The Man in the High Castle Wikia
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The Man in the High Castle Wikia

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Thomas C. Smith[1] was the eldest child of John Smith and his wife Helen, and the older brother of Jennifer and Amy. He was fanatically loyal to the party ideals, striving to be like his father.

Biography

Season One

Thomas is shown to be a devoted Hitler Youth member who strives to make his father proud in both his athletic and school performance. Unfortunately for both him and his family, he was diagnosed with Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, a congenital disease which would slowly weaken and paralyze him. Dr. Adler, the family physician, informs and warns that unless John personally administers a painless injection to euthanize Thomas, he will be forced to report the disease to the authorities. John later notices Thomas slowly beginning to exhibit symptoms when he falls down the stairs in his house. 

Season Two

Struggling immensely with his ordeal, John ultimately kills Dr. Adler to prevent Thomas from being reported. He then made a plan to have Thomas "kidnapped" by the resistance while in Amazonia, which would be the cover for him to be taken somewhere where he could live out his life. Despite this, right after Dr. Adler's funeral ceremony, Thomas has a fit in front of Juliana and begins to question these episodes. In the end, after discovering for himself that he was incurably ill, Thomas self-reports to the Reich and willingly leaves with them to be "purged" (euthanized) as a "defective", promising not to mention to anyone that his family had been aware of his illness.

Legacy

Thomas' death left a massive negative impact upon the Smith family. Publicly, Thomas Smith was praised for his devotion to the Nazi ideals and was even the subject of a propaganda film, "An American Hero" by Nicole Dörmer. The high school he attended was renamed after him in remembrance of his devotion. Privately however, the pain of Thomas' demise drove John and Helen Smith into devastation. Helen was badly affected, driving her to drink excessively and taking stimulants on a regular basis to keep her composure. She also started openly questioning Nazi eugenics policy, stating that Thomas could still have been a useful member of society despite his condition and even confirming to her friends that the Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels has a deformity. This set her against her husband who reprimanded her for being so open and that this can lead to their arrest for questioning Nazi dogma.

John Smith privately grieved for his son albeit kept a composed exterior, largely due to his standing within the Reich. Rumors of Thomas' condition being hushed spread, further endangering Smith's standing and even exposing him to rival power players like George Lincoln Rockwell and J. Edgar Hoover.

In Season Four, Jennifer blames her parents for Thomas' death.

Season Four

In the Fourth season of the show, We get to see an alternate version of Thomas in the Alternate world where Juliana went after being shot by John. He is Juliana's Aikido student. He is also a boy scout and plays sport. It is implied that he is not suffering from the debilitating disease like his Nazi counterpart.

Thomas visits Juliana for her Thursday lesson on Aikido. He reveals to her of his intention to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corp (USMC), to be deployed of the ongoing Vietnam War but hasn't told his parents, as he knows his father's distaste for war during his past years in World War II but desires to fight and is confident to return just like his father. Juliana tries to advise him that the war may not be something worth fighting for.

Days later, Thomas returns home and is Embraced by John Smith who is overwhelmed with emotion at seeing him. and joins him in the living room to bond.

John continues to spend time with Thomas at a diner. Thomas uses their time to reveal his intention to enlist for the USMC. John straightforwardly disapproves, claiming he'll likely die in the war. Their discussion is interrupted when the diner falls silent by an African-American couple who enter the dinner ordering food. The server denies them their meals despite the new civil rights laws enacted. Thomas wants to intervene but John stops him from getting involved. White adults openly exhibit hostility to the couple's presence, leading to the diner's owner to call for the police and eventually unfairly get the couple escorted out of the diner. Thomas is surprised by his father's demeanor, of not being a hero and defending the couple. John expresses his dislike of being a hero in all regards, and that fighting in the Vietnam War and coming back a hero means nothing to have Thomas risk his life. Thomas leaves his father, upset with how unrecognizable he has become.

The next day, Thomas returns home and shocks his parents when he brings news of his enlistment without their approval and is undeterred to reverse his decision. When the USMC recruiters arrive to pick up his son, John pleads to have the NCOs reconsider, to no avail. Thomas asks his father to be proud of him before he walks away, flanked by the two NCOs, reminiscent of how Thomas in the original world was taken away by the Reich to be euthanized.

