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Aethera

The Man In The High Castle

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Since we've been reduced to one thread, all book talk should be spoiler tagged.  Spoilers for future seasons (the regular kind - casting sides, leaks, etc) should also be tagged.  Otherwise enter at your own risk if you are not caught up since discussion of all seasons/all episodes will be happening here.

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Finally caught up on Season 3.  And now, just like the first two seasons, I am dreading the wait for the next season.  As always, Rufus Sewell is all kinds of awesome.  I have no idea what his character is going to do next, but all the emotions on his face as he's processing and reacting.  I kept hoping Julianna would travel, so Yay.  When Helen took the kids I kept fearing she'd kill herself and them.  It must be the true crime genre watcher in me.  I'm so glad she's "just" making a run for the border.  I fear the daughters turning her in though, or at least making trouble.  They are completely indoctrinated.  

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Amazon Prime has just dropped a trailer with a press release stating that season 4 will be the final season. The season is expected to be released in the fall.

i’m not surprised as I figured that creatively I couldn’t see how the story could be stretched out much beyond a fourth season.

Edited by theschnauzers · Reason: typo
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I've been pleasantly surprised every season that this show has been renewed, so I'm just happy it has made it to four seasons. The writing and storylines have had their ups and downs over the years, and I'm hoping it goes out on a high note.

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I thought it would go longer than four years.  Still, I think the show will finish strong.

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I'm okay with it ending, because how long can they really drag it out. I don't want another Walking Dead situation. I just hope they knew about and have an ending. 

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MITHC will have a panel ahead of season 4 at Comic Con. Amazon shows now seemingly tend to use such events for premiere dates, teasers etc, and it appears almost all of the main cast will be there. 

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No show needs to last forever and as long as the show has an ending and doesn’t just get cancelled Mid show.   Plus four season for a streaming show is respectable.  

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3 hours ago, Tyro49 said:

I tried this link and it goes nowhere.

Ah, yes, the M-named vaulted forums got eaten by a forum bug. I’m sorry! I’ll edit it when I have a moment.

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Almost to the end of season 1 - which is why I tried to access the earlier thread - so what syndrome is it that Smith's son has? I take it that it is hereditary and runs in Smith's family. He must be a carrier even though he doesn't have it himself; so must his wife. I wonder if his daughters are okay?

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On 10/28/2019 at 1:47 PM, Aethera said:

Ah, yes, the M-named vaulted forums got eaten by a forum bug. I’m sorry! I’ll edit it when I have a moment.

Could you please update the link?

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2 hours ago, Mr. R0b0t said:

Could you please update the link?

Done. Had to just remove it as the forum vanished.

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did this get fixed?  I can't find the vault for this program.  the link doesn't work still.

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I'm going to have to watch the last episode of the last season first.  I forget where everyone ended up.

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4 hours ago, Haleth said:

I'm going to have to watch the last episode of the last season first.  I forget where everyone ended up.

It’s pouring rain outside so I thought I’d get into the last season. Since it’s been awhile, as well as many other shows watched, I thought I’d try to find a synopsis. Wikipedia didn’t help me remember much, so like you I’m going to watch the S3 finale before starting S4. 

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I was happy to see that instead of having to watch the end of the prior season, that they had a recap called S4 E0. It helped refresh my memory. 

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Well, I binged the whole season in one day. I enjoyed the final season and the ending mostly but it's probably going to take a little while to process my thoughts on it. 

I definitely think that this was a show that grew more interesting as it went along. I remember when I watched the first season I was interested in the premise but thought the show was a bit boring. The "baddies" stole the show. The Smiths, Tagomi and Kido just were just more interesting than Frank, Joe and Juliana so it is perhaps fitting that the final season featured Smith and Kido so heavily. 

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Just watched Season 4. I thought Episode 5 was the best of the whole season. I liked the way they set up the alternative reality and John living in it, and realizing what a  life he did have and oh goodness all the emotions on his face. 

There were times when Rufus didn't say much but dang does he know how to scowl and just pause in the moment. 

Episode 9 was a ride too but it didn't have the same emotional impact for me because it was basically John Smith being badass and yeah, awesome but also kinda sad because even then when hen had the power, he still was committed to the very worst of humanity. I know there was no real redemption for John hence why he did what he did, but I wish he was able to realize that he didn't have to destroy even MORE to stay where he was. His excuse to Helen about how he didn't know how to stop seemed a bit, I don't know, easy? Like yeah he was the leader of the party and could have. But I knew in the end John and Helen would not be redeemed because they didn't deserve it, not in that world. 

Some of the storylines didn't do a whole lot for me and I basically enjoyed the Smith family the most and John (Rufus was the MVP for sure) but Chantel (Helen) was amazing beside him.

Well done Season 4.

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8 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

Was Tagomi meant to be a bad guy?

I did put baddies in quotation marks because I definitely didn't consider Tagomi to be a baddie. He was a high ranking member of an occupying force so within the context of the show where the Nazis and the Japanese are the antagonists i did include him as one. Obviously the show is more nuanced than that though.

