What. Just. Happened?
Before I even kick off my review for Manifest Season 2 Episode 13, let me just say, if the series doesn't get renewed, I will be incredibly upset that we never found out what happened to Flight 828.
I had high hopes for the season finale and for the most part, it delivered, but it didn't come through on giving answers to the mysteries plaguing the series. (You can see all the questions I wanted to be addressed here.)
The finale should have given us some kind of closure to at least a few mysteries, but much like the rest of the season, Manifest left us with more questions than answers.
Way too much time was spent on the search for Cal and the Stone family blaming Mic for his kidnapping.
Ben and Grace were mad and thought Mic messed up by ignoring the Callings, which was understandable, but there didn't need to be multiple fights about it.
Mic was the reason Cal was kidnapped, but it wasn't like she wanted this outcome or even thought it would happen when she defied the Calling.
She was also beating herself up over it because she loves Cal as much as they do. She even ditched her honeymoon and traded in the last moments she could have spent with her dying husband to make things right and bring Cal to safety.
Let's give her a little bit of credit.
Ben blamed Mic for not following the Callings blindly, which wasn't fair. He's had his fair share of hypocritical moments, but this one takes the cake.
At some point this season, they've all questioned the validity of the Callings and whether or not they were a force for good or evil.
Mic's decision to follow her gut for once instead of relying on some weird voice in her heard wasn't entirely surprising. She's a good cop who wasn't willing to let a criminal go and do something that she doesn't agree with.
Too much time was also wasted on them trying to find Cal instead of giving the audience what they wanted -- answers. Did I mention we wanted answers? Because we did.
Mic thought she could handle saving Cal all on her own, but she should know by now that these things are always a team effort.
Zeke and Olive were instrumental in locating Cal, and the callbacks served as a reminder of their close friendships.
Zeke's Calling to save Cal sweetly paralleled Cal's Calling to save Zeke in the snowy, cold cabin on Manifest Season 1.
Unfortunately, before we got to that promising rescue mission, we had to go through the first (and rather pointless and time-consuming) attempt, which found Mic and the dealers arranging a meet-up for the transaction -- they get the meth, she gets Cal.
There was no doubt that the very public meeting place was going to cause some trouble, and the culprit was a pesky "good samaritan" who wouldn't back down even when Mic told her she was undercover.
She ignored Mic's instructions to walk away and thus, botched the operation and got Chief Bowers involved. I've never wanted to punch anyone more in my life.
Mic didn't deserve this outcome, but the dealers did for their mediocre plan. How could they not realize it would be kind of difficult to leave a big 'ole duffel bag in the middle of a bustling area without anyone noticing.
Major: Saanvi? To what do I owe this surprise?
Saanvi: You have something I want.
However, this seemed to be what the Callings wanted to happen. Let's say it was "written in the stars."
Even before the attempted exchange, Zeke got visions of his "death," which we assumed were from his first death, but eventually figured out that it was a glimpse into the future from a Calling that would lead him to Cal.
If the Callings wanted Zeke to fulfill his duty and beat the death date this whole time, then it goes to stand that even Mic's decision to ignore the "let him go" Calling wasn't of her own free will. Everything has been predetermined including Cal's kidnapping and rescue.
Just imagine how much easier everything would be if the Callings were clearer about their intentions and warnings.
Zeke cheated the death date, which was great. but it felt a bit cheesy. It was almost too simple and too good to be true.
Saanvi: I have more than enough proof to go public.
The Major: Careful, Saanvi. Those are the kinds of threats that get people killed.
I expected him to survive, but in a way that allowed us to understand the death date a little better. Seeing him freeze to death and then resurrect like a Phoenix (it's the perfect metaphor) in a glow of light gave us no explanation and no other insight into the purpose of the death date or the Callings.
Why are they supposed to follow them? Why are they the chosen ones? Why did he get brought back to life?
Is the glow that they saw here and deemed a "miracle" the same glow Cal saw on 828? Was Adrian right about the miracle of Flight 828 all along?
