"The Road Less Traveled" is the second episode of Season Two of The Man in the High Castle, and the twelfth 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.
After narrowly escaping death, Juliana discovers a family secret that could have global implications - and leads her to make a life-changing decision. Kido, Tagomi, and Frank all take dangerous risks, while back in New York, Joe settles into a normal routine, only to have it turned upside down when Smith gives him the opportunity he's waited for his whole life.
General Onada and Chief Inspector Kido are hanging out in a local bar, while being accompanied by two women. After having a strange conversation with a hostess bar, Kido excuses himself as he is urgently called for duty.
At night, Juliana wonders on the road and manages to hitch a ride with a truck driver, a former Army medic. He helps Juliana mend her injury and they drive off. Kido arrives at the Kempeitai Outpost where a shootout happened, they discover the corpse of Karen Vecchione still lying on the road. When Kido inspects the outpost, he finds a bullet lodged inside a wooden column and deduces that their suspects were shooting the unidentified woman. Kido orders Yoshida to launch reprisals in every district of San Francisco.
Lemuel and Gary breach in Frank Frink's homestead, who is not home, to find any sign of Juliana's presence. When they find no trace, they decide to wait for her arrival. They then argue with each other as Lemuel is frustrated with Gary's change of plans that resulted in Karen's death.
Frank Frink and Robert Childan are taken to the leader of the Yakuza, Taishi Okamura. Paul Kasuora confirms that Frank is the one who made the forged antique, but Taishi punches him as he recognizes Frank as the one who shot some of his men during his escape with Joe Blake, Frank claims that he was a Nazi trying to prove to Taishi that he can offer him large sums of money. Taishi asks Robert if Frank can make any American antiques, Robert confirms this but Frank will only accept if his assistant (Ed McCarthy) is with him. They are then thrown into a narrow room and are locked up.
Joe Blake does not attend his job at the SS Headquarters to prove to John Smith he is actually resigning for good and decides to work small as a construction worker. Meanwhile, Tagomi is tasked to urgently sign General Onada's plan of delivering Uranium deposits into public buses as part of the plan to keep the construction of a Japanese atomic bomb in secrecy. Tagomi angrily denies to approve such an order even though only buses that carry American civilians will be harmed from the uranium's radiation. Tagomi asks if Kotomich successfully found any record of the event known as, the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kotomich finds not a single record of the event, Tagomi dismisses him.
Juliana arrives at San Francisco and hurriedly runs home. Her mother worryingly asks what happened to her but Juliana ignores this and calls Arnold to immediately come home. When she hangs up she asks her mother to start packing up for their travel to leave the city, and she asks for their photo album, much to her mother's confusion.
Helen's friends are all having a friendly gathering when John Smith arrives home. They asks about his trip to Berlin, and how was the Führer doing. John lies by telling them that Hitler is in 'vigorous good health' and he excuses himself to his office. Helen comes in and asks John of how the Führer really is, John confesses that the Führer is in poor health. At an unknown area in San Francisco, Taishi meets with Chief Inspector Kido to discuss the debt Kido still owes to the Yakuza. Taishi uses the debt to ask for the release of Ed McCarthy after he gave the tip of who the real assassin of the Crown Prince was. Kido is suspicious of Taishi of how he got the information and theorizes that he may be helping the Nazis, Taishi, however, only asks for Ed's release.
Lemuel answers the door and finds the truck driver that Juliana hitched a ride with, asking for Frank Frink. Gary poses as Frank and the man gives him a letter made by Juliana. Gary reads it and discovers she plans on meeting with Frank at Sacramento, 4pm. Juliana tries to find the familiar person's photo the Man in the High Castle showed him, while her mother watches worryingly nearby. She finds a photo depicting his father, Arnold, and another man with them. She realizes it might be the man she's looking for and ask her mother who he is, her mother refuses to answer her question and asks if Trudy was with her. She finally relents and reveals his name to be George Dickson, Trudy's real father.
At the Pacific States University Library, Tagomi visits the librarian and asks to view the suppressed books by the Japanese, where the librarian informs him that their viewing requires Tokyo's approval. Tagomi assures him that he is allowed and he finds the books in an isolated room, particularly the one titled 'The Varieties of Religious Experience'.
Lemuel and Gary arrive at Sacramento, expecting Juliana's presence. They ask a bus driver if a Sacramento bus will arrive, the bus driver tells them there's no such bus. Gary realizes they've been set up, and decides to travel to the address of Juliana's parents despite Lemuel claiming she may have fled. Sergeant Yoshida informs the description of Karen's history at the Resistance to Kido. When he mentions of her being part of smuggling the forbidden films, Kido asks him to go through their records of all women involved in smuggling the films to see if there is a match for the unidentified fugitive fleeing the shootout. Kido also asks to repeat the description of the fugitive, and also asks if Juliana Crain has reported to Tagomi's post.
