‘Manifest’ Recap: Eureka Is Here in Season 3, Episode 4 “Tailspin”

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Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers

Last week’s episode of Manifest ended with Vance being introduced to Project Eureka. This week, he then welcomes Ben and Saanvi to Eureka, and the discovery is something they were not expecting. Meanwhile, as Jace, Pete and Kory get closer to their Death Date, Angelina tries to get Michaela’s help with Pete. Keep reading for a recap of this week’s Manifest, “Tailspin.”

Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers

Immediately starting off with the Calling of Ben, Michaela and everyone screaming and the plane blowing up mid-air, Ben wakes up in a sweat. On the bottom, we’re notified that two months has now passed, but Ben’s hand is still glowing. He texts Saanvi, who is furiously cleaning her lab, for a consult. Saanvi calls him and Ben tells her that it’s happening again. “Lighting up like Christmas.” It sounds insane, but Ben can feel the tailfin … beckoning him. He’s got to see it again. “Are you calling or am I?”

The following morning, Ben and Saanvi are separately driven to an NSA facility. Saanvi asks if he really thinks the tailfin is there, hiding in plain sight. Unmarked buildings, inconspicuous heavy security, sounds about right. Vance comes out and after Saanvi goes in, Vance tells Ben he thought he told him to sit tight and trust he had things handled. Ben wasn’t going to let him rot in Cuban prison. “Thanks for the favor, but I didn’t need it.” Vance starts guiding Ben and Saanvi to wherever they’re going, laying down the rules. He’s in charge of the entire 828 investigation now. After unlocking the doors, Ben and Saanvi are greeted by a sight they never thought they’d see: Flight 828, getting put back together with the broken and blown up pieces, and the tailfin, locked up but visible. “Welcome to Eureka.”

Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers

Pete, Kory and Jace are running as a clock is counting down. Both Jace and Kory are reeling from the Calling, as Kory is coughing up water. Meanwhile in prison, Pete is also reeling from it and Angelina is trying to get his attention. Angelina tells Pete she’s trying to help him before it’s too late. Pete says she’s been so nice, always going there. He doesn’t deserve this. “Of course you do.” Angelina chose to be there with him, she was chosen to be with him. Whatever he’s seeing, he doesn’t need to be afraid. Angelina tells him the Callings saved her, they can save him. Pete thinks they’re way past that. Angelina tells him they’re not. He drowned in that lake and now he’s back, breathing air. “But this second chance has an expiration date.” He has less than one week until his Death Date. Even if everything Angelina is saying is true, there’s nothing he can do about it in there.

Vance walks Ben and Saanvi through Eureka. He tells them they’ve undertaken a broad spectrum of projects surrounding 828. Everything from aeronautic engineering to meteorology, neurology, biology. Ben sees monitors of various neighborhoods and homes and Vance says the inquiry’s scope is necessarily all-encompassing. He introduces Ben and Saanvi to Dr. Gupta, Director of Research, who is less than pleased to see passengers in the facility. She’s a very committed researcher, but after two years of doing things a certain way, Vance says new approaches can … be challenging. Vance demanded full oversight, and as they can see, he got it thanks to the discovery of the tailfin. The discovery they made together, Ben points out. Which is why Vance let him in. And speaking of, Vance wonders what this mystery development is he called him about. Ben just needed to see the tailfin. He winces and his hand glows once again, hiding it in his pocket. Ben wonders when he can get close to it and Vance answers soon, he just needs to show them something first.

Michaela and Zeke visit Pete in jail, but he is not very thrilled to see her. When Pete sees Zeke, he’s surprised, recognizing him. “You’re the one. The one Angelina told me about. The one who survived.” That convinces Pete, and he sits back down as Michaela and Zeke sit down behind the bars. Michaela tells Pete that Zeke followed a Calling that saved Cal’s life and his own. He is one week away from his Death Date. Michaela pleads with Pete to tell her where Jace and Kory are. She just wants to help. After Zeke notices Pete coughing, he says that weeks before his Death Date, frostbite started setting in. He was dying. And now it’s starting to happen to Pete, hasn’t it? Pete doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Water in his lungs. Time is running out. Zeke tells him they’re there to help. Pete says he was in some dark place and he ran and got nowhere. Everywhere he turned there was this huge clock counting down. Michaela wonders if he’s seen it before and Pete realizes it’s from their high school football field. Their mom would work late so they would stay after practice throwing around until night. Them and Kory and others until they got booted off the team. After that, things went south. Michaela wonders who did it and Pete answers it was Coach Hannity. She asks why Hannity would do that but Pete says it’s because he could.

Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers

At Eureka, Vance says the hull of the Montego 828 plane that landed in New York’s been housed there since it blew up on the tarmac, under tighter security. “So how does a piece end up in Cuba?” The first question Vance asked when he was reinstated. And then he saw this. He plays a security footage from December 28, 2019 of the tailfin, and it suddenly vanishes. “That’s impossible.” As a colleague of his told him when the plane landed, Vance thinks they’ve taken “impossible” off the table. The tailfin disappears from there and their Cuban friends happen to fish it out of the ocean? Saanvi asks Vance if he’s sure it wasn’t stolen and that the footage wasn’t altered, but Vance is sure. Ben was right. The Cuban tailfin is the real one. Vance continues that unlike the rest of the plane, the corrosion on the recovered tailfin is consistent with having spent seven years in saltwater. “The time elapsed since 828’s original disappearance.” Ben looks at the timestamp on the footage and realizes the tailfin disappeared on the same night Zeke survived his Death Date and the meth heads drowned in that lake. But why? Saanvi thinks back to that night as well, when she killed the Major.

