This first season of Manifest is doing a lot of things right; the slow dispersal of information about the plane, the mystery about what happened – is it aliens or something else? It’s firing on so many cylinders it’s hard to remember it’s so early in its run. But at the same time, there’s some things that are lacking. The balance between the family drama and the Flight 828 mystery is not in quite the right place yet. I feel like I either need four more episodes like “Connecting Flights” in a row, or I need four in a row that deal exclusively with the mysteries of the plane.
The main thrust of “Connecting Flights” is getting a little more back story about those of our heroes who weren’t actually on Flight 828 and the fallout when their loved ones don’t make it back home. We see how Jared and Lourdes fell in love, how Grace met Danny and we got some shading on Ben and Michaela’s mother which was very needed.
In the present day the focus is mostly on Ben and his total disinterest in whatever powers he and Michaela have gotten from the flight. Look…this is my biggest issue with this show and every show like this. I would lose my left leg if it meant I had some kind of powers and yet every single character like Ben on any show considers it such a burden. Even Michaela is using her powers. They might be messing up her life and her relationship with Jared, but she’s using the hell out of them because they’re helping people.
Ben on the other hand is washing his hands of Thomas, a gay man seeking asylum in America because of persecution back in Jamaica btw. He wants nothing further to do with Thomas or Bethany and he says as much. Then he spends the whole day with Cal trying to ignore the voice in his head that keeps saying “it’s all connected.” As you can imagine, ignoring the voice does not go well. He and Cal are in the midst of a fun day of letting fate decide what they’re doing when Cal decides to run amok through closed subway stations and air vents. Some crazy how Ben is able to fit into all the same places as Cal and before you know it they’re back in the room where they’re hiding Thomas!
In the meantime Bethany has been working out a place to take Thomas and decides on a cabin that a friend of hers owns. Before she can get back to pick him up she’s apprehended by Agent Vance. Luckily her wife shows up to take Thomas to the cabin and Bethany is able to resist all of Vance’s deals. This leads me to one of the other missteps the show is making. I definitely think there would be investigations surrounding Flight 828, my issue is that Agent Vance seems to be taking it WAY too seriously. I definitely don’t believe there might be other governments involved in whatever happened to the flight so it makes me feel like Vance is verging on obsession.
On the Grace side of things we get to really dig into her meeting Danny and him becoming part of the family. They met at a support group for people whose spouses have died and they quickly become enmeshed in one another’s lives. This was so important for me because it really showed how they complimented each other and how Danny was a father to Olive and support for Grace. It also made me feel very conflicted about Ben and Grace’s situation now. I’m not sure which team I’m on anymore!
Similarly, with Michaela’s story, it’s hard to be angry with Jared and Lourdes. They quite clearly found comfort in each other when Michaela was presumed dead and that blossomed into a real relationship and what seems to be a loving marriage. The fact that it was also blessed by Michaela’s mother lends the relationship legitimacy as well in a way that doesn’t feel forced. What I don’t love is Michaela’s father telling her to basically wreck a marriage because she’s still in love with Jared. It’s not Jared and Lourdes’ fault that it’s only been a week for Michaela since Jared was in love with her!
In any case, I do think this episode went a long way to getting us as viewers deeper into the emotional spaces of everyone who wasn’t on Flight 828 while still moving the mystery forward with Cal. It turns out he might have been the only one awake on the plane when whatever happened happened. All we see is a bright white light with Cal peeping under the window screen!
Would you ignore the voices in your head?
If you ignored the voices in your head what do you think the consequences would be?
How dire would the consequences need to be for you to start heeding the voices in your head?
NOW THAT THE OFFICIAL MANIFEST REVIEW IS OUT OF THE WAY, FOLLOW MY STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS BULLET POINTS BELOW!
- Back to the flight with the rest of the Stone family
- Ben’s’ mom is kind of overstepping in her relationship with Grace maybe?
- I guess Grace seems to be fine with it though.
- Jared…It’s not that she didn’t want to come back…it’s that she wanted more time and $400
- Ben! Stop being a dick about Thomas!
- Also start accepting your powers or it’s going to get a lot worse!
- “It’s all connected”
- I definitely get it but also Vance is WAY too intense about this. There’s no way one Jamaican guy is a matter of national security.
- I’m actually pumped for this Danny origin story!
- Boy that’s a pretty harsh wakeup call about your parenting Grace
- Oh shit…is Danny in this support group?!
- This is actually the best meet cute – I’m definitely conflicted!
- Cotton Candy is just sugar Ben…it’s not that hard
- I told you Ben! You can’t ignore mystical voices in your head!
- It only just occurred to me that potentially Michaela and Jared should not be working at the same precinct after all this?
- Lou is a cute nickname for Lourdes
- I’M VERY CONFLICTED ABOUT ALL THE RELATIONSHIPS NOW!
- It just makes so much sense how the ones left behind got together.
- Also 2 years after a plane disappearance is definitely enough time to move on.
- What is Cal up to here?
- Hahah Cal! What the fuck?!
- Bethany’s a lesbian! I love how they’re just dropping info like that. It’s so fun!
- Cal has officially gone too far and I also don’t know how Josh Dallas caught up with him through that chained gate.
- I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO FIND THOMAS!
- More Thomas!
- That is the largest carry out pizza I’ve ever seen
- I mean I appreciate the dad’s sentiment, but also You can’t just upend someone else’s life just because you still want them.
- Vance…I don’t think Bethany is interested in your deals
- Jesus…it’s only been 10 days
- 10 days pay is not that bad a punishment
- Oh it’s Vance up to something
- Cal’s going to start coming in handy I think
- Bethany’s wife is ride or die and I love it!
- All the flashbacks in this episode were so on point
- Man…Poor Danny
- I like that Grace is cool with Danny still but I don’t think Ben’s going to be as chill about it
- I’m glad you’re all on board now Ben, but also this is a crazy serial killer board and I’m pretty sure Grace uses the garage still…
- Oh man…is it aliens? I would love if it were aliens