'Manifest': It is the women who embody the themes at the heart of the NBC show

NBC's 'Manifest' follows the aftermath of the sudden re-appearance of Montego Air Flight 828 which went missing almost five and a half years ago


                            'Manifest': It is the women who embody the themes at the heart of the NBC show

NBC's 'Manifest' has been following the aftermath of the sudden re-appearance of Montego Air Flight 828 which went missing almost five and a half years ago. And when the passengers arrived, they were subjected to some strange voices in their heads that they began to interpret as the "callings". While some of the passengers have assumed there to be a divine intervention in the "callings", others have been trying to reason with the help of science.

This is where the Jeff Rake-created show, starring Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, Melissa Roxburgh, and Parveen Kaur, finds its theme split into two halves. However, there is yet a third theme that deals with the collateral damage caused by the plane's sudden disappearance.

What is interesting about the show is that every character seems to be drawn along the lines of these themes, especially the three main women characters — Grace (played by Karkanis), Michaela Stone (played by Roxburgh), and Saanvi Bahl (played by Kaur). All three women, other than being central to the theme, have acted as catalysts when it comes to the character development of Josh Dallas' character Ben Stone. While Ben himself is a man of science, he has constantly found himself in a conflicting situation where his faith, his sense of reasoning, and his loyalty have been put to test by all three women. 

Ben has been put to test several times by all three women. (IMDb)
Ben has been put to test several times by all three women. (IMDb)

As the show is set to return to NBC on January 7, here is a look at how the women have represented the themes in their roles:

1. Michaela: Faith

Ever since she was subjected to the "callings", Michaela has been constantly haunted by her mother's words who recited a verse fromthe Bible before she boarded the plane. She began interpreting the "callings" as a way to compensate for all the things that went wrong in the past, such as her best friend Eve's death, her rejecting Jared (played by JR Ramirez), and also the impending guilt about losing her mother. To Michaela, the "callings" acted as her new-found faith which she needed for her own redemption. On following the "callings", she began to save lives and that helped her regain confidence in herself and, in a way, she has faith in what the "callings" direct her to. 



 

2. Saanvi: Reason

Unlike Michaela, who has been treating the "callings" as some kind of divine intervention, Saanvi has been trying to find out the medical reason behind it. Her pursuit to find the truth led her to discover certain tissues in the brain that were not there when she had boarded the plane. Although the discovery was initially dismissed as early symptoms of schizophrenia, Saanvi kept it aside for the right time, and the right time did come when she encountered the other fellow passenger (and scientist) Fiona Clarke. Both their discoveries and research see the "callings" as some kind of strange chemical reactions in their head, but none of them know how those reactions came to happen in the first place. 



 

3. Grace: Collateral damage

Grace was not on the plane which went missing but she was one of those who were most affected by the plane's disappearance. Grace waited on land for the plane to arrive as her husband Ben and son Cal were onboard. However, when the plane did not arrive for more than two years, she gradually moved on with her life. Things went haywire for her when the plane re-appeared as that meant she once again had to uproot herself and find her old life. Grace did not have any patience left for that. The plane somehow seemed to regulate her fate, and she simply remained a puppet in its hands. 



 

The three women have been representing the three main themes of Jeff Rake's show: Faith, reason, and damage; and, in their own time, they have regulated Ben's action in many ways. Ben fell back on Saanvi when he could not find anyone else to talk about the "callings" but he was compelled to follow these "callings" when his sister Michaela urged him to listen to them.

Similarly, he was made to realize that he had missed out on five and a half years of his life when he came back home to Grace. These very dynamics and the play of characters is what makes 'Manifest' a compelling watch. We can hardly wait for the show to return on January 7 after its long fall break.

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.