (Ben Chaplin, The Book of Negroes, and the Milo character in the British version of Mad Dogs), Gus (Romany Malco, Weeds, Blunt Talk, No Ordinary Family), Lex (Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos, Detroit 1-8-7, Californication) and Cobi (Steve Zahn, Out of Sight, Treme) are all arrogant and obnoxious, but their old buddy Milo (Billy Zane, Head Above Water, Titanic) is the biggest (but richest) asshole of them all. You’re basically watching five guys bitch and moan about the past, their lives, wives and the lives and wives of the others. Suddenly, there’s a dead goat floating around in the pool; a sign that Milo’s perhaps not as squeaky clean as he may appear.

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The Cat
Milo knows who did it and why, so as an act of revenge, he steals and hides their yacht in a bay somewhere. He’s not a very talkative man, and the others want to know what’s going on. Milo promises to explain everything over dinner, but man, does he have a short fuse. Every interruption is too much. At the point when he finally appears to want to make an effort, a cat walks in. That is, a little man wearing a cat mask, asking where the boat is. Milo ‘knows nothing’, which makes the cat pull out his gun and without further ado shoots Milo in the head. From holiday to nightmare in a few seconds. The other guys are given an ultimatum by Mr. Cat to bring back the boat, but they decide to split immediately. Until Cobi realizes he’s left his videocamera on the boat. He’s been filming everybody, they’ve been calling each other by name, so leaving it behind would be a big mistake.

Overdrive
There were concerns about where the story could go from here, and they were valid. Mad Dogs has taken implausibility to a whole new level. At first, the actions the characters take, are understandable. Until they’re getting more ridiculous by the minute. Master of dominoes falling Shawn Ryan has a knack for constructing intertwining storylines, webs of lies, corruption, coincidence and consequence, but here, he’s gone into overdrive, testing the limits of what an audience can take. It’s just one crazy turn after another – and I mean reality defying crazy. Mad Dogs is like a horror movie inside a gruesome video game inside a dream sequence, disguised as high concept drama.

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High School Play
In episode 3, ‘Well’, it turns into a bad high school play, when the four guys manage to catch the Cat. The little (hit)man is going completely berserk, in an overacting kind of way, kicking and screaming while they tie him to a chair. Cobi somehow convinces the others to lower Mr. Cat down into the well of the villa, by shouting ‘Well! Well! Well!’ like a 4 year old. Not even cartoons write stuff like that anymore. Spongebob Squarepants would be embarrassed. Anyway, after a lot of walking to and from the boat for different reasons, they go to the American embassy and meet the lovely Rochelle (Fargo’s very own Allison Tolman). She’s going to help them get out of the country. Get into the car, boys. Of course, quickly they have to stop because some kids block the road with a refrigerator. You know what, the guys think, we want to get out of here as fast as humanly possible, but let’s first give these kids a lift to where they want to go. I’m not making this up.

Worst Case Scenario
At the end of the fifth episode, Rochelle is lost. She went to pee, but still hasn’t returned. The guys go looking for her, figure she fell off a cliff, and hitchhike to the harbour. They board a fishing boat that takes them far, far away from Belize. That is until they enter an ‘infectious zone’. Mad Dogs is the scripted version of Wipeout; one idiotic obstacle after another. This show is the worst case scenario of a worst case scenario, if that makes any sense. It has got nothing to do with any form of reality or plausibility anymore; the price of trying to avoid predictability, I guess. In that respect, it feels like the movie The Game, just without the big relief of the end of the game at the end.

The Man in the High Castle: A Way Out

Former episode of The Man in the High Castle, ‘Kindness’, changed the game, with the finish line in sight. We finally got a glimpse of what these mysterious Grasshopper films are all about, although we don’t know anything yet, except they’re foreshadowing a real (possible?) future. That future, featured in the High Castle Man’s new film – the Grasshopper Lies Heavy sequel -, depicts a brutal fate for Frank Frink, by the hands of Joe ‘fifth wheel’ Blake.

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Fist Fight
Frank (Rupert Evans) is convinced Joe (Luke Kleintank) is an undercover nazi operative, although he and Juliana (Alexa Davalos) are still in shock because of what they’ve seen. What else could it be other than the future? But how is that possible? It nevertheless proves Frank’s suspicions about him, so when Joe walks into the projector room of the school, they immediately start a fist fight – with Juliana in the background, as a damsel in distress, shouting they should stop. Joe comes out on top, takes the film and leaves.

