Manifest Season 2 Episode 6: Ben and Saanvi work together to orchestrate a surprising family reunion for an emotionally closed-off Flight 828 passenger. Meanwhile, Olive drifts further away from her family, Jared learns more about a growing cabal of anti-828 sentiment, and Michaela finds herself out on a limb when baggage from Zeke’s past threatens to destroy his tenuous new life.
Episode title: “Return Trip”
Release date: February 10, 2020 at 10pm
Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J. R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina, Parveen Kaur, Matt Long
Manifest is an American supernatural drama TV series that revolves around the lives of passengers and crew of Montego Air Flight 828. The plane from Jamaica to New York City experiences a brief period of severe turbulence. When the plane lands, the passengers and crew learn that over five and a half years have passed while they were in the air, during which time they were presumed dead. As they reintegrate themselves into present-day society, the passengers begin to face the fact that their lives—and loved ones—are not the same as they were before, while they also begin to experience guiding voices and visions representing events yet to occur.
On August 23, 2017, NBC gave the production a put pilot commitment. The pilot for Manifest was written by Jeff Rake, who was also set to serve as executive producer alongside Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke. Jackie Levine was expected to serve as a co-executive producer. Production companies involved with the pilot were slated to consist of Compari Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. In January 2018, NBC gave the production a pilot order and that David Frankel would direct and executive produce the pilot. In May 2018, NBC gave the production a series order of thirteen episodes with a premiere in third quarter of 2018 and a Monday timeslot at 10 p.m. The series then premiered on September 24, 2018. NBC ordered an additional three episodes of the series in October 2018, bringing the first season total up to 16 episodes. In April 2019, NBC renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on January 6, 2020.
The series stars Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J. R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina, and Parveen Kaur.
Manifest was met with a mixed response from critics upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 57% with an average rating of 6.24/10. On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the series got a score of 55 out of 100, indicating “mixed or average reviews.”
USA Today’s Kelly Lawler gave a positive assessment, explaining how she felt that Manifest’s simplicity and variety of drama subgenres might help it outlast similarly themed but ultimately unsuccessful past shows. Variety’s Daniel D’Addario commented that the pilot of Manifest didn’t “pretend to have answers; it only poses questions. But its inquisitiveness and willingness to be bold and fairly uncynical given all the things it’s trying to be is more than welcome.” Los Angeles Times’s Lorraine Ali remarked that the series had a compelling premise and that the many mysteries it introduced “point toward a potentially addictive series if Manifest allows its gripping supernatural narrative to rise above its characters’ less interesting personal dramas.”
In a negative review, The Washington Post’s Hank Stuever compared Manifest negatively to other network science fiction series while The New York Times’ Margaret Lyons commented that “Manifest has a frustrating lack of propulsion, a central dullness whose force field is so strong it bends all the interesting parts toward itself.”
Canadian actress Melissa Roxburgh (age 27) plays the lead role of Michaela Stone in Manifest, a detective who works at the NYPD’s 129th Precinct and a passenger on Flight 828. Prior to her role in Manifest, Roxburgh became known for her roles in the films Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011), Star Trek Beyond (2016), and The Marine 4: Moving Target (2015). [ref]
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