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The second season of Manifest ended with a jet tail fin being pulled out of the ocean, no doubt causing many fans to jump in disbelief from their spots on the couch. Jeff Rake, creator and showrunner of the NBC sci-fi drama, has promised that the upcoming third season will center on the mystery of that familiar tail fin. It will also answer some big questions that have been looming over the series from the start.
"The unveiling of the mystery regarding the tail fin is threaded throughout the season," Rake told SYFY WIRE and other members of the press at a virtual roundtable ahead of the show's Season 3 premiere on April 1. "However, we frontload revelations associated with it so I think that viewers will find that in the first batch of episodes we come to some fundamental understandings. We get to a point of clarity in regard to some of the most fundamental questions about the underlying mystery."
Rake, who noted that Season 3 picks up "about three months after the end of Season 2," also explained that the show has "been on this faith versus science debate" since its inception and will provide "some clarity about which side is winning that debate" in the first few episodes of the third season.
"And then there's the related question: What does that mean for the other side of the debate?" he added. "And just like in real life, I think a lot of people believe that faith and science are very much intertwined. That's a needle thread that continues to play throughout the season and beyond."
Just as he's said before, Rake confirmed he intends for the show to run six seasons.
"[The] series finale has always been locked," he said, explaining that the "master arc of the series has existed from the beginning."
He explained that when he pitched the show to Warner Bros. and NBC, he felt it was important the executives knew he had an endgame in mind and a road map to get there. "Because the audience in recent years has sometimes felt burned [when] mythology shows couldn't continue to pay off," he said.
So, with most of the big moves of the show having already been established, how much of the overarching story do the actors know in advance? According to Rake, nobody knows everything.
"Some of the actors know more than others because some are incredibly curious, and others don't want to know a damn thing and they find that it's more organic for them to find it out in real-time," he said. Although if pressed, he confirmed he will drop hints about story points within the season to the cast, "not to reveal anything beyond the season, [but] just to let them live in the present... [to] keep everybody's performance more organic and authentic."Parveen Kaur, who plays Saanvi on the show and who was also in attendance, admitted that she'd rather not know too much about the overarching narrative and just focus on her character.
"I am very curious of course but I don't really ask," Kaur said. "I like to just get the information as we go. I think I get too much in my head if I know everything... [so] I just try to work one scene at a time."
Kaur also revealed on the call that Season 3 opens with Saanvi still traumatized after killing The Major. She's working at a new clinic, which is a front for Robert Vance's headquarters.
Manifest is currently filming the final few episodes of the 13-episode season. Rake teased that there are "a couple really big things that are coming at the end of the season and pretty much no one knows about that yet. And I think that's for the best."
Manifest Season 3 premieres on NBC on Thursday, April 1.