He had muscular dystrophy. Smith’s brother had it too. And thinking about it, I’m shocked the Nazis didn’t know, because they were so into eugenics. Nor do I understand why Smith, who is portrayed as a planner who sees multiple steps ahead, didn’t anticipate the revelation that one of his children would have the disease. He acted when he had to, but there wasn’t a plan in place in advance. Out of character.
i finished season 4 a couple of nights ago but needed (still need) time to process it. Like others, the opening of the portal confuses me. I thought I saw Juliana’s step-father pass by her at the end, but I didn’t go back to double check. A few other thoughts.
1. I don’t see Smith as a tragic character. He made his choice, but it seems to me he could have taken a way that didn’t move him up so far in the hierarchy. He wanted that power, even if he didn’t believe in the Nazi program. Oddly, I find that worse than a true believer. The backstory was interesting and it feels like they could have done a season of back stories to see how the invasion and take-over happened. And why, for example, the neutral zone lasted.
2. I wonder if the Smiths didn’t have the girls in the alt-universe to show that Smith was all about himself. Because, knowing his alt-wife would be left all alone in her world, he still wanted to kidnap his son and bring him into Axis world. A world Thomas would rightfully despise. Good for Helen for her response to that. Smith’s end seemed right for the character.
3. I liked the resistance in San Francisco, though it seemed to come out of nowhere (v. An established resistance in the east). But they had to realize the reich would invade once the Japanese left, and nothing could prepare them for that firepower. I didn’t like the alt-universe where Smith and Thomas see a lunch counter civil rights demonstration, it felt like they were hitting us over the head with the history and how Smith wouldn’t step in on the correct side of history. Also seemed like a sledgehammer comparison to the SF resistance.
4. Was the plot where Juliana was the trade minister’s daughter-in-law a second alt-universe? Or a dream? Because if the theme held that you couldn’t be alive in both worlds, that family didn’t exist in the world where Smith was a salesman.
5. Robert finally found someone he cared about. I liked that story. I kept wondering if they could have gone to Australia or somewhere other than the Japanese mainland, which would be difficult for them to be together. I wanted to know whether the Japanese were evacuating other places like Australia.
6. Loved seeing Smith’s second in command immediately rip off the nazi emblems. I would be interested in seeing how that worked out, there would still be a strong commitment to re-unifying the US in the east. Though not in the west.