Manifest – Season 4 Episode 19 “Formation” Recap & Review


Episode 19 of Manifest season 4 begins with a flashback of Michaela and Ben together, carving their name on a tree as kids while out grabbing firewood. This brings us neatly back to the present, as Michaela teases her brother over sleeping with Saanvi.

Speaking of Saanvi, she heads into the lab and notices that all the life support patients have awoken after being in a Calling for five years. But how? Well, Saanvi has a camera set up so decides to look into this and check the footage. When she sees what’s on there, she looks wide-eyed in shock.

The footage shows Marko waking up and rep[eating the scene from the end of the previous chapter, including seeing him speak the word “Kovcheg” in Bulgarian. Apparently this means coffin. It’s a message back from the Divine Consciousness which appears to show that they’re all going to die.

Cal shows Olive his sketch and tries to figure out the peacock and what it means with the two sapphires coming together. He eventually brings this to Michaela and Ben, who believe that he’s strong enough to go to Angelina and face her head-on. In doing so, Ben believes that he can convince her to do right and stop her from bringing about the end of the world.

Adrian apologizes for what he’s done and decides he’s going to be part of their Cult. When he finds out that Angelina is calling herself the Archangel, he laughs incredulously and even more so when he finds out that the conman and the false prophet are now together and married. When he questions what power she has, she’s suddenly whisked away to the plane and sees Cal, who believes that she should join him and try to stop the Death Date.

Cal tells Angelina that she can redeem the pain she’s caused… but Angelina believes that the Death Date is a cleansing and it’s a way to end everything and start again. And that’s something she’s more than happy to bring about.

When Angelina leaves, Adrian and Eagan speak plainly together. The latter points out that she knows where Noah’s Ark is, given he actually overheard Saanvi speaking on the phone to Olive about a piece of the Ark and the fissure it was thrown into. Adrian warns that should he tell Angelina about the Ark, it could doom everyone. So as a result, Eagan decides to skip out on her, believing this to be their annulment.

As Cal and Michaela hash out where to go next, they’re helped by Drea who realizes that the peacock, the dragon and the stars are all linked. The latter represents gemini and it seems to be the three original symbols. The symbols that brought them the Death Date, could actually hold the key to solving it.

It seems they represent a how (the space and time picture) and what (the two sapphires), but the dragon represents the where. Specifically, Storm King Mountain. Saanvi has ties there given she threw a piece of Noah’s Ark into the fissure at the base of that area. Given there’s a piece underground, it means they don’t need Angelina after all, they just need the driftwood to fulfill Cal’s Calling.

The whole group head out together and aren’t stopped by any of the officials, despite the fact that they’re all supposed to be detained and under watch in the center. And where’s Zimmer anyway? I digress.

The group find the fissure and Cal realizes they need to wait until “it” happens. Quite what this is, remains to be seen. For now, they set up camp and decide to wait around for a sign. They all hug and share stories, while also ironing out unresolved drama. Michaela believes that there’s a different future in the path with Jared, and decides he needs to be with Drea and their baby. Michaela has seen the way Jared has been looking at Drea and believes that this is where his heart really lies. It’s a sad moment but Jared agrees.

Elsewhere, Ben and Olive share a heart to heart, and then everyone heads to bed. Everyone except Cal, who senses something amiss and heads out in the middle of the night. Ben follows and as Cal’s arm begins to glow, it connects to the fissure and it seems like he needs to go. A teary-eyed Ben is not happy and believes there’s another way, but Cal reassures him. He tells Ben to have faith in what he’s doing.

“Thank you for being my dad,” Cal says, as the pair embrace. It’s a heart-wrenching moment and something that leaves everything hanging in the balance as Cal wanders off, and allows himself to be connected to this fissure, which shines a bright blue beam from the sky. Is this Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Probably not, but it does see all the passengers look up at the sky which basically serves as a giant beacon to their location. And just like that, Cal is gone.

The Episode Review

So it seems like Cal has gone to this higher place and it seems like everything now is resting on this final chapter to (hopefully) wrap everything up. To be fair, the show does at least go some way to explain the random symbols and how the peacock plays into this. I still think the peacock would have been a hilariously meta way of referencing NBC and the characters finding scripts for Manifest but there we go.

This penultimate episode leaves everything hanging in the balance, but of course it does so at the expense of competent writing. How have all these guys just waltzed out from the building they’re supposed to be securely kept in and are just wandering about and camping out in the open? What about the big sinkhole in the main lobby of the detention center that literally nobody mentioned for 8 months?

All these little moments add up to a disappointingly sparse season rife with plot issues when it comes to the writing. Hopefully this final chapter will wrap things up consistently but judging by what we’ve seen so far… let’s not hold our breaths.

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You can read our full season review for Manifest season 4 here!


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1 thought on “Manifest – Season 4 Episode 19 “Formation” Recap & Review”

  1. I totally agree with your assessment. I recommended this series to my sister who has just finished season 1 and loves it. I called her today to inform her that as soon as she gets to the episode where “shit” becomes a popular word, the acting, directing, and plot becomes cornier and the writing extremely disappointing.

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