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Jim Meeks is a scientist working for Frank's implosion team in the Manhattan Project.
Behind the Scenes
Jim Meeks is shown in the pilot episode as a member of Frank Winter's scientific team. Initially quite geeky and a true thespian, Jim is actually concealing a dark secret.
- "JIM MEEKS is the youngest member of Frank’s team – he is also involved in the local theater troupe."
- ―Official description
In the pilot, Meeks appears to be a regular, nerdy scientist. He is close to fellow scientists Sid Liao and Frits Fedowitz. Meeks is shown to be the most affected by Sid's death, and later meets with Sid's widow to reassure her that her husband was not in fact a spy.
In the first season, it seems as if Meeks is trying to protect the legacy of his friend and may in fact expose the truth about his death. However, in the final episode of the season, Meeks informs Frank that his mother has died. Frank allows Meeks to return home to pay his respects. But when we next see Meeks, he is talking on a pay phone to his mother, who is still very much alive. Then comes the revelation that Meeks himself is in fact a spy for the Soviets.
After learning that Jim is "the spy on the Hill," in the second season we see Jim burying a secret message for the Soviets just outside the gates of the military base. However, he has been followed by Occum, the lead interrogator for the U.S. military. Jim's Soviet contact interrupts and strangles Occum to death. Jim is shocked, but is told that another spy will be joining him on the hill soon.
While celebrating Frits' bachelor party, Jim meets a pretty woman named Nora. and they have a sexual encounter. After Nora shows him that she has the other half of the piece of paper that the other Soviet spy gave him, Jim realises that Nora is the other spy he was informed was coming. Jim reveals to Nora that his motivation for being a spy are his humanist beliefs: if the Soviets also know how to build an atomic weapon then this will result in a stalemate and nuclear warfare will never be a possibility.
When Frits' wife Jeannie figures out that Jim is the spy, she confronts him during the intermission of his play. Scared of exposure, Jim panics with Nora. Nora then hits Jeannie over the head, killing her. Jim returns to complete the play, knowing that his best friend's wife has just been murdered because of him.
Still determined to prevent the development of the atomic bomb, Jim plans to sabotage the test during the final episode of the series. Meanwhile, Paul Crosley has figured out that Jim is the spy and he and Frank have hatched a plan to save him by convincing Jim to turn as a double agent. Frank confronts Jim who has just disconnected the wiring in the bomb. Frank tries to convince Jim to allow Frank to take the blame for the sabotage, but Jim appears determined to take the blame and die in the atomic blast. Frits comes to rescue them and they manage to exit the testing area before the detonation occurs. Just before the bomb goes off, Jim reveals to Frits that he is responsible for Jeannie's death. Frits grabs the gun and is about to shoot Jim when the bomb successfully detonates. As the atomic light glows around them, Frits shoots himself instead.