The Man in the High Castle season 3 finale recap: ‘Jahr Null’


Die Nebenwelt tests move forward as those left to make plans to subvert the system in The Man in the High Castle.

Abendsen arrives home to find that Smith has taken his wife hostage. He threatens to shoot himself, but fears that Smith will kill Caroline in retaliation. They are both arrested on The Man in the High Castle.

Juliana and her team enter the abandoned mine and work their way toward the Die Nebenwelt tunnel. Meanwhile, Smith and Himmler arrive for the test and enter a huge and impressive chamber dominated by a massive tunnel that resembles a concrete particle accelerator. Mengele straps four human test subjects to a conveyor and has them moved into the tunnel.

Three are vaporized, but one got through, making the test a partial success. It’s hard to tell what Smith thinks of all this, as he seems overcome and distracted by the events. Juliana and co-witness the test but are detected. Juliana is apprehended but the others escape.

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Kido manages to arrange Gina’s freedom from her hostess slavery at the club. He gives her some money to start, making her free to do anything she wants. She wants to go home to her family on the farm and invites him to come to visit her.

Smith interrogates Juliana, confronts her with the death of Joe and threatens that her usefulness to him is running out. Juliana knows how to push Smith’s buttons though, telling him how ashamed Thomas was not to be perfect and how being loved wasn’t enough to save him from how he was raised. Juliana is tortured for the names of her confederates, but she doesn’t give up.

Smith next interrogates Abendsen, having found his real name and how he started out in the Army Pictorial Service during the war. But that’s nothing compared to the information that John Smith started out with the Allies and switched sides. What made him become a traitor and what made him fight with the Allies in the first place?

Smith returns home to find that Helen is gone and that there was a scheduling mix up with the nurse. He has to attend the Jahr Null ceremony alone and Himmler tells him it doesn’t look good for his family not to be there.

The destruction of the Statue of Liberty is truly a spectacle, but Smith has that same kind of non-reaction to it that he has to anything that he perhaps finds upsetting. One wants to believe, knowing his history now and how he disagrees with the Reich eugenics policies, that he really finds all this Nazi posturing and destruction as sickening as we do.

The celebrations spark a series of riots among Nazi youths who are claiming the streets and the future as their own, destroying museums and libraries and attacking people in the street. Himmler encourages their enthusiasm. Meanwhile, Nicole Dormer is sent back to Berlin for re-education, Himmler revealing that he had ordered the raid on the club that outed her.

Wyatt bribes a contact in the underground film industry and has hundreds of copies made of the film, ready to distibute throughout the Reich and beyond. He then makes an assassination attempt on Himmler at the Jahr Null celebrations. He lives through his initial wounds but his survival is uncertain.

Helen calls to tell Smith that she’s okay but that she was running away from him, leaving him. Whatever Smith is struggling with as far as grief and doubt, he’s had precious little time to work through it given his struggle to come out on top and protect his family, and this certainly won’t help his deteriorating mental stability.

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He visits Abendsen who tells him that people can only travel to worlds that don’t already contain an alternate self, that one can only travel to a world where one is dead and no longer exists and that’s why one test subject gets through.

The lights start flickering, a sign to Smith that Juliana is attempting to travel. He rushes to her cell and shoots her in the shoulder just as she disappears.

Ed, Childan, and Jack drop a banner of Frank’s subversive symbol from a high tower in Frank’s honor and Wyatt packs up his truck with films ready to show the world.