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Manifest: Go-Around

Olive: “Hey, look at me. The answer is gonna come. But it won't if you're all worked up. Now repeat after me. We are going to figure this out.”
Cal: “We're going to figure this out.”
Olive: “I have the best sister in the entire world.”
Cal: “I have the best sister in the whole entire world.”
Olive: “You know, sometimes it's hard to see things for what they are. Maybe we should change perspective.”
They stand on chairs; Zeke and Michaela enter.
Zeke: “Somebody see a mouse?”

Some good bits, and Zeke is the superhero of supportiveness. Alas, the episode has major plot flaws. Sigh.

This episode is a mixed bag.

First, the stuff that works well. We finally learn, in the cemetery scene, that Beverly is dead rather than in a home. But Michaela is at the cemetery because of Evie and not because of Beverly; it seems to be the fourth anniversary of Evie's death. Michaela’s still suffering from guilt, and near the end of the episode, she and Zeke have a really good conversation about it. Zeke, who helps addicts with their pain, is able to help Mick with her guilt. He tells her to accept it, to own it, to let the guilt give her strength.

Zeke is shown stepping up over and over in this episode. Olive acknowledges that – and we get an excellent flashback where we learn how he discovered his ability to take on others’ burdens in a moment when he was trying to help her. Zeke’s ability to take on the burdens of others is not limited to emotions; he can take on their physical suffering, too, and alleviate it. We saw that before, when he helped Henry Kim. This time we see him help Virginia Boyd, the mother of a passenger. Assisting someone like this has a price, however; afterwards Zeke is gasping in the corridor, trying to regain his strength. He seems to be hiding this price from others.

Olive has also been stepping up. Ben has been ignoring Cal, so she – after encouragement from Zeke – makes time for him. Yes, in some respect they are twins, but she has lived in the world much longer, and has done normal stuff, like attending high school. Also, girls often do mature sooner than boys. Anyway, they work through what Cal supposedly knows, and determine that when the plane disappeared, it was in the “glow” – also known as Divine Consciousness. It’s nice to see them working together.

Michaela gets a Calling she shares with a Native American called Kyle Boyd and helps him evade the Registry to get to his mother, who is dying alone in a hospital. This bit of plot is not especially interesting, because we have never met Kyle or his mother before, so it’s hard to have much attachment to them. However, the storyline showcases a couple of things that matter or that may matter: Zeke’s ability to take on physical ailments; the involvement of another faith (Hopi) with the Callings, this time through a blanket; Drea and how she protects the passengers from inside the Registry.

Now to the stuff that made me cringe: how Ben gets Eagan out of prison. Obviously, Manifest wants Eagan out of prison because he’s a fun character. It would be on point for him to use the information about Ben’s daughter to get his release. Eagan is especially eager to get out because he’s getting beaten up.

That’s all OK. And Ben’s trying to get it done makes sense. But then, when he turns to Vance for assistance, how come Ben or at least Vance did not think to check who visited Eagan? Now, I’ve never visited a prison, but it seems to me names are always logged. There’s also video. Or they could talk to a guard. Someone must know the visitor is Adrian, and Adrian’s address is with the Registry.

This is such a big weakness it hurts my experience with the episode. Maybe Ben isn’t thinking straight, but Vance should know better. He worked at NSA; he should know the basics of an investigation. I don’t like it when characters are stupid.

And the stupidity continues. Ben gets the address from Eagan, and then does not share it with Vance. Now, he gives a couple of reasons: Ben doesn’t want Vance to risk anything more, and he implies the Callings want him to do this on his own (in which case I missed it). But Angelina is a murderer and should only be approached with backup. Furthermore, Ben has a terrible reputation with many passengers. Going to Adrian's by himself is so stupid, stupid, stupid, that I generally want to skip this episode. At least the episode ends with Ben getting conked in the head, which he richly deserves. I have not liked Ben this season. I don't think we're supposed to, because he is failing his twins, but I used to respect him for his math and his logic.

Title musings: “Go-Around” is the title of the episode, and in aviation, it’s a “go-around” when a pilot decides not to continue an approach, or not to continue a landing, and instead follows procedures to conduct another approach or to divert to another airport. We have several people going around society’s rules and procedures. Michaela, Zeke, Kyle and even – or especially – Drea go around the rules of the Registry as Kyle visits his dying mother and then takes her away in order to go home (are they going to Arizona by car). Eagan goes around Adrian to use the information to get out of prison, while Ben and Vance sort of do as well. I kind of like the phrase, and it’s fine as a title for this episode.

Bits and pieces

It must only be a few days after the previous episode, although it seems that the deal to get Eagan out of prison would take several days.

Melissa Roxburgh has had several jogging scenes. Not all actors can run.

In the cemetery, Manifest shows Evie's tombstone, but the end date is only 2012, which is a bit of a cop-out, because tombstones generally give the month and day as well. I guess this means we're still in December, 2022.

Olive is still wearing that sapphire from Grace, which I believe will matter. It’s especially in focus when they talk about Grace and the tarot card.

Adrian Shannon’s house is at 300 Ashview Road. There have been several Callings with ash falling recently. Hmm.

Really like how the Shinnecock woman tells Drea to go pound sand. The Shinnecock nation is one of the oldest self-governing tribes in New York State, although it was only recognized formally by the US government in 2010. It's seal features a turtle, however, and not a bird.

Erika is buying fertilizer. Why would she do this? The implication is that she wants to make a bomb. Why?


Olive: You know, I really... I can't imagine what life would be like without you here.
Zeke: Hey, team effort. You've done just as much. You grew up faster than anyone should.

Olive (in flashback): My entire life has been torn apart. I'm supposed to be some college kid, running late to whatever 101s and going to a bunch of parties with lots of my friends. Instead, I'm here. I'm here playing parent to the brother that has completely destroyed my life because I have no idea when my dad is gonna get his back on track!

Drea: I called to check on my friend, and somehow that leads to me being put in a very compromising situation.
Michaela: I'll try not to let it happen again.
Drea: I just hope it was enough.
Michaela: Should be. Sounds like Zeke got them in the cab before you showed up, so... thank you. And not just for letting Kyle take his mom home, but for all you do for us.
Note the price of being an insider is to sometimes be in a compromising situation.

Zeke: Today was a lot. You okay?
Michaela: It was. Yeah, I'm fine.
Zeke: Just so you're aware, when I ask if you're okay, I'm just opening the door to conversation. I already know you're not.

Overall rating

Ben and Vance are so stupid and the Michaela and Kyle stuff so blah that I knocked this down to one, but the episode goes up one for the good stuff: Zeke with Olive, and Zeke with Michaela. Two out of four Native American blankets.

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

1 comment:

  1. Not only is Ben dumb, but he’s putting the lifeboat at risk. There’s no telling what he might do when confronted with Angelique. I hated the way he treated Vance this episode.

    RIP Beverly. BTW tombstones are abt 50/50 with full dates or just years. I used to work at a cemetery company w/5 properties in their portfolio and I helped design the markers. There are a lot of factors that decide what to put on a tombstone, the biggest being the size of the marker, the font, the cost, and what the family wants.

    I don’t trust Eagan to not double cross Ben by contacting Adrian and telling him he let Ben know where Angelique & Eden were. At least they were smart enough to not let him out, pending the outcome of Eden’s rescue.


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