‘Manifest’ Recap: “Fasten Your Seatbelts” Because Season 2, Episode 1 Has Landed


After leaving fans with multiple questions at the end of last year’s season 1 finale, one of NBC’s biggest dramas is taking flight for another season. It’s been nearly a year since the audience was left wondering who got shot, who the father of Grace’s baby really is, and the impending “death date” that the passengers of Flight 828 have.

Manifest finally returned Monday, January 6, so keep reading to find out everything that went down, including a surprise return, in the season 2 premiere, “Fasten Your Seatbelts.”

Picking up right where season 1 ended, either Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh), Jared (J.R. Ramirez), or Zeke (Matt Long) had just gotten shot. However, we start back on Flight 828, reliving Ben’s (Josh Dallas) conversation with Michaela about her and Jared. Everything starts to get distorted, and Michaela realizes she’s had this conversation before, wondering what’s going on and why they’re back on Flight 828. The sudden turbulence rocks the plane once again, and Michaela tries to convince herself this is just a nightmare. “The turbulence stops, the turbulence stops.” She looks to Cal (Jack Messina) and asks her nephew what’s going on. A voice keeps saying Michaela’s name, and the scene flashes back to the house where Michaela had just been shot. Zeke is trying to slow the bleeding while Jared is on the phone with the police. Michaela tells Zeke to run, and Jared takes over, trying to save Michaela. Zeke walks away.

The Stone family finds Jared at the hospital, and he tells them what happened. After long waiting, Saanvi (Parveen Kaur) comes out and tells everyone the surgery went well; it sounds like Michaela could make a full recovery. Ben visits Michaela, who asks where Zeke is; Ben tells her the NYPD is looking for him, and Michaela says she hopes they don’t find him. She admits she was on the plane again with Cal, and it was nose-diving — in her vision, it was crashing and felt real. Ben tells her he thinks it’s a Calling about them dying, not necessarily on a plane. He tells Michaela about June 2, 2024, exactly 5 1/2 years after the date they returned; the same thing that happened to Griffin is going to happen to them. Michaela says that Calling was different and asks if anyone else had a Calling about the plane nose-diving. Cal appears and says he did. He admits he was on the plane with Michaela, and Michaela says he was going to tell her something on the plane. The scene switches to back on the plane as it’s nose-diving.

“Save the passengers.”

Two months later, Ben meets up with Saanvi, telling her the Calling said, “Save the passengers,” which, to him, means tracking them down and finding out who knows something they don’t. Saanvi asks if it’s about the Death Date and says maybe they’re the only ones who know. “Out of almost 200 people?” Ben tells her someone has to have some kind of clue, some puzzle piece to help them try to stop it. He’s not telling people about the Death Date, not without a solution, not without knowing more.

At the Stone family residence, Ben and Grace (Athena Karkanis) had just gotten back from a doctor’s appointment, and Michaela is slowly trying to recover from her gunshot wound. Olive (Luna Blaise) tells Michaela that if she doesn’t want to be stuck in the basement, she could go to her room. Michaela says it’s just a few days, but Grace tells Olive if she’s willing to move downstairs, that could help them out because her room would make a perfect nursery. For the first time in a long time, everything seems like it’s back to normal, and the Stone family is happy.

Ben takes Michaela to his office, having updated his theory and passenger board, spending the past two months tracking down passengers. He tells her a bunch have packed up and moved away because of the Xers, they’ve blown up online, and now people are wary of them. Michaela says that she gets he’s trying to save the passengers, but they don’t even know from what. “The Death Date. The Calling told us we’re all supposed to die.” Ben tells Michaela they have until June 2, 2024 to stop that from happening. And if they can’t stop it? Michaela says if the Callings wanted her dead, she would be dead; it saved her life. What if “save the passengers” is about the here and now and if it’s about helping them one by one? Ben tells her he’s out there trying to help every day, but if all they’re doing is rearranging chairs on the Titanic, what’s it matter? Michaela sees a postcard from Zeke; although it doesn’t have his name, she knows his handwriting. “I kept running.” Michaela says he’s never going to know his Death Date; he’s in Canada. They have to help him; he’s innocent — they have to make it possible for him to come home. Michaela tells Ben if she could find a way to clear his name and prove his innocence, maybe Zeke can show his face again.

Michaela is at the NYPD, despite her not officially starting back until the following week. She talks to Captain Bowers and asks her to call off the hunt for Zeke; it was an accident. Bowers tells Michaela that’s not how Jared described it in the IA report. “He was mistaken.” Bowers reminds Michaela she told IA she had no recollection of the moments before she was shot — maybe she was mistaken? All this, this is why Bowers was brought in. She tells Michaela there’s been too many loose ends and too much mud water at the precinct. The bottom line is that Michaela’s new boyfriend and ex-boyfriend were fighting in her apartment, she got shot, and her new boyfriend ran away. “Zeke is not my boyfriend.” Bowers says she’s too close to this; she needs to go home.

