Manifest Season 3 Episode 8 Recap – Destination Unknown
Published 4 weeks ago
Ben undergoes a battery of tests. Saanvi teaches Ben about the mixture of iron, titanium, and a variety of other elements that, when combined, crystallize to make sapphire. Ben wonders whether sapphire is what’s on his hand — a fingerprint of what happened to him. He asks Saanvi if sapphire caused their disappearance and return. According to Dr. Gupta, these assumptions have yet to be confirmed. They still need to do many more tests and diagnostics before being specific or even beginning to speculate.
As Dr. Gupta speaks, Ben notices one person’s photo is on fire on the virtual passenger board shown on-screen; more pictures catch fire shortly. Ben informs Saanvi that he witnessed about 15 passengers explode into flames. He’s concerned it has anything to do with the black cloud lurking above Eureka. Ben says a slew of 828ers also witnessed it.
Saanvi tells Ben they received a package from the Vatican — a piece of driftwood. She’s not sure what it is, but it made Dr. Gupta smile. Ben asks Saanvi to take him there, but Saanvi says it’s locked up. They’re also adamant for Ben to go. She doubts they’ll allow him back in; they’ve completed all necessary tests. Ben urges Saanvi to find out everything she can about the driftwood. He’ll check out what’s going on with the other passengers.
Cal, Zeke, and Michaela are about to go to the school book fair. Michaela hovers into the WORLD tarot card on the ground — a volcano. She gets a calling as she draws near it. Once she touches it, the volcano almost comes to life, lava flowing — she gets burned. “I’ve never had a calling like that before,” she says.
Later, Ben finds Michaela still in the garage, staring at the tarot card. He asks whether she received the calling of the passengers exploding into flames. Michaela says she did not. She shows him the WORLD card from Al-zuras’ tarot deck. Ben enumerates some of the names of the passengers whose pictures burned on-screen. But he says it was hard to remember everything since everything happened quickly.
Ben believes the callings are connected. “How are passengers connected to a volcano?” Michaela asks. Ben thinks it‘s all about their lifeboat based on what he witnessed that morning. “Which passenger is endangering it?” he asks. Michaela examines the tarot card again and asks, “What if it’s not about the images? What if it‘s about the numbers?” She says 21, the Roman numeral on the WORLD tarot card. Ben identifies the passengers based on their seat numbers on the plane. Rachel Hall (Sarah Hunt) sits in 21E. He witnessed her picture burst into flames. “The question is: how is she endangering the lifeboat?”
Ben and Michaela arrive at Rachel’s residence and ring the doorbell. The lady who answers tells them Rachel no longer lives there. Her name is Hannah Hall (Erin Fritch). Hannah introduces her husband, Jonas (Robert Eli), who asks how they might assist. Ben asks whether they can put them in touch with his ex-wife or her relatives. Hannah says she is Rachel‘s only family; she‘s her sister.
At Eureka, Vance, Saanvi, and other scientists meet around the driftwood — Dr. Gupta at the helm. She says, “It may not look like much to the naked eye, but this piece of wood potentially reframes 828 as no longer a mere bewildering one-off, but as the next crucial piece in a metaphysical puzzle stemming back millennia. It may just be the key to unlocking why miracles happen, but how.” Vance says he and Dr. Gupta depend on each scientist to perform comprehensive diagnostics with their teams. “We need to understand what we have here, inside and out,” he says. A scientist asks about context. He says all they need to know is “it’s the only recovered specimen on the planet coated with the particular sapphire compound” discovered by Saanvi.
Ben and Michaela find Rachel. She is hesitant to talk at first, but when Ben mentions the callings, she lets them in to talk. Rachel says she thought she was going insane on top of everything else. Ben agrees and says it must not have been easy. “You think?” Rachel replies. “My sister marries my husband and moves into my home while I’m on a plane, and I’m the one who’s in the wrong?” she adds. Michaela asks what Rachel was doing in Jamaica. Rachel says she and Jonas needed a reset. So they decided to flee and got more than they bargained for.
Ben asks if they traveled together. She says yes, but she’d been in a car accident a few weeks previously. The sun was causing her terrible headaches, so she opted to return home early. The hotel refused to reimburse Jonas for the remainder of the week, and he didn’t want to squander the money, so he stayed. He received 2,000 instead of three additional nights without Rachel. Ben tells Rachel the vision he saw may want her to accept what occurred and reconcile with her sister before it’s too late. Michaela says they know Jonas and Hannah filed a restraining order. Rachel interrupts her saying it’s not what she believes. She knows she’ll never be able to separate them. She has moved on.
“Looks like you were right,” Troy tells Saanvi to check. Saanvi approaches him. He tells her the biological material they collected seems to be that of a bird — an extinct Phasianidae family member. “It’s not just any bird, it‘s a peacock,” explains Saanvi. Troy notes either the sequencer has to be calibrated or the peacock and wood DNA samples are around 6,000 years old. “That can’t be right,” says Saanvi. “How is it possible that this peacock has the exact same DNA anomaly as every 828 passengers, as the Meth Heads, as Zeke?” Saanvi asks Troy.
Troy asks Saanvi if the peacock, 6,000 years ago, has a similarity to what happened to the 828 passengers, vanishing and returning. Saanvi says the genetic aberration has not been discovered anywhere else in the world. She speculates that the presence of the driftwood is not by chance due to seismic activity. “Maybe we were actually meant to find it,” she says.
