Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Manifest: Compass Calibration

Zeke: “Grace, I'm so sorry. I could feel her intentions were good, but I missed it. Her judgment. I should've kept my mouth shut.”
Grace: “Feeling what she's feeling and knowing what she's gonna do next are two different things. This is not your fault. It's mine.”
Zeke: “What?”
Grace: “Olive knew there was something off about her. I should've listened to her.”

Everything seems unsteady as the earth is literally breaking at the seams.

What does one do with devastating knowledge? In the last episode, Saanvi confessed to Michaela about her having killed the Major. In fact, the Callings, by nearly killing Saanvi, forced her to do that. But, as Saanvi pointed out at the end of the previous episode, Michaela is a cop. She feels obliged to bring Saanvi to justice.

This is a terrible burden on Michaela, and she shares it with Zeke (she can’t hide stuff from her empath husband). Zeke tries to tell her that it will be OK. After all, he turned himself in after shooting her, and that led to his redemption. However, I need to point out that the Callings apparently were not actually for his remaining in prison; Michaela worked really hard to get him released, and even Zeke said he had made a mistake. So although the Callings clearly wanted Saanvi to confess, I am not sure they want Michaela to bring Saanvi in.

Besides, although Saanvi says she’s willing to go to prison, now that she’s healthy again, her obsessive workaholic nature has taken over again. She may have good reason: there are serious things to be concerned about, especially earthquakes that are apparently being provoked by Eureka’s experiments on the Noah’s Ark fragment.

Of course, this is not the only thing going on in the episode, which is jam-packed with action. Ben gets a Calling leading him to Astrid, an anxious passenger, who doesn’t want to follow her only Calling. Astrid’s anxiety would be intolerable in a large dose, but in a single episode it makes for a nice change from all the overconfident people we’ve seen in the series. Anyway, she and Ben work together to rescue Robin, the son of Cody Webber, one of the anti-828 guys (he believes they’re a threat to humanity). Michaela is led to Cody’s ex-wife, and so she works the other side of the situation. Ben, the perpetual obsessive, assaults Cody.

There’s an interesting connection between the passengers and the Xers and the sons of these men. Michaela asks Cody: “Is your hate for us really greater than your love for your son?” This seems to be a question that could apply to a lot of what is happening in the world. Note: I love how Michaela helps Astrid; she knows how to deal with someone who is panicking. She's much more effective than her brother Ben. However, I admit I don't know if this is because her techniques are better or if this is because the writers didn't want to spend more time on Astrid's anxieties.

Again, Beverly seems to be prescient. She tells Angelina that Eden is her guardian angel, something that moves Angelina a little too much. What does Angelina do? She tests the baby. She sets the room on fire, and after this Grace says, enough is enough and kicks her out. Cal, however, is really upset by his mother kicking Angelina out.

So now I understand something. I never cared for Angelina, just as I never cared for the three Meth Heads – well, I didn’t like Pete or Jace. I did like Kory, but I did not become especially attached, because we didn’t see much of him. The three Meth Heads are dead, and Angelina seems to have gone to the bad and/or crazy. Manifest didn’t want us to like these characters too much, because the creators were planning either to kill them or make them bad and didn’t want to upset the audience too much.

We see events from the perspective of the passengers, but what if Cody is right? We already know that many of them accept the idea that they came back from the dead. But what if he’s right and they are a threat to humanity?

In several instances in this episode, the passengers go too far. Ben attacks Cody. Angelina sets the Stones’ house on fire. Saanvi tosses the bit of Noah’s Ark into the fissure (which closes up immediately). These actions were all taken with the idea that these were the things the Callings wanted, but the Callings are not always clear. I'm also reminded of the doubts of Pete – he thought the Callings wanted him to help kill Michaela – and of the doubts of Adrian who is convinced the returned passengers are the agents of the apocalypse.

Title musings: “Compass Calibration” is the title of the episode, and its meaning in aviation is pretty clear. In the episode the meaning is more metaphorical but several storylines apply.

