A spycraft heavy Manifest Episode 3 has our hearts and heads pounding as our gang finally has the upper hand.
As predicted showrunner, Jeff Rake introduced mythology and scientific clues after two episodes of procedural drama. This series is at its best when symbology, sci-fi pseudoscience, mathematics, and unexplained phenomenon are introduced. Manifest Season 2 Episode 3 gave us cerebral mathematics disciplines and dragon statues in an exhilarating hour.
Ben’s big brain is put to use for something other than wall maps and string charts. He is going to be a professor at Astoria University where his former girlfriend turned Dean and TJ(Garrett Wareing) the adorable 828’er from last week works and attends. He guest lectures on Combinatronics as a tryout of sorts. What should be a smaller class is packed with math students and the curious alike.
The very real possibility that his inclusion on the staff would be a distraction is interesting. His presence could bring attention and possible grant money, but it comes at a price. The majority of the extra attendees were innocently interested. A stardom of sorts that energizes the students. TJ manages to help Ben salvage the lecture when too many questions threaten to derail things. Josh Dallas(Ben) is an extremely likable actor and his nature affability makes it plausible that his classes could translate to the none mathematically inclined.
For all the peace and lovers over at The Church of the Believers, there is growing anger among the fearful, forgotten, and disenfranchised. Jared handled things wrong with Mich and Zeke. There is no question, and I’m not a Jared apologist, however, his actions were understandable. He loved Michaela before Flight 828 and still loved her after.
As much as I love our girl of the healthy eyebrows, she did lead him on. Then and now. To make matters worse she may have gotten him in massive trouble at work in the process of freeing Zeke. By allowing him to be the entry point into the minds of those who distrust the Returned it humanizes both him and the movement. We still won’t like them, but we will better understand them. Similar to Lee Tergesen’s brilliant turn as Lunchbox Joe on season one of The Purge, it’s relatable even if it is abhorrent.
Less fresh feeling, is the fearful malignancy of those who want to destroy 828’ers for what they might do. This plot point, although I suppose necessary, feels very ripped from the X-Men storylines. We’ve seen it before. Humans are terrified by anyone who is different. The “otherness” of someone or something new is to be avoided and controlled. It is no different in the world of Manifest where for every person who thinks The Returned are miracles there are four more that think they are ticking time bombs. Ben’s new colleague at Astoria is one of the negative thinkers and he and his wife are biding their time.
Grace’s “callings” drove her to hunt down a pregnant mom she met in yoga class. The women clicked originally but when a gargoyle showed up as Grace heard her voice telling her to “open her eyes” their relationship stalls. Some lite soccer mom stalking courtesy of Cal and Grace tracks her down. Unfortunately, she was less than thrilled to see her with Cal whom she recognized as one of the 828er’s. When Grace tracks her down a second time it becomes clear she is full of hate for the Returned. She spits venom at Grace. Grace may want to help the mom adjust her point of view, but the gargoyle lurking thinks Grace needs protection. I’m sure we will see more of the protective creatures as the season goes on.
Olive is being pushed further and further into the arms of the church. Cal does the cyberstalking for Grace and he is the one she takes with her to find the yoga mom. Prior to the flight returning it was Olive and Grace alone. Now that Cal and Ben are back, and Grace has ‘callings” of her own, Olive feels like an afterthought. She is finding acceptance and love from the church when her family is able to only offer desperate hope. The church is telling her what she wants and needs to hear. The Returned are miracles and their families by proxy are celebrities. Olive craves that validation. It remains to be seen just how good the church really is. Hopefully, Grace and Ben find out what is happening before it’s too late.
All roads point to Zeke, and Michaela knows time is running out to save him. Cal knows it too and is drawing pictures of him on the plane. Their shared vision means something important. With him locked up and heavily sedated he is beyond her reach, but only for now. It pays to be a cop and she has friends who can help if she can get to him.
By the end of Manifest Season 2 Episode 3, he is back where he belongs, with Michaela. His side plot was really only needed to drive Jared into his hate group so I’m glad that has been sped up. Jared needed something to do other than moon over Michaela, and Zeke’s release provides that. Plus it paves the way for Zeke and Mich to deepen their relationship. In future episodes, flashbacks to his past fill in the harsh details both Mich and the viewers need.
Saanvi finally learned that The Major has been playing her for months. Vance may not fully trust her initially but by the final twist, he changed his mind. Saanvi is smart and cunning. After learning that Ben and Vance used her to lure out the mole she sets a trap of her own. Saanvi seemed like the weak link before. Now, she is showing herself to be clever and tough. Her gambit paid off and the group now has The Major’s name, Kathryn Fitz. Elizabeth Marvel(The Major) is a controlled menace and is the perfect Big Bad for this smart show. She is adept at the game she is playing and her subtle evilness is akin to The X Files Smoking Man. Now that the team has turned the tables a bit it will be fun to watch her twist for a while.
Manifest season 2 episode 3 was all the best parts of season one and a continuation of the mystery we have gotten hooked on. The numbers, animals, and sci-fi madness has me captivated. To catch up on all the mythology and Manifest mystery click here.
- Combinatorics is a real mathematical discipline. It is the study of all things that can be counted and the combinations to get there. Pascal’s triangle and permutations are things used in this practice.
- I love the Stone siblings but holy crap could they be any cheesier? When Ben asked Mich if she came over just to “throw shade” I had to roll my eyes at the dorky dad who’s down with the hip lingo.
- Gargoyles make an appearance this week. They are likely there to protect Grace and her baby. Gargoyles although scary looking were actually thought to ward off evil. Practically they were used to divert rainwater from buildings. They are typically fantastical creations that are designed to frighten the devil himself. Although more often than not terrifying, they are intended to protect. The fearsome stone beasts have origins in both the Catholic Church and Celtic traditions. The church used them as a reminder to beware of evil and the Celts used them as a form of intimidation. The gargoyles for the Celts started as the heads of the animals and enemies that were killed. The heads were mounted in a circle around their dwellings. Their fierce countess was a warning to intruders. Later those heads were mounted on the houses. Gargoyles can still be seen on older buildings in any city.
- The dartboard at the bar where Jared meets the haters has a red X spray-painted on it which is reminiscent of the X-Men. There are two blue darts in the 3 spot and one yellow one in the 13.
- Knowing Saanvi was having an affair with a married man named Alex is a game-changer. Who and where is this Alex? What does it mean for Benvi?
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.