NBC’s Manifest in Week 2 found the Flight 828 passengers continuing to pick up the pieces after their inexplicable absence — while also giving form to some… thing… that seems to be haunting them.
In the wake of the explosion of the actual aircraft that had dropped them off five-and-a-half years into the future, the 20 passengers that gravitated to the tarmac that night were detained and questioned by NSA Direct Vance and his agents — until Michaela played the cop card and got them all dismissed.
Michaela went to resume her job at the NYPD, only to learn that she’d have to jump through some hoops first, including a psych eval. The shrink notes that Michaela’s world was actually turned upside-down five months before the fateful trip to Jamaica; Mick acknowledges the death of her friend Evie (“We had a car accident”), and though she seemed at fault, she was exonerated.
Ben meanwhile starts to hear music in his head, and that leads him to run into Radd, a violinist/fellow passenger who was in Jamaica to play with the Philharmonic. Prior to the short trip, Radd had left his 13-year-old son with a neighbor; when he returned, Adio, now 18, had just landed behind bars for the robbery of the jewelry store where he worked. Ben has Mick pulls some strings to get Radd in to visit his son, who is freshly bruised from a prison beating.
When not getting his second cancer treatment from Saanvi (or being approached by a stranger on the street who declares, “He is risen!. He is not here, he is risen!”), Cal spends much of the episode griping about Grace being unable to replicate the exact same LEGO set he played with before vanishing. Olive eventually takes her dad for a drive to a storage unit. There, she reveals that Grace one day decided to pack up the untouched “sad museum” that Cal’s bedroom had become — but Olive intercepted the boxes and hid them away in the unit, having always “felt” that her twin was still alive. Ben, having just spotted an odd scuba diving scar on Grace’s back, sees scuba gear inside the locker, which Oliver reveals belongs to, um, a “friend of Mom’s.”
That impact of the disclosure is interrupted by Ben hearing the music again, and running down the hall to find its source. The music transforms into the ring of the cell phone belonging to a young man standing inside a unit loaded with the stolen jewelry store goods. It’s the store owner’s son, who figured Aido was an easy patsy. Ben clocks the dude, who later gets hauled away by the cops for that robbery and many others.
This latest “coincidence” feeds another mini-debate between Ben and Michaela about the series of “miracles” and whether God has a hand in what they experienced and continue to experience. Ben, though, as a scientist wants to gather more information.
Having creeped her own Facebook memorial page to see the many, many sad messages left by Lourdes over the years — including one expressing her hope that Mick blesses her engagement to Jared — Michaela reconnects with her onetime BFF. Michaela tries to own the awkwardness between them, contending that she is the one “out of place” in this triangle, but Lourdes won’t let her shoulder the blame. When Lourdes admits that she has felt like “a fraud” as Jared’s second choice, Michaela fibs that she was going to return his ring anyway, upon coming home from Jamaica.
As Episode 2 winds down, Michaela gets from the shrink a “conditional reinstatement” — and as a detective, no less (thanks, posthumous promotion!). Ben meanwhile tells Grace that it doesn’t matter how (or from whom) she got the strength to raise a teenage girl by herself, but that they do now have a “second chance,” so he beseeches her to remember loving him. (And judging by the mutual striptease that follows, some “remembering” is about to happen!)
Meanwhile, we see that a lady passenger who ignored the NSA directive and went on TV to share conspiracy theories about Flight 828 has been followed home by a… shadowy something that looks like the smudged figure that Cal worked into a drawing of his family. As the woman proudly watches her news appearance on the TV, a shot rings out and her blood splatters across the screen.
What did you think of Manifest Episode 2? Still watching?