The four main female characters: commitment, cuckold, and consternation
Let's take a look at the four main female characters who have starring role the series that many fans enjoy; whether they show their enjoyment through inexhaustible devotion or harsh criticism. Of course, this look is through the eyes of my opinion personal opinions.
Intellectual and involved fans like @MaryGrace, @tjlevi, @schroeswald, @chuckb, @wolflady-234567, @vivek, and other devoted fans may or not agree with my opinions. But one thing is certain, everyone has their own opinions. Different opinions are what makes watching sci-fi shows enjoyable. Without loyal and dedicated fans, it's impossible for any sci-fi movie or series to be highly successful. Manifest is no different and now needs the support of its fans more than ever. But fan support must be earned, it's not something that simply happens if it's not warranted.
Michaela Beth Stone Landon
In the pilot episode, Michaela was the off-screen narrator; her voice was used when the episode's first scene opened (in Jamaica) and during the episode's ending scene (the plane exploding on the tarmac). There has been no off-screen narration since the pilot. I initially thought Michaela's character would be the most important character on the show. I was wrong. That honor goes to Ben's character. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
Michaela has had a lot to overcome. She was responsible for the death of one of her BFF's, Evie. She was undecided about marrying the love of her life, Jared. After deciding to marry him, she finds out he has married her only remaining BFF, Lourdes. To make a long story short. She makes amends with Evie's family, and stabs Lourdes in the back by passionately enjoying a night of sex with Lourdes' husband, Jared. She later stabs Jared in the back and marries ex-drug addict Zeke Landon. Cuckold, less than 100% commitment, and confusion appears to be what Michaela Beth is all about.
Grace's maiden name has never been revealed. Which means nothing about her family has ever been revealed. Which also means that after two seasons, her character's story is woefully incomplete. But that does take anything away from how many fans feel about Grace. Some fans have come to adore her; others continue to hate her. There's something compelling about a character who can be both dividedly loved and hated by different groups of fans at the same time. Grace is that character.
After Ben and Cal disappeared along with the passengers of Flight 828, Grace found love again. Did you find true love with the enigmatic Danny, a substitute father for Olive, or both? When Ben returned, she initially kept her new love partner, Danny, a secret. Upon Ben finding out about Danny, she immediately had sex with Ben. Then she immediately turned around and cuckolded Ben by having sex with Danny. Later, after discovering she was pregnant, she revealed to Ben the secret about her miscarriage; that she had lovingly tried to have a baby with Danny because he wanted children. Eventually, Danny's ex-wife, Nina, was unable to conceive children. Now we know. Since Ben's return, Grace has kept "rebuilding her marriage" secrets from him. What other intimate secrets are she hiding from Ben?
Olive and Cal are twins who were born April 19, 2002. Thanks to what happened to Flight 828, the twins are now separated in age by 5 years, 6 months, and 28 days. How to accurately reconcile their age difference is beyond my mathematical skills. Olive first dated her boyfriend Kevin who 5-years earlier was her twin brother, Cal's BFF. Now she's dating her dad, Ben's mentee, T.J. Just like her Aunt Mick kicked Jared to the curb for Zeke, Olive kicked Kevin to the curb for T.J. Maybe Olive prefer older men over younger men.
Then again, who knows what Olive prefers? After she was/is in therapy twice a week. She didn't like Danny until he told her it was okay for her to lie to her mom, Grace. Remember what Danny revealed to Olive at the first meatloaf dinner encounter? "It's okay to lie to someone you love." Don't forget that Danny allowed Olive to store personal family items in his storage unit without Grace's knowledge. Olive and Grace are both very good at keeping secrets. A lot has happened to Olive's character. She and Cal were allegedly once inseparable; but she never once showed up during one of Cal's cancer treatments. Nor did she take the time to visit when he was in the hospital dying because of his paranormal-psychic link to Marko Valeriev. Olive told Grace that Danny was her dad, too. Grace agreed. Did the two of them ever agree that Danny was no longer Olive's dad, too?
Saanvi's character was initially the most rational and intelligent of all the main characters put together. She was responsible for saving Cal's life, twice. Once when she make sure he was enrolled in her breakthrough pediatric cancer treatment program. The second time was when Cal was hospitalized and she convinced the obnoxious and ungrateful Grace not to put him on antibiotics. Saanvi was the also one who discovered a unique marker found in the blood of Flight 828 passengers. Her discovery also subsequently led to her finding a way to remove the marker from the blood. Let's be honest, Saanvi took a "stupid pill" long before removing the blood marker.
