He refers to his ex-wife, Julia, as having left him for Joey Jeremiah. It is not clear, however, that Julia had ever even met Joey before the Mannings' marriage ended, much less that she cuckolded Albert. Given Albert's emotional disorders and martyrism, it is entirely possible that his characterization was either an exaggeration or a distorted view of past events.
Because he sometimes abuses Craig, which might have triggered his bipolar disorder to develop, he is often thought of as evil or positioned in an antagonistic role, but there are multiple factors which have had an impact on and influenced Albert's behavior and actions.
Anger is one of the major factors controlling Albert's complexion, and there are many triggers and provocations in his lifestyle. In his highly stressful job, he faces the burden of having to support his son while being encumbered with the responsibility as one of the senior staff members at his hospital. Another trigger would be Craig's association with Angela and Joey Jeremiah, for whom Albert believes Julia left him and with whom Albert believes Julia cuckolded him before leaving. As the reasons for her departure are either unknown to Albert or repressed by him, he still remains bitter and puzzled over their separation and even flinches at the mention of her name. When Craig reminisces about his favorite meal that Julia made, Albert reacts as though her name had not been brought up.
Given the high correlation between abuse of children and abuse of spouses, it is quite conceivable that Julia left Albert after having suffered violence and/or emotional abuse from him. Countering this theory are three factors:
- Child abuse is more common among single-parent families, therefore suggesting that Albert might have been non-violent until after Julia's departure.
- Albert retained custody of Craig, indicating either that Julia did not fear for Craig's safety or that she lacked evidence to convince the court to grant custody to her.
- Julia did not relate to Joey any stories of Albert's abuse. Had she done so, Joey would surely have much more readily accepted Craig's friends' allegations that Albert was beating Craig.
In light of Julia's immediate and sudden abandonment, Albert was left as a single father to raise Craig, who appeared to be ungrateful and ignorant. Though it was Craig's optimistic, light-hearted, and care-free personality that made it seem so, he essentially became the lightning rod drawing Albert's anger, who redirected all of the turmoil and drama in his life to his son. Each abusive occurrence, however, has an inciting incident, conveniently relating to Craig's actions. When Albert is first seen to be controlled by his anger is when Craig comes home late from a day of photography. Sitting silently with his prepared family meal, Albert is waiting for Craig (who was not punctual despite his father's orders). It is Craig's care-free spirit, and how he seemingly minimized the issue, which set off Albert's rage causing him to destroy a plate of food. In the second incident, Albert found Craig's photo collection of Angela and Joey, one he named "The Perfect Family". That, the edited photographs of Craig with Joey and Angela (excluding Albert), plus Craig lying to his father about meeting Angela and Joey (as he may have felt intimidated by Albert), causes Albert Manning to brutally and violently assault his son. A third burst of rage was when he discovered that his son had indeed been seeing Angela behind his back, despite his explicit orders not to do so. About to enjoy a relaxing day with his son, enjoying eating take-out and watching a couple of videos, Albert gets a phone call from Joey and then, realizes his son's deceit. Already holding a golf-club in his hand, it became Albert's weapon of opportunity used in breaking down Craig's door just before Craig escapes. The last and final notable occurrence of violence between the two was when Albert was meeting Craig after Craig had moved in with Joey. Trying hard to rehabilitate himself and seek help for his anger problems in hopes to repair the relationship with his son, Craig repeatedly ends up rejecting his father's offers (one of which was for them to spend the summer vacation in Europe together). After a heated argument which resulted with Craig shoving his father, Albert instinctively responded by hitting his son back.
In every act of cruelty Albert inflicts upon his son, it is equaled and paralleled with acts aimed at forgiveness, redemption, and healing. First, when he destroyed a plate during an encounter about Craig's punctuality, he later felt sorry and attempted to make it up to him by cooking Craig's favorite meal. After the second incident where Albert discovered Craig's photo album, he drives Craig to school the next day and gives him a substantial amount of money to buy a new camera. Despite his inability to discuss the issue of his abuse due to Albert's attempts to remain a strong parental figure, he mentions to Craig that if his son needed anything, he would just need to ask. Third, Albert spends the entire year trying to alter his behavior and violent tendencies. He also tries to make a new, fresh start with Craig, respecting his current living arrangement, but also by being more caring and involved with his son. Last, Albert's reaction to his last act of aggression was unique. He showed instantaneous and immediate regret, sorrow, and remorse; emotions he had not manifested until he took some substantial time to calm down.
Albert has uncontrolled episodes of rage. Albert Manning has a strong, genuine, and ultimate love for his son. When Craig returned back home to retake all his belongings and live with Joey, Albert pleas for him to stay; saying that he loved Craig too much for him to leave. Citing that work had been stressful, he realizes his impatience with Craig and claims that things would change and even related Craig's departure in conjunction and relation to Julia's. In his workplace, his coworkers mention Albert's powerful enthusiasm about his son. Craig is told that his father mentions and praises him often, but became quite grief-stricken after Craig departed to live with Joey. For his eulogy, his dedication as a father was quite frequently noted. To quote, "he, Craig, was the greatest gift he ever received. A gift he cherished. A gift he never wanted to relinquish".
