Manhattan 2×05 ‘The World of Tomorrow’ recap & review

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Recap:

It continues back in Charlie’s apartment when Frank enters and tells Charlie that there is no Magpie. The military is lying to them to try to have them develop a bomb. Charlie ignores Frank’s comments because a bomb is inevitable. Frank leaves and is picked up by MP’s and sent to Darrow. He gives Frank the option to go back to the jail or to enlist as an MP on the base. Also, he won’t be able to be with his wife because he has to stay with the other MP’s. Darrow wouldn’t let Liza leave as well.

Six months later before New Years 1945, Frank is wearing an MP uniform and is interviewed by Lorentzen about the project – the rise and fall of Frank Winter. Frank described his first interactions in the barracks with the other MP’s. Dunlavey welcomes Frank where they make an agreement to not talk about Callie. His old team questions Frank’s service as an MP, but he lies to them about why. Lorentzen asks about his science work, but Frank denies having been involved in it.

There is a scene between Dunlavey and Frank bonding over a cigarette. They talk about Callie and how much she means to Dunlavey. Later on, Dunlavey is assigned to fight in the war in the most dangerous place in the war. Frank confronts Darrow about the assignment – it was because Dunlavey allowed Frank to see Liza. Frank gives his lucky lighter to Dunlavey as a good luck charm.

Fritz and Meeks were interviewed by Lorentzen about the project. He grills them on Frank Winter and the situation between Charlie and Frank. They flashback to Charlie, Meeks, and Fritz going to the test site. Explosions go off, which scare Charlie and the team. Lazar and Frank were testing explosives. They drive to the site and are confronted by the McDonald brothers who want them off their land. Charlie tells them they failed to appear in front of a judge and the government seized their land. The McDonald brothers threatened Charlie and the team, but Frank intervenes telling them that the government will send in more men if he killed them and about their property. They leave. Annoyed, Charlie tells him off and they get into a fight. Charlie banishes Frank from entering the tech area.

Crosley, who is now in charge of the secondary bomb ‘Little Boy’, is next to be interviewed. Crosley flashbacks to his downfall where he is hungover and berated at by Helen. Lazar and Frank enter with detonators and Crosley begins to question Frank about the equations and solution to the enrichment problem. Frank is then asked to leave because of Charlie’s rule. Crosley and Hoggard have a discussion to spy on the United States for the British Empire. Hoggard convinces him by using his daughter and Crosley’s son Henry. Flash-forward to the interview, Lorentzen asks who solved the enrichment problem? Crosley answered ‘Oppenheimer’.

Darrow and Lorentzen discuss the paper for the gadget. Lorentzen confronts Darrow with the reason why Frank is still on the Hill. Apparently, Darrow and Oppenheimer are keeping Frank on the Hill because he solved the enrichment problem. We see Frank working with Helen on the equations and leaving the solution in Oppenheimer’s office. They know, they will need Frank again.

Lorentzen begins reading his article to Liza, as many scenes happen during his speech.

People on the Hill are celebrating New Years.

Frank is opening up his mail from Dunlavey and finds his lighter in it. The letter is from Dunlavey’s family informing Frank that Dunlavey was killed in the war.

Abby has lost the baby and blames herself for the loss – as an ‘act of God’. She doesn’t feel like celebrating the New Year and goes to the hospital to hold children during the fireworks.

Frank visits Liza during her dinner with Lorentzen. He informs her of Dunlavey’s death and cry in each other’s arms.

Review:

The writing this season has been great, but this episode ‘The World of Tomorrow’ written by the Mark Lafferty blew me away. I usually have a difficult time with flashbacks and flashforwards, but this worked beautifully. We were able to understand Frank’s situation and everything he went through within those six months from returning to New Years. It never felt rushed or too slow. We were able to see the different points of view through different eyes – Crosley, Meeks, Fritz, and even Lorentzen himself as he described what he suspects what happened. Also, that soliloquy by Lorentzen in the end with all those scenes going on, it just was perfect. I felt so many emotions throughout this episode, which reminded me why this show is so acclaimed.

John Benjamin Hickey deserves an Emmy nomination already.

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LORENTZEN IS A GOOD REPORTER

Holy crap, Lorentzen’s final piece on the gadget editorial was brilliant. He’s a really good reporter – investigating and asking questions. I’m seriously impressed with his line of questioning to Frank, Meeks, Fritz, and Crosley. Griffin Dunne performance as the eager reporter was great in this episode. He challenges the audience regarding Frank’s return and in the end, challenges Darrow with his theory, which was pretty good. I’m honestly not sure if he’s the bad guy or the good guy in this situation, because on one hand – he wants to get with Liza, but on the other hand, he wants to search for the truth. All I know is, he’s a damn good reporter.

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CROSLEY’S REDEMPTION

Crosley has been slowly falling into this pit of despair since the first season and now, he’s hit his all time low. Luckily, he is British and is wanted to spy for his people. Using Crosley’s estranged son as bait, Hoggard recruits Crosley to send secrets home. It’s great that Crosley was motivated to pull through and become in charge of ‘Little Boy’ naming it after his ‘little boy’. If you history buffs remember, Little Boy was the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima to finally end the war.

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RIP DUNLAVEY

I think this character’s death hit close to home because although he killed Sid in the first season, he never forgot about it. He still felt guilt for what had happened and tried to make up for it. He wasn’t a bad person. He was a good person who made a huge fatal mistake. The fact that he tried to redeem himself by helping the Winters says a lot about the kind of man he is. It’s hard to believe they killed off this character, but I understand it’s to demonstrate Darrow’s power over the Hill. It’s just a really tough loss.

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SIDE NOTES

  • Abby’s loss is a sad situation that happens. It’s really hard to believe that Charlie isn’t really comforting her in this tough time. It’s his child too. I feel like this loss is going to send Abby spiraling down a road she should not go on.
  • Poor Helen gets the short end of the stick many times. Seriously, when is it going to be her episode?
  • Honestly, I still can’t get over that soliloquy.
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