Life as of late hasn’t been easy for Abby Isaacs (Rachel Brosnahan). She moved to the desolate desert town of Los Alamos with her husband Charlie, fell in love with her neighbor Elodie, was forced to betray her, was interrogated, and now finds herself without a single friend and with child.
When I spoke to Rachel while on the Manhattan set in New Mexico, she told me how Abby’s relationship with Elodie would profoundly change Abby going forward. Change is one of the major themes this season, as the premiere episode kicks off with preparation for the event that will change the world as we know it: the final tests of the nuclear bomb. The episode jumps back and forth between 21 days before the bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, and 15 months prior, which is where we last saw Abby, Charlie and the rest of the Manhattan players.
Abby, thinking she might be pregnant, gets confirmation from her cigarette smoking gynecologist.
About to sign divorce papers from Charlie (who is currently bedding his colleague Helen), Abby knows that something has to give. She pays Helen a visit, as Charlie once spilled that Helen had an abortion. Abby asks Helen how one would go about obtaining such a procedure. She also admits to cheating on Charlie. When Helen assumes it was with a man, Abby doesn’t correct her but assures her that the baby is Charlie’s. Helen cautions Abby against ending the pregnancy, saying that while she doesn’t regret her decision, she thinks that Abby would. Abby tells her that if she loves Charlie, then she won’t tell him about the pregnancy.
Well, of course she does, and Charlie comes home to try and work things out with Abby. At this point, a woman with a child in the ’40s, didn’t have many options. While Abby is reluctant to take Charlie back, he seems willing to overlook her affair with Elodie if she will do the same.
They try to put back the pieces of their marriage, but they are two totally different people now. Is obligation and fear of the unknown enough to mend what seems irrevocably broken?
We will continue to watch Abby’s storyline on Manhattan a we’ll be sure to report back when Abby has a significant arc. When Kitty Oppenheimer (Neve Campbell) comes to town, she’s supposed to have some major dealings with Abby. In the meanwhile, if you haven’t been watching Manhattan, it’s worth checking out not only for the real life historic elements, but because it’s a really well made show with a stellar cast.
Manhattan airs on WGN Tuesdays at 9/8 CST.