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"Escalation" is the fourth episode of Season Two of The Man in the High Castle, and the fourteenth episode of the series overall. This episode, along with the rest of the season, was made available for streaming on Amazon Video on December 16th, 2016.

Synopsis

Juliana discovers she's far from safe from the Resistance in the Reich. Smith confronts the reality of the lengths he's willing to go to in order to protect his son. And another father - Joe's - tries to persuade him to give Berlin a chance. Frank also has a decision to make: how far is he prepared to go to help the Resistance cause?

Plot

Joe Blake visits his father, Martin Heusmann, at his office as he needs his authorization to return to New York. Martin tries to have Joe reconsider and stay, but Joe confronts his father in anger for sending his mother away to America. Martin counters, claiming his mother actually decided to abandon Martin in Berlin as she couldn't accept being part of the Nazis' work. Despite knowing the truth, Joe remains unpersuaded to stay.

In an alternate reality, Tagomi sees his wife alive, but before she could see him, he returns back to his office. The next day, Tagomi attempts to dissuade General Onoda from continuing transport of enriched uranium on buses by sending him photographs of a nuked Washington D.C. that depicts irradiated survivors but to no avail. When Kotomichi retrieves the photos, Tagomi briefly notices radiation burns on Kotomichi's right arm when his sleeve slips. 

Frank and Ed meet with Mark Sampson to order the metals needed to finish the forged cuff-links. Frank pleads to pay Mark back in a week as he assures him they already have a client. Ed worries that they'll endanger Mark's family, as all their money has to be paid back to the Yakuza, but Frank sees no other option. Suddenly, shots are heard and the two follow the crowd to witness the Kempeitai lining up many random American civilians to be shot, as reprisal from the Resistance's attack. Frank rushes back to inform Gary and Sarah, expecting them to strike back but realizes they already knew. Frank is disgusted but Gary justifies that their intentions are to strike fear in their oppressors not rescue everyone. To satisfy his desire for justice, Gary recruits him for a major operation. Sarah and Frank drive by a building guarded by Japanese soldiers, as Frank learns that a 2000 pound bomb dropped during the war, never exploded, and the Kempeitai plan to safely remove it. Frank's job is to extract the explosive content inside it, but to accomplish this, he recruits a reluctant Ed to help him.

After the reprisals are carried out, Chief Inspector Kido invites Onoda for a night of drinking at a bar. Onoda is soon drunk after hours of heavy drinking while Kido tries to remain sober. As Onoda struggles to leave, Kido assists him while taking advantage of having Onoda sign a "routine order" without his full recognition. 

Sarah accompanies Frank and Ed as they sneak inside the building. Frank, guided by Ed, carefully use a drilling machine to puncture the bomb but are unable to fully break through without risking it exploding. Frank resorts to manually finishing the process. While working, Frank listens to Sarah's history of being held at Manzanar internment camps built by the former United States and then forced to remain by the Imperial Japanese Army after winning the war, as they were regarded as traitors for having left their homeland, causing her to be neither American nor Japanese. Subsequently, Frank successfully breaks through the bomb and extracts the contents. With their tanks filled, the three manage to flee undetected. Frank stays to help them finish up while sending Ed to return home. When Sarah and Frank are left alone, the two get romantically involved.

Juliana visits the Smith family, but as Helen has to comfort a grieving Alice Adler, she has Thomas help Juliana prepare for her citizenship test instead. While studying, Juliana notices Thomas's hand shaking. After finishing, she is invited to join the family for dinner tomorrow by John Smith. Juliana then proceeds to seek George Dixon at his apartment, but finds a new tenant has occupied it. Juliana then finds herself pursued by a man and soon the female tenant at the train station. They spot her and begin to shoot her down but Juliana manages to slip away before they have to flee from the responding police. 

Helen grows suspicious of John and confronts him late at night, accusing him of being responsible for the death of Alice's husband. John confesses but reveals to her that it was because of protecting their son, Thomas, of having his illness discovered. Helen begins to break down in worry of their son's fate, but John reassures her that he'll protect their son no matter what.  Meanwhile, Juliana manages to return to her apartment alive. Her telephone suddenly rings, and a man tells her to look outside her window. She finds a man using a telephone booth across the street, where he identifies himself as George Dixon, having learned of Juliana's attempts of looking for him.

Alone at his office, Tagomi makes another attempt to travel to an alternate world. He finds himself outside the home where he first saw his wife alive, now noticing him from her bedroom window.

Cast & Characters

Starring
Guest Starring
Co-Starring
  • Lee Shorten as Sergeant Yoshida
  • Gracyn Shinyei as Amy Smith
  • Genea Charpentier as Jennifer Smith
  • Yukari Komatsu as Michiko Tagomi
  • Aaron Blakely as Erich Raeder
  • Gillian Barber as Alice Adler
  • Jillian Walchuck as ND Hostess
  • Ruairi MacDonald as Charlie Sampson
  • Yael Yurman as Clara Sampson
  • Mike McLeod as Gestapo Agent
  • Yuichi Saito as Kempeitai Officer
  • Ryan Jinn as Japanese Soldier
  • Julian Lao as Japanese Soldier
  • Jen Oleksiuk as ND Hostess #2
  • Meghan Gardiner as Crying Family Member #1
  • Nicola Doherty as Crying Family Member #2
  • Chase Nicholson as Photo Kid
  • Veronika Hadrava as Woman
  • Paul Lazenby as White Man #1
  • Ryan Hesp as Bill
  • Barbara Beall as Bill's Wife
  • Joe Allard as White Man #2
Uncredited
  • Evan Lee as Hostess Bar Patron

Notes & Trivia

To be Added


Episodes
Season 1 The New WorldSunriseThe Illustrated WomanRevelationsThe New NormalThree MonkeysTruth
End of the WorldKindnessA Way Out
Season 2 The Tiger's CaveThe Road Less TraveledTravelersEscalationDuck and CoverKintsugiLand O' SmilesLoose LipsDetonationFallout
Season 3 Now More Than Ever, We Care About YouImagine ManchuriaSensô KôiSabraThe New Colossus
History EndsExcess AnimusKasumi (Through the Mists)BakuJahr Null
Season 4 Hexagram 64Every Door Out...The BoxHappy TrailsMauvaise FoiAll Serious Daring
No Masters But OurselvesHitler Has Only Got One BallFor Want of a NailFire from the Gods