Manifest Season 1 Episode 7: S.N.A.F.U. Recap

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Episode 7 of Manifest continues the exploration of faith vs skepticism that we examined in episode 6. After Michaela’s calling leads her to stop the recipient of Evie’s donated heart from ruining his life, she becomes more certain than ever that the messages are good and she should continue following them.

But Ben continues to watch Cal struggle with his deepening involvement with and knowledge of the other passengers and the investigation. Cal’s life is in danger because of his callings, and Ben is unable to help him. It’s much more difficult for Ben to take the same leap of faith that Michaela now finds easy. Even worse, Michaela doesn’t seem to quite understand Ben’s difficulty.

The callings appear to be changing and manifesting in new ways. Are we going to be focussing more intensely on an alternate definition of the show’s title soon, as more than just the flight’s manifest (secure list of passengers, cargo and crew)? Are we waiting for Cal to manifest something in particular, for the passengers as a group to manifest a new ability, or for something entirely new and unexpected to manifest as a result of Flight 828? The calings and Cal’s abilities have been there all along, but Dr Clarke and Marko bring in new elements with larger implications.

Just don’t tell me that aliens laid eggs inside them, and the fetuses are creating the callings. And especially don’t tell me that it was all USD’s idea.

S.N.A.F.U. begins with a flashback to Flight 828, which seems to be becoming the regular pattern. Kelly is struggling to get her luggage in the overhead bin, and says, to the universe in general, “What else can go wrong on this flight?” Kelly is short, and as another short woman, I can tell you that those overhead bins are evil incarnate. If I’m not traveling with a tall, strong person (ie, my husband), I don’t even attempt them.

The infamous Dr Fiona Clarke, who is a tall, willowy blonde, comes up behind Kelly and, unasked, helps push her bag into the bin the rest of the way. If it had stopped there, I would have liked her.

But it didn’t. Instead, Fiona, vision of Aryan perfection, says, “This flight’s not happening to you, it’s happening for you.”

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This is the sort of unhelpful, condescending, New Age BS that gives my fellow white women a bad name. I think we can say with utter certainty that this flight did not help Kelly Taylor in any way, since she was dead within a few days of landing. I hate Fiona Clarke and her smug face already.

Kelly replies, “If it was happening for me, it wouldn’t have bumped me from my original flight.” Fiona says, “Yet here you are. Now we’re all in this together.”

Fiona is either very strange and rude, or she knows something already. I’m actually going with both. I also think she likes to appear much more mysterious and knowledgeable than she is. Or she likes to play stupid, and she knows a lot.

Back in the future, Cal wakes up in his hospital room and tells Ben that he’s scared, because he can still feel that Marko’s in trouble. He knows that if something happens to Marko, it also happens to him. Ben glances at Grace to make sure she’s asleep before he engages in crazy talk, then assures Cal that he’s got a plan to help Marko.

Cal wants to go home. Ben spreads his arm around Cal in the hospital bed like a daddy bird sheltering his baby with his wing, and kisses the top of his head. He’s doing everything in his power to keep his baby bird safe.

Later, Cal is dressed and ready to leave the hospital. Saanvi gives some last-minute instructions, then Grace takes him to get a treat. Ben tells Saanvi and Mick that he’s figured out a new way to investigate Unified Dynamic Systems. He’s going to follow the money by taking an entry-level accounting job with their accountant’s firm, JP Williamson, even though he’s way overqualified.

At the job interview, he tells the interviewer that he needs to work around the 5 1/2 year gap on his resume. She hires him on the spot. Grace is thrilled that Ben has taken a boring 9 to 5 job and is putting all of his craziness behind him. On his first morning, she gives him a pep talk about how good it will be for him and the family.

It’s not a good sign that Michaela and Saanvi know the truth about why he took the job but Grace doesn’t, despite Ben trying to tell her the truth about the flight and the effect it’s had on the passengers. Even with time to think about it, Grace apparently wants nothing to do with the reality of what Ben and Cal are facing. Over the course of this episode, it begins to feel like the Stones are separating into 2 different nuclear families sharing the same house, with Ben as the main point of contact.