Circles
Juliana and Frank still have to get out of the city, film or no film. They ask Lem (Rick Worthy) and Karen (Camille Sullivan) for help, but everything comes with a price, resistance or no resistance. They don’t have any money left, but no worries. All they need to do is get the film and get Joe. This show is like an obstacle course. Every episode, different obstacles but the same course that makes everybody run in circles.

The Innocent Factory Worker
There’s only one place Joe can go: the embassy. Of course the resistance has a way of getting in there, so Juliana’s walking right into the lion’s mouth, to lure Joe out. Ed (DJ Qualls) had promised to get rid of Frank’s gun, but when he tries to melt it down, gets caught. To save his friends, he confesses to Chief Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente) he was the one who shot the crown prince. Kido knows full-well he wasn’t. As Taishi Okamura (Hiro Kanagawa) told him, it was a nazi sniper. However, if that ever were to come out, Japan and Germany would be at war. Picking up an innocent factory worker for the greater good, seems like a cheap way to avoid World War III.

The Man with the Movie Collection
Juliana brings Joe to the spot where Lem is waiting to take him out. When Joe realises he’s about to get killed, his inner Quinn is coming out. It’s a speech similar to ‘I guess I’m done, and we never happened’. It brings tears to Juliana’s eyes and she chooses to believe him.
Rudolph (Carsten Norgaard) arrives at the castle where Adolf Hitler (Wolf Muser) resides – and watches movies. It’s where the mystery of the Grasshopper films gets unraveled a little more. The Führer’s got a pretty extensive collection of them. All the films are about what could’ve happened. More precise, what has, in the real history books. Still no word on how they were actually made, but because Hitler’s been watching them, he knows how to avoid his own demise. Therefor, he knows Rudolph’s come to kill him, but also knows he doesn’t have the heart to go through with it.

Grasshopper Meditation
Juliana saves Joe’s life, by putting him on a boat. She’s got the latest film. The resistance won’t be able to touch Joe. All’s well that e… well, no. They have to keep running in circles, remember? So when Frank hears about a factory worker being caught, he goes down to the offices of Inspector Kido to… Save Ed? Turn himself in? There aren’t really other options here.
The last scene of the season is a tricky one. Trade Minister Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) meditates his way into Grasshopper Reality. Our reality. Suddenly, he’s flash-sidewayed himself into The United States of America, 1962, with John F. Kennedy on the frontpage. It’s tricky, because it diminishes the seriousness of the setting – the Pacific States and the Nazi Reich at odds with each other – and that of the show itself. The world of The Man in the High Castle has turned out to not exactly be a dream, but something close. Dreams don’t have urgency. Dreams are taken lightly. This last scene may just have kicked the legs from under it. It all depends on the second season, but this surely isn’t a good sign. Unless Tagomi’s not really in ‘Real 1962’ and merely observes, in his meditative state of mind. I hope that’s the case.

The Man in the High Castle: Kindness

So far, so… average. The Man in the High Castle hasn’t been able to blow my hair back thus far. Maybe penultimate episode ‘Kindness’ can steer the boat around. Episode 9 offers more of the same, as expected, but it’s working towards a massive cliffhanger. It’s a reward for anyone who’s stuck by the show. I didn’t see it coming, and it flips everything on its head.

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Dimple
But first, let’s start at the beginning. Juliana (Alexa Davalos) and Joe (Luke Kleintank) got thrown into a car, their fates uncertain. We pick up right after they’re being locked up, but Juliana’s quickly released. Lem (Rick Worthy) and Karen (Camille Sullivan) paid no less than 10,000 yens for her. They didn’t think Joe was worth much, so he remains a captive by the Japanese version of Al Capone, who goes by the name of Taishi Okamura (Hiro Kanagawa). Juliana, still under the spell of the dimple in Joe’s chin, doesn’t want her Canon City summer love to be handed over to the authorities – and probably be shot. Because she feels very strongly about getting Joe released, Okamura raises his price. Like a true Capone does. It’s 50,000 yens now. She’ll get the money, she says.

