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Manifest: All-Call

Jared: “You know, your M's held up better than my J.”
Michaela: “Well, you have terrible handwriting, so...”
Jared: “Remember how I used to have to read you the cards I'd sent you out loud? You couldn't make out my writing.”
Michaela: “I could read it.”

Ben does a podcast in order to look for Eden, while the authorities figure out that Henry Kim is in New York.

This episode opens with the flashback of a funeral (in muted colors so we know it’s not the present). We can assume that it’s a service for Grace, because Ben is weeping. Poor Cal, now going by the name Gabriel, has to stand in the back and not as part of the immediate family.

This episode shows more of the relationship between Jared and Michaela. Originally, I was much more for Jared and Michaela than I was for Michaela and Zeke. Zeke was just this rando who came out of a cave, a person who had much against him – a serious drug addict with a penchant for pork rinds – and very little to recommend him, except that he did seem to care. Since then, Zeke has grown on me, because he has stepped up to help, over and over again. On the day he was supposed to die – I guess he did die, a second time, only to be revived a second time – Zeke dove into a freezing lake to rescue Cal. He has helped Beverly and the Stone family in large and small ways.

But I was supposed to be writing about Jared and Michaela! Jared still loves Michaela, and he has had her back, over and over, dumping Lourdes, Tamara and Sarah – one lady per season – because of her. Mick loves both Jared and Zeke, but she chooses Zeke. As Zeke is an empath she cannot hide anything, which, as she points out, is grossly unfair. Now, Jared’s actually having sex on a regular basis with Drea, but she insists on no strings attached. I wonder why Drea and Manifest have chosen this. Maybe because Drea knows that Jared will always go for Michaela in the end. Maybe Drea really prefers no strings attached. Anyway, both Drea and Jared show some skin.

Drea is working at the registry, but she uses her position to help the passengers when she can. I like how she passes along the message to Michaela, with no smiles between them, but the words “Park Bench” on a low-tech sticky on the back of her file. Clever! Michaela knows which Park Bench and meets Jared to be told that the government is helping the Chinese in their search for Henry Kim.

The search for Henry Kim is the opposite of low tech, as he must have a tracking device inside him. Why didn’t Vance consider the possibility of a tracking device immediately? In fact, I’m surprised the passengers aren’t chipped. Anyway, despite their efforts, including the first car chase I have ever seen on TV that seems realistic, Kim is recaptured, giving himself up so that Michaela can get away. Vance can’t get him back, but he can get pressure put on the Chinese so that Kim is not as abused as he was before.

Saanvi is very excited about the black box and what it will tell them. Besides the fact that they now have the recording of Captain Daly, Henry Kim says there are many, many voices on the black box.

Ben is obsessively glum and determined to remain so. Occasionally, despite himself, his interest in current events gets piqued, but then the black cloud takes over again, welcomed by Ben. He then does something he should have done a while ago – he goes on Aaron Glover’s show. I guess the prejudice against podcasts is what stopped him, but it seems as if it would have been more productive than just nagging the police.

Ben’s conversation with Aaron Glover is unpleasant for Ben, as he has to deal with haters and cranks. Nevertheless, he gets his point across. Then Aaron asks him a real question: why isn’t Ben searching for Cal, his other missing child?

Answering is difficult. Of course, Ben knows that Cal is not actually missing, so that’s awkward. He can’t say he knows where Cal is because Cal would get locked up immediately. At the moment, the registry is not out looking for Cal because they know he disappeared from Eureka; what they don’t know is that he returned. But Ben’s problem with Cal is because he still blames Cal for the tragedy that struck their family. Unsurprisingly, Cal also blames Cal; he was the only one who did not see Angelina for what she was. He tries to earn his father’s love by fixing one of Eden’s broken toys.

Cal has a Calling in which he needs to see Henry Kim. They can’t break Henry out of the registry so they break Cal in, which is kind of cool. Henry is passing along his dragon nature to Cal, which is confirmed when Henry Kim’s scar suddenly appears on Cal’s arm. You’d think it would be transferred when they met, but it was not. Instead Cal noticed it later. Still, without having met originally with Henry Kim, he wouldn’t know what it meant. I like the fact that it appeared later; I like how the Callings don't give the characters the instant gratification we have come to expect.

