Manifest returns from its midseason break this week with episode 10, Crosswinds. Much of the episode is spent reminding the audience of what happened in the first half of the season, and picking up the pieces from the dangerous rescue of the missing 11 passengers from the Red Hook warehouse, where UDS was illegally holding them hostage. There is some forward momentum for the love triangles between Ben, Grace and Danny and Michaela, Jared and Lourdes. And there are new clues as to the identity of “The Major.”
The episode opens on Michaela, who is standing at her mother, Karen’s, grave, telling her mother about everything that’s happened since the plane landed. Michaela tells Karen that the passengers wanted to just walk back into their loved ones’ lives as if no time had passed, because for them it hadn’t. But everyone else had moved on, so they have to start over.
Meanwhile, the government is watching them, trying to determine if they’re criminals, saints, or if they now have special powers. Misguided believers in the conspiracy theories want to experiment on them or believe they have the ability to heal with a touch or a thought. People are getting hurt.
Michaela is frustrated because she’s a cop, but she can’t protect the people she loves. She tries to do the right thing, but she’s in love with a married man. Karen’s gravestone says “All Good Things”, Romans 8:28. Michaela would give anything to hear her say it again, and she wants to believe in it. There has to be a reason that all of this is happening. But, she knows one thing.
“I want my life back.”
Fiona’s safe place turns out to be a huge, gorgeous beach house, so the missing passengers are hiding out in style. They’re catatonic, but they get to face the beach as they’re propped up in their wheelchairs for the day. Autumn Cox is checking on them when she gets a text from her mystery correspondent: Need to hear from you or our deal is off. The test subjects, other than Autumn, all jerk backwards at once, as if they’ve been given an electric shock.
That was a warning to Autumn, that she could be next. They must have to turn the voltage up higher to affect her. Autumn doesn’t heed the warning. She puts her phone back in her sock instead of responding to the message, and calls for help.
Saanvi and Fiona rush into the room. Autumn describes what happened, saying it was like they all put their fingers in a light socket. Then they all jerk upright again.
Saanvi begins to examine one of the subjects. She says, “Could be a reflex, or it could be residual brain trauma from the experiments.”
Fiona realizes that it’s like they’re still connected. Saanvi suggests they bring the passengers together so they can warn them and examine their experiences. Fiona balks at bringing in all 191 passengers, so Saanvi drops her suggestion to just the 20 who came to the airport before the plane exploded. Any of them could be the next ones taken, so they should all cooperate together.
Ben has moved his
murder mystery board from the garage to the apartment he now shares with Mick. It’s very organized and thorough, with Cal’s drawing of the shadowy figure standing behind the family, the Believers, Vance’s death and Saanvi’s research all included. I hope some of those threads are given priority in this last part of the season.
It must have been a rough few days, because Ben hasn’t shaved. You know things are bad when Prince Charming skips his grooming. In frustration, he suddenly throws his file of related documents off of the table that holds the mystery board.
Michaela comes home at that moment, fresh from telling her problems to her mom’s grave. Ben acknowledges that Karen always was a good listener. He explains that he’s going crazy being away from Grace and the kids, and he’s not making any progress toward figuring out what happened to the passengers or who was in charge of the Red Hook experiments.
Michaela says that it’s been 10 days since they’ve had a calling. Maybe the explosion at the lab in Red Hook somehow reset everything, and their lives can go back to normal.
Ben gets ready to go out, telling Michaela that he’s going to Vance’s memorial. He wants to go out of respect to Vance, but also to do recon. Maybe the killer will be there. He’s got to do something, because Cal is in danger.
Jared is home from the hospital and nearly recovered from his injuries. Lourdes suggests that, instead of him going right back to work, they try to make a baby, since she’s ovulating. Jared begs off, sayings he needs a little more time. Lourdes is understanding.
Grace is making frozen waffles for breakfast, which, according to Olive, is the sign of an emotional apocalypse. Cal thinks Grace misses Ben, and asks if Olive misses him, too. Olive says, “Of course,” to make Cal feel better, but doesn’t really mean it. She’s holding a grudge because Ben asked to take Cal with him, but not her.
