How did a plane full of people disappear for five years — without ever leaving the sky? The passengers and crew of flight 828 have been stuck in time, and they’re finally back in the ‘Manifest’ series premiere. Read our recap!
Manifest begins innocently enough, as all major mysteries — especially those involving plane crashes — do. After a family vacation in Jamaica, siblings Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) and Ben Stone (Josh Dallas), and his cancer-stricken young son Cal (Jack Messina), volunteer to take a later flight for a travel voucher. The flight experiences major turbulence, but unlike LOST that came before it, their flight never goes down. In fact, it makes it to New York on time. Except… somehow, five years have passed, and they’ve all been presumed dead this entire time. So what the hell happened to that plane? It’s been five years, the world has changed, and they haven’t.
Ben’s daughter, Olive (Luna Blaise), has aged normally, and he’s missed everything. Michaela’s boyfriend, Jared (J.R. Ramirez) is now married to her best friend. And their mother is dead. Michaela starts hearing voices in her head — technically her own voice — warning her of things to come. Think, Final Destination-style, not a conscious. A voice in her head screams “slower” when she’s on the bus, and she tells the bus driver to slow down. He barely misses hitting a toddler.
Now here’s where it all starts coming together. Saanvi (Parveen Kaur), a doctor whose laptop broke during the brutal turbulence, created a successful treatment for pediatric cancer, which Cal is now taking. But how did her research notes get to her colleague if her laptop broke? The board on her clinical trial doesn’t want to give Cal the treatment as first, because they don’t want to screw up their results. But she convinces them: “I think he came back to be saved, and I think I came back to save him.” Who could say no to that?
The voice in Michaela’s head gets stronger and more demanding. If she ignores it, she gets an excruciating headache. That’s why she returns to a junkyard she passed on her run to free two dogs. Suddenly, her brother pulls up. He’s been hearing “set them free,” too, ever since he ignored it while driving by earlier. So…they set the dogs free! The voices don’t stop for Michaela, though. Jared, who’s now a detective, tells her that she was caught on surveillance letting the dogs go, so he brings her back to the junkyard.
While he’s dealing with the owner, her headache and the voice in her head intensify. She’s already let the dogs go, so why is it still telling her to “set them free”? She notices something eerie, and it all starts to fall into place. The address of the junkyard is 828 — just like their flight number. The Bible passage her mother quoted to her before she got on the plane? Romans 8:28. She was meant to go to that yard, and she finds out why. Jared has been investigating the kidnapping of two little girls, and the dogs lead Michaela straight to them. Was this why she came back?
Whatever’s going on, it’s not just affecting Michaela and Ben. Saanvi is having the headaches, too. Everyone’s having them. And they all follow their voices to the airport at the same time, where they watch in silence as the plane explodes on the tarmac. Whatever happened to them on the plane…it doesn’t want to be investigated.