Penetration Altitude (111.20)

As the air national guard are called out, Daly heads right into the storm and climbs to “penetration altitude.” He thinks Fiona knows how to make the dark lightning happen, but she tells him she doesn’t know how. Daly then decides to go through the center of the storm.  He tells Fiona he will see her in 2024. Just then their is a bright light. The air national guard then broadcasts, “The threat has been neutralized.”

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The climb


As lightning and thunder can be seen and heard outside the cockpit, alarms begin beeping. 

BEN: Bill, you’re more than a pilot. You’re a father. You have a family.

DALY: They don’t need me.

BEN: No, I need you! You’re the only one that can help me figure this out. You’re the captain.

DALY: No. You’re the captain now. The passengers are your responsibility. You’re their leader.

As lightning and thunder can be seen and heard outside the cockpit, alarms continue beeping. 

DALY: Per protocol, climbing to penetration altitude.

FIONA: Captain, you think you were the only one who suffered because of Flight 828? My entire life’s work was proven true, and yet I was kept out of the loop.

DALY: Making airspeed 300 knots.

The plea

FIONA: If I were really behind all this, why would I not have included myself? I’ve heard no voices, experienced no collective consciousness.

DALY: Last chance, Doctor. Tell me what I gotta do to make the dark lightning happen?

FIONA: Daly, damn it! I already told you. I don’t know!

DALY: Then I’ll do the same as before. Let’s see if lightning strikes twice.

Back on the runway, Harris and Ben are looking near the horizon up at the sky at the three planes. Michaela has a tablet where overlayed on a radar image of the storm off the coast is a large plane (Daly’s) being followed by two smaller planes (the Air National Guard jets).

HARRIS: Come on. Get there.

The engagement


F-16 PILOT: Command, this is Viper One-One. Target is unresponsive. Heading toward land.

COMMANDER: Viper One-One. You are cleared to engage.

BEN: Bill!

DALY: Per protocol, adjusting flight path to storm center.

Lightning is everywhere. Thunder roars as Fiona starts to cry. 

FIONA: I’m not ready to die, Bill. Please.

DALY: Who said anything about dying? I’ll see you in 2024.

FIONA: No. No.

A bright light fills the cockpit. On the runway Ben sees a burst of white light in the sky amidst the lightning, and the roar of thunder.

F-16 PILOT: Command, this is Viper One-One. Threat has been neutralized.

On her tablet, Michaela sees the large plane disappear.

So what really happened to Daly’s plane?

It’s hard to tell if Manifest expects anyone to believe the National Guard shot down the plane with the captain and Fiona on board, but Ben obviously buys it. But we saw the flash of light, both from the point of view of the cockpit and from the ground looking up at the clouds. That was no missile strike! That being said, it’s not as if we can just wait around until 2024 to find out what really happened, so where are we going with this? Regardless of the answer, that one second of action was worth more than most of the longer scenes in the episode.

SOURCE: Michael Ahr (Den of Geek)

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