Olive asks if she can go rock climbing, which Ben thinks is a great idea. After Olive leaves, Grace confesses that Olive is going with Danny. It’s a hobby they started together while Olive was having a tough time, and they set a goal to train weekly until they could climb together in Acadia National Park. Grace says that if Ben is uncomfortable with Olive training with Danny… But Ben cuts her off, saying he has to get to work.

The male version of “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Mick and Ben leave at the same time. On the way out, she worries that the government will catch him snooping into UDS records at his new job and figure out why he’s looking. Ben doesn’t think it’s possible for them to connect him to the farm through the UDS accounting firm. He quotes scenarios from 70s movies to prove his point.

Surely a computer security expert should know better than this. Computer security would have been capable of tracing him 6 years ago, and it’s definitely capable of it now. Hasn’t he brushed up on his field yet, now that he’s job hunting? Plus, they know they’re all being watched. Surveillance cameras are easy to spot everywhere, and monitoring everything to do with cell phones has been going on for decades.

Ben’s new boss, Ronnie Wilcox, is a hipster geek wannabe, who’s fascinated by the Flight 828 story. Ronnie gives Ben a blue security pass, while Ronnie has a red pass that gets him into high security files. Ben will only be working on the low-level companies, even though he offers to help with the bigger corporations. Before he leaves, Ronnie mentions that he runs a company poker game after hours that Ben’s invited to.

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Michaela goes to visit Evie’s mom Beverly, since she’s not doing well. Bev misses Evie desperately right now, so Michaela sits with her.

Ben purposely fries his security pass in the microwave so that he can borrow his boss’s pass. Ben can’t get complete access to the UDS files with Ronnie’s pass, but he does discover a secret file named SP and find that Dr Fiona Clarke is working for whoever detained the 11 passengers.

Saanvi does some research of her own and shares it when she and Ben meet in a coffee shop for a quick date. Before Flight 828, Fiona Clarke was a neural psychologist who was driven out of her field because of her fringe beliefs in areas such as a collective consciousness. She moved over to the New Age/spirituality market, and became a hugely popular author, internet entrepreneur and speaker.

Saanvi shows Ben a short video of Fiona speaking:

It’s all neural connectivity, pathways. A computer alone in your home is powerful. But one but one connected to a network is all-powerful. The same could be said of our brains.

Ben notices the similarities between Clarke’s concept of networked brains and the situation with Cal and Marko. Her files were all marked SP, so his next step is to find out what that means. But he and Saanvi wonder if she’s the one who had the detainees abducted, is responsible for the experiments on them, or if she could be involved with the disappearance of Flight 828. They even wonder if she masterminded the whole thing.

It’s good to see them thinking more like conspiracy theorists.

Saanvi tells Ben that Clarke is speaking nearby tonight, so they can ask her some questions.

Cal lies on his bed and relives the experiments he experienced with Marko. It’s a lot for him to process.

Olive and Danny bond over rock climbing. Danny asks about a soccer tournament that Olive didn’t get to play in because Cal and Ben came back from the dead. When she realizes that she and Danny can’t be as close as before because of all of the changes brought on by Cal and Ben’s return, she wants to quit.

Danny is the one person who’s always been Olive’s, who wasn’t wrapped up in her little brother’s cancer or disappearance or return from the dead. He just cares about her for her, not because she’s Cal’s sister, and he doesn’t get distracted by Cal’s needs, like Ben and Grace. She has a legitimate reason for wanting to keep him in her life. She would feel like a terrible person for complaining that her parents were ignoring her to take care of Cal. By having Danny as a third parent, just for her, she’s found a solution to that problem.

