Manifest Season 1 Episode 9: Dead Reckoning Recap

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Well, the Fall Finale of Manifest certainly lived up to its name, Dead Reckoning. There were real and metaphorical deaths, though it wasn’t a Walking Dead or Game of Thrones style bloodbath. I’d like to thank the Angel of the Waters for that. There were a few minutes where that looked entirely possible, but then Grace calmed down. 😘

We learned a lot in this episode, especially about Fiona Clarke. She thinks quick in crisis. She doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. If she wants to, she can provide safe houses, and probably many other resources, for the passengers. She probably isn’t as outraged about the way her research is being used as she should be, if Saanvi’s reaction to Autumn’s injuries is anything to go by.

And she’s very, very willing to take sole responsibility for 10 fugitives who have been declared dead or missing, are severely injured, have no other friends or relatives to miss them, and who have developed psychic abilities from experiments based on her work.

Did she ask Saanvi to meet them at the safe house to provide medical care for the passengers? No. Did she tell Ben she’d text him the location of the safe house? No. Did she grab a big stack of the paperwork that was still in the lab? Yes.

I believe that Fiona has been playing the other passengers from the beginning. Either she was working with the Singularity Project or she was working for another government faction (DARPA), but took advantage of Ben and Vance’s raid on the secret experimental site to screw the government agencies over and kidnap the test subjects. She intends to continue her work on her own terms, completely off the radar. Or, she just helped DARPA steal the experiments from the CIA, because DARPA offered her better terms.

How do I know all of this?

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 8: Point of No Return Recap

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The Point of No Return, this week’s episode title, refers to the point that’s THE point where there’s no turning back, where the decisions you make and the actions you take are irreversible. For the most part, this episode leaves the point of no return in each storyline mysterious, though it’s clear that life altering decisions are being made and confrontations are coming. For Harvey, the passenger of the week with a death wish, the point seems obvious, but is it? Was he doomed when he started telling stories in O’Ryan’s Tavern, or did he doom himself by overthinking the pattern?

We’re given very little information about Harvey, so we don’t know if he was getting callings that put the ideas of angels or death into his head. We don’t know what he ignored and what he followed. All we know for sure is that he gave up, in a way that he couldn’t turn back from.

This episode, each character commits to a course of action that could lead to a disaster or could help. Cal returns to school, where his friends are 5 years ahead of him and everyone else thinks of him as the 828 kid. He’s grateful to get some normalcy back in his life, but remains aware that it could all disappear in a moment when the experiments start again.

Grace and Ben return to their pre-828 routine of Friday night date nights, while Jared and Lourdes decide to stick to their plans to start a family. But both marriages are weakened by lies and deceptions. Jared and Ben each have a connection with someone other than their wives, and they both have ongoing involvements in the 828 case that they haven’t mentioned to them.

Michaela receives a verbal calling that’s as vague as the previous callings, but this one doesn’t clarify itself by the end of the episode. It comes with another angel reference and several deaths, leading her to question everything she thought she knew about the callings. They’ve been her lifeline since she returned home, and now she’s seeing their dark side. But she can’t ignore them and she doesn’t know who her latest calling is referring to. (I think it’s Cal.)

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 6: Off Radar Recap

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In Off Radar, we watch as the connections between the main characters on Manifest are either deepened or further strained. Everything is connected, but not all connections are going to remain strong forever. If the callings are tests, then they are, in part, a test of which connections the passengers are willing to risk losing, and which they’ll fight to keep.

In real life, radar uses reflected radio waves, broadcast over the air, to determine the speed and position of a targeted object. In Off Radar, Cal is the receiver, as he has been before in other ways. He’s receiving emotional, physical and mental information from one of the other passengers, a Bulgarian man named Marko. At the same time, Cal becomes gravely ill. It’s up to Ben, Michaela and Saanvi to interpret Cal’s symptoms and newfound ability to speak Bulgarian, determine if this is a calling, and what the calling wants.

It turns out Marko and ten other passengers have gone missing since the passengers were released by the Feds. Ben uses his data analyst skills to determine where they might be, then Michaela and Jared follow-up on the ground. This brings Michaela and Jared to a turning point in their relationship, when Jared demands that Michaela finally tell him the truth about the callings.

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 5: Connecting Flights Recap

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In episode 5, Connecting Flights, we learn that “It’s all connected.” What’s all connected? Well, the subway system, for one thing, and it’s ancillary hidey holes. Olive and Cal, for another, though we’re still exploring the extent of their connection, and they don’t appear together in this episode. Beyond that, the use of the phrase is vague, other than definitely relating to Flight 828 and its passengers. We seem to be building up to discovering that the passengers and the callings are all connected, but there’s no telling what else might be part of the larger picture, and what this connection means.

