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Manifest: Inversion Illusion

Eden: “I wanna be with my daddy.”

The omega sapphire has been stolen from the thief who stole it. Also, the world’s smallest sociopath has learned to generate Callings while Zeke faces a terrible decision.

Angelina, who took the omega sapphire from Eagan, has learned how to make Callings, and one of her Callings is Grace appearing to Ben and then Grace appearing to Cal. It must be strange for the Athena Karkanis, who portrays real Grace, to portray fake Grace.

First, let me say how despicable Angelina is (and yet she believes she is an angel of the Lord) to use the face and voice of the woman she murdered in order to try to rekidnap Eden and to try to get Cal to give into death. Fortunately, Angelina’s representation of Grace is not perfect, as fake-Grace has the wrong color eyes and is speaking in a manner that real-Grace would not use (like the words “my love”). Moreover, fake Grace is saying things that real Grace would never say.

Fortunately, Ben and Cal see through her. When fake-Grace tells him to give Eden back to Angelina, Ben knows that is wrong. Later, when Grace tells Cal to give up and just let himself die, Cal also knows that is wrong.

Eden, of course, doesn’t have memories of real Grace to sustain her, but she still chooses her father instead of Angelina. The month+ of time with her real family – brother, sister, father, aunt and uncle, and grandfather – must have been very good.

When Eden chooses her father, Angelina picks up the sapphire and screams. All the passengers are affected, and I think Zeke may have been affected, too. This alerts the Registry, because, you know, it is weird behavior. I understand people have rights, but the passengers are defying physics and I don’t blame governments for monitoring them.

Michaela goes out with Jared first and with Ben later, first to Eagan and later in search of Angelina. Angelina is drunk on power. Ben and Michaela rescue the other people in the church (I don’t understand why they weren’t doing more to save themselves). Angelina has her trial by fire and fuses shards of the omega sapphire into her hand.

Although Michaela and Ben save some people, Zeke is the real hero of the episode. Zeke finds things to do that matter for someone who is dying. He brings the photos. He arranges things on a bucket list, with baseball, the Louvre, and French fries.

But at the end, when Cal is passing, and Zeke hears that Cal could save the whole world, he goes even further. Cal is so near death that he is not in a position to object. Zeke takes Cal’s hand with one of his and absorbs the cancer, the gray creeping up his arm, and calling his wife with his other hand in order to say goodbye.

And so Zeke sacrifices himself a second time for Cal (the first time was at the end of season one when he plunged into the freezing lake). I hope he doesn’t get resurrected again because otherwise his sacrifice would not really be a sacrifice, and besides, he’s already been resurrected twice. Still, it’s a pity he spent these last few days working on Cal’s bucket list and not his own. On the other hand, maybe some of those events were for him as well, such as a game of Monopoly (many say Monopoly makes you feel as if time is slowing down). Because Zeke must have at least suspected that he could restore Cal’s life by giving up his own and he must have been considering it all along. Of course, wanting to live, he put it off until the last moment.

The Bird Nest gets shut down. Gupta – I still don't know if she's good or evil – summoned the authorities. The fact that Angelina can make fake Callings is terrifying. Angelina, the world’s smallest sociopath, is now going around causing fissures to open up behind her.

As this last episode of season four part A ends, we’re left with many questions about the Callings. They have inspired good in humans like Zeke, but are others, as Adrian says, agents of the Apocalypse? Is the reason for their confusing messages that they are engineered by their recipients – after all, they are memories – or is a third party, such as the divine consciousness, playing a role?

Title musings: “Inversion Illusion” is the title of the episode. The definition according to Wikipedia: “An abrupt change from climb to straight-and-level flight can stimulate the otolith organs enough to create the illusion of tumbling backwards, or inversion illusion. The disoriented pilot may push the aircraft abruptly into a nose-low attitude, possibly intensifying this illusion.”

The title refers most obviously to the Callings of Angelina, in which she appears to Ben and Cal as Grace, and to Michaela as Evie, trying to get them to go in the wrong direction. They all resist, however. I think another interpretation could be the general idea that Callings could be inverted. Finally, we were all expecting Cal to die, but Zeke gives up his life instead. The title is fine.

Bits and pieces

The timing can’t be more than a day or two after the end of the previous episode, because Eagan is waking up from his coma. However, there has to have been enough time for them to have installed a hospital bed and for Cal to be at death’s door. I’m guessing two days at least, so that makes it end of January 2023 or beginning of February 2023.

