If you are a devotee of time travel...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Plot Against America Finale: Reality

As brilliant and memorable as The Man in the High Castle (in print and on the screen) was, it was a comic book adventure.  Complex, as alternate histories are bound to be, but still something in the world of fantasy not reality.  Though The Plot Against America may not be quite as memorable, it is just as brilliant in its own way.  And it is about reality.  Way too close to reality be just enjoyable.  It ends up being frightening, as even the most grim fantasy cannot really be.

Let's just look at the very ending.   There's a special election for President being held in 1942.  Mrs. Lindbergh has called upon Congress to authorize it, after her husband, the President, has disappeared.  There's hope, expectations, that FDR might reclaim the White House (earlier, Walter Winchell is assassinated).  But we see in the South, where African Americans are no doubt voting for Roosevelt, that ballots are being burned rather than counted.  There's word that FDR is also doing well in some northern states.  Will that be enough to restore decency and democracy to the USA?  That's where the mini-series ends.  Before a ballot is actually counted.  Just like where we are today, regarding our Presidential election scheduled for this coming November.

Philip Roth's book, upon which the mini-series was based, was written before Trump became President in our reality.  The mini-series wasn't.  Clearly David Simon, who has Homicide, The Wire, and Treme to his earlier illustrious credit, knew all about Trump in the White House, certainly when the ending of the mini-series was finalized.  Good for Simon for making this powerful statement.

Earlier in this finale, it gets about as ugly as an alternate history in which bigotry comes to power can be.  The Klan is running high.  The FBI is competing with the Gestapo.  All of that is all too reminiscent of our reality, too.

So, see The Plot Against America.  You'll be entertained by the Yiddish.  But you'll be horrified with how much of that alternate reality is not far from where America is today.

See also The Plot Against America 1.1: Yet Another Alternate Nazi History, with Forshpeis ... The Plot Against 1.2: The 33rd President ... The Plot Against America 1.3: Corrosive Anti-Semitism ... The Plot Against America 1.4: Close to Home ... The Plot Against America 1.5: Involuntary Transfer


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