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In the last episode of season 3 of The Man in the High Castle we are told that individuals can only travel to an alternate reality if

their alternate self had already died in the alternate reality.

This explanation is given for why

only one out of the four test subjects survived the Nazi experiment to travel to alternate realities -- the survivor, just an "ordinary" girl, was apparently the only one whose alternate self had already died in the alternate reality.

This explanation does seem to make sense as a way to avoid

the possibility of an individual meeting an alternate version of himself from another reality.

The explanation also conforms to what we know about almost all the other characters that travel between realities:

1. Trudy was killed in the reality in which the Axis won so her alternate self from "our" reality (in which the Allies won World War II) can travel to the Axis-conquered reality.
2. The alternate Trudy who traveled to the Axis-conquered reality tells us that Juliana was killed in her reality, so Juliana can travel from the Axis-conquered reality to that reality.
3. The dark-skinned woman Mengele was performing skin-pigmentation experiments on was killed an experiment gone wrong so her alternate self was able to travel to the Axis-controlled reality, where she too was captured and experimented on by Mengele.
3. Tagomi's assistant, Kotomichi, was injured in our reality by an atomic bomb and managed to travel to the Axis-controlled reality while meditating to endure the pain from his wounds. We don't see an alternate Kotomichi from the Axis-controlled reality so Kotomichi's case at least does not contradict the explanation that you can only travel to an alternate reality in which your alternate already died (presumably the original Kotomichi from the Axis-controlled reality was killed earlier, perhaps during World War II).

However, Tagomi's case seems to contradict the explanation. In season 2 we saw Tagomi visit our reality, where he is seen and recognized by his wife and son. Tagomi from our reality is estranged from his wife and son but Tagomi's family

clearly think he's alive (they don't act like they've seen a ghost) so apparently Tagomi's alternate self is still alive in our reality and the Tagomi from the Axis-controlled reality shouldn't have been able to travel to our reality.

It has been awhile since I watched season 2 so perhaps I forgot something about Tagomi that wouldn't contradict the explanation given in the season 3 finale. I found a recap of one of the season 2 episodes in which Tagomi traveled to our reality which confirmed what I remembered but doesn't mention anything that would explain how Tagomi's case doesn't contradict the restriction on "travelers".

How was Tagomi from the Axis-controlled reality able to travel to our reality? Was there an indication in the show that

Tagomi from our reality had died just before Tagomi from the Axis-controlled reality traveled to our reality, and Tagomi's family in our reality hadn't learned of his death yet?

Is there some other explanation that doesn't contradict what we were told in the season 3 finale?

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  • 1
    I just need to point out that NONE OF THIS is in Philip K. Dick's novel. Ahem.
    – Spencer
    Oct 22, 2018 at 22:45
  • @Spencer I know, I've read the novel, too.
    – Null
    Oct 23, 2018 at 0:30
  • Yeah the novel's rubbish :-)
    – deep64blue
    Feb 17, 2021 at 19:21

2 Answers 2

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@OrangeDog is correct -- it is heavily implied that Tagomi committed suicide. In Season 2, episode 8 (Loose Lips). Juliana in the parallel reality tells Tagomi

But I ran after you, and I lost you in the fog by the bridge.

I got scared.

Scared? Scared that you jumped.

Episode transcript

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  • Hi there! It seems you were attempting to comment on an existing answer rather than post a new one - you don't have enough reputation to do so yet, but no worries. May I invite you to take the tour and browse the help center to see how things work here?
    – Jenayah
    Nov 21, 2018 at 18:12
  • @Jenayah This adds new information that isn't in the other answer so it's good enough to be an answer on its own (with a little editing so it stands completely on its own).
    – Null
    Nov 21, 2018 at 18:23
  • Searching for the quote you provided it looks like it's S02E06 "Loose Lips" (springfieldspringfield.co.uk/…).
    – Null
    Nov 21, 2018 at 18:23
  • I've edited your answer a bit so it stands on its own and references the correct episode. Thanks!
    – Null
    Nov 21, 2018 at 18:28
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    I literally don't know what to say...you are too awesome and helpful guys!! Yes, I just wanted to add more context to OrageDog's already awesome answer..never expected the community to clean up my answer and add correct references (which I should have done in the first place). I will take the tour right now.
    – Onkar
    Nov 21, 2018 at 19:34
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It is heavily implied that the Tagomi in our reality committed suicide, due to the shame of his son marrying a gaijin.

As far as his family is concerned, he disappeared after the fight where he smashed the cup. He's not confirmed to be dead, but they hope he might come back some day (and in a way, he does).

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  • Sounds plausible. In which episode(s) was it "heavily implied" that the Tagomi in our reality committed suicide? And how was it implied?
    – Null
    Oct 22, 2018 at 19:58
  • The ones in S2 when he’s in our world. There’s a lot of subtext in those scenes. I’ve not actually watched the episode where the rule is revealed, but I’d already guessed it based on Tagomi, Trudy and Kotomishi.
    – OrangeDog
    Oct 22, 2018 at 20:01

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