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Manifest: Tailspin

Saanvi: “It's my fault. The tailfin reappeared at the bottom of the ocean because I killed her.”
Vance: “That is a huge leap to make, especially when we don't understand–”
Saanvi: “You saw the time stamp. The fin disappeared the moment she died.”
Vance: “Saanvi, you're a scientist. You can't mistake correlation for causation. Many impossible things happened that night.”
Saanvi: “Zeke wasn't on 828. Neither were the criminals who kidnapped Cal. I was. I was connected to the plane. I am connected to the plane.”

Two months later, the Meth Heads know their Death Date is approaching. Ben and Saanvi meet Vance at his new headquarters, and they’re impressive.

The Stones are separated, but it’s not the same sort of separation that they had years before. Grace knows Ben is alive and they video chat regularly.

After Glen’s death in the prior episode, Michaela and Zeke have moved into Beverly’s house and are taking care of her. This is challenging, because she can get upset with them, such as when she accuses Michaela of hiding the raisins. It’s even worse when she doesn’t remember them. In one of the most touching moments of the show, Zeke experiences what she is experiencing – terror at seeing this strange man in her house – and he reassures her with gentleness and kindness.

The Meth Heads are starting to cough up water. We see this most in Kory, but Jace and Pete are experiencing symptoms as well. They are experiencing shared Callings, and one is of a giant scoreboard clock, which they all associate with their high school coach. Each of them apparently manages to interpret the Calling individually without much difficulty. Kory tries to stop Jace from killing the coach. Manifest seems to focus more on Pete as the best of the trio but I like Kory more.

Manifest gives us the back story of the Meth Heads; they were forced into drug selling because of a nasty coach, and Coach Hannity is still using kids to sell drugs. I wonder what his back story is, and if one can trace a chain of malevolence from prior generations. Anyway, Michaela and Drea rescue both Coach Hannity and Kory from Jace; Hannity is arrested; Kory is likewise arrested but he is taken to a hospital because Jace shot him in the leg.

Resolving the Calling gives Angelina hope – she’s apparently in love with Pete, mostly because the Callings want her to be, and she’s the type of person who appreciates being given a purpose. Of course he’s grateful to her for her visits – and it gets Pete to finally let Michaela know where Jace is.

Saanvi and Ben visit Eureka, where Vance is working on all things 828. Ben, whose hand is glowing again, leaves a print on the tailfin. They discover Kelly’s body, which is reverting to a body that died in a midair explosion and has been in the waters of the Caribbean for seven years. That’s really creepy.

The plane exploded way back in the first episode, but the pieces did not disappear. No, they were collected and reassembled into the shape of the plane. And we have video of exactly when the tailfin disappeared, which is freaky for Saanvi because it’s precisely when she killed the Major. Moreover, Jared – doing solid police work – is closing in on what happened.

In an unexpectedly bright moment, Saanvi runs into Troy Davis. He was always a good guy; his earnest, eager attentiveness to Saanvi in the hospital was because he really liked her and not because he was trying to use her for information. And, given what is going on with respect to the passengers, he probably appreciates her previous paranoia.

Vance chews out Ben for having gone to the government to get him rescued. The scolding feels fake to me, just the way Vance was fake when he was lying to his interrogators in the previous episode. Vance has landed really well. I was disappointed the Manifest writers didn’t have Ben say he was ordered to do so by Vance’s wife, who is a lot more terrifying than Vance.

Title musings: “Tailspin” is the title of the episode. A tailspin in aviation is really bad, as it almost always ends up in a fatal crash. The Meth Heads seem to be most likely to experience a fatal crash in this episode. Their Death Date is approaching and they are experiencing symptoms of drowning.

Another interpretation could be that the tailfin is back, and it is spinning the passengers – especially Ben and Saanvi – in wild directions. There’s more confirmation that the passengers probably died in midair, and Saanvi believes her murder of the major is what caused the tailfin to disappear. A good title.