Did Zeke truly beat the death date or did he simply extend his life by several months? Is he stuck in a continuous loop? And why did he return immediately?
While these were all questions that drove the audience mad, Mic didn't seem to care because for now, she had her husband back.
Olive also played an integral part in "Operation Save Cal" because she figured out his text message clue, but really, Cal saved himself. He's brilliant for his age.
Not many kids would use a criminal's soft spot against him to send a text to his sister with a hint as to where he was being held captive.
Saving Cal was a race against the clock much like Zeke's death date.
The dealers were getting spooked because a manhunt was underway, so Chase wanted them to slit Cal's throat and run. It's unclear why Chase kept resorting to violence and extreme ideas, just like it's unclear why the other two goons were so afraid of him, but I'm glad one of them had a soul and set Cal free.
Cal escaped moments before Mic and Ben reached the cabin, and a dramatic and tension-filled chase ensued through the woods.
Eventually, they all ended up in the middle of a frozen lake, which is the worst surface you ever want to put that much weight on.
It was obvious that the ice would crack and they'd fall in, but the lightning bolt was unexpected and random.
Ben, I’m sorry. What more do you want from me? I’m already dying inside.Mic
Was it the same dark lightning that has played a critical role in every single "rebirth" from the Al Zuras ship to 828 to Zeke?
They're all connected by the lightning, but why did it strike at that precise moment on the ice? Is it because Zeke fulfilled a Calling? Is it because Cal is a Holy Grail? Is that even a thing anymore?
Were they in the middle of an electrical storm? Did the towers that Zeke saw in his vision have something to do with it?
There's no insight given here, so we'll have to assume that the lightning brought everyone back to life including the three dealers who we believed drowned in the freezing water. After all, if they were following a Calling, they didn't fulfill it, which means they shouldn't have survived.
Ben: We don’t have a choice.
Mic: If we have zero control over what we do than what was the point of us coming back in the first place?
Mic sensed that the dealers knew something about the Callings and my theory that they're men from Al Zuras' ship still stands. All of this speculation leads me to my next point: what if surviving the death date means you'll never die? Could they be immortal beings who get stronger every time they die and resurrect?
I'm also even more convinced that they were following orders from The Major, who revealed to Saanvi that she wasn't looking for a cure for the DNA anomaly, but instead, trying to weaponize it and "spread it." The easiest way to spread something is through tainted drugs.
How closely did the cops observe the meth? Was it even meth or something that resembled it?
Saanvi got into a bit of a situation after her desperation got the best of her. She was so eager to eliminate the Callings that she made some missteps while ambushing The Major.
She used Vance to get close to her and then went rogue completely disregarding his advice of laying low and letting it play out.
She had tunnel vision -- she only wanted to help Zeke, but that came at a price because Vance's findings on The Major could have been able to help a lot more people or stopped her from executing her masterplan.
They won't even be able to stop it now because they have no leads.
Saanvi confronted The Major without much to offer and no upper hand; she couldn't even lie because The Major could read her like an open book. While I expected Saanvi to do something rash, I never expected her to murder The Major (presumably).
Can you say "whoops"? The woman had it coming -- she was a manipulative and evil character who preyed on innocent people and exploited them, but Saanvi didn't deserve the guilt of murder; it's not a good look on her.
Still, you have to hand it to Saanvi for finding a way to raise the stakes by making The Major feel like she was running out of time just like the passengers.
I can't be the only one who thinks it shouldn't have been that easy to kill The Major! She's The Major! And in a public park no less.
Wouldn't someone of her status have someone keeping an eye on her at all times?
Speaking of keeping an eye, I'm haunted by The Major saying she had the Stone family and Saanvi under surveillance.
It's one thing to have someone staking out the house, but it's another to be able to comment on what a "beautiful wedding" it was. Did The Major have someone on the inside as a mole?
