“The answers lie with the passengers of Flight 828,” says the lead FBI agent investigating the disappearance and reappearance of Flight 828 in season one episode two of NBC’s new dramatic series, Manifest.
The episode picks up right where the pilot ended, with 20 of the passengers of Flight 828 gathered outside the fence surrounding the airplane just in time to watch it explode. Following the explosion, the FBI interrogates each of them asking why they were there. After a few hours, Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) calls out the FBI. She tells them she’s a cop and unless they’re going to charge them with something, they have to let everyone go. The FBI informs the 20 passengers that everything involving Flight 828 is a matter of national security and they’re not to discuss it with anyone.
Ben (Josh Dallas) returns home to find his wife, Grace (Athena Karkanis), still uncomfortable around him. She even covers herself up in his presence. He’s not home long before he starts hearing music no one else is hearing. While he looks for the source, his daughter, Olive (Luna Blaise), whispers to her mom she needs to tell Ben her secret. Grace confirms she will soon.
Meanwhile, Michaela heads to the NYPD to resume her job. She’s told by her captain she has to do a few procedural things to get reinstated, including passing the firing range test and undergoing a psych evaluation. When Michaela sees the shrink, she’s on the defensive and is sure she won’t get a passing grade. The doctor tells Michaela she had already been through so much before the flight, mentioning the car accident in which her friend Evie died. Michaela is quick to point out she was exonerated after the investigation.
Ben follows the music and it leads him to one of the passengers of Flight 828, Radd (Curtiss Cook), who’s playing the same tune Ben hears in his head on his violin. Radd begs Ben to help him. It turns out Radd’s teenage son is in jail and he needs Ben’s sister’s connections with the police to see him.
Ben asks Michaela to pull a few strings and she gets both her brother and Radd in to see Radd’s son at Rikers. The son, Adio, claims he’s innocent. He’s been framed for a jewelry robbery at the store where he worked. Radd and Ben promise they’ll look into it.
Ben’s son, Cal (Jack Messina), and Grace are hitting the toy stores trying to replace Cal’s belongings which Grace got rid of when she believed he was dead. A woman comes up to Cal and says, “He is Risen.”. Grace pulls him away from the stranger and takes him home.
Ben and Radd talk to the jewelry store owner and his son who both believe Adio must have been involved in the robbery.
The FBI holds a meeting and agree that if they’re going to solve the mystery of what happened to Flight 828, they need to focus on the passengers, especially the 20 who were there when the plane exploded.
Michaela talks to Jared (J.R. Ramirez) about her former best friend and he encourages her to try to reconnect with her. He adds that he never replaced her.
Ben and Michaela meet to talk about Radd and his son. Michaela informs Ben she looked up his file and he’s done some penny-ante stuff. However, a jury or judge will see this new crime as him going down the wrong path. Ben is convinced Adio is innocent. Why else would the music lead him to Radd? Michaela and Ben get into a little dispute over faith, God, and logic.
When Ben returns home his wife is still a little distant and his daughter keeps blowing him off. When he asks her to go with him on an ice cream run, she replies, “Another night, dad.” When Ben heads to bed later that night, he and Grace talk and she tells him about trying scuba diving a little while back.
The next day Grace is on the phone talking to someone. (It’s obviously her lover.) When she hangs up, she turns around and Michaela is standing there. Michaela tells her she needs to confess to Ben what’s going on before he finds out. She can’t believe Grace hasn’t already ended the affair.
Ben’s with Cal on one of his treatments and asks Dr. Saanvi (Parveen Kaur), who was also on Flight 828, if she’s been hearing voices. She hasn’t, but she admits to feeling odd and having intuition. Cal’s drawing a family picture and Ben notices another adult man in it. He asks Cal who it is and Cal replies that he doesn’t know. Ben’s attention is drawn to the television where a passenger from Flight 828 is on a talk show revealing she believes it’s a government conspiracy involving the disappearance and time loss.
Michaela checks out her former best friend’s Facebook page and discovers she had made it a “Remembering Michaela” page with posts and video messages to Michaela while she was missing. Michaela cries watching the videos.
The next day, Michaela visits her therapist and opens up about the time she’s lost and watching her best friend’s videos. The therapist tells Michaela she’s going to clear her to go back to work but on the condition that she continues with their sessions.
Ben comes home to find Cal upset because he’s missing all his old stuff. Olive tells Ben she wants to go for a ride with him…now.
Olive has Ben take her to a storage facility and tells him she never believed Cal was dead. She could feel he was alive. “It must be a twin thing,” offers Olive. She has Ben open a storage unit and all of his and Cal’s old stuff is in there. When Grace had Goodwill pick it up three years ago, Olive got everything back and put it in storage. Ben also notices two sets of scuba gear in there and asks Olive who Grace went scuba diving with. Olive tells Ben “a friend” and suggests he ask Grace about it.
Ben hears the music again and makes Olive stay put. Ben follows the music and discovers the jewelry owner’s son in front of another storage unit with all the jewelry from the robbery. “You set him up!” says Ben. The thief tries to bribe Ben and that’s when he punches him, knocking him out. Ben calls the authorities and has the thief arrested. Radd’s son is cleared of the charges. As the police take the thief away, Michaela looks at Ben and asks, “Still don’t believe in miracles?”
Michaela pays a visit to her former best friend, Lourdes (Victoria Cartagena), and thanks her for the videos. Lourdes asks if they are still best friends and Michaela says they have to play it by ear. Michaela tells Lourdes she has her blessings for marrying Jared. Lourdes knows Michaela was supposed to marry him and Michaela lies to her telling her saying she was going to give the ring back.
In a flashback, Michaela is shown putting on the ring when she was on the plane just before it landed and trying to text Jared, “Yes.”
Ben comes home and tells Grace he can’t imagine what she’s been through, but he believes they have been given a second chance. We wants her to try to love him the way she once did. They go to bed together.
Jared finds the engagement ring he gave Michaela in his drawer.
The episode ends with the woman who talked to a television talk show about the government being involved in the disappearance of Flight 828 watching the rebroadcast of the interview. A shadow moves behind her. She’s shot in the back of the head and her blood splatters onto the TV screen.
Manifest Season 1 Episode 2 Review:
Better paced with more drama and time for the two main actors to really shine, episode two of NBC’s Manifest starts to slowly reveal how Ben and Michaela seem to be chosen to help people in trouble and how maybe disappearing for five and a half years is part of some larger plan. The stand-out performance in this episode is delivered by Melissa Roxburgh who shows wonderfully how robbed and still lost Michaela feels over losing her fiancé, best friend, and mother. The scene with the therapist where she admits how she feels, although short, feels very real.
With the first person of Flight 828 now apparently dead after talking about a conspiracy, it appears as though the survivors of 828 have at least one deadly enemy watching their every move…if not more.
More on Manifest:
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 1 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
- Manifest Season 1 Episode 16 (the Finale) Recap
- Josh Dallas Interview
- Melissa Roxburgh Interview