Jared is waiting for Michaela outside of Bowers’ office, and Michaela tells him she doesn’t know what exactly happened that night but what she does know is that if he had stopped obsessing over Zeke, if he actually listened to her, then she wouldn’t have ended up with a bullet in her stomach. After Jared returns to work, Michaela looks at a missing persons board with the name Vasik on two lines. She remembers seeing both T. Vasik and A. Vasik on Ben’s passenger board, Cal’s “save the passengers” message echoing in her head.

Michaela is talking to Ben about what happened, telling him the board started shaking when she saw the name, and it’s like the plane Calling she had. Ben wonders if the Calling was meant to save those passengers, Trina and Anson Vasik. Michaela thinks it’s about saving all passengers; this is what she’s talking about, getting out into the world as opposed to being stuck trying to crack the Death Date. Ben says the work in there will help with the work they need to do outside. Ben tells Michaela he tried contacting the Vasiks, sending them a message six weeks prior, then an e-mail four weeks later, but never heard back. Michaela says their case file said they had kids, but the kids weren’t on 828. Ben remembers he spoke to Anson on the plane and how he said that he and his wife left the kids home, taking a sort of second honeymoon. They find a news article that says they left their kids with a neighbor, Sharice Fields. “She raised these kids for 5 1/2 years; then their parents come back.” Ben and Michaela know they have to talk to her to get more information.

They get to Sharice’s house and talk to her. Sharice tells Ben and Michaela there was no other family, so she was “Mama” all these years, and then their actual parents came back, and she became “Mama Sharice.” Sharice says those children are her angels, but Trina and Anson coming home was a miracle, so of course, she stepped aside. For the kids’ sake, she kept coming around. Michaela asks Sharice when the last time anyone saw Anson or Trina was, and Sharice answers that they put the kids to bed that Saturday night. She showed up in the morning since Sunday brunch had been their thing, and their Pontiac wasn’t in the driveway; they were gone. Ben asks her if Trina and Anson have had any threats or hostile encounters since they’ve been back, and Sharice replies, “Haven’t all of you? Harassing phone calls, notes on the mailbox.” Sharice says they’ve been hearing things, seeing things. Sharice takes them down to the basement, Bible verses plastered all over the walls. She says since they returned, it’s like they were born again. Ben realizes it’s the Callings; they were scared to death.

Grace finds Ben in his office, and he tells her the Vasiks clearly had trouble dealing with the Callings and were trying to make sense of them through Bible verses.

“And death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelations 20:14.

Ben says he can’t tell if they were predicting the Death Date or predicting their death would come sooner.

Michaela meets Sharice in a park, and she shows Michaela an envelope that was in the mailbox. “For them. For you. Goodbye,” along with a check for $87,000 with Anson Vasik’s signature. Ben calls Michaela and tells her he was right about the van that he’s been seeing; someone’s stalking the passengers. Michaela says she doesn’t think it connects to the Vasiks because they sent their life savings and what looks like a suicide note to Sharice. Ben brings up the Revelations Bible verse, “Lake of fire,” and they could be reenacting it. He tells Michaela there are a hundred interpretations, but if you’re driving around, suicidal, it could be any body of water in a fiery car crash.

After getting off the phone, Michaela sees Zeke on the other side of the road. He tells her he followed her from the house because he didn’t want to make a scene. Zeke tells her he wanted her to think he was gone; he needed to see her one more time. “I kept telling myself that tomorrow I was gonna be a better person. Now I find out there is no tomorrow.” He says Cal got to him. Michaela tells him he should get as far away from there as possible, living his life. Michaela can hear sirens, and Zeke tells her he called it in. This is what he needs to do with what little time he has left. No more excuses, no more running. What happens the next time Zeke gets a Calling? Michaela begs Zeke to go, but it’s no use.

After having gotten another Calling, Ben and Michaela drive to a lakeshore and spot the Vasik’s Pontiac. Anson and Trina are in the car talking, and Ben tells them he’s from 828; he came to tell them they’re not alone; they’re all in this together. Anson says they’re not supposed to be back; they’re supposed to die a second death; they’ve been hearing things and seeing things. Ben tells them he’s had the same experience, and so has his sister. Trina wants to know how to make it stop while Anson is revving the engine, about to go into the lake. Michaela gets in front of the car before Anson has the chance to drive the car into the lake. Michaela looks over the edge and sees a car, saving a family. Anson says the voices in his head are gone.

Ben is taking the trash out when he notices the same white van he’s seen while at other passengers’ houses. He goes up to the van, trying to get answers, and is soon taken. Someone takes off handcuffs, and Ben removes the sheet from his head.

“You’re not the only one who can come back from the dead.”

Season 2 of Manifest is already starting out strong, especially with a few big reveals already in the first episode. What are your theories for the remainder of the season?

Catch Manifest every Monday at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on NBC.

Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

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