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Manifest: Furball

Vance: “All right, we're twenty minutes out. Let's hit the road. Don't get mud on my seats.”
Cal: “I used to find you kind of scary, but you're really just a dad.”
Vance: “Dads can be scary.”

Ben is joined by his daughters while Cal goes to live with Mick and Jared. Eagan and Angelina reach a truce.

While Olive and Eden are visiting their father at the detention center, all heck breaks loose. When the guards are trying to remove Bill Daly’s body for inspection or burial, a fissure opens in the concrete / earth / planet, and not only is the corpse removed, some of the guards fall in and die as well.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the guards are upset. So upset that they're planning to quit, which makes sense because you can't make a living if you're dead. And it’s kind of hard to operate a detention center without guards, so Director Zimmer makes an executive decision: Isolation Protocol.

This means the detention center is going to be closed forever. Since they already had a phrase for the deed, that means it was already worked out: locking the passengers inside with whatever supplies they happen to have at the time, but at least unlocking all the doors inside. However, implementing isolation protocol is kind of messy as they try to evacuate the non-passenger personnel. Eden gets into the detention center, and Olive, the responsible older sister, follows her inside to look for her. As the doors are closing, they decide to remain with their father, but manage to get a message to Cal via Vance, who agrees to look after him.

A guard, grieving that several guards just lost their lives, getting sucked into the earth without even names such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to remember them by, decides it’s time to take out the passengers. And by take out, I don’t mean release, but to use as target practice with an assault rifle. He gets talked out of it by Eden. The scene is almost too sappy, but the little girl playing Eden is very young. It shows, however, that Quinn is not all evil.

I’d expect more horror on Cal’s part at being unable to see his father and his sisters for the next nine months, for what they expect will be the rest of their unnatural lives. Cal, despite looking like a young adult, still doesn’t have the experience of one, as evidenced by the fact that he doesn’t know that the clubs in cards are clubs. On the other hand, having Vance around for protection is actually a step up from his prior situation. Vance doesn’t have to be completely off the grid – although he knows how to do it if he needs to – and he has useful things like cars and computers and credit cards.

Michaela and Jared, after spiriting away Steve, who just had a stroke, are now hiding out in the really nice house that belonged to Tarik, the deceased Grace’s deceased brother. I do think it was weird that they were able to sneak Steve out of the hospital the way they did. Doesn’t a stroke patient need medication? On the other hand, I like the fact that they are taking care of Mick’s father, that they are getting to play house, and I’m always happy when someone talks accurately about Venn diagrams. I also like grilled cheese sandwiches.

Vance goes to find Cal, and helps him with a Calling. It leads them to Michaela, who is being strangled by an 828xer who happened to have a house down the road from Tarik. They take care of the would-be strangler, who apparently was planning to murder far more than just one passenger. He was planning to kill everyone inside the detention center. Anyway, Vance calls Emmett for a trash pickup, so we can assume the blow to the head was fatal. It’s nice to be reminded of Vance’s sidekick. Fortunately for Cal the Calling means he gets to be with two adult relatives: aunt and grandfather, and two pseudo uncles, Jared and Vance.

Another storyline is the developing relationship between Eagan and Angelina – the con man and the religious fanatic. He has to get her to trust him (she’s less trusting than she was several years ago). I like how the other passengers are initially reluctant and how they eventually accept her. After all, she is powerful; it’s not one of those cases where someone is making completely dubious religious claims.

Ben steps up to do what he can to captain the lifeboat in the detention center. They prepare to make do with what they have and to take care of each other. There's also a happy reunion between Olive and TJ. Although this is all well and good, I have to think they would also be working on ways to escape. And as some of them still have family on the outside, I’ve got to think those people would be working to get inside – or at least to get food and supplies inside.

Michaela has been frustrated by the lack of Callings, but as Cal is still getting them – getting all of them! – they end on a more contented note. They can keep trying, instead of waiting. They still have a chance.

Title musings: “Furball” is the title of the episode. According to Wiktionary, furball in aviation means: A large, disorganized battle involving many different aircraft (especially fighters) or warships. Of course, it also means, when airplanes are not involved, a ball of fur, often something puked up by a cat after it licks itself clean. A third meaning is someone who has a lot of hair. I guess many of the characters qualify: TJ, Olive, Eden, Eagan, Jared, Cal, Michaela and Angelina all have more than the average amounts of hair, and shut in the DC, can’t imagine haircuts will be a priority. Still the idea of disorganized battle comes closest, from Quinn to the nosy neighbor, but the episode also feels kind of like a disorganized furball. I think they used the title Furball mostly because it’s fun, and I agree, it is fun.

Bits and pieces

We’re told that there are nine months until the death date. If we’re exact about it, it must be September 2023. It’s also only a few days after the end of the previous episode.

Steve Stone, a stroke victim, has one side of his face scrunched up in one scene. But I think he scrunches up the other side in a later scene. That must be a tough expression to keep going.

Although it’s cute to have Cal call clubs clovers, it seems unlikely that he would have never played cards. He played Monopoly, and I expect games were important in the Stone household before their trip to Jamaica.

I am beginning to think that when anything gets too difficult for the writers to explain, they just arrange for the earth to open up and swallow it. So not only were Bill Daly and Fiona Clarke never allowed to speak after they returned, now both of their bodies are gone, too.

No sight of Saanvi; she was taken away in the last episode. I wonder if the actor was busy or if the writers thought having her around would be inconvenient to the plot.


Ben: Without Callings, we don't have a chance. My family. Your family. Everyone's gonna die because of me.
Vance: You were trying to stop Angelina. No way you could've known.

Jared: And you really like your grilled cheese.

Michaela: On the Venn diagram of easy and delicious, it is right there in the middle.

Angelina: So you're just using me.
Eagan: No, Sister Christian. The time has come for you to use me. Here's the thing. I can help you.
Angelina: With what?
Eagan: Getting them to listen. See, you're not speaking their language. You might have the power of sapphire, but I have the gift of gab.

Vance: Emmett. I'm sending you an address. Trash pickup.

Angelina: I mean, you really do always put yourself first, and it wasn't that long ago you betrayed me, used my mom to try to get reward money, so what changed?
Eagan: I did. My eyes are open. You have been chosen. And look at your palm. That doesn't just happen. My first Calling ever was about sapphire. Years later, I was the one to find it. Now, it's seared into your hand like a grilled panini. You were meant to have that sapphire. Not me.

Ben: Now we have nine months left to find little ways to make every last second count.
TJ: To the little joys in life.

Cal: Well, I'm already in danger. We all are.
Michaela: It's worth a shot.

Overall rating

Enjoyable, and I guess I’m just giving up on getting answers and complete logic. Three out of four Venn diagrams with grilled cheese sandwiches in the center.

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

1 comment:

  1. I am beginning to think that when anything gets too difficult for the writers to explain, they just arrange for the earth to open up and swallow it. Lol, Victoria. You're right.

    I did find the detention center lockdown rather shocking and unexpected.


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