Michaela endures the wildest series of coincidences to uncover the true killer behind the first death of a passenger on Flight 828.
While "Manifest" surprisingly wrapped up its first murder investigation rather quickly, it introduced two more tantalizing elements to keep us guessing and scratching our heads.
One of those was tied directly to the investigation, as the murder suspect turned out to be someone who knows a lot about Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and all of the passengers, or Saviors as he calls them. The other one is the direct result of Saanvi’s (Parveen Kaur) work with Cal (Jack Messina) and investigation into a strange marker she found in her blood.
The number 828 cropped up again, but it really just seems to be an Easter egg for eagle-eyed fans rather than a pertinent plot point. While the show has the makings of the kind of project fans could comb through every scene for clues to what happened, it’s hard to imagine that the time on the clock when Michaela and Ben (Josh Dallas) were chasing the woman down in the mall is totally relevant to anything.
Who Is Isaiah and What Does He Know?
It seems pretty safe to assume we’re not done with him, and especially now that he’ll have to be released from police custody, which is good because we have lots of questions. He was identified as Isaiah, which if the Biblical undertones of the show are any indication, makes him a prophet of sorts. Isaiah was also notable for being one of the few prophets to speak of the wrath of God, which doesn’t bode well.
He made it clear that he knows Michaela and all of "the Chosen." He also said, "In this life I will serve my penance. When I die, I will return. I will be like you. I will be pure."
When Michaela insisted she wasn’t pure, Isaiah countered, "Because you haven’t unburdened yourself. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, nothing concealed that will not be illuminated. What have you concealed, Michaela? Even from yourself?"
What Happened in the Car with Evie?
This conversation led Michaela to reach out to Evie’s parents, who had shunned her at the wake for their daughter. Now, Evie’s mother, Beverly, is stricken with Alzheimer’s. But more importantly, an impromptu search for Beverly at her husband’s insistence set Michaela up for the biggest coincidence yet, as she uncovered the true killer of Kelly Taylor.
But before she got there, Michaela stepped back in time to begin to relive the night Evie died. We saw the two of them stepping out of a bar, and know they were there to celebrate something for Michaela, but it was Evie who was clearly impaired. Michaela seemed mostly okay, but was reluctant to drive, preparing to call an Uber.
Evie forced the issue and that’s where the flashback ended, with Michaela getting behind the wheel. She hadn’t driven since then, consumed by anxiety and fear, until she stepped out to try and find Beverly.
Why Are Ben and Michaela Sharing Visions with Other Passengers?
The ultimate reveal of Kelly’s killer was a bit of a letdown as we were led to believe it might be part of some larger conspiracy or supernatural occurrence. Instead, it was the maid, driven crazy with jealousy that Kelly had returned. It was a rather anticlimactic end to the investigation, uncovered only by coincidence when Michaela caused her to crash in order to save Beverly’s life.
But the only reason Michaela even got involved in the case was because she also felt a connection to the phrase Kelly kept saying on television, "Own My Truth." Michaela wrote it as "Own Your Truth" on the refrigerator, which begs the question, why are she and Ben sharing other people’s missions?
First, they shared the same one with "Set Them Free," ultimately freeing the missing girls. Then, Ben heard the same music that helped him set free an innocent kid falsely accused of cleaning out the jewelry store he worked at last week. This week, it was Michaela’s turn to share that phrase with Kelly so she could be drawn into the investigation, meet Isaiah, go to Beverly’s and through trying to find her later, solve the murder case.
Are Ben and Michaela special in some way? Everyone else seems to be solely pursuing their own missions based on their visions or voices or music or whatever. So what is the difference, other than these two being our gateway into the show? Do they hold a more significant role in whatever happened to the passengers? Are they designated helpers to help the others fulfill whatever their visions are.
What was Kelly Taylor’s Calling Really?
While we’re on the subject of callings, did Kelly ever figure hers out? She owned her truth by speaking out against the government on television, which seemed to earn her government surveillance at home — or at least more than everyone else is already probably getting.
She also began to dismantle her husband’s illegal slumlord operations, which temporarily made him a suspect in her death. Did she die before fulfilling whatever "Own My Truth" truly meant to her? And if so, does that mess up some larger plan? So far, all of these visions and messages have been about accomplishing very small things, saving two women, freeing an innocent boy.
Is that the point of this, then? Abduct a plane full of people so they can go back to Earth five-and-a-half years later and help a few people here and there? Seems like a lot of work for very little payout. Or perhaps this is just the opening salvo, a test of their willingness to follow the voices and visions for the greater good. See if they are ready to be the "Saviors" Isaiah insists they are before taxing them with bigger tasks.
And if the current pattern continues. Michaela and Ben will have a much larger role to play than many of the others, making it seem like they’re being set up more as generals in this, aiding their foot soldiers in various individual missions.
Did the Passengers All Have Near-Death Experiences?
We think we saw what happened to the passengers when they endured hellacious turbulence briefly, but clearly that’s not all that happened. Unless the turbulence was them jumping forward in time instantaneously, something more happened in those intervening years.
If the marker Saanvi found first in Cal’s blood and then in her own is any indication, they may have all suffered a near-death experience. Now, this could suggest that they were held in a state of suspended animation near death. It could possibly explain how they didn’t age, if we suspend some of our disbelief. Maybe it’s the only way to survive the jump in time.
But then the question has to be asked, who was behind this? Was it some alien entity? An earthly agency that could somehow pluck a plane out of the sky and either remove it for five years or shuttle it through time. And why five-and-a-half years? And what else might be different in their bodies? Could this marker in the blood explain their heightened sensitivity to visions and voices and sounds?
What’s Going to Happen with Danny?
On a totally smaller note, we can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen with Danny. Clearly this is someone who is close to Grace’s (Athena Karkanis) friend Rob, from work, so he’s not someone likely just to disappear from the show. Plus, we’re not totally buying it when she tells Ben he’s the one she loves.
She never said she didn’t love Danny, and based on Olive’s (Luna Blaise) reactions in earlier episodes and the text messages she’s been receiving, she and Danny were pretty serious. So he’s not likely to just give up and walk away. Burying her head in the sand and reluctantly trying to just re-embrace her marriage just isn’t going to work.
More than likely, Danny will come back and confront her and possibly even confront Ben. If he’s a jerk, he’ll yell at Ben as if Ben has done something wrong here. If he’s not a total jerk, he’ll understand that Ben is innocent here, but might still try to explain that Grace has fallen in love with him. Ben was gone a long time, after all. It’s reasonable she’d develop feelings. Hell, Jared (J.R. Ramirez) got remarried.
Will Jared Face Professional Repercussions?
NSA Director Vance (Daryl Edwards) basically threatened Jared this week. Vance is very interested in what Michaela’s doing, and will be even moreso now that she’s solved another case through fortuitous coincidence. And so, he quite plainly tells Jared that he expects him to spy on his former fiancee for the NSA.
"You’ll be serving your country, and saving your job," he said menacingly. And yet, at the end of the episode, we see Jared tear Vance’s card up. This was even after he tried to get information out of Michaela and totally had us going for a minute that he was gonna turn snake on her.
But now that he’s not playing ball, how far is Vance willing to go to try and get what he wants? Will he try and ruin Jared’s career? Will he find some other way to try and threaten him into compliance? And will he, perhaps, approach other people in Michaela’s and Ben’s lives for surveillance.
This also lends credence to our theory that Michaela and Ben are somehow special among all of the other passengers. Or perhaps it is Cal who is truly special and they only gained their heightened connection to the voices/visions/et al because of their proximity to him on the plane.
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