Last year, Amazon released season 1 of its long-awaited (and delayed) alternate history series The Man in the High Castle. Adapted from Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, the 10-episode season took on the ambitious task of recreating a United States controlled by Nazi Germany and Japan, after World War II was lost to the Axis powers. The first season was a sometimes languid but visually impressive affair that built a real sense of place to go along with its heavy plot that more than dabbled in alternate timelines – it went full science fiction in its final episode, revealing a major mystery that went far deeper than the question of who the Man in the High Castle really is.
Although the Ridley Scott-produced series has seen another unexpected setback come in the form of former X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz exit as showrunner, season 2 is still on track to hit Amazon’s Prime Video later this year. The second installment in the series has its work cut out for it, not only because it lacks Spotnitz at the helm, but also because of the various predicaments in which it left several key players at the end of season 1.
While speaking at the summer TCA press tour, Amazon didn’t shy away from offering plenty of information about the upcoming season. The presentation not only included several out-of-context images, but also a lengthy and rather detailed synopsis of The Man in the High Castle season 2.
The synopsis is as follows:
“Season two resumes with Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) facing the consequences of her decision to betray the Resistance and allow Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank), a suspected Nazi agent, to escape the Pacific States with a film originally bound for the Man in the High Castle. Joe himself returns a hero to the Reich and finds himself thrust into the Nazi capital of Berlin, face to face with the father who abandoned him. Meanwhile, Frank Frink (Rupert Evans) becomes increasingly radicalized and drawn further into the Resistance after seeing images of his own execution in the mysterious films.
With political tensions mounting between Germany and Japan, Trade Minister Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) begins to regret his success in smuggling nuclear technology from the Reich and seeks solace in the strange new world he discovered at the end of season one. Meanwhile, Obergruppenführer John Smith (Rufus Sewell) struggles to reconcile the values of the Reich with the deteriorating health of his son — all while tasked with a mission from the Führer for which failure is not an option. And Chief Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente) begins to take greater interest in the Man in the High Castle, the films, and how Juliana Crain is connected to it all…”
It appears as though the disparate story lines of season 1 will begin to fold into one another to a greater degree this time around. With Juliana potentially sharing more time with Inspector Kido, and her boyfriend Frank playing an increasingly risky game, there is plenty to keep the three busy and close by as the season unfolds. Given where the story seems to be heading, that’s probably not too surprising. What is surprising is Amazon’s straightforwardness with regard to what happened when Trade Minister Tagomi found himself in an alternate post-WWII America timeline (the one we know) in season 1 finale. According to EW, executive producer Isa Hackett didn’t beat around the bush with the reveal either. Hackett said, “It wasn’t a dream if that’s what you’re asking.”
With the series running two mysteries simultaneously (along with two timelines, apparently) there’s plenty for The Man in the High Castle to explore and to reveal when season 2 begins later this year.
The Man in the High Castle season 2 premieres Friday, December 16 on Amazon Prime Video.