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Manifest - Go-Around - Review

As the title of the episode suggests, our favourite passengers are in for an aborted landing, as they come to the realisation that they may not have had as much growth as they thought or certain relationships of theirs need more mending than they expected. Let's dive in!

 

Living your truth

Any episode that focuses on Michaela's guilt in relation to Evie automatically becomes one of my favourites, and this one is no exception. We check in with Michaela as she's visiting the cemetery where Beverly, Evie, and Glen are buried. While Beverly's absence pretty much spoke for itself, this scene confirmed that she passed away within about a year after the season 3 finale. But even though Michaela took care of Evie's mother, this scene reminds us that her guilt still weighs heavily on her. Before she can linger on it too much, a Calling of a Native American thunderbird interrupts her thoughts. 

Back home, Michaela tries to confide in Ben about her Calling, but he's still not in the right headspace to focus on that, so she starts researching on her own. As she's doing so, Zeke enters the room to check in with her, and we learn it's the anniversary of Evie's passing. It's a sweet moment between the couple that highlights just how well Zeke can read her, even without his empathic abilities. Then Mick gets a call from Drea, who's also checking in with her. It's nice to see Mick so supported by the people around her, especially when her brother can't be there for her right now. Drea's call ends up being about more than emotional support, though, as Mick realises that her Calling wants her to visit Shinnecock Nation Land to see Kyle, another passenger.

Mick and Kyle quickly figure out that she was brought to him to help him visit his mother, who's dying in a New York hospital that he can't visit without getting arrested. Initially, Mick wanted to take more time to set up a solid plan, but a Calling tells her otherwise. As she's driving, she's taken back to the night when Evie died. Reliving that trauma not only reminded us just how much it still weighs on Mick, it also reminded Mick just how precious little time they all have with their loved ones, and that Kyle shouldn't waste another moment before going to see his mom.

Zeke helps them get into the hospital and uses his empathic ability to help Kyle communicate with his mother. It's an emotional moment that explores yet another way in which Zeke's ability can be used to help the people around him. I can't help but wonder how much such powers would benefit all of humanity, but that's a whole other tangent. Kyle's mother tells her son that she wants to go home, and ultimately Kyle is willing to give up his own freedom to arrange this for her. Thankfully, Zeke manages to get them out before Drea and the other Registry officers show up. When it's just the two of them, Mick takes a moment to thank Drea for everything she's doing to help the passengers. It's nice to see that Mick doesn't take it for granted and that the writers made sure to take the time for her to acknowledge that. It makes the friendship between these two women all the more beautiful.

Back home, Zeke checks in with Michaela. She opens up to him about her struggles with her guilt, and how letting go of that guilt feels like letting go of the last part of Evie she has left. Zeke tells her to hold onto the guilt if she needs to, and to live her life by her truth. Zeke and Michaela have always been strongly bonded in their similar losses and feelings of guilt and shame, so this moment, in which Zeke shares with her what he has learned about living with his own guilt, feels especially meaningful to both of their character arcs. Back in season 1, it was Mick who helped guide Zeke in learning how to deal with his guilt. Now, Zeke has grown so much that he can do the same for Mick, to help her with her series-long arc of healing from her trauma and finding a way to live with her guilt. His advice to live her life by her truth feels like a callback to Michaela's Calling in 1x03, which was "own your truth." It's a clever way of telling us that she still hasn't fully done that, and that it will still take some work before she can truly own her truth. 

I have to compliment the writers on how they've handled Mick's trauma and issues with guilt and shame over the course of the series so far. Instead of creating a very linear arc, as may be more common in stories, they've allowed Mick to have setbacks and moments of realisation that she hasn't healed as much as she thought, which is much more reminiscent of real life. It's a complicated and emotional storyline that's given the space and time that it truly needs and deserves within the story, and I'm forever grateful that the writers treat it as such.

