The answer to how the tailfin wound up in the ocean only raises more questions, while a sudden time-jump puts the meth trio's Death Date right around the corner -- can any of them survive it?
We thought we had until the end of this season to deal with the Shadow's (aka the meth trio) Death Date, but then "Manifest" dropped a two-month time jump on us and suddenly it's practically here.
That puts a new sense of urgency on everyone, as these three are their next shot after Zeke pulled it off at seeing if it's possible to survive your Death Date. If they do manage to pull it off, they could possibly offer more insight as to what happens next.
Based on what's going on with Zeke these past few weeks, it doesn't look like you get to just go back to being a normal guy or gal. It looks like once you've been chosen to be a returnee -- from whatever calamity -- you may be marked in some way for life.
This week's focus was split three ways, with Angelina working closely with Michaela and Zeke to try and solve the latest Calling, that none of them experienced. Instead, this was a Calling shared by the Shadows, and one that has a very personal connection to them.
Next, we had Ben and Saanvi reconnecting with Vance, now firmly entrenched in his new position heading up the task force investigating Flight 828. He's got the burned out husk of the plane, the recovered tailfin, all the data that's been captured on the passengers and another surprise revelation that Ben's glowing hand leads him to.
Finally, there's Jared's ongoing investigation into the disappearance of the Major, which is quickly bringing him into the crosshairs of what Vance is now in charge of. It may be a different kind of program under his control now, but there's still on way they can have a detective digging around.
This week, we did start to get a few more answers as to what might be going on with the passengers, and even that piece of tailfin. But as always, every answer brings with it a dozen or so more questions.
All returnees seem to share having Callings after they come back, so does that mean they can all look forward to Zeke's new Empath power? -- we're calling it Shimmer because of the visual effect they use. It's come in handy, but it's more than just connecting with someone, it seems to come at times of need for either himself or those around him. Is this indicative that he's proven himself a compassionate person by following Callings to survive his Death Date, so he gets empathy for the rest of his life at a heightened level, or does it come with the same consequences if he ignores it as a Calling?
Why Would the Tailfin Vanish Only to Appear in the Ocean?
We get that the existing theory is that the plane (and possibly more) are slowly reverting back to the state they would have been in had the return never happened. Is the tailfin reverting back to the ocean the equivalent of Zeke's early frostbite or the Shadows starting to down slowly this week as their Death Dates approach? Does the plane have a Death Date as well, and it will revert to wreckage in the ocean. Does that mean the plane itself is a supernatural returnee just like the passengers and as it can't follow Callings, it can't save itself form its fate? Will it eventually all just disappear? Is it possible to save it from that fate?
Did Zeke Surviving Death Date Trigger Tailfin Disappearing?
The timing of the tailfin disappearing seems to coincide with a lot of things. In particular, Zeke survived his Death Date. For us, he's the first one to do so, which puts him in a rarefied position. Was he not supposed to survive, and thus him doing so disrupted whatever agency is behind all of this? Did his survival somehow trigger the plane to start reverting back to what it would have been originally had there been no return? It's hard to imagine it being a coincidence.
Did Tailfin Disappearing Trigger Shadows' Disappearance?
At the same time that Zeke was surviving his Death Date, the Shadows were disappearing. They'd eventually survive their drowning, but wouldn't return for 84 days. But at the moment that Zeke survived and the tailfin disappeared, they disappeared, too. Why would so many things related to returning be happening at the same time? The tailfin reverts to its non-return status, Zeke survives his Death Date and the shadow trio vanish to wherever these things go before they return (remember the lake was dredged and their bodies were not found). Each of the three things were at a different stage in this process, which make it even more curiosu.
Did Saanvi Killing Major Have Anything to Do With Those Events?
Saanvi is convinced that it's also no coincidence that the tailfin disappeared as she killed the Major. Now, as the Major was just a regular person (so far as we know), there should be no supernatural connection. But is it possible the Major has now disappeared as well? No body was found of her, either, though Jared is now investigating a sanitation vehicle in that park that night, so her body might have just been picked up. It seems a bit odd if it is exactly to the minute when the Major died that the tailfin vanished. But it might mean that there's more to the Major than we first knew, she might be a returnee of some other sort, maybe trying to survive her own Death Date. There's clearly more about her to learn or her daughter wouldn't suddenly be a character in the show. Will she be back?
