The Man In The High Castle recap: Truth
Juliana tries to confirm that Trudy is in fact dead while Frank runs from the Kempeitai and Joe gets a new mission.
It makes sense that after ending on a few cliffhangers in its previous episode, The Man In The High Castle would follow up with an episode called “Truth.” Various characters have been keeping secrets all season long, and at some point the show was going to have to deal with the consequences. “Truth” doesn’t go all-out with the revealing of truths, but it does begin to see the lives of Frank, Joe, and Juliana unravel.
The episode picks up with that huge cliffhanger from the previous episode, with the Obergruppenführer finding Joe in his office looking through the blank Grasshopper file. He’s sad that Joe has turned out to be less loyal than he thought, but he also doesn’t know the whole truth. So, he produces the sketch of Juliana and tells Joe that it’s time to talk about who this woman is and what he did in Canon City.
Joe tells most of the truth, but certainly holds something back. He tells the Obergruppenführer that he was just protecting Juliana because it kept his cover in tact, and also because he has feelings for her. It’s enough to save his life for now, but with the Nazis looking for a new, apparently “different” kind of film from the Man in the High Castle, the Obergruppenführer plans on using Joe’s relationship with Juliana to hunt the film down.
With that secret out, it’s now Frank and Juliana’s turn. He tells Juliana about his whole assassination plan, about how he made a real gun and went to the speech with the intention of killing the Crown Prince. He says he felt it was the only thing necessary after seeing so much death. Teary-eyed, he admits that he couldn’t do it, that seeing the little Japanese boy made him think that there must be another way.
Juliana’s secret is that she saw Arnold working at the Japanese Authority Building. When she tells Frank, he’s a bit shocked, but he’s also kind of numb to it all at this point. As more and more secrets come out, Juliana and Frank are starting to see this world for what it truly is.
One of the episode’s strangest storylines involves Trudy. Jules’ mom believes that she “feels” Trudy again, that she must be safe and sound. That sets Juliana’s mind racing, and why shouldn’t it? If her stepdad can be working for the Japanese and she can be hunted down by a Nazi agent in the neutral zone, who’s to say her sister isn’t alive? Juliana’s suspicions are only heightened when she’s walking through the market and thinks she sees Trudy in the flesh.
Despite all these big reveals, the biggest of this episode might be the fact that Joe has a family. After getting his new mission from the Obergruppenführer, which involves waiting for a phone call from Jules and then using her to get to the newest film, he heads to an apartment that he shares with a woman and her son.
It’s hard to get too invested in this story though, as we know nothing about this woman, her kid, and their relationship with Joe, so when he doesn’t tell them about Juliana and his new mission, perhaps to protect them, the sadness the scene goes for doesn’t really hit home. Still, it’s intriguing to see that there’s more to Joe’s life than we assumed.
NEXT: Miss Lonelyhearts
If the whole “Trudy is maybe alive” thing isn’t strange enough, “Truth” devotes a solid chunk of its runtime to a dinner involving Robert, the antique-shop owner, and his two potential clients, the Kasouras. Their whole interaction is so awkward, and motivations unclear. When Robert leaves and tries to schedule another dinner, Paul Kasoura turns him down. He says this dinner, though, has been “instructive.” Hmmm.
But what that dinner achieves is motivation for Robert to hate Paul. So, when Frank comes to him with an idea to make cheap “antiques” and then sell them as real, Robert is completely on board. He says that Paul couldn’t tell the difference between a real antique and a fake one, so he gets Frank to begin working on a Sitting Bull tag. I’m not sure what the point of all this is, but yeah, it’s a thing that happened in this episode.
Meanwhile, when Arnold sees Juliana at the Authority Building he decides they need to have a discussion. They meet at a nearby diner—it’s a theme of this show—and Arnold tells her how he took this job 16 years ago to support the family. Also, he believes he’s kept Trudy safe, that the Japanese agreed to send her to the neutral zone. It’s sad, but Arnold seems to be telling the truth.
Still, Jules can’t shake the idea that Trudy is alive, so when Tagomi, who’s been digging into Juliana’s past, tells her that Trudy is dead, she asks for proof. He gives her the location of her body but warns her that it’s a brutal sight to see. And it sure is, as Juliana finds a pit of bodies, with Trudy being one amongst the dead. Did we seriously just spend an entire episode making sure a character that we thought was dead was, in fact, dead? Yes. Yes we did.
There’s really not much else to the episode, which is a shame considering how much new information came out. Everything is just slowly building right now, with the Kempeitai coming after Frank, Joe following Juliana, the Obergruppenführer threatening Joe’s family, and Frank working with Robert to screw over the Japanese. Still, there’s no sense of what it’s all building to, meaning that, for now, The Man In The High Castle continues to putter along.