The Man in the High Castle Season 2.
(Attention, spoilers ahead.)
Well that is season 2 over and done with, and what an experience it was from the very start. Picking up where season 1 left off, we have Juliana fleeing to the Reich after the resistance tries to kill her, we have Jon Smith (everyone’s favourite American Nazi who is shown to have been former US army later on in the season; briefly mind you) trying to hide his son’s condition and keep his family whole, and we have Frank going all rebel-like and looking to strike back at the Japanese whenever he gets the chance (and feeling fresh when he does).
Now the story goes even further into the world in which the Man in the High Castle is set; we see Juliana explore the Reich and the society that was built after the war in which America lost, and we see Japan’s more brutal side as it works to exterminate the resistance within its territories with brute force. Season 1 made me feel that the Japanese were not too bad as a ruling faction within the universe (naturally the Nazis are a bit more outward with their views, and very liberal with their use of force). Yet season 2 we find that the Japanese really disregard American lives – their subject’s lives – as they are willing to transport radioactive products on civilian buses, and round up random (yes, random) Americans to shoot as reprisals for the killings of their servicemen.
Season 2 we are introduced to a Japanese-American woman who grew up in a US concentration camp similar to how our universe did it during the war. However despite the fact that the US rounded up her family because they were of Japanese descent and placed them in camps she fights for the resistance – she fights for an abstract ideal known as freedom. Other rebels treat her well, but Frank is stuck between his hate for the Japanese, and his desire to do good for the sake of all (being a rebel against an oppressive regime can be seen as doing good by some). Frank shows signs of confusion because in his mind all Japanese fight for the Empire, yet it was explained that the Japanese who emmigrated to America were seen as traitors to the Empire, and undesired by the Americans (though publicly they would not say that as the Japanese became the: “Master Race” after winning the war alongside the Nazis – they rule their territory accordingly).
Yet while the story explored deeper into the Pacific States it also explored the American Reich in the same fashion; we see the racial policies of the Nazis influence the US as the swastika is plastered everywhere in the Reich from telephone dials to the usual signs and billboards to church lighting. Even within Jon’s seemingly beautiful suburban home we see the women of the Reich deal with the pressure of being racially pure, having the duty to bear children, and in essence being forced to live with the rules set forth by the Reich all while mixing that typical consumerism that America is known for during the late 50s to early 60s. This blend often feels weird as one can be immersed in the world and only realize it isn’t the one they knew when the Nazi emblems and arm bands begin to appear as the cameras focus in from a blurry state for the purpose of cinematic experience.
Now for you veteran viewers you might be wondering why I haven’t mentioned Joe Blake in the story – rest assured he is present and accounted for in the story. Joe finds out that he was a product of a Nazi birth experiment and is taken to Berlin where he remains for the rest of the season living the high life before being arrested by Jon Smith because his father was a traitor to the Reich. This is also where we are introduced to: “Nazi Hippies,” young affluent German youth who grew up under the regime but have developed a subculture of peace and change alongside a reverence for nature and all within it (they take drugs and sleep with one another liberally).
Speaking of drugs, apparently weed is legal in the Pacific States; called Box-o-smiles, you see the antique shop owner and Frank’s friend smoke up a couple of joints after witnessing the Yakuza boss who they owed money to gunned down by the Japanese authorities for spying for the Nazis. Now the Nazis do not allow weed, but apparently military-grade LSD is easy to obtain for well-connected youth, so we witness Joe join them in one of their parties and take the drug to experiment and experience something different (it was weird watching this; military-grade LSD for the Nazis, and weed for the Japanese – weird).
Overall season 2 of Man in the High Castle was great, and I hope that season 3 is confirmed soon for I would like to further explore this series and really dive into the universe that the book first introduced (the show is based off a book by the same name). Anyways folks that’s all for this post – thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time.