Manifest: Season 1 Discussion
November 7, 2018 6:45 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

After a turbulent, but routine, flight the passengers and crew discover the world has aged five years, yet no time has passed for them, and soon a deeper mystery unfolds.

Since there's not enough interests for single episode posts I'll keep this one going as I watch.
posted by numaner (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm up through episode 6

It was hard to watch little Cal struggle and almost dying. But now we have a new angle to all this with this UDS group. Not a whole lot happened this episode but I'm glad Grace and Jared are being brought into the fold. I'm also glad they're showing Vance as on the up and up.
posted by numaner at 7:42 PM on November 7, 2018

Could this be a total spoilers thread? I've seen just a bit of a couple episodes and it seems more late afternoon soap melodrama than science fiction. Seems like something I could get into but just have not. And the lead playing Prince Charming recently it also feels like an odd spinoff.
posted by sammyo at 8:12 PM on November 7, 2018

I couldn't get past the first episode but I'd love spoilers!
posted by mochapickle at 8:15 PM on November 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sure! Go nuts with the spoilers! I think full season discussions are just for exactly that.

Here's Den of Geek's recap/review list

If you don't wanna read all that I'll type a quick summary too.
posted by numaner at 9:54 PM on November 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

To summarize so far if you're like 2 episodes in:

- Michaela had a vision during a stakeout with Jared and misread it (it was a stone statue telling her to "save him"), causing the cops to rush in and blow an undercover sting operation. Jared took full responsibility to spare Michaela. NSA agent Vance stepped in and prevented Jared from getting fired as leverage to get him to spy on Michaela. Michaela recently fessed up to him about the visions and "the calling" because she needed his help (more on that soon), but it remains to be seen if Jared will tell Vance.

- Cal got sick in episode 6, and it turns out it's because he's psychically channeling one of the passengers named Marko, a Bulgarian who doesn't speak much English (so one of the clues was that Cal kept repeating Bulgarian phrases in night terrors and fever dreams). Marko is one of 11 passengers that never made it to the shelters after the plane landed. They are shown being experimented on, with Marko going under electroshock tests, thus giving Cal the same pain and fever. Michaela and Ben discovered that the bus they were on took them to a farm in upstate New York. The bus and the farm are owned by a company called United Dynamic Systems, a conglomerate that is very powerful. But Ben thinks the government is involved and confronts Vance and gives them the info about the farm. This tipped the NSA off that the other agencies are not cooperating, especially after DHS gives them made up reports about the missing passengers. But UDS found out somehow that the NSA is on to them and moved the passengers before Vance got there, but he found a swab on the ground that was left behind.

- During all this, Ben finally tells Grace about the calling, but she's super skeptical, and also accuses Saanvi of encouraging the craziness. Grace wanted the doctors to put Cal on antibiotics because it's the next step to treating the unknown fever, but Ben and Saanvi convinces her and Cal's doctor, Dr. Williams, to wait for real answers, because the antibiotics will disqualify Cal from the special cancer treatment that Saanvi is giving him. When UDS unplugged Marko to move the passengers, Cal recovered, proving that Ben was right.

- In previous episodes we also learned about Danny, Grace's boyfriend that was with her for about 3 years. He had grown to be important to Olive, who considers him her dad while Ben was gone. He was with them up until the day flight 828 reappeared. Grace has chosen Ben, but Ben is considering letting Danny be a part of Olive's life, at her request.

- Oh and Olive is dating Cal's best friend from before he disappeared. Cal wasn't happy about that but they worked it out. They still have a twin connection, I think.

- Michaela has reconnected with Lourdes, her best friend that Jared married after she disappeared. But it's painful for her to see things in their house that reminds her that it should've been her. This includes a crocheted throw that her mom made for Jared and Lourdes. She went to her dad for advice and her dad basically told her to fight for who she loves, and that he was against the marriage because he knew Jared wasn't over Michaela.

- The flight attendant, Bethany, was smuggling her cousin's boyfriend, Thomas, in the plane's cargo hold. He escaped when the plane landed and got put in the psychiatric wing of Saanvi's hospital. Saanvi helped Bethany get him out, and then Michaela and Ben helped hide him. Vance figures it out and arrested Bethany. Her wife, Georgia, took up her cause and helped moved Thomas to somewhere safe.

