Season 4 – Final Season: Juliana Crain is on a mission to take down Reichsmarschall Smith, as the Nazis use the Die Nebenwelt Portal to infiltrate other worlds
***Attention: Spoiler Alert. Details contained within this review could ruin the ending or parts of the movie for you. You’ve been warned. Read with caution…
“Season 4 moves briskly along as the creative team attempts to wrap up a myriad of character arcs and overall plot points. Perhaps too briskly. I started to feel that there simply wasn’t enough time to tie everything off in a satisfying way…” – Dave Trumbore, Collider
“Although the political plot of the Pacific States is stuck on repeat, storylines involving John Smith and Juliana Crain are, as usual, the highlight of the series, and a new twist on the Resistance provides plenty of action and intrigue.” – Michael Ahr, Den of Geek
“One of the final season’s most prevalent and successfully communicated themes is how our choices affect both our own destinies and those of the next generation.” – Tom Jorgensen, IGN
“While the series does a good job of showing that none of these people are purely bad, they’ve done terrible things, and now they’re paying for them.” – Linda Maleh, Forbes
Juliana Crain is on a mission to take down Reichsmarschall Smith, as the Nazis use the Die Nebenwelt Portal to infiltrate other worlds. Helen Smith struggles to protect her fractured family. Chief Inspector Kido is caught between the Imperial Army and the Royal Family as the Japanese Empire faces its greatest challenge. Amid these tensions, a new rebel force rises: the Black Communist Resistance.
“Does anyone know what the purpose of all the people walking through the portal at the end means? Who were they? Why were they there?” was one Reddit user’s take on the events, and they were far from alone. “I totally don’t get the ending scene and hate that it seems like it wasn’t explained,” one wrote, while another asked, “why are people from other world coming to this fucked up world?”
Rather than give us a definitive ending where either the Nazis finally crushed the Resistance and launched their Phase V mass extermination project or the Resistance won after Helen Smith (Chelah Horsdal) finally convinced her husband John (Rufus Sewell) to fight against the party that has broken up their family and murdered one of their children, the ending of Man in the High Castle decided to give us a more ambivalent ending that could spell doom or salvation for our characters.
After all, Amazon Prime season 4’s main plot began with Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos), who at the end of the series finally achieved her aim of killing John Smith, slowly becoming a member of the Resistance after watching one of the Man in the High Castle’s (Stephen Root) film reels of alternative history that showed the Allies winning World War II.
If we follow this thread to the end of the series, then this influx of people from an alternate timeline could be the thing that finally ends the Nazi reign over this timeline. If a grainy reel of another world can persuade someone to fight against the regime, then imagine the power that living, breathing people from other, more prosperous worlds could have if they start to mix among the people of the Greater Nazi Reich.
But for the most part, the ending to Season 4 didn’t quite give fans what they wanted. They weren’t satisfied. The people who come through the tunnel don’t appear to be soldiers. They’re just everyday people. And the Resistance didn’t end up teaming up with the Allied soldiers from the other universes like a lot of fans seemingly wanted. Instead the makers of the show decided to bring on a group of defenseless civilians through the portal, leaving fans to decide for themselves whether or not they’d be brought down by the GNR or just become the newest victims of the Nazi regime.
As a whole, The Man in the High Castle is still worth seeing. But it’s a shame to see the show go out the way it did. The human drama is as strong as ever, but High Castle struggles to meld it altogether into a coherent, sweet-smelling, flowery-tasting ending. But what do you expect?
Nevertheless you will still get awesome series-best performances from Rufus Sewell, Joel de la Fuente, and Chelah Horsdal. You will miss a more dynamic Juliana and the confidence the show had in its sci-fi DNA. But all in all, the final season is posted up as High Castle’s own worlds. So if you chill out and relax your mind to let go, you might be able to get your underwear out of that huge bunch in the back of your already, super tight-ass jeans. Just saying