The shot near the end is lovely, with Ben and Olive rejoicing at Cal’s recovery, while Michaela weeps because Zeke is dead.

Zeke has now died three times. How many times has Cal died?

Otolith organs are in our ears and help us with our sense of direction, balance, relationship to gravity and movement.

I have a question for Manifest, which I hope gets answered in the next ten episodes. Given how awful Angelina has turned out to be, why did the Callings make Michaela rescue her? Locking her in the basement was extreme of her parents, but maybe it was a better choice than destroying all of humanity?

Angelina never mentions the fact that Olive killed her father. Well, at the time, Kenneth Meyer was trying to murder Eden, so perhaps Angelina approves.

Apparently, TJ and Levi meet off camera. Olive is coy about her relationship with Levi. I'm OK with it; Olive needed someone at the time and Levi needed to grow up as well. I think TJ suspects but forgives.

How does Angelina learn about the sapphire? We can presume that she is the one who was listening in on the Stones before when they had phones turned on while Eden was playing with them. Even although it’s a stretch, Angelina is completely obsessed with Eden and the Stones. She would spy on them if she could.

Eagan calls Michaela “eyebrows” – as far as I can tell, Melissa Roxburgh does not pluck her eyebrows. Perhaps I am the only one, but I think most plucked eyebrows look ridiculous and I don't know why it has been fashionable my entire life.

Both Ben and Michaela have lost their partners.

I wonder if the death card in the previous episode referred to Zeke.

The Registry is detaining all sorts of passengers – why haven’t they come for the Stones?

How long it will take for people to realize that Olive is wearing an omega sapphire around her neck?


Michaela: I thought saving 191 souls was overwhelming, but if the fate of the Lifeboat determines the fate of billions of people, then... what do we do?
Zeke: Easy. Whatever we have to.

Cal: Guys, I'm dying. But you know who else is? All of you. You have to keep trying.

Vance: There's this new thing they just invented. It's called sleep. You should try it.
Saanvi: Yeah. Sleep is for suckers, especially given the stakes.
Vance: Well, that's fair. Eight billion people. It's pretty damn stakes-y.

Eagan: Oh, fun. Time to play bad cop, bad cop.
Michaela: Well, hey, last time I saw you, you'd stolen a sacred object and left us for dead.
Eagan: So yesterday. Move on, eyebrows.
Michaela: Do you have any idea where the Omega Sapphire is?
Eagan: It was taken from me, along with a chunk of my scalp, by the world's smallest sociopath.

Olive: I can't lose Cal.
TJ: Hey. Cal's gonna pull through somehow. We all will. I know it.
Olive: For some reason, when you say that, it somehow sounds possible.

Angelina: Forgive me. I thought for so long that you were chasing me. I now realize you chose me. You wanted me to realize I don't need to find an angel. I am the angel.

Michaela: Hey, what's going on? Is it Cal?
Zeke: No. No, it's me.
Michaela: Uh, can it wait till I get home?
Zeke: I won't be here when you get home.

Overall rating

I think there were a couple of weaknesses with respect to how Angelina found out everything and with respect to some of the timing, but I loved how Eden chose her father and how Zeke gave up his life. Four out of four games of Monopoly.

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


  1. Victoria, a great review of a terrific episode. I could feel Zeke's death coming for several episodes, but it still really got to me. And I was so happy that exposure to a sane family got Eden to make the right choice. It was like a reward for all of Ben's efforts to get her back.

    I agree with you about the eyebrows. :) My mother used to pluck hers. I always thought those fake pencil lines looked, well, fake.

  2. I'm so glad someone else agrees on the eyebrow thing! If you have a unibrow, sure, pluck it, or if you're an actor playing a Vulcan, sure. But otherwise, it looks fake. And, I don't know, aged?

  3. The fact that Angelina can use the omega sapphire to trigger calling-like experiences is troubling. They've been floating the idea for a while now that callings are the passengers memories of being in a kind of communion with a divine consciousness, though it's not clear why particular memories are triggered. But if Angelina can make "fake" callings, how do we know other Callings are not manipulations created by someone with access to a sapphire rather than true memories?

    The show definitely seems to want us to accept the Michaela view that there's a plan behind the Callings that brings a greater good, but you're right that it's hard to see why rescuing Angelina, let alone bringing her into the Stone household as Cal was encouraged to do, was a good thing. For that matter, I don't see how recovering the tailfin was a positive in any way either.


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