TV Club: Manhattan prepares for fallout

Manhattan is such a dense show the story tends to crowd out the rest, but get a load of the succinct, wordless opening images of the second to last episode of the season. First we get a god’s eye view of the gadget through the geometric ordering of the scaffold, the camera dropping out of the sky toward the bomb. Then a pan along the room where the decisions will be made, ending with Charlie’s seat at the table. That’s the fruit of the second half of the season, ever since Frank came back. The first season was about the bomb. The second is about what it means—where to drop it, the effects of radiation, what it means for someone to have and use that power. In this opening the weapon and the wielders are equally important, but only one gets the ominous weight. The weapon …

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