This episode of The Man in the High Castle, aptly titled “The End of the World,” reminds me of that Mexican Standoff scene in the movie Reservoir Dogs when nearly every character was pointing guns at each other. There’s a sense that poop was going to hit the fan in this episode and boy did it ever. Of course the catalyst for all the trouble is the mysterious new film made by the Man in the High Castle. Lem Washington (Rick Worthy) returns after acting as Juliana’s contact with the resistance in Canon City as he and the Pacific States leader Karen (Camille Sullivan) are tasked with retrieving the film. It doesn’t take long for things to go awry as someone murders their contact and steals the film. The situation becomes clear when Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente) visits the Yakuza and finds out they have the film and are trying to play both sides and sell it to the highest bidder. Being told what to do does not go over well with the Inspector who doesn’t appreciate being pushed around. The key players all become entangled in this with Juliana Crane (Alexa Davalos) desperate to see what is on the second film and Frank Frink (Rupert Evans) trying to secure the money to get both of them out of the Pacific States. Then there is Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank) who is under the orders of Obergruppenführer John Smith (Rufus Sewell) to retrieve the film or see his family die. This ominous set of circumstances is the backdrop to the explosive finale when the film is supposed to change hands. This entire episode is dedicated to setting up the exchange as the circumstances surrounding each character evolve by the second. It’s drama of the highest order with practically every scene ratcheting up the tension. At this point, Frank and Juliana have no choice but to flee with the Kampeitai suspecting him for the assassination attempt on the crown prince. This leads to an unlikely alliance between Frank and the antiques dealer Robert Childan (Brennan Brown). Frank needs money for the escape so he teams with Childan to create fake American antiques for high-end Japanese clients. Childan’s side story becomes one of the uplifting parts in this show as he uses this as a way to stick it to those that look down on him. One of the best scenes in this episode is when he has to convince one of his clients that Frank’s forgery is the real deal. It leads to an ironic exchange between Childan and the wife who claims to sense a painful and sorrowful energy coming off the knock-off necklace Frank made that was supposed to belong to a Native American chief. Ed McCarthy (DJ Qualls) also cements himself as one of the more endearing characters in his continued efforts to help Juliana and Frank escape. There are few truly good people in this show and it’s poignant how Ed goes above and beyond for them. His motivations don’t lie with the Resistance, but a simple desire to help his friends and to have a character as straightforward and honest as him is refreshing considering the chaos that surrounds everyone else. While Juliana and Frank made peace and reaffirmed their relationship, the tension returns as Joe becomes involved in the resistances efforts to retrieve the film. He ends up securing the money necessary to help buy back the film, but he of course has own motives (and financier) to play point man on the exchange. For or all the machinations and moving parts in this episode, it all comes down to the exchange and the moment doesn’t disappoint bringing all players together in a chaotic and frantic scene. One of the real shocking developments that is separate from everything involving the new film is what happens to Obergruppenführer Smith. Once again we get to see more of the man when something tragic happens with his son. We see his commitment to family come in conflict with policies of the state, which causes him great turmoil. Seeing him question the nation and his duty to it is one of the more fascinating parts of this show and it will be interesting to see how this turns out. “The End of the World” signifies a sprint toward the end that is of course sparked by the film. In Reservoir Dogs the Mexican Standoff ended with a lot of characters dead or bleeding on the floor. This episode doesn’t have quite the finality and violence of that scene Tarantino’s film, but the amount of tension and action that is packed into that final sequence is comparable. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.