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Manifest - Crosswinds - Review: "I Just Want my Life Back"

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Manifest's midseason finale flew us off the tarmac and kept us in the air, while this week's return flight didn't so much land as much as it kept us circling in the air.

Calling of the Week

This week's calling came courtesy of Mick, who received a vision of a blizzard with a voice telling her to find her after touching one of the unconscious kidnapped passengers that Saanvi and Fiona gathered and are keeping at a very nice house with a very nice view. Not only did Mick get a calling from the guy, but it somehow woke him up.

She and Saanvi assume the find her is about finding the passenger's missing wife. Mick sets off to find her and ends up unwillingly getting Jared as a partner on the case. Together, they find the woman, who is actually on the run from her husband. He used to abuse her, and when his flight went missing, she thought she was free. But when she saw that the flight came back and her husband was alive and well, she decided to flee.

The husband is dealing with a case of amnesia and can't remember any of this. When Mick rails into him about his abuse, he can't understand why. And Mick can't understand why she got this calling if she wasn't supposed to find this woman until she gets the feeling that this calling wasn't meant for her, and she just somehow tapped into someone else's. She's right, and that someone else is Cal, who we see get another vision of the blizzard. But this time he sees someone holding a picture of Mick and saying find her.

The Mystery of Flight 828

After moving out of his home, Ben and Mick are now living together in an apartment. Ben has consumed himself with his quest to find out what's going on with, well, everything. He really wants this all to be over with so he can go back to having a normal life with his family.

At Vance's funeral, Ben attends until it becomes clear he is not wanted there by Vance's associate Agent Powell. But, Ben is wanted by someone else; a podcaster researching the Flight 828 case. He wants to interview Ben. Ben is totally not interested until the podcaster tells him he may know things that Ben doesn't, such as there being someone called The Major who was at Red Hook that day.

This leads Ben to ask Autumn, AKA Shady McLiarson, if she knew anyone called The Major while at Red Hook. She knows there was a woman called The Major looking for a holy grail, but who knows if she's telling the truth? Well, actually, she might be because she throws away the cellphone of whoever was instructing her to spy after talking to Ben.

Later, Ben is listening to the podcaster's show and hears the words holy grail. This gets Ben's attention. So much so that he confronts the guy again to find out just all that he knows. The podcaster tells Ben that the Senate Intelligence Committee and House Committee on Appropriations put away funds for something they're calling the holy grail, and that they have to be the first to get it or 828 blows up in their face. Whatever it is, it's big. Ben reveals to him The Major is a woman and the chopper she was in could lead them to this holy grail. The only problem is they need NSA access, which he could only get through Agent Powell.

Ben gets ahold of Agent Powell and tells him about The Major being at Red Hook before it all went down. He wants Powell's help in tracking her down, but Powell refuses. He pulls out the "Vance believed in this" card to convince him, and it works. He calls Ben and tells him about the location of the Black Hawk she used, and she's coming. Ben knows this is both a good and bad thing, so he goes on the podcaster's show and reveals everything that he knows about the situation. But, the podcaster isn't allowed to air it unless something happens to Ben. This is Ben's insurance.

For Agent Powell and Autumn's parts in this, they both get busted by their respective bosses. Uh oh.

Finally, Saanvi, having involved herself in all this, discovers the holy grail isn't a thing, but a person. It's about whoever is most sensitive to the callings. Who could that be? Could it be Cal, who in the very next frame gets that find her calling/vision.

Wrecking Balls

On the more personal front, Ben and Mick find themselves in a spot of turbulence with their relationships. They find themselves to be the odd ones out, the ones blowing up everyone else's lives just by being back.

Mick is struggling with still being in love with Jared but knowing she can't be with him because he's married. That ends quickly. Why? Because Jared, we discover, is still very much in love with her too. Although she tries her hardest to push him away this entire episode, he pushes back, and then they push each other into bed. Meanwhile, Jared's wife is trying to have a baby and get her best friend back. Yeah, ouch.

On the Ben front, although he is gone, his presence is still felt. Grace is depressed, Cal is upset his father isn't around, and Olive is upset that Danny isn't around? Okay then. You'd think she'd be more excited to have her dad back, but, nope. She somehow thinks bringing Danny back around will make everything better, so she convinces him to come by for dinner, making things very awkward and not better for Grace. What makes it even more awkward is Cal brings Ben over at the same time, setting off both Ben and Danny. It's a difficult situation to navigate because Danny's been here for the last few years acting as the husband/father figure, but for Ben, he wasn't gone at all. Ben decides to be the bigger man and leave and let Danny stay there, realizing they've built this family and he's become this wrecking ball like Mick. Danny thinks everything will be okay now with Grace, but Grace doesn't look so sure about that.

Although the overall quality of the show is on the same level as we left off, I feel like it came back a bit stagnant. For one thing, the personal relationship drama feels very forced and contrived, more so with Mick and Jared than Ben and Grace. It's something we've seen before time and time again on shows, love triangles like this, and you already know how they're going to end up; a broken heart for everyone involved. It also makes it hard to root for Mick, screwing over her best friend like that. It's a tricky situation, sure, because for Mick she and Jared only stopped being together, like, a week ago. But it's been long enough that it feels like she, Lourdes, and Jared should talk this out more like adults.

The other problem is the slowness of the main plot, the plane disappearance, these callings, and the Red Hook experiments. It feels like there's not enough happening here, or not enough interesting things happening. The callings have become too much like a plot of the week for my taste. The most riveting part for me, honestly, is Ben investigating. If this was a show where it was just Josh Dallas being some kind of secret agent/investigator balancing his work life with his family life, I feel like this would get 100 times better.

Overall, I rate this week's flight a 6. How did you enjoy it?

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