Is it Drea?! It has to be Drea. I've had my suspicions about her since she was so eager to buddy up to Mic since day one. She could have been gathering intel for The Major, but at some point, she actually became friends with Mic, Jared, and the Stone family, which leaves her conflicted.
Grace: With all due respect, this is my son, and if you do anything to jeopardize him coming home to me safely, I swear to God, you’ll wish you didn’t wake up this morning.
Jared: Don’t look at me.
And now... for the most shocking part of the episode -- the Havana cliffhanger. This is the part of the episode that rattled me to my core and brought the underlying mystery of the series, which tends to get lost in these muddled storylines, back into focus.
A ship -- not the Al Zuras ship -- found the wing of Flight 828! The scene was intertwined with Ben's most vivid Calling yet of the plane exploding over the ocean.
For starters, I think one of the biggest clues is that the timeline is never specified. Is this the current timeline? A future timeline?
All we know is that one of the men seems to believe that this is "828" while another argues that "the plane came back." How is this possible if the passengers are very much alive?
Some theories below (and feel free to debunk these or add to them because honestly, I'm all types of confused):
Theory #1 - The government is still behind this.
We've away from the theory that the government played a role in what happened with 828, but what if they were testing some kind of time travel and something went terribly wrong.
Maybe they thought the plane disappeared and wasn't returning, so they dumped a "wing" from "the plane" into the ocean in hopes that someone would find it one day and it would look like an accident.
Five years passed and the plane landed, so they exploded the flight upon landing to cover their tracks, and then realized the passengers had "superpowers" that they wanted to weaponize instead.
Theory #2: There are two alternate universes/dimensions.
In both, 828 took flight, and it exploded in one while the other 828 plane landed in another dimension. Ben could be seeing Callings of a plane blowing up in an alternate dimension. It's far fetched, sure, but I won't rule it out.
Theory #3: Ben is supposed to prevent an explosion of a future Montego Bay flight.
But since the Callings are unclear and purposefully vague, he believes he's seeing visions of Flight 828 instead. The Cuban ship might be a scene from the future and seeing a different plane and assuming its 828.
Theory #4: A time warp!
The plane they were on really blew up, but they somehow time-warped due to the dark lightning/electrical storm where they experienced a loss of five years and landed in the present-day thinking no time had passed.
The Calling of the plane blowing up shows them what "should have" happened had they not cheated death.
This is why 828, which Ben and Ward confirmed landed in the same condition as it took off from Jamaica on Manifest Season 2 Episode 12, blew up upon landing. And it's why there's a "death date" because order has to be restored.
Saanvi said that she "prefers science over miracles," and being left in the dark for so long, I have to agree -- I want concrete answers!
NBC, please renew this show so we can all get some peace of mind! And if you choose not to, can we at the very least get a 2-hour wrap-up TV movie like with Timeless?
Other Thoughts/ Questions
- The only time I've ever liked Grace is when she told Captain Bowers she would regret waking up if she did anything to jeopardize Cal's safety. Go, mama!
- Zeke still died in Mic's arm just not peacefully.
- The Major knew Vance was alive but didn't think he was a threat anymore. Cool, I guess.
- Jared wasn't pleased to see Zeke alive and thriving because he truly thought once he was out of the picture, he could make it work with Mic again. Especially after Zeke gave him his blessing!
- What the hell happened to Grace's gargoyle Calling, and why didn't Ben ever find out his professor who gave him a job was the leader of the X'ers?
- Where is Adrian? Why did he have a vision of the three shadow figures?
- And maybe the most infuriating question: did NO ONE at the precinct realize the prisoners escaped and killed two of their officers? Seriously? I can forgive a lot with the hopes that maybe they'll "come back to it" eventually, but this irritated me because it was messy writing!
- Is there any connection to Vance's front telling Saanvi here "ticket to Havana" was ready?
What did you think of the finale? You can watch Manifest online if you need to re-watch any episodes again.
Are you content? Were you expecting more?
And what are your Flight 828 theories after this episode?