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Manifest: Relative Bearing

Olive: “You okay, Dad?”
Ben: “Eden's home. As far as she knows, she's a hostage. I hate that I scare her. If this is what she thinks a bad man looks like, it's time to lose the beard. What? You think I should keep the mountain man look?”
Olive: “No. No. Definitely not.”
Ben sighs.
Olive: “What's wrong?”
Ben: “It's just... all the times I've had a beard, your mom's always helped.”

After last episode with the explosion, Zeke’s killing of Erika, the survival of Angelina, the return of Eden to the Stones, and the release of Eagan, many of the passengers – and the people around them – have to find their bearings.

Eden is home, a return which attracts unwanted attention. Ben has to deal with media and Michaela has to deal with the Registry. Both lie off their asses, saying they received information to pick up Eden across town.

Zeke and Cal talk outside the house. Cal is throwing something away directly in the garbage – I would guess it’s a blood-stained tissue; he’s sick again, but hiding it – and Zeke is still reeling from the fact that he killed Erika the previous night. They offer each other assistance, but don’t take it. At least not yet.

Angelina flees to her mother’s house. Now, we know that Noelle rejected Angelina – kidnapper and murderer – when she showed up before. Why does Noelle take her in now? Well, she did think her daughter died in that explosion (which would mean Noelle at least suspected where Angelina was), and she might have enough maternal feelings to be relieved to see her daughter still alive. It could be that with the passage of time, Noelle’s feelings towards Angelina might have softened with regard to the crimes committed by her daughter.

We can turn the question around: why does Angelina go to Noelle? Back in Costa Rica, the last time she lived with her parents, they locked her in the basement. How can Angelina possibly trust Noelle? Of course, she really does have nowhere to go.

Michaela has a couple of Callings at the Registry – the first leads to a murdered passenger, and working with Jared – but in another visit to the Registry, she gets caught having a Calling by the Registry worker. There’s a clever segue with her having gizmos attached to her forehead to a scene with Angelina being anointed with oil by her super religious mother.

Vance and Jared meet in an SUV at the explosion site. Zeke used Jared’s gun in order to kill Erika, which implicates Jared. Jared is tired of lying; he wants to take in the casings and let the chips fall where they may. Vance and Jared talk about moral compasses, and don’t agree. This is a reminder that different people trying to do the right thing but interpret it very differently. Heck, even Noelle may have believed she was in the right to lock up the daughter she thought was crazy.

Eagan, just released from prison, is attacked by Adrian. After an angry exchange, Adrian tells Eagan there’s a reward out for information leading to finding Angelina. I have no idea why Adrian trusts Eagan with anything at this point. Adrian starts off angry, on the attack, and then he just caves. Anyway, Eagan goes to Noelle’s house, applies some blackmail, and then gets Noelle’s watch and even a lift back to town. It’s a great scene, the way scenes are with Eagan when he’s forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do. Eagan doesn’t remain silent, however, but betrays the Meyers, going to the police to say where Angelina is and to claim a reward.

We get several scenes with Jared and his father. This gives us the chance to see some stuff from Jared’s point of view, but not I’m sure why we need Jared’s father, as Jared might have been able to have these conversations with Drea. Maybe Manifest wanted to have some dialogue in Spanish, as we did in Cuba? Well, I always keep the captioning on.

Angelina calls the Stones, first Ben and then Cal. Cal, who had recovered some of Ben’s good will in how he helped rescue Eden, loses his father’s good will when he allows Angelina to speak to Eden. Cal was trying to help by getting Angelina to tell Eden that Ben is good, but Ben only hears enough to make him angry. At this point, Cal decides to leave for good. He knows he’s sick, but he doesn’t want to burden anyone.

Cal doesn’t get far. A drunk Zeke – as an empath, he has been overwhelmed by feelings, his and the feelings of others – stumbles over a collapsed Cal. They’re both in bad shape. I think it’s interesting that they both collapsed near the area where the garbage is thrown out. Both feel like garbage at this moment.

Title musings: “Relative Bearing” is the title of the episode. In aviation speak, the phrase refers to the angular difference between the aircraft heading and the direction to the station, as measured clockwise from the nose of the aircraft. In other words, it’s the difference between your actual direction and the direction you’re supposed to be taking.

We don’t know exactly where the Manifest’s home station is – it seems to have a lot to do with morality – but several of the characters, after the previous episode, are off course. Zeke, for example, messes up with a patient and then turns to alcohol. Cal felt as if he finally had some rapprochement with his father, only to blow it by letting Angelina talk to Eden. He’s so desperate, he actually leaves home, but collapses outside, because he is ill.