Olive makes an excuse and leaves early for school. Cal asks Grace why Ben can’t come home. Grace makes up an excuse about Ben needing to do some things, and needing to live with Michaela while he does them.
In other words, she puts the blame on Ben, while trying to sound like she didn’t. But then she feels guilty for lying to the cancer kid who’s also lost 5 years, so she offers to take him out for a better breakfast to tacitly make up for it.
Cal goes for it, but he also invites Ben over after school.
Ben is at the memorial, where he’s quickly spotted. Vance’s second in command, Powell, makes a beeline over to tell him to leave, even though the memorial is outdoors, in a public park. Powell blames Ben for getting Vance killed, which is a strange thing for a professional law enforcement agent to do, but, okay.
Vance was the professional in the situation and knew the risks. He went into it with his eyes open, but he decided to do the right thing and help the lost passengers. Blaming Ben takes away from his heroism.
Ben leaves without making a fuss. As he goes, he’s approached by a young independent journalist named Aaron Glover. Aaron has a podcast called 828-Gate, devoted to the mysteries of Flight 828. Ben doesn’t want to comment or be written about. As a show of good faith, Aaron tells Ben that a helicopter dropped the Major off at the Red Hook factory about an hour before the explosion. He asks Ben to listen to his podcast and reconsider collaborating.
Michaela is the first of the passengers to arrive at the beach house. Saanvi says that she reached everyone who came the night the plane exploded- the 18 who are still living, minus Harvey and Kelly, who are deceased. Most can make it.
Michaela notices a test subject that she recognizes from the hangar in the days after the plane landed, Paul Santino. Saanvi says he lives in the area, but his wife didn’t come to pick him up. Michaela touches Paul’s hand and tells him that they were both abandoned. As she does, she has a new kind of calling, where she’s immersed in a vision of a blizzard, as if she’s there, and hears a voice say, “Find her”. Afterward, Paul begins to regain consciousness.
Once he’s fully awake, they realize that he has complete amnesia. He doesn’t even know his name or remember that he’s married.
Saanvi asks Michaela to try to wake up some others. Michaela is uncomfortable with trying and skeptical that it will work, but she talks to Marco and touches his face. She doesn’t grab his fingertips, like she did with Paul. Marco is unaffected by her attempt. Saanvi says, “It could be a coincidence, or neuroplasticity. Their catatonia could be the body’s way of forcing the brain to rest and rebuild neural pathways, heal themselves.”
Saanvi thinks that it’s possible the subjects will wake up when they’re called. She encourages Michaela to find Paul’s wife. It could be they’re connected somehow that they can’t see yet.
Once the 18 passengers from the plane explosion are there, they talk about their experiences. Bethany the flight attendant says she’s been harassed by the Believers. They were waiting outside the courthouse when she made bail. Another man, named Adrian, has also had issues with Believers. He was an entrepreneur who lost everything.
Michaela tells them about her blizzard calling. Fiona introduces herself, and explains that she thinks she was on the plane to be an interpreter. She has the beach house until spring and will make it available to all of them.
Captain Daly pulls Ben outside for a private conversation. He doesn’t trust Fiona. He thinks that the whole thing might be one of her experiments. He doesn’t want Ben and the others to trust her, because then things could fall into the wrong hands. Ben asks him what “things” he means, but Daly gets cagey. He says that Ben and the others don’t have people trying to blame the whole event on them, the way he does. He won’t admit to knowing anything and decides that the entire meeting was a waste of time. He walks out.
Ben turns around and discovers that Autumn was listening to their conversation. She says that she stayed to listen because Daly got so aggro. Ben lets it slide, and asks if she knows anything about the Major. Autumn tells him that she overheard a conversation on speakerphone between Belson and the Major.
Belson acted like he was a little afraid of the Major, as if the Major was very powerful. Belson asked for more money for the experiments. The Major said that money wasn’t an issue, because the Holy Grail was priceless. Autumn though it was a weird thing to say. She doesn’t know what the Holy Grail is. She just knows that the Major’s looking for it, and she wants it, bad.
Ben’s ears prick up when he hears Autumn say the Major is a woman. He’s grateful for Autumn’s help. Autumn likes being treated with kindness and appreciation. When her phone buzzes, she takes it out of her sock, glances at the message, and throws it in the surf. We aren’t shown the text.