Are the people who are close to the passengers connected? Did this connection direct their lives during the 5 1/2 years their loved ones were missing? There were, after all, two flights in the air that night. Just because one came home on time doesn’t mean it wasn’t affected by something. An episode title like “Connecting Flights” has to make you wonder. Did something more subtle happen to the passengers on the first flight, as well?

For now, the focus is on how the people who weren’t on Flight 828 coped with their losses. Some, like Grandma Karen, focused on the positive and tried to quickly move forward. Others, like Grace, couldn’t let go. A few, like Jared and Grandpa Steve, seem to have managed to find a middle path of mourning then moving forward, but never forgetting their losses.

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 4: Unclaimed Baggage Recap

 

This week’s episode of Manifest, Unclaimed Baggage, drew together Saanvi, Michaela and Flight Attendant Bethany to solve the mystery/case of the week: What happened to Bethany’s stowaway friend after the plane landed? They were an effective and appealing dream team, who I hope we get to see continue working together. Ben’s role in this case was to act as skeptic and briefly as driver.

What’s up with him being left out of the callings since the first episode?

Instead, Ben carried the family drama again, which this week centered around Olive’s adventures with shoplifting. Olive drew Danny back into the family mix, precipitating the overdue meeting between him and Ben. Or maybe it was just overdue that we met Danny. You can’t cast Daniel Sunjata, then keep him off my screen. At any rate, Grace is now officially a sketchy Femme Fatale in my book, and the Stones have gone from being a typical suburban family in the opening of the pilot to being a truly messed up suburban family.

Why is Grace a Femme Fatale? Not just because of the unexplained, secret strife that’s drawn her, Danny and Olive close enough together that they act like they’ve been through a war together. The other Stone family thread this week concerned Ben’s life insurance pay out of $500k, which the insurance company wants back, since he’s actually alive and all. Grace goes through a vague set of circumstances, most of them expected, and somehow comes up with having spent the entire half a million dollars already, in 5 years, on her and Olive. Plus all of the equity in their house.

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 2: Reentry Recap

 

In episode 2, Reentry, the passengers continue to settle in at home after their 5 year absence, and begin to make connections with each other. Connections with the people they left behind are further tested and explored, sometimes with supernatural help. Potential enemies begin to reveal themselves, with deadly consequences.

The episode opens on reporters describing the destruction of the plane that carried Flight 828 home from Jamaica. The plane’s sudden explosion ended episode 1, with 20 passengers having felt an inner call to witness the incident, and Cal jolting awake in bed at the moment of the explosion.

The reporters stand in front of what’s barely even a smoldering shell of an aircraft. The explosion and subsequent fires burned up everything but a few pieces of the plane’s exterior, and those are charred beyond recognition. Whatever someone was trying to hide, mission accomplished.

We also learned that it’s been 4 days since the plane’s return, the plane exploded shortly after midnight, and the 20 passengers were recorded on surveillance cameras.

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap

 

Oh-My-Gosh, you guys! Manifest is a hit! If you were avoiding watching because you figured it would just be cancelled like all of the other broadcast scifi shows, I think you should give this one a chance. 10.4 million people watched Monday night, which is an increase over the number of people who watched its lead-in show, The Voice. No show has ever built on The Voice’s audience before- everyone has always experienced a drop. It matched the debut of last year’s big hit broadcast drama, The Good Doctor.  And according to TVLine’s poll, 92% of viewers say they’ll keep watching.

Of course, Mr Metawitches and I watched it, too. The mister liked the show a lot. He’s much closer to your average viewer than I am, though he doesn’t care much for run of the mill cop-lawyer-doctor shows, either. But he also doesn’t like the dark, twisty, gross turn that scfi and fantasy have taken in this decade. He’s looking forward to watching the mystery unfold on Manifest this season, as well as the relationships between the characters.

This show appears to be a turn away from the dark and twisty mentality, toward a more positive, family-oriented outlook with characters who want to be good people and do good in the world. What professional reviewers would call hokey or cheesy these days. In fact, I think I saw one or two use those words.

But, honestly, I’m ready for hokey and cheesy to come back. I think a significant portion of the viewing public are, too. The world is a dark place, and we want to believe that there’s good in the world and good people who can be trusted.

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