Ben’s hand glows more as he and Vance walk closer to the tailfin. They walk into the glass room that the tailfin is being held in. Ben tells Vance he doesn’t need a repeat performance in full view of a bunch of people that would like nothing more than to poke and prod at him like a mutant. Vance puts a code into a computer, making the windows tinted so no one can see what they’re doing. Ben reluctantly touches the tailfin, waiting for the same thing to happen that happened in Cuba. But when he touches it, nothing happens. “Lightning rarely strikes twice.” Vance wonders why Ben was so convinced he had to touch the tailfin again and Ben says he’s not sure anymore.

Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers

After meeting with Coach Hannity and getting information about what happened back then with Pete, Jace and Kory, and a teammate overdosing, Michaela and Zeke visit Pete. No one said the Callings were going to be easy. “They often get you to confront the most painful parts of your past.” Zeke thinks the Callings are trying to tell him there’s no running anymore. Zeke suddenly feels a connection to Pete, and he asks who he’s so scared of. Who is he protecting? The Callings are giving him a chance to choose a different path in life. Pete admits he never wanted to deal drugs, but he had to if he wanted to stay on the team. Coach Hannity made them. Pete’s terrified as he’s recalling what happened and he asks for the guard. Michaela pleads with Pete, he has a chance to save himself and Cal. But Pete is taken back to his cell.

Ben and Saanvi get ready to leave, but Saanvi tells Ben they can trust Vance. He wants to believe that but all this is much bigger than Vance. To this place, they are no different than the pieces of the plane, a mystery to unravel, no matter what it takes. Ben winces again as his hand glows. Saanvi points out that clearly, they’re supposed to be there, and Ben thinks it must be reacting to something nearby. Ben figures there’s something they’re not being shown. “Only one way to find out.” He sees an unauthorized door and he has Saanvi cover for him. He goes through the door, despite Saanvi not wanting him to.

Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers

Saanvi finds Vance and tells him it’s her fault. The tailfin reappeared at the bottom of the ocean because she killed her. Vance says that’s a huge leap to make but she points out the time stamp. The fin disappeared the moment she died. Saanvi’s a scientist, Vance reminds her. She can’t mistake correlation for causation. “Many impossible things happened that night.” Zeke wasn’t on 828, neither were the criminals who kidnapped Cal. Saanvi was. She was connected to the plane, she is connected to the plane. Saanvi tells Vance she’s come to terms with the fact that she has ruined her chances at surviving the Death Date. “But what if there are further ramifications?” She can’t jump to conclusions when there’s so much they don’t understand yet. Vance says to let it go. He needs his team laser-focused.

Someone mentions the tailfin to Vance and researchers are gathering around it, as Ben’s handprint is glowing. After wandering aimlessly through the halls and following his glowing hand, Ben starts running as he gets spotted by an employee. Soon more employees are trying to stop him. He opens a door and he sees a passenger in suspended animation. Kelly Taylor, who was killed by the Xers early on in season 1.

Peter Kramer/Warner Brothers

After busting Coach Hannity, Michaela visits Pete and tells him that Hannity will never again use anyone the way he used him, Jace and Kory. Now what? That’s up to him, Michaela tells Pete. But there are four days until his Death Date. Michaela gets up to leave and just as she’s walking away, Pete tells her he thinks he knows where she can find Jace.

Furious, Ben asks Vance when was he going to tell them they had a passenger’s corpse on ice. “The truth we’re all after… may well hover above the edge of traditional science.” They’re all aware that Kelly Taylor died from a gunshot wound to the head, a year and a half ago. However, Dr. Gupta says any medical examiner that studied her corpse now would tell him that her injuries are consistent with those sustained in an airplane’s midair explosion. Dr. Gupta continues that the subject’s tissues recently produced traces of a tropical algae strain unique to the Caribbean. A strain that is a genetic match for the algae on on the recovered tailfin. So her body and the tailfin are somehow reverting back to being at the bottom of the ocean? Before Saanvi has a chance to ask more questions, Vance dismisses Dr. Gupta.

They’ve scientifically proven what the Calling of the exploding plane was trying to tell Ben. “That we died on that plane. We were resurrected.” He doesn’t see any other explanation. Vance gives in, saying all his cards are on the table, now it’s Ben’s turn. Vance’s cards are on the table only because he found them himself. “I let you in here, didn’t I?” After he lied his way in. Ben says he was protecting himself like Vance taught him. It was only a matter of time before those lab coats out there figure out whose handprint was glowing on the tailfin, Vance mentions. They’ll want to study him. It’s not an option, Ben says. Vance tells him it’s time to ask himself the same question he was faced back in Cuba. “How much are you willing sacrifice to get to the truth?”

Manifest is airing a back-to-back two-parter this Thursday, April 29 starting at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on NBC! New episodes stream the following 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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