Michaela is at the police station, searching for Helen, Paul’s missing wife, when Jared gets there. She’s surprised to see him, but then they hug. Unlike his melancholy demeanor with Lourdes, Jared lights up with Michaela. She suggests that he could have used up more sick days, but he says that he wanted to talk to her.
Mick breaks his heart by saying they’ll have to talk later, because she’s searching for the missing wife of one of the passengers. She tempers the rejection by telling him that Riojas signed off on the investigation. Jared asks her to fill him in on what she’s done so far.
Mick was just as happy to see him as he was to see her, but she’s still trying to keep some distance between herself and the married man that she can’t have.
Michaela: “He’s an attorney, serious money. Looks like she lost everything after 828. Last known address that we have is some crappy street in Astoria.”
She has no social media presence, and everything Mick has found suggests they were a happy couple, so why didn’t Helen show up at the airport? They’re both thinking about why Jared didn’t show up at the airport, as they set off to go find Helen.
Olive finds Danny loading his bike into a pickup truck. He’s happy to see her, as always, and offers to cancel his bike ride so that they can go to the climbing gym instead. Olive asks if he’d come over to the house. Danny says that he’d love to, but it’s up to Grace. Olive tells him that Grace won’t ask. “It’s like she’s punishing herself.”
Danny takes several steps closer to Olive, but is still a reasonable distance away. He suggests that she give her mom time to process. Olive explains that Grace is reacting as if Ben and Cal died all over again. Olive can’t go through Grace’s depression again. Danny says that he doesn’t want her to go through it again.
Olive says, “Then if you still love us,” then takes 2 steps closer to Danny, so that she’s right in his personal space, “Help me help her, please.”
Whoa. WHAT WAS THAT???
The “If you still love us,” combined with getting right up in his face, is awfully suggestive that they’re closer than they should be. Why does Olive seem to be closer to her mom’s boyfriend than her mom is? Why are they so physically comfortable together, when he’s not her father and he’s only known her for a couple of years?
At this point, the writers are either writing a sexual abuse storyline, or they’re writing a creepy relationship with the supposedly great guy ignoring all kinds of boundaries that we follow as families, and teach our kids, to keep them safe from sexual predators. One of which would be that Olive shouldn’t be running off with Danny when her parents think she’s somewhere else, and Danny shouldn’t be offering.
Ben listens to Aaron’s podcast on his way to visit Cal:
During the 5 1/2 years that the plane was missing, the flight path, weather patterns, and telemetry have been exhaustively studied. The NTSB took 18 months and it’s full of holes. But I’m not giving up. I’ll find the truth.
Ben isn’t impressed. He stops the recording and pulls up next to the house. He rings the doorbell, which seems excessive. Grace answers and is surprised to see him, since Cal didn’t tell her that he asked Ben over. Cal races downstairs and out the door, so that he and Ben can play basketball together.
As they play, Cal asks why Grace won’t let Ben come home. Ben is a gentleman, and continues the fiction that it’s his choice to stay away. He tells Cal that he has things to do to make the family safe, and that he can’t do them while living with the family.
Cal is a smart 10 year old kid, not a preschooler, and he heard the arguments his parents had. In real life, this wouldn’t fool him for a minute. On the show, he doesn’t argue, he just tells Ben that he’s being emotionally crushed. He does it using a metaphor, so they can be guys and laugh about it, pretending he didn’t just say something profound.
When Ben leaves, he turns the podcast back on. In the teaser for the upcoming episode, Aaron mentions the Holy Grail, the phrase that Autumn said the Major and Belson also used.
Ben pays a visit to Aaron to find out what he knows about the Holy Grail, but Ben still doesn’t want to share information or be interviewed. However, Aaron might be able to earn his trust. Aaron refuses to name his sources. Then he tells Ben, “Right after 828 returned, Senate Intelligence Committee, House Appropriations started having secret meetings in which they earmarked millions to preserve the phantom shiner. It’s a fish. Hasn’t been seen since the 1940s. So why earmark funds?”
