After last week’s inconsequential episode, Manifest returns for a drip-feed of prophetic messages nestled around the familiar soap opera drama for our characters to deal with. The three parallel story arc hook returns this week, with Ben and Cal trying to figure out the meaning of their new storm Calling while Michaela faces scrutiny at work. The final narrative sees Saanvi begin to see side effects to her experiments.
Episode 9 of Manifest begins with Cal awakening from a dream on the plane after mentioning that this is “all connected”. Meanwhile, Zeke and Michaela discuss their families over breakfast before she heads off to work. A fully recovered TJ questions why he’s been saved too, as an envigorated Olive convinces him to join her in doing more research.
Zeke meets with an erratic Dr Saanvi who clearly isn’t herself. With no Callings, she instead starts repeating herself and suffering from short term memory loss. Zeke feels increasingly agitated in her presence, eventually leading him to tell her she needs to see a doctor. After some convincing, she agrees to see her ex, Dr Alex Bates. When she arrives, she immediately notices Saanvi’s high dopamine levels and gives her an injection to try and lower them.
Vasquez is called into a meeting with the Captain surrounding Michaela’s accusations. Not long after, Michaela is forced into an internal investigation surrounding her relationship with Vasquez. The two officers tell Michaela they believe something is going on as they bring up various case files from all the people she’s saved in the past.
Michaela brings in her lawyer who holds her corner and encourages her to keep quiet. A concerned Vasquez worries for his own integrity given the cases may lead her to realize it was him who orchestrated this entire witch hunt against her.
Given the number of anonymous tips Michaela received, this rings alarm bells for her as these two detectives question whether she could have fabricated all these crimes to boost her career prospects. They also mention how Ben had a hand in a lot of these cases too.
They continue to pressure Michaela into telling the truth before leaving the room to make their decision on what to do with her. Before they come to a conclusion however, Vasquez arrives and publicly arrests her on the basis of being the suspect that caused the nightclub fire. Vasquez throws Michaela in a cell and tells her he’s just saved her life.
Following Cal’s Calling, he begins frantically building something in the spare room while Grace sits in the corner, visibly weakened from her pregnancy. While Cal gets to work, TJ and Olive read more extracts from the book, including mention of Callings and cheating death.
As they talk, the storm outside continues to rage. Only… it turns out there is no storm. Olive shows them the weather report and it’s bright and sunny outside. Ben leads the group and comes to the realization this is actually another Calling. He discredits TJ’s suggestion that this is a bad omen for him still being alive and ponders over what the purpose of this Calling is.
Ben believes they’re going mad, which mirrors the same story they’ve been reading in Olive’s book. Ben tells TJ not to leave the house but as he opens the front door, he sees lightning crackling across the sky, which in turn illuminates the sails of a boat in the book.
Realizing what they need to do, Ben recreates the boat with the bits of wood they have and it does the trick – the Calling sends them back through time to the ship and the mention of the “Silver Dragon” sees them look up and presumably see Flight 828 flying overhead. This could all be connected and link to the theory that the plane was flying through time.
Flashing back to the present, as they look through the book again they see a face among the sea of faces that appears to look like Saanvi. Could her self-medication be the bad omen they speak of?
Another week, another episode that drip feeds information to us. To be fair this episode is a little more progressive, especially given there are credible clues that the plane was travelling through time now. Quite how the past and future link together though remains a mystery. How does Zeke tie into all of this as well? And why were the government so interested in hiding evidence last season?
The Saanvi sub-plot this episode really doesn’t go anywhere either and with a lack of Vance and the Major’s apparent plans involving Saanvi’s research, the story feels like it’s gearing up for yet another climactic ending involving them and a tease that season 3 may be on the horizon. If this does happen, it’ll be interesting to see how long people stick with this one.
22 episodes in (if you count last season’s story arc) we’re still none the wiser over anything that’s happening and with only a few episodes left, big question marks remain over whether Manifest can deliver a compelling finish or not. Still, this week does progress the story forward and is certainly a big improvement over last week. Let’s just hope that the answers to this mystery continue through to the end of the season.