Manhattan: Perestroika   First Watch 
January 19, 2017 9:22 AM - Season 1, Episode 13 - Subscribe

The secrets and lies that have been building for months finally come to a head in the season finale of “Manhattan.”
Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Manhattan Project’s scientific director, makes a surprise visit to the Hill to reorganize the project.... Meanwhile, Occam, the head of security at Los Alamos, is determined to figure out who is leaking information off the Hill. Charlie Isaacs has come under intense scrutiny after the arrival of Abby’s Eastern European relatives in New York City and the mysterious collapse of Thin Man.

To save the future:
Manhattan is a hero drama with a sense of irony. That irony isn’t as fine as on Mad Men, but at its core Manhattan is a show about building a big enough weapon to end industrial violence. Frank has waxed poetic about it before, but my ears are still ringing from his speech to Liza. It’s not an accident that he tells her about the atom bomb in answer to the question, “What’s wrong?” Manhattan runs on these provocative contradictions.
Sifting Throught The Fallout
The underlying question throughout Manhattan's first season wasn't, "Which team will build the bomb first?" It also wasn't, "Are the Americans going to beat the Germans in building a weapon that could vaporize thousands of people in seconds?" because we already know the answer. It wasn't even, "How much money has Fritz spent on his whore/girlfriend?" No, the real question that drove the WGN America drama's first season was much simpler than that, and reflective of the themes that permeate many other series from this Golden Age of Television: "Is Frank Winter a good man?"
We got our answer, sort of, in Manhattan's riveting Season 1 finale, "Perestroika," which exploded in its final moments and sent its characters hurtling in several different directions.
posted by the man of twists and turns (2 comments total)
Shall I continue?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:42 PM on January 19, 2017

Saw this months ago, and it was an amazing end to the season. I am a bit of a bomb nerd and so I was sensitive to all the little shortcuts they took, but overall this was less a series about the Bomb than it was about people under ridiculous pressure, and in that light it shone with the brightness of, well, an atomic bomb.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:34 PM on January 22, 2017

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