Manifest Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Unclaimed Baggage

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Did anybody else get some serious Doctor Who vibes from Manifest Season 1 Episode 4?

Okay, so the similarities were limited to the visions of the stone woman and Who's weeping angels, but those things are creepy. 

We may have met a new "castaway," but we didn't learn anything more about the disappearance. What caused it and where the plane was are still the questions we're dying to have answered. 

Questioning the Callings - Manifest

While there was no progress on the mystery (or an explanation as to why everyone's convinced Vance is evil incarnate), we now know that something is going on in the brains of the passengers in addition to in their blood. 

That would seem to point to the conclusion that Ben's got the right idea of things; that there is no divine intervention. But the visions do appear wrapped up in biblical references, which would support Michaela's inclination that God -- or something like it -- is behind things.

The mysterious aspect is the "hook" of Manifest, but does it need it? Especially if answers aren't going to be forthcoming?

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The best parts of the show so far have centered around the reformation of a family split apart by circumstances beyond their control. 

Manifest Season 1 Episode 2 showed us Olive's devotion to her brother, Grace has come clean about her relationship with Danny,  Mick has stupidly selflessly disavowed her feelings for Jared, and Ben has struggled to parent a teenage girl.

The acts of sacrifice for those they love could have been achieved with a different origin story in place like maybe a car crash that left Cal, Ben, and Mick comatose as just one non-supernatural example. 

Jared: You won't give me a straight answer.
Michaela: It's complicated, Jared. And it is painful. But is *my* problem that *I* need to deal with, alone.

Still, they set the stage, so the show must go on as it is. Right now, it's just as frustrating that the passengers are so paranoid about the NSA as it is that we have no answers about the plane. 

Vance hasn't done anything illegal or taken any violent action against the prisoners. The weirdos standing vigil outside their houses seem more threatening the Deputy Director and his G-Men. 

Sure, they seem harmless. But they've tracked down the home addresses of these people and are stalking them. The only house they where they aren't lying in wait? The Stone residence. 

Ticking Clock - Manifest Season 1 Episode 4

It would, of course, be quite inconvenient for our heroes to be shaking off wannabe disciples constantly. It's a good thing Team 828 has a secret bunker now!

If Mick and Ben and the rest want to avoid the Feebs, they should probably take a crash course in pop culture so that they understand how modern surveillance works. The Good Wife Season 5 Episode 2 would be an excellent starting point. 

Ditch the cell phones, buy an old junker, and cover your damn tracks. 

Related: Manifest Review: Dangerous Calls

Rescuing Thomas didn't resolve anything nor did it lead to a next step. Will he and Bethany now be a part of Team 828? Or will they disappear until they're convenient once more? 

Will the boiler room bunker be making more appearances? It would be handy to have a base of operations, especially if Ben and Grace are going to split. It's not a child-friendly divorce pad, though. 

I don't think Olive would be impressed. 

Grace: Just give it time, and you'll learn to speak 'Olive.'
Ben: Is it mostly this? [exaggerated eye roll and scoffing sigh]
Grace Yes, it's mostly that.

Olive's sudden reticence at interacting with her father was a bit out of left field, but this is a troubled kid so that we can chalk it up to a two step forward, one step back situation. 

The flashback with Ben and young Olive didn't connect very well to the situation at hand, but it did provide some pathos for their relationship. Even though he was preoccupied with Cal's illness, Ben was a good dad to his daughter. 

It's understandable that Grace didn't really want Ben to keep secrets, but he had a point about trying to rebuild trust with his daughter. Allowing the illusion of ignorance is an underrated parenting technique. 

Father Daughter Quality Time - Manifest Season 1 Episode 4

It's interesting that Grace has defended Olive so staunchly to Ben, providing explanations for her behavior to him, but with Danny, it's just "Olive is Olive." 

It's supposed to give us the impression that she's wild and unmanageable, but the guy trusted her with the key to his storage locker. Something doesn't sit right about the whole situation. 

Maybe Cal can figure it out when he gets back from the lake with Grandpa. 

Related: Manifest: Get to Know the Characters!

Something is going to lead us to flashbacks of those left behind. On Manifest Season 1 Episode 5 ("Connecting Flights"), we'll get the skinny on how Olive, Grace, and Jared spent the last five years. 

With that in mind, expect the reappearance of Grandpa and Grammie Stone. Maybe Karen will have some more words of wisdom or another prophetic bible verse to share. 

Grace: Olive just doesn't do well with change, and she's had a lot of it lately.
Ben: Like suddenly having a dad back in the picture, and one who doesn't know what a romper is.

Back in the present, Jared continues to face the fallout from the ATF raid at work. Michaela will have to decide about helping him (and exposing herself) sooner rather than later. 

Cal's going to start exhibiting some new abilities, but are they caused by his new treatment or a side effect of disappearing into the ether for half a decade? Ben's going to try and find out. 

Partnership - Manifest Season 1 Episode 4

We want to hear your take on Unclaimed Baggage in the comments section below!

Is the slow reveal too slow or just right? Was Ben right to let Olive off the hook or did she deserve a harsher punishment? Are Grace and Ben doomed or is this just another speed bump on their road to happiness? 

You can watch Manifest online anytime, anywhere. 

Unclaimed Baggage Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Elizabeth Harlow was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in October 2018.

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Manifest Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Grace: Olive just doesn't do well with change, and she's had a lot of it lately.
Ben: Like suddenly having a dad back in the picture, and one who doesn't know what a romper is.

Grace: Just give it time, and you'll learn to speak 'Olive.'
Ben: Is it mostly this? [exaggerated eye roll and scoffing sigh]
Grace Yes, it's mostly that.