Showrunner Jeff Rake brought the entire principal cast of Manifest to New York Comic Con this year, and nearly all of them had an enticing detail to share about where their character might head in season 2. Although the first trailer was also released at the convention, it announced a later than expected Spring 2020 return date, so while we wait to learn the answers to questions like who got shot and what the Major will do to Saanvi, here’s a little of what we learned during our time on the Manifest press line.
Manifest season 2 will be more tightly paced with fewer episodes.
JEFF RAKE (executive producer): Last year we had 16 episodes, and it allowed us to delve a little bit more into the relationship side of the show. The mystery side of the show is what it is in the sense that I’ve had a road map from the very beginning, and I know how much mystery I have to get through in season one, two, three, four, five, all the way to my six-season plan. So come hell or high water, I was going to get to every mysterious place I needed to get to as an endpoint.
And that’ll be the same in season 2. Thirteen versus sixteen episodes: I’m still going to get to the same ultimate puzzle piece that I need to get to in the end… It’s a little bit tighter, and we’re also introducing a couple of new characters, so I think that, as people watch the show, they might feel that it’s a little bit pacier. We’re kind of bouncing around a little bit more from story to story.
Ben and Grace will be stronger now that they’re both on board with the Callings.
JOSH DALLAS (Ben): Things will continue to be complicated just because of their situation, but I think as we go forward in season 2 with Ben and Grace that they are actually stronger than ever. Not to say there’s not complications that will come up, but they are a strong unit, and I think when those two are together, there’s hope in Manifest.
ATHENA KARKANIS (Grace): She’s much more supportive of the shenanigans; she takes part in some of the shenanigans. It’s a very different dynamic between Ben and Grace. I kind of feel like that was the biggest conflict; it was about, “What are you doing? We have a family! Why are you endangering them?” And now they’re kind of on board, and they’re a bit of a team.
The dynamic at the precinct will be different with a new captain (played by Andrene Ward-Hammond and a new partner (played by Ellen Tamaki) for Michaela.
MELISSA ROXBURGH: Last season ends with us not knowing who gets shot, so if it is Jared then I have to have a new partner. But I think that you’re going to like her. She’s really cool! I mean, sorry, Jared, but even if you’re not dead…
J. R. RAMIREZ: If Jared is still here, you’re going to see a different dynamic inside the precinct this year in the sense that [the new captain] has a very strong voice. [Andrene Ward-Hammond] is an awesome actress; she’s just such a character! We’ve had such a great time working with her, and she brings a totally different element inside the precinct with Jared, Michaela, and everybody. Captain Bowers is the real deal! So watch out for her.
Olive will be dealing with some dark stuff, but both Stone children will continue helping to piece together the puzzle.
LUNA BLAISE: Olive in season 2 goes down a downward spiral. It’s sort of intense, and she’s dealing with her own stuff. I think, from season one, most definitely in season 2, she’s the only one that doesn’t get Callings. So she’s the odd one out beside Grace… She’s definitely on solving puzzles. There’s a huge puzzle that is revealed that we just shot; it’s super exciting! Super secretive, cannot say anything because it’s massive, but it’s so exciting.
JACK MESSINA: Cal definitely gets [the lifespan time limit] a lot earlier than the other people on 828, so he gives them a warning: “Hey, we’re all going to die!” I’m the Holy Grail!
Saanvi will be much more in direct conflict in Manifest season 2, especially with the Major watching over her.
PARVEEN KAUR: We should all be terrified for Saanvi in season 2. She starts to really put herself in a lot of danger and goes to extremes to figure out what’s going on. And she experienced some trauma at the end of season one with her PTSD, and the trauma she’s about to experience in season 2 is terrifying — and I’m so excited!
Zeke and Michaela will be more of a pairing in Manifest season 2 than Jared and Michaela.
MATT LONG: Based on the way that the season ended, I would assume that most fans would rather see Zeke and Michaela [J.R.: “I want to see Zeke and Michaela. Jared needs a break and a psychiatrist.”] I think it took a dark turn, and it seems like Zeke and Michaela have so much in common. They’ve been through similar things, and that’s hard for Jared because he didn’t experience Callings like they do, you know?
Although the wait for Manifest season 2 to return will be excruciatingly long for fans of the sci-fi family drama, hopefully these small details will help feed speculation for the story to come. To hear more of what was said during the New York Comic Con press line, view the full video below.
Michael Ahr is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster here at Den of Geek; you can check out his work here or follow him on Twitter (@mikescifi). He co-hosts our Sci Fi Fidelity podcast and coordinates interviews for The Fourth Wall podcast.