Ben: “To pay for a clandestine operation.”
Aaron: “Look at you. But all my source had was a fragment of a conversation he overheard. A senator said, ‘It’s the Holy Grail.’ We have to be the first, or 828 blows up in our face.”
Ben: “The Holy Grail? You think that’s what the Major’s looking for?”
Aaron: “No, not literally. This isn’t Arthurian legend. But it’s something big.”
Aaron tries again to get Ben to go on the record, but he still refuses. Ben does share that the Major is a woman. Aaron knows that the chopper she took to Red Hook was a military Black Hawk, but they need intel agency access to trace it further. Ben thinks he could work Vance’s deputy, Powell, for some information, if he had access to him. Maybe Aaron’s sources could help him gain access.
Mick and Jared investigate Helen Santino’s last known address. They find the mail piling up and a carton of milk spoiled on the counter, as if Helen left in a hurry, or was taken. Mick takes photos and documents to Paul at the beach house to try to jog his memory, while leaving Jared behind to continue searching the house. Jared is disappointed that Mick is ditching him.
Paul doesn’t recognize the photos. He asks:
“What happened to me? I just want my life back.”
Michaela gets it. She also gets a text from Jared saying he found something. She promises Paul that they’ll find Helen and help him with his memory.
Ben finds Mick out on the patio at the beach house. When she gets up to talk to him, she has the blizzard calling again. The voice is a little louder than a whisper, and the deep undertones of a male voice can be heard.
Ben notices and asks about the calling. He also tells Mick that the Major is a woman. They decide that “find her” could refer to either Helen or the Major, so they’ll continue looking for both.
Once Saanvi joins them on the patio in response to a message from Ben, he reveals that he has to tell them something that sounds crazy. Mick says they already operate well above crazy, but Ben thinks this one goes up to 11. He explains that the Major is looking for something with the code name “the Holy Grail”.
Saanvi thinks it might refer to something to do with the callings, such as what’s causing them and how to control them. She leaves to go through the lab notes again to look for clues.
Ben gets a text from Aaron with a lead on where he can run into Powell informally at a happy hour. Michaela will meet back up with Jared to follow his lead.
Jared explains that the last charge on Helen’s credit card was an Uber ride to a cheap hotel. The driver said she’s staying in room 28. Michaela guesses that she’s hiding rather than being held against her will.
They knock on the door to room 28, calling out to Helen that it’s the NYPD and they were sent by her husband, Paul. Helen throws open the door and points a gun at them.
Jared yells gun and aims his own gun at Helen, while Michaela disarms her, as quick as a wink. It’s adorable.
I know. It’s a ridiculous thing to find adorable. But I love these two together so much, and I love it when we see them so in sync.
Helen begs them not to kill her. She didn’t believe they were cops, and thought Paul sent them to kill her. He was an abusive husband, and Helen had to go through years of therapy after the plane disappeared. She was finally happy, and then the plane came back. It was like a wrecking ball, smashing into the new life she’d built. She thought she’d never be happy again. She cries with relief when Michaela tells her that Paul has amnesia and won’t be coming to find her.
Ben sits down with Powell during happy hour at Celestine’s restaurant. Despite Aaron’s tip, he doesn’t try the oysters. 😐He talks Powell into giving him 1 minute to present his case. When he’s done, Powell tells him he should walk away from the investigation, just like Powell plans to do. Ben plays on Powell’s loyalty to Vance to try to change his mind.
Michaela takes what Helen said to heart. She thinks about it as she and Jared drive back to the station. Once they’re inside, she tells Jared that she’s not going to be a giant wrecking ball in his life, ruining the happiness he’s found with Lourdes. She says that she’s going to Captain Riojas to request a new partner, and walks away. Jared looks like that’s the last thing he wants.
Spoiler: It’s the last thing he wants.
Adrian, the entrepreneur from the group of passengers who came to the beach house earlier, comes across a group of Believers as he’s walking down the street. They ask to touch him, and he agrees. As they gather round, he seems to get an idea.
Olive lets Danny into the house for the beginning of her “replace Dad with Danny” scheme. Grace hears the doorbell and comes downstairs, but is disappointed to see Danny instead of Ben. She tries to get Danny to leave, but Olive and Danny gang up on her.