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If you know anything about I Ching, showing #64 Wei Chi (the one that Tagomi did in the Juliana dream state) you knew how it was going to end. They also didn’t research that aspect well as I saw a couple of mistakes. First, the hexagram is written from the bottom up...not top down as depicted. Also when Juliana was holding the yarrow sticks she had two between her left pinky and left ring finger. She should only have had one, but perhaps to show viewers he holding them it was necessary for the filming. Anyway for anyone who is interested: 

#64 Wei Chi. Before Completion 

The Judgement 

Before completion, success

But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,

Gets his tail in the water

There is nothing that would further 

Phillip Dick liked the use of The I Ching and even used it to steer him when he wrote this as a novel. If he didn’t know which way for a character to head he’d throw one (probably using the coin method as it can be harder to remember all the numbers of adding up the 49 sticks) and it would determine how their path should go forward. 

I liked this season, and thought it ended without too many unanswered questions. 

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15 hours ago, emjohnson03 said:

Just watched Season 4. I thought Episode 5 was the best of the whole season. I liked the way they set up the alternative reality and John living in it, and realizing what a  life he did have and oh goodness all the emotions on his face. 

Sewell is putting on a clinic. John is the same but not. He's different but not. Plus he goes into a different universe and his distant wife initiates sex within the hour. And then makes coffee and eggs! Fuuuuuuck yoooouuuu Reich! 

And just clinging to Thomas. 

I'm on 6 but I noticed they made a HUGE plot point that alternate John doesn't have daughters. 

I think the character should be regarded as a classically tragic figure. 

I don't necessarily feel bad for him because he could have led a rebellion but did on the table you know. 

How cute was the dancing?! 

Edited by DoctorAtomic
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Watched the first two episodes. Bear with me.

I never thought after four years of watching this show, that Helen would be the one I'd feel most sorry for. When she had to let the girls go. The feels.

Oh, no, Tagomi. Will miss him.

So does Juliana in this shiny new life ever think of Frank or Joe or Trudy? I thought she might be trying to find them (or Alternate thems, anyway). 

I don't recall them focusing much on segregation beyond season 1, but I thought the whole notion of the war beneath the war was very interesting.

Poor Childan, always inadvertently drawn into Resistance schemes. Never change.

I imagined Kido's son was still a child (didn't he have a phone conversation with him last season? Unless he has more then one son. I think the last season is royally late to start showing us his family man side, but the trauma storyline is interesting enough.

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20 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I'm not even joking, I totally yelled out 'awwwww no no no!' when they showed who died in E1

Me too!  I've only watched the first episode so far so I'm looking at this thread with one eye closed, but that scene broke my heart.

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Binged all of season 4. I have questions:

In an early episode, we see Juliana shot in her cell and then dissolve into the alt-world where she's immediately almost run over by alt-John Smith. My question: How is this amazing coincidence explained?

At the end of the final episode,

Spoiler

people are streaming in from the alt-world via the now-open portal. What does this mean? Who are these people crossing over? Why is it shot and scored like it's the advent of world peace? 

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Spoiler

It is my guess that lots of people lost loved ones and they are going to try to find them. That’s why TMitHC went back...to see his wife again. Terrible losses on both sides of a war. 

@Penman61

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1 hour ago, Mindthinkr said:
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It is my guess that lots of people lost loved ones and they are going to try to find them. That’s why TMitHC went back...to see his wife again. Terrible losses on both sides of a war. 

@Penman61

That's what I thought, too, but if that's the case (and I do think you're right),

Spoiler

that really handwaves the obvious point that Helen Smith made to John on the train re alt-Tom, which is, "These aren't our loved ones. They're different people." Anyway, if that's what the show was conveying, it's quite weak all around.

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I don't understand, at all, the ending.   Why would these people cross over into Nazi run world?   How did they know the portal existed?    What were they hoping to find?   

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That was a great season. Smith and Kido who were the villains were definitely the more interesting characters. Smith took the easy way out while Kido will live with his regrets. Although that Yakuza leader better watch his back at all times. Juliana had her moments and she was good this season. Probably because she was pro active for most of it. 

I never would've thought Helen could be turned but I guess Juliana was right in thinking after losing her son to them she finally realized that she was living a lie. I was happy when she got to tell John that it was her that told the Resistance where they'd be. 

I'm also a little confused by the ending. All those people seemed to know that they walked into a portal. None of them looked confused or even talked to bloodied torn up people they saw as they entered.  Are they from an Earth where portal travel is a vacation package? 

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2 hours ago, jcin617 said:

I don't understand, at all, the ending.   Why would these people cross over into Nazi run world?   How did they know the portal existed?    What were they hoping to find?   

It doesn't make any sense to me why these random people would cross over into Nazi USA.

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Spoiler
Spoiler

Loved the series, and this last season. 

