The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Electoral Collage

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You didn't really expect a clearcut happy ending from David Simon, did you?

The United States appeared to be coming out of the darkness by the end of The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6.

Or was it?

Election Day Nears - The Plot Against America

By fall of 1942, Lindbergh and the anti-Semites surrounding him had made it acceptable for hate-filled citizens to strike out at the Jews around them.

Simon's cautionary tale effectively makes the point that the more things change, the more they stay the same. All one has to do is to exchange the word "Jews" for "Muslims" or "Latinos" or "LGBTQs," and the above sentence still fits Trump's America.

Tormented Soul - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

Herman, who used to be so sure of himself as an American first then a Jew, wasn't so certain any longer, as he listened to radio reports of Walter Winchell getting attacked while campaigning and Jews and their businesses becoming targets, as well.

Herman was a ranter who decided the safest thing to do was to keep his head down and not draw attention to himself or his family. Lindbergh's anti-Semitic policies were going to be a passing fancy, simply something to be outlasted.

Only Simon demonstrates that America as a happy melting pot is a fallacy, that someone is always ready to blame another person, race, or gender for his or her problems rather than taking any personal responsibility.

So Herman was thinking people are good when, in fact, they are more concerned with protecting themselves and theirs, the fallout on others be damned.

Rescue Plan - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

That undoubtedly came from his being raised in Jewish enclaves, insulated from what was happening outside the neighborhood.

He made a few fruitless protests, such as quitting his sales job rather than move to Klan Kountry and attending political rallies, but that was the active extent of his reactions to the radical changes around him.

It was a good thing that Herman had Bess to lend him a more worldly perspective, even though he was too pigheaded to listen until it was too late, and there was no longer any escaping to Canada.

While Herman may have been the pontificating dreamer of the Levin family, Bess was the steely realist, who was accustomed to being "the other" and who knew what needed to be done, if only she could get Herman to hear and understand.

All Alone - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

A prime example of that was how Bess orchestrated Selden's rescue from Kentucky.

As soon as she heard about Winchell being shot in Kentucky, she left work to go home to call and check on Selma and Selden.

Bess kept Selden calm when Selma failed to return home then arranged for the only other people she knew in Kentucky, the Mawhinneys, to pick up Selden.

Then she sent Herman and Sandy south through that American Kristallnacht to rescue Selden and bring him home.

Back in Kentucky - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

The trip south was a much-needed eye-opener both for naive Herman and innocent Sandy, who got to put gruesome pictures to the frightening words they had been hearing over the radio.

If Herman thought he had been treated badly on the family trip to Washington, D.C., on The Plot Against American Season 1 Episode 3, he hadn't seen nothing yet.

One of the series' most chilling moments came when Herman came face to hood with a Klansman and he felt compelled to reach for the handgun that he hadn't wanted to bring along after other Klansmen had torched the local Jewish general store.

Herman and Sandy did manage to spare Selden the horror of seeing how Selma died.

Out to Vote - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

At least once they got closer to home, Herman and Sandy could laugh at the absurdity of two Jews eating a bologna and mayo sandwich on white bread.

Poor Philip. It was obvious how much he blamed himself for Selden getting sent into that horrible situation. Hopefully, he treated Selden better after the Levins took him in.

All the Jews who promoted Lindbergh got their comeuppance to varying degrees.

Sandy got to see that Kentucky wasn't all nice folks and farm animals. Also, he discovered Lindbergh was a false idol and ripped up his portraits of the President.

Seeking Perspective - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

Evelyn suffered the most for her choices. She sacrificed her family in exchange for landing Lionel as her husband.

Then, when Evelyn really needed her family after Lionel had been arrested, Bess turned her back on Evelyn for all the pain she had caused American Jews.

In the end, all she had was a broken, delusional man who used to be somebody.

Lionel let himself be used in exchange for reflected glory.

Slowly, ever so slowly, he learned that the Lindbergh regime was using him to give his stamp of approval to their anti-Semitic policies.

Wrong Side - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

In the end, he was just spouting wild conspiracy theories (is that redundant?) about Lindbergh's motivations while synagogue officials were easing him out the door.

Finally, there was Alvin, who too ended up a broken man.

After he got sucked into the conspiracy that made Lindbergh disappear and brought the fascist state to the fore, he wanted to forget that had ever happened.

He became a younger version of Monty, willing to enjoy prosperity without asking too many questions.

Doing His Part - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

That's why Herman and Alvin clashed. One saw danger everywhere, while the other looked for nothing.

Yet the real evil happened right in front of everyone's eyes, as an election got fixed by shadowy figures.

Hmm. Simon offers a valuable message for an election year: Take nothing at face value and become informed.

As The Plot Against America revealed, anarchy really shouldn't be anyone's end goal.

Family Dinner - The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6

Which character did you admire the most and least?

What message did you take away from this?

Where does this rank among Simon's works?

Comment below.

Electoral Collage Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (1 Vote)

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

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The Plot Against America Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

So, Billy, who the fuck told you where to find me and why?

Alvin [to Billy]

What you don't understand, Anthony, is that I come from a long line of Third Ward roughnecks.

Herman [to Anthony]