Grace: “No. We’re not having this conversation. Not now. Not in front of her. I think you should go.”
Olive: “I don’t want him to go.”
Grace: “Olive, this is a family matter.”
Olive: “What the h-ll, Mom, Danny is family.”
Olive goes into another room and slams the door. Grace follows her. Cal is sitting on the stairs, out of sight, but having heard the whole thing. He texts Ben to come over right away.
Having self-sabotaged her own life, Michaela goes to the beach house to swing the wrecking ball at another victim. She finds Paul, who still has no memory of the past, anxiously waiting for her. She viciously attacks him, telling him he’s a monster who beat his wife, so he doesn’t deserve happiness.
Then she brings herself into it as well, which is what she’s really yelling about anyway. Saanvi intervenes and sends her from the room. Paul stands there confused and horrified. He just wants his life back. He doesn’t remember any of what she was talking about, and can’t picture himself acting that way.
While abuse should absolutely be condemned, yelling at someone with amnesia for things in their past doesn’t do any good. Paul has a chance to change and become a better person. Let’s give him that chance.
Ben rushes into the house, having gotten Cal’s text. Cal points him in the direction of the dining room, where Grace, Olive and Danny, who didn’t leave when he was asked to, are arguing over who the grown ups are in the family.
WTF? Why is Danny still there and part of this discussion?
Ben asks the same question. He points out that he’s not dead anymore. They don’t need to bring in the replacement father when the superior original father is available. And, most especially, they don’t get to tell Ben he can’t be with his kids, then bring Danny in to replace him.
Danny crosses yet another line, and has the nerve to tell Ben that he’s the whole reason the family is messed up. Danny pretends he’s just the good Samaritan who’s trying to pick up the pieces.
Ben shoves Danny, hard. The women yell. Olive says that everything is her fault, because she invited Danny. Grace says it isn’t Olive’s fault.
But Grace blames Ben for having come home, and for her own wishiwashiness. She notes that Danny wants the family they built together. She feels that she always ends up the bad guy, because she doesn’t know what she wants. And she’s tired of it.
Danny puts on a brief show of pretending he’ll leave, but then stops, the moment Ben says he’ll leave instead. An honorable person would have given Ben his family back, or at least left Grace alone to make her decision. Danny is not honorable. Ben says that he didn’t understand until now how much Grace and Olive lost when he came home, so he’ll leave.
Ben says goodbye to the kids, barely holding it together while he does. He promises them he’ll see them tomorrow, then runs to the car so that he can cry there.
Jared knocks on Mick and Ben’s apartment door, apartment number 414, which is half of 828. Both Ben and Michaela lost their loved ones when they returned, so they feel like they’re only half alive.
Mick opens the door and tries to tell Jared that he shouldn’t be there, but he just tells her to stop, and pushes in past her.
Jared: “Stop telling me what to do or how I’m supposed to feel, Mick. Look, you asked me why I didn’t go to the hangar. I didn’t go because I knew if I saw you, I would’ve never gone home. Mick, you’re not a wrecking ball, you’re my soulmate.”
Michaela: “No, Jared, I’m not.”
Jared: “Yes, you are. I still wake up expecting to find you next to me. Mick, I still look at you, and the rest of the world just goes away. I love you. It’s always been you. I didn’t cheat death to live a half a life. Neither did you.”
Mick has finally been looking hopeful during the last part of his speech and when he finishes, they throw themselves at each other. There’s a light shining out of both of them as they stumble toward the bedroom, leaving a trail of clothes behind.
Ben is still in the car, weeping silently, in front of what used to be his family home, when he gets a call from Powell. He’s found the Black Hawk assigned to the Major. It’s a VIP transpo, assigned for someone’s personal use, but the name is classified. It left Langley Air Force Base, in Virginia, 10 minutes ago, and is headed for New York City. Powell says he’ll help Ben, because that’s what Vance would want, but tells Ben to be careful.
When Jared and Michaela are done making love, Jared falls asleep, and Michaela watches Jared. She gets a text from Ben telling her the Major is coming.
