'Manifest': 4 burning questions we are left with after Episode 7
With a new character being introduced, new perspectives are on the plate to help solve the mystery of the missing plane, and in that regard here are four burning questions we have
After a suspenseful sixth episode, the seventh episode of NBC's Jeff Rake-directed show 'Manifest' did not bring in as many viewers as the preceding episodes, however, it managed to shift the focus of the show from relationship dynamics to the mystery surrounding Montego Air Flight 828. The seventh episode not only depicted the dynamics between the characters under a new light, but also introduced a character who could be the show's antagonist.
The seventh episode picked up from where the sixth episode left. Although Cal Stone (played by Jack Messina) is now free of the illness that had struck him, his clairsensitivity continues to keep him attached to the emotions of the 11 missing passengers.
Well aware Cal might face another such attack soon, Ben Stone (played by Josh Dallas) along with Saanvi Bahl (played by Parveen Kaur) went off to meet a professor of psychology, Fiona Clarke (played by Francesca Faridany), who seems to have some connection with the disappearance of the 11 foreign nationals. Clarke's arrival in the episode also introduced the concept of mirror neurons which enables a person to instinctively and immediately understand what other people are experiencing.
With a new character being introduced, new perspectives are on the plate to help solve the mystery of the missing plane, and in that regard here are four burning questions that we have after watching Episode 7:
1. Mirror Neurons, a Singularity Project
Most of the clues and hints of the mystery surrounding the show are rooted in wordplay, and once again, the seventh episode has left behind a big chunk of information. As the probable antagonist, Clarke speaks about mirror neurons at a lecture sponsored by the Singularity Project, the apparent non-profit who offered her a job four days after landing, and who pay her on retainer to give these presentations.
Speaking at the talk titled 'The Mirror Factor', Clarke's subject chiefly revolved around how people's brains were connected, and "could be networked like computers." She explained that such connections help people understand the intention behind an observed action.
As the show's chief theme seems to be the calling that "it is all connected", Clarke's lecture gave a far more reliable and verified explanation to what these callings might be. So, does that mean Clarke is well aware of the origin of these callings (inner convictions) or is she simply putting up facts? Why has she been hired by the Singularity Project (which can be treated as an alternative phrase to "it is all connected") to deliver these talks? We already know Clarke was asked to leave her institution due to her unorthodox beliefs, but why is she being listened to now?
2. An antagonist or a friend?
Fiona Clarke's introduction in the show was quite vague. It was revealed towards the beginning of the episode that she was one of the passengers on the missing flight. In fact, she has a brief encounter with Kelly Taylor who was murdered the moment she returned from that flight.
Clarke seemed to be aware that they were on the plane for some reason as she explains to Kelly, "this flight's not happening to you, it's happening for you." Later on, at the lecture, she stops her talk midway when she sees Ben and Saanvi, and tells them that she has been waiting for their arrival.
However, when the duo interrogate her about her ties with the Singularity Project and the Unified Dynamics System, Clarke looks baffled and simply says she was there because they asked her to deliver the lecture, and nothing more. So, who is Clarke exactly, and is she telling the truth? There is a chance, Clarke might help give some insight into Ben and Saanvi's finding, but will she be up for it? Also, why was she waiting for Ben and Saanvi? What is it that Clarke knows and is choosing to remain silent about? Is she a friend to the survivors or someone who is trying to sell them off?
3. Ben's new ally
Fans have been pretty excited about the new turn Ben and Robert Vance's (played by Daryl Edwards) rivalry has taken. Well, for a change, they are not enemies anymore. While Vance has been wandering about the unreal incident of the plane, he could not wrap his head around the evidence that the NSA was collecting. However, with Ben barging in and trying to shove his theories down Vance's throat, the NSA officer seems to have finally found someone who is both resourceful and trustworthy.
The improbable bond was forged when Ben and Vance exchanged a steamy clash about the 11 missing passengers, and in episode 7, Vance chose to keep Ben's secrets with himself rather than spilling it out to the NSA.
So, what is Vance planning now? Why did he not give away the pen drive to the NSA and chose to keep it with him? Does this mean that he is finally trusting of Ben? It seems like Vance himself has been looking for answers for quite a while, and Ben's enthusiasm is just the right thing to get the NSA officer into the field without any ties with the government. There is a massive scope for Ben and Vance to come together, but what are they heading to?
4. Grace interrupted
As probably the most hated character on the show, Grace Stone (played by Athena Karkanis) has been under continuous criticism for being with Danny when Ben wasn't around. However, her relationship with Danny was interrupted when the plane returned to land almost five years after its disappearance.
Grace has been trying to put her life together since Ben's return but has miserably failed in keeping herself mentally stable. She seems to be continuously guilty for the apparent "cheating" on Ben, and for throwing Danny out of her life in spite of spending three years with him. She reached a breaking point in the sixth episode, and by the seventh episode, she was once again standing face-to-face with Danny.
It is not yet clear if Grace will go back to Danny, but as of now, she is quite confused about who to place her trust on. Should it be her husband Ben who disappeared for five years and has now returned with some unusual abilities that cannot be explained? Or should it be Danny whom she left the moment Ben came back? Both Danny and Ben have played significant roles at various times for both Grace and her daughter, Olive, but the time to choose between them might arrive sooner than Grace expects it to.
'Manifest' returns to NBC on Monday, November 19, at 10 p.m.