Vance and Powell discuss Ben’s job at JP Williamson, since Vance can’t imagine why Ben would need a job. Powell tries to convince Vance that there are plausible explanations, like Ben needing to feed his family, but Vance doesn’t buy it. Powell thinks Ben is just paranoid, since no other law enforcement agency knows anything about Ben’s claims. Vance thinks there might be a covert unit involved that’s in charge of the detainees, and that Ben has followed their trail to JP Williamson. Powell, who is totally a plant sent to monitor Vance and throw him off the track, thinks they should trust their fellow agencies.

Jared and Michaela appear to be partners and out on patrol again. He invites her over for dinner tonight at his house with Lourdes. He thinks she needs to spend more time with friends. Michaela doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Jared says, “You being led by the voices in your head to blow me off?”

😂😂😂😂😂😂

Jared is the best.

Michaela says it’s all her. Jared asks if she’s still hearing the voices, because he’s worried about her. Michaela tells him that she won’t let the callings affect him again. Jared confesses that the NSA is watching her, and they asked him to watch her. But he hasn’t told them anything, and he never will.

❤️❤️❤️💗💗  Total OTP.

Just then, a call comes over the radio saying that a barbershop has been robbed nearby. Michaela and Jared rush to the scene, where a teenage boy tells them that a tweaker robbed the shop and shot his uncle. Michaela runs inside and begins CPR on the boy’s uncle, Enrique. The boy, Carlos, tells Mick that he wanted his uncle to give the junkie the money, but Enrique refused. Michaela can hear a heartbeat, but she can’t feel Enrique’s pulse.

At the station, Carlos tells Mick that Enrique raised him after his parents died, even though Carlos was a very sick little kid. The money that the junkie tried to steal was meant to fix up the shop when Carlos took over soon. Michaela shares that she’s lost people, too. It takes a long time, but you can rebuild yourself after being devastated.

Jared and Mick take Carlos to look at a line up, but he runs out instead of identifying the murderer. Mick feels compelled to keep helping him. She has Jared point out the suspect to her. Then she tries to go home, but Jared reminds her that she’s having dinner at his house.

Ben lies to Grace, via text, and tells her that he’s spending the evening at the company poker game instead of at the Fiona Clarke lecture with Saanvi.

Will we all look back on this and remember it fondly as their first date? Everyone except Grace, that is?

Ben texts Olive to ask how rock climbing went, but she doesn’t answer.

Saanvi looks over the pamphlet for tonight’s lecture. (The date is 11/16/18.) Dr Clarke will be speaking about mirror neurons. Saanvi says, “This is heavy stuff. No one really knows the extent of how these cells operate.”

Dr Clarke takes the stage with the opening words, “Your beating heart. My beating heart. We’re all one.” She’s got Ben’s attention.

Mick’s dinner with Jared and Lourdes starts off awkwardly, but all three loosen up before long. They tell stories about their dead friend Evie, showing how far their healing has come. When Lourdes talks about the time Evie got revenge on a kid who called her a slut, Michaela hears the heartbeat again. She gets an idea about what Carlos is up to and leaves for his house. Since they’ve misunderstood the reason why she rushed out, Jared comforts Lourdes that Michaela just wasn’t ready to spend much time together yet.

mv5bndkyyjczmdctntayoc00ngq0lwe0zgitmtu0njviodhioda0xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjywnda2mde-_v1_ Mick goes straight to Carlos’ house and tells him she knows he kept the perp’s gun so that he can use it to get revenge. Carlos denies it, but Michaela continues, telling him that if the perp turns up dead, now she has a prime suspect for the murder. She confesses to him that she was responsible for the accidental death of a friend, and it haunts her. She can’t even imagine the guilt involved with killing someone on purpose.

Dr Clarke speaks about the power of a deep group empathy using the combined power of the collective consciousness and the mirror factor. It could lead to the end of war and poverty, and the ability to stave off the looming threat of Artificial Intelligence.

As she finishes a sentence, Fiona sees Ben and Saanvi in the audience. She stops near them, moves her mic away from her mouth, and says, “Finally. I’ve been waiting for you.”

After the lecture, Dr Clarke plays dumb until Ben and Saanvi have told her everything they know. She denies any knowledge of anything unusual having to do with Flight 828, including the detained prisoners, the experiments, and the callings. She’s excited by the callings.

