Genre: Mystery, Drama
If you’re after a mystery drama giving you more confusing questions than reliable answers then Manifest is perfect for you. It has been compared to the ABC’s Lost series ever since the concept was announced. The show focuses on a plane that takes off and mid flight disappears, only to reappear, with it’s passengers not aged a day, over five years later.
The show focuses on a handful of passengers on Montego Air Flight 828 but mostly on Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh), a cop with a troubled past, and her brother Ben (Josh Dallas) a happily married father of twins, whose son Cal is undergoing treatment for leukemia. Michaela, Ben and Cal take the slightly later flight to the rest of the family on April 7, 2013. During the flight there was a slight rough patch of turbulence, which seemed completely normal. But in reality it somehow caused their plane to go missing for more than five years, even though it feels to the passengers like no time has passed.
In November 2018, the shock to the family after having to come to grips with the fact that the passengers all died, the original plane lands. Cal and his twin sister Olive have now a five years difference between them, which completely alters the dynamic between them and forces the audience to see the miracle of the time jump. The passengers must painfully attempt to re-enter their former lives when the world has carried on moving without them.
One of Manifest’s greatest strengths is the rawness that the passengers show as the characters grapple with all they’ve lost in the space of, to them, a normal duration of a flight. The actors show the awkwardness of trying to reinsert themselves into broken relationships, friendships and family for both passengers and their loved ones. It’s horrible but realistic to see that not only the passengers are struggling with the reappearance of the plane.
The passengers start to manifest special abilities which opens up unanswered questions of how the plane disappeared and why that plane? The series itself is very ambitious with similar mystery genre tv shows failing in the past. At the beginning of the season Manifest felt like the same old story as we’re used to in this genre. But towards the end you will be feeling very impatient wanting to know what happens next. The week to week release is torture when all you want to know is the answers to the questions left in front of you.
By the end of the first episode, you will know if you want to carry on investing yourself in the series. With cliffhangers ending most episodes it will try and strap you back in and ready to take off onto the next episode with extremely satisfying and entertaining plot twists. Get ready for a bumpy ride as Manifest flight ahead is to prove that this mystery show can work and won’t disappoint. I am about to start season two so hoping it will continue with the high altitude of suspense and mystery.