‘Manifest’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 4 “Black Box”

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Garrett Wareing, Luna Blaise, and Josh Dallas in Manifest. Image courtesy of NBC.

The Stone family is getting closer and closer to cracking the “Death Date.” While doing so, Michaela and Zeke find another passenger because of a Calling and get caught in the middle of a high-stakes bank robbery. Meanwhile, Ben and TJ try to piece together a set of mythological clues.

Keep reading to find out what happened in the newest episode of Manifest, “Black Box.”

Ben is in his office, pre-recording a video for Olive, presumably to be watched after June 2, 2024, if the Death Date is true. He says he wishes he was there to walk her down the aisle. “I need you to know that I never … I never stopped trying, Olive.” Grace comes in and asks Ben what he’s doing. Ben closes his laptop, and Grace tells him to delete it; he’s not giving up, and she won’t let him. Ben assures her he’s not giving up, and he never will. But he hasn’t found a new clue in over a month, there hasn’t been another Plane Calling in all that time, and he still hasn’t come across one other passenger who is even aware of the Death Date. Grace says he has five years; why is he torturing himself like this? Ben answers, “peace of mind.” Grace tells Ben she believes in him, he will find a way.

Ben is grading papers in his classroom, and TJ comes in, asking to speak with him. TJ tells him he had another Calling and asks what he knows about a bug, a bird, a fish, and a tiger.

Michaela is walking along a sidewalk and suddenly hears a Calling: “bring him back.” She’s looking everywhere to see if she can spot something, but she doesn’t know who and where. She turns around and looks at the bank, and the echo gets louder. Michaela walks into the bank, still not knowing who to look for but sees Zeke. She tells him she thinks she’s supposed to bring him back; Zeke says him too. Michaela asks Zeke if he sees anyone there who looks like they need help, and Zeke says not yet, but he’s glad they’re doing this together. A man shouts for everyone to get down and pulls out a gun. After getting down, Michaela tells Zeke she’s off duty and doesn’t have her weapon. “The Calling brought us here for this?”

The man in the mask tells the bank tellers to move to the back and demands everyone to give him their phones. Zeke tells Michaela they have to calm this guy down. Michaela says easier said than done; he’s a total amateur; he has no body armor or backup and hasn’t taken out a single camera. So he doesn’t know what he’s doing; that’s a good thing, right? Michaela tells Zeke no, it means he’s unpredictable and dangerous. Zeke says if he’s no pro, maybe they can figure out a way to take him down. Michaela gets up and walks toward him, saying she can tell he hasn’t done this before; he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, right? The man says he doesn’t care about money, he needs to get into the vault. Zeke gets up and takes him down, fighting him and taking off his mask. After seeing his face, Michaela realizes she’s seen his face on Ben’s passenger board. He was on 828. She tells the guy so was she.

After drawing the animals he saw on the board, TJ tells Ben he also saw “2012,” which he assumes is the year. He doesn’t even know what they’re looking for. Olive comes in, saying she was on her way to SAT prep and she just wanted to stop by and say hi, maybe borrow some money. Olive asks what they’re working on. Ben tells Olive that TJ had a Calling, and he’s trying to help him figure it out. Olive looks at the drawings and asks why they’re researching the Gramercy Club. The animals, that’s the logo for the club. Olive tells Ben and TJ it’s this members-only athletic club in the city; some of the rich kids at her school belong to it. Ben and TJ check it out, hoping to find something big there.

At the bank, Michaela tells the guy, Logan, that she understands. Coming back was hard for all of them. She felt confused and isolated. Logan tells Michaela he can’t believe she was on 828. Why are they at the same bank together? Zeke tells Logan they’re trying to figure that out. Michaela asks Logan if he sees visions or hears voices because she does, too. That’s how she wound up there. Logan hears sirens and helicopters, screaming at Michaela that she hit the alarm. Michaela tells Logan she’s NYPD and that she can help him. Logan says he doesn’t care about jail time; he’s trying to save his life. He admits he saw a vision of his future, his tombstone, over and over again. It’s real. Logan says if he doesn’t get what he needs from that box, he’s going to die.

“He had the Death Date Calling.”

Michaela tells Zeke no other passenger has any clue about the Death Date; that has to be why they’re at the bank. She suggests maybe they don’t try and stop him; maybe they help him. He seems to think whatever is in that vault is going to save him; maybe it will save them too. “You really think he has some miracle answer to the Death Date? Why?” Michaela tells Zeke he only has eight months left; if there’s even a slim chance of saving him, she’s going to take it. The phone starts ringing, and Michaela gets up to answer it, but Logan tells her no, no phones. Michaela says it’s just the cops outside; they’re worried about the hostages and want to talk. Logan says he doesn’t want to talk to them, and Michaela tells him to let her. He’s not the only one who’s had the Death Date Calling; he has to trust her. Logan doesn’t believe her and thinks she’s manipulating him. Zeke tells Logan someone has to calm those cops down if he ever wants to get inside the vault. Michaela makes a deal with Logan: They release the hostages, and the cops will open the vault for him. Logan holds the gun to Zeke’s head and tells Michaela to answer the phone.

