I get addicted to series with incredible story lines easily. Throw me a bone with an out-of-the-box plot that asks too many questions and poses a logical challenge to solve at the end, and I’m hooked until the very end, through every second of the series. I don’t even get bored of the sub-plots and unnecessary romantic angles sprinkled across a lo…ng list of episodes. I don’t forward, even though it feels like the writers are stalling a conclusion.
Witty plots are my weakness, and this series titled ‘Manifest’ just got me hooked by the neck at the very first episode by it. An airplane takes off from Jamaica headed to New York apparently disappears into the blue – for the rest of the world. However, for the passengers in the plane, the plane simply goes through some unnatural amount of turbulence for about five minutes that throws everyone off. After that, things are normal and they land in New York; only to discover that five and a half years have passed.
The passengers haven’t aged a day. Everyone they loved thought they died and have moved on. Within a matter of hours, they have returned to a world that has moved on half a decade without them and now they are almost intruders in the lives of people that cared for them. But the sentimental drama is not the main plot of the show – and neither is how the world reacts to this supernatural phenomenon. It is something completely different – its what the passengers begin to exclusively experience after landing.
The 198 passengers are now connected to some supernatural element that kept their plane hostage for 5.5 years without them realising it. Whatever it is, it now has a strange kind of control over them and manipulates them into doing things that they wouldn’t otherwise. Obviously, this has very real implications in the world that already suspects them to be alien implants; that make for excellent sub-plots throughout the series. For 4 seasons (last part is yet to be released as of February 2023), the series does not get boring for even a minute. Safe to say I’m in love with the writers. There are 13 of them according to internet sources.
Ben and Michaela Stone are the centre of things in the series. The siblings were unexpected passengers of the Montego 828 flight that ‘disappeared’, along with Ben’s son Cal. Few of the passengers out of 198 are introduced throughout the series and kept at the centre of the whole phenomenon while the rest are made to disperse around the world. The character game is very much on point here, considering the plot is actually something that can loop in the entire world’s population, including the world’s top-most intelligence agencies. The supernatural nature of the incident of an airplane landing 5.5 years later with the passengers remaining intact sure has to touch every person on the planet and get all kinds of people interested. It’s a difficult aspect to play out – but Manifest does a commendable job with it. It touches upon the different layers of impact that such an incident can have in the world including military, science, religion, politics, academics, biotechnology and so on. All that, while keeping on track with the personal relationships of the passengers after landing. No wonder they needed so many episodes and seasons. And as if the supernatural mystery isn’t enough, there are plenty of villains within the human realm that cause problems too.
The big question remains unanswered as of now. What happened to the flight after all? What is that supernatural force which controlled the flight that is now equally sought and feared in the world after the plane landed? Mysterious elements are introduced so far in attempts to answer these questions – including the Noah’s Arc, ancient artefacts from Egypt and the made-up story of Al-Zuras, a sailor from 16th century Egypt. There are theories of time travel, alien invasion and a divine consciousness that attempt to explain the flight’s plight. Nothing has converged to give the viewers a concrete answer yet but the challenges continue to expand. And that’s why the final season (part II of season 4) is eagerly awaited. I hope it lives up to the expectations.
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