The Man in the High Castle: Season 1, Episode 2 Review

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Good evening all! Maria here, and hope all of you are having a good week so far. 🙂 Tonight, I’ll be talking about the second episode of the first season of The Man in the High Castle, and you can expect Episode 3 later this week, to make up for last week. 😀

Before I move onto the review, of course my disclaimer…if you haven’t seen the episode yet, spoilers lie ahead.

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The highlights from Episode 2 (in no particular order):

  • Raeder and Obergrueppenfuehrer Smith are involved in a shootout with several men in an alley
  • Juliana buys a Bible under the counter at the only bookstore in Canon City
  • Paper Crane guy
  • Frank’s sister and her children are gassed with Zyklon B at Kempetai headquarters
  • Joe watches HIS OWN copy of the film
  • Randall gets executed

This episode, I have to say, was quite emotional, especially towards the end. I thought that a few cool characters (namely Frank and Juliana) were going to be killed off, and while I was viewing it, I felt an underlying sense of relevance to what is going on today. In one of the scenes, Randall says, “Evil triumphs only when good men do nothing” and that is unfortunately true.

The focus of the second episode appears to be Paper Crane guy. We do see a bit of him in the first episode but we get to know more about him in this one. At first glance, he seems relatively harmless and is the one who encourages Juliana to buy the Bible under the counter at the local bookstore (which is perpetually empty of people). But it turns out there’s more to him than what meets the eye, and…well, let’s just say his character incurs a large twist. I don’t want to give too much away here.

Overall, this was a good episode, and owing to the twists and bends I give it a 5/5.

I hope you enjoyed this review, and if you have already watched it and want to include input please feel free to. I want to know what you thought of it as well! 🙂

 

The Man In The High Castle: Season 1, Episode 1

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Happy Monday all! I hope this post finds you in a good mood, and if today was the opposite of cheerful I hope it brightens your day.

Tonight’s post is exclusively focusing on the first episode of the first season of The Man In The High Castle, which is titled “The New World”. This episode basically introduces you to a majority of the characters that you’ll be seeing throughout the rest of the other episodes, and also to the Japanese Pacific States and Greater Nazi Reich.

Now, if you have not seen the episode yet, I am warning you in advance that there are spoilers in this review. If you want to stop reading right here and view it that’s fine, and if you want to continue reading that’s okay as well. However, though, consider yourself warned. So with that being said…

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Let’s get started.

“The New World” starts off in New York City, where we see one of the main characters, Joe Blake, sitting in a movie theater on Broadway watching propaganda films, and accepting a piece of paper (with an address on it) from someone whose identity isn’t exactly made clear. I would say, though, that this person is possibly from the resistance.

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Joe does go to this address, and it is revealed to be a sort of factory. Now, this is where you get the vibe that he is possibly working for the Resistance, because he talks about wanting to bring back the America his father knew and talked about, before it was split between the Japanese  and Nazis after they won the war. At that point the Nazis themselves decide to bust into the factory, COPS-style (if you have watched that show at any point then you’ll know what I mean), and Joe Blake is lucky to get into the cab of a semi and drive away before getting caught. The factory manager unfortunately isn’t so lucky as he gets bitten in the neck by a German Shepherd and hauled away by Nazis.

Then the scene shifts to San Francisco, where we get acquainted with Juliana Crain, as well as her mother, stepfather, half sister, and boyfriend, Frank Frink. Juliana does appear to be content with the way things are in the Japanese Pacific States, as she is big into taking classes at the local Dojo and buying herbs which make her mother wince as she drinks them. That is, until she is hurriedly handed a film (along with a bus ticket to Canon City, Colorado, which is in the Neutral Zone) from her half sister, Trudy, who as it turns out is indeed part of the Resistance–and who ends up getting shot by the Japanese right in front of Juliana. This prompts her to view the film, which shows the United States, not the Nazis or Japanese, winning the war. Once she views it, she basically makes up her mind to go to Canon City in Trudy’s place and not to turn the film in to the police, which Frank advises to no avail.

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To fast forward, we see Juliana leaving for Canon City, Joe going in that direction himself, and Frank getting arrested along with Trudy’s Resistance boyfriend Randall because the authorities feel that something is up with Juliana disappearing from San Francisco.

As stated originally in my previous post, this episode alone got me into the series. One thing that got my interest right away were the visuals–New York really did look like it was completely taken over by the Nazis, and San Francisco looked, I had to admit it, amazing with the Japanese signage.

As far as content went I feel it was a fitting way to start off the series and season. For this type of show, honestly, it could only begin a certain way, and it worked. For characters, Joe Blake really stood out, due to him being portrayed primarily as working for the Resistance, but then being very ambiguous as a person. Juliana was far more easier to read, due to her character being good hearted and transparent, and in this episode you could tell there was going to be a lot more of her in the episodes to come.

Overall, I give this episode a 5/5.

Hooe you enjoyed the review, Episode 2 will be coming up this weekend!

First image: http://www.history.com

Second image: http://www.westelm.com (Art print is from Rifle Paper Co)

Third image: http://www.pastelshop.fr (Art print also from Rifle Paper Co! In fact, I bought it last week.)

 

 

The Man In The High Castle: An Introduction

Happy Friday night all! It’s Maria, and as promised by last night’s post, a review on another show that I’ve been watching lately and am now addicted to is here. To start off, the reason it was long in coming is because I was trying to figure out how to set it all up: if I wanted to write a review on the entire first season or do it episode by episode. Eventually I decided to do it episode by episode, as that would be more engaging and interesting rather than knock the entire first season all out in one single review. And to be honest about this review, this is more of an introduction to it rather than a review on Episode 1, as to understand the premise better. You’ll see my view on Episode 1 tomorrow.

At this point, you are probably wondering what show it is that I’ve decided to cover on this blog, from the first episode to the very last. You may or may not have heard of it, since it has gotten popular since it first came out, on Amazon. Not on Netflix, and definitely not on Hulu.

Everyone, let me formally introduce you to…

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YES! If you thought I was talking about The Man In The High Castle, you would be completely right. I was introduced to this show by someone I work with, who warned others and I to start watching now since the third season is premiering this coming December. With that sound advice, I decided to renew my Amazon Prime membership (you can only watch this show if you have Amazon Prime, which is possibly the only downside) and start watching it myself. Well, let me tell you, from the first episode I was hooked…and binge watching the rest of the first season from there. (The best I could anyway, as I do work and study when I’m not working.)

In a nutshell, and for those not as familiar with the show, The Man In The High Castle focuses on an alternate history in which the Nazis and Imperial Japan have won World War II, and who have divvied up the former United States of America into the Greater Nazi Reich (basically all of the Midwest, southern states, and East Coast with some other states mixed in) and Japanese Pacific States (pretty much the states on the West Coast). A visual aid is below.

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(Note: Contrary to what this map says, that giant gray area  is the Greater Nazi Reich.)

The show hosts a colorful cast of characters, which I will detail in Episode 1’s review. As stated previously in this post, tonight’s review is primarily an introduction to the series itself. In the meantime, I have included the trailer.

 

First image: Wikimedia

Map: http://www.bigthink.com

Trailer: YouTube