‘Manifest’ Recap: A New Calling Brings a Mysterious Storm in Season 2, Episode 9 “Airplane Bottles”

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Garrett Wareing, Josh Dallas, Jack Messina, and Athena Karkanis in 'Manifest'. Image courtesy of NBC.

In the newest episode of Manifest, Cal, Ben, Grace, and TJ are working against the clock during a new Calling that has them seeing a storm that isn’t there and questioning what exactly happened to Flight 828. At the same time, Michaela is being interrogated for what Jared has done.

Find out everything that happened in the season 2 episode “Airplane Bottles.”

Back on Flight 828, Ben and Michaela are sleeping while Cal looks out the window, seeing something bright in the sky. “It’s all connected.” Cal wakes up in his room during a big storm and walks out to the baby’s nursery.

In the morning, the storm is still going on. TJ, who is staying with the Stones while he recovers, doesn’t get why all those people at the club died, and the Callings saved him. Ben wishes they understood everything about the Callings, but right now, all that matters is that he’s safe. Olive brings out Al-Zuras’ journal so she and TJ can look through it, but Ben tells her she should let TJ rest. Olive is sick of losing people; she just got them back. If the key to surviving is in the journal, she’s not going to waste another minute. TJ tells Ben it’s okay; maybe it’ll help take his mind off the fire. Ben goes to check on Cal, and he’s trying to put something together. Grace doesn’t think he’s trying to make a crib. Cal’s getting frustrated; why won’t it work? It’s all connected. Ben tells him if he had a Calling, they need to know. Cal can’t remember; he says it was like a dream. But he thinks he was there when the plane disappeared.

“You know what happened to Flight 828?”

At the precinct, Jared meets with Bowers, who called Internal Affairs to talk to Michaela. She tells Jared that Michaela had a tape connecting him to the Xers. At least this way, she can control it. Bowers tells Jared that nobody said this was going to be easy, but she’s got all bases covered. If Michaela gets anywhere with it, she can undercut her and make it go away. “Meantime, she gets to say whatever the hell she wants to the rat squad.” Bowers tells Jared they have to play this out like any other investigation.

Michaela talks with Internal Affairs and wants to do the right thing. She tells them about her history with Jared, including their rekindling after getting back. Michaela says they made a mistake, and she thinks Jared took that hard. She can only assume that’s what caused him to turn to the Xers. They start to bring up Zeke, turning the tables on Michaela, interrogating her about her motives rather than Jared. They’re trying to understand why Michaela seems to have a vendetta against a man she almost married. Michaela’s concerned that the people he’s associating with might be involved with illegal activity. Michaela starts to sense they think she’s the bad guy; why do they have her case files? Internal Affairs has a few questions about her casework since being reinstated after 828’s return. Michaela realizes that Jared gave them the case files in order to save himself. If they don’t accept her explanation of the cases, she could be headed to a long prison term.

TJ wonders what has Olive so convinced that the journal is the key to everything and that they’re the ones who were supposed to find it. Olive says that the tarot card that led to this came to her when 828 was missing. Plus, the book is in Latin, and TJ knows Latin. Olive tells TJ that none of this was an accident; his survival, her survival, they’re all in this together. Al-Zuras had written that the Callings were a curse, but Olive says they do good. According to Al-Zuras, “For every blessing, a price must be paid.” Al-Zuras had his own Death Date. “And for every good that comes from the Voice, a trial must follow.” In other words, when the Callings save one from a fire, you better be ready for something bad about to happen. Olive suggests that maybe the fire was the bad thing. Al-Zuras had mentioned the hope to cheat death once again; he seemed to think he could get rid of the Callings. TJ says if they know what happened to him, maybe they could figure it out themselves.

Ben is trying to understand why Cal can’t remember what he saw; he feels like they’re on the verge of something. Grace mentions it’s like his drawings: he’s got something in his head, and he just can’t put it into words. Ben just wishes he understood what Cal wants to build. Olive asks Ben and Grace if Cal said something about a silver dragon. According to the journal, TJ says Al-Zuras had a recurring vision about a silver dragon. Cal’s Calling, the book … Everything’s connected, right? TJ says spider webs and silver dragons don’t make sense. “Well, the Callings never just come out and say something. It’s the point of the puzzle. Got to figure it out”. As the storm picks up, Cal comes out and says it’s getting worse. It won’t stop until they build it. Ben assures him the storm’s outside; they’re safe. Olive’s confused; a storm? What are they talking about? Olive opens the back door; not a cloud in sight; birds are chirping, the sun is bright, skies are clear. It’s beautiful outside. Ben and Grace realize the storm isn’t real; it’s a Calling.

“Something’s coming.”

Jared enters Bowers’ office, wondering why he’s hearing that Michaela called for a union rep. Bowers tells Jared that, apparently, Simon gave Internal Affairs the case files he stole. She thought she had everything under control when it was about Jared. Clearly, Simon called an audible, and now Internal Affairs is digging into everything. “So, he’s just gonna sacrifice me in order to take Michaela down?” Jared tells Bowers it could all blow up in their faces, everything they’ve worked for. If Bowers was Jared, she’d go have words with Simon and find out exactly how much of a hole they’re in.