 

Two fathers

Ben, still desperate to find Eden, has decided to take Eagan up on his offer. But of course, Eagan would never give up such important information without getting something for himself. He wants Ben to get him out of prison. Ben doesn't have that kind of power himself, so his first stop is the Registry. Which, of course, isn't interested in helping him. That leads Ben to Vance, who he hasn't seen in a year.

Ben cut off all contact with him after Vance became "useless" in the search for Eden, while Vance continued to try and save the passengers, without any help from Ben. And now, when Ben finally shows his face again, he's only doing so because he needs yet another favor. And not a small one either: Ben is asking him to secure the release of the man who held his son hostage. Is it understandable for Ben to do so? Of course. Any dad would, for the sake of their child. But Vance's frustration with him is also completely understandable. Which makes this a wonderfully messy and complicated situation, as these writers are so amazing at creating.

Ben gets another harsh reminder of how out of the loop he's been when he learns how much Vance's resources have dwindled and that Saanvi works with him at his new location. He also spots an almost empty bottle of alcohol in their workplace, which he assumes is Saanvi's. To that assumption, Vance responds that two years is a long time. For Ben, for Saanvi, and for himself. Given that Saanvi doesn't seem to be in such a bad mental state that she'd be drinking on the job, I can't help but wonder if the alcohol is actually Vance's. Especially considering what he reveals later on.

In the end, Vance decides to help Ben. When they talk to Eagan, we finally learn what has been weighing on Vance so heavily: his own family fell apart after 3x13, and he's no longer married. So while he's helping Ben put his family back together, he no longer has one of his own. It's heartbreaking, especially considering just how much Vance has done to help the passengers and the greater good. But Eagan is not entirely wrong when he points out that he was right about the growing anti-828 sentiment in the government. Again: a beautifully messy and complicated situation, just as I like them. 

As Eagan hands Ben a piece of paper with Eden's location on it, Ben gets a Calling that feels very foreboding. He says nothing to Vance, though, and instead apologises to Vance. This won't immediately fix their issues, but it's a good start, and it was very necessary for Ben to acknowledge that he'd been neglectful not just of his family, but of all his loved ones. Later, Ben and Vance both set out to Eden's location. But when Vance arrives and calls Ben, Ben reveals that he gave Vance a false location. He no longer wants to put Vance or his other loved ones in danger, so he's going to find Eden alone, in an attempt to make amends for his past behaviour. It's a meaningful gesture that does a lot to redeem Ben, but it's also misguided, as Vance should be allowed to make the choice whether to accept the risk or not himself. By trying to make amends for his lack of care for Vance's wellbeing, Ben ultimately swings too far in the other direction, which has dire consequences for him, as he's immediately knocked out by someone after he arrives at Adrian's house.

 

Kimchi grilled cheese

Drea, who overhears Ben's conversation with her superior, passes this information on to Jared. Their conversation then leads to him asking her if she'll come over later that day, and she says she can't due to having too much work. Jared, who was just told that it was better for him to keep his nose out of Registry business, offers to help Drea by checking out a call about a suspicious purchase of fertilizer. Since the Registry can't know about this, Jared has to find a way to keep his partner, Diaz, in the dark about the true purpose of his visit to the garden center. This essentially puts him in the same position Mick was in during early season 1, and Diaz in the position that Jared used to be in. It's an interesting contrast and does a good job of showing just how much Jared has changed over the years. His job is very important to him, so him putting that on the line in order to help Drea and the passengers is very meaningful.

Jared sends Diaz on a mission to grab him some kimchi grilled cheeses while he pretends to buy something at the garden center. The man who called in the tip said that he had a gut feeling about the purchase but wasn't going to call it in until a co-worker pointed out that the woman who bought the fertilizer was an 828er. It's another harsh reminder of how Othered the passengers have become in their world and how much suspicion there is towards them. As I've mentioned in previous reviews, I really appreciate all the different forms in which the writers show how the passengers are being turned into outsiders of their own society. 

