Manifest Season 2 Episode 4 Review: Black Box

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A life and death situation brought Mic and Zeke together, romantically this time, while another 828'er got the "death date" Calling and failed to make sense of it.

Much of Manifest Season 2 Episode 4 centered around Logan's bank robbery as the fellow passenger risked his life (plus the lives of many others) to desperately get to his brother's safe to retrieve a compass that he believed would keep him safe. 

Mic and Zeke both ended up at the bank mere minutes before the robbery as they both shared yet another joint Calling.

Bank Robbery in Progress Tall - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

However, this was the first time another passenger had a Calling connected to Mic and Zeke's. While they were told to "bring him back," TJ saw an emblem of a bug, a bird, a fish, and a tiger that Olive quickly identified as the Grammercy Club, a members-only athletic club in the city

Look at Olive being useful with the Callings! 

I had another Calling. What do you know about a bug, a bird, a fish, and a tiger?

TJ

What does it mean that other passengers are now getting Callings related to the Stone family?

TJ's Calling was crucial in helping Zeke and Mic thwart the robbery because it led him and Ben to Frank Strickland, Logan's brother, who was also the only person with the key to the safe coincidentally numbered #6224.

Talk Him Down - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

Oh, who am I kidding, there are no coincidences on this show!

Frank was what we'd call a non-believer. He didn't believe that Logan was really his brother because his brother died in the plane crash and whoever this was had to be some imposter.

It was a lie he was telling himself so that he wouldn't have to face the terrifying truth that something unexplainable happened to his brother.

Finding Her Place - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

Acknowledging that his brother existed also meant acknowledging that the "visions" he was having about a death date were true.

It's all connected was a Calling early on in Manifest Season 1, and I'm surprised it didn't come into play here because after Logan got the compass, he handed it over to Mic. Upon closer inspection, she realized there's a peacock design on the back of it.

Bartender: Just ask me out for dinner already.
Jared: I would, honestly, but I just got out of something. Two something’s, actually. Not really ready for another something.
Bartender: Then maybe we just skip the dinner.

As mentioned in my review of Manifest Season 2 Episode 3, there was plenty of mythology that was introduced in Manifest Season 1 that seemed to tease the "death date,"

Looking for Clues - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

One of those symbols was the peacock, which represents many things including "protection, watchfulness, immortality." Peacocks can also "absorb energies while protecting those who wear them."

It's unclear how this compass is going to come into play or "help them" beat the death date, but there's no denying that the Callings wanted them to find it. 

Mic calls it the "first step in figuring out how we survive," which also means we're progressing towards some real answers. 

I've Got This Handled - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

The death date was also brought up to Adrian, the leader of the Church of the Believers, but when Olive mentioned it, he didn't seem too concerned. Instead, he offered up the usual rhetoric of "if we believe, we'll be saved again."

It's normal, human even, to want to believe in some higher power, but wouldn't someone want to know why they were saved in the first place? If my return comes with an expiration date, I'd like to know what I was sent back to accomplish in the first place. 

Returning from the dead doesn't just happen on a daily basis, and when it does, there's a reason.

TJ also found out about the death date and was not pleased with Ben for keeping him in the dark.

However, Ben never promised to keep TJ informed or tell him the whole truth. He likely didn't say anything because he's still not sure what the death date means and didn't want to alarm a teenager with the fact that he might have five years left to live.

He probably didn't want TJ to go off and do something stupid like go to the Church of Believers with Olive.

Olive, whose massive crush on TJ was revealed in flashbacks, thought it was a good idea to take TJ to the church, which will likely mean even more trouble for the passengers.

Olive and TJ may be similar in age now but if the passengers would have aged normally, then there'd still be a huge age gap between them. It doesn't seem like that'll go over well with Ben.

Solve the Mystery - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

While Ben was off dealing with a Calling, Saanvi and Vance were working The Major.

Well, actually, The Major was working them while they were working her.

But alas, Vance and Saanvi couldn't pull one over on her because she was one step ahead of them again. She effortlessly picked up on Saanvi's "lying" tick of playing with an apple during her session.

