Aside from a couple of exciting moments, Manifest delivers a pretty formulaic episode, one that continues to add layers of mystery to the heart of this one without doing an awful lot to push the narrative forward. To be fair, the final couple of minutes of this episode set things up nicely for the season ahead but beyond that, there isn’t much else to get excited about here.
Episode 3 of Manifest begins with Dr Saanvi being stood up by a man named Alex in the past, who left her to fly on 828 by herself. During therapy, the Major asks her to send an email over to him explaining how she feels. Letting her guard down, she then divulges all the information about her work to the Major while, unbeknownst to her, the clock on the shelf holds a secret camera behind it, recording everything.
Olive heads to the meeting for Believers where she listens to Maxine’s story while Grace has another calling, one that sees visions of a monstrous gargoyle next to her friend Erica. Michaela meanwhile heads to the prison and learns Zeke has been transferred. However no one seems to know where to. Back at the station she implores Vasquez to see reason in regards to the Zeke case but he laughs bitterly and tells her he gave up his whole life for her. She’s defiant though, going on to tell him she’s going to get Zeke out of prison no matter what.
Back home, Grace tells Ben about her Calling and after doing some research (while again leaving Olive out of the loop), she heads out to try and talk to Erica with Cal but she refuses to listen. In the distance, the ominous presence of the gargoyle continues to taunt Grace.
Ben heads off to show Saanvi what he’s found and after some deliberation tells her the truth about the mole. He also tells her Vance is still alive and that the passenger information he gave her earlier in the episode is fake. When Vance what Ben’s done, he’s none too happy as he feels his cover has now been blown. To make matters worse, Saanvi starts questioning everyone around her, rejecting Troy’s help with her research. However, she does manage to get the major on her side, revealing details of the new passenger to her.
Eventually, Michaela finds Zeke drugged up and subsequently this whole situation winds up back in court where Zeke is exonerated thanks to Michaela testifying and explaining what really happened. Back home, the group reconvene where Michaela and Grace discuss her Calling about the gargoyle and realize it’s not over. At the same time, Olive heads back to the group and speaks to them about her family while Ben learns he’s been accepted in his new job.
However, it turns out one of the men at his lecture is actually working against him and on the exterior of the building is a monstrous statue of a gargoyle. This finally sees some clarity surrounding Grace’s Calling and with Saanvi on-board too, she speaks to Ben and Vance and reveals she’s set a trap at her work. It’s here she also learns the truth about just who the Major is which is where the episode ends.
With the tide turning and our protagonists finally gaining the upper-hand, there’s plenty of scope for Manifest to kick it up a notch and deliver some exciting episodes to come. Although the show does have a tendency to lean into its soap opera elements a little too much, this season has, so far at least, managed to balance this a little better.
It’s still not perfect and after 19 episodes we’re still none the wiser over what’s actually behind the plane’s disappearance but hopefully we get some answers soon.