Manifest: Connecting Flights

"It's all connected."

Based on last week's promo, I was expecting an episode that would be heavy on the myth arc and light on the personal relationships and character development.

What we got was something a little different. This week's flashback-heavy episode filled in much of the back story on our characters, managed to work in a twist or two, and ended with an enigmatic scene that gives the myth arc a little blip on the throttle.

As our story begins, Ben is disengaging from the effort to get Thomas to safety.  He's had it up to here with the callings, and there is no way, no-how that he is going to let his actions be directed by any more mysterious voices in his head, including the one that keeps telling him "It's all connected."  He takes Cal out to Coney Island for the day, using coin flips to determine what comes next.

On their way home, Cal suddenly ducks out of the subway car and leads Ben on a merry chase through out-of service subway stations and ventilation shafts, shouting "Don't worry, Dad, it's all connected."  He leads Ben to the safe house where Thomas is--and knows who Thomas is as soon as he sees him. Cal is getting "callings" of his own, and this inspires Ben to re-engage with the mystery.

Director Vance takes Bethany into custody, and pulls some strings to get Jared a slap on the wrist for his involvement in the blown undercover investigation--and get a little leverage over Jared.

In flashbacks, we see that Grace met Danny through a support group she started going to to get over her depression.  We also learn that Danny is being persistent, not because he wants Grace to dump her husband, but to preserve the step-parent relationship he developed with Olive.  Their bonding began with a shared loathing for Grace's meat loaf.

Another sequence of flashbacks shows the development of Jared and Lourdes' relationship.

The final scene shows the interior of the plane on Flight 828.  Everyone is asleep except Cal.  He gets out of his seat and opens the window shade, looking out at a bright light.  "It's all connected," he says.  Fade to black.

"828" Watch.

The flight number appears in the "lower third" of some news broadcasts, and on the schedule board at the airport.

Also on the manifest....

The teaser was a flashback to the night of April 7, 2013.  Montego Air Flight 537 lands in New York and the Stone family is waiting for the later flight when the schedule board changes 828's status from "On Time" to "SEE AGENT" in a red box.  There was some nice attention to character detail in this sequence: Karen saying an Our Father, Jared using his NYPD badge to get past the yellow tape so he can try to get more information for Steve and Karen, Kelly's husband browbeating the poor airline representative tasked with the thankless job of delivering the bad news.

Another nice detail: in a flashback to Grace's low point, six months after the plane disappeared, she's lying in bed with one of Cal's superhero pillows.

Ben eats New York-style pizza like a true New Yorker: folded over on itself.

Karen did crochet as well as needlepoint.

The two actresses playing Olive, Luna Blaise (present day) and Jenna Kurmemaj (ages 10 & 12), do an excellent job of matching their movements and mannerisms to each other.

Grace's pet name for Olive is "Ollie Bollie."  "Ollie Bollie & Calimander" would be a great name for a rock band--or a Disney Channel sitcom.

Quotes

Ben: "Did you ever feel like someone else is controlling your life?"
Cal: "Only, like, all of the time.  You, Mom, Grandpa, all of my doctors."

10-year old Olive: "I tried to make you ham and cheese, but the knife slipped, and I cut myself, and the blood got on the bread, and we don't have any more bread, or ham, and the cheese has green spots on it, so I just made Cup O'Noodles.  I hope you like it, Mom."

Karen: "Joy is never wrong."

Conclusion

At five episodes in, Manifest is doing a very good job of holding my interest.  The show seems to know where it's going, and how to get there at a reasonable pace.

Three out of four helpings of meat loaf.

Baby M does not like meat loaf either

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I definitely agree with your Conclusion, Baby M. This show feels like it has a plan, and has a good handle on telling interesting character stories that include carefully placed clues about the Big Mystery. It's the kind of balance that shows like this *cough*Lost*cough* can often struggle with. We're still only a few episodes in, so obviously things could change. But for now, I'm enjoying the ride.