Save The Passengers
I recently went back and watched the LOST pilot episode which to me is one of the best opening episodes of any series. Going back into Manifest after that was perhaps a bit of a mistake. The influences to that cult phenomenon are certainly there to see, including the constant flashes to the plane and prophetic messages, but Manifest has always slipped a little too far into soap opera drama for my liking. For now though, the show manages to balance it’s sci-fi and melodrama much better but it’s still early days and I’m reserving judgment on this one for now.
Season 2 of Manifest begins with the reveal that Michaela was the one who was shot. As she’s rushed into hospital, she tells Zeke to run away while giving strict instructions to the nurse to refuse Jared entry to see her. Ben goes instead and together they talk about the callings. In particular, Michaela’s weird hallucinatory trips back onto the plane again with Cal sat next to her. It’s here our little prophetic child enters and he tells Michaela she needs to “Save The Passengers”
We then skip forward 2 months. After some baby talk with Grace and Ben, the latter and Michaela work together to try and make sense of what “save the passengers” means. At the same time, they set out to try and clear Zeke’s name after the shooting. While Grace hides her pregnancy from Danny, Ben and Michaela try and track down two passengers from the plane, a couple they’ve seen before with the surname Vasik. After seeing religious quotes and other texts pinned to the wall of their study, Ben deduces that the couple have been kidnapped. As he heads outside however, extra weight is added to this story upon seeing an ominous white van parked across the road.
Cal meanwhile heads off and speaks to Zeke, who happens to be at his Mum’s house. He tells him he “doesn’t have much time”, which leads him to call the police and get himself arrested outside in the street when he greets Michaela. As she touches him, she flashes to a bridge nearby that holds a big clue to try and save the Vasik’s.
Scrambling with Ben to the cliff-side they find the car parked up and the couple inside, a red cross marked on their car door. They act erratically, convinced that they need to die a “second death” as per the scripture they’ve uncovered. However, their Calling happens to save a previous car that’s tumbled down the cliff before them and as Michaela calls in the police to save the trapped passengers, the couple are finally free from the Callings and no longer plan to commit suicide.
Meanwhile, Dr Saanvi continues her therapy session with the Major who suggests she find someone else if she’s not going to be wholly truthful. The reverse psychology works and she decides to start talking. As she does, Cal and Michaela experience flashes to the plane, where they find Zeke standing watching the chaos unfold. Ben approaches the white van, which he finds parked up at his house, and winds up kidnapped and thrown into the van. When he arrives at his destination, the hood is lifted off and standing before him is NSA Director Vance?! With a visible scar across his face he smirks, “You’re not the only one who can come back from the dead”.
How about that for a twist! I have to admit, Manifest has really pulled its socks up this episode and delivered a much better paced slice of mystery and drama. The prophetic “save the passengers” is a nice touch, and I hope this season we finally get some answers to the big questions hanging over the show.
Of course, with a long season ahead there’s still time for that to change and given the amount of filler last year I’m not holding my breath that this one won’t follow suit. For now though, the show looks set for a much less turbulent ride. Let’s hope that continues!