As the husband of Julia and father of Craig, when Julia leaves for Joey, Albert is left to take care of Craig on his own. He has held a grudge against his wife, and anybody who had remotely been associated with her in her infidelity, ever since.
First appearing in the second season episode "When Doves Cry", it is apparent that Albert is easily angered and an abusive parent. While Craig was secretly seeing his half-sister her father, Joey Jeremiah, spots Craig. Leaving Albert a message inquiring about Craig, Albert questions his son if he knew anything about it, to which Craig strongly denied. When Craig asks Albert if he was going to call him back, Albert sharply remarks "now why would I do that?"
Later, Albert confronts Joey at Jeremiah Motors. Interrupting a sale, Albert and Joey start discussing about the message Joey left and how it affects Craig. Though Joey wished for their children to be able to get along, Albert had no intention of that and demanded for Joey to leave his family alone. After ransacking Craig's darkroom, he discovered his photo album titled "The Perfect Family", which excluded Albert from the pictures. Sitting quietly and calculating when Craig comes home, Albert confronts his son about the pictures and ends up beating him badly, producing a giant bruise on Craig's stomach.
Although his father expressed his desire for Craig not to see Angela anymore, Craig did otherwise. Albert eventually learned of his son's betrayal when Joey calls, and consequently becomes enraged. He tries to break down Craig's locked door with his golf club, but not before Craig escapes and ends up staying with Sean. When Joey became aware of Craig's abuse, the decision was made that it would in Craig's best interest to stay with Joey. With his son returning to gather his personal Effects, Albert was in a state of despair and sympathy. Attempting to get his son to stay, he gets faced with an ultimatum or harsh realization of the truth; either Craig would go to children's aid, go and stay with Joey until the situation was sorted, or he could stay with his father and continue to get beaten. With his best interests at heart, Albert decides to let his son leave as it was for the best.
Return and Death
Albert surprises Craig at school one day and wants to spend more time with him. Craig is hesitant at first but he comes around. He goes to the Medical Centre where his father works and they both go out to eat. They come home and Craig tells Albert about the Science homework. Craig and Albert study together and when Craig sits his drink on the table, his father remarks about using the coaster, then Craig has a visual of his father beating him with a belt, but he snaps back to reality and his father has not gotten mad. He lies to Joey one night to go to dinner with Albert. He gets there, and Albert tries to persuade Craig to come back and live with him. Craig refuses and Albert starts to get angry. He didn't want to beat his son so he decided to walk out of the restaurant to cool off. Craig comes running out after him, trying to get him to stay, but Albert makes rude remarks about Ashley. Craig shoves Albert and Albert smacks him across the face. He then runs to his car and takes off.Later that night, Craig comes home with a scar on his face and Joey wants to know what happened. Craig tells Joey he got in a fight with his father and tells him he's going to Children's Aid. The next day, two officers arrive at the house to inform Craig and Joey of Albert's death due to a car wreck. Craig seems to be happy about his father's death. But he soon goes into a deep depression which turns into rage. At the end of the year school dance after "seeing" his father at the dance, Terri MacGregor helps Craig through his father's death as she had lost a parent as well.
In view of Albert's professional standing and the size of his home, the inheritance Craig receives is remarkably small, providing $10,000. Albert left a trust fund to which Craig did not have any access, but has tuition money as stated by Craig and Caitlin when he wanted to go to a English musical school for the summer to be with Ashley, it has also been said that Albert's estate provides a small amount of money to help cover Craig's expenses.
- Craig: "I'm just going to get my stuff."
Albert: "Craig, just leave it, leave it. Come back when we've cooled down. We’ll talk this thing through."
Craig: "No, no more talking, okay?"
Albert "Okay. But you're breaking my heart, you know that? Just like your mother. Just, Craig. I know I've been impatient but work's been really stressful. You can't leave, Craig. I love you."
Craig: "There are three options, Dad: I can go to Children's Aid right now, I can go stay with Joey while we sort this stuff out...or I can come back here and let you beat me."
Albert: "I don't beat you." - When Doves Cry (2)
- He was shown to be a good cook.
- Albert shares similarities with Miles Hollingsworth II.
- He is the fourth character to die in the franchise (although his death occurred off-screen). The others were John Wheeler, Helen Wheeler, Rick, J.T., Anson, Cam, Paula, Adam and Claude.
- He was the third character to die in a car accident. The first two were John and Helen Wheeler and the fourth was Adam Torres.
- In Dressed In Black, Craig dressed as his father during his and Ashley's performance of The Taming of the Shrew which depicted Petruchio as being physically and emotionally abusive towards Katherina.
- The attendees at his funeral included his son Craig, Joey, Caitlin Ryan, Sean Cameron, Ashley Kerwin, Emma Nelson and Daniel Raditch.
- Sean and Ashley were the only friends of Craig's to have met his father.
- In It's Tricky, it was revealed that one of the songs on Craig's album Of Two Minds was entitled "A Dedicated Father". If the title were meant ironically, it may have been about Albert.