Juliana's mother explains that she did had an affair with George a few nights, after his father died and that she only realized she was pregnant when she was with Arnold. Juliana is shocked by this, but her mother justifies because they all thought they were gonna die once they found out the Japanese were about to occupy America. She also reveals that once George found out about Trudy's birth, he fled due to his hatred of the 'pawns', to New York promising to stay away, Arnold still not knowing about the whole affair and must remain that way, and that Trudy somehow discovered it resulting her to ran away in the first place. Arnold is about to come in, her mother pleads to Juliana she must not tell him and gives George's whereabouts that he still lives in Brooklyn. When Arnold arrives, Juliana straightforwardly asks them to pack up and leave as the entire city will soon be nuked. She explains to them that she saw it in the Man in the High Castle's films, Arnold claims that the Man in the High Castle is nothing but a lunatic, but Juliana dismisses this as she also tells of her meeting the Man in the High Castle in person. Despite Juliana's pleas, Arnold declares that they will not leave but allows her to. They hear Lemuel and Gary arrive and are about to inspect the house, Juliana's parents give her the keys to the bomb shelter for her to escape. They are soon in pursuit of Juliana and she narrowly escapes being killed once they reached the streets.
John Smith visits Joe's apartment and asks for Rita to leave them to talk privately. John informs him that he has orders from Reichminister Heusmann, Joe's father, that he wants to see him. Joe is reluctant, thinking that he is being used again but John asks if he wants to go or not, and before he leaves he informs him that a Resistance fugitive was shot and killed and that they are waiting for confirmation that it was Juliana Crain.
Chief Inspector Kido visits a brutally beaten Ed McCarthy, asking him to sign for his confession. He also adds that once he does, Frank Frink, his grandfather, and all the workers of the factory he worked for will be shot and also that the factory will be burned down. Ed tearfully asks why would he do such a thing even though he got what he wanted, and he also complains that he should've died first before he knew he would execute the aforementioned people. However, Kido suddenly asks if how much he is willing to suffer for the people he loved.
Joe Blake is dressed up as he prepares to meet his father in Berlin. Rita understands but she also states that Joe never really gave her full affection and suspects that their's someone else. She tearfully breaks their relationship and Joe leaves for his flight to Berlin.
Meanwhile, Tagomi is visited by Juliana unexpectedly. She asks for Tagomi's help after he had faith in her, but Tagomi declares that it was a mistake. She begs Tagomi to provide her a diplomatic visa to leave the Pacific States to fulfill her mission of trying to make things right, Tagomi angrily asks if she will inflict tragedy but Juliana questions him if he advises her to do nothing at all. Tagomi can't help her and before Juliana leaves, advises Tagomi to leave as the city is not safe. Juliana then goes to a phone booth to give her regards to Frank by writing a letter.
Frank is then dragged by the Yakuza to the room and finds that they have successfully managed to convince the Kempeitai to release Ed McCarthy and they happily embraced each other. Chief Inspector Kido manages to come up with another suspect for the Crown Prince's shooting by pinpointing it to Karen Vecchione as the perpetrator as he discloses the investigation to Japanese officials and that her motif was 'revenge after a family tragedy'.
Having ran out of options, Juliana finishes her letter and drops it in the mail box as she attempts to try and walk to the Nazi Embassy. Nearing the border, Japanese soldiers, guarding nearby, notice her. The Japanese confirm her to be Juliana Crain, wanted by the Kempeitai, and floodlights open as Japanese soldiers begin approaching, aiming their weapons, and ordering her to stop. Juliana does not relent and continues to casually walk towards the Nazi soldiers at the Embassy, also aiming their weapons at her. She raises her hands and drops to the ground, directly at the territory of the Reich, and identifies herself to the Nazis seeking asylum by telling them she works for Joe Blake.
Cast & Characters
Notes & Trivia
- One of the "suppressed books" briefly seen in the library is a collected series of essays by Jorge Luis Borges about literary authors called "Other Inquisitions, 1937-1952". This is somewhat of a Anachronism as the series takes place in 1962 but it was first published in English two years later in 1964 though the Spanish version was published in 1952. It is worth noting this inclusion is probably because the author was very critical of Nazism and of fascism.
- Other books include two copies of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Collected Poems/Plays of W. B. Yeats, The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James,and presumably the Complete Writings of William Blake.
|Season 1|| The New World • Sunrise • The Illustrated Woman • Revelations • The New Normal • Three Monkeys • Truth •|
End of the World • Kindness • A Way Out
|Season 2||The Tiger's Cave • The Road Less Traveled • Travelers • Escalation • Duck and Cover • Kintsugi • Land O' Smiles • Loose Lips • Detonation • Fallout|
|Season 3|| Now More Than Ever, We Care About You • Imagine Manchuria • Sensô Kôi • Sabra • The New Colossus •|
History Ends • Excess Animus • Kasumi (Through the Mists) • Baku • Jahr Null