She explains to them that, “Four days after we returned, I was approached by a nonprofit interested in funding my mind-body research. They put me on retainer, underwrote tonight’s lecture. No one mentioned a word about government affiliation, let alone detained passengers.”

The nonprofit is called the Singularity Project- the SP from the JP Williamson files. Ben decides to join the company poker game and try to talk someone into sharing corporate files with him.

Ben is a natural at poker, except his winning hand looks more like a winning hand for blackjack. Either way, he points out to the gang that he’s a math guy, and gambling is all about probability (and probably card counting). He gets friendly with an IT guy, David, who invites him to look over some of his raw data dumps, which sounds grosser than it is.

Back at home the next morning, Olive tells Ben that she quit rock climbing because it was too hard. Ben reminds her of the persistence she’s used to overcome hard situations in the past, and talks her into trying again.

Cal says that he can feel Marko even more strongly than before, and things are getting worse for him. Ben looks around to make sure that Olive and Grace won’t overhear their conversation, then tells Cal that he got some new information last night. He says that he’s close to solving this.

At the station, Michaela tells Jared that she left dinner so quickly because she had an idea about Carlos and the gun. Jared assumes that Michaela will have gone overboard and blown the case.

I can’t decide if I’m mad at him for that or not. But he did just take a metaphorical bullet for her, and he’s being great about the callings overall, so we should probably allow him to overreact a little for a while.

Just as Jared really gets into high gear with his argument that the voices in Michaela’s head are messing up everything, Carlos slinks into the station, ready to turn in the murder weapon and ID the perp. Michaela, bless her heart, doesn’t even look smug or say, “I told you so.” Unfortunately, the suspect has already been released.

Olive meets Danny at the rock climbing gym, but she’s a little surprised that he came, after their argument. He says that he’ll always tell her the truth, and he told her he’d be there. Olive confesses that she hasn’t been all that into rock climbing. She’s really just wanted to spend time with him. Danny feels the same way about her. Olive still wants to keep training hard and stick with their plan to climb Acadia together. She’s realized that she’s good at cimbing and she’s not a quitter. Danny agrees that they should keep training.

Ben visits David’s office with two cups of coffee, ostensibly for a look at a raw data dump. He accidentally on purpose spills one cup all over David, so that his coworker leaves to change into fresh clothes. While David is gone, Ben finds JP Williamson’s files that pertain to the farm, Unified Dynamic Systems, Fiona Clarke, and the Singularity Project. He downloads the files onto a flashdrive, then brilliantly texts Saanvi to tell her what he’s doing.

Ben, Ben, Ben. The first rule of corporate espionage is you don’t communicate about the espionage through easily surveilled methods. There’s no excuse, Manifest writers, for a data security expert not knowing this, since the data has been easy to wirelessly remove from cell phones for as long as there have been cell phones. (That’s since the 90s, young’uns.)

Of course, the writers seem to have forgotten that they put that little nugget on his resume, and want to retcon him into a pure math guy now. Common sense still applies, when you know you’re being watched, probably by multiple government agencies.

Now that we’ve established Ben’s disappointing lack of stealth, let’s move on to Vance and Powell, who are watching the feed from Ben’s phone like it’s Netflix. Powell wants to send a team to arrest Ben, now that he’s a dangerous felon. Vance decides to go see Ben by himself.

When Ben reaches his office building lobby on his way home, he discovers that they’re doing a security spot check. Wonder how that happened. He cleverly drinks the last of the coffee in his metal thermos and drops the flashdrive inside to disguise it as he passes through security.

Before he gets to the front of the line, he gets a text from an unknown number ordering him to walk down a side hall instead. Ben decides to take the bait, figuring that whoever it is knows about the flashdrive.

It’s Vance, of course. His first guess for the flashdrive location is Ben’s shoe, showing that he’s a Get Smart fan. Ben reluctantly hands over the drive, after trying to explain its importance. Vance remains impassive before walking away with the drive.

