Those two elements aside, the two hour adventure was a real thrill ride! Even smaller moments — like when Vance’s men grabbed Jared off the street while Saanvi ran after them or even when the reporter tracked Tarik to his cabin, ruining Grace’s hiding place — felt appropriately dramatic even when the consequences were minimal. In the background, there’s still Ben’s promise to become the “unicorn” to be studied by Dr. Patel and the fact that Drea now knows about the callings. Those aren’t small details!
And what about that empathic sonic boom that exploded out of Zeke and Michaela when he pulled her up over the cliff edge by her dislocated shoulder? It’s a bombshell that manages to become merely a stepping stone towards the showdown at Tarik’s house. Meanwhile, the reminiscing about childhood plans hatched in the root cellar serve only to accentuate the tragedy of Tarik’s death and introduce a badass, gun-toting Grace, but each of these moments are like raindrops creating separate ripples in a pond before a downpour roils the entire surface.
Because make no mistake, a storm is coming! Olive’s discovery upon recovering the missing papyrus piece changes everything. It’s unclear whether the initial removal of the artifact has any meaning beyond creating an obstacle for Olive to conquer, but with the realization that returnees are judged in groups comes the question: will all of the passengers of Flight 828 have to work together to conquer their collective death date? Or is there a deeper meaning to the deadly rapture of the meth dealers?
The second half of Manifest season 3 will likely explore those questions, and the compelling nature of the ever-shifting mystery keeps us from dwelling on why Ben would happily send Michaela to the lake alone knowing that Jace was destined to attack her. Or how Kory got from the hospital to the root cellar before Jace, even with his bad leg. The narrative bumps in this series are familiar by now and are upstaged by the central mythology that keeps us coming back for more.