We're still covering our eyes from the terrifying calling that strikes both Michaela and Saanvi as a stowaway on Flight 828 is revealed.
"Manifest" got its spooky on, and seemed to channel a little bit of "Doctor Who" along the way, as the "callings" turned visual this week.
We're glad Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and Ben (Josh Dallas) went ahead and named their voices and sounds and now visions with the collective term "callings." It makes it easier to talk about them, because we were all ready to call this week's calling the Weeping Angels from "Doctor Who" lore.
Their introduction was beautifully handled, with Saanvi (Parveen Kaur) glancing up to see a statue walk by her. It was so quick, but looked so wrong, we went back and watched it a few times. Then, it was right in her face. But Saanvi's version of the statue didn't talk, it directed her with wet feet.
But then the same statue appeared in front of Michaela, and this time it spoke, telling her to "save him." Unfortuately, as she did with the dogs, Michaela jumped the gun and botched a major ATF investigation the NYPD was assisting on. Even worse, Jared (J.R. Ramirez) took the fall for her, so now her guilt is doubled while he's suspended.
Ultimately, he did make the call to go in -- admittedly after she screamed that she knew it was the right thing when she knew no such thing -- so it is on him.
Elsewhere in the hour, we finally got to meet the other man in Grace's life and his name is Danny (Daniel Sunjata), he's gorgeous, and he's the guy Olive called first when she was in trouble. One criticism of this show is that it could try a little harder to hide its twists and turns, every coincidence is so plainly telegraphed, we could see the meeting of Danny and Ben coming a mile away.
Nevertheless, there is still intrigue and plenty of questions as we made our way through this episode, which was about what the statue was directing Saanvi and Michaela to get involved with, and why it took both of them to get what we assume it wanted.
How Is It Determined Who Gets Callings?
This week's "case" involved the stowaway on Flight 828, which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment based on the hype of the promos, who was nothing more than a refugee from Jamaica who was in love with a flight attendants cousin. And so she smuggled him on board and helped him escape after landing.
The drawback for the man, Thomas, was that he didn't get the NSA explanation that they'd all disappeared for five-and-a-half years, so he was absolutely freaking out and wondering why his boyfriend, Leo, wasn't there for him. He wound up committed as a John Doe.
But that brings the question of why the flight attendant, Bethany, didn't get a calling? Why go through both Saanvi and Michaela, but not Bethany directly? Especially as she was the one who was able to identify the statue from Bethesda Fountain.
It turns out, the calling may have needed Saanvi involved because she had access to where Thomas was being held, and it needed Michaela involved because she knew the safe place to take Thomas, which was the boiler room of the building Kelly owned. It's now tied up in probate as Kelly is dead and he husband incarcerated. Coincidence? Not on "Manifest."
Where Is Leo Anyway?
Bethany further shattered Thomas' fragile psyche by telling him that she'd learned that Leo disappeared two years after their flight disappeared. Does his disappearance have anything to do with the larger picture of what happened to Flight 828? If the people on the plane are important, perhaps the people around them are, too.
We certainly hope this isn't a plot thread that will get abandoned completely. Thus far, each week we've been moving from one passenger to the next as their lives and stories intersect with Ben and Michaela, usually involving some cryptic calling that ties them together.
Hopefully, though, this is just a first act kind of thing, and these people will show back up on the show as the threads begin to pull tighter and tighter. There are only so many passengers on the plane, and as we saw with "Lost," it's perfectly reasonable to stick with and follow the adventures of quite a few of them at once.
Quite frankly, the larger story is ultimately more interesting than these human interest pieces we're getting to start with, and there's no way they can expect to maintain this format for the duration of the series. For one thing, there were only 19 people at the plane site when it blew, so that would get us through most of this first season.
We supposed they could expand it to people who've left New York since landing, but it's going to get tired real fast if we just go from one to the next with no larger connection starting to reveal itself. We're hoping that the use of Kelly's building is just the first of man connections to come.
What Has Olive Been Doing?
We've gotten several hints that Olive (Luna Blaise) has been a bit of a troublemaker, acting out since her twin and father disappeared five-and-a-half years ago. This week, she came right out and told Ben that she's not the perfect 10-year old he remembers from before he disappeared.
Is this just typical teenage nonsense as we see in any television series with a female teenage daughter, or is Olive mixed up in some seriously shady stuff? She made it all so crytpic, and then her efforts to have Ben help her keep it secret from Grace (Athena Karkanis) really made us skeptical of her motives.
Is she just playing her own father, or was all of that sincere? We really know very little about her, but how much more is there to know? It's probably nothing, to be honest, but "Manfiest" has us checking under the pillows for ulterior motives and connections to the plane's disappearance, so we take nothing for granted!
What Is Ben Going to Do?
It was a pretty self-aware moment for Ben when, after meeting Danny, he told Grace that maybe it's not fair for him to expect and ask her and Olive to let Danny go. They were building a life together with no expectation that Ben or Cal would ever return. Danny probably isn't a bad dude.
Hell, he showed up without hesitation to pick Olive up from the place where she stole the makeup even though Grace has been giving him the grand brushoff. He's as much a victim of the craziness as anyone, and if anyone is being a little ridiculous about it, it's Grace.
She's clearly conflicted about these two men, but she's made this weird decision to just cut things off clean with Danny and try again with Ben. On the one hand, we get it, but Danny deserves better than that. That anniversary picture Ben found tells us they'd been together at least a year. Olive's closeness to him indicates the same or more.
Jared was pretty direct with Michaela (after she saw the ring) about his marriage, opting to rip off the bandage that it was her best friend he'd married, which is still way better than whatever Grace thinks she's doing. All she's doing is emotionally tormenting two men by not facing either of them or her own feelings directly and just figuring out.
At this point, Ben is taking that moment out of her hands as he considers stepping back. And honestly, he has way better chemistry with Saanvi and we are ready for that pairing to come together. Now that we've met Danny and we like him, the path is open.
What Will Jared Uncover?
Jared is a detective, and Michaela is acting weird. It's like every week she or her brother manage to be right there to break cases, except for this week when Michaela blew a case with her crazy predictions. Nevertheless, the guy is a detective, so of course he's going to do some digging.
The map he's marking with her various callings has us wondering if the locations bear any significance. Why are they only saving people and situations in New York? And why have they all benefited passengers or their loved ones directly (the first one helped Jared)? Are these callings personally driven?
His outside perspective could prove useful too, as he continues to dig into what she's doing, and presumably Ben as well. The real question is whether or not he'll continue to not involve Vance in his findings. He tore up the NSA director's card last week, but that doesn't mean he couldn't still contact him, if he wanted to.
At this point, Jared keeps admitting he still cares for Michaela -- which is great for his own marriage -- and that might be enough for him to protect her. We assume he'll eventually become an ally and be let in on the callings, but only after he uncovers something on his own. It would be great if it was something passengers can't see because they're too close to it all.
Next week looks like it's going to be a whopper as we've been suspecting Cal is a major piece of this puzzle. He might finally start taking center stage and show us some of what he can do now.
"Manifest" airs Mondays at 10 p.m ET on NBC.
Got a story or a tip for us? Email TooFab editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.