Manifest Episode 12 Review: Vanishing-Who Is Zeke, The Major’s Elizabeth Marvel And Other Burning Questions?

As Cal is found more questions are revealed as some huge ones get answered.

Manifest Episode 12 Vanishing
Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/Warner Brothers

An episode that felt more like a mid-season finale(even without explosions) is leading to some huge revelations. Manifest has really hit its stride.  No longer content to be a supernatural procedural or a Lost knockoff, it is forging new ground where dashes of many different things combine to make a very entertaining cocktail. More than any other episode thus far, the writers have walked that delicate balance and the show is taking off(pun intended).

Michaela’s shared consciousness has increased tenfold.  She is now experiencing feelings as well as simply hearing voices.  Her powers might just be the strongest. Cal is just the catalyst, but Michaela is the bomb.  It could be a powerful weapon if she starts developing the ability to astral project or at least remote view.  The government has a history of paranormal study.  The supposedly failed Philadelphia Experiment that sought to create a cloaking device of sorts that may have sent sailors to other dimensions(think Event Horizon) and back as well as  The Stargate Project a remote viewing unit established in 1978 by the US Army are two of the most famous. 

Some of the stories are terrifying and fantastical, but it remains to be seen how factual they are.  It is also entirely possible that those crazy stories are just the tip of the iceberg.  An argument could be made that Michaela is the most potent weapon.  Combined with her police skills and instincts and the fact that she is an adult as opposed to an inexperienced child and she makes the better foe.  What other abilities she will develop over time will make for interesting television.  It is likely that for all The Major’s control she did not see this coming.  It’s one thing to experiment but quite another to lose control over those experiments.

Autumn has been front and center for the last several weeks with her involvement with the government agency.  Her storyline gets some much-needed resolution.  Turns out she really was a desperate collaborator and not just an opportunist.  The trite spy-within plot point was becoming very played out, however, and the show can move forward without her.  We no longer will have to waste time with her manipulations and lies.  It only served to prove yet again how far the agency was willing to go to achieve their goals.  Hopefully, her child is the only pressure point she has, and we are done with the treachery angle. 

The situation the Stone’s find themselves in is a powder keg.  Ben and Grace’s marriage is rocky at best.  Guilt, anger, and distrust are strong emotions to be mixing together.  Her ability to simultaneously be continuously in the way and sulk as she does it is nothing short of amazing.  She continues to look shocked by the most obvious clues like a note that says I left that looks exactly like the map it is intended.  Her incredulousness is exhausting.  I implore the writers to give her a modern voice.  Do not just pigeon hole her as the skeptical, shrewish housewife and expect us to sympathize.  To make matters worse, she called her boyfriend Danny so she and Ben could gallivant across the countryside in his borrowed truck.  Danny wasn’t even asked to come stay with Olive.  He must be pathetic or really in love with Grace to put up with that.  A man’s truck is sacred, or so I have been told.  There are two things you never let another man touch, your love, and your truck.

As I predicted, Michaela is the one to be found.  She was channeling Zeke’s “Calling”.  He is the one stumbling around in the snow trying to find her.  A nearly frozen wanderer who is not from Flight 828.  How he is connected, why he is connected, and what he wants are all questions that need answers ASAP.  The way he looked at Mich when he woke up and saw her for the first time leads me to believe Jared might have some competition.  They look cute together and best of all he is not married to her best friend, so that’s a big plus.  He evidently stumbled headfirst into the conspiracy by experiencing some sort of time travel weather event of his own.  How that happened and why are just two of the things that are pressing. 

His appearance also begs the question, if he fell ass-backward into the wormhole how many others are out there?  It is almost impossible that there are not a bunch more.  In addition, if these smaller time travel events are side effects than why was Flight 828 picked in the first place.  Was it serendipity that all the survivors were on the plane together or something far more spiritual at play?  Do not forget the original flight was supposed to have the entire Stone crew aboard.  Ben, Cal, and Michaela elected to take the other flight to earn money.  Anyone could have taken a different plane.  Was it fate mixed with government machination, and if so who is influencing fate?  Do the Flight 828’s have a guardian angel?

There is a cool discussion to be had about conscious and unconscious connections and communication.  It has extended past the often times overly dramatized “Callings”, or the heady musings of newly missing neuroscientist Dr. Clarke.  Twin speak, another form of communication long acknowledged but not understood is another form put on display this week.  Olive and Cal as twins still have the ability to influence one another despite being separated by space and time.  Five and a half years and miles are no match for their bond.  Cal left his note/map right where he knew she would look.  It adds a nice symmetry to the episode that her contribution as a twin and not a fellow time traveler is what made the difference.  These interjections of other phenomenon make for a clever backdrop to the more shadowy conspiracy.

 Finally The Major makes her presence known.  She is moving to New York to keep an eye on the passengers.  Given the outdoor space and view alone and I think it is reasonable to add filthy rich to her pro column.  Elizabeth Marvel is an outstanding choice for this tough as nails, seemingly omnipotent leader.  Her work on House of Cards, Homeland, and Fargo should be more than enough to convince you she can be the heavy-hitting villain we need.  Her introduction opens the door for a wider conspiracy and much more interaction with the Stones and company.  Next week a tsunami of information comes at us as the bigger picture crystallizes.

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