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'Manifest' creator and stars tease final season twists, Ben's 'grief beard' and more at NYCC 2022
The hit mystery series makes its jump to Netflix for new episodes next month, and we have the scoop.
By Tyler McCarthy
The cast and creator of the hit Netflix mystery series Manifest joined the crowd at the 2022 New York Comic Con to discuss what fans can expect from the upcoming fourth and final season as the series shifts over from NBC.
The show, which makes its premieres on the streaming platform Nov. 4, 2022, will find each of the characters in a unique but precarious position as the series sets itself up to land the plane for one final run (pun intended).
When last we left the characters, Angelina (Holly Taylor) had brought the series to its darkest place yet by murdering Grace (Athena Karkanis) in the name of her religious zealotism. Not only that, but she kidnapped the Stones' newborn daughter, Eden. this has an impact on almost every character in the show, the effects of which will be seen more than two years later.
Creator Jeff Rake previously confirmed that Season 4 will begin with a time jump that puts the Manifest series' dreaded "Death Date" for Ben (Josh Dallas), Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh), Cal (Ty Doran), Saanvi (Parveen Kaur), and the rest of the 828ers closer than ever.
Speaking at New York Comic Con, Rake was joined by Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, J.R. Ramirez, Praveen Kaur, Daryl Edwards, Ty Doran, Holly Taylor, Matt Long and Luna Blaise where they each gave some insight into where the final season will pick up with their respective characters. For Dallas’ Ben Stone, he’s arguably in the worst place of anyone so far.
“He’s in a really dark, complicated place at the beginning of Season 4,” Dallas told the crowd. “He’s sort of stuck in this grief pit and this profound anger and, you know, that’s the thing about anger is it begs to stick around and kind of robs you of your beauty. You end up pushing the people that you love the most away.”
He noted that’s exactly what happens to Ben at the onset of Season 4: “Of course, his family is still there, his sister is still there, his son is still there, his daughter is still there and his friends are still there,” he continued. “But he can’t really connect with them so he pushes them away.”
So what is he doing? In short, Dallas said Ben has become consumed with the search for Eden. And, of course, growing his “grief beard.”
Among the many people that Ben is struggling to keep in his life is his son, Cal, who recently returned after a supernatural time jump of his own that saw him age five years after a brief disappearance.
“He blames him for Grace’s death and that’s a really complicated place to live and find your way out of,” Dallas told the crowd. “As their relationship carries on through Season 4 and certainly through the end of the first part, I think you’ll start to see it evolve and change into something different and hopefully something better and stronger.”
Ben isn't alone. Cal’s twin sister is also struggling with the same issues of blame: “Well, it’s a rocky start, I’ll say that,” Blaise, who plays Olive Stone, explained. “You’ll definitely see in episode one, I kind of blame him for everything a little bit. I’m really confused.”
As for Michaela, following Zeke’s decision, Roxburgh says the show’s number one love triangle isn’t even close to being finished. At the risk of giving away too much, she assured fans that it’s at the heart of Season 4’s plot and the two-year time jump: “Oh, that is not gone,” Roxburgh teased. “And that plays all throughout the season so don’t you worry.
Speaking of the conflict between Zeke and Jared, Long noted that the increase in Zeke’s powers has only grown during the time jump between Season 3 and Season 4.
“Two years have passed and his empathic abilities have continued to evolve,” the actor told the crowd. “So much so that it’s really his identity now and I don’t think he knows who he is without it and it’s a really dangerous place for him to be in. I’ll just leave it at that.”
As for Vasquez, things haven’t been going so well, as Ramirez states: “Jared needs new friends,” the actor joked. “Jared got demoted because of the Stones. He really needs new friends. He’s not a detective anymore, he’s back to being a lieutenant working as a police officer.”
He added: “Kudos to Jeff and all our writers. They’ve done an amazing job trying this whole story together. This season, because there’s this two-year span, [Jared] really took some time to work on his feelings with a particular person. He’s very light this season. He's got a lightness this season that I feel hasn’t been there and It makes me feel like he took the time to work on himself and move on from the situation.”
Other noteworthy teases included Rake telling the audience to simply “wait for it” in response to a question about whether fan-favorite character Saanvi Bahl will finally get a love interest before the show is done. Meanwhile, Edwards teased a new location for his character, Robert Vance, to do what he does best.
“He’s investigating. It’s great because every season we find Vance in a new lair, shall we say. This season it’s called the bird’s nest and it’s amazing.”
He added: “I think what you’ll discover this season is, you find a little bit more about Vance’s personal life and everybody. You find out more about who they are. It’s an emotional roller coaster for each and every character.”
Manifest makes its Netflix debut with new episodes on Nov. 4.
Looking for more high-concept mystery? Check out NBC's La Brea, which is airing new episodes Tuesday nights and streaming next-day on Peacock.