The first 10 episodes in Netflix’s revival instalment are streaming now
Last Updated: 07.00 AM, Nov 05, 2022
Story: Set two years after the events of Season 3, which ended with Angelina (Holly Taylor) stabbing Grace Stone (Athena Karkaris) to take young Eden, who she believed to be her guardian angel. Cal, who had disappeared after touching the tail fin of flight 828 at Eureka, had reappeared moments before his mother died, but as an older version of himself. Now, with only 18 months to go for the ‘Death Date’, he is living under an assumed identity, his dad Ben Stone (Josh Dallas) is only focused on finding Eden, while former cop Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) takes the lead on finding ways to save the 828ers. All this, while also having to stay under the radar of the 828 registry.
Review: Manifest had a very promising start – a narrative about a bunch of passengers on flight 828 from Jamaica to New York, flying through some heavy-duty turbulence and then reaching their destination ‘safe and sound’. But when the door of that aircraft opened, everything had changed -five years had gone by, the passengers had been presumed dead and if that wasn’t bad enough, they were also now experiencing random visions and hearing voices, etc., which when acted on, led to people in need of help. The mystery surrounding the disappearance of the passengers was genuinely intriguing initially. Did they time travel? Were they abducted by aliens? Was the reality that they were in now real?
But as time went by, and the creative team behind the show scrambled to find plausible explanations for the visions, or Callings, as the 828ers referred to them, they finally figured that where science fails, religion wins. Ancient Egyptian mythology (Al Zura’s journal) and the Bible (Noah’s Ark) became source material and that’s when I began to lose interest in Manifest. I have never been one for religious symbolism, but sometimes, even when something’s bad, you persevere through it just to find out how it ends. That’s what I’d been doing with Manifest and continue to do.
The NBC show, which was streaming on Amazon Prime Video in India, had been cancelled after three seasons, with a cliff-hanger ending. The show found a new fan following when it then came on Netflix and once it made its way to the top 10, showrunners began a campaign for its revival, which the streamer obliged, giving them a 20-episode final season to tie up all loose ends. Split into two 10-episode halves, the first set is now streaming on Netflix.
As has been the case over the last three seasons, the central focus of Manifest is still the Stone family. Ben is still grieving the loss of his wife Grace and is the only one who still believes that Eden is alive and well. His sole focus is on finding his daughter, so much so that he’s now neglecting his other children, Olive and especially Cal, who has returned looking the age he should be. Michaela is no longer a cop but is leading the quest to save all 828ers in Ben’s ‘leave of absence’.
Season 4 brings back a lot of faces we have seen over the years, both the good and bad apples from 828. They still have Callings that when solved take them a step closer to understanding what the visions are – are they just premonitions, memories or are they hearing from God? While I am not a fan of the religious undertones of the story, what is refreshing this time around is that most of the secondary characters get more screen time and, thereby, better narratives, which also explain the whole ‘it’s all connected’ theory. Holly Taylor’s Angelina continues to be at the centre of the mayhem in Manifest Season 4. I’ve never been on Team Angelina – there’s something about the pint-sized actress that had me screaming ‘Just die’ at the screen every time she was around, but she just doesn’t. I can’t really explain it, but this ‘dislike’ for her pre-dates Manifest – The Americans would have been a lot better without her, I reckon. But then, I digress too much.
Verdict: Manifest Season 4 has started well; it’s a lot better than previous instalments. We are finally getting some answers, even though they may seem incredulous – divine consciousness, really? It would be interesting to see if they manage to stick this landing after being given one final take-off. Part 1 came out on November 4, which is significant because it is the date on which Flight 828 reappeared in New York. Part 2 is expected in April, to coincide with the aircrafts disappearance. Until then, happy watching and if you haven’t caught on to Manifest yet, well, you have a lot of time to catch up on 52 episodes.