Nearly 2 years after the season 2 finale, Amazon’s original sci-fi series, The Man in the High Castle, is returning for its third season on October 5. While under the direction of Ridley Scott and X-Files producer Frank Spotnitz, the alternate history series has gained widespread acclaim from The Guardian, Wired, and Entertainment Weekly, and has also brought in two Emmy Awards for the first two seasons.
Based on Philip P. Dick’s dystopian novel, The Man in the High Castle portrays a world in which the Axis Powers obtained complete world domination after winning the second World War. Control over the United States was split into three territories. The Nazis control the East, the Japanese control the West, and the uncontrolled region in the center is called the Neutral Zone.
The series revolves around these unique newsreel films that show alternate realities from that of the series and our own. They are crucial to the stability of the two superpowers. Hawthorne Abendsen, commonly known as “the Man in the High Castle,” is the leader of the Resistance and collector of the films.
Protagonists Juliana Crane and her boyfriend, Frank Frink, live in San Francisco under the Japanese Pacific States. Juliana’s sister, Trudy Walker, was gunned down by the Kempeitai (the Japanese police) over her involvement with Resistance. Determined to complete her sister’s mission, she packs her bags and heads to the Neutral Zone to locate the Resistance.
Upon arriving, she is befriended by an undercover Nazi agent, Joe Blake, who is tasked to find where the rest of the films are, but they are chased out of the Neutral Zone by a gunslinging Marshall. Juliana and Joe return to San Francisco to track down a new film, but after Joe’s identity is revealed in the new film, Juliana lets Joe escape with the new film and in return puts herself in the Resistance’s crosshairs. She is forced to surrender herself to the Reich, where she is taken in and sent to New York to live with Obergruppenführer John Smith’s family.
Nobusuke Tagomi is the Japanese Trade Minister in San Francisco, who was able to obtain the designs for the Nazi’s nuclear weapons through a spy. However, when the Japanese military ends up planning to preemptively strike the Reich, Tagomi is shocked and dismayed because he thought he would bring peace. Tagomi believes that Juliana is destined for something greater, but doesn’t know how or even why.
Feeling overwhelmed, Tagomi meditated with Juliana’s necklace in his hand only to find himself immersed in a new reality—1960’s Americana. Here he discovers that his wife and son are actually alive, and that Juliana is the mother of his grandson. Upon returning to his reality, he brings back a film, proof of his travels across the multiverse.
Moving to New York provided Juliana an opportunity to seek out George Dixon, her sister’s father and Resistance member. Abendsen found Dixon dead in alleyway in one of the only films where San Francisco hadn’t been destroyed by a nuke. He wanted Juliana to find him because he believes that Dixon is the key to preventing a nuclear war between the two powers.
Obergruppenführer John Smith is a ruthless high-ranking member of the Reich who would do absolutely anything to protect his family. His son, Thomas, developed muscular dystrophy, which is also the same disease Smith’s brother died from. The Smith family must keep Thomas’ condition secret, but this is jeopardized when Dixon attempts to expose Thomas’ condition. To protect Thomas, Juliana kills Dixon in the same alleyway depicted in the Abendsen film. Although her decision to protect Thomas saved millions of lives, Thomas surrendered himself to be euthanized by the Reich to protect his father’s name after learning that he became the new leader of the Reich.
Amazon released detailed information about the upcoming season stating, “[Juliana] works with Trade Minister Tagomi to interpret the mystery of the last remaining films. Meanwhile, as tensions between the Reich and the Empire continue to rise, Joe Blake returns from Berlin…where he and Juliana reunite and come to a turning point in their relationship.” They also said, “Helen takes drastic action to protect her family while they struggle with the aftermath of Thomas’ death, and Smith learns of a shocking and ambitious new Nazi program that has personal and global ramifications.”