Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Manifest: Throttle

Angelina: “Stop, Ben, please. The Callings, my powers, they're all I have left. You can't take them from me.”
Ben: “You took my wife from me and my daughter. I want you to know what that's like, to experience what I felt. The pain, Angelina. The pain.”

Angelina’s in the detention center, and that’s making many people, especially those who know her, nervous. Also, Steve collapses and Ben picks up a needle.

The episode opens with the blood-red river apparently spreading out from the detention center, and some TV reporters speculating about it. At the beginning of the episode it’s still a mystery, but that is odd, as identification – it turns out not to be blood, but red algae – should have taken only a few minutes for any decent scientist. A minute to rule out blood, another minute to put it under a microscope and go, oh, that’s red algae. The fact that we needed to get to the end of the episode – during which at least most of a day has passed – is absurd.

Anyway, if it’s not a blood plague being caused by the living Bill Daly, and the explanation excuse at the end of the episode is that it’s a hydrothermic vent that’s heating up the water and causing a red algae bloom, then what caused the hydrothermic vent? Perhaps Angelina, when she murdered Daly?

Angelina has been brought to the detention center, and that makes many people nervous. Ben argues with Director Zimmer about keeping Angelina. At first I was kind of surprised that Zimmer would consult Ben, because she’s usually so dismissive of any suggestions from passengers. Then Zimmer goes to speak to Angelina, and we learn that she was just using Ben in order to confirm Angelina’s abilities, so her character seems consistent. Zimmer shows later, in a conversation with the co-pilot, Amuta, how unpleasant she is.

Amuta: If you don't let me see my friend, you don't get to know where the others are!
Zimmer: How much longer do you think your friends can survive on their own? We have food, shelter, teams that follow the Callings. They'll be safe here. Help me help them.

We get to see Eagan again, which is always fun, as he’s always complaining and he’s always scheming. This time working with the oh-so-easy-on-the-eyes TJ (Garrett Wearing) and janitor Jackson.

The co-pilot Amuta was persuaded to turn himself into the detention center by Angelina projecting Bill Daly, which is extra horrible because Angelina just murdered the same Bill Daly. Ben finds out that Amuta has been with the dozen or so passengers in hiding on the outside. Ben arranges a very suspicious press conference where he gives the “word” (chicken coop) to the public and the passengers flee so they’re not discovered.

Director Zimmer thinks Angelina somehow warned the passengers on the outside to find another safe house. This is one possibility, but if Angelina was willing to manipulate Amuta, why would she not manipulate the others? Zimmer doesn’t even appear to suspect Ben doing something, which shows that Zimmer is not as wily as she thinks she is. Nevertheless, her unfounded suspicions lead Zimmer to a sensible conclusion: Angelina is powerful and Angelina is not to be trusted. Zimmer orders Saanvi to remove the sapphire. Saanvi refuses, but another medic is willing. However, before anything can be done, the sapphire melts into Angelina, infusing her with power. What’s even more interesting is that this happens while Angelina is unconscious, so it’s not as if she willed this to happen. As Saanvi says, it appears that Zimmer was not meant to have the sapphire. Or, it means that Angelina was meant to have it, which is not quite the same thing. One more thing for the writers to explain.

Ben wants to end Angelina’s ability to send out fake Callings, which seems reasonable given how dangerous she is. Saanvi resists because the serum was so dangerous when she used it on herself. As Angelina murdered Grace, Ben doesn’t mind if Angelina suffers. Ben injects Angelina with the serum, which causes Angelina to scream, the earth to shake, and apparently stop all the Callings for all the passengers. Has he sunk the lifeboat? Possibly.

With the earth shaking, and the detention center in disarray, Eagan finds Angelina. The last time they were together, she knocked him out and stole the omega sapphire from him, so he has no reason to trust her. As Eagan is a liar and a thief, she likewise has no reason to trust him. Either because he is nervous or because the writers couldn’t find anything sharper, the dialogue is not as witty as usual but it does hit home.

Eagan: How can I trust you?
Angelina: How do I know I can trust you?
Eagan: Oh, okay. This is gonna be interesting.