Frankly, My Dear
Who can she turn to but Frank (Rupert Evans)? She never confides in her boyfriend. Tells him bits and pieces; never gives full disclosure about what she’s up to. It’s totally understandable Frank, frankly, doesn’t give a damn anymore. Let that Joe character die already, he says. But, as we’ve seen, Frank’s a bit of a labrador. Giving in is his middle name. On one condition: he’s the one who pays the money and gets Joe out of there.

Two in the Chamber
It doesn’t quite go as planned. Joe doesn’t want to leave without the new Grasshopper film. He grabs Frank’s gun, shoots both of Okamura’s henchmen, takes the film and then they’re running for their lives. It’s easy to explain why they let Okamura live – Frank only had two bullets left – but Joe didn’t know that, right? He just fires away, never checks the chamber, so doesn’t know the gun is empty. That’s sloppy writing. From Joe’s standpoint, it is peculiar why he’d knock Okamura over the head instead of shooting him as well.

Safety Web
Meanwhile, Obergruppenführer Smith (Rufus Sewell) has found the mole in his office. It’s Captain Connolly (Neal Bledsoe), who’d been acting suspiciously (the four sugar cubes gave him away). When a link with the resistance was expected – and there may still be a link, though – Connolly had gotten the orders to ambush Smith from General Iron Heart; Reinhard Heydrich (Ray Proscia). For some reason the general wants to get rid of Smith. During a nice high tower walk, Smith confronts Connolly, who confesses, and is then pushes off the balcony. Somebody might want to check those dangerous ledges on the nazi headquarters; one breath of wind and you’re tumbling down like Spider-Man without a safety web.

Lost in the Mail
I don’t think Heydrich is working for the resistance. He recruits Rudolph Wegener (Carsten Norgaard) for a secret mission: to kill Hitler. The goal is to pin it on the Japanese and start a war. Maybe that’s exactly what Smith is trying to prevent. He’s sent a letter to the Führer, possibly informing him about Heydrich’s plan. I’ve got a feeling, however, that letter will somehow get lost in the mail.

The Scar on his Right Cheek
But then, the cliffhanger that makes you beg for more. While waiting for Joe, Juliana and Frank are hiding out in a school. They’ve got the new film, so why not take a look at it? It becomes clear it’s nothing like the first one they saw. It’s death and destruction. Mushroom clouds. People being executed. One of those people: Frank. How can that be? There’s no doubt it’s him. On his knees. Gun to the back of his head. The nazi soldier who’s pulling the trigger? Joe. He’s got a scar on his right cheek. This changes everything. It’s what the series needed and we’ve been waiting for. This isn’t just a show about a What If scenario. There’s a serious fantasy – possibly time-travel, maybe awesome alternate timeline – element in the story. I didn’t think I’d say this, but I can’t wait for the finale.

The Man in the High Castle: End of the World

The 8th episode of The Man in the High Castle is called ‘End of the World’, because… Hell if I know. Frank and Juliana still haven’t escaped the city, Obergruppenführer Smith still hasn’t caught the mole in his office, Joe’s still not getting a kiss (a real one) and the Japanese Trade Minister is fairly absent this episode. I’m starting to wonder if the writers aren’t stretching the story a little too thin, especially now we’re getting awfully close to the season finale.

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4 Part Mini-Series
Because why is it so hard to leave the city? Juliana (Alexa Davalos) has taken a bus to Canon City before and got herself a job in no time. I’m sure Lem (Rick Worthy) is willing to pull some strings and give her and Frank (Rupert Evans) a new gig waiting tables? Why go through all this trouble while they’re both under a microscope? For a few years, Philip K. Dick’s novel was being developed by different parties, but always as a 4-part mini-series. For some reason, Amazon thought at least – since it’s only the first season – 10 episodes would be perfectly doable. I’ve yet to be convinced that number was justified. We’ve come to episode 8 and no character’s come close to anything, really.

Big Shot Nazi
Obergruppenführer Smith (Rufus Sewell) does a lot of sitting around, like there’s no resistance active at all on the Eastcoast. He still has Rudolph (Carsten Norgaard) in custody. As an ‘old friend courtesy’, he hasn’t tortured him. Yet. That might be about to change. A big shot nazi, one Heydrich (Ray Proscia), who goes by the name of ‘man with the iron heart’ has flown over from Berlin to collect Rudolph.

