The Man in the High Castle series finale ending explained: What the…?

The Man in the High Castle -- Photo credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon Prime Video
The Man in the High Castle -- Photo credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon Prime Video /

You’ve streamed the whole of The Man in the High Castle Season 4 and got to the ending of the series finale. What the hell just went on? Here’s a breakdown.

The Man in the High Castle wrapped up its explosive story with a twist that none of us saw coming. And it’s a twist that suggests this is a show that could have done with another season. Was it written badly? Nope! The ending is actually a way to show that stories don’t just end.

But let’s break down that twist. After the Japanese move out of the west and the Resistance blow up the Nazi train into the portal, it looks like there’s another war brewing. After all, John Smith got off an order to bomb the west to take over the entire North America.

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Then, suddenly, John Smith was chased through the woods by Juliana before killing himself. The attack on the west was called off and Juliana was able to join the rest of the Resistance in the portal.

Simple, right? Actually, the storyline here was pretty settled. Many got their just desserts and the storyline is left open enough to return if Amazon ever wants to but also to leave us to our imagination. I actually don’t mind this question of what’s to come in North America now that the BCR has the west and there’s an American in charge of the Reich in the east.

The big questions come from that ending with the portal. When Juliana got to the portal, she saw that it was open. More than that, people were walking into the Nazi world. Why on Earth would anyone want to walk through it and where were they coming from?

High Castle shared that they were coming from “everywhere.” Does that mean the doorways to every single other world are open? Were people just coming from the alt-world Smith and Juliana had explored or were they coming from other worlds?

At one point, I even wondered if this was a doorway to the afterlife. Were people who had died in the Nazi world coming back to rejoin the living? Did High Castle walk through the portal to join his wife in the afterlife?

The Man in the High Castle — Photo credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon Prime Video
The Man in the High Castle — Photo credit: Liane Hentscher/Amazon Prime Video /

It’s meant to be ambiguous

If you were disappointed with this ambiguous ending, then that’s unfortunate. Thought it was unfinished? Well, that was the intention. According to an interview between showrunner David Scarpa and Entertainment Weekly, the ambiguous ending was intended. It was supposed to leave us with plenty of questions.

Scarpa mentions that the end of one war isn’t the end of all wars. We’ve seen that in real life. The Man in the High Castle has brought that up before. The Nazis and Japanese won the war but that led to a Resistance and the BCR. When in the alt-world, John Smith learned that the Americans had gone to war with the Vietnamese, and he knew that the Vietnamese would win.

Wars continue. We’re always in a constant change of politics. That’s what the ending represents, especially when it comes to the east vs. the west.

As for the portal opening, you get to decide on your own. You can discuss this with your friends and family members. Take to social media and Reddit threads to talk about what you theorize. The best thing here is that nobody can be wrong. It’s been left open to interpretation.

It’s like the ending to The Sopranos, another show that left with an ambiguous ending. This is an ending that reminds me of Angel, where the battle is getting started just as the ending comes because war is continuous.

For me, it was a good ending. We got resolution for enough storylines without rushing them. There was a little poetic justice in some elements of the ending, but at the same time, we’re left with the uncertainty that we’re always in. The Man in the High Castle was never designed to be a fantasy world that gave us a fairy tale ending. It was based on realism and that’s what we got in the end.

Next. Th Man in the High Castle: Mayumi Yoshida talks The Crown Princess and the final season. dark

What did you think of The Man in the High Castle‘s ending? What are your theories about the portal? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Man in the High Castle is available to stream in full on Amazon Prime Video.