‘Manifest’ Season 1 Episode 4 Recap and Review: “Unclaimed Baggage”

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 4 Recap

Josh Dallas as Ben Stone and Parveen Kaur as Saanvi Bahl in ‘Manifest’ season 1 episode 4 (Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers)

“There was a stowaway on Flight 828,” says NSA Director Vance (Daryl Edwards) as he’s investigating the 20 passengers and crew who were present when the plane exploded. Those particular passengers have been labeled persons of interest by NSA in the first season’s fourth episode of NBC’s Manifest.

Season one episode four begins with a flashback to the plane still in the air and the cheerful flight attendant, Bethany (Mugga), checking with the pilot about being diverted to another airport for landing. She then heads to the rear of the plane and starts going through a bag while checking to see if anyone is watching her.

Back to present day and Dr. Saanvi Bahl (Parveen Kaur) is working at the hospital when she has a vision of a gray woman made of stone walking through the hospital leaving wet footprints.

Over at the Stones’ house, Ben (Josh Dallas) is spending more time with Grace (Athena Karkanis). He offers to take Olive (Luna Blaise) on a driving lesson since her grandfather is spending the day with Cal. Olive turns him down, but Grace is supportive of his efforts. She tells him to hang in there with Olive.


At the police station, Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) is teamed up with her ex-fiancé, Jared Vasquez (J.R. Ramirez), to assist the ATF on an undercover bust.

Back at the hospital, Saanvi shows her brain scans to the head of neurology, claiming they’re a patient of hers. He reveals the scans are similar to the scans of a patient down the hall who has advanced schizophrenia. When she walks down the hall to check on the patient, she finds him trying to run away while yelling for Bethany.

Saanvi reaches out to Ben and tells him what she’s found, and he reveals that he created a database of most of the people on board Flight 828. So, she should be able to track down Bethany. As they’re talking, Ben gets a call from Grace telling him to come home.

Michaela is on the stakeout with Jared and they start to reminisce about her favorite Italian restaurant. She gets uncomfortable and asks him to get her a coffee. When Jared gets a text on his phone, Michaela looks to see who it’s from.

Ben arrives home to find Grace upset. It seems she got a letter from the insurance company and they want what she collected on Ben’s life insurance back…half a million dollars! Ben asks how much of it is left and she tells him it’s all gone because she used the money to pay off the house and start up her business. Ben tells her not to worry, assuring her he’ll figure it out.

Back at the stakeout, Michaela starts to fight with Jared over his text about family planning. She’s interrupted when she sees a gray woman and hears a voice saying, “Save him.” Thinking it’s the undercover cop that’s in need of saving, Michaela tells Jared they need to go in now and not wait for the signal. Jared hesitates but agrees to do it and they rush in ahead of the ATF to discover they just blew the operation. The ATF wants to know who gave the call to go in and Jared takes the blame.

Manifest Season 1 Episode 4 Recap

Melissa Roxburgh and J.R. Ramirez in ‘Manifest’ season 1 episode 4 (Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers)

Olive is trying out new makeup at a store and tries to shoplift it but gets caught.

Saanvi tracks down Bethany about the crazy guy in the hospital and learns his name is Thomas and he was a stowaway on the flight. He’s the boyfriend of Bethany’s cousin and was in serious danger in Jamaica because he’s gay. Her cousin was able to get out but Thomas (Sheldon Best) couldn’t obtain a passport. When the plane landed he was hiding in the cargo hold and ran away without being noticed. Now he’s incredibly confused and doesn’t understand why it’s five and a half years later. He also doesn’t know that his boyfriend died a few years ago.

While trying to figure out how to pay back the half a million, Ben comes across photos of Grace and her lover, Danny. Grace comes in and Ben quickly puts away the photos, telling her he thinks he’s figured out a reasonable payment plan which should work. Grace, amazed and relieved by Ben’s plan, starts passionately kissing him. Of course, that’s when Olive calls asking for her to come to the store. Ben volunteers to go.