Honestly, Vance's decision to allow Saanvi to go in with the apple in the first place was questionable as it was a dead giveaway to being a prop since she's never had one in session before.

Saanvi thought she was being slick by moving her whole lab with rat test subjects into her closet, but it was actually incredibly stupid.

Dream Team - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

Finding her address wasn't difficult, and the moment The Major suspected that Saanvi was onto her, she had her people ransack Saanvi's place and grab all of her research. 

Now, The Major has too much information about the 828 anomalies including "how to isolate it, eliminate it, and replicate it."

I had another Calling. What do you know about a bug, a bird, a fish, and a tiger?

In other words, this is a no good, very bad situation for the passengers and Vance, but it's a blessing for us because, again, it means we'll finally get some answers as to what The Major plans on doing with the research and why she wants the Holy Grail.

Also, leaving behind an apple to reveal that it led to her figuring it out was a nice touch. 

Continuity was sorely lacking as we barely got any mention of Erika, the woman Grace's Calling was about and the wife of Ben's new boss. 

TJ  - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

Why are they keeping tabs on Ben and Grace? Is it because they think the unborn baby is the Holy Grail?

And is it possible that their daughter is the blonde girl that befriended Grace and lured her into joining the church?

Aside from the edge-of-your-seat suspense that came with the joint Callings, there was also no follow up on Saanvi's ex, Alex.

Ben: We’re going to do this Mic. I don’t know how, but we’re going to crack it. Together.
Mic: Yeah, yeah we are.

Since they brought him up in therapy and Saanvi made it clear she never got any closure and wanted to reach out to him, I think Alex will come into play sooner rather than later.

On the relationship front, Mic and Zeke finally gave into temptation following their life or death situation.

Side-by-Side - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

She also got some good advice from Evie's mother (while she remembered who she was) who told her to let go and be happy even if it's for a little while. 

Mic explained that she's been holding back because Zeke's death date is coming up a lot sooner than hers and she's scared to open up and lose him, but the advice paired with being in danger helped her realize that she has to make the most of her time with him. 

Zeke cares about Mic a lot as we saw him worry about her during the robbery and refused to leave her side. 

Jared seemed to realize that things between Mic and Zeke were heating up and decided to pursue the bartender from his local bar.

The Dream Team - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

If Mic is moving on, Jared also needs to, but what will his purpose be going forward when he's no longer pining for his ex?

Will he just be the friend at work that she needs at work to support her when a Calling affects her case?

We kind of saw that happen in this episode as it was the first time Jared had her back and trusted her to handle herself properly.

Plus, it looks like he's beginning to see that it's not a coincidence that she always ends up in situations involving the passengers.

Part of the Group  - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

Will he stop being so obsessed and realize that Mic's been telling the truth about the Callings?

Or will the tables turn and this time, Mic will get jealous when she realizes Jared's moved on?

Other Manifest Musings

  • Troy is a good guy after all. And sadly, an innocent victim that was at the wrong place at the wrong time. 
  • The compass dates back to Logan's grandfather's platoon during the Normandy invasion. Could the Callings also have a historical connection?
  • Ben recording a video for Olive's wedding day because he felt hopeless without any new insight into the Callings broke my heart.
Bring Him Back - Manifest Season 2 Episode 4

For an episode titled "Black Box," it was extremely disappointing not to get any insight about what happened to them on the plane or any insight from the actual black box. 

My off-the-wall theory is that they're supposed to save passengers from another plane crash, possibly a future flight that Zeke is on, which is why Mic keeps having Callings of a crashing plane. 

What are your theories about Manifest?

Share them with us and let us know your thoughts on the episode in the comments section! 

Be sure to watch Manifest online now! 

Black Box Review

Editor Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (24 Votes)

Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.

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Manifest Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

I had another Calling. What do you know about a bug, a bird, a fish, and a tiger?

TJ

Bartender: Just ask me out for dinner already.
Jared: I would, honestly, but I just got out of something. Two something’s, actually. Not really ready for another something.
Bartender: Then maybe we just skip the dinner.