Ben and TJ are at the Gramercy Club. TJ guesses they’re in the right place, and Ben says now they just have to figure out why they’re there. They walk past a plaque with different names and years. Ben asks TJ if that’s how he saw it, the crest with the year right below. TJ asks Ben if it feels this big every time he chases down a Calling. Ben answers, “every time.” TJ leaves to find the 2012 champions while Ben gets a phone call from Jared, who asks Ben what he knows about Logan Strickland. Ben says not much, he was on Flight 828, but he hasn’t been able to track him down. Jared tells Ben he’s holding up a bank, and Michaela is inside. She’s holding her own and keeps talking ESU back. Ben tells Jared he’s on his way and tells TJ he has to leave but to track down the 2012 champs. TJ says he found them. The winners are Frank and Logan Strickland. Ben tells TJ Logan is holding up a bank and Michaela’s inside. That’s why they’re there. Ben and TJ find Frank.

Once in the vault, Logan tells the guard to open Frank Strickland’s safety deposit box. Michaela asks Logan who Frank Strickland is, and Logan tells her he’s his brother. If he’s his brother, why did he just hold up a bank? Why didn’t he just talk to him? Logan says he wouldn’t listen; he thinks everyone that returned on 828 aren’t really themselves. Frank doesn’t believe Logan’s himself; he doesn’t exist. “And everything that belonged to me, that was my birthright, everything that our dad was saving for me, Frank took it all. I’m his brother, but he didn’t care.” The guard finds Frank’s box but can’t open it. He only has his key; he needs the owner’s key, too. Logan starts freaking out, waving the gun around and shoots at the box. But while doing so, he shoots the guard accidentally in the leg. Zeke tells Logan he’ll take him outside and be right back.

Ben tells Frank his brother Logan is holding up a bank in Seaside at that very moment. Frank says that’s not possible; his brother’s dead, he died on that plane. Ben tells Frank he knows that’s not true; that plane returned. He and TJ were both on that flight. “Then I guess you’re dead, too.” Ben pleads with Frank, telling him Logan is holding his sister hostage. He needs him to talk him down. Frank keeps saying his brother’s gone. TJ tells Frank to stop saying the 828 passengers are dead; they’re standing right there. “How can you really be you?” Logan didn’t age, had crazy visions, heard voices constantly saying that he was going to die again, and he kept seeing his own tombstone. Ben says he had a Death Date Calling, it’s real, and the passengers are going to die; he’s seen it, so has his sister, and so has his son. They are going to die on June 2, 2024. TJ hears everything, and Ben tells him he didn’t mean for him to find out like that, but he promises he’s working on a solution. TJ leaves. Frank asks Ben if he just said June 2, 2024, as in 6224. Yeah, does that mean something to him? Frank says he thinks he knows why Logan’s holding up that bank. He wants the key to his safety deposit box. 6224.

At the bank, the cops are standing by and ready to shoot when Zeke comes outside with the guard, telling the cops he’s badly hurt. Zeke keeps his promise and goes back inside. Ben and Frank get to the scene, and Ben tells Jared that’s the gunman’s brother; he’s got the key. Before they’re taken away, Ben tells the cops they can end this peacefully. Just let Frank see his brother and give him the key. Inside the vault, Logan is still trying to desperately open the deposit box. They hear a noise, and it turns out to be Frank. Logan tells Frank none of this would have happened if he had just given him the key. “You abandoned me. My own brother told me that I wasn’t a human being.” Frank tells Logan he didn’t understand. Frank gives Logan the key to the deposit box. After opening the box with their father’s things, including a compass, Frank tells Logan the compass is his. It’s always been his.

Before Logan is taken away in handcuffs, he gives his grandfather’s compass, which was passed down to his father and then to him, to Michaela. It saved his family; maybe it can save the passengers. Michaela looks at the back, noticing a peacock design. She shows Ben, who tells her his portion of the Death Date Calling was a peacock. It was the first step in understanding they were going to die.

“Well, maybe this is the first step in figuring out how we survive.”

Ben tells Michaela he doesn’t know how, but they’re going to crack it. Together.

Ben gets home, and Grace is waiting for him. Grace tells Ben she’s glad Michaela’s okay and Ben was with her. Ben says she was right.

“I am gonna fight like hell to make sure we’re all at Olive’s wedding.”

Catch Manifest Mondays at 10 pm E.T. on NBC.

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By Megan
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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