Everyone is converging onto the Trinity site. Paul and Frank rush there to prevent Meeks from becoming a saboteur. As long as he is only a spy, they can save his life by turning him into a double agent.
Review and recap Manhattan Jupiter
Meeks has no desire to kill all his coworkers, and since the lawyer has been sent with him to make sure he carries through with that plan, he takes an opportunity when the latter is rummaging around in the back of the car to slam the trunk door down on him and kill him.
We’re back where the season started, in the middle of a thunderstorm, the test underway, and Meeks sent up the tower that contains the gadget to check on the detonators. This time we see why: Charlie has been alerted to the fact that Frank sabotaged the pre-test. This is also why he gives Meeks a gun.
Paul drops Frank off at the site. Why Paul would just back off and do nothing more to help isn’t really clear.
Up in the tower, with two hours to detonation, Frank confronts Meeks. He claims to want to help him, and the two start working on sabotaging the bomb together, making sure there will be an explosion but no nuclear reaction. Frank’s ultimate goal is to talk Meeks into leaving the tower before him so that he can set things back to rights, but this plan is ruined when Meeks reveals that he plans to stay up in the tower and explode with the bomb.
This episode doesn’t hit one wrong note, but the scenes between Meeks and Frank are suburb; Manhattan at it’s very best. They’re tense, riveting, and faithful to both characters. It’s the perfect finale for both of the struggles these two have gone through this season.
The countdown for the bomb is still on, with two hours to go. Frank temporarily delays things by tampering with the radio system and blaring music over the speakers. This tips Liza off that he is up in the tower and she phones up there. She begs him to come down but he says he has to make one of his mistakes right. He tells her to get away from the test site.
Liza’s options are limited. If she alerts the MPs they will go up and shoot Frank. But she doesn’t truly know what Frank intends to do. She turns to Fritz.
Back on the Hill, Abby sneaks off the base. It’s revealed that her story of sending Joey away was all a lie. She merely had her maid take him for a little while so she could pick him up later. With her son, Abby drives off in the direction of California.
At Trinity, Charlie tries to get in touch with both his son and his wife, but can’t. We find out that he was not responsible for Jean’s death and is furious at Darrow for making Abby think he could be. To get even he has sent all of Darrow’s falsified German intelligence documents to the Secretary of War.
Oppenheimer speaks to Helen, informing her that whatever the fate of the Gadget, Little Boy is going to be used. It is skipping its test phase and is already being loaded on a ship and sent to the Pacific. Helen will now be in charge of it.
Meeks is suspicious of Liza’s phone calls and realizes that Frank is actually here to stop him. Frank already knows that Little Boy is to be used and argues that sabotaging the Gadget won’t do any good. He also realizes that in a strange way, he is responsible for Meeks being here as Frank betrayed Syd and Syd is why Meeks turned spy. Frank looks back on all that’s come and says:
“I keep rationalizing all the lesser evils, hoping it will add up to a greater good. But it’s just bad math.”
Frank no longer is so sure of the future or how it will end. All he knows is that it is out of their control.
Fritz arrives and Frank pretends that he himself was the one trying to stop the bomb and Meeks talked him down. Together, the three men fix the bomb.
They exit the tower and rush to one of the bunkers built to protect from the explosion. In another shelter are Charlie and the other scientists.
Two minutes left on the countdown.
Meeks believes Fritz is owed the truth and admits that he was the spy and that he was the reason Fritz’s wife is dead.
Fritz rushes outside to grab a gun from the car and points it at Meeks.
The bomb goes off.
In a beautifully shot scene, a blinding white light fills the screen. From his bunker Charlie says in awe “It works”. Fritz looks at the explosion for one moment and then points the gun at his own head and pulls the trigger. As the shot goes off the white light fades to fire, and dust, and destruction.
The scientists have accomplished what they set out to do: they built the Gadget. But at what a horribly high price. Not just in the human lives that will be taken. But in their own.
And after two seasons of betrayal, backstabbing, plotting, working, and sacrifice, did it really matter? Little Boy will be used regardless of the Implosion initiative. The pain over the Gadget could have been avoided all along.
Other episodes of Manhattan reviewed on TV Eskimo:
Characters and cast of Manhattan Jupiter include:
Abby Isaacs – Rachel Brosnahan (Beautiful Creatures, The Unborn, House of Cards, The Blacklist)
Frank Winter – John Benjamin Hickey (The Good Wife, Flags of Our Fathers, The Bone Collector, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Infamous, Get On Up)
Louis ‘Fritz’ Fedowitz – Michael Chernus (Captain Phillips, The Bourne Legacy, Men in Black 3, Love & Other Drugs, Orange is the New Black)
Jim Meeks – Christopher Denham (Argo, Shutter Island, Sound of My Voice, The Bay, Charlie Wilson’s War)
Helen Prins – Katja Herbers (The Americans, Divorce)
Paul Crosley – Harry Lloyd (The Theory of Everything, The Iron Lady, The Riot Club, Jane Eyre, Wolf Hall, Game of Thrones)
Liza Winter – Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense, An Education, Rushmore, Maps to the Stars, The Ghost Writer, Hanna)
Charlie Isaacs – Ashley Zukerman (Rush, Blame, Underbelly, The Code)
Col, Emmett Darrow – William Petersen (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Manhunter, To Live and Die in L.A., Fear)
Occam – Richard Schiff (The West Wing, Man of Steel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, I Am Sam, Rogue, Ballers, The Affair, Kill the Messenger)
J. Robert Oppenheimer – Daniel London (Patch Adams, Minority Report, Synechdoche New York, Old Joy, Nurse Jackie, The Sopranos)
William Hogarth – Bill Camp (12 Years a Slave, Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Lawless, Lincoln, Black Mass, Public Enemies)
Cole – Jefferson White (How to Get Away with Murder, The Americans)
Dr. Alek Barath – Jonny Coyne (Nightcrawler, TURN Washington’s Spies, The Hangover Part III, Would You Rather)
Woodrow Lorentzen – Griffin Dunne (Dallas Buyers Club, My Girl, An American Werewolf in London, After Hours, House of Lies)