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The 'Manifest' Season Finale Is a Disaster

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 7, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 7, 2020 |


Manifest is a TV series about a group of passengers who leave Jamaica on Flight 828 and arrive in New York City five-and-half-years later, although no time has passed for the passengers. Over the course of two seasons and 29 episodes, this is what we have learned that has stuck: The passengers on the plane have “callings,” or visions that beckon them to complete specific tasks. The passengers also have a “death date.” Because the plane was missing for five-and-a-half years, the “death date” is five-and-a-half-years after they landed. On that day in 2024, all the passengers will die.

In the season finale, however, we learned that, if passengers follow their callings, they can be spared death on their death dates. We learn this from Zeke, who — months ago — nearly froze to death in a cave while hiking but, like Flight 828, passed through a time hole and came out six months later, meaning his death date was six months hence. That death date has finally arrived, and after marrying Michaela last week, it appeared as though he would die from exposure to the cold he felt in the cave six months prior (even though, in the present, Zeke lives in a comfortable environment).

Last week, a little boy named Cal was kidnapped by three meth dealers — shadow people he once saw in a vision. This week, the three meth dealers — who had escaped from prison — offered to exchange Cal for the meth with which they were caught and arrested. Michaela — a cop — stole the meth from the evidence locker with the help of her ex-fiance, Jared, who is also a cop.

Thanks to the calling of Zeke — the fella dying of frostbite — they were able to locate Cal before the meth dealers slashed his throat. However, before Michaela could exchange the meth for Cal, lightning stuck a frozen pond that Cal and the meth dealers were standing on and they fell into the icy waters. At that moment, Zeke — about to die from frostbite — jumps into the water and saves Cal. Ben — Cal’s father — pulls Zeke out of the water, and Zeke dies. Seconds later, however, he is hit with a warm glow, he wakes up, and he returns to normal.

Meanwhile, there has been a separate storyline involving an FBI agent named Vance and a mysterious woman played by Elizabeth Marvel known as The Major. The Major stole some research that Saanvi — a scientist and Flight 828 passenger — compiled in trying to find a “cure” for these callings. Saanvi injected The Major with poison and told her that she would die in 90 seconds if she didn’t tell her where the “cure” was. In a struggle, however, The Major broke the vial with the antidote, so The Major died. It didn’t matter, anyway, because we learned that The Major didn’t have a cure, that she was going to inject people with whatever it is that causes these callings, and weaponize it for the U.S. government. It was a real dumb storyline that, after two years, finally evacuated its bowels all over the bed.

Finally, at the end of the episode, Ben has another calling/vision, and sees Flight 828 — the plane he was on — explode in mid-air. Meanwhile, off the coast of Cuba, someone on a ship pulls the wing of Flight 828 out of the ocean. How is that possible, if all of the passengers safely landed in NYC on that very plane?

I’m glad you asked! And I’ll tell you the answer: It’s not possible unless there is a multiverse on Manifest, which could very well be what is at play. However, a multiverse does not explain how the same flight was also seen flying over a ship … in the 1600s.

All of this, of course, is moot, because creator Jeff Rake has no intention of answering any of these questions. Manifest may not even be renewed for a third season, and even if it is, the show can — and likely will — completely ignore previous storylines because providing answers is too difficult. Manifest is not in the business of providing answers. It is in the business of doing whatever the hell it wants without any regard to storytelling, plot, or continuity. It is in the business of making it up as it goes along. There is no reason to continue watching this show. It is trash. The acting is terrible, and no one on this show has any idea what they are doing.