Can Saanvi Survive Her Death Date?
We already know she's stopped her own Callings through the treatments she gave herself, but did that truly doom her in regards to the Death Date, as she seems to think. She's still doing her part to help everyone, and helps with Callings if others tell her about them. Is that enough? Or is the suppression of her own Callings enough to doom her? Is it possible for her to bring them back, now that she's officially joined Vance's 828 team? How can she keep them from studying her, though, as a side question?
We kind of wish they'd had Saanvi touch the plane somewhere, or maybe the tailfin. We've no idea why Ben's hand keeps glowing where he touched it, or why the tailfin glows with his handprint, but he used his glowing hand as a guide to lead him to a bigger secret Vance was trying to keep from him and Saanvi. How does that work exactly? How can touching the tailfin make his hand glow and then that glow literally lead him to Kelly Taylor's body? He's still having traditional Callings, so is this like a bonus Calling tool or something different? Could any passenger get it by touching the tailfin or some other part of the plane? Does that mean the plane had this ability in it, or is it because the tailfin moved that it created this new ability within Ben?
Why Didn't Kelly Taylor's Body Disappear to Bottom of Ocean?
If the prevailing theory is that the tailfin reverted back to where it would have been without the return, at the bottom of the ocean and with indicators that it had been there for seven years, why didn't Kelly Taylor's body vanish and appear there, too? Is it different for people? Ben and Saanvi learned that the body of Kelly Taylor, who was shot in the head and killed a year and a half ago, now has injuries consistent with dying in a midair plane explosion. How did her body revert to that state already if the Death Date is so far out? Is it because she's dead, indicating that anyone who dies would revert to a similar state? But why didn't she physically transport to where he body would have been after the explosion ... in the ocean? Is it different for living matter than inorganic material like the plane?
Can Any of the Shadows Survive Their Death Date?
This week, Zeke and Michaela -- with an assist from Andrea at the end -- were able to solve the Shadow trio's Calling, but can they survive their Death Date if someone else is doing the work for them? Pete couldn't because he was in jail, but it does seem like Kory may have wanted to do the right thing, earning him a shot in the leg from Jace. We suspect Jace is a lost cause, but with only a few days left before the Death Date at the close of this hour, we suspect we'll get this answer sooner rather than later. If Kory or Pete can survive it (we can't see Jace pulling it off, though he's shown no signs of early drowning), we'll have more post-Death Date people to see if they develop Zeke's Shimmer ability.
Are Returnees Randomly Selected or Is It About Redemption?
Thus far, we've seen a lot of problematic people in need of redemption get the chance to return. One squandered his and drowned (though he did only have a few days to figure it all out), while Zeke has survived his Death Date and now the trio face theirs. Only the Flight 828 Passengers seem to be a true cross-section of people, some of them in need of redemption, but some perhaps not (like Cal). Is there some intelligence behind the decision of who to bring back, and even how long to give them before their Death Date (thus determining how long to keep them away). Why give one dirtbag just a few days, the Shadows a few months, Zeke a year or so and the passengers more than five years? Do the timeframes have any significance at all?
Will Jared Get Pulled Into Vance's 828 Project?
We're spending a lot of time with Jared's investigation into the disappearance of the Major. At this point, we're not even sure if we trust her daughter being who she is, but even if she is, this all has to be going somewhere. We can't imagine it's just for him to hit a dead end or get sidelined, so we imagine it's about bringing Jared into the fold. Now that Saanvi is official and Ben is aware, it seems like we're moving toward Passengers being involved in the investigation into them. How transparent Vance will be remains to be seen, but we imagine Jared's detective skills could come in handy with all these questions that need answers. Is it a matter not of if but when at this point? And what exactly would he do? Now that Michaela is officially with Zeke, it's less clear what Jared's role on the show should be, so it'll be interesting to see where he lands from this.
"Manifest" hits us with a double-does of new episodes next Thursday, starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.