The most sophisticated Calling yet takes six people coming together to figure it all out, while Saanvi faces her biggest challenge yet ... and fails.
It feels like we've turned a corner on this season of "Manifest," not just from the next episode teaser (which almost guarantees it), but because there were some major developments and shifts throughout this taut and exciting hour of slow burn tension.
The bulk of the action was spent in a bank as a passenger held it up ... but not for money. There were more coincidental numbers that may or may not mean anything. Honestly, we're glad to see numbers popping up again in significant ways, as they did when they played with 828 and some others in the first season.
Math seems to be pivotal to some of the mysteries of this show, so having the safe deposit box at the center of this episode's mystery of the week be 6224 was a fun (such as it is) connection to the death date, while raising more questions about that number in general.
But while Michaela and Zeke found themselves mysteriously drawn to the bank where that safe deposit box was housed, TJ suddenly took in a surprisingly pivotal role in that mystery, and it looks like he might just be joining the cast in a more significant way. Even this week's flashbacks were all about building a connection between him and Olive.
Other than wanting perhaps to cast a nice, young guy for Olive to clearly crush on, there has to be an in-story reason that this passenger, of all the ones Ben has helped, is suddenly not only in his periphery at the college, but possibly ingratiating himself into the family, and even the key Callings of the show.
As for that friendly couple from last week, with the wife who told Grace she hopes her child dies, we saw neither hide nor hair of them this week, so those questions will have to linger and wait a little while longer. But there was certainly enough going on for us to have plenty of new ones.
Unless it's simply to shoehorn him into the plot, we're really wondering why it was TJ who had the Gramercy Club calling instead of Ben. While it's nice to see another passenger getting involved, the only end result of him having that calling for TJ was that he found out about the Death Date, which ultimately led him (via Olive) to Adrian's church.
But what was the significance for TJ to have that Calling? Especially because by itself it was only half a calling. It needed Ben to get that call from Jared about the bank hold-up, complete with Logan Frinkman's name, in order to fulfill the Calling. Again, why not have Ben just have the calling? Or why not have them both have it, if it was so important for TJ to be a part of this.
Why Did Michaela and Zeke Share Bank Calling?
That's what happened in the other half of the calling, as it was shared by Michaela and Zeke. Now, if they shared it in part to keep them together, that could be within the realm of what the Callings want, as these two are obviously meant to be close to one another for some reason or another. Maybe the Callings are trying to do the same thing with TJ and Ben ... well, not exactly the same thing.
The fact that this was a two-piece Calling relying on all of the existing and very complicated relationships between TJ and Ben and Michaela and even Jared to work is quite something. Mick and Zeke even seemed to get the part that might have been more relevant to TJ as they heard, "Bring him back." Unless that wasn't about Logan's brother Frank, who had the safe deposit box key.
Then there's the fact that time seemed to slow for Michaela as she had this calling, which somehow lured her into the bank in the first place. We don't think time has slowed in previous callings, so why did it do so here? Were there details she needed to see? Is there more to PBB: Premier Bouroughs Bank than we think?
As for that Safe desposit box, why is it numbered 6224. Is it just to bring the compass into the story, and did it have to go down this way so Michaela and Ben would gain possession of it? Because in all honesty, the box could have had any number and this result would have likely been the same.
Or perhaps 6224 is now going to be a key to pieces necessary to solving the Death Date dilemma and this is just its first major manifestation in the series. That said, we had 828 Easter eggs last season that ultimately didn't go anywhere else (a la "Lost") so it may have only existed her to emphasize the importance of the box and its contents.
How Is the Compass Connected?
Which of course raises a huge question about that compass from Logan's grandfather. Why on earth would a WWII relic -- with a bullet lodged in it -- be important? We get that it saved Logan's grandfather's life, and he believes it saved his father's life, but what is its connection to the Death Date and the returnees of Flight 828?
How can a compass bear any significance in and of itself. Or is it possible that the grandfather bears some significance, which circles back to an older question of whether or not the passengers were truly random or if there was some higher power there that got them on that plane at that time. Of course, it would have also then have had to get them to Jamaica, which is even more randomly coincidental. Or maybe Logan's grandfather in particular is significant somehow.
Considering the plane seemed to jump ahead in time, as did Zeke and our drowned friend, maybe a figure from the past could somehow play a significant role. Or maybe they skipped back in time before jumping forward. Yeah, we've got no idea where the plane went for 5 and a half years, if it went anywhere at all other than just ahead in time.
Speaking of wonky Callings and who's having them, why did Logan have the Death Date calling? Thus far, almost no one had had it. Is it because he had the connection to the safety deposit box and the compass inside of it? TJ had no idea about it until Ben blurted it out abruptly while confronting Logan's brother Frank (who weirdly had decided all the passengers weren't themselves, including his brother).
If the passengers are supposed to do something about the Death Date, will this be what brings them together? Will more of them have this Calling, and then Ben and Mick and Zeke and maybe Cal will having Callings to lead them to those people to keep working toward eliminating the Death Date altogether. Or perhaps Saanvi has the solution.
Did the Major Know About Saanvi's Home Research?
Apparently Saanvi told the Major about her home experiments before she knew she was the Major. Either that or the Major was just being thorough after Saanvi tipped her off in her attempt to lie to her. We're not sure why Vance thought this would work considering how poorly Saanvi was doing during their practice runs, but desperate times and all that.
At this point, though, we don't know if Saanvi was even successful as she'd yet to go back and check on the injected rat before the Major gutted her home laboratory, as well as all of her work at the university. Was her documentation thorough enough that the Major could make use of her possible discovery of how to isolate the 828 anomaly?
If so, that's bad news for all passengers, as she's probably about to try and harvest her some 828 and inject it into her soldiers. Of course, this is assuming that we even know what she's after with all of this intel. Previews suggest that the hunt for returnees may be on. But what's the goal there?
We know the Major was experimenting on them before, so presumably more of that. But if it's as brazen as she suggests, then is the Major ready to go into open warfare with the returnees? That would certainly be a very public spectacle and a dramatic shift for the show. Are they ready to go there?
Can Jared Really Move On?
Perhaps far less important is what happens next with Jared. Apparently the repercussions from Mick throwing him under the bus at Zeke's retrial are inconsequential or pending because he was his usual self this week, and even still hung up on Michaela despite everything.
At the end of the hour, he agrees to hook up with a random bartender who'd flirted with him earlier in the hour. But can he really move on from her, even as she's clearly moving onto Zeke? Who are we supposed to 'ship here? Is it Mick and Jared or Mick and Zeke? TJ and Olive? They're pretty cute together so far, though we still don't trust Adrian.
That said, this show has us so paranoid, we're wondering if the bartender isn't some plant by the Major -- or the friendly hope-your-baby-dies couple, if they're not with the Major -- to get close to Jared in order to dig up some dirt on Michaela and her meddling brother. At this point, we trust no one!