It's the biggest revelation of the series since the premiere and it changes everything we thought we knew about what's going on.
Well, that was a twist. "Manifest" dropped its biggest bombshell since the pilot with the revelation of a brand new time traveler, and he had nothing to do with Flight 828.
The episode picked up right where last week's left off, with Cal Stone missing and everyone losing their minds with worry that the Major had kidnapped him. Certainly all signs pointed to that, and we were all ready to throw stones at Autumn for betraying the Stones to her boss, even if it was blackmail.
Well, it turns out things aren't always as they seem, as Cal was so clever some writer probably patted him- or herself on the back for coming up with a message that says "I Left" that also served as a map. It also required Cal's sister Olive to be left at home to find it so she could relay the message.
The whole thing was overly complicated, but it certainly kept us on our toes. Ben thinks the Callings are vague, but would he rather vague or the incredibly convoluted impulses that seem to control Cal's behavior whenever a particularly strong calling hits him?
Rather than being kidnapped, Cal had taken it upon himself to make his way to this cabin in the woods to wait for "him," and that's when it all came full circle as the "him" was the same man who'd been stumbling through a blizzard saying "find her" over and over again about Michaela, and those were the same visions she was hijacking.
Yes, this show is getting more and more confusing and juggling more and more plotlines, so what's one more, right? Oh, we have so many questions now, but we'll settle for answers to just a few of them.
Let's not mince words, these callings are super powers, at least as we understand them now. And this week, we saw Michaela getting cold and we saw her actually feeling snow hitting her on the face even though she was standing outside on a clear day. That's Cal-level calling experiences, so are her powers growing?
The wrinkle in this is that this was all part of her hijacking of the mysterious man Cal headed upstate to find. Perhaps she's piggybacking on his powers and they're at the level of Cal, but it seemed we were getting a new aspect of Michaela's ability. Or maybe this is every passenger's ability.
After all, if Michaela is becoming more sensitive to the callings, maybe everyone else is, too. Maybe that's why the passengers are so important to the experiment. Remember, sharing thoughts is a big part of Fiona's theory that much of the experiences so far seem to be based on.
Who Is the Man at the Door?
His entrance was a little over-the-top, but there's no denying that Zeke, as he finally identified himself, is a pivotal new character to the overall story. But how does he tie into things? Is he just a random person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, like the passengers of Flight 828?
That's right, it turns out that Zeke also experienced a bit of a time jump of his own, though he appears to have only lost about a year, rather than five-and-a-half. That throws into question our theory that the specificity of the Flight 828 time jump was somehow relevant, but maybe it wasn't. Perhaps the arrival time is more relevant.
Could it be that other people will be uncovered who've jumped time as well from all different eras, but they all emerged again at roughly this time, if not the exact same time. We know Zeke went on his hike two weeks ago, but we've lost the timeline of the passengers; it could also be two weeks.
We don't even know how Flight 828 skipped five-and-a-half years and now we have to wonder how Zeke did it? Did it happen while he was in that cave? Or did it just happen during the freak blizzard that erupted. Perhaps it had the same kind of dark lightning Mencin mentioned last week.
If so, the common denominator is this weather phenomenon. It could have taken Daly and Clarke last week (as we're not ready to say they died), so the real question is if these incidents are naturally occurring meteorological phenomenon or something manmade.
It could be that man was tampering with harnessing dark lightning for time travel and somehow lost control of their experiments, resulting in these disappearances and returns. Or, and hear us out, maybe many disappearances are people skipping through time. Flight 828 is just the biggest return yet. Could Amelia Earhart be next?
What Does the Major Know?
Understanding better what is happening and how people are jumping ahead in time would inform what the Major may or may not know. What we do know, though, is she is ruthlessly willing to experiment on those who have skipped time and she is monitoring them very closely.
Does she want to abduct Cal? We were so misdirected into believing that she had, and she had her men looking for him, but it's unclear if she wants to take him as we've been led to believe, or if she was just going to do so out of opportunity as he was on his own.
Clearly she thinks something major is happening in New York (pun intended) as she's now looking at real estate there. But why only now if the passengers have been back at least two weeks? Is her organization surprised by what they're learning about the callings?
Clearly Autumn's intel was the best information yet as to what's been happening with the passengers who did return to their home lives. Are the Stones manifesting (pun again intended) the most advanced and sophisticated callings, thus her need to be in New York, or is it all about Cal, now that she has some hint of what he's capable of.
And does she know about Zeke and what he represents? A second and apparently totally unrelated time-skipping event. Or are they related, and if so, how?
The writers are trying their damnedest to turn Grace around as a character because they made her such a witless shrew, she was the stereotypical nagging wife. Now, they're trying to have her cast blame on Ben for how she's been all season long, even going so far as to yell at him for not telling her sooner.
But anyone capable of remembering what's happened on the show will recall that he did try to tell her right away what was going on and she shut him down at every turn. She asked and said she had an open mind and then immediately didn't believe him and was awful to him.
Did we mention Grace is just the worst? We suppose now that she's on Team Stone and knows everything we're supposed to forget all of that and just move on with her. Okay, "Manifest." We can forget. But we'll never forgive!
How Much Did Chevy Pay for All That Promotion?
We get that product placement is becoming more and more of a thing on television shows, and cars are a huge part of that, but this episode was basically an hour-long commercial for Chevy. There were so many beautiful shots of the gorgeous vehicle they were driving in, we were waiting for Bob Seger's "Like a Rock" to start playing.
Grace even made sure to say that Danny, from whom they borrowed the truck, was an outdoorsy type so consumers would know who this vehicle was tailored for. And during the car chase that just kind of ended, we had to get a shot of Ben putting it in "offroad" mode. Man, are we ready to go camping in our new Chevy!
We understand that everything is about making money these days, but can scripted television at least try to be a little more subtle about it. We were half expecting when they arrived at the cabin for Ben to get out and start discussing the finer features of the vehicle with Grace and how well it handled; maybe even kick the tires for a few minutes before they ran in to see if their son was there.