‘The Man in the High Castle’ Season 2 Finale Recap


‘The Man in the High Castle’ Season 2 finale solidified the series as one of the best dramas in all of television with an epic season.

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The Man in the High Castle blew viewers’ minds in its Season 2 finale. The tensions between the Japanese and Nazis pervaded throughout the season. However, the actions of individuals such as Juliana and John Smith proved that every person has a role in history. Without waiting any longer, here is the official spoiler alert for The Man in the High Castle Season 2 Finale, “Fallout.”

The Man in the High Castle provided a flashback into the lives of John (Rufus Sewell) and Helen Smith (Chelah Horsdal). Still Americans, the couple, consisting of a pregnant Helen, moved into their house. However, in Washington D.C., an atomic bomb exploded to decimate the surrounding area as the Smiths stared in horror at the bomb’s power. In the present day, Smith summoned reinforcements to stop Resistance efforts on the east coast. An officer offered Smith the idea to destroy Savannah, yet the more intelligent leader in Smith decided that the situation required more thought.

After the bombing of the Kempeitai headquarters, Kido observed the damage in shock. He watched Sergeant Yoshida (Lee Shorten) carried out along with the rest of the bodies from the attack. After an officer informed Kido that he was ranking officer due to the deaths of Onada and his staff, the officer announced that the Resistance claimed credit for the attack. Next, Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) showed Kido a film that depicted an atomic bomb conducted by the Americans around the Marshall Islands. Both men knew the Japanese did not possess such a weapon, yet the film held the only hope to avoid war with the Nazis.

Credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon
Credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon /

Meanwhile, Chancellor Heusmann (Sebastian Roche) discussed his plans for world domination with military leaders. The plan consisted of three phases that would cause 16 million deaths. Phase 1 launched ballistic and u-boat missiles at major cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego among others in Eastern Asia. Heusmann decided to include Tokyo in Phase 1 to decimate the Japanese and exert superiority over their emperor. Next, nuclear bombs would strike Los Angeles, Sacramento, and other major Japanese cities in North America and Asia. Finally, Phase 3 consisted of a ground invasion that would only last an estimated 2 weeks.

In the Chancellor’s office, Joe (Luke Kleintank) voiced the immorality of the entire operation. He cited the inconceivable amount of casualties for Nazism’s crazed ideals for a “perfect world.” Heusmann noted that the world would see pace as the Nazi race would prosper. The elimination of all inferior races would lead to no more wars. Nonetheless, Joe remained steadfast in his opposition to murdering millions of people.

At the Smith household, Thomas (Quinn Lord) confronted his parents about his illness. John told his son the truth about Thomas’ muscular dystrophy. In a heartbreaking moment, Thomas said that he was defective and unfit to live. However, the Smiths comforted their emotionally broken son because they loved him and wanted no harm done to him. A phone call interrupted the intense conversation. Inspector Kido traveled to New York to meet with Smith.

Rufus Sewell as John Smith; Credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon
Rufus Sewell as John Smith; Credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon /

At the Resistance hangout, George (Tate Donovan) told Juliana (Alexa Davalos) that they could only move her to a safe house because Nazi troops advanced westward for a clash with the Japanese. Once Juliana tagged George as a liar, he revealed that he knew about Juliana’s silence on Thomas’ illness. They wielded the key weapon to bring Smith down for hiding his son’s illness. George left after Juliana objected to essentially objectifying Thomas to reach Smith. The Resistance leader Susan (Valerie Mahaffey) spoke with Juliana about her true allegiances.

Susan gave Juliana a “message,” which was a picture of Karen. Suddenly, the doorman strangled Juliana unexpectedly, but Juliana fought him off as well as an armed Susan. Juliana choked Susan to death after an intense struggle. Outside, Juliana demanded that George hand over the tape of her conversation with Thomas. George refused her request, so Juliana shot him and fulfilled the prophecy of George’s death on the Man in the High Castle’s film. Juliana then fled the city as both a Resistance and Nazi fugitive.

Finally, Kido arrived at the Smiths to show John the film. Smith asked why Kido turned to him. Kido understood the ultimate goal of Heydrich and his co-conspirators. If a war occurred, Heydrich’s men would be the only victors. Therefore, Kido and Smith needed to prevent such a future to discharge their duties for their nations. Smith asked Kido to leave the film while Kido aimed to reach the Japanese embassy. Smith questioned Kido’s safety if he could not stop Heydrich’s plan. Kido answered that he preferred to die on Japanese soil. Thus, Smith rushed to Berlin.

Evading arrest, Smith persuaded Joe, suspicious of Smith’s lies, to show his father the film once Smith mentioned Juliana was alive. The news about the Japanese bomb pushed Heusmann to launch his attack before the speech. However, John presented the evidence of Heydrich’s conspiracy to Heinrich Himmler (Kenneth Tigar). Heusmann actually poisoned Hitler. Himmler arrested Heusmann and Joe for high treason and notified the German people about the betrayal. Himmler had the nation salute Smith for his work as his family watched the first American saluted in German history. Thanks to the joint efforts of Tagomi, Kido, and Smith, everyone avoided war.

Lastly, Juliana burned the recording of her conversation with Thomas and suddenly saw Abendsen (Stephen Root). Abendsen explained Juliana’s role in the films as the central component. Abendsen needed Juliana to kill Dixon, or Dixon would stop Smith’s efforts to prevent the war in Germany. Abendsen bet that Juliana would stop the world’s destruction. However, Juliana sobbed since she no longer had anyone else. Abendsen then showed Trudy (Conor Leslie) awaiting Juliana on the docks. To end the season, Lem (Rick Worthy) as Juliana’s friend delivered a box of films to Tagomi, who finally smiled.

Related Story: 'Man in the High Castle' Season 2, Episode 9 Recap

Final Thoughts:

High Castle delivered a magnificent season despite the rather average scores from “big” reviewers. The show had its flaws in Joe’s development mainly. Joe wavered from a pouting boy to a moral man. Joe dragged the show while no other glaring weaknesses existed. Frank and Kido deserved more screen time, yet their arcs exhibited each man’s inner character. Frank fought for justice after his sister’s tragedy. Kido fought to preserve his country at any cost.

John Smith risked the lives of his family for loyalty to the Reich. Thomas, Nazi or not, definitely crushed many hearts with an impressive story. Tagomi’s redemption fueled a drive for peace in a world on the edge of war. The Pacific States highlighted the external threat of Germany and the internal threat of the Resistance. Juliana exposed the darkness on both sides as she fought to do the right thing. Lastly, the battle between the Resistance and Germany and Japan is still prevalent. Yet, can the Resistance be the good guys after their actions against the Japanese, Nazis, and individuals such as Juliana?

Disclaimer: I’m a huge history buff, so I naturally love this series. I’m glad to discuss my high praise in the comments. Apparently, many reviewers and viewers did not enjoy this season of The Man in the High Castle.

The Man in the High Castle is streaming on Amazon Prime now. Be sure to tune in!