Manhattan 2×10 ‘Jupiter’ recap & review

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Recap

Stan (aka Perseus) and Meeks make their way to the testing site with the intent to detonate the bomb early, killing the staff and scientists. Meeks has second thoughts and gets rid of Stan, but knocking him out while he was looking in the trunk.

Meanwhile, Crosley reveals to Frank that Meeks is a spy. Frank believes him after calling Meek’s mother and finding out Meeks had lied – she’s alive. They head out to stop Meeks with Crosley believing that Meeks could become a double agent for them.

There is a voiceover of Oppenheimer reading the Holy Sonnets by John Donne as it rains over the test site. Helen enters the Trinity test using Stan’s badge.

The first episode scene is replayed where Lorentzen is asking Charlie questions about the test. Fritz visits Liza at the testing site because Jeannie would have wanted him to be there. Liza is worried about the storm but isn’t allowed in the main tent, but Fritz is. Fritz warns Charlie about the weather conditions, but Charlie ignores it. Meeks arrives and sees the testing is about to begin. He offers to double check the detonators and climbs up to the bomb.

Charlie receives a note from Oppenheimer that said, “Your pre-test was sabotaged by Frank Winter.” Every precaution is taken to make sure Frank does not come to the testing site.

Everyone is beginning to pack to get away from the testing site for detonation. Charlie sees Helen has made it to the site. She looks at the bomb to see what she contributed and doesn’t blame him for choosing his family over her. She is escorted out. Charlie then calls his in-laws to try to speak to Joey. Helen is placed in the car with Oppenheimer and tells her Little Boy has been loaded to be sent overseas to be used. Oppenheimer promotes Helen as the head of Little Boy. She is being sent to the island to prepare the delivery of the device.

Abby is awoken to find a messenger who tells her Charlie wants to speak to her at the switchboard. She said she will call him in the morning and goes back to her room where she is packing her things to leave. She tries leaving the Hill but finds her pass expired. She tries to convince the MP that she is attending church in another city and let’s her go. She meets with Juanita who has her son.

Frank sneaks into the bomb and finds Meeks there. He confronts Jim and tells him he spoke with his mother. Jim points the gun at him, but Frank convinces Meeks he’s on his side by revealing that he sabotaged the pre-test. They go over what Meeks did and find some error to fix it. They chat about how Meeks came to work with the Russians. Meeks just did not want the weapon to be in the hands of only the Americans. Meeks is called down by Charlie and Frank is left to finish the rest of the project. Meeks tells him to use his car to get away. Meeks said he won’t leave, he’s going to stay with the bomb because he’s not scared. Frank is unsure what to do and sees a radio on the side. Music begins to play in all of the radios and sound systems – disrupting the radio signal. Everyone is stumbling to get a signal. Darrow tells Charlie to fix this or else they are going to do the countdown without the radio system. Charlie then tells Darrow he sent information to the Secretary of War on how Darrow lied about Magpie and the German bomb using Frank Winter’s equations.

Fritz tells Liza the good news about the radio jam, which would delay the testing. They could now wait for the weather to die down. Liza tells Fritz that they should have called Frank to fix it because he’s great at radio signals. Fritz thinks about it and tells Liza about Frank’s part in the pre-test failure. Liza hears Lazar talking to another person about the radio station coming from Texas, which means someone must have rigged the antenna. Liza realizes it is Frank in the tower.

Meeks tells Frank that he changed the plans where the Soviets wanted him to kill his colleagues, but he is just going to kill himself by staying with the bomb. Frank tries to convince him to leave because his actions as a Soviet spy will cause World War III. Frank tells him they have to think it was him. Meeks doesn’t think he deserves to live because of what happened to Jeannie. Meeks answers the phone to find it’s Liza on the other end. She confronts him about what she heard and is scared he’s going to get shot. He tells her to leave the blast radius, but won’t leave without him. He tells her he loves her and wants to fix his mistakes. Liza runs to Charlie to tell him to stop the test. Charlie said it’s going to happen with or without Frank trying to stop it. Charlie tells her that Frank was the reason her study was funded because he tried to drain the Little Boy funds. Liza runs to Fritz and tells him Frank is in the tower. Fritz tells her he’ll take care of it as Liza is pushed into a car for evacuation.

