Manifest Recap Season 2, Episode 9: Stones Out to Sea, Michaela in Deep

The fallout of the nightclub fire is well on its way to bringing the factions at war within Michaela and Jared’s precinct to a head as Internal Affairs gets involved and a shocking turnaround takes things from dangerous to deadly for Michaela in a pivotal “Manifest.”

Meanwhile, the biggest and most immersive Calling experienced yet takes over the Stone house as Cal works with Ben to complete the vision so they can get their biggest clue yet about what happened to Flight 828 and what just might stop the Death Date. That is, if they can all keep from going mad.

In discovering what may be the answer Saanvi has been seeking through science, Ben and TJ might have found a way to save the Passengers with Al-Zuras’ book. If they’re right, though, Saanvi may be in even more danger than simply dealing with the erratic side effects of testing her serum on herself.

Also, we know we’ve been hard on some of the acting and writing on this show, but this season has seen a marked improvement. And while we weren’t quite buying the angry performance by Jack Messina, we’ll give him a pass because he’s a kid. But Parveen Kaur was simply fantastic as Saanvi, reeling under the effects of whatever she’s done to herself.

The rest of the cast is settling nicely into their characters as well, which makes it easier to simply focus on the continuously expanding craziness at the heart of the show, as well as all the various factions at play. Remember the Major? She was a pretty big deal for awhile there, but now we’re all distracted by the Xers and betrayal at the NYPD. But we haven’t forgotten her … so many questions.

Those will have to wait, though, as we’ve got several more immediate concerns right now.

Are the Internal Affairs Agents Anti-828?

We’re not cops so we’re not familiar with how Internal Affairs normally handles these investigations, but these two seemed to be particularly aggressive in their attacks on Michaela, out of nowhere we might add. We get that Simon got them her case files, so it’s possible they’re actually Xers.

It was their determination to ignore Jared’s case as aggressively as the Captain tried to — and we saw which side she’s on last week — that has us suspicious. At the same time, though, Simon doesn’t seem to have a firm handle on what they do, which would seem to indicate they may just be doing their jobs.

If this is what it’s really like for police officers who find themselves the subjects of internal investigations, that must be absolutely brutal for the innocent. We can’t even blame Michaela for going off the handle over and over again, even with her union rep trying to urge calm. Well, more on that guy in a bit!

Is Olive Meant to Not Be an 828er So She Can See Reality?

We found the storm Calling particularly because of it’s totally immersive quality. Everyone in the Stone house was experiencing it, except for Olive. That proved absolutely crucial because they may have never realized the storm wasn’t real had she not been on hand to tell them.

We can’t help but wonder if Olive — who is represented in Al-Zuras’ book with Ben in the fire and shared a connection with TJ pre-828 — was somehow meant to be a part of this but also meant to not be on the flight so she could be their eyes and ears in the real world when Callings get this. It’s even more important now that Grace shares in the Callings thanks to her (presumably) 828 baby.

If so, how expansive is whatever plan put all of this together, if there is a plan. We’ve already wondered if the Passenger selection on that flight was random, or ordained in some way considering how convoluted some of their paths onto the plane was, and then there’s the fact that Olive just missed out on getting on the flight. Was that perhaps just as intentional?

Will Callings Continue to Intensify?

If so, her role could only increase if the Callings continue to grow in intensity, duration and immersion. She was needed this week to help the Passengers (and Grace) even know they were in a Calling, which could become more important as things move forward. But we have to wonder if it’s coincidence that the Callings seem to be getting bigger and broader, or if it’s because we’re building toward something.

Is it just about fulfilling random Callings as needed, or is there a bigger mystery they’re meant to solved? What was the point of even having the storm Calling if not to solve the riddle of Cal’s spiderwebs, build the ship’s mast and see the “silver dragon” for themselves. This isn’t about saving anyone immediately, but rather about understanding what happened to them and maybe solving the Death Date issue.

Were all Returnees at the Same Place and Time?

The moment when they’d built the mast and found themselves aboard Al-Zuras’ ship was a game-changer for the show and the mystery. Looking up in the stormy sky, they were able to see that the “silver dragon” Al-Zuras wrote about was actually Flight 828. Does this mean that the ship and the plane were at the same place and time when they diseappeared?

If so, what does that mean about the drowned-man returnee and Zeke, who also disappeared. Were they somehow in the same place, or nearby? Is this another world, another time? The men on the ship were gone for a decade, while the plane was five-and-a-half years, Zeke even less and the drowned man more like a week.

If no time passes wherever they are and they’re all there at the same time, what determines how long they’re gone from the real world? Oh, too many questions on this one, but we guess that makes sense. This is the central mystery of the show.

What Is the Storm?

Tying right into that is a big question of just what the “storm” is. Is it a real storm? Or is it a manifestation of whatever’s behind the Callings and the Returnees? Olive didn’t see the storm, so we know at least one of them wasn’t real. The one that took the plane wasn’t on any radars and came out of nowhere. Was it perhaps not real, either? If so, the Passengers were seeing it before they became Returnees. Chosen?

Is the storm a byproduct of whatever is taking people from throughout time, or is it more of a representation of a sentient entity that’s doing this for some purpose, either good or bad or neither?

What’s Next for Jared?

Speaking of good or bad or neither, Jared has us so much on the fence right now. Is he anti-828 but pro-Michaela? He’s willing to damage her to an extent, but obviously not kill her. Arresting her after IA tried to pin the nightclub fire on her and her union rep got their meeting moved to neutral ground was drawing a line in the sand.

He recalled seeing the rep with Simon, who’d basically told him Michaela was expendable at this point and a threat to him trying to save humanity from the 828ers. He’s now convinced they’re manipulating the future with these Callings to take control.

If he’s willing to kill Michaela, what happens now that Jared has clearly defied his intentions? Will Simon come for him? Will he use the captain to come for him?

On top of that, there’s IA themselves. Michaela had called for an investigation on Jared before IA turned it around on her (for whatever reasons). If they’re not in Simon’s pocket, what does this look like to them? It looks like Jared protecting Michaela — he is — which is only going to raise more red flags.

Simon may even send Billy to try and take him out. Things just got a lot more dangerous for the only man who knows everything that’s going on at the precinct and is actively trying to keep Michaela alive. It’s actually not a great spot for either of them.

Can Saanvi Be Saved?

Saanvi may be in the worst spot of all, though, if Ben interpreted Al-Zuras’ writing properly. According to the book, it may be that the only way to survive the Death date is to give in to the Callings. The drowned man did not do that and suffered his fate, but then why is Zeke freezing to death? He’s been pretty good about doing his part?

Everyone we’ve been following has been, so have they already all secured their survival? Maybe the mission of the show now shifts to convince those who have tried to ignore or defy the will of the Callings.

Meawhile, Saanvi falls into the second part of the statement: “All other paths lead to disaster.” By trying to subvert the Callings through science has she doomed herself? She told Zeke she hasn’t had a Calling in weeks, but she’s certainly suffering other effects. Is she going mad? Will this kill her?

If so, is there any way to save her? She says the anomaly is no longer within her, so can it be put back in? If so, can she be reset as a normal Returnee, or will she have permanently changed something. It would be a tragic irony for them to find the cure for the Death Date, only to have the one who was working on it the longest become the only one they can’t save.

Next week, it looks like trouble for Grace’s pregnancy as “Manifest” keeps us asking questions every Monday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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