As Manifest headed into the midseason break, the heroes made a bold move — one that led to a loss of one life, and a drastic change for another.
Having pinned down the location of the Red Hook warehouse where the missing passengers are being kept, Ben is ready to storm the castle, but Vance convinces him to hold off and instead delve more into Singularity Project boss man Belson. Shortly after Ben returns home (where Grace and the kids are planning a surprise BBQ), his shooting hoops with Cal is busted up by the arrival of Autumn Cox, one of the missing passengers. Looking bedraggled and with electroshock shock burns on her temples, she explains that she managed to escape during a transport.
Bringing Autumn to their boiler room hideout, Ben decides to bring Vance fully into the fold, despite Saanvi’s protests. When Vance arrives, Ben comes clean about the callings/messages/impulses that the Flight 828 crowd receive/share. And now, Ben makes clear, Cal is suffering the pain being inflicted on one of the missing passengers. Meanwhile, Belson is seen guiding the “Major” via video-conference through Phase 2 of the Mirror Factor test protocol, showing how the pain applied to one subject is felt by two others. At the Major’s urging, Belson cranks the machine up to 80 percent, which results in all of the subjects being agonized, as well as Cal, Ben, Saanvi and Mick, remotely! Witnessing this, Vance agrees to organize a tactical unit — and lets a persistent Ben and Fiona tag along.
Arriving at the warehouse (with Jared tagging along as well), Vance & Co. storm the place… but find nothing. It’s empty. Just then, Cal pops up, having used a crayon drawing of the building to lead him there. When Cal insists, “They’re still here,” jutting his finger at a spot on his drawing between two trees, Vance begrudgingly indulges the lad… and finds a hidden entrance to a coal cellar. Entering it with the tac unit, a shootout with lab guards ensues, leading Belson to order “erasure protocol” and for the subjects to be “neutralized” through massive jolts. Ben and the others manage to remove the leads from the subjects temples, eliminating the “group pain sensation.” Afterward, Ben leads Fiona and the patients out of the maze-like cellar by way of pathway lighting only he can see.
Vance and Jared, however, are with Belson and the other half of the group when the place goes boom, as Michaela watches in horror from outside. Once the dust clears, she insists on going back in, while Ben gets Cal home. Inside, she finds an unconscious/wounded Jared, whom she gets to a hospital. There, after learning that Vance died from his own injuries — supporting the theory that knowing about the callings equals death for regular folk — she “prays” to the source of the calling to spare Jared, sobbing, “I can’t lose him!” Jared later awakes, holds Mick’s hand, and asks her to stay with him.
Things are far less cozy for Ben and Grace. After Cal’s disappeared, to find his father at the site of a shootout and explosions, Mom has had her fill. With Olive overhearing, Grace explains that she thought they could pick up where they left off, that she could forget the past five years, but Ben is not the same person. Ben understands and agrees to move out, but asks to bring Cal with him. Oh hell no, Grace responds! So he bids farewell to both Olive and Ben, before meeting up with Michaela at the boiler room, where she reveals how she used the calling to save Jared. Autumn shows up to express her condolences about Vance and thank the gang again. But after they each peel away, she discreetly slips a burner phone out of her sock and texts someone: “Now what?” And in flashbacks, we see that Belson tasked the crafty former felon with infiltrating Team Stone and learning what all Ben is up to….
Manifest resumes its 16-episode season on Jan. 7.