While driving, Ben gets a call from Michaela who tells him what happened at the stakeout and how Jared covered for her and is now in a jam at work. She wants to tell Jared what’s going on, but Ben reminds her if she does, Jared will have to lie to the NSA and anyone else who’s watching them. He also tells her to go see Saanvi because she had a similar vision.

Ben enters the store to retrieve Olive and finds she already called Danny, who the store manager says was introduced as Olive’s dad, to come and get her. Ben thanks Danny and tells him he has it from here.

On the drive home, Ben remembers back to when Olive was 10 and he turned her broken glider into a boat, cheering her up. When they get home Ben asks Olive if she’s ever shoplifted before. She hasn’t and swears she won’t do it again. Ben confesses that when he was 15 he shoplifted, too. She asks why and he says to feel as though he was in control. Ben tells Olive her grandmother gave him a pass saying everyone deserves at least one. Olive starts crying, admitting she doesn’t deserve a pass. She also tells her father she isn’t the sweet little girl he remembers.

Ben hugs Olive and tells her no matter what she does he’ll always be there for her and she can count on him. Olive apologizes for calling Danny, explaining he’s familiar with all her nonsense. Olive asks if they can keep this just between them and not tell Grace because she has put her through enough. Ben reluctantly agrees.

Saanvi and Bethany go to see Thomas and discover he’s escaped and the hospital is going into lockdown. They run outside, fortunately just as Michaela drives up. Spotting NSA Director Vance arriving at the hospital, Saanvi and Bethany hop in Michaela’s car and head out to search for Thomas.

Saanvi believes Vance will use Thomas as a guinea pig since he doesn’t have any family and isn’t up to speed about their situation of losing five and a half years. Bethany realizes that Saanvi and Michaela’s shared vision is of the gray woman is actually the Angel of the Waters statue which was featured prominently in Bethany’s cousin’s favorite play, “Angels in America.” They drive to the statue and find Thomas. He’s scared, but they quickly bring him up to speed on the plane’s bizarre time jump. They convince him to let them hide him so Vance won’t find him.

Michaela takes Thomas and Bethany to the boiler room of the abandoned mini-mall Kelly used to own to keep him safe.

Grace arrives home and she’s obviously upset about Olive. Ben tells her she’s upstairs in her room and she yells at him for not telling her about the shoplifting. He asks how she knows and then guesses Danny called her. Ben’s angry she and Olive both seem to be having a problem letting Danny go. But then he stops and admits he might not have the right to ask her to do that anymore. He backs away, saying he’s going out for air and leaving a surprised and upset Grace.

Ben calls Michaela and tells him what happened with Thomas. Ben isn’t sure listening to the voices and doing what they say is a good thing, but Michaela tells him she believes they don’t really have a choice.

The last scene finds Michaela going back to the angel statue. She looks up at it and asks, “What do you want from me?”

Manifest Season 1 Episode 4 Review:

Answering less questions than it adds, episode four titled “Unclaimed Baggage” furthers the mystery around what’s happening to those special 20 passengers and crew from Flight 828. The episode suggests they may be forced to give up their own plans for happiness for the salvation of others.

Once again it’s Melissa Roxburgh who steals the show with her portrayal of Michaela, a passenger who’s more inclined to do what the voices tell her to do even before she really knows what or who the voices are referring to. The last scene where she asks the statue what it – or whatever is talking to them – wants from her is powerful. Roxburgh perfectly displays Michaela’s search for knowledge while seeming to be truly lost.

Josh Dallas delivers another strong performance as Ben, a husband and father who’s starting to realize his wife loves the memory of him and the life they had but is still in love with her former lover.

With the voices seeming to be here to stay and Michaela ready to do their bidding, life for the passengers of Flight 828 is sure to get even more complicated.

GRADE: B

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Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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