The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3 Review: North to Canada

at .

Americans, especially Jews, discovered that an isolationist stance hardly kept the United States out of World War II.

Instead, President Lindbergh jumped in on the Axis side, sending supplies to the Nazis on The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3.

This fictional version of Lindbergh took the position that "Adolf Hitler has established himself as the world's greatest safeguard against the spread of communism and its evils."

Over There - The Plot Against America

This was despite the extermination of millions of Jews and others that the Nazis viewed as "sub-human." 

This left American Jews such as the Levins divided in their opinions.

Newsreel Horrors - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3

Some were like naive idealist Herman, whose stance was basically "That can't happen here."

Others, such as Herman's brother Monty, were more cynical and realistic.

Monty pointed out that the Republicans rode to control of Congress on the coattails of a populist Presidential candidate and had little compulsion to speak up against Lindbergh's more radical proposals.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

As Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Innocent Playtime - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3

Next were the practical Jews, such as Shepsie and Bess (the most perceptive of the Levins), who were researching the possibility of moving to Canada.

It was good to know that Alvin's anger-fueled enlistment in the Canadian military could pay dividends for his family down the road.

Bess continues to be the series' most nuanced character.

As women of that era did, she generally goes along with Herman's plans and proclamations.

Unless, of course, his naivety threatens their children, at which point she speaks up to protect them, strongly and clearly.

Absorption Program - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3

Finally were the accidental collaborators, such as Evelyn, who adored the controversial rabbi, and Sandy, who idolized Lindy the hero aviator.

Sandy can be largely forgiven, as the youth of that era weren't as aware of world events as they are today.

Evelyn, wearing the dreaded "spinster" title, just got swept off her feet by Lionel.

Neither one could be viewed as big-picture thinkers.

For much of this episode, Herman was guilty of that as well, despite all the storm clouds on the horizon.

Anti-Semitism Rising - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3

Could he really be surprised when the Jewish cemetery was vandalized multiple times after an anti-Semitic president got elected?

As Monty noted, people ready to blame others for their problems have always existed (including today) and just needed permission to come out of the shadows.

And did Herman believe that cops and politicians of other backgrounds would care about the Jewish problem?

Instead, he just kept living his life as if nothing had changed, when everything had.

Bess saw that which is why she was trying to plot an exit strategy for her family, rather than worrying about buying a house in neighborhoods which were pushing out Jews.

Heading South - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3

Herman, Sandy, and Philip were accustomed to living in a protective Jewish enclave.

Bess knew what it was like to be the only Jewish family in a neighborhood, to be treated like being in an exhibit. Bess offered a sound suggestion to vacation instead in Canada, and Herman promptly ignored it.

Herman needed that Washington trip to open up his eyes to the fact that America was no longer "his" country.

Herman seemed oblivious to the fact that he was visiting a Republican town and just keep shooting off his mouth, even though he was a minority in so many ways.

Why Bess wrong to be a little paranoid in the capital of nationalism, after being aware of what's been happening to Jews in Europe? I'd say no.

In the Spotlight - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3

It's a good thing Taylor was there to guide them, so that Herman didn't end up in jail defending his rapidly diminishing civil rights.

It was certainly hinted that the worst is yet to come, with assimilation programs and concentration camps awaiting the Jews.

Is Rabbi Bengelsdorf a Quisling for helping out the enemy?

Yes, but let's look at his background. He grew up in the South, the heart of white supremacy, so he likely learned to fit in early. He comes off as the picture of a Southern gentleman.

In running the Office of American Absorption, he's continuing to do the same thing.

Conflicted Sister - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3

It's not surprising that he's lonely, since he's betraying the members of his flock, and many of them know it.

How else can his proposing to Evelyn so soon be explained?

And since she believes in him, she believes in his work, since she isn't likely to have done a deep dive into what he's proposing.

She honestly thought sending Sandy to Kentucky will expand his horizons, not reduce his Jewishness.

And Sandy just wanted some different animals to sketch. Again, he wasn't looking too closely either.

Mission Planning - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3

Still, Herman was right to give in and send Sandy to Kentucky. It might give him a better idea of what he's up against, far sooner than Herman figured it out.

Poor Alvin.

He did the right thing, enlisting to fight Nazis. He found a nice girl and was given an important assignment by his superiors. Then he got his leg blown off and lost everything.

It will be intriguing to see what Alvin's next chapter will be.

To review Lindbergh's rise, watch The Plot Against America online.

Which of the Levins has the best assessment of life in America?

Was sending Sandy to Kentucky the right thing to do?

Will Alvin bounce back?

Comment below.

North to Canada Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:


Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

I'm not letting them run me off. This is my country. Jew-haters want a country, they got plenty to choose from. This one they're not getting.

Herman [to Shepsie]

Herman: At least they [the police] showed up this time.
Shepsie: Yes, they did, for what it's worth.