TV ReviewsManifest Season 1 Episode 11: Contrails Review

For our review of last episode of Manifest, click here.

Synopsis: Ben heeds Cal’s calling to help Captain Daly clear his name for what happened to Flight 828, and the journey uncovers a seeming conspiracy that stems all the way back to the day the plane disappeared. Meanwhile, Michaela assists Autumn in her own journey of redemption. (TVGuide)

Writers: Matthew Lau and Bobak Esfarjani

Director: Marisol Adler

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

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

“Contrails” starts off with a flashback to Captain Daly’s perspective from the cockpit during the flight. During the storm, his co-pilot suggests they go up, but Daly sees no other option than to go straight through it. Back on the ground, Cal finds the Captain and asks for some wings, as pilots do for kids sometimes, but he says his wings have been clipped.

At the precinct, Michaela’s Calling is intensifying when Jared confronts her about the previous night. He wants to be with her, but she can’t be the other woman and tear them apart. She returns to the apartment where Ben is in a mess of his own. Cal received a Calling that Ben has to help a man from the plane, but he’s unsure where to go from there. That is until he receives a call from Captain Daly asking to meet to prove he wasn’t to blame for what happened to Flight 828.

He takes Ben to a closed hangar with every document on Flight 828 as they enter a cockpit that simulates the weather conditions of that night. Captain Daly has sat in that cockpit every day since the flight and hasn’t found a single simulation that comes close to how dangerous the real one was. He opens the binder to learn that the reports date all the way back until the day they disappeared causing suspicion for a potential government cover-up.

They go to a local meteorologist who knows what happened that night, but kept the truth hidden after the government got to him. He explains the theory of dark lightning which causes Captain Daly and Ben to plead with him to come clean and exonerate the pilot. With this new data, they return to the simulator and recreate the night in question, but each time they crash. While Ben says this is a great step in the right direction, Captain Daly isn’t convinced and believes that Fiona is a double agent for the government and she seems suspiciously against the Captain’s actions and theories.

At Michaela’s while she is hanging out with Ben, Autumn arrives asking for some help regarding her situation. After the plane disappeared, her criminal friends stole her identity and left quite a long list of theft charges against her, but she believes that Michaela can clear her name if she finds Clarissa Ford and Michaela agrees to help. Not before Ben calls Michaela for some help from their binder, which Autumn suspiciously looks over. Grace comes to pick up Cal where Michaela tries to tell her that she’s the best thing to ever happen to her brother as they both root for things to work out.

After Autumn left, she is confronted by a government agent who says they are overdue for a chat. She returns to Michaela’s apartment and breaks in to search for the binder, but after taking photos of all the pages she comes across Cal’s sketchbook. As she goes through the pages, the last drawing is of her which she rips out before leaving.

Things take a turn for the worst when Michaela receives word that the meteorologist was found dead leading her and Ben to rush to Captain Daly’s apartment. They come across his wall of information making Ben question his own methods and sanity, but they learn that the Captain has left to find another storm of dark lightning to prove his theory. However, he doesn’t plan to do it alone as he drugs Fiona to take her as his plus one on this flight. They arrive at the airport in time, but Daly takes off and heads to the storm.

They continually try to convince him otherwise and with the International Guard on his tail, Daly needs to see this through. As a flash of lightning hits the cockpit, an explosion is seen in the distance and the jets confirm the plane has been neutralized. Upon returning home, Ben and Michaela find a package from Daly, the wings that Cal had asked for. Ben starts to question Fiona’s allegiance when Michaela remembers that Autumn was there and puts together that she is the mole on Flight 828. As Ben tries to call Grace to warn her, she heads up to Cal’s room where he is nowhere to be found.

Captain’s Log

  • Where is Cal?
  • How will they confront Autumn?
  • Are Fiona and Captain Daly really dead?
  • Who is the Major?
  • Whose Calling are Michaela and Cal experiencing?
  • How long until Lourdes finds out?
  • Who else will we meet from the manifest?

Overall, Contrails was a decent episode of Manifest. Finally, we see what the events of Flight 828 have done to the man-in-charge and the depths he’s going to in order to clear his name. The Stones are slowly learning that the government will stop at nothing to make sure this cover-up stays hidden, but with Cal in danger it gives them even more reason to follow this through. The story of the week, while less episodic and more focused on the serialized parts of the season, proved to be entertaining, albeit not as emotional charged as the more family-centric stories.

Score: 7.5/10

What did you think of “Contrails”? Let me know in the comments below!

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