NBC takes flight with their newest drama, Manifest.
Montego Air Flight #828 disappears into thin air, only to return 5 ½ years later. The catch, for flight 828’s passengers, it’s only been a few turbulent hours in the air. As the authorities look for answers, the returned passengers struggle to find their place in a world that has moved on. Soon they’ll discover that their second chance may be meant for something bigger than themselves.
From the minds of Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke, Jeff Rake, and Jackie Levine, this new drama promises its viewers an interesting flight.
Once Upon a Time’s Prince Charming, known in our world as Josh Dallas, returns to T.V. screens as Ben Stone, one of the 191 souls aboard Montego Air Flight 828 during its fateful flight.
Starring alongside Dallas is Melissa Roxburgh (Valor) as Michaela Beth Stone, a benched police officer and Ben’s wayward younger sister. Athena Karkanis (Zoo) and Luna Blaise (Fresh Off the Boat) star as Ben’s wife Grace and daughter Olive. Manifest introduces Jack Messina, who plays Ben’s leukemia stricken son and Olive’s twin brother, Cal.
Rounding out the cast is J.R Ramirez (Power) as Det. Jared Vasquez, Michaela’s former boyfriend, and Parveen Kaur (Saving Hope) as Saanvi a pediatric cancer researchist.
Manifest opens with a voice over by Michaela and introduces viewers to the Stone family. The flight the family is taking is oversold. Ben jumps at the offer to take a later flight because it includes a $400 flight voucher. This would help cover their next trip to the Mayo Clinic for Cal. Cal wants to spend quality time with his dad and stays with him. As an excuse to get away from her mother’s meddling over her indecision regarding Jared’s proposal, Michaela takes the later flight as well.
While in the air Flight 828 hits a weather surge resulting in major turbulence but otherwise experiences a normal flight. When the plane reaches JFK and requests to land they are rerouted to an airport outside of New York City. On the tarmac they are informed that they left Jamaica on April 7th, 2013. Today is date November 4th, 2018. They have been presumed dead for 5 1/2 years.
They are questioned about the what happened during the flight. Afterwards they are reunited with their families. What should be a joyful reunion for the Stone family is tragic. Michaela and Ben learn that during their lost years their mother became ill and died. The most difficult moment is the harsh realization that while Olive has grown into a teenager, her twin bother Cal remains exactly the same 10 year old boy he was when he boarded Flight 828. None of the passengers have aged a day.
Everyone struggles to settle back into lives that no longer make sense. Michaela learns that Jared has moved on and married. Saanvi discovers that her research actually works. While still in the trial phase, it is saving the lives of hundreds of children. Cal’s cancer is as advanced as it was 5 years ago. With new discoveries in treatment, his prognosis is no longer terminal. But it’s not just new realities that the passengers have to adjust to, it’s new abilities as well.
Michaela begins hearing her own voice in her head giving cryptic warnings. It starts with telling a bus driver to slow down ultimately saving a little boy’s life. When she tries to talk to her brother about it, Ben brushes her off saying it sounds like she’s losing her mind and to keep it to herself. While out for a run past 2 barking dogs she hears her voice again as saying “set them free.” Taking her brother’s advice she ignores it and runs past, only to return that night after not being able to get the words out of her head. Ben arrives at the same place and admits that he lied and has been hearing things as well and together they free the dogs.
They are recorded on a cell phone camera, leading to Jared confronting Michaela. He tells her she has to return the dogs. As they do Michaela notices the number on the fence, 828, and freezes. While waiting on Jared to finish talking to the dogs’ owner about not pressing charges, Michaela hears “set them free” again. This time more persistent. Realizing the voice never meant the dogs, Michaela enters the property. Looking around the voice continues louder. Following it she finds the two missing girls that Jared has been looking for.
The episode ends with the passengers having a vision of the plane. They are drawn to the hanger where it is being kept for investigation. As we hear Michaela’s voice over saying that whatever force had brought everyone here had no interest in being investigated, the plane explodes.
Manifest airs on NBC Monday nights at 10/9c.
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