Jared goes deeper into darkness as a terrifying new Calling raises new questions about Returnees -- and Adrian in particular.
Well, that was one doozy of an ending as "Manifest" created a genuine wow moment simply by having another person sharing a harrowing Calling with Ben, Michaela and Saanvi.
But before we get to that and all the new questions raised in what turned out to be a pretty solid episode, we have to wonder if the Courtney storyline had anything at all do with anything passenger related, or if it was just a character moment for Zeke and Michaela.
It was set up as such a shocker that the revelation she was Zeke's wife was our final moment last week. But then this week we learn that she and Zeke never actually got married legally, so that was a pretty cheap stunt. And then her whole plotline was just a way to give Zeke some closure on that chapter of his life and help him shed some guilt, make amends and move on.
Don't get us wrong, we don't mind some genuine character moments like this, they just rarely come on this show. So you can't blame us if we're looking for some passenger connection in this storyline. There may yet be some legs to it because the dealer Courtney was in to for $20,000 laid down some pretty hefty threats to Zeke and Michaela when they ultimately took him down.
Those threats may come home to roost before the season is out. For now, though, it looks like Courtney was a done-in-one character in an episode that already had one of those passenger-of-the-week stories with the shared calling between Ben and Saanvi of the little boy who wasn't on their plane.
That story, though, did leave us with plenty of questions ... and it ties to the dramatic cliffhanger that closed this episode, and we know this one has stakes to the larger arc of the show. But for now, these are the questions that are haunting us this week.
Adrian continues to have a larger presence in the show, even though he had only two scenes in this episode. Nevertheless, dude is starting to freak us right the f--k out! And he kicked things right off by kicking Olive out of his church because of Ben's threatening visit last week, and then saying it was okay she was leaving because there is a "bigger miracle" coming.
What does Adrian know that we don't? And what is this bigger miracle he's teasing? Is it possible that everything he's done thus far, from building his church to perpetuating this idea that the Passengers are miracles themselves, be the result of callings he's been having? Whatever he's up to, it feels like Adrian is moving more toward the center of the story this season.
Could he be the first truly villainous Passenger we've met? We know we might be projecting on him, but we don't fully trust him. And we know Returnees don't have to be good dudes because of the opportunistic douchebag truck driver we met who drowned already. That guy never got a redeeming moment. He sucked until the end.
A minor question, but an intriguing one in a world where Saanvi leaked her own research to the Major and Jared appears to be a leak at the precinct. It looks like 828ers aren't allowed to have secrets, and yet who knows about Grace's pregnancy to the point they've leaked it to a magazine?
Granted, it could be anyone from someone who worked at the hospital and recognizes Ben as an 828er to even Jared himself, if he knows about it. So there may not be much to this mystery, but every mystery just feels so important on this show.
The worst thing to come out of it, though, is Grace suggesting they pretend it's Danny's baby to throw off the press. They only have her Callings to tell them it's Ben's baby anyway, but is that really enough? Okay, probably, but this is a weird way to pull Danny back into the story when it was finally feeling like they were just going to be done with his character. Even Olive has stopped playing with him (so far as we know).
This week's random Calling dealt with the passenger in 14C, Finn Nowack, and the one-night stand he had the night before Flight 828. More specifically, the one-night stand he had with a married woman, who he just happened to impregnate. The Calling seemed to be about Finn getting the opportunity to meet his son, and then save him via liver transplant.
But it raises an interesting question -- and one Saanvi is exploring through the worst way possible. Is Theo special because his father was an 828er, or is he special because he now has part of his father in him? Saanvi seems to think that could be enough to give him a Death Date, which is why she continued her experimenting on herself to try and shut it down, which is just beyond stupid.
We already know Grace's baby is special, and if Theo turns out to be special, too, it would be interesting to know if it was because Finn was a Passenger, because Orlena got pregnant the night before he got on that plane. Presumably, he was just a regular dude then, unless the Passengers were somehow special or "chosen" even before they got on that flight.
Like Michaela, Ben and Cal, Finn wasn't originally supposed to be on 828; he missed his original flight trying to track down Orlena. How many 828 passenger were there as a last-minute decision, or a fluke in their lives. We know TJ also jumped on it last-minute. Could there be a correlation between those passengers and the Callings?
Olive and TJ did more than establish their adorable relationship this week, they may have found one of the first Returnees -- if not the first. Tracking the tarot card Olive was given two years after 828 disappeared, they found they were created by a man named Yusuv Al-Zuras, who disappeared for ten years and claimed to hear the voice of God when he returned.
Could he be a Returnee who was gone for ten years? That would make him gone the longest of anyone we know as a Returnee. It also raises the question of how long this has been going on and how many people have been taken and returned over the centuries? Are there people still gone now that were taken years or even decades ago?
It also makes us again wonder about the particular fortune teller who gave that card to Olive when she was a younger girl. Did the teller know that Flight 828 would be returning in three years and change? Did she know she was dealing with the family of two of the Passengers? Does this mean there are people on our world who are aware of those who have disappeared while they are gone?
There have been a lot of Callings on the plane recently, which is a question by itself, too, considering how few of the earlier callings took place on the plane. Now, everything seems to filter through there, though this is the first one to show the wreckage as if the plane had actually crashed somewhere.
But then, there's the fact that not everyone on the plane was a passenger, so we have to ask then, who are they? Are they people related to passengers, as it was when they saw Theo sitting in Finn's seat? It's also worth noting that Finn was one of the bodies on the plane was Finn, only he was holding the frog rock Theo had shown him in the episode, so this is a Finn who knows about Theo and had already made that connection.
Could it be a connection through the liver transplant being represented by the rock? Does that mean the other unknown bodies are also people connected to Passengers? Or perhaps they're just people who've disappeared. After all, we've had Callings with Zeke on the plane, and he was never there. Maybe Yusuv al-Zuras is one of the bodies.
The creepiest moment of the whole Calling, though, was when they panned outside the plane to show Adrian standing there. He appeared to be sharing this Calling with Ben, Michaela and Saanvi, but he was separated from them. They couldn't see him, but it was unclear if he could see them.
And why would he be outside the plane? He couldn't then see what our trio was seeing inside with the bodies of passengers and non-passengers alike. Does this Calling have the same meaning for him as it does for him? What other Callings has Adrian been having? Has he shared any others with our intrepid heroes?
He also didn't seem as freaked out and confused as everyone else in this Calling, as if it was either familiar to him already or he had some understanding of what was going on that they lacked. What is Adrian's deal already, and are we right to be spooked out by him every time we see him?
If Jared is faking this whole thing with Danny and the Xers, he's doing a masterful job of it. This week, he laid out how Michaela Stone absolutely destroyed every aspect of his life from personal to professional since returning on Flight 828. This is true. And he definitely is mad at her right now, and a little disgusted.
But he also has seen enough to know that her Callings are something legitimate. Now, he may have decided that makes her inhuman in some way, but we're still just not sure what he's up to right now in his life. He courted career disaster when he stalked and attacked Zeke, and now he's doing this.
Is he just self-destructing before our eyes, or is he going full evil? And if he does go full evil, will the new captain be his best friend, because we're not sure we trust her motives right now, either.
If we're being truthful, we think making Jared legit a bad guy on this show right now might be the most compelling and logical direction to take his character. It would set him up for a redemption arc, make an emotionally painful new enemy for Michaela and be a genuinely compelling and bold status quo shift for Jared, the precinct and everyone in his circle.
Whatever happens, we'll be here scratching our heads with new questions each week until the series finale ... and possibly beyond.
"Manifest" drops new episodes every Monday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.