When Jared returns to the car with an excuse for why he came back empty handed, Diaz sees right through him and calls him out, in a way that's very reminiscent of how Jared responded to Michaela's excuses before he learned about the Callings. I've had issues with the way the show handled Jared's part in the shooting in 1x16, or more specifically with the lack of any apology on his part, so I'm glad that the writers did hold him accountable this time, even if his actions are far more sympathetic here and don't directly harm anyone.

We check in with Jared again at the Registry, where he and Drea just finished eating the kimchi grilled cheeses he brought her. For two people in a no strings attached situationship, they sure act like a couple. Especially considering that Jared's love language seems to be bringing food, given that he's done it for Michaela several times over the seasons. Jared shows Drea a picture of Erika, who bought the fertilizer, and Drea immediately recognises her as a passenger she once interrogated for robbing a gun store with her boyfriend. They find out she's living with Adrian, which immediately raises the stake for the next episode, as Ben is now on his way to a house where someone could be building a bomb.

 

Twin power

Cal is still mulling over what he remembers from his time in the Glow. Olive tries to convince him to take a break, but, like a true Stone, Cal refuses to do so. So Olive takes the day off to help him instead. In a flashback, we get a glimpse of what Cal and Olive's relationship was like not long after Grace's death, and it's heartbreaking. Hearing Olive tell Cal that maybe he shouldn't have come back was a real punch to the gut. But luckily, that scene is contrasted with Cal and Olive in the present day, who are in a much better place. While I would never say no to more Manifest, I'm kind of glad the show had to shorten its original six season plan into one, because I can't imagine how painful it would've been if these flashbacks weren't contrasted with a much happier present and instead were the present storyline. 

Olive, ever Ben's daughter, decides to break down all the clues they've gathered over the years to help Cal make sense of what he learned in the Glow. They put it all out on the table and go over it together, which is a great reminder for viewers of what we've learned so far and helps to show how it's all connected. Just as the twins seem to hit a dead end, Olive remembers that she kept one of Al-Zuras' tarot cards in a different box: the Star card. 

If you're a very observant viewer, you may have noticed that stars reoccur a lot throughout the seasons of this show. Olive herself used to always wear a necklace of a star, for example, and Chloe, Zeke's sister, wore a similar necklace until her death, which Zeke left at her memorial site in 1x13. The particular star that's on the Star card is even more special, though, and connects the compass, Al-Zuras' journal, and that card to each other. That has to mean something.

Mick was given a blanket by Kyle, which she leaves with Cal and Olive. This turns out to be exactly what Cal and Olive needed to solve their puzzle, as the blanket also has a five-pointed star on it and gives them a clue that leads them to finding the Latin words for "divine consciousness" on Logan's compass. Everything clicks into place for Cal, and he figures out where the plane was for 5,5 years: it was in the divine consciousness! After all these years, we finally have a more concrete answer to where the plane went for all that time!

Aside from healing the relationship between the Stone twins, this episode also highlights the relationship between Zeke and Olive. Not only are they the breadwinners of the family now, Zeke also discovered he could take on other people's pain by relieving Olive of hers, which really helped her get back on her feet after losing Grace and Eden. It's the second heartbreaking flashback of the episode, and one that still brings tears to my eyes even after having seen the episode three times. Olive was robbed of getting to live a normal life, and yet she has to be the responsible one, or else her remaining family completely falls apart. It's a heartbreaking moment that Luna Blaise delivers in a very powerful way. And while I'm praising people, can we give Zeke an "Uncle of the year" award? Not only did he handle that moment with Olive very well, he also protected her from the burden of his own pain, caused by taking on hers. While he should definitely share that with someone, Olive already had too much on her plate, so he was right to hide it from her.

Go-Around was a very powerful episode that gave us new insights into various characters' headspaces, did a great job of beginning to repair a few character dynamics, and gave us a big new mythological clue. I honestly don't have a bad word to say about it!

About the Author - Anouk S
Anouk is a video editor who loves watching television shows. When she's not writing her thoughts down in words, she spends her time analysing her favourite shows by making fanvids. She loves all kinds of genres, but fantasy and sci-fi have a special place in her heart.
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