Ben records a tell-all interview with Aaron, but says that Aaron can’t air it yet. It’s Ben’s insurance policy. For now, he’ll act as a source for Aaron, like Deep Throat. He tells Aaron to be patient. “Who knows how high this all goes?” If something happens to him, Aaron can blow the story wide open by running the interview.
Grace and Danny say goodnight. He pretends that he’s not putting pressure on her, but he’ll continue to put pressure on her through Olive, at the very least. Grace looks troubled.
Ben and Mick stop by the beach house to tell Fiona that the Major is coming. Ben wants to move the test subjects deeper into hiding, where they can be kept safer, but Fiona refuses. Working with Paul is giving them insights that could help the others. Fiona doesn’t want to abandon them. Ben still thinks they need to do something more to keep everyone safe.
Mick sees the blizzard calling again. This time, it’s more clear that it’s a man’s voice. She sees a knee and a hand in the snow, from the perspective of the person they belong to, who kneels on the ground in the vision. When Mick comes out of it, she tells Ben and Fiona that she doesn’t think this is her calling at all, since it’s not her voice.
She thinks she’s having someone else’s calling.
It’s montage time!
Powell gets out of his car and walks toward his home, but is confronted by three well-dressed goons, who escort him to the standard black vehicle. He accepts his fate and doesn’t fight them.
Jared stands in the doorway to his bedroom and looks at Lourdes, who is asleep. He looked like it was a chore to be in bed with her during the morning scene in this episode. He’s probably dreading trying to pretend now. I’m not sure why he doesn’t just leave.
Grace stands in the doorway to Cal’s room and watches Cal and Olive sleep in Cal’s bed. There are no right answers or good choices for Grace. No matter what she does, she’ll disappoint at least one potential mate and one child. But she needs to take a firm stand, instead of letting herself be pulled back and forth between everyone who wants her. Taking some time alone, to get her head on straight, is probably the best choice. She’d just need to establish a firm set of rules and enforce them.
Autumn gets a cup of coffee at a coffee shop. She squeezes by a man to get to the condiments table, and freaks a little when he knows her name, but then he says he saw it on her cup. Just as she starts to relax, he says that she lost her phone. She starts to protest, but he stops her. This one is hers now. Plus, the Major would like a word. There’s a car waiting outside.
Saanvi tells Ben, Fiona and Mick that she thinks she knows what the Holy Grail is, only it’s a person, not an object. The trials were relatively successful, and were identifying which subjects were more sensitive to the callings than others. If the Major discovers that Cal is the passenger who’s most sensitive to the callings and other passengers…
Weird that they don’t consider that Michaela and Ben are close to Cal’s level. So is Saanvi. The Major probably wouldn’t mind collecting the top five most sensitive passengers. Hope they don’t regret bringing up Cal in front of Fiona.
Cal startles out of sleep and into the same calling as Michaela, but it’s more developed. He sees a flash of light, then hears “find her.” He’s in the blizzard, walking, and holding a page ripped from a magazine with an old photo of Michaela. The vision’s fingers are purpling with frostbite. In real life, Cal is shivering, and his hand is also purpling with frostbite. It’s dotted with snowflakes. He stares at his hand in shock.
What would Karen have thought about Michaela and Jared? She said this in episode 5, while talking about Jared and Lourdes, when Steve was arguing that Jared still loved Mick: “Love is never something to feel guilty about. It’s a blessing.”
It seems as though Karen believed in following your heart and not wasting time.
As was mentioned at the end of episode 9, Robert Vance does indeed seem to have gone by “Bobby” with those who were closest to him, since the man giving his eulogy uses it several times. That still feels like a clue or an inside joke.
When Aaron mentions his podcast, 828-Gate, Ben acts surprised that podcasts have survived the test of time. He’s in total curmudgeonly dad mode through most of this episode. Two episodes ago, he was the cool hacker dad in the office poker game.
I love the name 828-Gate.
Okay, seriously, does Danny have a job? There’s never any indication that he does anything but his hobby sports. Is he a sports writer? Drug dealer? Gigolo? Wealthy investor? And whatever he’s doing, he can always drop it the second Olive beckons him. Doesn’t he have any friends or family? It makes him a very suspicious character, even though we know now that he’s not the Major- at least if Autumn was telling the truth.
