Season 1 of Amazon's unsettling alternate reality series The Man in the High Castle introduced viewers to a world where the Allies lost the war and the United States was divided by victors Germany and Japan. The ensemble cast features characters loyal to each regime, as well as a dedicated resistance that is striving to collect films that mysteriously and realistically show an alternate history.
Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos), a woman doing her best to live a normal 1960s life in the Japanese territory on the West Coast, is forever changed when she acquires a strange reel of film labeled "The Grasshopper Lies Heavy." She works her way into the resistance movement, hoping to find an explanation from the carefully guarded man at the top -- aptly named The Man in the High Castle.
Much of season 1 involved both The Reich's and the Resistance's interest in the films, their true meaning, and the man supposedly responsible for them. So it may seem a bit of a surprise that Amazon has revealed the title character, played by Stephen Root (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Justified), in the latest trailer for season 2, which you can watch above.
We see Juliana in a room with the keeper of the films, a man named Hawthorne Abendsen in the original novel. Abdensen tells her that each of the films "show a reality like ours, but not ours." He also specifies that some people remain essentially unchanged throughout the realities, but "most people are different." The question will of course be how to achieve these alternate realities, and how The Man in the High Castle can capture/create these glimpses of them.
The cliffhanger of season 1 involved Trade Minister Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) seemingly meditating his way into one of these alternate realities, and executive producer Isa Hackett has confirmed that it wasn't a dream. While The Man in the High Castle has presented what seems like another physical world to explore, the series will also continue to delve into the conflicts and transformations that occur within each character.
The difficult choices that people make in extreme circumstances is one of the many fascinating aspects of this show. The full season 2 trailer, for instance, shows Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank) bravely asking to resign from his role as spy for The Reich. As Abendsen says in the clip above, "You learn an awful lot watching these films," and Joe is one of the chosen few to have seen one. The question that raises is: do the films reveal a physical reality that can be traveled to, or merely a representation of people's best or worst nature that affects the viewer so deeply that they alter their own reality? Either way, it's clear how powerful and dangerous these films can be.
The Man in the High Castle season 2 premieres Friday December 16 on Amazon Video.
Source: Amazon Video