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Reason Amazon released the whole season the same day.

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What Kind Of Long, Strange Trip Is The Man in the High Castle On?

And other not-quite-burning questions from S02.E06.

Welcome to the second half of Season 2! After dumping a lot of game-changing info on us in the previous episode, things get slowed down a bit this go-around. And by "slowed down," I mean "I sat in the same position on my bed for seven hours watching cartoons on the palm of my left hand because I was tripping balls on LSD" slowed down. More on that in a bit.

This episode has raised more than few questions, all of which seem to revolve around a concern I have about what happens when people start thinking they can game the system in their favor by keeping their own counsel and not following the rules. As a treat for the holiday season, I happily present a special themed edition of Tinder Questions entitled "Will Hidden Motives have Unforeseen Consequences?" So let's get to it!

Will Juliana's attempts to play ball with both the Resistance and the Reich end well for anyone?

For most of this series, Juliana has shown a great deal more chutzpah than common sense. Her decision to help Joe at the end of the first season put her on a collision course with the Resistance. Her troubles have only been compounded when, after defecting to the Reich as a means of getting in touch with Trudy's father, it turns out he's also in the Resistance, which wants her dead. To save her own life, she now has to offer up Obengruppenf├╝hrer Smith's by getting chummy with his family.

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Amazon

Flying solo has generally worked out for Juliana up to this point, but has she finally painted herself into a corner where she has to choose a side besides her own? To quote Bob Dylan, you gotta serve somebody.

What is the deal with Joe's Teutonic Titwillow of a girlfriend?

Something has been off about this woman from the moment she showed up.

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Amazon

Is Nicole playing it straight, or is she the twenty-first century's Lili Von Shtupp -- in league with powerful people who have their own plans for Joe? It's quite possible the former is the truth, since she was part of the same SS-sponsored breeding program that oversaw Joe's birth, and has a previous relationship of some kind with Joe's father. However, her rebellious streak (and her statements about the older generation's "strange ideas") might suggest otherwise after she takes Joe to a party that plays out like an unacceptably weird mashup of Cabaret and Easy Rider. (There probably isn't a mashup of those movies that would ever be acceptable, actually. For no other reason than not wanting to see Dennis Hopper belt out "Maybe This Time"). There is, of course, the possibility that, like Juliana, she has her own agenda. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Who thinks Smith's elaborate plan for his son will go off without a hitch?

Yeah -- that's what I thought. Me neither. You know those stories that pop up every year about some dumbass privileged white college students who throw an African-American-themed Halloween party and we all find out about it because in their drunken (and general) stupidity they post pictures of themselves in blackface on Instagram? And we all wonder how nobody involved ever stopped to mention how horrible an idea this was and that it would have some really shitty results? Well, that's exactly what Smith's plan for Thomas feels like. Is it a better plan than killing his own son or turning him over to the Reich so that somebody else will kill him? Well, duh, yeah. But that's a long way away from saying this is the best plan. While the song "I Fought the Law" had been recorded by 1962, it didn't become a hit for several years, so even if it did exist in Smith's reality, he probably wouldn't have a chance to listen to it. Which is a shame, because it is glaringly obvious that the law will win out over this half-baked, emotion-driven, cockamamie plan.

Will Tagomi try to fix the monumental mess he made of his family life or will he meditate and run?

For someone who has such sensitivity in his primary timeline, Tagomi has little patience in the alternate one, particularly with his son.

Amazon

Amazon

You would think that finding out you're a drunk who can't be trusted around your own grandson would force one into a slightly more conciliatory tone, but the strangeness of this new world is just too much for Tagomi to take in all at once. Is he going to cut his losses and blink himself back to Japanese Pacific States? The fact that Juliana is his daughter-in-law offers some incentive to stick around, given his prior relationship with her, as does the fact that he has a Japanese general and Inspector Kido riding his ass back in the first timeline. I wouldn't mind him hanging around, though. This version of 1962 San Francisco offers some needed emotional complexity to what is becoming a very plot-driven program.

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