I believe nothing without hard evidence.
As far as I’m concerned Danny’s villain status was firmly established this episode. I’m not sure what his endgame is, since Grace doesn’t have any money, and he’s apparently not the Major, but he’s not just in this because he’s a decent guy. Mostly because he’s not a decent guy. Anyone who can look at the victim of an airline accident, who lost 5 1/2 years of their life and their children’s lives, and blame them for it, is an awful person who has an ulterior motive.
How will Grace handle the frostbite? For sure she’ll find a way to blame Ben. Or will it disappear by morning?
Is anyone else hoping that Cal will develop actual superpowers? Personally, I’m rooting for him to be able to shoot lasers out of his eyes every time he sees Danny pull up to the house. Cal is such a good kid, we’d be able to trust him to use his super abilities wisely, just like we trust Captain America.
I hope they don’t do something stupid to drag out Jared splitting up with Lourdes. I really don’t want her to fake a pregnancy or a terrible illness so that he’ll feel obligated to stay with her. I’d rather see her be strong and go for revenge that see her be weak, clingy and manipulative in trying to keep someone who doesn’t want her.
I also hope they aren’t going to keep dragging out this “will they or won’t they” with Grace, Ben and Danny. Tonight’s drama was largely an exaggerated version of all of the drama that’s come before. I’m sick of it. Let Danny and Grace have each other. Good riddance.
Adrian is totally going to start selling his healing touch, and build his own personal cult.
Recurring themes in this episode:
The Holy Grail, according to legend, is the cup Christ used at the Last Supper. Over the course of time, the grail was lost. In medieval legend, King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table took on the search for the Holy Grail as a quest. Though they searched far and wide for many years and had many adventures, both romantic and dangerous, they never found the grail.
Now, the term Holy Grail refers to something which is rare and valuable, and which will thus be very difficult to acquire. The Major is looking for her Holy Grail among the passengers, seeking the one passenger who responded best to the experiments. But others in the series have Holy Grails as well. Powell wants justice for Vance. Aaron wants the truth about Flight 828. Ben wants the identity and motive of the Major, then a way to stop her. Saanvi wants to understand the physical effects of Flight 828 on the passengers.
A wrecking ball is a construction tool used in the demolition of old buildings, before new construction can be started. As such, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, despite the way that Helen and Michaela use the term.
Demolishing a life that you want to keep, as with Helen’s new life, is obviously a bad thing.
But Jared’s life with Lourdes was always a consolation prize for the life he really wanted, a life where he was with Michaela. Lourdes knew that going into it, and pursued him anyway. In the long run, Lourdes could probably be happier with someone who wasn’t spending their life secretly pining for another woman. So taking a wrecking ball to the life she and Jared have created together, and getting the split over with as quickly and cleanly as possible, might be the kindest thing for everyone.
Ben and Cal also came back into Grace and Olive’s lives like a wrecking ball. Ben came into Vance, Fiona and Powell’s lives like a wrecking ball. Flight 828 was a giant wrecking ball.
In this episode, wanting my life back, cheating death, and living half a life all refer to the characters who are not living life to its fullest. They describe the passengers and their loved ones who have survived a near death experience, but are still waiting in the shadows of life, instead of grabbing life with both hands and fighting for what they want.
These characters are the opposite of the wrecking ball characters. The catatonic, kidnapped passengers would be the extreme metaphor for these images. They are currently living less than half a life. Paul Santino is now awake, but has no memory, so he’s more literally in a half-life state.
There is also the Angel of Death aspect, which always hovers over the passengers. This episode started in a graveyard, reminding Michaela and the viewers that the passengers aren’t safe and could die at any time. Karen Stone told both Michaela and Jared to live their lives, while they could, and she told Jared, in episode 5, to love without guilt.
The passengers all need to get started on their goals, on their search for their Holy Grails, whatever they may be, rather than putting them off, because another wrecking ball could come into their lives at any time. They may not get to cheat death again.
My post What Did “All Good Things” Really Mean to Karen Stone? discusses another recurring theme from this episode.
Images courtesy of NBC.