Manifest

I've been watching Manifest over the summer and have now completed the first three seasons. A final fourth season is being released on Netflix in the autumn.

The series is about a group of airline passengers who return five years after their plane seemingly disappeared into thin air. For them no time has passed, but for the rest of the world five years have gone by. So you have twins now separated by five years, couples split up with one partner remarried and so on. And of course the FBI, NSA and NYPD all get involved trying to unravel this mystery.

The passengers who disappeared suffer from "Callings" giving them clues as to how to solve crimes, save lives and generally do some good. As the series drags on one calling is solved after another, but the story also gets intertwined with faith and religion. It seems as though all the passengers will eventually die, unless they all redeem themselves in one way.

What do I think of the series? The initial few episodes, in fact the whole of season one are quite good. The idea is great. But as the episodes go on, it all gets a bit tedious. Solving calling after calling. Some of the scenes are also a bit of a stretch, eg a kid passenger being able to talk himself into a top secret governmental facility researching the phenomenon.

There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, but it doesn't always seem hooked up. It's more like they are keeping you guessing as they work out how to write the plot. Still, they've done enough to keep me interested in seeing how this ends, if only because I have now watched 42 episodes. I can't help feeling the whole thing could have been a two hour movie or wrapped in one, at most two seasons.


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