NBC's 'Manifest': Fans should put aside their indignation against Grace and Jared
They have both served specific purposes on the show and, if observed closely, each can be categorized under certain stereotypes
Creator Jeff Rake gave us a plethora of characters on NBC's 'Manifest' and although this is one show which does not have a defined protagonist, each character has his/her significant roles to play. While there are a few flat characters such as Cal (Jack Messina), Saanvi (Parveen Kaur), and Ben (Josh Dallas), we also have well-rounded and dynamic characters such as Grace (Athena Karkanis), Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and Jared (J.R. Ramirez).
It is for this reason, fans' ire against Jared's changing behavior and Grace's unconventional decisions are not entirely fair. To begin with, Grace is actually a well-rounded character. She contributes the most in making the story interesting, and continuously leaves the viewer in a dilemma about her character.
Fans have been split in two groups where one claims she is nothing more than a selfish woman who is most opportunistic, while on the other hand, others claim Grace is a woman who is simply unfortunate. She lost her husband and son within minutes, and was not even told about their situations until she had to assume after years, they were perhaps dead. She looked for an answer to their disappearance for a long time, but in her attempt to look for her husband and son, Grace forgot that she had a daughter, too.
Olive (Luna Blaise) who was trying to help her mother overcome her grief, refused to believe her father and brother were dead. Hence, Grace had no other option but to move forward. She found solace in Danny (Daniel Sunjata), and the two perhaps even planned on starting a family together. This does not mean that Grace had forgotten about Ben whom she clearly loves even today but she had already started a new chapter with Danny, leaving fans wondering if she would ever go back to Ben.
Grace did make amends when she finally gave up on Danny upon the plane's arrival and started all over again with Ben, and their children Cal and Olive. It took a while for Grace and Ben to get along but once they did, things began to take a more concrete shape for Grace.
However, that was not what happened with Jared who married his fiancée, Michaela's, best friend when she went missing. Michaela wasn't quite sure if she wanted to marry Jared but he always knew that he would want to end up with her. However, when she went missing along with the plane, Jared too moved on just like Grace, but here's the catch - Jared didn't actually move on.
He somehow knew that he would always go back to Michaela if she ever came back and when she returned that is exactly what he did. So much so, that Jared was turning out to be quite the dynamic character. He went from being Michaela's partner in crime (literally) to a best friend to an ex-boyfriend who couldn't endure seeing her team up with Zeke (Matt Long) to solve the mystery of the time jump.
Jared's character became the most disappointing one on the show but then again, we cannot blame him. He was confused when Michaela arrived, and none of them were able to control their instincts and Jared ended up betraying his wife. Hence, when Michaela became closer to Zeke, Jared was threatened with the fact that he would be left alone with his guilt.
Nobody really wants to be guilty alone. His behavior changed radically and he soon lost his calm. Jared interfered into matters he shouldn't have and his actions soon led to drastic consequences, which is quite common with dynamic characters. Hopefully, he will find redemption in Season 2, although there is no official news of NBC renewing the show.