Manhattan 2×02 ‘Fatherland’ recap & review



X-4 (before he was killed) has taken Frank to an interrogation room where he interrogates him some more about Dr. Schwimmer (the scientist in Germany who was killed for working with the Americans). X-4 wants Frank to confess and reveals information about Frank going to Germany for two months. Frank stays quiet and is given a sandwich. X-4 leaves Frank in the cell with an empty bucket with water slowly dripping in it.

The bucket is now filled to the top, which means Frank has been there for a while (about a month) and is getting desperate for food. He looks over Schwimmer’s files and begins to hallucinate that Liza is in the cell with him. She encourages him to look through the files for something familiar – a variable that seemed familiar. CALLIE’s name is in the equation. The equations in the files belong to Frank Winter! They don’t belong to the Germans! The Nazis are STEALING his work! He realizes… there IS a spy back on the hill!

He yells to the guards that he wants to talk. Frank wakes up to find the cell door open. He walks out and end up in a jailhouse. He looks outside and sees that he is in an internment camp as Japanese Americans walk in holding bags. He turns around and gets knocked out by an MP.

He is awoken up by the warden who does not know who he is. He is unlisted from the documents, which means the government doesn’t want anyone to know he’s there. Frank tells them who to call and the information he knows. The warden and the MPs won’t hear any of it and tosses in a crazy inmate named Tojos.

Frank’s new guest arrives after being tossed and beaten up by the MPs. Joseph Bruker (played by the fabulous Justin Kirk) threatens Frank to stay away from him. They begin to talk about the place and their lives – with Frank lying about his name and job. Bruker explains that the place is where they send the people who they don’t want found to and the MPs pit prisoner against prisoner. Frank tries to convince Bruker to help with their escape.

Frank and Bruker talk about their careers, where Frank is a “calculus teacher”. Meanwhile, Frank hears some classical music (specifically Mourning cantata for King Frederik), which Bruker does not hear. The MPs bring in two covered trays into the cell and leave. Bruker tells him that it could be poisoned to make sure they fight. They agree to both open a container each; when they do, they find an empty gun in one tray (Frank) and a bullet in another (Bruker).

Frank finds a secret boiler room in the cell and finds a locked telephone booth. He calls Bruker to bring the gun so they could shoot the lock. Bruker isn’t having any of it because he wants to use the shot to escape. Frank hears music again and this time, Bruker interrogates him on his knowledge on the music – it’s from the German composer Johann Adolf Scheibe. He said he’d give Frank the gun for the truth. He assumes Frank is not really Jewish, but instead pure German. Frank finds out Bruker a Nazi – an American Nazi.

Frank is disgusted with this fact and walks away. Bruker wants to know how Frank knows about Schiebe, but Frank refuses because of his hatred for the Nazis. He goes to the phone box and begins to bang the lock with a chair. Bruker tries to convince him about the Nazi party, which Frank basically calls a bunch of lies. Bruker tries to get Frank’s secret out of him through anger. Frank finally gets the lock opened and finds nothing in the phone box.

Bruker discovers it was Frank’s mother who played the music and the whole reason he knows Scheibe’s music. He begins to tell Bruker the story of his mother who was a music prodigy. She just left him one day as a child. He went to find her as an adult in Germany where his mother called the Gestapo on him.

Frank tells Bruker if he gets out, to call Sante Fe’s Hill and tell him that Magpie was their work. He then closes his eyes, causing Bruker to think Frank died. As he approaches Frank, Frank punches him and grabs the gun. The gun is a dud. Bruker calls out Uncle and the MPs come in and take Frank. Bruker was a spy for the army all along to get information from Frank. He tells Frank he believes him.

Colonel Darrow shows up and asks Frank where X-4 aka Isla Fisher is. Frank is confused and realizes there is no Toso and Bruker. It was all a test. Darrow is concerned with where Fisher is at. Frank just yells at him to tell Oppenheimer that Magpie/Germany is taking work from the Americans – his work! He explains it to Darrow, who then refuses to let Frank go. The army is using Frank’s own work to look like the Germans are ahead of schedule to push their own scientists and their own propaganda. They lock Frank up because he knows too much.


The scientists watch a film about the horrors of war brought to you by the army and Charlie. The American troops are planning to invade Europe. He plans on forming a new test group for the bomb.

Helen confronts Charlie about ‘talking to Frank’. He tells her they just need to move on from Frank. He stops by home to his wife Abby to spend some time with her. Abby demands to know what Charlie is building, which he tells her. He later tells her about the Americans invading Europe and trying to find the German’s bomb. She tries to give him advice on how to kill off the German scientists, which he says is complicated because they know the scientists. She brings up the point, would they do the same for the American scientists?

Frank’s old gang head to the fields to try to find and take photos of Hitler’s surveillance plane and find something radioactive. They camp out at night after setting up the poles. To pass the time, Fritz wants to tell scary stories by the campfire. Crosley tells them about X-4 vanishing with only his badge found on the side of the road. This causes Meeks to have a worried look on his face. He begins to have flashbacks of X-4’s murder and hiding the body. His contact gives him half a Hersey bar wrapper and tells him his next contact person will have the other half. Meeks flashback is interrupted by Fritz screaming after finding a dead coyote. Meeks wants to bury it and just seems confused on what to do.


FRANK Manhattan

Frank Winter is alive!!! Unfortunately, he is stuck in an internment camp meant for prisoners that the government wants to hide because SECRETS.

I have to say, John Benjamin Hickey was great in this episode. Hickey’s portrayal of Frank’s desperation and persistence to stop at nothing to get out of there and his slow descent into madness was just brilliant. You really felt bad for what Frank was going through mentally and the reason why Frank is the way he is. With the addition of Justin Kirk, who is amazing in everything he does, their chemistry of mutual respect-to-disgust shined through. I was convinced of Kirk’s Bruker as the Nazi sympathizer when all along he was just playing all of us. Oh, he’s good. REAL good.

There was so much in one episode – even if it was just Frank in a jail cell. Whoever wrote this episode, Bravo. Everything had a purpose in the episode – the hallucinations, the music tie-in with his past history with his mother, the CALLIE variables in the equation, and the army propaganda (that ACTUALLY happened). It all came together in one episode. Now, it’s time to save Frank.  We need to start a FREE FRANK WINTER movement.


Charlie is just letting it all out to his wife, which is good and bad because he is putting them at risk. But, at least there are NO secrets between them. I’m really digging the empowering of Abby and her relationship with Charlie. She demanded to know what was going on and even offered him sound advice. After last season of playing the victim of the Hill, she is taking control of the situation now. She may not be a scientist, but the girl knows how to handle herself. Use that pregnancy to your advantage, Abby!


We still do not know who Meeks is working for, but we know it’s not for the Americans. After the death of X-4, poor, docile Meeks is traumatized with it. What kind of person is he now? What has he done? Of course, we won’t know until we meet his new contact who has the other half of the Hersey bar wrapper. Of course, I think I know why he did what he did. He was wearing it the whole time – Sid’s hat during the secret trading and X-4’s death. After the situation with Sid, Meeks was angry. Angry at the government, Meeks finally turned. We don’t know whose side, but we’ll find out eventually.

Side Notes:

merica manhattan

  • Meet our new antagonist. Every time I see Colonel Darrow, I just want to yell ‘Murica’. I really just want to punch the guy in the face because he is just an arrogant SOB. I know he thinks he’s doing it for America and that Frank may had possibly been a spy, but he doesn’t need to be a dick about it.
  • Does anyone else feel the tension between Charlie and Helen? So much shade.
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