Abby’s secret is out on “Manhattan”

There hasn’t been much on the queer front this season of Manhattan but something pretty big happened on the last episode and it could cause shockwaves for Abby in episodes to come. As we reported, Neve Campbell would be guesting on the series this season, and her role as Kitty Oppenheimer is already proving to be a big deal for Abby.

Abbie has always been a curious woman, but now without Elodie in her life, and being privy to the real reason she and Charlie are in Los Alamos, her curiosity gets the better of her. While working at the switchboard, she eavesdrops on a call between J. Robert Oppenheimer and his mistress, and she can’t stop thinking about it.

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She later decides to invite Robert, who is Charlie’s boss, and his wife Kitty over for dinner. It’s rather fascinating that Abby becomes so obsessed with this couple’s secrets, considering her own marriage is full of them. Perhaps she wants to understand what makes a “perfect” marriage fall apart. Maybe if she can see where the cracks form, she will better understand her own unhappiness. Charlie isn’t thrilled about the whole thing, and tells Abby to stay out of other people’s marriages.

Dinner does happen and Abby asks the couple many questions about their relationship, and even draws attention to the tie Robert is wearing, a gift from his mistress in San Fransisco. Kitty keeps her eyes on Abby, but plays along for the time being.

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After dinner, Robert and Charlie head outside while their wives sit inside, drinking and smoking. (It was the 40s, pregnant ladies still did that then.) Helen, the scientist Charlie was having an affair with, stops by to give him hell about not putting her on his new team. It’s awkward for everyone, and Abby tries to make light of it to hide her obvious embarrassment. When Kitty mentions (in some stellar dialogue) that men only think they want women who understand them, Abby decides to tell her that Robert is actually going to visit his mistress, not going to DC like he said. Very calmly, Kitty asks Abby if she works at the switchboard and then says this:

“I bet you hear all kinds of secrets. I hear things too. I hear you like the taste of girls. I do not need marital advice from a deviant.”

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Whoa. It’s a shocking moment for Abby, and these words carry a weight of a warning. Neve Campbell is so powerful and perceptive in this role, I’m looking forward to seeing more interactions between her and Rachel Brosnahan in future episodes. Here’s the preview for Tuesday’s episode.

 

Manhattan airs on WGN on Tuesdays at 9/8 CST.