‘Manifest’ 1×06 Review: Off Radar

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We had a week away from the craziness that is Manifest, and it made me forget (yes, that quickly) how invested I am in these characters and in the show’s big mystery. Things got really intense, like next level, in ‘Off Radar’. I really liked this new layer they’ve added to the show’s lore, but I do wish we’d progressed a little further, but that’s the binger in me talking. I want all the answers, and I want them right away.

Despite that, relationships progressed and I think I finally saw a glimpse of a popular ship that I haven’t noticed for myself until now. I’m not saying I’m on board, but I do see it. Finally! But this episode was really about Cal and his different, and much more intense connection to the passengers.

Let me break things down:

Cal and His Sudden Illness

The promo for this episode already had me anxious because Cal’s health is already a concern without adding a sudden virus or infection. But, here we are. Cal wakes in the night with a high fever speaking Bulgarian out of nowhere. I was so worried about our little hero because his treatment plan, once they get to the hospital, could jeopardize his place in the cancer study Saanvi helped start.

Ben, Michaela, and Saanvi see this illness as a direct tie with one of the passengers from their mystery plane. These three make a great team when they go looking into the big questions that keep coming up from their callings. I loved how they tied the phrase Cal was speaking in his fever haze to a passenger, who is missing. Nothing can be easy in this show, but that’s part of why we love it, isn’t it?

Missing Passengers

Okay, so I’ve been pretty hard on Agent Vance and his NSA team, thinking they’re up to no good. The start of this episode did not help my feelings on this group, when we learned that eleven passengers were loaded on a bus that just disappeared. The eleven were people who didn’t have family, or anything that would make them be missed, so they were easily marked as expendable.

Ben and Michaela, with a lot of great help, find the location where these passengers are being kept. It turns out they’re being experimented on! One of those passengers testing (torture, it’s torture) is linked directly with Cal. I hated watching the flashback scenes from Marko (Nikolai Tsankov) and Cal, each of them suffering. The show did a great job showing that the link between Marko and Cal didn’t go just one way, and Marko could see what Cal could. It was really cool.

Once Ben learns about the location, he confronts Vance and his main team, coming away with nothing but denials. I was with Ben, thinking Vance was lying to him just to keep their little experiment alive, but it turns out the NSA is in the dark too. Thankfully, the prying causes the medical tests to stop temporarily, as the group needs to move before anyone finds them, but it’s not over. The leads point to a company, a huge company, that’s behind what’s happening to the patients.

 

Confessions

Both Ben and Michaela had to fess up to their ‘significant others’ about the callings in this episode. The reactions were very different and they made me view one character a little differently. Grace confronted Ben about his need to investigate the passengers when their son was sick. Ben told her about the voices, and the callings and Grace did not seem to be buying his story, at all. I would think with the fact that the plane appeared out of nowhere, she’d be a little more open.

Michaela also had to share her callings with Jared when he accompanied her to the location where the missing passengers were being kept. Jared confronted her and, to my relief because he’s been asking, she opened up. He didn’t question her explanation at all, and my shipper heart grew ten times bigger. I have a feeling this was a great step for Michaela and Jared to start rekindling their romance.

Verdict

I really enjoyed this episode. It focused more on the mystery then the characters this time, which is necessary since that’s a large part of the story. I wanted more when it was over so kudos to the team behind Manifest. Ben had the right idea though. Just because Cal’s fever broke doesn’t mean their calling to find Marko is over, just on a pause. I’m feeling like whatever is going on in those experiments and the who that’s behind them will be a huge key to the overall ‘who-done-it’.

Don’t miss Manifest on NBC, Mondays at 10/9c!



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