That's all the important pieces so far after episode 2
posted by numaner at 10:20 PM on November 7, 2018

Marko is one of 11 passengers that never made it to the shelters after the plane landed.

To expand slightly on this, those 11 were foreign nationals and people with no family or close friends, which is why UDS thought it could get away with taking them away to experiment on them. I'm not sure why they didn't think that, say, Bulgaria would just ignore the fact that one of its citizens was involved in the biggest mystery in the history of the world, but "I'm not sure why..." is more or less my Manifest-watching manifesto, so whatever.
posted by Etrigan at 10:30 AM on November 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

episode 7: S.N.A.F.U.

Dammit, I thought I was going to be fine, and then they drop the twist that Carlos has Evie's donated heart and Michaela's reaction made me tear up. It's such an emotional manipulation but it was damn effective. I thought the "calling" was just to get them to help people in general, but helping and saving those from the flight themselves has been unexpected and has the best payoffs. Although I think only that very first case was when the calling had Michaela and Ben saved someone not linked to the passengers.

The finance bro supervising Ben was a bit much, but it's a good trope to emphasize how overqualified Ben was for the job. I also enjoyed his little corporate espionage, although I thought that was a trumped up charge by Vance since the crime usually requires proof that you're harming the company. Ben was merely breaking company policies by going above his paygrade and that would just get him fired and/or sued.

Man, the father triangle is such good drama, but it's also so heartbreaking. I both want it to go away and longing for more scenes with it.
posted by numaner at 10:41 PM on November 15, 2018

episode 8: Point of No Return

The people dying because of being told about the calling is amusing paranoia that I have a hard time indulging. For most of this show so far everything has been operating within a believable scope as far as phenomenon genre stuff goes. That the calling would actually kill people who aren't supposed to know about it is kind of crazy, given that so far it's been helping people.

I also found Ben playing NSA spy to be quite a stretch. At least both Vance and Ben himself realizes how ridiculous it is and that he's just being reckless because Cal could be hurt any second; and true enough we see the danger at the end of the episode. Although I wonder how no one at the NSA has noticed what Vance and Ben have really been up to.

Dammit Michaela, you need to delete those photos already. I know it's hard, but it has to be done. You either fight for him or move on, girl, but you ain't got time for wavering. I was actually expecting Lourdes to be pregnant within the first 3 episodes, so kudos on the show for springing it on me when I least expect it.
posted by numaner at 10:28 PM on November 21, 2018

episode 9: Dead Reckoning

Sucks about Vance, but now I really wonder if Mick's belief is for real, but that means Grace is also in danger. Also is Laurence Belson alive? I think he's dead based on his IMDB credits.

I guess we all saw Ben and Grace splitting up coming, and I wonder if Danny will come back into the picture. I honestly don't know what's better, but it makes for good TV!

The twist with Autumn Cox was in the back of my mind, and I was hoping against it, but clearly they don't know who they're dealing with.
posted by numaner at 10:08 PM on December 1, 2018

episode 10: Crosswinds

Man this show really digs into some drama. The whole wrecking ball analogy was so on point. And then the juxtaposition of Mick giving in and sleeping with Jared vs Ben backing down against Danny was some great writing. What's really good about this set up is that there's no clear blame and you can sympathize with everyone. It's an impossible situation (a phrase I keep saying about this show) and you just wanna hold all their hands and tell them to trust their hearts and that someone's going to get hurt in all this.

It almost feels like a different show in terms of tone when you have the overall plot of Ben chasing down this Major. I got a bit of whiplash with Ben playing almost two separate people. I can see why some shows choose to do the plotty stuff in one episode and the slow emotional stuff in another.

The Autumn turning out to be a good person was also nice, but sucks that she's gonna get a "talking to" from the Major. And I hope Powell's not going to be in much trouble. Though I have to admit I'd forgotten his name since the mid-season break started.
posted by numaner at 2:27 PM on January 11, 2019

I was kind of amused by the voiceover-recap opening by Mick -- like, 'aww, Manifest, look at you hoping to bring in new viewers in the new year, you 6-season-plan-optimists.'

