“How can I tell my dad we’re all going to die?” asks Cal (Jack Messina) to Zeke (Matt Long) after drawing a menacing picture of three tombstones with Ben, Michaela and Cal’s names on them in the season one finale of NBC’s mystery/thriller, Manifest.
Season one episode 16 begins with a flashback to the Stone family vacationing on a beach in Jamaica. Ben (Josh Dallas) and Grace (Athena Karkanis) lie on the beach talking about how wonderful the vacation is, while Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) walks along the shore. She’s chatting with her mom who reminds her that a person always needs their mother.
Cal and Olive (Luna Blaise) finish building a sand castle and Cal asks Michaela if she wants to be the destroyer. She smiles and lets him know it’s too perfect to destroy. The entire Stone family pose for a photo standing behind it.
Flash-forward to present day and Ben’s looking at the vacation photo in the kitchen, fondly remembering the experience. Olive’s frustrated because she believes the answer is in the images they’ve seen and clues they have gathered, but she just can’t see it. Meanwhile, Cal’s busy in his room destroying the wooden dragon he made along with a few other things. Ben and Grace calm him down and ask what upset him. He confesses he can’t tell them and will only tell Zeke.
Over at the precinct, Jared (J.R. Ramirez) shows Michaela Zeke’s file. It turns out he does have a record for assault. Michaela asks how he got Zeke’s info and he admits to lifting Zeke’s fingerprints off his cup. Michaela gets upset with Jared for doing that after she told him to back off. Jared reiterates that he’s worried about her and asks if there’s something between her and Zeke. Michaela assures him it’s not like that; the calling brought them together.
James Griffin (Marc Menchaca) is released from his cell and on his way out of the station he taunts Michaela. She follows him outside and warns him the calling won’t let him get away with his behavior. Griffin doesn’t listen and tells her not to follow him because that’s police harassment. As he’s leaving, Michaela, Ben, Cal, Zeke, and Saanvi (Parveen Kaur) simultaneously receive a calling telling them to “stop him.”
Ben pays a visit to Saanvi at the hospital and asks how she’s doing. She lies and says she’s fine, asking him not to worry about her. (It’s also confirmed she’s not a fan of these callings.)
Michaela returns to the apartment to find Zeke pacing. She asks how it went seeing his mother, and he tells her some families are not meant to be together. Zeke then reveals details on the assault charge. He admits he was drunk but was trying to defend a girl from a creep of a boyfriend. Michaela reveals she knows because she saw his file. She believes that’s the person he was – not who he is now. Michaela gives him a hug (he looks like he needs one) and the look on her face indicates she feels something more than friendship. Michaela then tells Zeke that Cal needs to speak with him.
A doctor approaches Saanvi at the hospital with information that Griffin and Cal have the same blood marker. He thinks it might be worth a scientific paper. She cuts him off and asks him to send her the paperwork he’s referring to. As she walks away, she starts to have a panic attack. A fellow doctor notices and gives her the card to his therapist, recommending Saanvi make an appointment to see her.
Zeke visits Cal who wants to know how he can stop what he drew from coming true. Zeke’s not sure he can help, but then sees the picture in question. Cal makes him promise not to tell Ben or Michaela that he’s drawn three tombstones with his own name along with Ben and Michaela’s names on the markers.
Ben, Michaela, Zeke, and Grace watch a television news report that announces Griffin’s going to be interviewed on a morning show and reveal all. Ben and Michaela realize they have to stop him because if he reveals the calling to the world, everyone will assume anyone who was on Flight 828 experiences it. “They’ll come for us,” says Zeke. Ben knows they can’t let this happen and decides they’ll go to the TV studio and try to talk him out of it. Zeke responds by saying he knows guys like Griffin and they only understand brute force. Ben doesn’t believe the calling would want them to use force. Michaela backs Ben and Zeke leaves, upset.
Meanwhile, Jared hires a cop associate to trail Zeke and take photos. While following him, the cop snaps a photo of Zeke buying something from a shady-looking guy in an alley.
Olive remains convinced the mystery of all the symbols lies in front of them. She tells her she can’t figure it out but knows the answer’s right there. She admits working with her dad on this has been the first time she feels really connected to him since he vanished. Grace says she knows and feels the same way.
In the morning Griffin arrives to do the interview. He exits a car to be greeted by a mixed reaction of boos and clapping from the gathered crowd. The interview will be conducted outside the studio, and Michaela uses her badge to get she and Ben through the crowd and onto the red carpet. Also in the crowd is Zeke with his newly-purchased gun.
