'Manifest': 5 burning questions we have after NBC show's first episode
Since the flight stayed up for more than 5 years, and the passengers hadn't aged a day when they landed, it's better to take "normal" off the table
Touted as a show that can probably rescue NBC from its consistent fall in ratings, 'Manifest' has given itself quite a good start. In a story arc reminiscent of missing Malaysian MH370 flight, the show follows the return of Montego Air Flight 828 after it goes missing for almost 5 years, and its passengers who have been mysteriously unaffacted by the time lapse.
Other than introducing us to the chief characters, Episode 1 left us wondering what more awaits these hapless protagonists.
In the premiere episode, we saw the characters return from a turbulent journey. However, as it was revealed, this wasn't an easy comeback for neither the pasengers nor their families, since the flight landed on the ground after almost five years.
Presuming their loved ones to be dead, the family members of the passengers on board have already moved on with their lives- both physically and mentally. Cal (played by Jack Messina) is now five years younger to his twin sister, Olive (Luna Blaise). Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and Ben (Josh Dallas) are faced by the harsh reality that in the few hours (in reality, 5 years) that they were gone, their mother died. Everyone, including the pilots, are just as flabbergasted as the authorities who question the passengers fail to collect any useful information except for the fact that the plane never left the sky in those five years. While Episode 1 has been both perplexing and stupefying, it certainly has left us with many questions and doubts.
Catch the sneak peek of The First Act, here:
While questions are often interlinked, here are five burning questions that we hope that the upcoming episodes will be able to answer:
1. What exactly happened on that flight?
There can be two more questions that can be attached to this one -- was there an angel and did the angel choose the passengers?
Right before they leave, Michaela's mother quotes a passage from the Bible, which says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." While the quote has been taken from Romans 8:28, it is the number 828 which keeps appearing in the episode. Other than being the flight's number, 828 is often considered to be an Angel Number. The number is known to signify people whose persistence helps them overcome unknown boundaries and achieve what they had set out for. On the other hand, as the most extravagant in the lot, any kind of conflict might result in some kind of disruption.
While the number clearly indicate towards the characters' fate, they certainly are significant in disclosing what actually happened on that plane which had the Angel's Number on it?
2. What is that creepy voice?
It doesn't take long for the survivors to realize that things have changed- not just in the world around them, but inside themselves too. While returning from a five-year long flight is cetainly a miracle in itself, the survivors begin to hear voices which lead them to do things that they wouldn't usually do.
Oddly enough, none of the voices drive the characters to do anything bad -- the voice leads Michaela to save a kid on the road, and rescue two girls. In fact, now that they have arrived in a world where technology has fixed most of the issues, the characters seem to have a second shot at their ambitions. The voice simply leads them to where they wanted to be all along. But then, whose voice is it? Is it God? That is a little too fantastic to imagine. If Jeff Rake is seriously considering that his characters are being led on by God, then sadly the show might lose its charm. So, is that the voice of an angel? Maybe. Considering that angels usually act as the voices of God, and Angel's Numberis scattered all over the show, the voice could be an angel's.
However, most probably, it is a realization that the characters have. Now that they have in-a-way returned from the dead, they pick up from where they had left, and doing so often leads to viewing a particular situation from a different perspective. But then again, it might not be their voice too. That needs to be found out.
3. Who is the woman whom Michaela had killed?
The episode begins with Michaela regretting the death of a woman for which she was guilty. However, the woman's reference becomes a recurrent feature in the episode when Michaela begins to hear those voices.
The mystery woman, named Evie, is probably the voice that Michaela hears but it can also be her own guilt-ridden voice. Every time the voice appears, something within Michaela triggers her memory of Evie. So the big question remains who is Evie? And what is her significance in the story?
4. The plane explodes. But why?
Once the survivors were off the board and they stood to watch the plane, the plane suddenly explodes in front of their eyes. But what could have triggered it? The most probable answer is an act of God since the first episode delves deep into religion to leave behind some hints and clues for what happened.
However, a flight which has (in a way) been up in the air for almost five years surely must have had some failure in the engine. While that seems to be a more suitable alternative to being just an act of God, 'Manifest' certainly will have several more reasons for that. The first thing that comes in the mind after watching the first episode is usually: "Oh no, that's a sign!" Could be. Just like the voices which have been leading Michaela to save lives, the plane flaring up could be a sign for the survivors to leave the fateful incident behind and move forward with the tasks assigned to them.
5. What about the relationships?
People tend to fall apart from their relationships even if there is a brief gap of just five weeks, forget about five years. Clearly, both Michaela and Ben did not expect that their significant others would move on without them. But the inevitable has happened and now they are both faced by the harsh reality that love does not remain.
However, let's see things from the perspective of the significant other. Although Michaela was nowhere close to being engaged, Ben and Grace were married for almost 15 years before Ben and Cal disappeared. Grace probably had grieved for at least three years before she could put her head around the fact that both her husband and her son were dead. Considering that and the fact that she is now the mother of a teenage daughter, it was probably necessary for Grace to get along with someone else. That certainly is not cheating. But then, now that Ben is back, will she go back to him? Or move on with her life the way she has?
Personally, Grace is in a greater dilemma than her husband. Assuming someone to be dead only to find out they have returned a few years later, can be something extremely puzzling for a person, and Grace is no exception. But will she return to Ben?
While we keep wondering over these questions, take a look at the promo for Episode 2 below: