‘Manifest’ Recap: The Callings Go Tropical in Season 3, Episode 1 “Tailfin”

16 Min Read

After a very long year, NBC’s Manifest is finally back for season 3! The premiere takes place three months after the events of the season 2 finale. Ben and Vance head to Cuba where the 828 tailfin is while Michaela and Zeke’s honeymoon in Costa Rica is interrupted by another Calling of a passenger in trouble. Ben, Michaela and Cal also get closer to the truth of what really happened to them and Flight 828.

Keep reading for a recap of the season 3 premiere of Manifest, “Tailfin.”


In Havana, Cuba, Ben makes his way through a shipyard, asking locals about a boat that made an interesting discovery three months ago. He has no luck asking around but he soon comes across the San Antonio, the one from Cal’s drawings and the one that discovered the tailfin. Ben searches around the boat, but no one is around. He suddenly gets a Calling of him, Michaela, Cal, and other passengers, most notably an unknown woman, screaming and what looks to be burning alive.

After getting off the phone with Ben and Cal, Michaela tries to continue her honeymoon with Zeke in Punta Islita, Costa Rica, sitting down next to him. She tells him that Ben and Cal are just as floored by the Calling as she is. they don’t know who that woman is. For a stranger to show up in their heads after all this time in a Calling that kicked her ass. Zeke wishes he could help. “You are alive. And you are here with me. If surviving the Death Date meant saying goodbye to the Callings forever, then sign me up. I mean, sign us all up.” Zeke says he couldn’t be more grateful. He didn’t think he’d live much beyond their wedding night, let alone get to take the most epic trip in honeymoon history. Michaela thinks the universe is telling them to pack it up. Zeke knows it’s to help the woman and Michaela tells him that the Callings are a blessing in that they can save their lives, “but hell if they are not a curse, as well.” She can’t miss even one. Not if she wants to grow old with Zeke. He assures her she is going to grow ancient with him.

A woman is seen trapped in a tight, dark space, wanting to be let out. Her clothes and hair are ragged. Someone opens a door, and the woman is terrified.


After waiting for some time, Ben sees two men walking towards him. He greets them and starts asking questions about their boat. He heard rumors about what they found but one of them tells him they have no idea what he’s talking about. Ben offers them fat wad of cash for whatever they discovered and they take him to it. A sheet covering the piece of the plane comes down, revealing to Ben a tailfin from Montego Airlines. He can’t believe it. “My God.” Ben walks towards it, ever so slowly. “Everything about 828 is crazy. But everyone saw that plane land in New York.” How does this tailfin end up a thousand miles from shore? He touches the tailfin, getting a stronger Calling that affects Michael and Cal as well, about them dying. The energy flies him several feet away and knocks him out.

Cal brings Olive into the garage after getting the Calling. He tells her that their dad and Michaela were having a complete freak out but there was another lady, too. Olive tells Cal to break it down so he starts naming off characteristics while looking at the passenger board. Michaela calls Cal and he tells her he saw her better this time. Michaela tells Olive that there was a woman in their Calling and after giving a description, Olive starts pointing to pictures as Cal keeps saying no. She finally points to one that could be it. Cal says the hair is different, but that’s her, Michaela finishes. Angelina Meyer. Olive digs through her file, but Ben never talked to her. Michaela says there should be more and Olive mentions she was born in Long Island in 1990, current whereabouts unknown. Parents own homes in Idaho and, the real kicker, Costa Rica. Tamarindo. “The Callings really do follow us wherever we go.” Or tell them where they need to be.

Tamarindo is only a two-hour drive. Michaela hangs up and tells Zeke that Angelina seemed like she was really in danger. And so did Michaela, and Ben and Cal, Zeke points out. Either way, Michaela knows she needs them. Zeke thinks Angelina needs Michaela. “But where you lead, I will follow.” The two take off for Tamarindo.


Ben wakes up, still feeling the effects of the tailfin. He hears the two men a distance away talking. Ben starts to get up but whispers to someone into his shoulder to stay put, he’s fine. Outside, Vance says he sent him in alone to not spook the fisherman, and instead Ben spooked him. Ben tells him it’s the tailfin. “The literal tailfin from 828.” He doesn’t know what just happened, but he’s fine, he’s got this. For the record, Vance mentions he got a crayon drawing from a 12-year-old boy. He’s got them datamining and signals intelligence capabilities verifying a suspicious extraction from the ocean, and he got them an airplane. Vance’s point being that he’s running this operation, so if Ben feels in over his head, he needs to know. Ben pleads to Vance to let him pay their finder’s fee and be on his way. A cop, meanwhile, goes over to a group of kids who are watching a video of when Ben touched the tailfin and went flying that has found its way to social media.

Michaela and Zeke visit with Angelina’s parents in Tamarindo. She suggests they tell them about how Angelina was when she came back. The dad, Kenneth, says she was distant, closed off, while the mother, Noelle, says she no longer carried God’s light. They couldn’t connect with her. Noelle says Angelina wasn’t the same. She was losing her mind. Kenneth adds on that the more they tried to help, tried to pray with her, the more she pulled away. One day she packed up, passport and all, and left. They think back to New York where she grew up. However, it’s been months with no word. Michaela admits that she thinks Angelina might be in danger. She can’t explain, but she can find her.

Ben gets up as the two fishermen walk towards him, apologizing. He must have lost his balance. One of the fishermen says there’s something magical about Flight 828, maybe he got some of that magic too. Ben says he wishes he did. He switches the subject to payment. However, Vance, keeping watch outside, tells Ben they have a problem as cops are coming into the warehouse he and the tailfin are in. Two cops come in and just as Ben is about to ask something, he notices his hand glowing. Ben tells the cop he’s visiting and his new friends were about to take him out on their boat. But before he goes, the cop wants Ben to touch the tailfin again.


Back in New York and with Michaela on the phone, Drea and Jared are looking through Angelina’s records. According to Passport Control, Angelina never reentered the US after going to Costa Rica. Michaela suggests that maybe she wanted her parents to think that she went far away so they wouldn’t keep looking for her. Drea mentions that it looks like she had a friend in Costa Rica back in the day, Elena Rojas. “God bless the Internet.”

Ben tells the cop he’s not following. The cop saw what he did. He touched the tailfin. The cop shows Ben the video, telling him to do it again. He pushes Ben to touch the tailfin, walking towards him as Ben walks backward. Hesitating, Ben touches the tailfin once again, expecting the same energy as last time. However when he touches it, nothing happens. Like Ben said, it was some sort of electrical charge. “Lucky for me I wasn’t barbecued to a crisp.” There’s feedback on Ben’s device and the cop tells him to get on the ground, aiming his gun at him. Vance and Emmett come in, knocking out a cop. “You don’t know me – and trust me, you don’t want to.” The cop drops his weapon and Ben tells him he’s with them. Vance takes his first look at the tailfin, asking Ben if he doesn’t really think that’s the tailfin. Ben knows.

Michaela and Zeke meet up with Elena. She tells them that Angelina was distracted, paranoid, looking over her shoulder like she was being followed. Michaela asks if Angelina ever mentioned about her being followed or give any details. It’s important to tell them anything she might know because she didn’t go back to New York. Angelina is still somewhere in Costa Rica. Elena tells them that’s seriously all she knows. Walking away, Zeke asks Michaela was she really being followed or was she having a Calling? “Or option number three: the Calling was trying to warn her about something.” Angelina, meanwhile, is laying down on the ground, scared for her life. She grabs a knife from a plate and holds it near her.

Michaela and Zeke return to Angelina’s parents’ house. Michaela brings up the fact that if Angelina lived with them and she was so afraid, wouldn’t she have mentioned something to them? Someone following her, a stalker. Kenneth says there was no stalker, there was no anything. It was all coming from within her. Michaela suddenly gets another Calling of Angelina. Realizing she could be closer than she thought, Michaela asks to use the bathroom. Once Kenneth and Noelle are distracted, thanks to Zeke, Michaela goes downstairs, the Calling getting stronger and more painful. She notices a small door and when she opens it, it’s Angelina. Michaela comforts her as Angelina sobs out of relief.


Ben, Michaela, Zeke and Angelina are on a plane heading back to New York. No tailfin and no Vance, thanks to Cuban authorities. Soon, they’re home and Grace, Cal and Olive quickly greet them. Cal notices Angelina and introduces himself. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

At the precinct, Jared meets with someone who has been wanting Michaela’s help on a missing persons case. Her mother had been missing for a few months and she thinks whatever happened might be related to 828, it felt like the focus of her work. Jared looks at the file and it turns out her mother is Kathryn Fitz, also known as the Major.

In the garage, Michaela tells Ben she doesn’t get it. They were on that plane when it landed. They still have their fingers and toes, and so did that plane. “So how does a piece of it end up at the bottom of an ocean?” Ben has no idea, but it did. And he thinks it could change everything. Michaela and Cal had fractured pieces of the Calling, but Ben thinks he had the whole thing. What he saw, all of them screaming, it ties back to his Calling from months ago of the plane exploding in mid-air. “I think the Calling is trying to tell us that we died on that flight.” Ben’s statement shocks Michaela. They’re standing right there. Something inexplicably was happening. That tailfin in Cuba, Ben says, is the tailfin from 828. He looks at his still glowing hand, telling Michaela there’s no other way it would’ve done this or put them into that Calling. That’s not possible. Michaela recalls that they watched that plane explode. Ben says it was as if the plane itself had died. And now it’s back, a piece of it, at least. “As if it was resurrected.” And Ben thinks maybe they were, too and he thinks they’re about to find out why.

Cal admits to Grace and Zeke that although he’s no longer having the nightmares and seeing the three shadows, he’s feeling like how he was before. Like when he had the vision of the three shadows. Like he did before. When they were there. Deep in the woods in the once-icy lake, three bodies resurface and one of them awakens.


What will happen next? Season 3 of Manifest airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on NBC, streaming the next day on Hulu and Peacock!

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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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