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.
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.
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.
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.