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SYFY WIRE Manifest

Manifest showrunner reveals the two big Flight 828 mysteries that will drive Season 2

By Trent Moore
Manifest NBC.JPG

NBC’s ambitious mystery series Manifest returned for its second season this week, bringing plenty of answers — and questions — to keep the sci-fi series rolling into Year 2. So what are the biggest questions being asked this time around?

Showrunner Jeff Rake told TV Guide that in mapping out Season 2, they realized there were two signpost mysteries they wanted to explore as they look ahead to a potential Season 3: Exploring and explaining the “death date” surrounding the survivors, and digging deeper into the disappearance itself and whether or not that phenomenon has happened before (and if it will happen again).

“Season 2 is largely centered around two big ideas. One is the question of the death date. Is it a real thing and can it be undone? Is there a workaround for the death date? That is Ben's defining journey of Season 2 as he continues to take on the role of caretaker for all the passengers,” Rake fold TV Guide. “But it's also, on a parallel front, Michaela's journey throughout the season. As she grows closer with Zeke and as his clock ticks away — Zeke has one year to live because that's how long he'd been gone — Michaela is literally fighting for Zeke's life. So this idea of undoing the death date is the fundamental mythological question of Season 2 and we will answer that by the time we get to the end of the season.

Rake also noted those questions will obviously be answered through the journeys of the show’s key cast, with Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and Ben (Josh Dallas) trying to unravel these mysteries surrounding their miraculous returns to the world. He also teased Zeke’s (Matt Long) story would also be a key factor, as the survivors find others who have experienced the mysterious “Callings.” So, it sounds like we might learn about some other disappearances and returns as Season 2 rolls along.

“The next big mythological idea that will be unveiled in Season 2 is to what extent is the phenomenon 828 unique in the universe. When the series premiered and the story started, it appeared that this was the first time in human history that this had ever happened before and the world had never seen anything like this, people disappearing and coming back not having aged. Then, when we met Zeke and Griffin, we discovered [the passengers] were not alone. But the question is, are they the first? Have they launched some new mythological normal in the universe? Or are they a part of something larger that has existed for a long time? That question is gonna be asked and answered in Season 2. By the time we get to the end of the season, the Zekes and Griffins of the world — others who experienced the Callings — there will be others coming.”

Rake went on to tease the back half of Season 2 will introduce new characters that will propel a “mythological turn” to “distill our mythology” to set the stage for a potential third season — a juncture Rake teased will set up the “back half” of the series. So, it certainly sounds like the creative team has a clear roadmap for where this story is heading.

Season 2 of Manifest airs Monday nights on NBC.

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