Full Steam Ahead
The show could use a little connective tissue. A board, on which the pieces position themselves. Right now, it still feels like the pawns are scattered across the floor. If Rudolph has any ties with the resistance, now would be long overdue to reveal it. Smith appears to be an island. He’s got Joe (Luke Kleintank) working for him, but Joe’s also swimming. He tries to cling to Juliana, but fails every time. Juliana does what she wants, as does Frank, as does Ed (DJ Qualls), as does Lem, as does Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), as does Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente). They all have their individual arcs, but all the interactions between them don’t really bring them off course. Every character’s going full steam ahead to where the writers want them to end up. That’s not how to construct an arc, season or story.

Uranium and Yens
Tagomi orders Juliana to look into uranium deposits in the Neutral Zone. It’s an order he’d gotten from a general who’s arriving in the Pacific States – we’ll probably meet him in the next episode (and why the uranium is of significance to the plot). She’s got other things on the brain, though. Joe’s come to town, to intercept the new Grasshopper film. It’s just been stolen from under the noses of the resistance by a fourth party that demands a large amount of yens. Joe gets Smith to transfer the money and goes in for the exchange.

Trap
But it’s a trap. Inspector Kido crashes the party. Joe – and Juliana, who came after him just in time to warn him – manage to get away. Did they, though? When they escape through the back alley, they’re awaited by a black limousine.

The Antique Dealer. Through the Backdoor. With the Scam Object.
Even though it’s a supporting role, without much importance to the overall story, I must mention antique dealer Robert, played by Brennan Brown (Person of Interest, Mozart in the Jungle). Albeit sometimes a bit too much on the goofy side, it’s a very amusing character. There is a constant sense of unrest about him, which is very funny – and contagious. Exactly what a character should be.

The Man in the High Castle: Truth

The Man in the High Castle features a lot of things, but a high castle isn’t one of them. Let alone one particular man inside of it. Despite the fact that Juliana on the Westside and Joe on the Eastside have to thread very carefully, around governmental officials (or, in other words, the enemy), the mystery of who the man in the title is, does and the influence he has, hasn’t even begun to unravel.

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Truth Be Told
Naming one of the episodes ‘The Truth’ wasn’t exactly half-measures, in case of Wayward Pines. Truth we got, and more than we’d ever expect to be lucky enough to have. Not to mention the series finale – well, at least we all thought it was, at the time – of The X-Files (two-parter ‘The Truth’). Does The Man in the High Castle follow its leads with episode 7, ‘Truth’, and reward the audience with (at least) a glimpse of what these Grasshopper reels are all about?

Danger
It seems like they’re trying awfully hard to stay away from Canon City; the place in the Neutral Zone where you’ve got the best chance to contact the resistance (and get some answers). Right now, the show’s just not exciting enough. ‘Three Monkeys’ was a great episode, because Obergruppenführer Smith (Rufus Sewell) was at the center of it; his whole persona screams danger. But ‘Truth’ sends the series back to snooze mode again.

A New Film
We pick up the story right where we left off. Joe (Luke Kleintank), caught in the act, by Smith. The empty Grasshopper folder in his hands. ‘What are you not telling me, Joe?’ Smith asks, and pulls out Frank’s (Rupert Evans) sketch of Juliana (Alexa Davalos). There’s no denying anymore. There’s butterflies going on in Joe’s stomach. Smith understands boys will be boys, but Joe’s got to make up for his mistake of leaving ‘the girl’ out of his report. A new film is going around, a ‘different’ one – whatever that means. Juliana should know something about it. Joe’s new mission: snuggle up to her again, get the film and take her out (and Smith doesn’t mean to a restaurant). We get a little backstory on Joe, too. He’s living together, with his girlfriend and her son. It’s all Smith needs to threaten Joe. Failure to comply – or forget to call in – means his family will suffer the consequences.

