When The New World begins, we’re introduced to Joe Black (Luke Kleintank). Joe receives a business card from a man in a movie theater. He is told the business card will lead him to a job, before making his exit. He immediately takes down the man, Don Warren (Michael Rispoli), and inquires about the job. Joe is prodded about his youth, before finally accepting the position and receiving a firearm. He is escorted outside and put into a truck, before Nazi soldiers arrive and open fire. Joe is instructed to travel to the neutral land of Colorado, while Warren is captured and taken into custody. Next, we skip over to San Francisco and introduce ourselves to Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos).
Juliana seems to be a karate instructor. After the session has concluded, she is invited to tea, but turns down the offer. Instead, she plans to meet her colleague the following morning. She heads to the store, where she runs into her sister, Trudy (Conor Leslie). Trudy tells her not to tell her mother about the encounter and also reveals she got a job. They separate soon after. Juliana returns home to her parents and hears her mother complain about the Nazi soldier on her television. Eventually, she hits the bar and meets with her boyfriend and jewelry designer, Frank Frink (Rupert Evans). They’re interrupted by Ed McCarthy (DJ Qualls), who has an insatiable hatred for the Nazis.
Moments later, Juliana makes her exit. On the way home, she runs into Trudy, who gives her something and runs off. Seconds later, Trudy is gunned down on the streets. Juliana heads home and finds out that the item was a reel of film. She pulls out an old projector and surprisingly projects the movie onto her window. The movie shows the Americans winning the war. She replays it over and over, before Frank comes home and tells her to put it away. He also explains that The Man in the High Castle has been producing the propaganda films and that Hitler has been ordering them to be destroyed. Meanwhile, Joe continues on his journey. He takes some pills to wake himself up, before driving on.
In the morning, Juliana speaks to Frank and tells him about Trudy’s bus ticket to Colorado. On the back, the ticket has a place and time. Frank attempts to transport Juliana and the movie reel to the police station, but Juliana talks him out of it and insists she will do so herself. Once he leaves, she takes off her necklace, which Frank made, and leaves. She runs into her Japanese karate colleague on the street and blows off the tea party. We also see that she has the movie reel in her purse. Next, we jump to the Nazi Embassy in the Japanese Pacific States. Arrangements are made for the arrival of the Prince and Princess. Nobusuke Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) insists the furniture in the room is inappropriate. Ambassador Hugo Reiss (Bernhard Forcher) agrees to have the furniture replaced.
When the Japanese men exit, Hugo learns about Chi. In the elevator, Tagomi reveals that he is worried about the future, due to the Fuhrer’s illness. On the road, Joe gets a flat. During this time, we see Warren being tortured by Nazi soldiers, who attempt to extract information from him. Unfortunately for them, they fail to do so. Warren is identified as the leader of the resistance and he pretends the truck was sent to Alabama. The Nazi admits they already knew where the truck was heading and what it was carrying. The Nazi leaves, but the punishment continues. Meanwhile, Joe receives assistance from a friendly cop, who even shares his lunch.
The pair speak about the policeman’s tattoo, which reveals that he was a soldier in the war. Moments later, ashes begin to fall from the sky. The cop admits the ashes are from the hospital, which burns cripples and the terminally ill on Tuesdays. Moments later, the pair separate and Joe continues on his way. Next, Juliana runs into the man, who got Trudy into the business. He attempts to obtain the reel, but Juliana refuses to give it up. Instead, she boards the bus and prepares to leave for Colorado. Meanwhile, Tagomi meets with Mr. Baynes at the airport. The pair enter a vehicle and speak in private. While there, Mr. Baynes confirms his true identity, Rudolph Wegener (Carsten Norgaard).
Rudolph provides Tagomi with information. He insists the Nazis will most likely attack, once Hitler is out of the way. Next, Frank speaks with his boss, Mr. Matson. He asks him, if he saw the designs. Mr. Matson admits he did, but that Frank should do the job that he has been given. Meanwhile, Juliana meets a strange woman, Katie Owens (Shannon Day), on the bus. They speak for awhile, before Juliana falls asleep. When she awakes, she believes Katie has stolen her belongings. She pounds on the window and fails to get out of the bus, before the door closes. However, her belongings were with her all along. Joe makes it to Colorado and places a phone call. He gets no answer and decides to check out the cargo inside of the truck.
Nothing of interest is found in the back, so he checks underneath and finds a reel of film. Afterwards, he successfully crosses in to Colorado. Meanwhile, Obergruppenfuhrer John Smith (Rufus Sewell) returns to Warren to find him passed out and his handler missing. The man is ordered to continue the beating. Juliana finally arrives in Colorado. She discovers and enters the Sunrise Diner. Meanwhile, Frank Frink gets a visit from Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente). Frank’s place is searched and he is questioned about Trudy, before Juliana calls. Frank answers, but Juliana has already hung up. Inspector Kido leaves without any evidence. Meanwhile, Juliana eats, while waiting for someone to arrive.
Eventually, she tells the waiter that she cannot afford to pay. Thankfully, Joe Blake enters and saves her from trouble. They head outside and wind up sharing a drink together. Juliana gives the name Trudy. During this time, we see Frank pulled from his home. Joe departs and answers the phone. He speaks with John Smith and he confirms that he was able to make it into Colorado, without difficulty.
The Man in the High Castle Review
When watching The Man in the High Castle, I was somewhat bored and grew frustrated by the conveniences provided to the characters. Juliana made several blunders, which were immensely annoying. Playing the reel of movie, which just got her sister killed, directly on her curtain for all to see was laughable. Also, pounding on the window, instead of rushing out of the bus’s door was stunningly stupid. Then, Joe Blake seemed totally incompetent from the onset. He couldn’t change the tire, without help from the police office and just seemed out of his element, yet he had no trouble finding the movie reel underneath the truck.
Once I finished the pilot and did a little bit of research, I discovered Joe Blake’s true intention and role. Although I shouldn’t have been forced to do this, doing so made the pilot much better. Now that everything is better understandable, I do like the premises and setting of the show. The time period is excellent and the alternative history is very intriguing. Of course, these should be credited to the book. At this point, I can very interested to see how things unfold. A 7 out of 10 is deserved for the pilot. Be sure to check out our other The Man in the High Castle recaps right now!