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'Manifest' Recap: The One About the Hiker Who Walked Through a Wormhole

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 22, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | January 22, 2019 |


I’m going to keep this week’s recap brief because I cannot bring myself to devote much more thought to writing the recap than the writers did to writing the episode, and I’ve already doubled their effort with this sentence alone.

At the end of last week’s episode, Cal had disappeared. Ben initially believes that The Major kidnapped Cal, her “holy grail.” Because The Major is above the paygrade of the police, Ben endeavors to have the police manhunt called off. How? Michaela has Jared do them a favor. He walks into a crowd of police inside the Stone home and says, “Ack! Sorry, false alarm. Cal has been found. He’s been with his grandfather the whole time.” Jared shows the officer in charge an old picture of Cal with his grandfather and she says, “Oh, cool! I guess we’re all set then. I have no reason to believe that this photo wasn’t taken minutes ago! Manhunt canceled!”

This show.

Anyway, almost nothing in the first 55 minutes of the episode matters in the least. Cal wasn’t kidnapped. He ran away because he had a “calling.” Nine-year-old Cal somehow took a bus out into the Catskills all by himself and found a cabin out in the middle of the woods, but before he left, he drew some pictures of him in this cabin he’d never been to before based on his visions of the future, and Ben used them as a map to find Cal out in the middle of nowhere. At one point, Ben arrives at a fork in the road on a random mountaintop, and realizes that the note that Cal left behind didn’t say, “I left,” it basically said, “Turn left at the end of the road.”

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When Ben, Grace, and Michaela locate the cabin in the middle of nowhere based on detailed drawings of a 9-year-old’s visions of the future, a hiker lost in the Catskills for two weeks arrives, just as Cal’s “calling” had foretold. How you get lost in the Catskills for two weeks is a mystery — there are over 25 hiking trails in the Catskills, so just find one with a clearly marked path and follow it — but whatever.

Now, here’s the important part (that will probably be aborted two episodes from now): The hiker got lost two weeks ago, but in his backpack, he had a magazine with profiles of the thought-to-be-dead Flight 828 passengers. One of the profiles was of Michaela, and this hiker kept having his own “callings,” saying he needed to “find the girl.” Well, he found her, but twist: Although the hiker thinks he left two weeks ago — when Michaela was still missing and presumed dead — he actually left over a year ago! He apparently hiked through the same wormhole that the airplane flew through and traveled in time.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Did he also somehow walk through “dark lightning,” or is that another element of the mythology abandoned AFTER ONLY ONE EPISODE?

Meanwhile, we also finally meet The Major, who basically says that she’s still looking for Cal, but will just wait until he returns home and pick him up there. LAZY! The Major is played by Elizabeth Marvel, by the way, who many may know as the President in Homeland or Heather Dunbar in House of Cards, among other roles. I hope she enjoys the paycheck.

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.

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