Anyway, Eagan frees her and they escape the detention center together, heading to the new safe house with the few unrounded-up passengers. Is it the start of a beautiful friendship? Or will they betray each other again? Given the nature of these characters, has to be the latter. At any rate, Angelina and Ben are separated again, both with their own group of passengers, which is probably safer for everybody.

Another storyline centers around Steve’s stroke. Michaela watches it and can do nothing from the other side of the barrier. She has a Calling – nothing but a babbling brook – and uses it as an excuse to go visit her father. She cuts out her chip using some gin supplied by the always helpful Drea. Michaela and Jared then get Steve out of the hospital and take him away to care for him in secret, using the place that belonged to dead Grace’s dead brother.

Drea has always been one of my favorite characters. Even though she’s been having a relationship with Jared, she has always insisted on no strings with him, which works because Jared runs away with Michaela to look after Michaela’s father. Still, Drea wanted to talk to Jared and we’re left wondering what was left unsaid.

Speaking of wondering, I have many questions that have not been answered and the amount of story remaining in which to answer them is shrinking. Here’s one: Why were Cal and Angelina chosen? In some respects I can see more reason for Angelina than Cal. Angelina is a religious fanatic, so she might be more open to the Callings. Cal’s main feature is that he was the youngest (and sickest) of the passengers.

Title musings: “Throttle” is the title of the episode. In aviation, the throttle determines how much fuel you’re putting into an engine and hence how fast you’re going. At full throttle means going at full speed. It can also refer to slowing someone down or even strangling someone. Although Steve has a stroke, no one in this episode appears to die. However, Ben does something that might kill Angelina, but instead appears to end the ability of all the passengers to receive Callings.

Bits and pieces

Anxious Astrid co-pilot Amuta, and wife-abuser Paul are passengers whom I recognize in hiding; there are others who I don’t.

Michaela says to Ben, with respect to their father’s stroke, “I just had to stand there and watch while the EMTs worked on him.” But in the prior scene we saw the guards pulling her away.

Amuta claims to be a citizen of the US, which is possible, but up until now I assumed he was Jamaican, given the accent and the fact that he was flying out of Jamaica before.

I did think it was really funny when Michaela wanted alcohol and Drea brought gin instead of rubbing alcohol.

Drea drops the bloody chip into the bottle of gin. It looks cool but it seems ill-advised. First, the liquid might destroy the chip, which they don’t want destroyed for a bit. Possibly I don’t know how chips that go into people work; I guess they would have to be able to withstand some organic interference. Second, putting blood into a bottle of gin is kind of gross, ruining all the gin in the bottle. Of course, gin is a disinfectant so perhaps the bottle would not bother those less squeamish than I.

I liked how Drea, near the end of the episode, tossed the bottle with the chip in it into the back of a pickup truck.

If Jared’s phone is receiving messages, that means it could be tracked. Not bright to use it. Why not just take out the battery?

I understand Ramirez (Jared) and Roxburgh (Michaela) are a couple in real life.

More quotes

Zimmer: Angelina's locked up 24 hours a day in isolation.
Ben: I'm telling you she's dangerous.
Zimmer: As far as I'm concerned, you're all dangerous. And that crowd growing out there doesn’t disagree.

Steve: Everything that’s happened to you – to all of you – it’s just so unfair.

Michaela: I wasn't there for Mom when she died. I wasn't there for Zeke either. I have to find a way to be there for Dad.

Michaela: Can you text Drea and tell her to meet us at Park and Garvey and that I need alcohol?

Michaela: You would be aiding and abetting a fugitive. You would be a fugitive. I'm not asking you to blow up your life like that.
Jared: I know you're not asking. I'm volunteering. Maybe this is our chance. You and I would've been together if it wasn't for that damn plane disappearing and robbing us of that opportunity. I'm not letting that shit happen again.

Saanvi: Daly's blood isn't what caused the river to change color. It's red algae. But the only thing that can cause that much algae that quickly is if there's a hydrothermic vent in the earth's crust.
Ben: As if a volcano is erupting below us?

Overall rating

Sigh. I’ve been enjoying Manifest less lately, because the logic has been weaker or absent. Two and a half out of four bottles of gin.

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

1 comment:

  1. Zimmer is just so awful.

    How can they take Steve home so quickly? He just had a stroke!

    I really loved the "Muppet for Jesus" line. :)

    Totally agree about Drea. She is a class act.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.