With Juliana having thrown the Origami man (as we are now calling him) over the bridge at the end of the second episode, it’s smart of The Man in the High Castle to pick up right where we left off, with the consequences and implications of that action. That leads to “The Illustrated Woman” being a much more contemplative episode of television, not boasting the same action and tension as the two previous episodes.
Back at the hotel where Joe and Juliana are staying, Joe is attempting to comfort a distraught Juliana. She’s reeling, completely stunned that she killed someone. Joe gets her to take a swig of alcohol to calm her nerves and then tells her about a man he killed in self-defense once. “How do you carry that around?” she says, to which he doesn’t have much of an answer. You just do, basically.
While the comforting only goes so far, Joe reaches out and admits that he read Juliana’s letter, that he knows who she is and what she was doing in Canon City. He tells her that they have to leave, that it’s not safe here anymore. When Juliana resists because she needs to meet Trudy’s contact, Joe posits that maybe such a contact never existed, and that Trudy would have walked into the same trap that Jules did.
The next morning, Juliana agrees to leave. She tells Joe to go ahead first, so as not to raise suspicion about the dead Origami man or their leaving together, and after she works a shift at the diner like normal, she’ll catch up with him. It’s a plan that’s quickly thwarted by a menacing man who calls himself The Marshal.
We’re first introduced to The Marshal when he confronts Joe at a gas station. He pulls a shotgun on him and asks for his papers. When he figures Joe is okay in his books, he turns his attention back to asking folks about the whereabouts of his “friend,” the Origami man. Joe overhears him asking around and heads straight to the diner to warn Jules that they have to leave right away. They meet out back of the diner and take off in Joe’s truck.
Despite leaving the diner immediately, The Marshal is getting closer to them and their connection to the Origami man. He inquires about Juliana at the bookstore and finds out that the owner was selling Bibles. He’s not completely offended by that, but then he shuffles a deck of cards with faces on them and pulls out one with the face of the bookstore owner.
It says his name is David and that he fled a concentration camp during the war. He’s Jewish, and The Marshal doesn’t stand for that, so he kills him and strings him up in the middle of town. Like any good bounty hunter, The Marshal takes one of David’s fingers for good measure and stores it away as a trophy.
NEXT: Shades of Taxi Driver