Jared and Michaela drive through Carlos’ neighborhood, looking for the junkie in the red hoodie who murdered Enrique, Carlos’ uncle. The junkie is still wearing the hoodie, and is planning to rob an elderly man. He follows the man home from an ATM, carrying a broken bottle as a weapon.

Michaela hears the heartbeat again, and uses it to guide her through the neighborhood to find the junkie, just as he attacks the elderly man. She jumps out of the car and stops the junkie, knocking him to the ground and cuffing him.

Danny drops Olive off in the Stones’ front yard. They discuss their next challenge as they say goodbye. Grace comes out to the front steps and sort of glows at Danny with her whole being. It makes you realize how exhausted and stressed she always is around Ben, like their relationship is a chore for her, but Danny is a relief and a joy to be around.

Danny tries not to be magnetically pulled back into the house to stay for the rest of his life. They are 20 feet apart the whole time, and only say a few words, but it doesn’t matter. You can see the intensity of the longing from 200 feet away, and Ben does, as he drives up the street.

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Ben goes through his own set of complicated emotions, from caveman jealousy settling down into 21st century self control, but he still can’t hide that he doesn’t like Danny encroaching on his womenfolk. Danny tries to be a nice guy and thanks Ben for letting him spend time with Olive, but they both understand the reality involved. The tension between them isn’t going anywhere while Ben has to devote himself to saving Cal instead of repairing his relationships with Grace and Olive.

It’s an issue that existed before Flight 828, and Ben might have to face that taking care of Cal is his life’s calling, with or without the plane and the voices. Everything else will always be secondary.

Michaela stops by Carlos’ barbershop to let him know that they caught Enrique’s murderer. Once Carlos IDs him, he’ll be sent to prison for good. Michaela hears the heartbeat calling again and looks around the shop. She finds a photo of Evie on one of the mirrors, with Carlos’ family photos.

Carlos’ tells Michaela that Evie was his heart donor. He had congestive heart failure when he was a kid and needed a transplant. It’s Evie’s heartbeat that Mick has been hearing, telling Mick to save her heart recipient from messing up his young life by making a stupid mistake in the heat of the moment.

Montage time. This week, the song is All the Pretty Girls, by Kaleo.

Olive puts her climbing trip in her calendar on July 19-20. Danny eats alone in a cafe, surrounded by happy people enjoying each other’s company. Bev is still worried about Evie, but Michaela calms her down. She tells Bev that she just saw Evie and her daughter’s okay.

Ben sits with Cal in his room when he gets home from work. Cal continues playing with his dinosaurs and other toys as they talk. He asks Ben if the secret worked so he could help Marko. Ben says, “I had a big breakthrough today, then someone bad got in my way. But I promise, I’m not going to give up.”

Cal replies, “You don’t have to worry. He’s not a bad guy, Dad. Not anymore.” He looks Ben straight in the eye when he says “not anymore.” Cal knows exactly what he’s saying.

Vance pulls up at his house and gets out of the car. He must have gone straight home from JP Williamson. Powell calls to tell him that they have a team on standby. “Anything you got on Stone, they’re ready to jump in.” Vance looks at the flashdrive and tells Powell, “No, I didn’t get anything. He was clean.”

Powell is awfully enthusiastic about bringing Ben into custody again.

Ben and Michaela talk in the kitchen at the end of their long day.

Ben: “I need to understand. The callings, what’s happening with Cal. I wanna believe there’s a reason, but it requires this leap of faith and I can’t… I can’t trust what I don’t understand.”

Michaela: “I don’t understand it anymore than you do, but I take that leap, and I follow the calling. And I feel a little better. For the first time since Evie, I feel like I might just be okay. That’s why I was drawn to the boy, to Evie’s heart. I had to know that the callings were right, that it is all connected.”

Ben: “Connected to what?”

Michaela: “To us, to each other. That’s what all of this is for. It has to be.”

Ben: Great. “You got a sign. Where’s mine?”