“This is gonna hurt a lot more people than just you and me if things go south.”

Ben wants to know what Al-Zuras said about shared Callings, and although he didn’t say a lot, TJ mentions Al-Zuras had a lot to say about electrical storms. Ben looks at the picture in the journal and says the storm Calling has to have something to do with what happened on Flight 828. Why are they getting it now, and what is it trying to show them? Olive tells Ben that TJ thinks the storm is payback for all the good things that have happened. Ben tells TJ to get over it and then apologizes, saying they’ve never had a Calling like this before, one that lasted for an extended period of time. Are they the only ones seeing it? Ben tells Olive and TJ to find out what the storm has to do with the book while he goes to help Cal and calls Michaela to see if she’s seeing a storm, leaving a voicemail on her phone.

Cal is getting increasingly frustrated, and Ben tells him they just have to try again; each time they build it, they get a little closer. Cal’s tried, but he doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be. Olive tells TJ this was a Calling; it’s not his fault. TJ says he was supposed to die in that fire, and now everyone has to suffer because he didn’t. Olive tries to tell him the Callings saved him for a reason; they need him there, and she needs him there. Ben asks them where they are with the book; Cal needs help; they have to find a way to stop this. Ben looks through the journal, stopping at a picture of people dying. TJ says it means some of Al-Zuras’ men tried to get rid of the Callings but ended up going mad; some even threw themselves overboard. Olive realizes that they’re seeing things that aren’t there. Al-Zuras was a sailor, right? Grace is seasick; Cal is losing his temper; TJ is so upset, off-balance, blaming himself; the storm. Ben says it’s what happened to the men on the boat. He thinks they’re all going mad.

After bringing up Olive and Isaiah being part of the same cult and Ben having been involved in a number of the same cases as Michaela, Internal Affairs says it can’t all just be one big coincidence. Michaela keeps saying that Jared is an Xer; they can’t honestly think that her family had anything to do with this. They’ll know when they get their statements. Michaela says Jared is the criminal here; they have the surveillance. It wasn’t just any bar. If Michaela can prove that Jared is guilty of actual crimes, Internal Affairs is all ears. DiBacco, Michaela’s union rep, tells her not to take the bait, but she says they don’t care about the truth. She tells them Jared brought this on himself; he brings a threat to her family. She’ll let them know anything.

At the Stone house, Ben and Cal are trying to build whatever, and Cal keeps getting frustrated, saying it’s never going to work. Ben tells him the Calling is making everyone crazy. Al-Zuras went through the same thing; it was the storm. But they have to find a way to make it stop. Cal says he can’t, then runs upstairs. Everything starts creaking and moving back and forth. TJ starts to leave, thinking it’ll save everyone, and Olive tries to stop him. Ben tells him he can’t run out on a Calling; it won’t work. Whatever is going on is all connected. The storm seems to be getting worse, and Ben opens the door and sees lightning. He runs back to the journal and finds the page with the storm picture. The lightning bolt in the picture is the exact one he just saw outside. Lights flicker on the paper, a spider web. Ben thinks he knows what Cal’s trying to build.

At the precinct, Bowers tells Jared it’s out of her hands; Michaela’s giving the rest of her testimony downtown. Jared spots DiBacco, realizing he saw him at Simon’s lecture. She’s not going to make it downtown. Jared walks up to Michaela and tells her she’s under arrest for arson, conspiracy to commit arson, and homicide. “Detective Stone’s in custody. And she’s not going anywhere”. Michaela tries to get free, but it’s no use, telling him he should think about what he’s doing.

Ben is helping Cal, now knowing what they need to build. TJ doesn’t get what Ben’s trying to prove; there’s no way out; it says so right there. When they put the final piece together, Ben, Grace, TJ, and Cal are taken to a boat in the middle of a storm. They spot the silver dragon in the sky. Once back, the storm is gone, and Olive wonders what happened.

“It is all connected.”

Grace wonders if that was Flight 828 in the sky, and Cal thinks that’s what he saw. Ben asks if it’s possible: Were Al-Zuras’ ship and Flight 828 somehow in the same place at the same time? The same storm? “What does that mean for us?” That night, Ben tells TJ they might’ve figured out how to beat the Death Date, thanks to him. He translated it himself. “There is no way to be rid of the Voice. The only way to survive is to accept”. Ben says Al-Zuras is telling them following the Callings is the only way they have a chance. TJ tells Ben to keep reading. “All other paths lead to disaster.” Saanvi’s research, her self-medicating. Ben realizes it won’t end well.

As Jared takes Michaela to a cell, she tells him he knows damn well she didn’t start that fire. She will out him for every questionable thing he’s ever done. Jared shoves her into the cell and tells her she has to keep her mouth shut.

“I just saved your life.”

Knowing that Jared was most likely undercover the entire time and that he just saved Michaela from a presumed Xer, can he be trusted? Will Saanvi’s experiments lead her further down an already dangerous path? What does Al-Zuras really have to do with the disappearance of Flight 828? What are your theories?

Manifest airs every Monday at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on NBC, streaming on Hulu the next day. Check out the promo for next week’s episode below!

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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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