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TV ReviewsManifest Season 1 Episode 13: Cleared for Approach Review

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

Synopsis: Michaela digs deeper into her connection with a mysterious stranger, while still reeling from the outcome of Cal’s calling. After a close call with Major’s henchmen, Ben finds himself facing a terrifying new threat that is growing exponentially. Meanwhile, Saanvi has new data to mine, and she’s more than happy to dig into it until the threat arrives at her doorstep as well. (TVGuide)

Writers: Laura Putney & Margaret Easley

Director: Constantine Makris

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

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

“Cleared for Approach” starts off with a flashback of Zeke’s experience a year ago. He bought a magazine detailing Flight 828 before heading out on his climb. In present day, he asks if he’s dead before explaining getting stuck in a frozen cave on his hike. Ben returns saying it’s time to go, but Zeke is hesitant to head back into society. Michaela offers to stay with him which causes Ben to question everything. She hopes by staying Zeke may open up and reveal some vital information.

Ben is suspicious of Zeke’s lack of desire to contact anyone, but Michaela believes they can trust him and tells Ben to leave. They take Cal to Saanvi for an examination and she gives him a clean bill of health. They inform her about Zeke and brought some blood samples for her to test to see if he has the same blood markers as them. On their way home, Cal asks if Ben can come hang out and Grace agrees. They see a sign that suggests the passengers are aliens.

Back at the cabin, Zeke asks for answers, but Michaela has none except the crazy theories. They discuss family and she finds out that Zeke has no one terribly close to come back to. She touches Zeke and they are whisked away to a crappily greenscreened Calling that hears them say “Go Back.” Michaela believes they have to head back to the cave, but not before they get some supplies.

At home, Grace debates bringing Olive into the loop. Problem is that most people that learn of the Callings die. They hope to debunk this theory with Grace as their test subject. Jared swings by the house where Ben thanks him for helping them. Suddenly, someone throws a rock through their window and paints a red X across their door then drives off.

Olive approaches Ben and reveals that Cal told her about the Callings. She may not get the same Callings as them, but she wants to be kept in the loop and he agrees. Ben heads to the hospital to learn from Saanvi that Zeke has the same blood marker. They cross reference everything that could have been in common between the flight and the cave and find one: black lightning. She believes that the plane was the earthquake and Zeke’s situation was the aftershock.

Michaela and Zeke enter the cave and touch again revealing another crappy greenscreen Calling. She realizes it has something to do with the stars which just so happen to relate to Chloe. He came to the cave to admit to himself that he killed her. Turns out he brought Chloe camping alone and took his eyes off her for a few seconds allowing her to fall and die. He admits he has never told anyone so Michaela makes him feel comfortable by telling her story as well. Zeke reveals maybe he’s supposed to visit her memorial and face his demons.

Jared calls Ben in to see a suspect they brought in who has a hate-driven website, but they don’t have enough to hold him. Ben learns that the man, Cody Webber, was released and he decides to give him a visit. The man threatens Cal causing Ben to get hostile, but when the cops arrive he uses a livestream to frame Ben. Jared chastises Ben for his actions and playing into their hand.

Back at home, Cal questions why the police have to protect them. He questions what is wrong with him, but Grace tries to reassure him. Ben returns home and scrapes off the red X because his family doesn’t deserve that. Grace, knowing everything now, decides that they are a team and she needs Ben to come home. They proceed to scrape it off together. Saanvi finishes at work where she finds a red X on her lab door looking around for the culprit.

At the memorial, Zeke opens up about his sister and feels like he owes her. As they embrace, the Calling returns with Michaela’s voice now saying “Go Back.” Zeke suggests they stay in the wilderness, but Michaela says they have to return to the real world. They stumble upon a stick figure drawing that resembles their Callings before lightning fills the sky prompting another potential event.

Captain’s Log

  • How many other aftershocks were there?
  • Did Zeke and Michaela travel forward?
  • Are Fiona and Captain Daly really dead?
  • What is the Major’s plan?
  • How long until Lourdes finds out?
  • Who else will we meet from the manifest?
  • Will Olive learn that Juno is not a Greek goddess, but a Roman one?

Overall, Cleared for Approach was an alright episode. It feels like the story takes a backseat this week as we focus on Zeke’s backstory and the state of the world these characters live in. People are scared of the passengers causing some hysteria in society which either feels like a filler episode or plans to build to something much bigger. While it didn’t really go anywhere, the episode’s biggest pitfall is the abysmal greenscreen sequences that proves a great sci-fi series requires decent effects to immerse you in its premise. 

Score: 6/10

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

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