Bits and pieces

The tailfin disappeared on December 28, 2019, at the same moment the Meth Heads died and Saanvi poisoned the Major. Add 84 more days and that takes us to March 21, 2020, the day the Meth Heads come out of the now thawed lake. Add another 84 days to get to their Death Date, and we’re at June 13. Of course, their Death Date is still a few days away, but we’re in early June, 2020.

A few episodes ago I wondered why the Manifest creators chose 84 days instead of 82. Well, 84 days is exactly 12 weeks, which makes calendar calculations easier, something I discovered when I was doing them myself.

It’s supposed to be June, 2020, but the color of the leaves on the trees when we’re outside – Olive’s prom or when Michaela and Zeke visit the football field to speak to Coach Hannity – show that shooting of the episode took place in the fall.

Coach Hannity is a really bad guy. I wonder if the Manifest creators chose the name to throw shade on another celebrity Hannity.

This was filmed in the time of covid, so we see fewer crowds and the actors standing apart.


Grace: Nine weeks radio silence, and suddenly Vance is sending you a car?
Ben: Yeah, well, I told him about my hand. Sort of.
Grace: Are you sure that's a good idea? Ben, he's officially NSA again.
Ben: Yeah, but he's still the guy who endangered his life to save mine. So no matter who he works for, I trust him.

Zeke: Beverly, I'm Zeke. Michaela's husband. I know you may not recognize us right now, but Michaela went to school with Evie.
Michaela: Evie was my best friend, Beverly. Glen asked us to... to be here with you to keep you company.
Beverly: Glen asked you?

Kory: Jace, man, we need to stop rolling like that.
Jace: Why are you even here, then?
Kory: I don't know what happened to us, but I feel like I'm drowning. I'm literally puking water. I keep seeing things, hearing voices.
Jace: You think Coach is gonna help you this time? We got to make sure he finally gets what's coming.

Saanvi: Troy? You're–
Troy: Alive? I know! Sorry I ghosted.
Saanvi: I'm just digesting the fact that you're not an actual ghost. I thought something awful happened to you. I was so worried.
Troy: You were? I mean, honestly, so was I. One minute I'm in our lab, next thing, I wake up in an NSA safe house getting recruited to a classified research team. I was dying to tell you, but I couldn't – classified.

Michaela: Hannity will never, ever again use anyone the way that he used you, Jace, and Kory.
Pete: Is... Is Kory okay?
Michaela: Your brother shot him in the leg. He lost a lot of blood, and if we hadn't gotten there in time...
Pete: Now what?
Michaela: That's up to you. But there are four days till your Death Date.
Pete: I think I know how you can find Jace.

Overall rating

Another really solid episode, with the plot moving along, and with us making progress in our understanding of the Callings. The only slightly false move was Vance scolding Ben for getting him out of Cuba. I’m also glad we were spared squabbles between Grace and her stepbrother. I love how Zeke is becoming a mind reader, and I loved the fact that Troy is alive and he now understands why Saanvi was keeping him at arm’s-length before. Three and a half out of four boxes of raisins.

Victoria Grossack loves math, birds, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.


  1. For me, the highlights of the episode were Zeke feeling what Beverly felt, and Troy turning out to be a genuine friend to Saanvi. Good episode.

    I'm not feeling anything positive about Pete and Angelina, though. I don't think I like either of them, and I don't get the attraction.

  2. Yeah, I don't get the attraction between Pete and Angelina and I don't like either of them much, although Pete really did help Cal when he was kidnapped.

  3. I don’t mind Pete so much. It always seemed like he got bad breaks while growing up. Angelina, however, strikes me as too naive. And if Pete doesn’t survive his DD, is Angelina gonna be mad at the Stones for misleading her or not saving him?

    I’m still on my belief that Drea is a mole for the Major. She seems to be very interested in Jared’s investigation into her disappearance.

    I had completely forgotten the Feds took Kelly’s body way back in early S1. If the 828ers did get resurrected, the question is WHY? I hope this show has a good payoff with these mysteries in S4.


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