Mass Grave
Juliana and Frank kiss and make up. But the walls are closing in on them. Frank wants to leave the city, but something’s holding Juliana back. Did she see her sister Trudy at the market? It couldn’t have been; she was gunned down in the street. Her boss, Trade Minister Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) looks into it, after hearing Juliana’s basically been black-listed. He keeps her on anyway. Good tea pourers are hard to find. Besides, his ‘oracle’ (which turns out to be a book) told him so. He gives her the location where to find her sister’s body. It’s a mass grave. And Trudy’s in it.

Proof
At work, Juliana’s spotted by her father. He’s been working for the Japanese government ever since the war ended. Just making a living, what else could he do? It’s strange, though. He seems to have a high position in the surveillance department, but doesn’t know his daughter’s been killed. Anyway, now Juliana’s got definitive (and devastating) proof, there’s nothing keeping her from traveling to the Neutral Zone. Unless Joe has other plans.

The Man in the High Castle: Three Monkeys

It’s episode 6 of Amazon’s highly conceptual What If, The Man in the High Castle. Germany and Japan split the United States after World War II, which sounds like a terrible alternate universe – and therefor a perfect setting for fiction – but apart from a pre-1984 kind of thought control, and two allies that are still, come 1962, on the brink of war, everybody just kind of goes about their day.

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Like A Sniper
Because that’s just human nature, I guess. You adapt to the new situation. The war’s been fought and lost. Now you try to make a life for yourself, within the new reality. Money has to be made, rent has to be paid, despite the soldiers in the streets, you’ve got stability. People are starting to have babies again. You’re included in a new social network. You play cards. Go to the beach. Do the laundry. Life goes on. Now that doesn’t exactly make for an exciting setting for fiction. Sure, The Man in the High Castle, the TV series, deals with more than just everyday life, but it’s manoeuvring awfully close to it. Dullness is watching the show through its scope like a sniper.

VA Day
The 6th chapter is about prayers, job offers, family, tea, vodka, play catch and old friends. But ultimately, in case of ‘Three Monkeys’, it pays off. Everything’s working towards a great cliffhanger. Or should I say multiple cliffhangers. Joe (Luke Kleintank) is at Obergruppenführer Smith’s (Rufus Sewell) house, to celebrate a national holiday. ’VA Day’, which stands for Victory over America. Smith needs to pick up his wife’s grandmother from the airport, but her plane’s been delayed. While waiting, they bump into one of Smith’s old friends: Rudolph Wegener (Carsten Norgaard), who’s been collaborating (allegedly) with the Japanese. But Smith doesn’t know that and invites him to his home instead.

The Camps
Smith is playfully interrogating Rudolph. It’s what old friends do. Why did he fly all the way over to the Pacific States? To tighten the diplomatic relations – which could’ve easily been done by the Germans actually living there? Rudolph remains tight-lipped. Has another drink. Smith laughs when his friend asks if he’s interrogating him. Then, they get into a discussion about ‘the camps’. In Philip K. Dick’s world, they still happened. And nobody ever talks about them. The concentration camps should be a discussion topic, Rudolph believes. They were necessary, Smith says, and that’s the end of it.

Smith’s Good Side
At the end of the day, Smith confides in Joe. There never was a grandmother. He’d known Rudolph was going to be at the airport. His friend has been lying to him all day. But Smith is too close. There’s a discrepancy between his heart and his head. Their friendship stands in the way of objectivity. He asks Joe for advice. Joe, whose loyalties seem to change from one moment to the next, wants to stay on Smith’s good side. So when Rudolph says goodnight, walks out the door, armed soldiers are waiting for him. Time for a real interrogation.

The File
There’s still the matter of the Grasshopper file, that Smith brought home. He’d been putting it in his bag a little too perspicuous, as I mentioned in the review of ‘The New Normal’. And it was. When Joe (finally) gets his hands on it, there’s nothing inside but blank paper. Then the lights go on. Smith’s smiling ominously in the doorway. There must be an easy way out of it, though. Just wanting to take a look to know what this whole Grasshopper nonsense is all about, doesn’t make Joe a spy. But you never know. Smith may put him in the cell next to Rudolph anyway.

Tea Time
On the other end of the world, Juliana (Alexa Davalos) has got a new job. Because she almost tripped over Trade Minister Tagomi last time, he offers her a job. To serve tea. It’s a happy accident, because there is something inside the Ministry building. Something or someone of high value to the resistance. Juliana sneaks into a surveillance room. It’s where she sees a familiar face: her father’s. It looks like he’s in control, keeping taps on the people of the Pacific States. Did he see her? And what does it mean?

