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Manifest: Water Landing

Ben: “Will you listen to yourself? We are not some kind of science project!”
Vance: “Ben, I understand. You're concerned about Michaela, and I...”
Ben: “Concerned? Yeah. Yeah, I'm concerned. A killer is hunting her, Vance, and you're more interested in progress. I swear, if he hurts her or anybody else, there's gonna be blood on your hands.”
Dr. Gupta: “I am a scientist, Mr. Stone, always in search of the greater good. The fact is that Pete Baylor is a unicorn, and unicorns need to be studied for the greater good.”

It’s the day before the death date of the Meth Heads, and the Stones are counting the hours, but I guess you shouldn’t count your hours until they expire. Jared keeps investigating the disappearance of the Major, making the guilty Saanvi even more uncomfortable.

Jared is still trying to find out what happened to Sarah’s mother, the evil Major Kathryn Fitz. His conversation with an entitled resident is really funny, but he persists and engages in some solid police work. His investigation goes so far that Saanvi is actually afraid for him, but Vance just arranges for Jared to be told by Powell that the Major is dead. Which she is. In this case, Jared is a really good guy: following leads, comforting Sarah, but also reassuring Michaela that the woman who was torturing passengers is no more.

Michaela has a lot going on in this episode. Pete gave Michaela a tip about where to look for Jace. The tip was good, but a few months old, so it’s not a surprise the police arrive too late. Michaela finds the stolen RV and weird stuff inside: her picture, and the picture of her brother and her nephew, with their eyes scratched out. There’s also a mysterious drawing that reminds us of Cal’s sketchy Callings (we haven’t had many of those recently).

Drea demands the truth from Michaela and finally gets told about the Callings. It’s long overdue; Michaela lectured Drea on the importance of trust in a partnership when they met, but so far the trust has gone just one way. Michaela also gives Drea her interpretation of the Callings: they come from God. We’ve seen evidence of Michaela’s attitude before. Michaela takes the Bible verse Romans 8:28 seriously. Michaela has not just listened to the Callings, but she has prayed to them (usually while sitting on a swing, which I guess puts her in the position of someone with childlike faith, something often recommended in the New Testament).

Pete, however, does not trust the Callings, maybe because he hasn’t had much reason to trust anything in his life. Also, the Callings seem to be telling him to do something he doesn’t want to do: to help murder Michaela. And then, while he's speaking with Angelina, Pete is relocated because Ben told Vance about the return of the Meth Heads. Unsurprisingly, Pete was collected by the Eureka project; again, he doesn’t want to help. Nevertheless, a wonderful moment of trust occurs because Ben knows that Pete helped Cal, especially at the end, by cutting him free. Ben works out a deal in which Ben and Pete will help Eureka in exchange for Ben agreeing to be tested too. Ben has mixed feelings about this, as he doesn't really trust Eureka, but he does what he has to do.

Tarik is loose-lipped and a blogger tracks down the fact he’s got Cal Stone at his house. I’m sorry, but Tarik is an idiot. On the other hand, Grace should have warned him better that they are in danger. Surely, he knows that? Anyway, the eavesdropping blogger takes a picture of her and Baby Eden through a window. We haven’t seen Baby Eden for a few episodes; the little kid is really cute.

Zeke is turning out to be able to tell if people are telling the truth, which he does when he and Michaela interview Kory. Again, I like Kory better than Pete (and much better than crazy Jace).

Olive gets in trouble for going to the university to get answers from the papyrus scraps sent over by TJ. But actually, she’s safer at the university than she would be at home. Jace knows where she lives; he wouldn't know she’s in a lab on campus. And she learns something really important: the papyrus (and Jace’s finger-painting) are depictions of an Egyptian allegory called "the last trial." Pete is being given a choice, not a directive; he doesn’t have to help kill Michaela. And his Calling has a new interpretation: stop Jace from killing Michaela.

Michaela discovers that Jace stabbed a woman at her old apartment, unlucky for the poor woman (who survives), but lucky for Michaela, she and Zeke moved into Beverly's house. She and Zeke go north to the lake – it’s dark by the time they get there, because it does take some time – and then Zeke gets knocked out.

