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Manifest: Fata Morgana

Michaela: “Oh my God! Is this Angelina?”
Jared: “Mm-hmm.”
Michaela: “I don't understand. Ben thought he saw her die in the church fire. She's like a cockroach.”

A gory episode.

Olive and Cal discover that Fiona has died in their house, because somehow the tube that was helping her breathe fell out. However, it was pulled out by little Eden, who was manipulated by Angelina masquerading as Olive. The twins should have kept better watch, but it turns out they were recording it, so they can see Eden moving about in response to commands from someone who does not appear on camera. The twins – in loco parentis – immediately decide not to let Eden know what she did, which is the right choice. They are fortunate that Vance is coming, so he can make arrangements for the body.

Cal reaches out to Angelina and discovers she is on her way to New York.

Weirdly, in an encounter between Zeke and Michaela, sort of halfway in the glow, they are back in the cave, in 2018. Zeke is going back in time somehow. At first he knows what’s going on but later, when he’s waking up, Michaela has to tell him what to do – to leave the cave, to find the cabin, and to find her. It’s an odd loop, reminding me of a Möbius strip.

In the meantime, the detention center has a new plague! We get a hint when Ben’s hands are covered with blood in a Calling; later, Bill Daly is turning all the water into blood (although he doesn’t seem to be trying to do this). Unsurprisingly, when the water-turning-into-blood plague strikes the detention center, the detention center goes into lockdown. The security is not as tight as it used to be – possibly because some of the guards died from the plague of boils – and Michaela and Jordan are able to help Polly deliver the baby, and as Ben makes his way to Saanvi and Bill Daly. Polly seems nice enough, but she’s one of the characters included in this last half-season to show how useful Ben, Michaela and Saanvi are with respect to the passengers. Polly goes into labor – she has gone very quickly from being able to hide her pregnancy to giving birth, although we’re told it’s six weeks early. Thanks to the lockdown, Polly can't get to Saanvi, but Michaela, as a police officer, knows how to deliver a baby as long as the birth is not difficult. Michaela saves the day and agrees to be cool aunt (not a mother) and figures out that Jordan the janitor, who is hanging around, is the father of the baby. The storyline is pleasant and it adds some tension, especially as there’s no water to be had – Polly needs to be hydrated, something that ought to come up more often – but in the end this storyline feels like filler.

Saanvi is trying some medical procedure to rescue Bill Daly and it requires a sample of bone marrow from Patrick, Bill Daly’s son. The stem cell procedure is gobbledygook but it serves to get the son and father near each other. Most of Patrick’s memories of his father are bad, but he does remember something good. I rather liked that, as it shows how most relationships have both good and bad in them. However, Manifest gives us the hope of reconciliation only to shoot down our hopes later.

Angelina has murdered Fiona and now she’s determined to kill Bill Daly. By using the form of Patrick Daly and by saying terrible things to Bill Daly, Angelina gets Bill Daly to perform suicide by law enforcement officer (more blood). Jared, who has been tracking down Angelina with the assistance of cameras and Cal and his Callings, could have interrupted her but he doesn’t, and she’s able to complete the murder.

This means that both Fiona and Daly returned and then died without saying anything that matters. Of course, Daly has done something – plagues of locusts, boils and blood – but no words of import, as far as I can tell. I am frustrated. Will we ever learn what they wanted to say? What made them return when they did? Note that Daly expected to come back in 2024, but we’re in August or September of 2023. I fear many questions will go unanswered. Or did they come back so that they could be murdered by Angelina? That’s certainly the purpose of the creators of Manifest, but does it make sense in the storyverse with Callings? I don’t know. What was the point of their return and the plagues if they never say anything?

However, props to the show when Angelina is brought into the detention center. The looks of hatred between her and Ben are really well done. I am uncomfortable at the idea of them being locked up in the same place together, especially as Angelina is able to manipulate all the passengers with projections. She could work on anyone at any moment.

When Bill Daly dies, and the real Patrick sits next to him, his dripping blood spreads into a drain that reaches the outside. It creates far more blood than his body could contain. It appears that the plagues are spreading beyond the detention center.

Title musings: “Fata Morgana” is the title of the episode. In aviation, this refers to an illusion. According to IMDb, which for once paid attention to the episode title: “Fata Morgana is the Italian name for Morgan le Fay (meaning "Morgan the Fairy"), who was a sorceress of medieval legends. The sorceress is said to show mirages to people. People report seeing floating ships, ships that appear to be flying upside down, or even landmasses that aren't really there, even flying cities. This could refer to Angelina Meyer who can project herself into any place in real time and can appear in front of any person in the form of any person she thinks appropriate or strategic, like a mirage – something that is seen (and heard) but is not actually there.” It’s a good title.

Bits and pieces

Given Angelina’s behavior, I think her parents may have been justified in locking her up in their basement in Costa Rica. Of course, her father Kenneth is dead now, but I wonder how her mother Nicole is doing in prison.

I liked the guy with the flower. It looked like a marigold to me. Small things like this can make all the difference to getting through difficult times.

Whenever there’s a blood curse, I wonder if it just affects water or if it transforms all liquids. Like those little boxes of milk.

I wonder if I would understand what’s going on better if I read The Neverending Story.

The new parents, Jordan and Polly, name their girl Chloe. This reminds us of Zeke’s younger sister, who was mentioned in the episode.

We have been told over and over how much Michaela does not want kids. Now, I can understand that if you have been shot in the stomach you might not be able, and if you have a death date, you might think it’s unwise, but it’s something they have really pounded on us.


Woman over P.A.: All passengers must return to their quarters immediately. This is a lockdown.
Ben: My blood Calling. It has to be connected. We've gotta protect Daly. Let me get word to Saanvi.
Michaela: Go before it's too late. I got the passengers.

Cal: Fiona is really sick.
Eden: But I helped her last night. Just like Olive told me.
Olive: What? How? Helped her how?
Eden: You said the splinter was hurting her and told me to take it out.
Olive: No. No, Eden, I never said that.
Eden: Yes. Yes, you did. You said she'd feel better, and she's still sick.

Michaela: I mean, I was a cop back in the day, so I do have emergency train–
Polly: You said this wasn't an emergency.
Michaela: No. But the stress you're under might be causing false labor pain.
Polly: Stress! You think? I mean, a bloodbath wasn't exactly part of my birthing plan.

Jared: Why is she running straight into the storm?
Vance: Only two reasons. She's running from something or towards something.

Overall rating

A lot of filler and no progress on understanding. Also, not much of the dialogue stood out. Two and a half out of four marigolds.

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

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