Manhattan 2×06 ’33’ recap & review

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Recap

During a civilain fishing trip, the body and car of X-4 was found and brought back to the base.

The government does not have any scientist on the board to determine where the bomb will be used. Helen is trying to rally support for the tech area, but no one seems to care. Frank, still in MP gear, asks Helen if she was able to rally them – since it was his idea. She tells him to do it himself.

Fritz asks Charlie if they could do tests on the radiation effects on the environment and people. Charlie requests if there’s a scientist who would have time and be able to do it, then he’d agree. Fritz talks to Liza about the job. Liza needs approval from Darrow, so she goes to him and shows him the risk of radiation exposure from the tech area. He gives her the job.

Abby has been packing spare clothes to send to the families who have been liberated from the camps. She has been trying to move on. Charlie suggested they try again, but Abby thinks God is punishing her for what she had done in the past. Charlie mocks her quotes from the Bible. They get into an argument, leaving Charlie annoyed.

At the bar, the bartender brings Helen a drink, which she mistakes is from Charlie and pours it on his lap. Instead, it’s a drink bought by another guy. Charlie and Helen laughed about it and he asks her back to the G group. He tells her Vannevar Bush, FDR’s lead science guy, is coming to the Hill to review the test preparations. Helen later tells Frank, who wants her to get him alone to talk about the decision board. Helen refuses for fear of losing her position. Instead, Frank writes up a petition to the president and has a bunch of scientists sign it.

Meanwhile, Meeks is practicing with his stage production group and is promoted to lead of their next musical. He tells Nora about the petition, who tells him not to sign it. Meeks informs Charlie who tells Darrow. Frank and Charlie argue about the petition to Darrow who wants to see how the petition will do. Later on, Darrow calls J. Edgar Hoover.

Abby is working the phones with her new British colleague Constance. Crosley calls and patches through to Constance, who puts him through to British Intelligence. He sends them updates. While Constance is away, Abby picks up Crosley’s connection where he does his flirty comments on her. When he realized it wasn’t Constance, he hangs up. Suspicious, Abby listens in on his call connection and realizes he’s spying on the Hill. She concocts a plan to lure him in her home and confronts him, leading him to try to seduce her by claiming Charlie has been unfaithful with Helen again. Charlie walks in before anything could happen. The next day, Abby goes to Darrow and reports on Crosley and Constance. Instead, he has her pray with him.

Frank is taken on a mission while Bush is on the Hill. He is assigned to play with the radiation in the desert. As Frank is leaving, X-4’s car arrives on the base, where Frank begins seeing visions of him. Throughout Frank’s time in the radiation (critically tests) hut, the visions of X-4 makes Frank think. He realizes the petition would be used as a ‘list of traitors’ for Hoover and therefore, blacklisted. He must find a way back on the base and begins messing with the radiation in order for them to bring him back on the base.

Liza sees Frank’s name on hospital list for radiation exposure and runs to his room. He’s not there because he went to the tech area and talks to the scientists and reveals the truth about the bomb. He burns the petition and reveals that it was a blacklist. Instead, he wants all of them to go together to protest for the scientists to determine how the bomb is used. They all go out together but are told that FDR has died, which crushed their protest.

Review

What I love most about Manhattan is how everything is connected. The writers are able to tie in the smallest comments with the big picture – and using history. The writers never fail to impress me on putting all the pieces together.

With the scientist petition, I didn’t expect a blacklist to potentially come out of it – until Frank figured it out. It made me realize why Darrow called J. Edgar Hoover – the director of the FBI and considered the “American gestapo”.

It makes me wonder why Darrow didn’t respond to Abby’s revelation regarding Crosley and Constance. Everything is connected together somehow. Darrow seems to know a lot about what is going on and seems to have plans. Plans that we will probably see in the next few episodes.

Another thing I love about this show is accurate historical references – Vannevar Bush’s visit and FDR’s death. The war is almost over and the leader, who lead them through all of this, has died. It was a beautiful tie-in the story.

John Benjamin Hickey, again, has shown the audience Frank’s dedication as a scientist, even when derailed in many ways. His passion and drive is what makes this character and the show feel real. Frank actually has demons in his head, which shows us he’s not perfect. With Frank, there are no office romances or spy games. It’s all about the science and war, which makes this character likeable – even in the dickish of times. Darrow, on the other hand, is preceived and is acually a dick.

Overall, the episode was really good, especially with the historical plot twist in the end. It keeps it real… as sad as it is.

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