After what seems a laboriously long wait between seasons, sci-fi mystery/drama series Manifest returns at long last for the first stretch of its final season! Miraculously revived by Netflix in the aftermath of being cancelled at NBC after three seasons, I have to say that it was certainly well worth the wait. We follow the survivors of 828 at perhaps their most vital crossroads thus far, in the wake of a double-edged terrible tragedy: Grace’s brutal death, and baby Eden’s kidnapping. This is the same Manifest we know and love, only now they are sure to note that it was filmed safely for COVID protocols during the credits! Buckle up, take out your in-flight manual to follow along, and get ready for one last ascent into the mysteries of Manifest…
A two-year time jump plunges us back into the world of its vast array of characters. Ben (Josh Dallas) is now grizzled and bearded, tirelessly immersed in conspiracy theories as he traces every possible clue as to Eden’s whereabouts. Cal (Ty Doran), now newly-older, is struggling as a rift has formed between him and Ben. He cannot leave the house for the most part, and goes by the name Gabriel since he is still considered a missing person. Zeke (Matt Long) and Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) live together with Cal, Olive (Luna Blaise), and Ben, with Zeke now a case manager for struggling addicts who has a strange power. As the death date looms large, Saanvi (Parveen Kaur) continues her hunt for answers. The arrival of a man from Singapore and a mysterious box may prove to hide answers to innumerable questions…
As far as final season setups go, Manifest does a great job at maintaining something of a breakneck pace throughout. Episode five feels like a season finale, bringing the Eden story to a head in a very satisfying way that I will certainly not be spoiling here. Angelina (Holly Taylor), Eden’s captor who has been raising the child as her own in the two years since she has been missing, is a character I instantly hated, and I am sure many fans will as well. As thunder rumbles and callings begin to come to everyone, talks of “divine consciousness,” omega sapphires, and tarot card maps overtake the case-of-the-week format the show had adapted from early on. Gone is any type of procedural feel, instead diving headfirst into a serialized format that just worked for me.
As far as performances are concerned, I am really loving Ty Doran as young adult Cal—he manages to perfectly embody everything we know and love about Jack Messina as Cal, yet with a somewhat fresh new spin. His character evolution feels entirely organic, as does his unfortunate relationship at odds with Ben. The most useless (as per usual) is Jared (J.R. Ramirez), but he has never really been a fan favorite. Michaela gets more to do here than ever before, and seems a vital key to the endgame. Melissa Roxburgh does an excellent job embodying her highs and lows. Josh Dallas too has a vital role as Ben, calling upon his care for all three children in impossible circumstances.
Manifest brings back several dangling plot threads that have been teased and theorized for years now. It is great to have a show that actually cares about its audience, and is not afraid to take its time in the build to answer big questions. This season certainly answers a lot of them. A big revelation in episode 9 will leave people with a lot to buzz about during the potentially lengthy wait until season 4 part 2 arrives. Wherever its final destination is headed, I have always been a believer in Manifest—season 4 continues a promising run with a variety of excellent, varied episodes exploding with exciting, bizarro imagery. I can’t wait to see how it all ends.
Manifest unlocks the mysteries of flight 828 when it lands to Netflix subscribers on Friday, November 4th.
6 thoughts on “TV Review: Manifest – Season 4, Part 1”
You are so wrong about Jared Vasquez. This means you never watched the show since Season 1.
Am I the only person who loved JR??! I was hoping he got back together with Michaela!
Part one two was good but three and four it is just getting boring and boring I wouldn’t watch it anymore