Manifest – Season 3 Episode 1 Recap & Review


Episode 1 of Manifest Season 3 begins in Havana, three months after the initial discovery of the tailfin of Flight 828. The San Antonio is our boat in question, and Ben heads out to investigate. He makes it onboard, thanks in part to Cal’s drawings, and begins looking around. While he does, an intense Calling for Michaela, Ben and Cal arrives they all clutch their ears.

Michaela happens to be in Costa Rica with Zeke, with the latter having survived the Death Date and living in paradise on their honeymoon.

Back in America, Cal – complete with lockdown hair – feeds back to the family that his Calling seems to hint that he’s going to die.

Over in Cuba, Ben bribes the boat owners into showing their salvage. They’ve been keeping it secret, as it turns out, tucked away in their hangar. However, they’re not alone as a young boy with a smart phone begins filming this interaction. As Ben touches the tailfin he’s thrown back across the room, prompting the child to rush away.

When Ben awakens, he speaks to Vance and lets him know about his experience. It turns out Vance is in Cuba too, and he reminds Ben that he’s in charge of this operation.

What Vance and Ben haven’t accounted for however, is that aforementioned child filming the entire incident. This inevitably sees a police officer on duty take the phone and watch that very same video. Along with his colleagues, the officer shows up at the warehouse, telling Ben to touch the tailfin again.

When he does, Ben doesn’t fly across the room. It does, however, cause electrical interference. This is enough for Vance to show up and save the day, seeing the tailfin piece for himself and taking it with Ben onto their truck outside.

With it strapped in and secure they take off for an air strip, debating whether it’s actually the real tailfin or not. However, Intelligence show up in jeeps and try to stop them. Vance decides to bide them some time, sacrificing himself (and the tailfin piece) to allow Ben to make it out alive and in one piece. Vance is left behind.

While all this is going on, Michaela liaises with Drea regarding the Callings and, in particular, a girl called Angelina. She seems to be connected to these Callings in some way.

Michaela and Zeke do some digging, eventually finding her connection to heavily religious parents and concerned friends. Angelina was paranoid, believing that she was being followed, as Michaela speaks to her friend Elena about Angelica’s whereabouts. She’s gone missing and it seems like the Calling may have been trying to warn her.

As we see from flashes to Angelina herself, she’s being kept in captivity. That prison happens to be at her heavily religious parents’ house. Michaela and Zeke head up to investigate and find a locked room in the cellar. Sliding open the lock, she grabs the girl and hugs her, embracing the scared and distraught teen tightly as she sobs.

The gang head back to America with Angelica, reconvening back home with a touching family reunion. However, big question marks remain about the tailfin and various other aspects of this unresolved mystery.

Ben speaks to Michaela about his Calling and tells her he believes they all died in the flight. They may well have been resurrected. If that’s the case, he decides to start believing again.

As the episode closes out, we cut to that lake from the season 2 finale. Three bodies float to the surface, where one opens its eyes and loudly gasps. Is this a sign of resurrection? Or something else? We’ll have to wait and see!

The Episode Review

Manifest returns with a really compelling opening episode, doubling down on the mystery and getting back to the one part of this show worth clinging to. However, as we’ve seen from the previous two seasons Manifest always starts brightly before careering off a track into melodramatic, mundane waters. We’ll have to wait and see if this season follows suit.

The jet-setting adventure this time around is actually a really smart move, one that not only allows the cast to shoot safely and securely but also add a bit more realism to this one as well.

It’s certainly nice to see a series not regress back to hand sanitizer, face masks and real-world problems in an otherwise fictional universe too. There’s been a lot of that recently and very few shows on network TV have actually managed to pull it off in a compelling and meaningful way. Anyway, I digress!

Manifest may not be the best sci-fi show out there but there’s an undeniable pull and charm to this that keeps you coming back for more. Whether this series will actually start delivering answers or string along this mystery remains to be seen. The fact that 60 seconds effectively showed all the big plot points from 29 episodes should tell you all you need to know about Manifest.

Still, this is a very bright start, let’s hope it continues!

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