On Manifest Season 1 Episode 6, “Off Radar,” we finally get the bit of the story that we’ve been waiting for! At last, we have a clue to what really might have happened to the passengers on flight MA828.
The show still straddles the line between supernatural and science fiction (I’m still wondering about the “He is risen!” parts in previous episodes). But now, we have a better “big bad” to blame: Unified Dynamic Systems.
However, it’s gotten more complicated. Vance and the NSA are no longer the main antagonists, at least at this point. It’s also a bit confusing, given that all of our heroes have spent the past five episodes running from Vance and their surveillance.
So now that the show has turned the tables, we have to treat this as a new beginning and a fresh start.
Now, the question is whether the experiments performed have to do with the passengers post-landing or whether UDS has something to do with the actual disappearance of the passengers and the time-jump.
Jared’s character interests me because his loyalties could still go either way. The show isn’t using him particularly effectively — he’s being used more as Michaela’s failed love interest versus the wild card that he should be.
But now that he knows more about what’s going on, he could prove to be a very useful ally.
I’m also glad that Saanvi is back, even though she’s also being used more as a pawn rather than as an actual character. She’s the most crucial connection between Ben and Cal, and yet she’s thrown into the mix as an afterthought.
It bewilders me to imagine that there’s no connection between UDS and the existing characters on the show. There must be someone who has a connection to UDS; otherwise, there are no stakes rooted in the first five episodes of the season.
Nevertheless, I can’t pinpoint who might be involved. Unless other characters are introduced, UDS will simply act as a mysterious black box, and we can’t understand that side.
One innate difficulty with this show is that new characters are introduced each episode as plot points but then subsequently tossed out. It’s tough to empathize with these people because we’re so focused on the main characters.
Grace’s presence on the show is somewhat up in the air. Her violent reaction to Ben telling the truth is understandable considering the difficulties she’s had to make and all of the shakeups in her life. However, she could be a valuable ally if she sticks with Ben.
This episode also doesn’t help us answer why the passengers are connected — it only gives us a clue into who’s responsible. So there has to be some strange “scientific” reason that they are connected, and it must be something science-fictional at this point (or maybe, somehow, supernatural).
How do you think Unified Dynamic Systems is connected? What did you think of this episode of Manifest? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Manifest airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.
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