Reposted from: Manifest Season 1 Episode 7: S.N.A.F.U. Review

If you would like to read my review of last episode of Manifest, click here.

Synopsis: The detained passengers are secretly moved and subjected to painful experimentation, with Cal’s health directly linked to them. Ben takes advantage of an old friend to find out where they were taken. Meanwhile, a mysterious new version of the calling pulls Michaela into a murder investigation that has deep personal ramifications for her. (TVGuide)

Writer: Jeff Rake & Bobak Esfarjani

Director: Michael Schultz

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43 mins

Airs: Mondays at 10pm on CityTV (Canada)/NBC (United States)

“S.N.A.F.U.” starts off with a flashback to the plane where a passenger, Fiona Clarke, helps another passenger and tells her that the flight and this path is happening for her and they are all in this together. In the hospital, Cal awakes and warns Ben that he thinks something bad is going to happen to Marko. They discharge him as Ben pulls Saanvi and Michaela aside to discuss finding out more about Unified Dynamic Systems. He gets a job at UDS’ accounting firm J.P. Williamson to look into their books and find out where the money comes from.

On the way to his first shift, Ben learns that Olive goes rock climbing with Danny, but he says he’s okay with it. Michaela meets up with him and suggests he keeps a low profile so that the company doesn’t get suspicious of him, but instantly he’s referred to as Flight 828. He tries to get his foot in the door on the UDS account and then tries to access the server, but it all leads to dead-ends. He manages to get his boss’ ID card and find out that Fiona Clarke has been working with UDS.

Saanvi and Ben meet to discuss how Fiona’s work before the flight were based on theories about brain connectivity that occured with the passengers. They learn she’s holding a lecture later that evening and plan to attend. Director Vance questions why Ben got a low level accounting job and figures he is trying to follow the money, so he decides to watch his actions and hopefully get some leads of their own. Meanwhile, Cal lays in bed, traumatized of the events of Marko’s torture and Olive feels awkward going rock climbing with Danny and decides to leave.

Michaela goes to visit Evie’s parents with her mother’s dementia doing a lot worse. Michaela offers to stay a while. She meets up with Jared and discusses Evie’s parents when he opens up about the NSA keeping tabs on them and his job being threatened. They receive a call of shots at a local barbershop and rush to the scene. Turns out the owner was shot by a robber and Michaela desperately tries to bring him back, but it’s too late. She questions the man’s nephew, Carlos, about what he saw, but he’s hesitant to ID the suspect. Jared and Michaela come back to his place to have dinner with Lourdes and while Michaela seems awkward at first, they open up and talk about Evie all night. Michaela becomes distracted when she hears the thump of a heartbeat and decides to rush out. She visits Carlos for more answers and coerces him into giving her the truth.

At the lecture, Saanvi and Ben learn about Fiona’s Singularity Project as she notices him in the audience and says she’s been waiting for him. She expects they are there to reach out as victims of a similar trauma usually do, but they question her involvement with UDS. Unfortunately, Fiona had no idea that her project was government-funded so Ben decides to join in on a poker game at work to learn more about this program. He manages to befriend an IT guy who offers to show him some of the raw data he gets from the bigger companies.

Jared criticizes Michaela’s tactics, but Carlos comes to the precinct with the gun he planned to use for his revenge killing. As they go to ID the suspect they learn that he was released, putting a killer back on the streets. Olive returns to rock climbing with Danny and reveals she never enjoyed the activity, but the company and decides to stick with it. At work, Ben visits the IT guy and grabs information off his computer after getting him to leave his office. He informs Saanvi of the information, but Vance sees their messages and decides to intervene by taking the USB off his hands.

On the streets, Michaela and Jared try to track down the suspect. As the heartbeat goes faster and faster for Michaela, she realizes it’s a tracker for him. They manage to find him, holding an old man at bottle point, and arrest him. As Ben comes home, he sees Olive and Grace saying their goodbyes to Danny. They have an exchange about how Olive matters to Danny, but he won’t interfere with his parenting, but Ben just walks off.

Michaela returns to the barbershop to tell Carlos the good news when she learns that Evie was his donor when he went into heart failure. At home, Ben comes to Cal and explains the situation, saying a bad man took his information, but Cal explains that he is no longer a bad guy. Vance receives a call from Powell to move on Ben and take him in, but Vance says he was clean. The episode ends as Ben and Michaela confide in each other about their lack of faith and the odd connectivity with the other passengers. Ben wants a sign and he gets it, seeing that Cal drew a picture of Carlos with Evie’s heart, showing how intertwined everyone’s lives have become.

Captain’s Log

  • Who or what is the mysterious shadow figure?
  • What is the mysterious voice and what does it want with the passengers?
  • What did the light do to Cal?
  • Will Danny get frustrated with his current situation?
  • What will happen to Marko?
  • Will Director Vance continue to help Ben behind the scenes?
  • Who else will we meet from the manifest?

Overall, this was a great episode. This show is at its best when it can manage to be push the main plot forward while supplementing it with strong character moments and there was plenty of both this week. The connectivity of the passengers is elevated by the emotional struggles that both Michaela and Ben are facing in their respective personal lives, but the strength of this episode is again in the mystery thriller aspect. Ben has gone full account spy and it makes his private investigator side job the most intriguing part of this show. With his intellect and Michaela’s skillset, could they become a team that allows this series to go beyond its current arc? With how strong these characters are and the world they are in, signs point to yes.

Score: 8.5/10

What did you think of “S.N.A.F.U.”? Let me know in the comments below!

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