Manifest Season 2 Episode 12 Review: Call Sign

As nice as the wedding was in this week’s Manifest, the misinterpreted callings were the real success of this exciting penultimate episode.

Olive and TJ in Manifest
Photo: Giovanni Ruffino / NBC

This Manifest review contains spoilers.

Manifest Season 2 Episode 12

Although much of this episode of Manifest was about experiencing the joy and pain of the wedding between Michaela and Zeke, it also reminded us of how often human error is at play when it comes to the correct interpretation of the callings. Both Ben and Mick think they have solved the meaning behind “Let him go!” and the vision of the plane blowing up, but both remain unresolved here in the penultimate episode of the season. Combined with Saanvi’s determination to go after the Major, it appears our favorite villain will come back into the picture at a critical moment.

One of the most successful aspects of “Call Sign” was the way that it intertwined Ben’s calling with the wedding drama, especially since he was instrumental in putting the homemade ceremony together. Obviously Ben is not yet finished with his exploding plane calling, but Manifest didn’t simply settle for having him bring peace of mind to the man who cleared Flight 828 for takeoff from Jamaica, it also steered him to the exact shop that had acquired the Stone matriarch’s veil after the mourning husband gave all of her stuff away.

If it hadn’t been for that, Michaela would have been riddled with doubt about whether marrying Zeke was tantamount to allowing him to give up on his treatments a succumb to the death date, which we find alarmingly in this episode to be mere days away. Manifest otherwise found an admirable number of ways to add to what amounted to a self-contained drama, including the friction between Zeke’s mother and father and the bond that has formed between the groom and Cal. We have to admire Zeke, in fact, for spending part of his special day and some of his final hours playing Monopoly with his future nephew — God bless you, Zeke!

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The other successful twisted use of a calling was the continued unfolding of the “Let him go!” compulsion that Mick defied last week. At first, it seemed that the calling was leading Michaela down a dark path as Adrian warned of, allowing criminals to walk free, but even though Michaela worried that the explosion of the meth lab might mean the violent Jace, his brother Pete, and the bus driver Kory were meant to die in the destruction, there’s another disturbing possibility. What if she was supposed to let them go so that they wouldn’t capture Cal, that most special of passengers?

In fact, Saanvi’s run-in with the Major in the form of her firing probably isn’t a coincidence. The doctor worries that Major has found the cure for the anomaly that she herself sought, but why would the Major want to rid people of a prescient skill she hopes to exploit? It’s more likely that the Major doesn’t want Saanvi stumbling upon a discovery she has made that ties in with her curiosity about Cal and the ensuing inquisitiveness surrounding the then unborn Eden. In that sense, Cal’s capture feels even more desire now that the Major is about to return to the fray.

Meanwhile, there’s the issue of TJ leaving for an internship in Egypt, which he hopes to use for his own investigations into Al-Zuras. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like Manifest is about to introduce a conflict in which Olive seeks to go with him overseas since her own logic seems to have prevailed in that regard. Instead, it seems this particular plot thread is setting up a continuing story arc for season 3 since there’s only time left to see what the Major is up to and perhaps resolve Ben’s persistent plane vision.

But it’s all a great setup, and anticipation for the Manifest season 2 finale is high. Vance is back in business, the Major is on the horizon, and Zeke’s death date is imminent — the stakes couldn’t be higher! There have been plenty of misgivings in this season’s reviews about the hanging threads this show has left dangling about, but the truth is as long as the finale returns to the issues we most care about (the death date and the Major), the rest can be tabled until later. We’re worried about Cal, but at least we don’t have to worry about a more supernatural explanation for his three looming shadows. Or do we?


4.5 out of 5