Saanvi asks Dr. Patrick Cooper (J.D. Martin) what he can tell them about the earthquake that unearthed the piece of driftwood they got from the Vatican. Patrick (J.D. Martin) says the region where the driftwood was found has many fault lines. Unlike the seismic activity that revealed 828’s tailfin, a succession of quakes likely brought it inch by inch up to the surface over time. Patrick, in theory, says an earthquake raised the tailfin from the ocean floor. “But the quake in question is a ghost,” he adds. People claim to have felt it, but there is no separating, shearing, etc. “If these tectonic plates could talk, they’d say that quake never happened,” he says. But it required something to shake the tailfin from the ocean floor, just as it took something to bring the driftwood to the surface, Saanvi hypothesizes. “But if they don‘t see it, no one believes it,” Dr. Cooper replies.
Saanvi shares that Captain Daly, the 828 pilot, said black lightning struck the plane, but no one believed him. Troy says dark lightning is an entirely unseen gamma radiation blast. Patrick apologizes he isn‘t an expert in weather, but if Saanvi wants to talk about a dormant volcano spewing out an old piece of driftwood, he’s her man. “Did you just say a dormant volcano?” she asks Dr. Cooper. He confirms, and Saanvi rushes to Dr. Gupta.
Ben and Michaela track down Ron Williams, Rachel’s former neighbor who recently spotted her and Hannah. Mr. Williams isn’t at home, but a worker noticed it and said there’s often turmoil in the Hall‘s house. The worker says Jonas yells and throws stuff when he gets home. “That paints a different picture,” Michaela says. Ben wonders if Rachel meant it when she said, “It’s not what you think.” Michaela believes Rachel fled Jamaica to avoid Jonas. When she returned, Jonas was married to Hanna. Perhaps Rachel’s calling and theirs are not about closure but Hannah’s safety. “Or protecting all of us,” Ben adds.
“You said the driftwood was found south of Armenia. How far south are we talking?” Saanvi asks Dr. Gupta. Dr. Gupta estimates a distance of 30 to 40 kilometers. This would place them in Eastern Turkey, to be precise. She never mentioned the driftwood being close to a dormant volcano; only one dormant volcano is in the region: Mount Ararat. Dr. Gupta asks Saanvi what it means to her. “A seismic event on the day of our disappearance yielded a 6,000-year-old piece of extinct cypress, most likely a vessel transporting animals laden with sapphire found near Mount Ararat… which is historically known for one thing. Mount Ararat is believed to be the final resting place of Noah’s Ark.”
Ben follows Jonas to work and notices a cleaning truck belonging to the same firm Rachel works for. He enters the building, activating a quiet alarm. Ben finds Rachel. She points a pistol at him, asking him whether Jonas sent him. Ben replies he’s on her side. He understands she’s only trying to protect Hannah. Rachel threatens to shoot if he doesn’t stop talking. Ben verbalizes what Rachel wants to happen: she has no desire to see Jonas again, and she just wants Hannah to be free of him. But her sister wouldn‘t listen. “You wanted to escape,” Ben tells her. “He wouldn‘t let me. And it‘s the same for Hannah,” Rachel replies. Ben encourages Rachel to put down the gun to know how he can help. Rachel says there’s no other way and flees.
Rachel rushes into Jonas’ office, brandishing a pistol at him. Ben tells Rachel not to. He assures her he will protect both her and Hannah. “You do not want to spend the rest of your life in jail, not because of him. He’s taken enough from you.” Rachel slowly gives the gun to Ben. A police officer enters, ordering Ben to drop the gun.
Michaela is perplexed by how her stuffy brother picks up a rap sheet in a matter of hours. Ben stopped a murder that would have sunk their lifeboat. “What if you‘d gotten hurt? What if you had died? What would I have told Grace or your children?” Michaela muses.
“What was I supposed to do, Mick? Ignore the calling? Sit still while another passenger ruined our chances at survival?” Ben replies. Michaela asks her brother who put him in charge of defending the entire lifeboat. Ben responds it was the calling when it showed him the burning passengers. It entrusted him with the responsibility of keeping everyone secure. They must do all it takes to ensure that everyone survives. Michaela advises Ben to pay attention to himself. “How do you know you‘re not the one sinking the lifeboat making sure no one else does?” Michaela asks. Ben never claimed it would be easy. Michaela exclaims fiercely, “It’s impossible.” There are 200 of them. He doesn‘t even remember the ones that went up in flames. That is the point, according to Ben. “Every day, there are countless passengers out ready to do something to ruin everyone‘s chances!” he adds.
Cal gets a vision of a volcano exploding with Michaela, Ben, Angelina, and himself shouting and covering their ears.
The most memorable aspect of these episodes is undoubtedly Noah’s Ark. If you had asked me when Manifest initially aired if I believed Saanvi would study a piece of Noah’s Ark, I would have laughed at you!
Manifest’s mythology is one of the most interesting and perplexing portions that has escaped us for seasons now. Yet Manifest continues to make significant movements one after the other. Manifest relates its secrets to stories of Christian faith in a concrete sense, not two episodes after the collective judgment reveal.
One idea we haven’t considered is connecting the driftwood to Al-zuras. Is it conceivable that this piece of wood came from his boat, or is it a piece of the long-lost ark?