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'Manifest' Recap: Boo! Red Herring Alert! (Plus We Know Who Athena's Boyfriend Is)

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 9, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 9, 2018 |


The most interesting thing about ABC’s Manifest, so far, was the possible existence of “The Shadow Man,” teased in last week’s episode as the conspiratorial, possibly supernatural murderer of Kelly Taylor, the woman who refused to stop talking about Flight 828 to the press.

It was all a red herring.

The Shadow Man was actually a woman, and to be more precise: She was the personal assistant/maid to Kelly Taylor’s husband, and when Kelly Taylor returned, the maid was both jealous and resentful of the wife, for treating her like hired help, rather than the fixture in her husband’s life, as the maid felt she was. Her shadow was an actual shadow, and she murdered Kelly out of jealousy.

So, scratch The Shadow Man off the murder board and while you’re at it, for now, we can also remove any possibility of the supernatural. We can also remove talking to the press about Flight 828 as a motive for murder. The rest of the passengers appear to be safe now from everyone except for jealous maids who feel as though they’ve replaced their employer’s role in the home during their five-year absence.

This week, there’s a whole new conspiracy afoot. Saanvi discovers a genetic marker in both her blood and in that of Cal’s, which was not there prior to Flight 828. That marker suggests Ischemic Stroke. What does that mean, exactly? It means that there is some indication that there was a drastic reduction in blood flow, the sort that precedes a stroke or a near death experience. In order to find out more, Saanvi needs to examine the brain tissue of a passenger, and lucky for her, Kelly just died, so her brain tissue would appear to be available for further study. Unfortunately, NSA Special Agent Vance and his men have stolen the body, because the government is either involved, or they want to get to the bottom of this mystery before Michaela and Ben do.

Alas, aside from a crazy stalker, Isaiah, who is obsessed with the Flight 828 passengers, there’s not much to add to the ongoing mystery of Flight 828 and Isaiah appears to be a red herring, himself.

Additional Notes

— When Athena said to Ben of her boyfriend-while-Ben-was-away, “You don’t know that man. You never met him, and you will never have to,” Athena wasn’t being honest with Ben. That man’s name is Danny, and Danny is played by Daniel Sunjata (Graceland, Rescue Me), and you can definitely expect to see him in upcoming episodes. He ain’t giving up on Athena just because her husband disappeared into a wormhole for 5 years.

This is Daniel Sunjata.


If I am Ben, I am terrified, because he is a handsome man.

— I don’t understand how Michaela was cleared of any wrongdoing in her friend’s death. Best we can tell, she had been drinking; she got into a car accident; and her friend died. The fact that her friend was way more drunk than Michaela was should not be exculpatory, and even if another driver was mostly responsible, Michaela could still be implicated for contributory negligence. How does a police officer get her job back after killing her friend in a drunk driving accident, even if she’s only tipsy?

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: NBC