“You just can’t walk away from this,” says Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh). “Watch me,” replies Ben (Josh Dallas) as he tries to stop listening to the voice inside his head. Ben’s desperate to simply spend time with his wife and kids in season one episode five of NBC’s Manifest.
The episode begins with a flashback showing Grace (Athena Karkanis) and her in-laws on their flight home five and a half years ago. Grandpa Steve Stone (Malachy Cleary) is trying to cheer up young Olive (Jenna Kurmemaj) who isn’t happy being apart from Cal (Jack Messina). Grandma Karen (Geraldine Leer) talks to Grace, sharing her thoughts that the vacation was really a marital repair job for her and Ben.
Their flight lands uneventfully in New York, Olive wants to stay and wait for Cal. Grace nixes the idea, saying the flight won’t be in for hours. As they look at the arrival status for Ben and Cal’s flight, they see it change from “On Time” to an ominous “See Agent.”
Back to present day and Ben’s upset with Michaela for helping Bethany (Mugga) hide Thomas (Sheldon Best), a refugee and stowaway who was on board Flight 828, from the NSA. Ben tells Michaela he’s finished and not doing this anymore, referring to listening to the voices and doing what they ask.
Ben returns home and tells Grace he’ll spend the day with Cal. They decide to have a day of chance where all their choices are decided by the flip of a coin. First up it’s decided they’ll take a trip to Coney Island.
Grace receives a text from Danny (Daniel Sunjata) and blows him off.
NSA Director Vance (Daryl Edwards) is furious that John Doe (Thomas) is missing. He makes it priority number one to find him. Surveillance video reveals Bethany was at the hospital when John Doe went missing. Vance instructs his agents to arrest her.
Michaela checks in with Jared (J.R. Ramirez) about taking the fall for the stakeout that went bad. He assures her she doesn’t need to worry about it, telling her the investigation into their actions should be a piece of cake.
Meanwhile, Ben and Cal spend the day at Coney Island playing games and going on rides. As they take a break for pizza at lunch, Ben hears a voice say, “It’s all connected.” He ignores it and flips the coin to see if they should go home or stay. The coin comes up heads meaning they should head home, and Cal suggests they should take the train in keeping with the adventure.
Flashback to six months after Flight 828 disappeared and Grace is lying in bed in the middle of the day. She’s sad and Olive brings her food. She asks Olive what happened to her hand and Olive explains she cut it while trying to make her a sandwich. Grace forces herself to get out of bed, deciding it’s time to attend a support group to try and pull herself back together. After sharing for the first time in group, Grace meets Danny and is instantly drawn to him.
Jared and Michaela’s best friend Lourdes (Victoria Cartagena) pack up Michaela’s photos and belongings and deliver them to Grandma Karen. She tells them to keep them and to always remember Michaela with laughter because she would want them to be happy.
Back to present day and Michaela is so worried about Jared that she pays a visit to Lourdes. She doesn’t want Jared to cover for her anymore, and by the look on Lourdes’ face it’s obvious she didn’t know anything about it. Michaela apologizes and leaves.
Vance arrests Bethany and interrogates her. She refuses to tell him anything about Thomas or what she’s been experiencing since Flight 828 disappeared.
Next up is a flashback to two years after Flight 828 disappeared. Lourdes meets Jared at a bar to celebrate his promotion to detective. They kiss and at first Jared apologizes. Lourdes responds by asking him if he really is. He admits he’s not and she says, “Good.” That reply leads to a make-out session.
Danny arrives at Grace’s for dinner and tries to connect with Olive. While Grace is in the kitchen, Danny attempts to talk to Olive. Unfortunately, he brings up Cal and she becomes upset. She leaves the table telling him she knows Cal is lost and when she grows up, she’ll go find him.
In the present day, Ben’s on the subway with Cal and again hears the voice telling him it’s all connected. Cal gets off on the wrong stop but tells Ben it’s part of their adventure. He runs and Ben’s forced to chase him down the subway tunnels, through locked gates, and into air ducts. Ben’s shocked to see Cal’s led him to the room where Thomas is waiting for Bethany.
Ben wonders how Cal knew about the place and Cal says he didn’t. Ben asks Cal if he hears voices and Cal explains that he doesn’t. Instead, he feels things sometimes. Cal becomes worried that someone’s approaching Thomas’ hiding place, but then suddenly knows whoever is knocking is a friend. It turns out the visitor is Bethany’s wife. She’s taking Bethany’s place since she was arrested and promises to take Thomas to the remote cabin where he should be safe.
Michaela visits her dad and tells him she misses her mom. Seeing Jared and Lourdes’ home made her think of what she lost out on. Grandpa Steve tells her if she still loves Jared, she should fight to get him back. “If I disappeared and came back five years later to find your mother with some guy, I would fight like hell to get her back,” says Steve, filling Michaela with a new resolve.
Another flashback takes us to three years after Flight 828 disappeared. Jared visits the Stones to tell them he’s in love with Lourdes. Karen gives him her blessing and wishes him luck. After he leaves, Steve reveals he doesn’t think it’s a good idea. “He’s still in love with Michaela,” says Steve.
Back to 2018 and Jared meets with his supervisors about the botched stake-out. He stands by his statement and his punishment is being stripped of 10 days pay. As he leaves, he sees Vance and realizes he pulled strings to bail him out. Vance orders Jared to spy on Michaela and report to him from now on.
Danny visits Grace at her home and refuses to leave until she hears him out. He confesses he thinks he can get over losing her but he can’t lose Olive. He knows Olive considers him a dad.
Michaela checks on Jared at the bar and asks how it went. He doesn’t go into things but says it was no big deal. She begins to tell him she still loves him and he cuts her off saying he needs to go home.
Once home, Jared realizes Lourdes is upset and asks what’s wrong. She admits Michaela came over and told her he was in trouble at work. Again he labels what happened no big deal. Lourdes admits what worries her is that he didn’t tell her. He explains he bailed Michaela out of a jam because he feels bad for her. “Is that all?” asks Lourdes. Jared claims it is.
A quick flashback is shown of the day Flight 828 returned. Danny leaves Grace’s house upon hearing the news. A tipsy Lourdes is reminding Jared it’s the three year anniversary of their first kiss when he informs her Michaela is back.
Present day, Olive checks on Grace and tells her she’s happy Ben is back but Danny is also her dad now.
Michaela meets up with Ben who’s working on his map of everyone on Flight 828 and how they’re all connected. He reveals Cal’s been affected by the flight too and now feels things. He admits he can’t walk away from this. “We’re all caught in the spider’s web,” says Ben.
The last scene is a flashback to onboard Flight 828. Ben and Michaela are asleep when Cal is drawn to a bright light outside their row’s window. Cal leans over and stares into it. Awed, he says, “It’s all connected.”
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 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