Is the procedural wearing thin for you?
Michaela and Ben solved another case on Manifest Season 1 Episode 3. Or rather, Michaela solved it, and Ben tagged along because he had nothing better to do. At least we finally saw his CV, so we know what it is he does.
The question is, are we here to watch murderers get caught or to find out what happened to the passengers on board flight 828? Kelly's murder was a distraction, pure and simple.
There's a time for that kind of misdirect, but this may have been too early in the game. Jeff Rake may be trying to pace things out for a back order from NBC, but if he moves too slowly on the mythology, he risks losing viewers.
Ideally, for this to last the six years that Rake has planned, every time Ben and Michaela (and hopefully others as time goes on) find an answer, it will only lead to more questions.
But finding out that Homeland is trying to figure out what happened to 828 and is surveilling passengers and probably conducting their own research on Kelly's corpse feels very obvious.
Asking Jared to inform on Michaela was a little gross but not exactly unexpected. It does raise the question of whether there will be a time when one of our passengers partners up with Vance and his team ... and who would do so.
My money's on Saanvi if only because doing so would get her access to data otherwise unavailable. Besides, it's always the scientists who are willing to switch allegiances to find the truth.
Ben and Saanvi have a lot of potential for nerdy goodness, but Saanvi switching sides has the benefit of giving the researcher a storyline of her own.
Right now, she's just a glorified bit player doing all the hard work off screen and somehow letting Ben share in her glory. Granted, analyzing proteins and reading MRIs is far from riveting stuff, but Parveen Kaur is magnetic, and we all want more of her.
Besides, you can't go around lauding the diversity of your cast and your writer's room and then give minimal screen time to your diverse hires. Screen time and percentage of lines are important metrics, and Manifest could be doing better.
Ben: A calling. Like a voice in her head.
Michaela: What if that's it, Ben? What if this 'calling' got her killed?
Speaking of diversity, the Christian overtones have continued. In addition to the massive cross on the wall at Evie's parents' house (okay, it was a midwest medium), the original suspect in Kelly's murder was paraphrasing Gospel verses for Mick.
The religiosity doesn't come off as condescending or alienating, but it would be nice to see other perspectives come out at some point. Instead of relying on just one tradition, why not explore how many different religions reach similar morals and ideals by different paths?
The procedural aspect may be less than stellar, but the character drama is on point. We're obviously supposed to be heavily invested in the Ben/Grace/Danny drama, but the twins keep stealing the show.
Olive may be handling things a little too well, easily adapting to her new role of big sister and protector but sneaking out to see her boyfriend and giving some quality snark to her parents reminds us that she really is a teenager and not a saint.
There are little details that really sell their relationship, like Olive hitting the Legos out of Cal's hands while insisting that she's his best friend.
Cal: He was my best friend! And now, you and he are...I don't even know what you're doing.
Olive: Cal, he wasn't your best friend. I was. All right. I still am.
Cal: Because you're my twin? How are we even twins anymore? Look at me.
It doesn't matter how old you are or how long you've been apart; those bonds don't disappear.
It's hard to imagine that Luna Blaise and Jack Messina haven't grown close off camera as well. It's only the third episode, and their chemistry is just going to get stronger.
Here's hoping that Rake gets his six seasons so that we can see how this relationship grows and changes as the kids get older, and also so they get the chance to sneak out and solve some mysteries of their own.
Josh Dallas and Athena Karkanis are knocking it out of the park with their characters, too. Ben's attempts to come to terms with Grace's relationship are nuanced and real as he attempts to suppress his jealousy and forgive his wife.
It's a little curious that Grace's village didn't involve any women, but maybe she was just trying to fill the hole left by Ben in the most obvious way. While Ben's position is pitiable in the situation, your heart has to go out to Grace.
She's not done anything wrong, but she's the one left with the guilt -- she's betrayed one man she loves and is abandoning another. There's no way out of the situation without breaking someone's heart.
Grace obviously loves her husband, but there's also a sense that she's faking it a little, that she's trying to convince herself that she loves him as much as she's trying to convince Ben.
Ben: So this guy...do you love him?
Grace: I love you, Ben. I never stopped. Not for a moment. Not for five and a half years.
Saanvi will be getting a chance at bat on Manifest Season 1 Episode 4 ("Unclaimed Baggage") when she has a calling.
We'll also find out what is going on with our flight attendant, Bethany.
Ben thinks he may be able to use math to help her find some answers, but honestly, he just looks like a conspiracy nut in the promo with all his whiteboards and scribbled equations. How will a stowaway impact his results?
And Jared's headed towards some trouble, courtesy of Michaela. More interesting than her doubting the reason behind her disappearance is how this will impact the Lourdes/Jared/Mick love triangle.
What did you think of "Turbulence"? Were you shocked at what really happened to cause Michaela's car crash? Can Kevin and Cal still be friends? Can Deputy Director Vance be trusted?
We want to hear your thoughts, so sound off in the comments section below! After all, true TV Fanatics always have an opinion they want to share.
You can watch Manifest online, anytime, anywhere.
Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.