‘Manhattan’ second season will continue to blow your mind

manhattan

WGN America’s successful Emmy-winning show Manhattan is set to premiere its sophomore season tonight. And after viewing the first four episodes into the season, it is sure to blow the audience away with its intriguing conflict and in-depth character development. The atomic bomb aka ‘implosion’ is still the main focus of this story, but the lies, secrets, and personal drama is what draws us in and keeps us wanting more. Because there are only ten episodes this season (compared to last season’s thirteen), each episode is cut and condensed with urgency and need to know what is going to happen next.

The season has a few flashfowards into a few days before the bomb is actually used and flashbacks of peoples’ lives before they entered the base. This allows us to get a deeper understanding of our characters and why they are doing the things they are doing.

We learn a bit more about the forgotten characters of last season – the importance of  J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Daniel London) in the Manhattan Project and the real-life affair that ended in tragedy; Jim Meeks (Christopher Denham), who is loosely based on scientist Klaus Fuchs, and his dire situation; and, the love life of Louis “Fritz” Fedowitz (Michael Chernus).

We are also introduced to new characters that play a large part in our main cast lives. Colonel Alden Cox has been removed and replaced by the new God-fearing officer Colonel Emmitt Darrow (played brilliantly by William Petersen). Darrow was sent to get things done and will do whatever it takes to complete the project – even if it’s illegal. You could say he is one of the antagonists this season. Justin Kirk guest stars in an episode and shines the entire time. Neve Campbell, Mamie Gummer and Michael O’Neill also makes guest appearances as important story arc characters.

Of course, we can expect outstanding performances from John Benjamin Hickey and Olivia Williams as Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Liza Winter. Hickey has an entire episode to himself (with a few exception of a few guest actors) where he completely dominates the scenes. Frank’s dedication to his work and the need to end this war is what drives him to return to the base that banished him. He has to go back and work on the project, no matter the cost. Sure, Frank is cocky, but he is doing it all for the greater good. As for Williams portrayal as the paranoid wife and outspoken board member, she is a force to be reckoned with. We see her drive to find her husband and cheer her on for it.

As for the genius scientist Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman), he is left in a complicated love triangle between his colleague Helen Prins (Katja Herbers) and his newly-pregnant wife Abby (Rachel Brosnahan). Oh, he is also now the head of the atomic bomb project. No pressure, of course.

Overall, this season is coming back strong with the writing, storylines, and the character arcs. It is sure to draw in more audiences to its dedicated fanbase.

Manhattan returns tonight at 9pm/8pm CT on WGN America.

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