Alternate Thomas

In the fourth season of the show, we first see an alternate version of Thomas. Juliana escapes from her prison cell by travelling to another universe and stumbles onto a road, where a car stops and and alive alternate Thomas and an alternate Smith save her. This version of Thomas lives happily with with his parents, (though in this alternate Earth, he is an only child) in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia. After his father's death, main timeline Smith takes over the role (unbeknown to anyone) and having spent time together and hearing Thomas wanting to join the Marines, Smith informs him that it's not a good idea, though hearing this, Thomas rebels all the more and joins anyway.

Appearance & Personality

Thomas held a great deal of respect for his father, to the point of idolizing him. He also displayed a desire and drive to excel in the Hitler Youth. However, he seems to lack the ruthless and cold nature required to be a successful Nazi, and his personality quite differs from the coldness that his father possesses.

Relationships

Thomas Smith has several good relationships with many different characters throughout the series. He has a strong relationship with his parents, especially his father, Obergruppenführer John Smith. He has a good relationship with his younger siblings, Jennifer and Amy, but at times they can tease and annoy each other. He also has a good relationship with Joe. He also has a strong relationship with Juliana, as he went to her to help him talk about his disability, meaning that he trusts in Juliana very much.

Appearances

Season One
"The New World"
Absent
"Sunrise"
Appears
"The Illustrated Woman"
Absent
"Revelations"
Absent
"The New Normal"
Absent
"Three Monkeys"
Appears
"Truth"
Absent
"End of the World"
Appears
"Kindness"
Appears
"A Way Out"
Absent
Season Two
"The Tiger's Cave"
Appears
"The Road Less Traveled"
Absent
"Travelers"
Appears
"Escalation"
Appears
"Duck and Cover"
Appears
"Kintsugi"
Appears
"Land O' Smiles"
Appears
"Loose Lips"
Appears
"Detonation"
Appears
"Fallout"
Appears
Season Three
"Now More Than Ever ..."
Absent
"Imagine Manchuria"
Absent
"Sensô Kôi"
Appears
"Sabra"
Appears
"The New Colossus"
Absent
"History Ends"
Absent
"Excess Animus"
Appears
"Kasumi ..."
Absent
"Baku"
Appears
"Jahr Null"
Absent
Season Four
"Hexagram 64"
Appears
"Every Door Out..."
Absent
"The Box"
Appears
"Happy Trails"
Absent
"Mauvaise Foi"
Appears
"All Serious Daring"
Appears
"No Masters But Ourselves"
Absent
"Hitler Has Only Got One Ball"
Absent
"For Want of a Nail"
Absent
"Fire from the Gods"
Absent

Notes & Trivia

  • When he was a baby, he lived with his parents at Fort Monmouth where his father was stationed. They moved before his sisters were born.
  • In reality, Landouzy-Dejerine's syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder, meaning if his father and mother do not express the disorder (which they don't) there is no way Thomas could exhibit FSHD, except for de novo mutation (up to 1/3 of cases), incomplete penetrance (possibly up to 5% of adult cases of FSHD), and/or variable expressivity. It is also possible that his paternal uncle was misdiagnosed (or had a different disorder) due to an imperfect understanding of muscular dystrophic conditions.
    • Thomas' symptoms do not match Landouzy-Dejerine's syndrome. Absence Seizures, his main symptom, are caused primarily by some forms of epilepsy. However, given the aggressive purging of anyone with "defects" by the Nazi regime, it is possible that they either do not know about or do not bother to distinguish between different disorders. This possible misdiagnosis could also explain how Thomas could have such a condition genetically when his father is only a carrier and he thus shouldn't have the named disorder.
  • In the alternate reality of Season 4, neither of Thomas' sisters, Jennifer or Amy exist.
  • In both realities Thomas is very devoted to his country and would fight for it at all costs
  • At Thomas's funeral ceremony, a boy from the Hitler Youth sings 'Tomorrow Belongs to Me'. This song did not exist in 'real' history until 1966, when it was composed for the Broadway musical Cabaret; in the musical (and associated film) it's sung, usually by a boy soprano, as a warning of the rise of the Nazis. Cabaret itself is a thoroughly anti-nazi work, though the song has also been adopted by real-life right-wing movements as their own.

References

  1. season 3 episode 1 00:57:11
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