We were captivated by the mystery of Flight 828 during Manifest Season 1 and looked towards season 2 for more excitement, drama, and answers.
Unfortunately, those were few and far in between on Manifest Season 2.
To keep audiences in a state of suspense, the season tackled on mysteries and complex storylines that often deviated our attention from the core question: what happened to the plane?
There was so much to keep track of that it left viewers feeling overwhelmed, lost, and just as confused as many of the characters.
That doesn't mean it was all bad, however.
The season ramped up the action keeping the same thrilling pace that drew us in in the first place.
It doubled-down on the Callings, pulled Mic out of a tedious love triangle, kept us guessing, and ended on such a wild cliffhanger that we're all petitioning NBC to renew the series ASAP.
Hopefully, we don't have to wait a whole year for more episodes because if we've learned anything from the passengers, it's that time is of the essence.
Cutest Moment: Cal Throwing Zeke a "Bachelor Party"
No other friendship compares to Zeke and Cal's. Cal was even Zeke's "best man" and threw him an epic bachelor party that included eating a bunch of junk food and playing Monopoly.
They share an unbreakable bond since the day that Cal saved Zeke in the cabin. Zeke repaid the favor in the season 2 finale by using his final moments to bring Cal to safety.
WTF Moment: The Cuban Ship Cliffhanger
This show has so many moments that make you go "wtf," but I have to go with the ending of the finale where we saw the ship in Havana, Cuba find a piece of Flight 828. There are many theories as to what went down and how the plane returned five years later, but this finding adds a new layer to the series.
How could parts of a plane that landed in one piece be floating around in the ocean when the passengers were alive? And why was Ben getting visions of the flight exploding when again, the passengers are very much alive.
Mystery That Went Nowhere: Grace's Gargoyle Calling
Whatever happened to Grace's "open her eyes" Calling about Erika on Manifest Season 2 Episode 3? We found out Erika was the wife of Simon White, the professor that gave Ben the job at the university.
It seemed like it was going to be a big storyline, especially after it was teased that they were both X'ers and planned to destroy Ben and his family for being passengers, but it fell flat. We never found out what Grace's Calling was about, and we never saw Ben's reaction to finding out White was the leader of a hate group.
It's possible "open her eyes" was directed at Grace so that she'd see that Erika was a danger, but it wasn't clear and didn't make much sense.
In the same vein, what happened to Ben's ex-girlfriend who got him the gig? She also seemed like she would play a bigger role in the series. It almost feels like the writers didn't know where to go with this storyline, so they just said, "you know what? Forget it."
Biggest Letdown: Vance's Return
Bringing Vance back from the dead was a huge twist that had so much potential, but this fell flat because he didn't do all that much upon his return before going into hiding again and then coming back out to tell Saanvi to "play the long game," which she also ignored.
Best Villain: The X'ers
A hate group is equally as dangerous in reality as it is in the fictional world of Manifest. The X'er's were a group out for blood. They were willing to destroy anyone who got in their way including Mic.
Thankfully, Jared intervened, though he had the audience fooled and questioning whether or not he was undercover. (Not to brag, but I always believed in him.)
A close runner-up for the season's villain was Adrian. However, most of the time, he was oblivious as to how much harm and misinformation he was causing until the nightclub explosion.
A special shout out to Isaiah (check out our interview with Olli Haaskivi), who made sure this season was full of explosive moments.
Most Improved Character: Grace
Grace was not my cup of tea on Manifest Season 1, but she was a lot more tolerable on Manifest Season 2 when the love triangle between Ben and Dany was over with, and she was on-board with the Callings, supportive of her husband, and carrying their new bundle of joy, Eden.
Character That's Most Suspicious: Drea
No one is that nice, so I'm not convinced by her "buddy, buddy" attitude towards Mic.
She became Mic's partner and immediately wanted to be besties with her. As the season progressed, I figured she was just a friendly person, but when The Major revealed she had someone on the inside always watching the Stone family, I couldn't help but think Drea was a mole who purposefully integrated herself into Mic's life.
Maybe one day we'll find out for sure what her deal is.
Weirdest Calling: The Al Zura's Ship in Their Living Room
The Callings are usually a weird, confusing, and disruptive experience for the passengers, but the one where everyone was sharing a joint Calling that turned the Stone living room into Al Zuras' ship on Manifest Season 2 Episode 9 was by far the weirdest and craziest. They all began to turn on each other, Grace got seasick, and they saw a storm that didn't exist.
The Calling was meant to show them that this "rebirth" and death date isn't entirely new; it happened before thousands of years ago.
The Calling also revealed that the only way to defeat the death date was by following the Callings, but it forced the audience to rely heavily on our imaginations and left us with so many unanswered questions about the journal.
Biggest Twist: That the Plane Crash Was a Nightclub Explosion
Aside from Jared being undercover to help Mic, the biggest twist was that the Calling of the scorched plane didn't have anything to do with the actual plane or what happened to it. Instead, it was meant to warn them about Isaiah's nightclub explosion.
He gathered all the 828 passengers in hopes of killing them and being part of the miracle of the "returned." This is also the moment I realized the Callings are purposefully deceitful and misleading.
Person You Feel Bad For: Jared
Jared started the season as a bit of a jerk and Mic's adversary, but by the end, he put everything on the line to save her and eliminate the people who didn't make her feel safe.
In return, he was invited to her wedding with Zeke, which he couldn't stomach being present for because it hurt too much. He'll always be in love with her, but if she's moving on, he deserves to as well.
Best Team: Jared and Mic
Mic may have chosen Zeke, but there's no denying she and Jared make a great team. They know each other so well that they can execute plans and strategies without exchanging any words. Bowers called them the "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" based on how they handled their plan to infiltrate the X'ers.
There's a lot of trust between the two of them, so Jared always has Mic's back and vice-versa.
Biggest Shocker: Saanvi Killing the Major
Saanvi is brilliant, but she went too far in her desire to "trust the science." She was so desperate to save the passengers and eliminate the Callings that she poisoned The Major as an incentive for her to tell her the truth about her discovery.
While Saanvi never intended to let The Major die, she also didn't anticipate the cure would break, and the blood would be on her hands. The worst part is that The Major never found a cure for the Callings as she was planning to weaponize them and infect others with them.
Her death was in vain, and Saanvi's guilt is going to be her undoing.
Best New Character: TJ
Many of us were wary of TJ at first, but he quickly became part of the Stone family. We even warmed up to the idea of him dating Olive despite the age gap.
When he died in the explosion, we were all upset, but we celebrated when we found out he survived. He's an essential part at figuring out what happened to Flight 828 and if he does study in Egypt, hopefully, he'll learn more about Al Zuras and his men that can help them defeat the death date.
Question the Series Didn't Answer: The Core Mystery
It's been two seasons and we still have no idea what happened to Flight 828, why they came back five years later, and the purpose of the Callings and the death date
It's impressive that we've spent numerous hours watching the series and getting lost in the supernatural elements, and yet, we still don't know anything! How is that possible?
We also have no idea how Zeke beat the death date, what role the lightning plays, and who the three dealers are.
I love the series and will recommend it to anyone and everyone, but there are some definite areas for improvement.
We waited over a year for season 2 to premiere, and while many great moments bonded us with the Stone family and kept us intrigued, there was a lot on inconsistencies with the storytelling that frustrated many fans.
We love the world of Manifest, but after 13 episodes, we were hoping for more answers and fewer questions for a change. The series has so much potential, but you can only keep your audience in the dark for so long before they start giving up.
What did you think of the season? Let us know in the comments.
Lizzy Buczak was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in June 2021..