'The Man in the High Castle' Season 4: A great show comes to an abrupt end
In a surprising move, lead character Trade Minister Tagomi was killed off without even a single appearance. For characters that were drawn out to score a multiple season arc, the fourth season did complete injustice. Not only Tagomi, Ed McCarthy too was nowhere to be seen
Major spoilers ahead for season 4 of 'The Man in the High Castle'
Midway through season 4 of 'The Man in the High Castle', Hawthorne Abendsen (Stephen Root) tells the then-Reichsmarschall John Smith (Rufus Sewell), "You'll never know peace, John. You'll wander forever between the world's lost". That is where season 4 brings us -- to the downfall of a former American soldier who rose the ranks of the Schutzstaffel to become Reichsführer.
The final season of the Amazon original 'The Man in the High Castle' opens with Juliana (Alexa Davalos) warping into an alternate America where the Allied powers won the war. Shot by Smith in the season 3 finale just as she is about to be transported, an injured Juliana stumbles in front of Alt-John Smith's car, who helps her to safety.
The story picks up a year after this. In a surprising move, one of the lead characters of the show, Trade Minister Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), was killed off without even a single appearance.
Leading up to season 4, Tagomi played a major role in driving the events in favor of the Resistance -- specifically, Juliana Craine. It seemed almost unfair to bid farewell to such an important character in this manner.
In the Japanese Pacific States, the Black Communist Rebellion is staging an uprising. Led by the powerful Bell Mallory, played by Frances Turner, the character is loosely based on Angela Davis.
Turner's performance is particularly special as she ignites the fires of rebellion in San Fransisco. Precise and just, Mallory takes charge of an underground movement that overthrows an entire government.
Meanwhile, tensions between the Reich and Imperial Japan are on the rise with the looming threat of an invasion. Japan, however, is brought down by another power. Their retreat back home is not easy with people running amok for revenge for two decades of oppression.
In the midst of this retreat is caught Chief Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente). With his morals and ideals puts to test, Kido reflects on lost time and finds himself full of regret and remorse.
It is a shame we don't get to see more of Kido and John Smith together, especially now during the tensest period of the show. But that is made up by Kido's interactions with his son Toru (Sen Mitsuji).
Toru suffers from PTSD after his time in Manchuria, but Kido, a soldier bound by his duty, staunchly believes his son should forget the past. Their time apart on the show is filled with remorse and repentance.
The final season of the show did not have to end this abruptly. For characters that were drawn out to score a multiple season arc, the fourth season did complete injustice. We not only speak with respect to Tagomi but also Ed McCarthy (DJ Qualis) who was nowhere to be seen this season.
And Bella (Nicole Dörmer), whose arrest last season didn't seem like the end of her character. It would be rash to deride the conclusion of the show. For one it made a completely satisfying watch. With its foundations in politics and subsequent branching out in sci-fi, there is really little to complain about.
'The Man in the High Castle' will particularly be known for its antagonist John Smith. With Sewell delivering an intense performance, John Smith is a tragic character, driven mad by the countless possibilities his power provides him in one world, disregarding his futility in the other world.
All episodes of 'The Man in the High Castle' are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.