The Aaron Glover podcast generates a lead: the sighting of someone looking like Angelina with a small child in Anna Ross’s neighborhood. Although Zeke can’t use his empathic abilities to know what’s going on with those that call in, he knows instantly that Anna Ross is lying. Anna is nervous but when prodded, tells the truth. Zeke then keeps Ben from harming Anna. We should recall that many 828ers thought Ben was bad after Eagan spread terrible rumors about him. Still, Angelina murdered a woman and kidnapped her child, and Eden has other, non-passenger relatives (her sister Olive and her grandfather Steve). Leaving Eden in Angelina’s care is just wrong. Perhaps Anna feared that Angelina might stab her the way Angelina stabbed Grace. However, she does come clean to Ben and Ben finally knows his little girl is still alive.

Angelina – pretending to be Violet, which must be the name of another passenger – is on the run. She goes to a place that costs little, only to be shut up inside by a passenger hater. However, she gets released by Adrian after he gets a Calling directing him to her. Now this means that Adrian, despite his protestations, follows Callings. At least occasionally.

Title musings: “All-Call” is the title of the episode. In aviation, this is a message from a head flight attendant to all the other flight attendants, a signal to pay attention to the message coming through their headsets.

In this episode, the title applies several ways. The most obvious interpretation is the podcast Ben does with Aaron Glover, where he’s asking anyone and everyone to call in with leads. A second interpretation is how everyone is being called in "calling all units" to go after Henry Kim. On the black box, many voices on top of each other. And the words “All-Call” are close to “All-Cal” but I’m not sure how that applies, although Cal is obviously central to Manifest. A fine title for this episode.

Bits and pieces

Timing: we are again told that Death Date is 18 months away. Saanvi says this, and she would be precise. That makes it December 2, 2022, or at least in the vicinity. Michaela is in a warm coat and especially warm-looking hat, but Jared’s jacket is open. No leaves on the trees.

Adrian always says he ignores the Callings because he doesn’t want to be an agent of the apocalypse. Yet he answered the one that took him to Angelina.

Guess cargo containers are hard to penetrate with scanning devices.

It seems strange that the registry has not done any investigation into Gabriel Stone. Maybe one was started and then blocked by Drea?

Henry Kim received his scar after being struck by lightning. Wonder if it was dark lightning?

Many people survive being hit by lightning, even though the voltage is so high, much less than in an electric fence. This is probably because lightning is so quick that it doesn’t have the time to fry everything. Nevertheless, getting struck by lightning is a bad idea.


Saanvi: Hello? Earth to Ben. This is... this is important. Give it a listen.
Ben: Eden's important.
Saanvi: Of course, but the black box came to us because of a Calling. Who knows what that's gonna answer for us. Our Death Date is in 18 months. We have to follow every lead.
Ben: Knock yourselves out. I don't follow Callings anymore.

Drea: Do you have an alibi for where you were? Someone who matches your height and hair color was seen at the port. So, you wanna try again? What were you up to yesterday morning?
Michaela: Yesterday? Yeah, uh, that was the morning that the death certificate for my niece was dropped off. One of your colleagues closed down the case, so I actually spent the morning comforting a widowed, devastated father while his only remaining child was upstairs in her room crying. Uh, what did you guys do?

Vance: I'll make a call, but it's gonna be tough keeping Henry on US soil.
Saanvi: He was used as a human lab rat and nearly died trying to get to us. The least we can do is try.

Michaela: I still have feelings for Jared. And I hate that I do, but I do. Um... I'm sorry that you have to feel that because that's not... that's not fair to you. Frankly, it's not fair to me either, because there are things that are meant to be private, and that's just not the case in our relationship.
Zeke: It's not like I try to read your mind.
Michaela: I know. I know.

Zeke: I don't know, Mick. Maybe you and Jared were supposed to be together.
Michaela: No.
Zeke: If I never came out of the cave. If we never met.
Michaela: I chose you. I will continue to choose you every single day, no matter if you have one day left or 10,000.

Michaela: Henry will be inside. Once you are in there, you have two minutes tops. So find out what he knows and get out.
Cal: Okay.
Michaela: They won't know who you are unless you leave a fingerprint. They took them when we got off the plane in 2018. Remember?
Cal: Yeah, so don't touch anything. God, I feel like I'm walking into the Death Star.
Michaela: That's kinda 'cause you are.

Overall rating

Lots of excitement, and we can feel the plot moving forward. I hope the recovery of the black box gives us some insight. On the other hand, there were a few places where I felt the acting or the logic were weak. Three out of four broken toys.

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

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