Manhattan 2×07 ‘Behold the Lord High Executioner’ recap & review

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Recap

The start of the episode shows a Native American family – mother and son – entering the Hill for work and school. The mother, who is a cleaning lady for one of the scientists’ wives, tells the ladies that her son saw someone who was there when X-4 was killed. The little boy Pablo takes Darrow to the site where Meeks buried the can full of equations. Darrow asks if Pablo could recognize the man who buried it, which he shakes he could.

Pablo is waiting at the entrance into the tech area as Meeks walks towards the entrance, but is stopped by Nora who takes him to his room. She tells him to leave to Sante Fe.

Darrow goes to the gun group and calls for Dr. Sinclair’s help to find out about the can, which contains traces of polonium. So whoever is the spy has to be working in tech. With that knowledge, Darrow closes the borders and won’t let anyone leave, causing Meeks to return to his room.

Nora consults a spy colleague who tells her to burn bridges with Meeks. She refuses to, which causes her colleague to give her poison pills to give to Meeks – just in case. She gives Meeks the pill and tells him she’s taking care of the situation – by poisoning the boy with soda. He refuses to let her poison a little boy and asks to fix it himself. He visits Pablo’s mother and threatens her that she’ll lose Pablo if he identifies the person. She doesn’t believe him and they get into a struggle, which causes him to fall and drop his pitch pipe. He threatens her that if they told anyone, they’re dead.

Jeanie and Fritz talk about having children, but Fritz is scared of how the child will turn out due to his consumption of plutonium over a year ago.

Jeanie watches Pablo in the office area and promises that he’ll be safe by giving him her pin. She develops a friendship with the boy. As Nora is watching him, she hands him a poisoned soda as he is lead to the examination room to identify the men.

Meeks head over to the examination room to be identified and notices the kid holding the soda. He spills it before the kid could drink it. The kid looks at him and says it’s not him.

After being safe, Meeks goes on to her musical performance. During the show, Jeanie drops Pablo off with his mother who is afraid and refuses to return to the Hill. Confused, Pablo hands Jeanie Meek’s pitch pipe that he found on the floor. This causes Jeanie to suspect Meeks had something to with scaring Pablo’s family. She confronts him during intermission. Unable to convince her that he isn’t a spy, Nora kills Jeanie.

As Frank is building on Trinity test site, Fritz informs him the scientists were given a hazard pay, which is great, but Frank wants a scientist in the decision committee. It was just bad timing with FDR’s death.

Fritz leaves to help Liza on her study, which she will need research assistants. Charlie grants her two, who don’t understand what they want her to do. Frank comes and tries to help her on her study. When her two assistants couldn’t get the task done, Frank stepped in and did it.

The guy who bought Helen a drink last episode, which she poured on Charlie, chats with her again. His name is Stan and he’s the lawyer for the Hill. He impresses her with his knowledge of her work.

Abby visits Darrow requesting for Jean Tatlock’s address. He questions why and she admits her guilt and blames herself for Tatlock’s death. She thinks because of this, she had a miscarriage. She would like to send them money. He tells her she should redeem herself in other ways. She goes home and talks to Charlie about their future after the war. She wants to go to Jerusalem and confesses what she did to Tatlock. He tells her it’s not her fault and to stay away from Darrow.

Review

This may be one of the saddest episodes of this season. Yes, Dunlavey’s death was a sad moment. Yes, FDR’s death was also depressing, especially since it ruined the scientist protest. But this… this was the downfall of Meeks, which resulted in the death of a beloved character that is going to affect another beloved character.

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This entire episode really focused on the downfall of Meeks’ character morality. In the beginning when he did not want to poison that child, there was a glimpse of hope for the young scientist. He risked exposure to prevent the boy from drinking the poisoned soda. When he thought he was safe, but then questioned by Jeanie, he knew he would have to compromise her (and Fritz’s happiness). He was willing to save Pablo, but not Jeanie from Nora’s clutches. It was also unfortunately that the little boy didn’t see Meeks, but the spy who actually killed X-4. All of this could have been prevented.

This will definitely affect Meeks’ morale and how it’s going to affect Fritz for the next few episodes. Jeanie was such an important character to Fritz and his development. We know in the future, because of the flashforward, Fritz still doesn’t know Meeks was involved with Jeanie’s death. It’s no wonder Meeks looked frazzled in the future when he is with the bomb.

We do see Meeks downfall and it’s not pretty.

Side Notes:

  • We are introduced to a new love interest for Helen. He seems pretty normal! I am glad we have a guy that isn’t Charlie. What should their shipping name be? Stalen. No. Too close to Stalin.
  • Abby is definitely changing and becoming more Darrow-like. It’s actually scary, but understandable. She wants a reason why she lost her baby and find a purpose in life. Charlie needs to be more understanding.
  • There wasn’t much of Frank in this episode, other than his interaction with Liza. I just hope they make it work.
  • RIP Jeanie. We’ll miss you.
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