The radio signals are back to normal. Charlie and the team restart the clock at 32 minutes. Meeks pulls the phone out and points the gun at Frank. He confronts Frank about Liza knowing where he was. He wants to know why Frank is really up there. Meeks finds that Frank hijacked the radios to buy time to talk Meeks down. Frank tells him Little Boy is already shipped across the Pacific and there is no stopping this. Meeks can’t live with betraying his country and friends. Frank admits what he did to Sid Liao, which is the whole reason why Meeks got involved with the Soviets. Frank tells Meeks there is a way out by cooperating with the government. Fritz climbs up and Frank turns the story around, telling Fritz that he’s trying to sabotage the bomb and that Meeks was trying to talk him down from doing it. All three of them fix the gadget to work again.

All the scientists and staff are at the bunker waiting for the detonation. Fritz, Frank, and Meeks drive away and alert them that they are all clear. They look at the test site from afar. Fritz doesn’t know what to do about Frank and tells Meeks they shouldn’t report him. Meeks admits to Fritz that it was him who was trying to sabotage the bomb. He admits everything to Fritz – working with the Soviets after Sid’s passing and Jeannie’s death. Fritz runs out and holds a gun at Meek’s face, but is blinded by the blast. Charlie looks at the blast and says, “it worked.” Fritz shoots himself in the head.

Review

This was simply a brilliant episode. I am actually in awe of this season finale. Everything was connected from the beginning with the gadget and Meek’s part in it all to the very end when the gadget exploded. What a way to end a season!

“Jupiter,” written by showrunner Sam Shaw, is truly one of the best episodes of this and last season. I was sitting at the edge of my seat the entire time because I could not have predict so much had happened in the episode. Of course, in the real world, the gadget was tested successfully and Fat Man and Little Boy was used in the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, but in this show, anything could happen. The characters have so much depth to them that it’s hard to not feel the effects after the episode has ended.

The transformation of Meeks from quiet, stage-loving scientist to Soviet spy to a possible murderer (we don’t know if Stan is dead or alive) to potentially being a double agent (if Crosley were able to turn him) was done really well throughout this season. Christopher Denham did a beautiful job showcasing Meek’s struggle with guilt and slow descent into madness towards the end of the episode. Here is Meeks who held this secret for so long and finally reveals it, only to have him lose his best friend and potentially send himself to a jail cell. That scene between Fritz and Meeks was the hardest to handle and that is saying a lot because the whole episode had so much tension.

After all her hard work and struggle to fit into the world where men dominated, Helen was finally promoted to the lead of Little Boy by Oppenheimer. But of course, the writers had to bring back Charlie and Helen’s relationship right before she has to leave him. This is why this show is called a drama.

Of course, the best performances this season are the on-and-off-again couple – The Winters. John Benjamin Hickey and Olivia Williams are amazing together and separate as actors. Liza’s struggle with Frank in trouble and yet, trying to move on in her career brought out Williams’ best performances. Hickey is just great in everything he does and I’m hoping he gets recognition for his portrayal of Frank Winter. Hickey’s portrayal of the Frank Winter as a desperate scientist who ultimately needed to be the villain in order to save the world – for the greater good. Oh my Gawd, Frank Winter is Batman.

The loss of Fritz is going to play a huge role heavily next season. This loss was very unexpected because this character represented the good in the people on the Hill. Almost everyone on the Hill has some flaws, but Fritz was the sweet and innocent guy who just wanted to do the right thing. It feels like the loss of Fritz represents the loss of morality on the show.

Overall, this cast ensemble worked so well together and were all brilliant in their roles. This show deserves a third season because shows like this don’t come around often. Brilliant finale. Great job, Manhattan.

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