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Manifest Season 2 Episode 6: Return Trip-Review And Recap- Yusuz Al Zuras, Tarot, and Egyptian Gods

A well-constructed episode of Manifest brought young love, increased tarot card interest, and even more rabbit holes.

A look back at Zeke’s past shows a person we hardly recognize. Manifest season two has been patiently doling out backstory on all of the 828er’s. There is no hurry and with the solid DVR numbers Manifest is boasting there is no reason to burn all their material at once. The live watch ratings haves slipped but Manifest continues to be a juggernaut in post date viewership. Hopefully, those ratings will make season three a lock.

The flashback shows a much sunnier Zeke. He is carefree and drugged up. He enables his girlfriend Courtney’s addiction as well. Most boyfriends bring donuts or muffins to their girlfriends in the morning. Zeke is no basic B and brings her drugs. It’s a harsh reminder for all of us who ship Zechaela that he has a troubled past and a long way to go. Trouble finds Zeke and Courtney isn’t even the worst of it. Zeke is his own worst enemy. Mich’s partner Drea is proving to be loyal and is there to help Mich when things go south. At least there is one less drug dealer on the street.

An interesting contrived fight at Lucas the drug dealer’s lair may reveal more than anyone intended. Yes, it was a fake argument, but it might just hold some truth among the venomous words. In their hearts, both Mich and Zeke are worried he will relapse. There isn’t actually anything fun about their life right now and no matter what Zeke says his actions betray his truth. Michaela found drugs in the very place Courtney said Zeke used to hide them. Unless of course this was Courtney’s plan all along to win Zeke back and she planted the drugs. We know very little about her so it’s not out of the question.

MANIFEST — “Return Trip” Episode 206 — Pictured: (l-r) Ellen Tamaki as Drea, JR Ramirez as Jared Vasquez — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

The other part of last season’s love triangle is struggling with resentment and confusion. Jared is reaching for a lifeline from the wrong people. A hair cut I wish I could say I hated(it actually looks pretty hot) signifies his shift to the X’ers camp. Jared is a mess and Manifest is setting him up as the bad guy. To be fair, Michaela did string him along before and after Flight 828. She blew up his personal and professional life. I understand his bitterness even if I don’t condone his actions. This relatability gives J.R. Ramirez(Jared) so much more ground to play from in season two. He has become a much more intriguing character with a lot to offer the plot.

Saanvi reaches out to Ben in a vision. The vision is important for the rules of the 828er’s gene anomaly. More and more of the group is becoming active. Visions are popping up like wildfire and not just between Mich and Ben. Saanvi and Ben both see a young boy terrified and in need of help. He wasn’t on Flight 828 originally but “the callings” want them to help.

The person in that seat was a young wall street trader. Saanvi and Ben track him down and his story is much like everyone else’s. He wasn’t supposed to be on the flight but a wild one night stand the night before caused him to miss his flight. That dalliance produced a child he didn’t know he had. It is that child they need to help. Saanvi was needed on this “calling” because her medical expertise was needed to diagnosis a rare liver condition. If the events had not unfolded the way they did she would not have caught the boys condition in time and he could have died.

Finn, the wall street guy, offers to provide a lobe of his liver anonymously. He doesn’t want to destroy a family but he needs to help his son. Manifest has always been big on morality. Doing the right thing. It is interesting that not one but two, pregnancies were being hidden from potential fathers.

Danny did not turn out to be the father of Grace’s baby but she was willing to hide it from him if he was. Now Orleana has done the same. It’s either excellent symmetry or lazy writing and I haven’t decided which yet. In any case, they succeed in saving the boy but may have doomed him to death in 2024 if the anomaly is passed on from the transplant. Fearing the ticking clock Saanvi continues to experiment on herself despite the danger.

Grace’s nearly insane idea to loop Danny into this trainwreck and convince the world that the unborn baby is his falls on Ben’s deaf ears. Thank God he shut that down because it is just one step too far. The Stone’s are pretty singularly focused but to ask this of Danny is beyond self-centered. Even for desperate people, this is abhorrent behavior. From a viewer standpoint, it would bring Danny(Daniel Sunjata) back into the fold which would be great. He is a great actor with real charisma.

The last, and easily my favorite, plot beat this week belonged to Olive and TJ. My inner teenage fangirl is all about these two. Not only are they both fresh-faced optimists they have one hell of a meet/cute story. Adrian had to turn them away from the church because of Ben’s assault last episode. That hasn’t stopped them from spending time together or researching like master sleuths.

One note on Olive. Either she is the world’s best and most well-adjusted teen ever or she is preparing for a whopper of a rebellion. To find out her father has forbidden her from going to church and is tracking both her phone and TJ’s is a lot to take in. She does so with nothing other than an eye-roll.

It may just be she’s riding a wave of happiness with the burgeoning relationship between her and TJ. Garrett Wareing(TJ) has been a great addition to the cast and a wonderful partner for Olive. It is essentially like watching Grace and Ben court all those years ago. TJ’s luminary walkway, Emo Drake jam, and strawberry pie(homemade BTW) is the thing of romantic dreams.

One rabbit hole and four hours later and I can confidently say Yusuv Al-Zaras does not exist. The Wiki page seen is a fake designed to cause all of us dorks to spend way too much time chasing their tails. There was never an Egyptian merchant and artist who painted Tarot cards or went missing at sea. What there is is a legend that tarot and Egyptian mysticism have a link.

In 1781 French author Court de Gébelin wrote that ancient Egyptian occult practices were encoded into the decks. Occultist Aleister Crowley wrote in his novel The Book Of Thoth: A Short Essay On The Tarot Of The Egyptians that the cards were divine and instructed the user in their meaning. The generic term The Book Of Thoth refers to ancient texts supposedly written by the Egyptian god Thoth who is the god of knowledge and writing. It’s possible there are as many as 36,000 texts in this collection.

There is also a bizarre phenomenon called DOP or Disappearing Object Phenomenon where objects can teleport from one universe or reality to another. We know the 828er’s who returned are different. It is possible their exposure to another dimension has altered them on a cellular level. A final option would be that Jared isn’t wrong and the Returned are not the same person that left. They would be alternate versions of the same person unaware they are in the wrong place.

Whether Ben likes it or not Adrian is an important part of the equation. He is having the same crash site visions as Saanvi, Ben, and Mich. There are dead bodies everywhere and only some of them are 828’ers. The Major may have been up to know good and Flight 828 was just the last attempt at her experiment. For now, Ben, Mich, Saanvi, and Adrian are experiencing this new terrifying vision and need to act fast. The visions are intensifying and accelerating. That Death Day is looming and The Major is still out there. Catch up on all our Manifest coverage and theories here.

Stray Thoughts:

The three cards turned over by Olive in the mini reading were The Fool, The World, and The Empress.

The Fool is a very powerful card traditionally meaning the beginning of something new and the ending of something else. When placed upright, which it was in this case it means fresh starts and innocence. The zero at the top refers to the number of unlimited possibilities in the Major Arcana deck.

The World Card is a sign that you have accomplished something. If The Fool which is numbered zero is drawn along with The World which is the highest number, 21 it means you are on the right path.

The Empress when landing in the future position it means you will receive the fairy take ending you seek. The ending of Episode 6 of Manifest was as close to a fairy tale ending for TJ and Olive as you could get.

The beautiful song at the end of the episode as Olive and TJ kiss is The Flood by Joshua Hyslop.

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