Happy Friday! For a week or so, I’ve been obsessed with the Netflix series MANIFEST. I highly recommend it, though some of you may have seen it since it’s a few years old now.
The basic premise is that a plane full of people (Flight 828) disappears en route from Jamaica to New York in 2014 and reappears 5+ years later. The passengers don’t know this though, and to them only a few hours have gone by. Their perception is that they passed through a severe lightning storm and were diverted to a NY airport upstate. So we begin with family and relationship dynamics among very confused yet elated people who are welcoming back loved ones they thought were dead.
The passengers are also confused, since their family and friends are all 5 years older now, but the 828ers are the same age as when they departed Jamaica. Something else is happening too: the 828 folks experience frightening hallucinations, in which voices implore them to take immediate action. Often, more than one passenger receives a “calling” simultaneously. Usually, the 828ers are compelled to go somewhere and save another passenger or someone connected to one.
There are also flashbacks to the flight itself, and other past events, to more fully flesh out the various relationships and connections. Some of these flashbacks occur in a calling and seem scary, while others are regular memories. Regardless, odd events occur to step up the drama and increase the danger to the 828ers in real time (2019). One of them starts a cult/religion called the Church of the Returned, which attracts a bunch of wackos, as you’d expect. Other nutballs believe that the 828ers are aliens or demons and should be killed before they trigger the apocalypse. Naturally, government agents are involved in this soup of strangeness, due to their own shadowy reasons.
Mostly the show focuses on one family, the Stones (dad, mom, kids, aunt), and people directly connected to the Stones, though as episodes roll on, we see that many more people are connected to them in a big web of weird. Some of the fam was on Flight 828 and some took a later flight. Mom Grace and daughter Olive were coping alone, and Grace had found new love, but now dad Ben and son Cal are back. Cal’s callings are the most extreme of the 828ers and he is also directed to create drawings that depict the future. Michaela (“Mick”), Ben’s sister, is a cop and had been engaged to another cop, Jared, who married her best friend during Mick’s 5 year disappearance. So they all have to deal with that. Cal and Mick get a calling to save a man in the snow, Zeke, who has been returned from a year frozen in a cave. That adds a whole new level of mystery as well as a romantic entanglement between Zeke and Mick.
Whew, that was a lot of info and there’s still so much more! I’m excited to finish S2 soon and watch S3. I’m avoiding spoilers! And I just read that S4 will be happening, probably this fall, yay!
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