'The Man in the High Castle' Season 4: Key characters are women, headed by Helen and Bell Mallory as they see John Smith’s fall
Major spoilers ahead for season 4 of 'The Man in the High Castle'
It can be argued that the main character of the Amazon Prime Video original 'The Man n the High Castle' isn't Rufus Sewell's John Smith. Because even though we follow Smith's rise to power and his imminent downfall, we are actually watching the story of a rebellion unfold - a rebellion fueled not by the searing ruthlessness of men but by the patient endeavors of passionate women.
Although Juliana Craine (Alexa Davalos) has been the torchbearer of the Resistance movement and the omnipresent driving force of the series building up to here, it is the fourth season that brings the other female characters on the show to the forefront.
First and foremost through Bell Mallory. Loosely based on Angela Davis, Mallory (Frances Turner) leads the Black Communist Rebellion (BCR). Sparked by Equiano Hampton (David Harewood), the BCR is dedicated to the liberation of African-Americans and their enemies are the Japanese.
Bell is a fearless character showcasing perseverance. Particularly remarkable because Bell is leading this movement in a world where there was no civil rights movement in the U.S.
Then there are both Amy (Gracyn Shinyei) and Jennifer (Genea Charpentier). The young girls play the daughters of the Smith family. After returning from the Neutral Zone, Jennifer finds it extremely difficult to live under the fascist rule of the Greater Nazi Reich (GNR).
Charpentier's intense conversation with Helen Smith is a heartwrenching scene as Jennifer realizes her mother is somehow complicit in the thousands of exterminations conducted by the Reich. At the same time, Amy is almost glad to return to the GNR.
Although she returns from the Neutral Zone with questions, the lawlessness of that place was practically disturbing for her to watch. But most of all it is Helen Smith (Chelah Horsdal), devoted wife and doting mother of the Nazi land, who stands out.
Having spent a flippant season 3, Helen Smith is back to the Reich at the beginning of season 4 in order to keep her daughters safe. For Helen Smith, her family was everything. Watching her and Smith tear apart -- from being partners in crime to a betrayal -- is a surreal arc, but not a surprising one.
The Smith family was a well-oiled machine at the start of this story. But several events led to the team that was Helen and John, split. The final nail in the coffin was Thomas' (Quinn Lord) death due to the Reich's extermination policy of people with degenerative diseases.
Whatever doubt she had regarding giving the Resistance the information was clarified when Smith expressed his interest in bringing Alt-Thomas (Quinn Lord) to their world. Helen had been by Smith's side through everything - working together, arm in arm.
But as Smith gained power, Helen started nursing a doubt about her own husband. And why not -- Smith had given her several reasons to do so. This doubt first turned into paranoia, then into abject fear, which was when she fled the Reich to go to the Neutral Zone.
But fear of her daughter having tasted freedom firsthand in the Neutral Zone and living under the oppressive Reich brings her back to GNR. It is, however, the ultimate betrayal from John Smith that pushes her to do the same.
All the while, the two of them were putting up a front for the best survival of their family. But somewhere down the line, it didn't remain just that. She realizes Smith had become one of the Nazis upon discovering plans for race purification. She doesn't recognize this man anymore.
Chelah Horsdal captures the troubled yet relentless Helen Smith perfectly depicting the decay of a marriage from within.
All ten episodes of 'The Man in the High Castle' Season 4 are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.