The Man in the High Castle: The New Normal

We’re halfway. Episode 5 of The Man in the High Concept  *cough* Castle. It’s hard to tell where this show is going. Juliana and Joe’s trip to Canon City seemed to propel them deeper into the man in the high castle’s rabbit hole, but in ‘The New Normal’, all pieces have been moved back to their starting positions.

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Happy Accident
Frank (Rupert Evans) gets away as fast as he can. In a new edit of the shooting of the Japanese Crown Prince (Daisuke Tsuji), Frank’s holding his gun in front of him and is not only seen by the kid standing next to him, but by the kid’s father as well. So there’s a witness. Frank puts the gun away, starts running, but loses his golden heart-shaped necklace. The Japanese are looking for the shooter, and are beheading their own soldiers in the meantime.
After ditching the gun and being long gone, Trade Minister Nobusuke Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the actor with the most demanding screen presence on the show) picks up the necklace. I have a feeling this tiny piece of jewellery might connect characters in a very convenient way, in a future episode. There’s luck, and there’s obviously manufactured randomness to keep the plot going.

Trade Minister
Tagomi has been meeting with all sorts of people since the pilot. It hasn’t been exactly clear where he was standing. Now it looks like his loyalties lie elsewhere. Could be in the Nazi Reich, but doesn’t have to be. He’s aligned himself with a German soldier (Carsten Norgaard), who’s in possession of a microfilm, but there’s also talk of an ‘oracle’. Would writer Philip K. Dick, known for his science fiction works, have also put in fantasy elements? It seems unlikely, although at this point, because of all the secrecy, The Man in the High Castle still could go either way. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Tagomi turns out to be an alien. Or if the Grasshopper Tapes aren’t fabricated, but real – from an alternate timeline. Or if everything we’ve seen is a computer program, like Harsh Realm.

The Girl
Speaking of the Grasshopper, Joe (Luke Kleintank) has safely returned to New York. His debrief is a bit rocky. He’s left out Juliana (Alexa Davalos) out of his story completely, but Obergruppenführer Smith (Rufus Sewell) has a direct line with the Marshal. He knows about ‘the girl’. He knows that Joe told the Marshal to stop chasing her, because he was ‘working her’. Joe ‘Pokerface’ Blake talks his way out of it, and is even invited to Smith’s house. There’s a national holiday coming up and Smith would like him to come. Joe, noticing the Grasshopper file Smith puts in his bag, is too curious to decline.
However, Smith put the file away so perspicuously, it almost seems like a trap.

Funeral
Juliana’s come home. It isn’t a particularly warm welcome. Frank’s been tortured, lost three members of his family, was sure Juliana had left him, so no. She’d better just stay out of his way. He’s attending the funeral of his sister and her two kids, where one Mark Sampson (Michael Gaston) shows up. We could use a couple of new actors, because Gaston is currently everywhere. Blindspot, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, The Following, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, The Leftovers, Turn, do I need to go on? Because I can. A man’s gotta work, but a man doesn’t necessarily have to be on speed dial. Here, he doesn’t look like a bad guy, but it’s way too early to tell.

Visitors Pass
The authorities have been looking for Juliana, so she decides to just report in. That’s what you’d do if you were innocent, right? She’s put in a room and gets questioned. The questioning turns into an interrogation, turns into a slap across the face real fast. But she’s free to go. For now.
They asked her about Trudy’s contact, Mr. Becker, the guy who put her on the bus to Canon City (and died in the cell next to Frank’s). To get some answers, Juliana looks up his address in the phonebook and goes to his house. There she meets a woman, also part of the resistance, who gives Juliana a visitors pass to the Japanese Authority Building. Something’s going on in there. Somebody’s leaking information, which got Becker picked up and killed. She gets in, and finds herself in a job interview. The man tries the ol’ 1962-you-want-the-job-I’ve-got-my-pants-unzipped-go-ahead-how-bad-do-you-want-it routine on her. Juliana storms out, bumps into Trade Minister Tagomi, who drops the necklace; this whole episode has been like the song ‘String of Pearls’ by Soul Asylum.