[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 2 of Manifest, “Deadhead.”]
The truth is out there … and it’s going to hurt the 828ers. The world now knows that a piece of the plane (the tailfin) that shouldn’t exist was found in the ocean at the end of Season 2.
Passenger Ben Stone (Josh Dallas) — one of many who were on that plane and returned after being gone for five years — gives up the information in an effort to rescue Vance (Daryl Edwards) from Cuba. (His ally had stayed behind, with the tailfin, so Ben could return to New York when the authorities were zeroing in on them in the premiere.) The tailfin’s existence is then leaked to the media at the end of the April 8 episode.
But what’s the biggest threat to the Flight 828 passengers? The public’s response to that tailfin? Another shadowy government figure, like the Major (Elizabeth Marvel) was before Saanvi (Parveen Kaur) accidentally killed her? Or something else?
“You’re tugging on the exact dilemma that Ben is facing in this moment,” showrunner Jeff Rake tells TV Insider. “On the one hand, he has this deep, personal allegiance and loyalty and a great sense of gratitude for Vance who has single-handedly helped Ben push the mythology puzzle forward by going after the tailfin. The world becomes aware of the tailfin [as] the fallout of that act.
“The cost is great. The threats are plentiful,” he continues. “There’s the greater global animosity that the world population has demonstrated towards the passengers. We’re going to see that not only continue to build with certain specific bad actors who we will meet throughout the season, but we’re also going to see a systemic turn against the passengers where even the police, the courts, and the government, who presumably would be protecting the passengers, start to turn against them.”
Even more, people would likely turn against them if they knew that both Ben’s hand and where he touched the tailfin emit an eerie glow at the end of the episode.
“Every time a Calling happens, it is a sign or a signal that is intended to communicate to the passengers to help them do something or realize something,” Rake says. “Ben’s glowing hand should be interpreted as exactly that. It’s a puzzle piece that is going to lead him to the next step in his mythological journey. Those glowing hands will be something that we haven’t seen the last of. That motif will reappear throughout the season.”
The Methheads — Jace (James McMenamin), Pete (Devin Harjes), and Kory (Dazmann Still) — who kidnapped Ben’s son and passenger Cal (Jack Messina) last season are back after returning from their own presumed death (drowning in a frozen-over lake). Could that mean that whoever or whatever is behind those who return needs both good and evil to come back?
Rake dodges that question but does tease that “the passengers come to realize during the course of the season that Callings may not always be leading them down a path of righteousness. And the question of whether a Calling is steering them towards good or evil is going to become possibly the most important question and paradox of the rest of not only the season but the back half of the series.”
The Methheads are separated by the end of the episode; Pete splits off from the others when he sees a photo of himself as a kid. That photo, however, belongs to 828er Angelina (Holly Taylor), who was rescued by fellow passenger Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) in the premiere and is now staying with the family.
“Angelina is just looking to heal and find some little ounce of happiness somewhere,” Taylor says of Angelina and Pete’s realization of a potentially shared past. “When she finds something that could potentially lead to a connection between her and another person, she’s very eager to jump on that, same as she was with Olive [played by Luna Blaise] and the Stone family. She’s very grateful to them and seeing Pete in the background of this photo and now having the knowledge that these Callings are supposed to be followed and everything is connected, it’s a hopeful moment for her: ‘Maybe here’s somebody else who’s also been through a lot that I can connect with, I can share my emotions with.’ She hasn’t had that for a long time.”
Angelina is bonding with Olive Stone, Ben’s daughter who, along with her mother Grace (Athena Karkanis), wasn’t on the plane. Olive helps her follow her first Calling to the aforementioned photo, and the connection between the young women makes sense for both.
“Olive’s been trying to find a way to help out with the family because she doesn’t have Callings of her own,” Taylor says. “So she takes it as her mission to help interpret them and research and follow up on all these things to help her family. She takes Angelina under her wing and does the same thing with her.”
“[And for Angelina], she’s missed out on some of her youth and years of her life that Olive is currently living through,” she continues. “So it’s nice for her to have a companion that can relate to her in that youthful way and remind her that she can still have fun in life and just kind of help her come out of her shell.”
Manifest, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC