The Man in the High Castle is finally picking up speed! Seriously, more happens in the first 20 minutes of this episode than in the combined runtime of just about every previous episode. Everything’s been flipped on its head, with secrets exposed, and that means there’s an urgency to the story that just wasn’t there before.
The episode opens on Lem, who’s fishing with a young boy and teaching him about baiting. He’s approached by a few people with a postcard that seems innocuous, but upon further examination, it’s a coded message from the Man in the High Castle. He wants the new film brought to him, and he’s calling on Lem to help deliver it.
Back in San Francisco, Ed is warning Frank that he needs to skip town as soon as possible. The Kempeitai came to their workplace and had Ed make a real gun, just like the one Frank made, meaning that they’re closing in on him. Frank says the plan is to leave town with Jules tonight. In order to do so though he needs Ed to buy the bus tickets for him, as he can’t be seen trying to leave town.
Meanwhile, Joe finds Jules in a local diner — always with the diners! — and pleads with her for help. He says he has resources to deliver the new Grasshopper film, but he needs Jules’ connections in San Francisco. She’s reluctant at first, but eventually does go to see Karen, the high-ranking Resistance member she met at Randall’s apartment, and tells her that she has a contact that could help get the film.
Karen, and a returning Lem, don’t like the idea of trusting Joe. They figure they can get the film on their own. When they go to the proposed location for pickup though, their messenger has been killed and the film taken. They get a phone call from the perpetrators, the Yakuza, who say they will give them the film in exchange for 100,000 yen. Maybe they do need Joe after all.
Kido gets a similar offer from the Yakuza. The Yakuza leader ups the price for him though, saying it’ll cost him 150,000 yen to buy the film. Kido isn’t interested though — he mostly just wants to find the man who tried to kill the Crown Prince — but it does set up the explosive climax to the episode.
While all of this wheeling and dealing is going on, The Man in Tte High Castle actually manages to make me sympathize with a Nazi. When the Obergruppenführer takes Thomas to the doctor after he falls at school, he gets some seriously bad news. While the doctor tells Thomas everything is fine, he tells the Obergruppenführer that, in fact, his son has Landouzy-Dejenerine, a degenerative muscle disease that will result in his paralysis in just a few months.
Tears well up in the Obergruppenführer’s eyes as he confronts his worst nightmare, realizing that there’s no treatment whatsoever. That point is hammered home when the doctor gives him a vial and needle that contains a concoction that would painlessly kill Thomas. It’s heartbreaking, even if the Obergruppenführer is a ruthless Nazi.
NEXT: Great suffering and sorrow