Spoiler

But the ending was ridiculous.  It may have looked good, but all those people going into Nazi-land was senseless.  Loved John Smith's coup.  The worst part to me - anything involving Julia (and especially with Wyatt), especially considering that her efforts to get to Helen were useless, it was Jennifer who convinced Helen to take action.  I only wish things had worked out for Childran and Yokiko, someone deserved a happy ending.  I can only assume that Hawthorne will be able to share alt-Caroline with his al-self, he is the type to make it work. 

Edited by mjc570 · Reason: Sorry was trying to remove spoiler, but ended up adding.

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48 minutes ago, oakville said:

It doesn't make any sense to me why these random people would cross over into Nazi USA.

Wait did I misunderstand the ending?  I thought that after john died, the second in command called off the attack on the west and threw down his nazi badge.  I thought he was trying to implement the plan he tried to do with John before he went to Berlin - to convince the American nazis to give up and fight for the  United States.  If that’s the case, the portal hoppers came into a newly free country, not a nazi state. 

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1 hour ago, kitkat343 said:

Wait did I misunderstand the ending?  I thought that after john died, the second in command called off the attack on the west and threw down his nazi badge.  I thought he was trying to implement the plan he tried to do with John before he went to Berlin - to convince the American nazis to give up and fight for the  United States.  If that’s the case, the portal hoppers came into a newly free country, not a nazi state. 

I agree that was what was happening, and a free North America is a nuclear power to counter whatever the Reich intends.   But no one knew that at that time.    Only the audience knew what was up.   And I still wouldn’t choose to go somewhere that had been Nazi central not 10 minutes prior. 

Edited by jcin617
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1 hour ago, kitkat343 said:

Wait did I misunderstand the ending?  I thought that after john died, the second in command called off the attack on the west and threw down his nazi badge.  I thought he was trying to implement the plan he tried to do with John before he went to Berlin - to convince the American nazis to give up and fight for the  United States.  If that’s the case, the portal hoppers came into a newly free country, not a nazi state. 

It makes no sense that random people would be wandering through the portal.

John's second in command called off the attack on San Francisco, but I doubt that the USA would revert to being a democratic country ASAP.

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I thought it was established last season that one couldn't travel to the alternate world if your alternate was alive in that other world.  We saw some of the test subjects disintegrate when they tried to cross, so how could all those people at the end just come over like it's no big deal?  Then again, the portal seemed to change from a bluish color to a golden color for no explicable reason so maybe the rules changed.  I just don't understand what the deal was with all the people wandering around like returnees from a UFO abduction or why the portal seemed to change.   Someone's going to have to explain that finale if it's going to make sense.

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8 minutes ago, cdnalor said:

Someone's going to have to explain that finale if it's going to make sense.

Indeed

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I agree about the confusing ending. I would have preferred if they destroyed the portal so there was no more travel or interference between worlds.

On a separate topic, one of my favourite scenes in this season was the confrontation between Helen and Jennifer. The Smiths both needed to confront what they had done and who they had become. Using your children as an excuse for your terrible choices doesn't work that well if your children find out. The whole mentality of doing anything to protect your kids doesn't seem so noble when it costs the lives of thousands of other children.

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Without any kind of clear explanation of what the portal people meant, I think a more satisfying ending would be shutting down the portal entirely, blocking all travelers - even those like Juliana and then simply have a scene of more soldiers abandoning their posts or taking off their armbands.   Just an indication that there was hope for the future for this world.    But then again they've left so many endings vague or nonsensical.  Childras's final scene is literally just him scurrying out of the room (although I suppose that's fitting for him).   Kito joins the Yakuza, because... OK.  Not sure how that "atones for the things [he's] done" like he said.   And what about alt-Thomas?   Does he make out of Vietnam, or do "the quantum echoes" of Nazi Thomas mean he's just as doomed?   And poor alt-Helen, potentially all alone now.

The rest of the season I really enjoyed - they just didn't stick the landing.

Edited by jcin617
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I'm 5 episodes in and I am totally loving this season. The storyline with the black resistance group has been pretty great. I wish they had launched that last season, since I find those characters (especially the badass lady leader) way more interesting than the "sexy" underground adventures of Joe Blake's ex-girlfriend.

The stuff with John and his wife has been so well done too. I could easily watch a show just about them managing their relationship and their kids and their life in the Reich. Plus it seems like your Reich is kind of crappy if the next generation of the leadership are already questioning it.

John's flashback in episode 5 was pretty amazing too. I always wondered how a guy who was basically "the enemy" right up until the war ended could rise up the ranks of the SS so fast, likely passing over a bunch of Germans who were loyal from the start. But I guess selling out one of your best friends for death and then running a death camp would probably be a good way to prove your loyalty.

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On ‎10‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 10:17 AM, Tyro49 said:

Almost to the end of season 1 - which is why I tried to access the earlier thread - so what syndrome is it that Smith's son has? I take it that it is hereditary and runs in Smith's family. He must be a carrier even though he doesn't have it himself; so must his wife. I wonder if his daughters are okay?

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.

Edited by Mrs peel · Reason: typos, always typos!
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aquarian1

Since the final episode just dropped, enter at your own risk if you are not caught up since discussion of all seasons/all episodes will be happening here.  

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