Warning! Spoilers for The Plot Against America ahead!
The story so far: Evelyn and Bess have a falling out after a confrontation involving Sandy. Meanwhile, Sandy seems to be drifting further away from his parents. Herman speaks with Banglesdorf about his political feelings and his fear of the future. Philip is caught in the middle of everything. Alvin returns home. The government has begun to take an interest in the Levin family.
The first two episodes of The Plot Against America showed how the country was changing. The next pair put even more focus on the family. This almost turned the mini series into a different type of show. With two episodes remaining, the question naturally becomes what is next? Unsurprisingly, part five starts bringing together all of the aspects of the previous installments. The show has now reached its final form: a family drama filled with political intrigue.
This is not to say the show had none of these elements before. The first four episodes were about world building. During that time, viewers were introduced to an America not unlike current times. The Plot Against America worked on building atmosphere. Part of that atmosphere was showing how all the upheaval in America affected the Levin family.
As The Plot Against America heads towards its finale, the Levin family is falling apart. Herman has tried his best to protect his family from what has happened and what he is afraid will happen. Morgan Spector continues to do a great job. Before, Herman was the loud and boisterous father who made it clear where he stood on the issues. He did not fear offending everyone. As things have changed, so has Herman. He has come to accept what is happening. Spector does not play this as a defeated man. Instead, Herman is someone who is doing what is best for his family. There is a great scene at the breakfast table that shows the depth of Herman’s character.
Bess has changed as much as her husband. Zoe Kazan has been magnificent the entire run. As Herman has begun to think he is pushing a boulder up a mountain, his wife has become more outspoken about what is happening. There has basically been a role reversal between the two. This has been a natural and well done change that works due to the strong writing.
The tone of the show has changed with the characters. The viewer has worried about the Levins since the first episode. As Lindbergh becomes more powerful, those fears take on a new form. There is still the concern about what will happen to them in Lindbergh’s America. What has become more worrisome is what will happen to the family bond. Even during the most difficult times, they relied on each other. Now, it seems that everything is going to change – and not necessarily for the better.
The Plot Against America is a deep show that explores many themes. The story touches on loyalty, patriotism, and family. The cast do a tremendous job of conveying numerous emotions. Despite its alternate history, the HBO drama is grounded in a reality anyone who watches can understand. The Plot Against America proves again why David Simon and HBO are a great match.