We have moral choices being faced by both Saanvi and Ben. Michaela tries to rein in both of them but doesn’t seem to get anywhere. Saanvi, instead of turning herself in as promised, is throwing a precious fragment into a volcano. Ben attacks someone. Angelina goes too far, and Grace kicks her out.

A great phrase, but I wish it could have been used as the title when the compass (from Logan) was coming into play.

Bits and pieces

It’s the day after the previous episode, which makes it still August 2020. And they tell us it is the 17th which means it ought to be the 17th of August. But there is snow outside of Astrid’s house, and Ben is wearing a winter coat. The pandemic probably messed up the shooting schedule.

I liked how Astrid’s mention of orange fingers – stained with processed food powder – convinces Cody that Astrid’s vision with respect to his son is legit.

Did Tarik have to die so Cal could get his volcano snow globe?

I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for years, and I lived through the Loma Prieta earthquake. Severe earthquakes are absolutely terrifying.


Zeke: After the accident, when the gun went off, you didn't want to arrest me. So I turned myself in. It was part of how I made things right. If this helps Saanvi and the Passengers and keeps you loyal to the badge, you have to take her in.

Grace: Olive called, and she's decided to spend another night at Levi's.
Ben: So, what do we do? Do we tell Angelina to leave and give her money to find a place?
Grace: I mean, Olive won't tell me what happened. Angelina's been through so much. Maybe we just keep it status quo until Olive's ready to talk.

Dr. Cooper: It opened up the kind of fissure that you'd see near a volcano.
Saanvi: Volcano? There's not a volcano anywhere near New York.
Dr. Cooper: There is not. At least, not yet. We took something from Mount Ararat. And now it's almost like Ararat is coming to take it back.
Saanvi: Have you spoken to Vance about any of this?
Dr. Cooper: I was going to, but this epicenter doesn't seem as significant as yesterday's.
Saanvi: No, I think it is. Maybe even more so.

Zeke: Angelina's intense, but she truly loves Eden, and Eden loves her back.
Grace: Is this your famous empathic ability that I've been hearing so much about?
Zeke: Actually, it is. I can... I can feel it.

Val: That's when Cody started to become unhinged. He believes that the real passengers died. And the people who came back are a threat to humanity. He started talking about "a coming war."
Michaela: If he thinks there's a war coming, did he take your son to protect him?

Angelina: Beverly called Eden my guardian angel. She saved my life. Your mom doesn't believe me either.
Cal: I do believe you. My mom may not understand, but I do.
Angelina: I think your mom's listening to Olive, and why wouldn't she? She's her daughter, and I'm just – nothing really.
Cal: I got a Calling – before I even met you – to make a home for you here. You're supposed to be here.

Overall rating

The timing is weird – it should be summer! – and Cal’s acting is uneven. Ben also goes way too far. Three out of four bags of highly processed orange hot chips.

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


  1. I kept thinking that Cal had to be right about Angelina even though I didn't personally like her, that Angelina was meant to live with the Stones. So the fire thing really shocked me.

    I hadn't tracked the seasons at all. Good catch on the snow in August, Victoria. :) Had to be the covid conditions.

  2. Cal bothered me this episode because he’s soooo convinced that Angelina & he & Eden have some connection. But Zeke felt Eden’s fear during the fire. And Angelina risked not only her & Eden’s lives, but Carl’s too. The show is making too much of Cal being ‘The chosen one’, so I can’t wait for him being shown that he’s not always right. That he misinterprets things. And we noticed that Angelina completely left out Olive’s name when insisting she was part of the family.

    Ben is slowly going off his rocker, too, IMO. I felt for Astrid. He basically browbeat this poor woman - who suffers anxiety so much he put her life at risk.

    I started this show off not liking Grace & Mick, and liking Ben, but now I’ve flipped. I like the former two much more. I wonder if anything will come of Cody realizing that Astrid helped save his son? Maybe he changes his mind abt the 828ers and decides against pressing charges on Ben?


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.