An Intriguing Ending
Manifest returns this week with another standard dose of drama, one that threatens to rock itself to sleep with melodramatic, inconsequential character issues before jolting upright during the final 5 minutes for an ominous sign of things to come in the future. With no answers, beyond teasing theories that this could be linked to tarot cards, yet more questions build up this jenga tower of questions that continuously threatens to topple its pieces if we don’t start getting some answers soon.
The episode begins with flashes to the past, revealing Zeke and Courtney happy and spending time together. This is shot-lived however, as we’re brought back to the present with both characters attending therapy where she tells him about her current situation and how she hopes to be recovering soon. Michaela meanwhile speaks to Ben about the Death Day situation while Vasquez gets a new hair cut.
At the Church Of The Believers, Adrian tells Olive she can’t attend anymore but promises a bigger miracle to come in the future. As she leaves, Ben has another Calling, this time of Saanvi on the plane disappearing after calling out for help. He interrupts Michaela, who’s halfway through discussing with the Captain about a mole inside the police force, and arrives at the hospital with Ben to find Saanvi passed out on the floor.
Desperate to catch up with her stolen work, Saanvi was experimenting on herself which Ben learns thanks to recordings on her Dictaphone. He heads in to see her and she tells Ben there’s no other way to stop the Death Date. It turns out the original Calling he experienced was actually for a little boy sitting in the seat near her on the plane, not for Saanvi herself. The passenger in question is a man named Finn so Ben heads off and speaks to him, asking about a kid who may have been sitting next to him or around him on the flight.
At his house, Ben and Saanvi organises a meeting between Finn and his boy Theo, who Saanvi realizes is in trouble following a conversation with his mother. Urging her to get Theo checked out in hospital, she catches the meaning of the Calling given the yellow rings around his eyes, and he’s treated for Liver disease.
Michaela returns home to find the flat trashed and Courtney badly beaten. It turns out a man named Lucas is after her because she owes them $20,000. Midway through Zeke laving to find him, Michaela has a Calling involving snowflakes falling and decides to come along with him. Utilizing police technology and disguises, they head off together and speak to Lucas about the money.
Unfortunately one of Lucas’ henchmen recognise Michaela as one of the women from Flight 828 and immediately holds her up at gunpoint. Thankfully the police jump in and stop the duo from getting into serious trouble, arresting Lucas in the process given the drugs he has.
Meanwhile Olive and TJ head out to find a tarot reader to interpret the peacock card, giving them an address where they may be able to track down its origins. Eventually they find the Alzarus deck, which they research online and see connections to the Calling and the Death Day.
Zeke returns home and finds Courtney gone, rendering the drama last episode about her returning completely pointless, while Grace uses Alana as an example to pitch the idea that Danny is the real Father to their child as a way of protecting her from the Exxers. Ben understandably takes offence to this and storms off. While TJ and Olive grow closer together, Saanvi does more research and decides to continue testing on herself while Michaela finds pills hidden in Zeke’s razor.
To close out the episode, Saanvi, Michaela and Ben experience a joint Calling; the wreckage of the plane is found in snow as snowflakes lazily fall from the sky. Outside the wreckage however, Adrian stands watching this all unfold.
What does this all mean? Is Adrian a catalyst for the plane crash? Are they all dead and experiencing a strange alternate future? Or is this all an elaborate government experiment? And how does Zeke fit into all of this? With more questions piling up, Manifest is, as I’ve said before, in danger of toppling its pieces if it doesn’t start delivering some compelling answers. The Church Of The Believers potentially being part of this whole convoluted mess is a nice touch but to what end?
What’s happened with The Major? Two episodes ago Sanvi’s research was a pretty big deal but we’ve heard nothing from her or Vance, instead focusing on stand-alone cases that do little to move the story forward. The situation with Courtney felt completely half-baked too, and given she’s now left the scene it makes last week’s cliffhanger disingenuous and placed for dramatic effect rather than driving the story forward. This may sound nitpicky but given the emphasis the show places on its soap opera elements, these are easily the weakest part of the show.
One big question hangs over Manifest like an ominous black cloud and it doesn’t look like disappearing any time soon – will we get some satisfying answers to these big mysteries or will these be dragged out for another season? Only time will tell but right now I wouldn’t hold your breath for some big answers just yet.