How Manifest Ep 12 Gives Viewers A Tutorial on Looking for Details

by Don Kincaid |
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Jan 24, 2019

Looking for clues during a rewatch has become just as enjoyable as sitting back and watching each episode for the first time. As viewers of Manifest have come to expect, each episode has many details that the average viewer might miss. The show’s creator, Jeff Rake, sometimes even gives his followers a heads up during a broadcast like he did this past week, and then there are other details he makes no comment about—even if you ask him. In between these, are of course a whole bunch of other details which have interesting connections.

In episode 12, just in case viewers need some help, the writers give us a lesson on how to look for details. The use Ben and Grace as our teachers. Like the way they did in episode 9 (cf. Heads Up: The red spot in Cal’s drawing is more than a blood stain) when Cal pointed to the blood stain to demonstrate how to look for red markers, here in episode 12 Ben and Grace show us where and how we should be looking for details. They are not only found in the foreground, but sometime hidden away in the background.

After they park the truck, Grace and Ben are in front of a cabin which they think is the right one, but they are not sure. They no longer need to look at the fold-out map they were using earlier. Grace now has Cal’s drawing to look at for comparison. They notice the stump out front and the red truck. But it is the detail in the background (i.e. the radio tower) which Grace using her phone zooms in on that causes them to look at one other, and run toward the cabin (112.16).

Similarly, we are encouraged to do the same when watching the episodes. The details we find are important signposts on the road map for future episodes. They are like the green sign that says 5 miles to Tannersville that we say on Grace and Ben’s roadtrip north (112.6).

The Radio News Report

Just as the exterior drawing of the cabin had a radio tower in the background which helped Ben and Grace find Cal, episode 12 has a news radio report (112.6). During this scene iJeff Rake tweeted, “The radio story matters.” But he didn’t tell us why. Like so many other things (i.e. the peacock in episode 109.17), we’ll have to be patient. We’ll have to wait.

After a short conversation about Danny’s truck, Ben turns on the radio. On one level, this simple push of the button reveals that although Ben is probably grateful, he does not want to have a lengthy conversation about Danny. He still has issues about him. But make no mistake about it, the news report is not filler.

REPORTER: “An hours-long high-speed chase throughout the boroughs ended in tragedy early this morning. The driver, the primary suspect in a brazen double homicide and theft of an armored car, plunged the stolen vehicle into the East River.”

I doubt if this is anyone we know. Afterall Grace says, “If there’s news, Michaela will have it first.” So it’s not likely that it was Danny. Like the drawing that was ripped out of Cal’s notebook, we will have to turn the page over (e.g. move into next season), to see what is going to happen next. I am sure there will be many surprises like what we saw happen with Zeke that are not yet on the radio (i.e. radar, horizon).

Tannersville Movie Marquee

Did you see what is playing at the movie theatre in Tannersville? As Ben and Grace are driving down main street the marquee has, “What Lies Beneath.” It seems that we might have another genre entering into the mix here? Not only do we have time travel (e.g. Back to the Future), time loop (e.g. Groundhog Day), but might we strange happenings (e.g. The Tommyknockers). Maybe Tannersville, N.Y. is not the quaint little town it appears to be. Do we have a partial remains of Captain Daly’s plane which may have landed years ago, exploded, and then been buried causing havoc in the region around Zeke’s cave? Or is it simply a shoutout to the 2000 supernatural horror film of the same name directed by Robert Zemeckis, Manifest’s executive producer? Not any more than the peacock (109.17) is a shoutout for NBC.

Wherever the story is taking us, I’m certain it will be better than anything we could imagine. We are already seeing this with the surprise at the end of the episode. It appears that our 828ers are not the only people who travel through time. As Stephanie Larson (TV Movie Fix) wrote,

“Holy good mother of callings! Manifest has just dropped a majorly jaw-dropping bomb, and we’re all for it! From a slow crawl, “Vanishing Point” immediately escalated into a vital turning point for the series. Call it a theory gone true but, with all the focus going to the passengers, it was almost easy to miss the possibility that they might not be the only ones. However, given how the world of Manifest is quickly expanding, I think we can expect more of these jaw-dropping moments soon. The passengers are falling off the wagon one by one. And new faces are coming to take their place.

What future episodes or next season bring, might be a different story. Time has a way of mixing things up.

Red markers turn blue?

Another detail in Episode 112 that did not go unnoticed is that Autumn mentioned that her child had “crazy red hair” (112.14). What might that mean?  I have already written extensively elsewhere on red markers, is that another red marker (and what about the barber’s red smock, the child’s red hat on the street, Zeke’s red jacket, etc.)? We still don’t know what they mean, but I am certain that these details do matter.

Interestingly, too, in this episode are we beginning to see some blue markers, too? There has never been a blue poster on the wall at the 129th precinct and if you click here you will see that one is prominently on display right behind Michaela’s head while she is learning that Autumn has a child.

And what’s with that blue hat she is wearing in the previews of episode 13? It’s too early yet to determine if their is any significance, but like everything else, time will tell. We’ll have to be patient. We’ll have to wait.

What if the details change? Then what?

copshot-michaelaOne detail which isn’t settling well is a sign in the background at the 119th Police Precinct. Viewers on Twitter, like Jessica, first noticed it in Episode 110. The sign reads “COP SHOT?” You can see it in the background behind Michaela’s head. At the time, it could have been placed there to foreshadow how Helen later in that same episode points a gun at Michaela and Jared when they open the door (110.17). But that is too simple.

But this time when the camera again showed Jared it had been replaced with another poster.

That same sign appeared again in Episode 111 behind Jared’s head on the morning after Michaela and Jared had sex. Michaela tells Jared that she feels guilty and no longer wants to work the same shift as he (111.3). Interestingly, in that scene although it appeared on the glass in one frame, several frames after it has been replaced with another poster about a homicidal vehicular accident. The photos below is a close-up of the actual screenshots. Go ahead. Click on them and zoom in, if you have to.

So what do we do when the details which we think are clues change. Is this a goof? I don’t think so. But it might indicate that what we are looking at is an abruption of not only the time continuum, but space, too. In other words, maybe we should just sit back and see what the writers do with this. Be patient, wait, and enjoy each episode no matter where the road takes us. Right now the only sign I want to see is, “NBC Renews Manifest for a Second Season!”

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