“Manhattan” recap (1.10): Et Voila

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This is the recap for Abby and Elodie’s storyline in the WWII drama, Manhattan.

This week’s Abby and Elodie’s storyline starts off with a bang—literally. While in a secluded spot off-base, a simple picnic turns out to be much, much more. Elodie is situated betwixt Abby’s legs, and we catch them right after a particularly intimate moment. (Go WGN for not shying away from this.) Elodie calmly kisses a breathless Abby’s knee and says the most Elodie thing ever.

“Et, voila.” Et, viola indeed.

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“How long has it been since your husband did that? Hmm?” Elodie asks Abby. Abby’s silence indicates the answer is probably “never.” Abby quickly starts to pull herself together, applying makeup and straightening her clothes. Elodie invites her to dinner, but Abby stiffens, remembering the last time she dined at Elodie’s. She asks Elodie if Tom will be there.

“Love affairs are our reward for putting up with our husbands. All the more fun to do it right in front of them,” Elodie responds. Abby is quick to dismiss their relationship as a love affair, however. She also doesn’t feel quite so callously about Charlie. Abby blurts out how Tom groped her while Elodie was out of sight. Elodie is horrified, and rushes close to Abby, placing her hand on Abby’s cheek. “I will kill him,” Elodie whispers. “I will poison his dinner.” (Oh please don’t, Elodie. They don’t serve coq au vin in the Army prison. Or lady kisses.)

Abby brushes it off, saying if she wanted to make a big deal about it, she would have told her husband. What Elodie doesn’t know is that Charlie does know, and told Abby that “Men will be men.”

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Later that night, Abby invites Elodie to a bustling bar so they can talk. She breaks it off with Elodie right then and there. Apparently all that love affair talk has gotten Abby bewitched, bothered and bewildered. Elodie worries that Abby’s change of heart has to do with Tom, but Abby assures her that it’s about them. Before they can discuss anything further, Elodie’s friends stop by to say hello. A married couple, they joke with Elodie, asking if Abby’s husband knows she’s hanging out with the minxiest minx in all of New Mexico. The wife pulls out of copy of L’Etranger by Albert Camus and returns it to Elodie. When Abby asks what the book was about, the wife gives her the run down. However, Elodie has a different take. With her jaw set on edge she tells Abby, “It’s about the fact that our lives are absurd. There’s no God, there’s no morality. Society invents rules to keep us from happiness. But every minute of every day, you’re free to decide who to be, and how to live.” Well, I guess that’s Elodie’s response to getting dumped.

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The husband lightens things up with a joke, and Abby references feeling kind of trapped on the base. Elodie tells her she could leave anytime, but Abby doesn’t think the Colonel would take too kindly to that. “Just because there may be a consequence, doesn’t mean you have no choice.” Elodie sure does talk a good game, or at least she’s given Abby something to think about. The couple takes that opportunity to ask the unsuspecting Abby for a threesome. When the wife senses that Abby doesn’t get what their asking, she politely bids the women a good night. Abby asks Elodie what the couple’s deal is and she says they are “bon vivants.” I think that means “swingers” in French. Just kidding! It actually means “ones who live well.” Elodie gives it to Abby straight, and tells her that they switch it up with the neighbors next door. Everyone in their insulated little world has a secret. Elodie thinks Abby is keeping her true feelings from herself. Life is short, Elodie quips, and if their husbands have anything to do with it, it’s soon to be much shorter. “That’s why we are here, right? So our husbands can invent the end of the world.” Abby looks at her with confusion and concern.

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The next morning, Abby is up early and reading L’Etranger. Charlie wakes later and pokes a little fun at Abby for trading in her gossip magazines for French lit. Abby turns the tables on Charlie and asks what he’s really working on at the base. He refuses to tell her, for her own protection he says. When she pushes, he shuts down.

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Later on, Abby shows up at Elodie’s to return the book. She’s been up since the early morning devouring it. Abby appears shaken, or at least riled up.

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Abby’s never deviated from the course in life that was set out for her. She tells Elodie, “My whole life, I have been exactly the person that everyone expected me to be. I don’t even know what I want.” Elodie asks Abby what she wants, right then. Abby takes a moment, then walks straight into Elodie’s bedroom. Elodie follows her smiling, then shuts the door behind them.

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Manhattan airs on WGN, Sundays at 10/9 central. If you cable provider does not carry WGN, previous episodes are available on Hulu.

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