Other characters are going in directions they don’t want to take: Adrian, whose house was just blown up; Jared, who was demoted for defending the passengers, and because of his “moral compass,” is planning to take the hit for Zeke’s killing of Erika. Angelina, desperate to reunite with Eden, calls the Stones. And poor Eden doesn’t understand what has been happening.

There’s another interpretation of this title: bearing relatives. Zeke tries to bear up Cal, and Cal tries to bear up Zeke, Ben tried to bear up Eden. And Olive has been bearing up her entire immediate family.

I love the title of this episode.

Bits and pieces

I love the bit when Cal says the word shit and Olive calls him out on it. My oldest grandson is just discovering dirty words and it is so funny.

We now know why Ben had the beard: so he could shave it off in this episode!

I feel a lot for Olive because when I was just a little older than she is in this episode, my life was similar to hers, of course without Callings. My mother was alive, but she was dying. My father, whose parents had just died, was completely withdrawn. My twin brother was going through a messed-up period (he totally corrected himself later). Our much younger, very handicapped sister needed a lot of care. I was depressed for romances gone wrong, but in my family at that point, I was in the best shape, and had to step in and handle basically everything, from crises to the mundane.

Olive is on a tear about sapphire and the divine consciousness. Manifest, in order not to make it too obvious that she is wearing a sapphire, actually hides the sapphire beneath her sweater top in this episode. But she’s still wearing her mother’s necklace; you can still see the chain. Little Eden, too, has a sapphire connection – earrings – put in there by Angelina, while Michaela’s wedding ring contains a white sapphire.

We got to see TJ in the recap at the start of the episode, and Olive is leaving him a message. I hope this means TJ is coming back!

How was Angelina able to call Cal? She could know Ben’s number, assuming it hasn’t changed in the last two years, but how would she discover Cal/Gabriel’s number? Cal didn’t have a phone number before he disappeared.

There's some Registry stuff that I did not cover. This review is long enough!


Cal: During the explosion, I had this Calling. “It's not enough.”
Olive: What does that mean?
Cal: The Lifeboat is sinking, and we are helpless to stop it.
Olive: No. You're not, okay? You are not helpless. In order to save the Lifeboat, you have to follow the Callings. Okay? You just need to remember.
Cal: I am following the Callings. This one made it crystal clear that our memories, our Callings, they're not enough to balance out the sh¡t that's coming. They're not enough to save the Lifeboat.
Olive: Okay. Well, then you try. All right? You don't give up. Ever.

Cal: And you know you can talk to me. You absorbed a boatload of rage yesterday.
Zeke: Okay, you're right. Yeah, I did. I never thought I'd be responsible for taking a life. After Chloe, I really thought –
Cal: Hey. Chloe was not your fault.
Zeke: There's no question about this one, is there?

Vance: You can't leave this to chance. Do the right thing!
Jared: You've cleaned up messes for so long, you don't even know what right is anymore. Your moral compass is screwed up.
Vance: Get one thing straight. My compass points true north.

Olive: Well, Eden was never in the glow. So she doesn't have any memories to pull from, yet she gets Callings.
Cal: Okay, which means...?
Olive: There must be another way to get information from the divine consciousness.

Eden: My mommy says you're a bad man. Bad man! Bad man! Leave me alone! I want my mommy!

Noelle: Get the hell away from my car!
Eagan: Whoa! Whoa, easy there, Tammy Faye. I'm looking for Angelina. Petite thing, eyebrows maybe a little singed. Is she around?
Noelle: Like I told the other officers, my daughter is dead!
Eagan: Mm-hmm. Yeah, well, here's the thing. There's a handful of people who know that's a lie, and two of them are standing right here.

Overall rating

There were a few minor plot holes, but I enjoyed and appreciated the episode. Three and a half out of four bottles of hooch.

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


  1. I just want to shake Cal, sick or not! WTF is he thinking?! Angelina KILLED YOUR MOTHER and you let her access to your baby sister?! I don’t blame Ben for being angered over the phone call.

    And this is the one time I’m rooting for Eagan. Turn the B in. Get the damn reward. After all the abuse he put up with in prison, I have no problem with him profiting off Angelina’s (hopeful) capture.

    So who’s killing the 828ers? Someone new or someone we’ve already met?

    Olive really has grown up. She’s the most adult character in this show, sometimes. Her and Drea and Vance. Every one else has some level of immaturity, emotional issue, stupidity, craziness, or character assassination.

    And I’m now worried Zeke is going to somehow take Carl’s illness in himself.

  2. I agree that Olive has really stepped up in an extremely difficult situation. She's great! As for everything else, I must be silent, because, you know, spoilers.


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