Michaela and Ben try to talk Griffin out of revealing the callings, explaining it will cause the government to hound them all. Griffin shirks off their request, saying it’s not his problem. He thinks he’s going to be rich from revealing this information.
Ben, Michaela, and Zeke once again receive a calling to stop him. Michaela yells “Griffin!” and he stops just as water begins spewing from his mouth. It gushes out and when it finally stops, Griffin falls to the ground dead.
Michaela spots Zeke in the crowd and rushes over to him. She asks what he’s doing and he says he wasn’t sure, that he wanted to stop Griffin. She suggests he go back to the apartment and get some rest. Jared’s across the way and watching as Michaela and Zeke talk.
Later, Jared shows Michaela the photo the cop he hired snapped of Zeke in the alley. Michaela’s fed up with Jared’s jealous behavior, insisting once again she and Zeke are working together because of the callings. Jared won’t listen and tells her that she’s being blinded by the callings. He genuinely believes Zeke will hurt her.
Saanvi talks to a doctor friend of hers and tells him she needs a copy of the autopsy report on Griffin.
Michaela shows up at Zeke’s mom’s place to find out what happened when Zeke visited. The mother says she loves her son but can’t put up with his behavior anymore. He disappeared for a year and now comes knocking on her door expecting a fresh start after not contacting her once during that time. Michaela explains Zeke did actually disappear for a year, saying he went through something similar to what happened to her. The mother recognizes Michaela from the Flight 828 news coverage and is shocked and upset that she didn’t believe her son. She starts to cry, realizing he was telling the truth but she sent him away. Michaela assures her it will be okay. She also suggests that the next time Zeke comes knocking, she let him in.
Michaela lets Ben in on what happened when Zeke visited his mom, and Ben reminds her it’s not her job to fix Zeke’s life. Michaela isn’t so sure, telling Ben she thinks the calling wants her to do just that.
They visit Saanvi and she confirms Griffin died from drowning. They all agree it doesn’t make sense since he was on dry land. Michaela believes Griffin abused the calling and that’s what killed him. Saanvi informs Ben and Mic about the same blood marker in Griffin and Cal being discovered by a co-worker. Saanvi can’t stay to talk because she’s decided to visit the therapist. Ben and Michaela support her decision to get help for her PTSD.
Michaela hears the calling say “stop him” again, but this time Ben doesn’t hear it. She wonders if the calling’s talking about Zeke.
Speaking of Zeke, Jared barges into Michaela’s apartment and confronts Zeke. Jared starts tossing the place looking for drugs.
Ben has an epiphany. He returns home looking pale and shocked and performs some calculations. He realizes Griffin died 828 minutes after being fished out of the river. Ben now believes Griffin had an expiration date. Ben starts to do the math and Olive says, “June 2nd, 2024.” Olive explains the symbols all point to that date. The peacock Ben saw means June. The wooden dragon of Cal’s is also a sign of the year 2024. Grace becomes upset because she just got Ben and Cal back and can’t lose them. Olive starts to cry and says they shouldn’t tell Cal. Cal walks up and admits he knows. His picture of the three tombstones now has June 2, 2024 on it.
Saanvi arrives at the therapist’s office who, it turns out, is the Major.
Ben and Grace speak quietly and he suggests they just pack up and go back to Jamaica for a relaxing family vacation. Grace then reveals she’s pregnant but isn’t sure if it’s his or Danny’s.
Jared starts fighting with Zeke calling him a junkie and shouting that he Michaela are meant to be together. Zeke replies, “Maybe, maybe not,” which infuriates Jared. They start going at it, throwing punches and breaking furniture. Michaela’s running up the stairs as the calling keeps telling her to stop him. Zeke hits Jared over the head with something breakable and pulls out the gun he bought. He tells Jared to back off, that he bought this gun to kill Griffin just to protect Michaela.
Jared demands Zeke put the gun down and then goes for the gun. The two men struggle for possession as Michaela continues up the stairs all while the calling’s telling her to stop him. She hits the door and bursts into the apartment just as the gun’s fired.
More on Manifest:
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 1 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 2 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 3 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 4 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 5 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 6 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 7 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 8 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 9 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 10 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 11 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 12 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 13 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 14 Recap
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 15 Recap
- Josh Dallas Interview
- Melissa Roxburgh Interview