Manifest is back, and the episodes are more packed with mystery than ever.
Manifest Season 4 Episode 1 picked up two years from Grace’s death and Eden’s kidnapping, showcasing the Stones at very different stages in life.
A disheveled Ben following every calling under the sun with the hope of it leading him to Eden is heartbreaking.
If you watch Manifest online, you know he lost out on several years of Olive’s life, and now that it’s happening with Eden, he’s struggling to come to terms with it.
It doesn’t help that Cal has miraculously aged-up five years, and the family has to keep him away from the public eye.
Truthfully, the anti-828ers would have a field day with the news that someone has aged up overnight.
Cal showing up in his mother’s final moments on Manifest Season 3 Episode 13 was a shocker. I’m thankful “Touch and Go” utilized flashbacks to show the true extent of Ben, Olive, and Michaela’s reaction to that fateful night.
Is that my wife? Get off me.
Olive blaming Cal for letting Angelina know about the key and allowing her back into the house was just her venting, but you could tell it profoundly impacted Cal.
From Cal’s point-of-view, he was missing five years, didn’t age, went missing again, and aged up five years. Oh, and he lost his mother and holds the guilt that let Angelina back into their house.
It’s a lot, but even more so when you add that he now has to act like he doesn’t exist because people out there would take great pleasure in harming him.
It’s also jarring for viewers, but it all adds to the mystery of Manifest. The series continues to pivot to new mysteries in a satisfying way for viewers.
Vance: You Stones are all the same. You’re like moths to danger.
Cal: Is that a metaphor? I missed high school.
Cal has to be back for a reason, and without getting the callings, he feels redundant. That’s why he’s willing to put himself on the firing line to get answers.
I couldn’t help but chuckle when Cal couldn’t understand whether Vance used a euphemism to explain the Stone family’s knack for flirting with danger.
Even though these events have been challenging for everyone, the writers still maintain some levity.
Henry not being killed, as we had been led to believe, was surprising, but if Manifest has proven anything, it’s that shadowy organizations are always causing problems.
There has to be a reason why this man escaped Singapore and got onto a Freightliner with the black box from the plane.
Henry could be crucial to unpacking all the mysteries, but for now, it looks like he was sent to New York to give Cal the black box.
Ben not caring about the death date wasn’t much of a surprise. His world crumbled the night he lost Grace and Eden, so of course he wouldn’t be able to bounce back from those two losses.
His carefree attitude about the death date being a mere 18 months away highlighted that the only thing keeping him from getting out of bed is his tenacity to find Eden.
Counselor: His last counselor almost quit. How do you get through to these people?
Zeke: They do all the work. I just feel their pain.
Learning that she’s been legally declared dead by the state of New York couldn’t have been easy, but at least Jared understood what it could do to him and stopped by the house to deliver the news in person.
Jared hasn’t been as tethered to the Stones since that horrible night, but at least he still goes out of his way to ensure everyone is fine.
It was surprising he and Michaela hadn’t been in contact in six months, but it’s clear everyone is going through very different things right now.
Michaela is fiercely devoted to following the callings and ensuring she saves all of the passengers because that clock is still ticking down.
Cherry blossoms, here you are.
She feels the weight of the world because Ben isn’t interested in the death date because he’s laser-focused on Eden.
I have to be honest; I called Anna Eden when she said goodbye to Ben.
Manifest always tries to find a way to top itself in the shocks department, and what better way to do that than by having the woman Ben thought he could trust hiding his daughter and his wife’s murderer?
It’s a soapy twist that would be present in daytime soap operas, but Manifest has borrowed plenty of elements from soaps in the past and executes them very well.
Angelina is positively deranged, but I’m assuming we’re in for some sort of revelation that she’s being driven by the callings, much like many of the other 828ers.
Another thing that stunned me was that Anna didn’t have the windmill calling: It was all Eden’s. That was a left-field revelation, but Anna only went there because she wanted to know just how much in trouble Angelina would be.
Anna is also in trouble because Eden has been missing and is now declared dead. I hope Cal is the one to unravel the truth behind the mystery of Angelina and Eden because it would help get him back in the good graces of his father and sister.
No matter how much they might love him, they resent him, and he knows it.
“Touch and Go” was perfect. Seriously, it’s rare for a show to tick every box, but Jeff Rake and his team of talented writers upped the ante to deliver a final season premiere that shook up the dynamics considerably.
What did you think of Cal’s feeling of guilt?
Do you think Ben will be able to solve the mystery?
What did you think of the distance between the Stone family?
Hit the comments.
Stream Manifest Season 4 on Netflix.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.