'Manifest' Season 2: Jeff Rake might have hinted at a 2nd villain through the cult "Church of the Returned"
A cult has been formed with one man as a priest who clearly understands his own profit from the people's blind faith in him
NBC's 'Manifest' has been often called a mystery thriller due to the aspect of the missing plane but the show relies heavily on religious connotations in order to give out clues about the mystery. Coming from creator Jeff Rake, 'Manifest' has been following the passengers who are hearing the voices in their heads, they refer to as "Callings" ever since they got off the plane.
These "Callings" have been leading them toward committing acts of redemption, by letting them see the future or telling them what to do. While some passengers such as Ben Stone (Josh Dallas) and Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) have been faithfully following them, there are some passengers who have been trying to turn these voices for their own benefit.
We get a glimpse of this selfish act in episode 14 of season 1, titled 'Upgrade', when a passenger named Adrian (Jared Grimes) is followed by a crowd of people. These people have been closely following all news about the passengers, and they come to know about the passengers' ability to see into the future.
What made the passengers even more attractive to normal people was that none of them had aged a day even though they went missing for almost five and a half years. When Adrian realized these people are actually awed by him, he immediately tells them that they were sent by God to protect the ill from death.
A religious cult under the name of "The Church of the Returned" was formed and it soon began to see innumerable people pouring in, speaking of their problems to Adrian, establishing him the priest of the church. Soon, Adrian saw this as an opportunity to make money and he stuck to his position as the priest, giving out false hope to people, but he didn't stop there.
He even lied to one of his followers about a fellow passenger, Saanvi (Parveen Kaur), who had managed to attain the power of bringing the dead back to life. We all know what happened next. Saanvi was taken hostage by the follower, and she would have probably died that day had it not been for Ben and Michaela who managed to rescue her.
Adrian didn't stop there, either. He tried to persuade Ben to join the religious cult but Ben refused to do so. However, he did attend one of the masses, the same mass where the Major (Elizabeth Marvel) had planted one of her spies to find out about the passengers. Could it be that through the Church of the Returned, the Major is trying to gather information about the passengers? Also, if this goes on then we might soon see Adrian pairing up with the Major, and helping her out with the "Callings," exactly how she wanted.