Ben opens the refrigerator door. Michaela notices the drawing stuck to the front. Ben tells her that Cal made the drawing a few days ago. Michaela reveals that it’s a picture of Carlos with Evie’s heart. “I think you just got your sign.”

????????

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This week’s calling was connected to Bev, Michaela and Carlos. It will also indirectly give Jared more confidence in Michaela and the callings. But the drawing of Carlos wasn’t substantially different from Cal knowing that Vance is already shifting to the passengers’ side, being able to feel Marko’s emotions or being able to find Thomas in the tunnel and divine his name.

Cal also knew the future in that episode, when he could tell someone was coming to the boiler room. The extent of the power is being expanded, but it’s not a new power. That drawing was a sign for Michaela, possibly so she’ll pay more attention to Cal. It does nothing new or helpful for Ben. He already knows that he has to protect Cal and he’s instinctively keeping Cal’s powers a secret.

Michaela is insensitive and unhelpful in the final scene. She gets all of these lovely, lifesaving, warm fuzzy callings that are healing her from her prior tragedies. Because she’s lost so much, she wants to cling to the callings as important and good, making the lost years worth it.

But Ben’s experience is the opposite. His already ill son is endangered, over and over. His marriage and relationship with his daughter are compromised. So far, other than with Saanvi, the callings haven’t helped Ben feel more connected. They’ve left him more isolated and burdened.

He’s taking some big risks and even committing crimes, when he has a family to take care of. Michaela is a cop, and can write off most of her antics as being in the line of duty, with Jared loyally backing her up. Ben doesn’t have that luxury.

And, most importantly, no parent wants to see their child at the center of a dangerous conspiracy like this. What appeared to be a positive sign for Michaela probably scared the daylights out of Ben. Imagine if the experimenters found out that Cal can see and draw the future??? Imagine how much DARPA would like to experiment on a child who can see the future.

Cal’s connection with Marko has already brought him to the edge of death. What will happen as his connection to everything grows? To a parent, this is not a wondrous development. This is watching your child be exploited by an unknown force and being helpless to stop it.

Then there’s Cal’s fear, and the signs that he’s trying to distance himself from what’s happening. He’s not rushing headlong into finding Marko, and figuring out Marko’s name on his own, the way he did with Thomas. He’s staying in his bedroom and letting Ben do the dirty work, while referring to Marko as “the man”, even though Ben knows his name. Cal isn’t thinking hard on Marko’s situation and trying to pull clues out of it that will help Ben. He’s frightened that if he connects with Marko, he’ll be further injured himself, or their connection will be discovered.

Given how fearless Cal usually is, this is a chilling turn of events. No one but Ben seems to have picked up on how afraid Cal is, with the possible exception of Saanvi, leaving them both isolated.

Was the Fiona/Saanvi/Ben/Vance connection meant to be, and therefore on the level of a calling? Cal knows that Vance has already switched sides, and I don’t think Vance is sure of that himself yet. Vance is operating on a hunch. I think Cal only has psychic information about passengers or in relation to callings that need to be fulfilled. That suggests that part of Ben’s current subconscious mission is to get Vance on board with the passengers.

By going about his business, and accidentally leaving Vance a trail of breadcrumbs to follow, Ben is making the passengers’ situation irrestible to Vance. Powell is obviously trying to steer Vance away from any deeper investigation. The other agencies were already burying information and now they’re outright hiding it. Vance is starting to feel like a only sane man in what should be a straightforward government job.

I’m curious as to whether Ben will keep his job at the accounting firm, at least until he can get an academic job in the spring. The reality is, they do need the money, especially now that Cal’s been in the hospital and his medical bills are adding up again. Grace will be beside herself if he quits this job after only a week or two, and I wouldn’t blame her, unless he has another paying gig lined up before he quits.

The scene where Vance questions why Ben took the accounting job could have been written better. High level jobs in applied math don’t necessarily fall from the trees if you aren’t willing to move to where the jobs are. A questionable past doesn’t help, along with skills that are out of date. Math doesn’t change, but the technology, apps and codes that you use to do the job do. It’s realistic for him to take a low level job while he updates his skills, even if that isn’t the show’s reasoning.

SNAFU= World War II military slang which stands for Status Nominal: All F–ked Up. Means a situation in which nothing happens as planned and everything goes wrong, a confused and chaotic mess. Ben’s day was a SNAFU. Michaela’s seemed like one, but she pulled it out, thanks to Evie’s heartbeat.

OTP= one true pairing, meant to be, soulmates.

After weeks of teasing, this episode’s appearances by Dr. Fiona Clarke were really just another tease. There was no way she was going to admit to anything within 5 minutes of meeting Ben and Saanvi. But now she and whoever she’s working with/for know about the callings definitively. The lecture was probably set up as bait to bring them to her. She could be planning to set herself up as a double agent, or hoping that she can convince them of the importance of the experiments, as one scientist to another.

It would have been nice if we’d gotten to follow Dr Clarke after she left Ben and Saanvi, to get a little peek into her life beyond what they know. As it is now, she’s still a new age cipher, and the reveals feel like they’re coming very slowly.

Mirror Neurons= “Mirror neurons are the only brain cells we know of that seem specialized to code the actions of other people and also our own actions. They are obviously essential brain cells for social interactions. Without them, we would likely be blind to the actions, intentions and emotions of other people. The way mirror neurons likely let us understand others is by providing some kind of inner imitation of the actions of other people, which in turn leads us to “simulate” the intentions and emotions associated with those actions. When I see you smiling, my mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, initiating a cascade of neural activity that evokes the feeling we typically associate with a smile. I don’t need to make any inference on what you are feeling, I experience immediately and effortlessly (in a milder form, of course) what you are experiencing.” From 2008 Scientific American interview with Neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni

Dr Clarke’s ideas about mirror neurons could be some of the fringe-ish theories that got her driven out of neural psychology. Most of the research into mirror neurons has been done on monkeys, and the few human studies that have been done have had mixed results. There has been rampant speculation about the functional significance of mirror neurons, but nothing is known conclusively yet. Could Flight 828 have been meant as the beginning of the first large human experiment to identify and test the full capabilities of mirror neurons? Some of the theories about mirror neurons and empathy could reasonably be expanded into Dr Clarke’s collective consciousness theory.

Dr Clarke could have smuggled technology aboard the plane that induced whatever happened, and measured the results. Her corporate partners could be behind the bright white light that Cal saw outside the plane, which could have included some form of wave technology that Clarke expected to synchronize the passengers’ mirror neurons, and/or stimulate psychic abilities.

But why is she so worried about Artificial Intelligence? Is someone planning to take over the world using robots and the internet, and Dr Clarke’s people plan to counteract that by making humans psychic soldiers? Is this show actually Sense8 meets The Terminator? I could definitely go for that premise. Bring on the androids. Bet the first one is Powell. Second is Danny.

OMG. Vance mentioned Invasion of the Body Snatchers last week. Yikes. A rise of the machines riff on that? The covert borg next door?

Travelers and Manifest are both worried about Artificial Intelligence this season. Is there some kind of collective consciousness already happening?

This show could use more humor, but not the lame bro humor we were subjected to in the JP Williamson scenes. The ways that Jared teased Michaela, Lourdes and Michaela laughed together about their memories of Evie, and Danny teased Olive, were on the right track. How about letting Josh Dallas lighten up occasionally?

Acadia National Park, where Danny and Olive plan to go climbing, is on the rocky Atlantic coast of northern Maine, the northernmost state in the eastern US:

Most cliffs are composed of solid coarse-grained pink granite. The longest routes are three pitches. Otter Cliff and Great Head provide a spectacular setting for sea cliff climbing not commonly available elsewhere.

As always, be sure to visit Manifest828.com for all things Manifest, from copies of the episode scripts to the latest news, now including forums!

Images courtesy of NBC.

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