Manifest is back, and they are setting up for an explosive back half of the season. Manifest Season 1 Episode 10, “Crosswinds,” sees some of the drama pay off and continues to get at the heart of the mystery as to what really happened on the plane.
There’s a lot of slow burn and subterfuge in “Crosswinds,” but as the mystery gets deeper it feels like this is the only direction that the show could reasonably go in.
Ben’s analytical approach to the mysteries is particularly interesting given that we know he has a Ph.D. in mathematics. When Ben was first introduced in the pilot episode, he was a character whose primary objective is to protect his son.
That’s still his concern and motivation, but now we see him using his skills to do that and further that initiative. In fact, it’s become necessary as Cal continues to be so deeply affected by the callings. Cancer is one concern, there is a diagnosis and treatment and medical triage that goes with that. When there’s a force behind your child and what’s been happening to you, the threat is tenfold.
This new dimension to Ben’s character feels earned and natural for the show, and the direction it’s going in.
Finding out about The Major and that she’s in pursuit of a “Holy Grail” is another curious turn. The fact that the Holy Grail is Cal and how he is experiencing the callings is another turn and a turn that makes the entire scenario all the more nefarious.
While her introduction may make the threat more present and real, one of the biggest strengths for Manifest at the moment is how faceless the villain is.
In line with series like The X-Files, where the government and their conspiracies were also the central turning point of the show, when the villain is bigger than the main characters the task feels insurmountable. Putting a face to that is going to give them a target to zero in on.
I want to know who The Major is, but it’s tempting to wish that the reveal is teased for just a little while longer. Even if she is revealed in the next episode, that doesn’t mean the mystery stops there. It could be one piece of the puzzle.
While the investigation into the mystery is very much the throughline of the episode, the relationships between the Stone family are also an important part of “Crosswinds.”
The case of the week is about one of the passengers rescued during Manifest Season 1 Episode 9, “Dead Reckoning,” and his amnesia. The quest to find his wife brought up a very interesting question what the intention of the plane’s disappearance might be.
Uncovering that he abused his wife starts to paint what looks like a miracle as a curse and begins to show that there are two sides of every story. Michaela’s realization that her return might have the same “wrecking ball” effect does a lot to drive the action for their relationship.
The confrontation between Jared and Michaela about why he wasn’t at the hangar when she was released, and any feelings he may have for her is a scene that was always going to come up. Now that Jared and Michaela have slept together, and with her best friend Lordes also in the crossfire, it’s going to get very complicated.
Manifest does a great job of fleshing out most of the main cast. There isn’t a character I hate with a passion other than the faceless villain that is conducting these experiments. Lordes is no exception and with the events of recent episodes, this could lead to heartbreak.
Of course, on the other side of that, you have Michaela who has been trying to fight feelings of guilt and regret. So who knows where this, will go in time.
You also have Ben, Grace, and Danny who are still trying to figure out how to make life work. Grace’s point of view has been particularly fascinating because it’s hard to remember that she actually went through a mourning process after the flight disappeared.
Seeing her caught between her husband and the life she built with Danny is a very compelling story. It would be easy to pass judgment on Grace and say that she should do one thing or another, but she’s as much a force on this narrative as every other character.
Regardless of how any of the interpersonal storylines play out while we wait for the big reveals of what’s coming next, Manifest is giving us a slow burn that is captivating to watch. As they start to explore and dive deeper into the mystery it feels like we’re only going to get more enthralled in it.
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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