I think yours is a more realistic assessment of price move.
To me the surge in volume and price increase in the last hour on Frdiay was an indication of some shorts deciding the party was over for them and better to get out now than drop more of their gain, due to greed.
I wouldn't cal that maipulation; it's part of the process that short sellers will have to buy back the stock they shorted, at some time.
I simply believe there wasa flurry of short-covering on Friday afternoon and it drove the price up at an abonormal rate.
In the present uncertain financial situation, it could be they saw more danger in letting their short sit over the weekend and the price continuing to rise.