I liked that closing panning-down-from-room-to-room shot, really lovely.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:47 AM on January 12, 2019

episode 11: Contrails

I appreciated the conspiracy implications of the show's title and Captain Daly's conspiracy theory. I'm hoping they did actually go through time, but it seems like the show implies they did, with the wreckage not being found, even though the jet fighters reported that they shot him down.

I'm glad they're figuring Autumn out already instead of letting that drag on. I feel bad for her situation though, and I'm not sure how I would handle that either.
posted by numaner at 6:15 PM on February 3, 2019

episode 12: Vanishing Point

Ok, that's a pretty good twist, I did not see it coming about how the guy is connected to them.

So now we also know what the Major looks like, and... there's no other significance... like the reveal is just what she looks like. I'm not sure what the point of delaying showing us what she looks like. Sure it adds to the mystery or whatever, but we could've still had it knowing what she looks like.

I'm also glad that Grace is now in the loop and it looks like she and Ben finally got to the point that we knew they would, now we can focus more on the plot. Not that I don't like the drama, but I've seen it before.
posted by numaner at 7:07 PM on February 3, 2019

episode 13: Cleared for Approach

Geez, Ben, you know better than to go confront some asshole who has his own show. At least he's back with the family now... that last scene where Grace helps him clean the door was sweet.

I feel like they're setting up Zeke as Mick's new love interest. He even looks like a whiter version of Jared! The sister stuff was very touching though. I was ready to dismiss Zeke as some sort of fake, but I remembered that these callings wouldn't happen unless it's a genuine situation, so Cal's "rescue" of Zeke means he matters somehow. And the idea of that "black lightning" reproducing the same timewarp for Zeke in a cave is not too out of the question. I'm just wondering how this all ties together.
posted by numaner at 10:59 PM on February 10, 2019

episode 14: Upgrade

Sooo the bits about that armored car heist is finally relevant. I knew it wasn't just a random news segment on the radio!

The callings can be very specific and very vague at the same time, and this wolf thing was definitely like that. I wouldn't have expected it to mean a grizzly almost dead thief.

OMG Jared, Lourdes just left. Good god man.

Wow that church of the returned is super creepy and terrible; it's not hard to imagine the allegory of Alice to what religious people in the real world could do. I don't even know what else I could say as Ben to argue against Adrian. The only thing he can do is hope to solve this mystery and show Adrian that it's not the miracle he was preaching.
posted by numaner at 11:04 PM on February 10, 2019

episode 15: Hard Landing

I thought it was a leap for Michaela to connect with Griffin based on the mutual guilt over being responsible for a death of someone close, and I'm glad the show sees that, with Griffin refusing to cave.

I share the same dread that Saanvi has, that whatever this is it might not be a good thing, if someone like Griffin could also get it.

I'm enjoying the whole Stone family helping out with callings now, a real family affair. I understand it took a while to get there, but that was reasonable.
posted by numaner at 12:57 PM on March 22, 2019

Well, this is a surprise to me, I'd been under the impression that the S1 ratings were kinda lousy - Manifest Renewed for Season 2 at NBC

I still doubt the show will go the full 6 seasons the producers have in mind, but, I'll stick with it for another season.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:28 PM on April 15, 2019

I just finished Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix, and I have to say it was profoundly more entertaining after mentally recasting the roles of Ben and Mick with Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
posted by emelenjr at 9:08 AM on August 3, 2021

I’ve finished Season 1 and am halfway through Season 2 on Netflix via Xbox and have discovered it’s a very smooth experience. No commercials, the episodes stream one after another, no credits to interrupt the flow and it’s easy to fast forward through the repetitive angst-y scenes (love triangles, love quadrangles, teenage drama and the always popular “hiding information to protect someone”). Figuring out the meanings of the callings is interesting and the targeted villains get speedily dispatched after several episodes and a new one pops up (except the Major who has faded into the background for the moment).

Ben is now back at his teaching job but like Grace and her catering business and Michaela and her cop job, no one ever actually works except for Saanvi and her medical research. It’s possible I’ve fast-forwarded too much, was there any blowback from the med tech being found murdered in Saanvi’s lab?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:59 AM on September 26, 2021

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