Where does ‘Manifest’ go from here? HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Melissa Roxburgh and J.R. Ramirez about how Michaela and Jared’s relationship will evolve, Lourdes, the big mystery, and more.
When Michaela, Ben, and the rest of Flight 828 returned after 5 years of everyone believing they were dead, everything had changed. Michaela’s boyfriend, Jared, married her best friend, Lourdes. Needless to say, it’s going to get even more complicated now that Michaela and the rest of the passengers are back. J.R. Ramirez, who plays Jared, told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY during a visit to NYC, “Jared’s confronted with the fact of how is he gonna balance the first true love of his life coming back into a world that he’s been a devoted husband for three years and he’s happily married? She [talking about co-star Melissa Roxburgh] hates that I say that, but he is. She’s been gone for three years. It took Jared a long time to get over her, and now he’s confronted with the fact that he’s got to work with her every single day, so how can he do this? Can he balance a working relationship with the first true love of his life, and then go back home to her best friend, his now wife?”
J.R. says it’s going to become “extremely complex” for Jared “because the second chance he’s having is having to be thrown into a world that he now has no idea how to navigate. Michaela was everything for him. And it took him a very long time to get over her. And the unexplainable happened, now she’s back, and he has to work with her everyday. He loves his wife, but he has to navigate a very difficult thing that I’m curious to see how it’s gonna play out. This is the first time I actually I don’t want to know. I want to read script by script and be surprised in the moment because anything could happen.”
Lourdes will be introduced in episode two. “These people were her family,” Melissa added. “Lourdes was her best friend before the plane took off. We quickly realized that Michaela had two really good friends, one of which she accidentally got in a car accident with, and that person died. So Lourdes is really her only true girl friend apart from Jared, who was her rock. And so the fact that they’ve kind of become a couple isolates her, and I can’t say whether or not the meeting with Lourdes goes very well. But yeah, it gets complicated.”
Michaela and Jared still love each other. There’s no question about that. “They love each other,” Melissa said. “And I think deep down, despite what happens with their relationship, they have a huge amount of respect for each other, and they’re trying to figure out what is the most respectful way forward.”
The series will also peel back the layers of the car accident that cost Michaela’s best friend her life. “We do get to see what happened that night,” Melissa teased. “It touches on it for a second, and then I think as the show goes on, too, that relationship that she had with that friend comes into play a lot more. It kind of serves as her compass and how she deals with things, because I think that really did make her reevaluate a lot of stuff in her life. So it’s kind of like the one thing that she uses in figuring out what needs to happen.”
Melissa also revealed that the show “kind of goes off in different directions, but every time you kind of have that direction figured out, it changes directions again. And you’re constantly surprised every time it does.” J.R. also dropped this major tease: “There’s that one moment you will just not see coming at all.”
Flight 828 explodes at the end of the premiere. Michaela says that whatever brought the Flight 828 passengers together has “no interest” in being investigated. Even Melissa and J.R. don’t know the details about the plane’s disappearance, and they’re currently filming episode 8. “We start seeing that all these people are interconnected in their odd, mysterious way, and we don’t know the reason for that,” J.R. said. Manifest airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.