Manifest has a ton of balls in the air and episode three really highlighted this issue. We had yet another plotline advanced in the way of atonement and resurrection while still maintaining the shady government group and religious undertones. The shadow-man which may or not be real in this jam-packed episode 3 “Turbulence” that revealed a stowaway aboard Montego Air Flight 828.
The episode opens with a flashback to our returnees time on the plane just before takeoff. Kelly is complaining about being bumped previously and says, “She would rather die than fly Montego ever again.” Well wish granted I guess. In current time CSI are swarming Kelly’s house in the aftermath of her murder. They are pulling a slug from the wall so I think its safe to say the shadow monster did not do something supernatural to her. In Ben and Grace’s kitchen Cal and Mic are playing a spelling game they have played for years evidently. Originally Cal spells “Now Your Turn” and Mick changes it to “Know Your Truth” with four or fewer letters. At that point, Kelly’s news story comes on and Michaela decides to head over and see what’s what.
As Mic is having a memory of the car crash that most likely killed the mysterious Evie, Saanvi calls Ben to tell him Cal has a marker in his blood that was not there before. She does not know what it points to only that it has nothing to do with cancer. Ben suggests it may be linked to whatever vitamin booster the government gave them when the returned to the tarmac. As that conversation concludes Mic walks into the kitchen and asks Ben to drive her to Kelly’s house. He points out he is not an Uber driver(yet, but if he doesn’t get a job soon… I’m just saying dude you need to pay the bills somehow) and wants to help. They eventually settle on him being a silent contributor.
At Kelly’s place, there is one crazy-eyed bloody dude with light-socket hair being held against one of the police cruisers outside her house. He definitely gives Ben and Mic the hairy eye so no telling what that’s about. There are tons of candle wielding people outside the house already. While in the house Mic learns there were burn marks around Kelly’s neck presumably where the necklace was stolen. Just as Ben and Mic are set to ask more questions our friends from the NSA show up and shut it down.
Later the siblings return to Kelly’s house and question her husband who tells them he was worried and told her to lay low. She told him it was her “calling” and she had to tell everyone what had happened and was still happening. Cal and Grace are heading out for the day so Ben can find a job but he instead decided to play cop again with his sister. The phrase “own my truth” comes up again in one of Kelly’s previously televised interviews. Ben and Mic go back to Kelly’s house where they talk with her husband and he divulges she was asking to lead a simpler life and never would have been a fame whore before the flight. She had bought the necklace that he describes as beautiful shortly before her death(that doesn’t seem simpler to me but you do you girl) and she was convinced their phones were being bugged and someone was following her. The housekeeper saw the obligatory black SUV’s too so just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. The remainder of the conversation revealed Kelly had been attacked at the mall somehow and had bruises all over her arms.
It’s Mic’s turn to own it and she has flashbacks of the wake for her friend Evie and being rebuked at the door by Evie’s angry Mom. In the city, Grace is discussing ending things with Danny(the boyfriend presumably) with her sous chef and he says he is protective towards Danny because it feels like Grace is cheating on him with Ben. Grace admits it feels that way to her too. Clearly, the sous chef knows Danny and with him so closely involved in Grace’s business it seems obvious that sooner rather than later this truth will come out. With Ben finding a condom that from the looks of his face is not his brand near Grace’s bed that uncomfortable talk is coming. After a thorough search of his house only reveals prophylactics we switch to Saanvi who is now checking her own blood for the same marker as Cal and shocker she has it too.
When Mic shows up at Evie’s house to atone for her past we have a hot second where we think we may be in an alternate universe and Evie is still alive. That’s not the case though and Evie’s Mom Beverly has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and can’t retain memories for more than fifteen minutes. It was especially tough to hear Evie’s Dad reveal how he eventually had to give up telling Beverly about the car crash. In the precinct, Jared drops some wisdom on Mic about not wasting her miracle on her pain. Although I tend to agree with him, and that was some next level life lesson, whoever or whatever, seems to want the returnees to dwell on the past a little and make things right. This conversation segues to Kelly’s assets and she and her husband own a strip mall.
A brief scene between a now fifteen-year-old Kevin a former best friend of Cal and still nine-year-old Cal highlights how difficult it must be for Olive, Cal, Grace, and Ben. Cal is hurt and rats out his sister, and Ben and Grace have to navigate co-parenting after a five-year lapse. Mic and Ben discover Kelly went to the strip mall she owned and head there to investigate. After a chase it is discovered Kelly’s husband is a slum lord and extortionist. He was shaking down all his tenants. He could be the actual killer.
Lobbying for shady government agent of the decade the NSA guy is back to get in a pissing contest with Jared and the police captain. They absolutely have Mickaela’s back though and send him packing. Jared is told to report on Michaela to the NSA though because it is his duty to the country or some such nonsense(eye roll). After further investigation, it becomes apparent that although Kelly’s husband is a slimeball he is not the killer. Back at his own house, Ben goes a little crazy and almost bashes in the head of Lindsay a dad of one of Olive’s friends and then makes the poor choice of slut-shaming Grace. She, much more calmly than I would have, explains that she had all kinds of people helping her and did have a boyfriend who he never met and never would(yeah right).
In the police precinct, Michaela visits the suspect in Kelly’s murder in the holding cell. Crazy eyes knows Mic by sight and when she questions him in prison he says he would never hurt her. He goes on to say Mic is chosen like Kelly was. He longs for the day that he will be returned and pure again like Michaela and Kelly. After the flashback to the night of the crash, Mic learns Beverly is missing and drives to rescue her in the middle of the street by making someone in a black SUV crash. This serendipitous moment led her to the gold necklace of Kelly’s and the revelation that Christine the housekeeper/lover wannabe was a full nutter.
Jared is not buying the whole coincidence angle anymore so Mic gives him a super brief lowdown. Olive and Cal reconnect over the Cat’s Cradle string game and Grace and Ben talk about Danny again while cleaning the kitchen. Jared rips up the NSA card, Ben and Grace share a tender moment, Michaela connects with Evie’s Mom, and the twins watch something on an iPad. Saanvi thinks they may all have had a near death experience and that is what the marker is. She needs some brain tissue to confirm an ischemic stroke though, so she just hacked into the ME’s database and voila! Except no Kelly Taylor is found. Where did she go? Why did the NSA take her?
1. Evie’s house number sports another 8. It was 08.
2. Ben and Grace’s address is 2414 yet another variant.
3. Cal’s blood work shows 737 31 56 56 90. I’m wondering if the plane was a 737 and each of the other numbers correspond to something important. Could 31 be the seat number Kelly sat in?
4. The clock at the strip mall as Mic and Ben chased the woman read 828 naturally.
5. So its official Grace had a boyfriend, not a girlfriend. That’s one theory that can be put to bed.
6. Whatever guiding force that is helping our returnees continues to use the irritating coincidence method of instruction. Seriously could you not just tell them what to do? This is by far and away the most circuitous route possible.
7. The suspects in Kelly’s murders name is Isaiah. This is an important name in the bible and it means savior. He is one of the four major prophets of the old testament. He was “called” to service as the Lord’s helper and prophet to the masses.
8. There is a whole lot of talk about being pure and other lives. I was convinced this was an issue of multiple timelines but now it seems more likely that this is about redemption and near death experiences.
9. Oh snap next week we learn of a stowaway’s existence and meet Danny. It’s going down for real!
10. With at least two of our characters that we know of that have been near death prior to the plain trip we may find more and more of them also had experiences prior to the flight. Cal was dying of cancer and Michaela’s car crash are the two known events to date.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.