Manhattan 2×09 ‘Brooklyn’ recap & review

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Recap

The target committee is planning on meeting near the testing site. Everyone has been preparing for this big day to plan on where to test the bomb.

Charlie gets a good luck note from his son Joey as he drives into work. Frank tries to reason with Charlie to convince the committee to bomb an uninhibited island. Charlie plans on using his son’s note as a basis to protect the children.

Helen and Stan talk about the test site. He tells Helen to not go, but he gets to go.

Outside of the base, the Russian spy Victor – Nora’s handler and the man who killed X-4 – is picked up by Joseph Bucher, the guy who was with Frank in the camp. They bring him to the questioning room where Bucher and Paul Crosley interrogate him to find out who the other spy is – code name: Brooklyn. The handler seems to know a lot of about Crosley – including his son. This makes Crosley believe that the other spy knows him  – because only a few men knew he had a son. They confront Victor using his daughter as leverage, causing him to reveal who the spy was – Sid Liao. Crosley doesn’t believe this and tells Darrow. Darrow then interrogates Victor, eventually killing him. Bucher has to stage the Victor’s death as a suicide, causing Nora to freak out and tell Meeks to detonate the bomb early, killing his scientist friends.  Meeks drives to the site with Stan.

Frank is put in charge of Little Boy with his new team including Helen and Theodore Sinclair. Sinclair wanted new composites, but their budget was all used up. The money went to a laboratory in Rochester, NY. Frank refuses to comment until Helen confronts him. The money went to Liza’s research study that she is working with the University of Rochester. She confronts him about preventing the making of the gadget –  especially after what she had done for him. Helen tells Darrow she thinks Frank sabotaged the pre-test.

Bucher pays a visit to Frank and informs him that his mother is in a POW prison in Alabama.

Liza is lecturing the men about ‘fallout’ from the potential Trinity test. No one is listening until she tells them it’s in the cornbread they are eating.

Fritz quits the project because he doesn’t want to be involved in more deaths. Crosley visits Fritz as he is watching his wedding video. Crosley tries to give Fritz a pep talk, but he doesn’t accept it. In the wedding video, he sees Meeks put on a Brooklyn baseball cap and realizes it’s Meeks. He goes to Frank and tells him they need to talk about Meeks.

Abby receives a letter from Jean Tatlock’s family and calls them. She finds out that the suicide letter was not in Jean’s handwriting and that it was staged to look like a suicide. She brings this news to Oppenheimer who tells her he believes Darrow killed Jean, but can’t do anything about it. Abby then confronts Darrow, who has her listen to the tapes of Charlie saying they need to get rid of Jean. Abby immediately sends Joey off to live with her parents and confronts Charlie about Jean’s death. Charlie tells Abby he was bluffing and gets angry at her for sending Joey away. He leaves to the test site.

During the committee meeting, Charlie stands up and changes his mind about where the test site should be. He recommends them to bomb a city full of people – because he wants the world to basically know not to mess with the United States. As Charlie is walking in the field, Oppenheimer punches Charlie, knowing he was the reason Jean is dead.

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Review

This may be the craziest episode before the season finale. Slowly, all the pieces are coming together – the gadget, Frank, Meeks, Jean’s death, and so much more. This past episode took the cake in terms of drama and suspense. There were so many twists and turns – which could turn into a bad thing – but was brilliantly done. The imagery and scenery from this episode also were very beautiful. The images of the gadget in the blue backdrop with Charlie in the background. Simple, yet tells a story.

Initially planning on having the gadget tested on an uninhibited island, Charlie decided that they must kill human life to set an example. It’s hard to gauge what caused Charlie to change his mind. Sure, he lost his son and wife for his actions, but it doesn’t seem justified to kill innocent lives in a foreign country. But, it was extremely unexpected. His speech was very compelling. He said,”We have to be monsters today to stop the monsters of tomorrow.”

To Charlie’s Yang, there is Frank’s Yin to keep people alive. He has been doing everything in his power to prevent more lives lost – including the Japanese. He had gone through great lengths to get to where he is – including holding the people who care about him back, like Helen. It’s no wonder she was pushed to the breaking point and told Darrow. She isn’t to blamed for it. He drove her to it.

As for Crosley, he’s really taking control of every situation and showing what he’s capable of. After experiencing how the interrogation process works – including watching a man being staged to look like a suicide at the hands of a Colonel, Crosley doesn’t like how they have become the judge and jury. But, Bucher has other plans for Crosley – he wants to recruit him for the next war “the Cold War” between the Soviets and the US. After seeing all of this and realizing Jim may be the spy, he went to Frank first, rather than Darrow, because he knows what Darrow would do.

And… let’s talk about Stan! Is Stan the other spy?! What was he doing in the car? No wonder he doesn’t want Helen to go to the test site! What is going on?!

We learn a bit about Bucher – a psychiatrist, which explains why he’s so good into getting into your mind. We also know he actually gave a damn about Frank. Enough to inform him where his mother currently is. Why? Maybe to see what Frank would do next.

After Nora and Meek’s meeting, we are beginning to realize why Meeks volunteered to climb up and work on the bomb in the first episode, but a lot can happen the next episode. I wouldn’t be surprised if another twist were to happen next week to change Meeks again. But, it seems Nora wants to get rid of the cause of the bomb – the scientists. It makes you wonder if the Soviets just want to get rid of the smartest minds in America and have the power of the bomb to themselves.

As for Abby, she is honestly a hot mess. She has been all over the place this season, which Rachel Brosnahan has done beautifully. Now, after realizing her husband may be the cause of Jean’s death and told by her father-in-law to not trust him, she’s at the breaking point. Who knows what Abby plans to do next? She is not one to stay quiet in her home.

Overall, the episode was intense and a great indicator of a heart-stopping season finale.

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