Title musings: “Water Landing” is the title of the episode. In aviation it usually refers to the landing of a seaplane, and preferably not the landing on the Hudson as was done by Captain Sullenberger. For most planes – probably for the alternative timeline for the 828ers – a water landing is a disaster that ends in death and drowning. The Meth Heads are currently drowning in water; the question is, will they survive or not? The title also applies to the Major, as her corpse landed in the water, after Emmet dumped it there. A good title.

Bits and pieces

If it’s there’s one day to go until the Meth Heads die, it must be June 12, 2020.

Angelina – or rather, the actor, Holly Taylor – is really tiny.

If Zeke can read minds and sense people, shouldn’t he have known Jace was sneaking up on him?

Gosh, Cal just keeps missing school!

Now we have the real reason that Michaela and Zeke moved a few episodes ago: so Jace would not be able to find Michaela at her old apartment. Sorry, Glen, you were killed off for a plot necessity!

It’s clear how they got the body of Major Fitz out of the park, but how did they get it to New Orleans?

It feels as if Tarik’s house and the Meth Head lake and even Zeke’s cave are all within a stone’s throw of each other. But there’s a lot of New York outside the city.


Allison: Finally. Are you here about the loitering nannies?
Jared: No. No, ma'am, I, uh...
Allison: Yeah, my stoop isn't a convention center, and... E-Excuse me. You can't ride on the sidewalk!
Jared: Sorry. Not my jurisdiction. Miss, I'm here about a noise complaint you filed last December.
Allison: Which one?

Michaela: I-I can't explain. I'm sorry.
Drea: Yes, you can. You just don't want to. I know you saw something back there. What was it?
Michaela: Please, please do not do this right now.
Drea: I think I've done a pretty good job of turning the other way, but honestly, I don't know if I can be your partner anymore if you're not gonna be straight with me. So, it's time. The truth. Right now.
Michaela: Okay, and what if the truth is impossible to believe?
Drea: You came back from the dead. I dare you to try to top that.

Zeke: I believe him. I'm getting that same connected sense I got when we were with Pete and Beverly. He's scared. He knows he's dying.
Kory: Who the hell are you?
Zeke: I was there at the lake.

Ben: This is not okay. I explicitly told you not to go to campus.
Olive: Fine, alright? I'm grounded. For life. But please, just listen to me. The Calling isn't telling Jace to kill Aunt Mick.
Ben: What do you mean?
Olive: He's being tested. It's a lesson about free will, about making the right decision.

Saanvi: He doesn't know?
Vance: As far as Powell or anyone else in the government knows, Kathryn Fitz was taken out by an enemy spy.
Saanvi: I don't understand. Why not just... make it look like she disappeared?
Vance: Because then they would keep looking. The only reason I was given control of this facility is our government's in an arms race with every superpower to find out what happened to 828, and in a competition like that, I'm their best shot.
Saanvi: And if they figure out that I killed the Major and you're covering for me?
Vance: Then all this falls apart. Saanvi, you did what you needed to do. I followed suit. That means we're in this together.

Dr. Gupta: Pete Baylor is supposed to expire tomorrow. How are we gonna study him if he dies while you're away?
Ben: Alright, fine. You can test me. Whatever you want. I'm a bit of a unicorn myself. But keeping Pete Baylor here is a death sentence, for him and who knows who else. Maybe my sister.

Michaela: Jace... just stabbed someone in my old apartment.
Zeke: He, hey. Hey, Michaela. No. You can't blame yourself. Do you understand? This is not your fault.
Michaela: Yes, it is. It is my fault. Jace nearly killed someone trying to get to me.

Sarah: I wish I didn't know anything about what she did for a living.
Jared: That's not how you should remember her, okay? Not everything is black and white. At the end of the day, she was your mother. You have to believe that she thought that she was doing this to protect her country.

Overall rating

Action packed and plenty of good bits – especially Ben getting Pete to trust him – but a few places where I questioned the logic. I’m also questioning the geography. Three out of four loitering nannies.

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

1 comment:

  1. Victoria, I had the same geographical issues that you did. New York is an enormous state. I also just wanted to shake Tarik for putting Grace and her family in such danger. The actor didn't get a good character to play.


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