Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Man in the High Castle 2x05 Recap: "Duck and Cover" (A Dimension of Sight) [Guest Poster: Stephanie Coats]

"Duck and Cover"
Original Airdate: December 16, 2016

Who you gonna call when the Resistance is in touchy territory? How about your daughter’s half-sister? On the phone with George Dixon, Juliana confesses he’s the reason she came to the Reich. Even though he went through the trouble of disabling the mics in her room, he’s essentially called to say “leave me alone.” Juliana blurts out the man in the high castle sent her so Dixon relents and meets her at Central Park in the morning. Because Juliana gave Joe the film and is being sponsored by Smith, Dixon is extremely wary of her and nearly has her killed or captured by his associates before he waves them off.

Juliana tells him about the film she saw and Abendsen’s theory that Dixon somehow causes the atomic bomb explosion in San Francisco, which Dixon thinks is ridiculous. After driving to a more secure location, he tells Juliana the Resistance in the Reich are only letting them talk because they want her to “redeem” herself. They want her help taking out Smith by getting close to the family and their friends. First of all, there’s no way that’ll work; and second, won’t the Resistance just kill Juliana once she’s finished being useful?


Ed and Frank have it out over a number of issues. First, Ed is not cool with Frank hooking up with Sara. Second, the two men disagree about whether they belong in the Resistance. Can’t say I blame him, especially with Effin’ Gary around. The de facto leader won’t reveal what they’re going to do with the bomb and when Frank reveals he saw himself die in one of the films, Gary says they’re all going to die. It’s only a matter of whether they’re “on their knees or standing tall.” Seriously, I hate this guy.

Of course, Ed is having doubts for other reasons. As we suspected, he’s been forced into being a spy for Inspector Kido. The police want information about the Yakuza but Ed has very little to offer at the moment. Something tells me that’ll change in a hurry. Because Frank, who was taken to a secret memorial for Karen (I’m assuming there was no body because Effin’ Gary just left her in the road) is now a bonafide member of the Resistance.

Up at his secret warehouse, the man in the high castle has apparently decided to skip town. He burns all but a small stack of the films and hops in the car with Lem. How many people died getting him the films he just burnt to a crisp? Why is most everyone in the Resistance kind of a tool?


Joe finally gets some answers from his dad, but probably wishes he hadn’t. Joe is what is known as Lebensborn. This was an SS program where racially desirable women volunteered to have their children in birthing housing and for them to be raised to be the next generation of SS elite. Many think of these children as Hitler’s offspring, or his chosen ones. Reichsminister Huesman takes Joe to an abandoned birthing house where Joe was apparently born. Then his mother kidnapped him and took him to America. Huesman realized, however well-intentioned the program was, it was also cruel and he didn’t hunt down Joe’s mom because she would’ve been punished.

The information is too much for Joe to handle. He breaks down, unsure of who he is. Oddly, Huesman gives him some excellent advice: “Your actions define you. And they do not lie.” Eventually, Joe decides to stay in Berlin and retreats to the family house where maid Sylvia is almost enraptured with him. That evening, Joe calls Smith, who confesses he knew Joe was Lebensborn. This infuriates Joe further, which is understandable. But also, I’m pretty sure Smith was under orders to not tell Joe. And if there’s anything Nazis are good at, it’s following orders.


Kido is insistent on getting Juliana brought back but he hesitates when he sees she is under Smith’s supervision/protection. He personally visits the Obergruppenf├╝hrer with a (forged) request from the General for Juliana’s extradition. Smith resists, saying Juliana has already been granted asylum and Kido has no proof of her wrongdoing. When pushed for the true purpose of his visit, Kido tells Smith something we don’t get to hear. Then Smith has his assistant erase all record of the meeting.

A tense moment passes between the two men as Kido examines a U.S. Military service medal Smith has displayed behind his desk. It is from his service in the Solomon Islands where he fought the Japanese, including Kido, who says he was there too. Smith keeps the medal as a reminder of the “consequences of the failure of command.” In our reality, the Allies were victorious in the Solomon Islands campaign. Clearly, something disastrous occurred in Smith’s reality — bad enough that he chose to serve the Reich instead. But what could be enough to push a decorated U.S. serviceman to dedicating himself to some of his home country’s biggest and worst enemies?


After getting cold feet in the last episode, Trade Minister Tagomi sticks around in the other reality to see his wife. But she’s cold to him as she leaves for work, which isn’t quite the reception he was probably hoping for. Entering his house, he finds Twinkies in the cupboard (and eat them hesitantly with chopsticks) and divorce papers on the table. From everything we see, it looks like our universe. There are American flags and rock ‘n’ roll music everywhere. Walking down the street, Tagomi is handed an anti-nuclear flyer. In a bookstore, he flips through a history of WWII and is clearly shaken when he sees the devastation caused by the two atomic bombs.

Returning home once again, Tagomi finds his son is there too. Nori accuses his father of having been off on a bender again. From another room, we hear a woman soothing a crying baby. Tagomi’s grandchild comes out to meet him... in the arms of Juliana.

Final Thoughts:
  • Thomas calls Annie, the girl he likes, and his sisters tease him by singing the kissing song. How did that manage to survive the Nazi takeover? 
  • In the AU, there is another Tagomi who is apparently a drunkard. What will happen if the two men meet each other? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading this immediately after watching the episode for the first time, so I don't know if it's been clarified in the remaining five episodes of season 2... I see why the line "off on another one of your benders" implies that "real world" Tagomi is a drunkard. But my first thought was actually what if the AU Tagomi was also regularly doing interdimensional jumps, and that's why his family thinks he disappears on benders? We still have no explanation for how the films are getting into the High-Castleverse, but it seems that a likely solution is someone is transporting them in from other universes. Maybe all Tagomis in all universes are jumpers?