The Man in the High Castle addresses loyalties — where they lay, where they shift and the implications of affirming them. This episode, titled “Sunrise,” is tense and taut throughout because of how it explores what every single one of the characters stand for and how it brushes up against the rigid doctrines of two oppressive nations. No other character has their loyalties tested more than Frank Frink (Rupert Evans), whose romantic interest in Juliana Crane puts him at odds with the Japanese military police searching for her. Frank is jewish and their painful history in this universe makes his interrogation at the hands of Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente) chilling. Kido leverages the existing laws, which calls for Frank and all of his immediate family to be killed if he fails to cooperate, in order to find out where Juliana ended up going. Frank is faced with the impossible choice — save his family or Crane — and much of the tension in this episode comes from the decision he inevitably has to make by the end. The best parts of this episode involve Kido slowly ratcheting up the pressure on Frank in an attempt to give up Juliana. In one scene Frank is beaten and stripped down naked in front of Kido who looks down on him before threatening to have his sister and two kids killed in accordance with Nazi law. In another, Kido reveals to Frank that his family is in the station and describes in detail how they will be killed if he doesn’t comply. All these scenes are jarring because it explores what might have been if the religious prosecution of Nazi Germany were allowed to continue. Frank believes the resistance is a hopeless fight and clings to compliance for the sake of self-preservation, but his loyalties to that belief are tested by a fellow prisoner next door to him. His conversations with Randall, a man jailed for being vocal about resisting oppression, serve as a counterpoint to the pressure put on him by Kido. At times their conversations start sounding more like commentary on the cost of resisting, but does serve its purpose well in making the case for Frank to make great personal sacrifice. This morality play serves as the narrative center of the episode that everything else riffs off of. While Frank is imprisoned and forced to choose between his loyalty to Juliana and his family, there is a budding romance between Juliana and Joe. Their love has a dark cloud over it though as both have secrets and refuse to divulge them to each other. That reluctance makes for an awkward scene where both are upfront about having something to hide, but never dare to speak openly about it. The difference between them though is that it’s unclear where Blake’s loyalties lie, while Juliana is wholly committed to her cause. The question of who Blake ultimately chooses to serve lingers throughout this episode as every scene involving them barrels toward an inevitable choice he also has to make. “Sunrise” also explores the method and madness behind Obergruppenführer whose loyalties are never in question, but it’s his unyielding adherence to Nazi doctrine that makes him chilling and compelling at the same time. He is a fanatic and a family man, teaching his son Thomas about self-sacrifice for the sake of nation in a breakfast table conversation. His argument sounds so natural and sensible in context of the scene that it almost sounds plausible. Obergruppenführer is a man so sure in his beliefs that he is always in control regardless of whether it’s a gun fight or talking to his kids Every character makes their choice by the end and there’s a sense that where they stand sets the tone for many episodes to come. Frank inevitably chooses a side by the end while Juliana and Joe are left in the most precarious of circumstances. Looming over them all is Obergruppenführer who is scarier than ever. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.