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Manifest Season 2 Episode 4:Black Box-Review and Recap-Peacock, Compass and Star Symbolism

Manifest Season 2 Episode 4 advanced three big storylines and peacocks, compasses, and cutie TJ got more time.

Stuck in procedural Hell for the past several weeks there really hasn’t been much for the Manifesters in t.v. land to research. Very symbolism and mystery-lite the first two episodes, in particular, were heavy on set up. Manifest is the type of show that requires a lot of exposition. With as much symbolism, science, and mythology it is impossible to not have a ton of talking. When you add in personal drama, some episodes get sacrificed to the preparation gods. The first two episodes laid the groundwork by introducing new characters and defining the second season rules. They were very low on mythos and high on dialogue. All that changed in Manifest Season 2 Episode 4 when the main player’s purposes and the first concrete clue to their survival dropped in their laps courtesy of a bank robbery “calling”.

Olive has found hope when her family has not been great at giving her that. Luna Blaise was underused in season one. Blaise(Olive) knows how to hold a shot and her burgeoning relationship with uber-cute TJ will finally allow her the chance to showcase her talent. It remains to be seen if the Church will be friend or foe in the ultimate battle, but at least it provides Olive some solace. When she told Adrian about the death day he acted nonplussed. His faith is so strong he doesn’t feel the necessity to dwell on the puzzle.

If his purpose is to provide positivity he will be an asset, if he intends on derailing the quest to thwart the Death Day he will be a formidable enemy. Similar to Christain Scientists who refuse medical treatment he could teach his followers to let things happen with no interference. That will be in direct conflict with the Stones and TJ who actively are tasked with helping. With TJ drawn to Olive, but helping Ben and Mich he will have a hard time navigating things as the Church plot beats intensify.

The Stones are getting ‘called” after a month-long drought. Mich and Zeke both heard the same message that brought them to a bank. Logan Strickland is desperate to get his hands on something in his brother’s vault. Once Ben and TJ get involved everyone realizes the brother holds the literal key to the vault. It seems each 828’er holds a tiny bit of information that needs to be fitt together like a tapestry.

After the standoff comes to a peaceful conclusion Ben gets an important clue to saving the 828’ers. A compass with a bullet in it is a family heirloom of the Stricklands that Logan believes may save their lives. It belonged to his Grandfather who believed it saved his life in Normandy, France during World War II. The compass took a bullet and saved his Grandfather’s life then and has been freakishly involved in several other family events. In Manifest Season Episode 13 the peacock became important. Now we know why.

This plot beat also brought Jared closer to the X’ers when he finds solace in the cute bartender. Now that he is moving forward(not necessarily on) from Mich his X’ers developing story makes him oddly more likable and relatable. J. R. Ramirez gets a bad rap. His Jared has been saddled with being a first-rate clinger who blew up his life and broke Lourdes’s heart for a woman who didn’t love him. There wasn’t a lot to like about his character. A plot device promoter only he had no identity outside of Michaela. He is a cheater and he does not make the best decisions, but he is a man who lost the love of his life not once but twice. Ramirez has always had Michaela’s back. Regardless of what happens with his new X’er friends, it is hard to believe he will completely turn on Mich and her family.

Vance and Saanvi are not great liars. The Major is far better at deception. If there was any doubt who was one step ahead, it should be clear now. Agent Vance may have thought he was capable of fooling The Major, but he was very wrong. Thanks to Saanvi’s continued research she now has everything, including her assistant and her data. It’s too late now, but hopefully, Saanvi will learn to listen to those around her. Hopefully, Ben and Grace’s baby is not among the details of Saanvi’s research.

Every number, every picture, every vision means something. In some cases, they can mean several things. A date can be a box number for a safety deposit box in addition to an actual day of death. A person can be a friend and a foe. The landscape is ever-changing and Manifest Season 2 Episode 4 started to put those things together.

After season one episode thirteen brought peacocks and star mythology to the forefront that line of the investigation went dark. Now it is back in a big way with Logan’s lucky compass. It’s doubtful it is as simple as a lucky charm. More likely, it is just a piece in a larger instrument needed to unlock the portal back to the reality they came from. A treasure hunt of sorts collecting interlocking cogs that make a larger machine. The compass the group found this week could be a reference to the constellation Pavo.

The Constellation Pavo

The constellation Pavo lies in the Southern hemisphere and was discovered in the late 16th century. Pavo means peacock in Latin and the stars can be found between latitudes between +30° and -90°. The symbology of a peacock inside a triangle with a star at the top point could indicate the importance of this location. It could also symbolize the all-seeing eye.

There are many known celestial bodies within the constellation including several galaxies and one star that has recently been named the Best SETI(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) target by Maggie Turnbull and Jill Tarter of the same organization. That very specific symbology etched onto a compass could indicate that there is an answer out there. That answer may be a place in time, not just a place. It could be where our 828’ers went when the plane was missing. The Returned may need to return to the constellation. Their DNA may have been changed because they are from another time and or place.

Compasses are also very important not just in the obvious mapping and travel but also in the guidance of the soul. The word compass from Latin is derived from “corn” meaning together and “passus” meaning way or route. The 828er’s need to work together to find their route to safety. There is no way of knowing if that is in this universe or another. Catch up on all our coverage here and start putting together your own map.

Stray Observations:

  • Why do some 828’ers get “callings” and others don’t? Are people called to help in the way they best can? For example, Mich is a detective so she gets called but Saanvi is a doctor so her time is better suited in the lab.
  • It’s interesting that we see Ben making a tape for his kids when he’s gone. He is beginning to worry he can’t stop the Death Day. When juxtaposed with Adrian and the Church who believe without question they will survive it sets up a “which is more important” argument that I’m glad they are exploring more this season.
  • Saanvi has a serious Alice from The Magicians thing happening. She constantly forges ahead thinking she is the smartest in the room. Often that hubris causes problems just like the debacle this week. I sure hope she backed up her research somewhere. It’s too late now, but an air gap would have been smart.
  • As much as I ship Mich and Zeke I can’t help but worry that addicts are not supposed to get into relationships until a good amount of time has passed with them clean.

One thought on “Manifest Season 2 Episode 4:Black Box-Review and Recap-Peacock, Compass and Star Symbolism

  1. For an episode titled “Black Box,” it was extremely disappointing not to get any insight about what happened to them on the plane or any insight from the actual black box. 

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