She naively went on a house call to Alice Ciccone's apartment after a Red "X" had on her office door at the hospital. She gets a gun pointed in her face and she ends up willingly allowing the Major to freely probe around the inside of her mind. To make matters worse, Saanvi's Seat 8B "love of her life" no-show; was a married woman, Alex Bates, who never intended to leave her husband, Scott, for Saanvi who thought Saanvi wasn't serious about their relationship from the get-go. After Alex calms Saanvi's craziness down by medicating her; Saanvi goes out of her way to save Zeke's life by murdering the Major. And here is where we are: Saanvi will die because she can no longer answer the callings. She will either die at the hands of the Major's extremely dangerous associates or she will commit suicide. There is a possibility she will be struck by dark lightning and then completely vanish from existence, i.e., disappear from time and space.
What do you think about the four main female characters? How would you characterize them; eye-candy, evil, or even-keeled? Have their backstories been adequately revealed? What's great about each character and was is not so great? Are the talents of the actresses who portray their characters being fully utilized? Does the writing associated with the storylines and plots do each of the female characters justice? What do you think?
Since Grace Stone is my favorite character on the show, I will give my take on the erratic, to say the least, characterizations the "dream world" writers have created for her. S1, the hated Grace. I for one did not "hate" Grace in S1. Most of the hate came from "Oncers" who, in their minds, made Ben Stone and Prince Charming one in the same. Anyone who was perceived as being unkind, so to speak, to Prince Ben Charming Stone, was to be hated. The total incompleteness of the character development was extremely obvious. Very few examples:
1.) She "moved on" and why wouldn't she have. The incompleteness lies in the fact that she was NOT married to Danny. They traveled together, had sex together, conceived a child together, the guy had bonded with the teenage daughter, holy crap in the real universe they would have been a happily married couple living the good life. Instead she was knocked up out of wedlock and simply sexually serviced the Danny character.
2.) She chose, reluctantly, to try and rebuild her marriage. Okay, fine but did she really? She told Danny on the phone "you know I do" meaning "I love you." Not a good start at a try. She told Rob, her employee and Danny's best friend that she felt like she was cheating on Danny, really? Then she, as @charles reminded us, spends all afternoon and evening screwing Danny then comes home and picks a fight with Ben. Then she kicks him out of the house on the day of Red Hook because she couldn't keep an eye on the son she cared so deeply about that she paid big bucks on a headstone. I can only imagine who was parked around the corner in his LTZ waiting for a "coast is clear" text. I'm not sure how the writers decided that these and other events constitute a marriage rebuild.
3.) The truck ride to upstate NY was probably the most uncomfortable scenes I have ever witnessed. Danny's truck, crew cab, full back seat, well we know Grace was reliving the backseat sex her and Danny had in that truck. The Porsche would have been difficult to say the least. And why did the radio news cast annoy her so much? That is another unanswered question?
Then comes S2. What the heck happened to "wham bam, thank you ma'am" Grace? Now she is loving mommy, faithful wifey, and adds a total of zero to the show other than having Eden. Eden, what does a baby bring to the show? Okay the maker can be passed but why, pushing 40, Grace. They could have established that with another passenger subplot. Now we are stuck with a freaking baby.
Now S3. Since they totally reinvent the character each season, I wonder what she will be in S3. I think "Grizzly Mom" fighting off people trying to get to Eden unless of course Danny comes back and wants to claim the child. Who knows what she will do. Tell Danny the DNA says it's Ben's but "let me check my calendar. Yep, I'm ovulating so come on in and we'll make one for you." I don't know. The Grace character is so screwed up, literally and characterization-wise that there is no telling what Grace Stone will be in S3.
Anyway, @charles made an excellent point about SciFi. I recently watched a 2005 mini series called "The Triangle." This rich guy was losing ships in the Bermuda Triangle so he hired a team of four at $5,000,000 each if they could solve the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. Did he hire a team of a math teacher, a cop, a cancer research doctor, and a 10 year old boy? No. He hire a PhD. oceanographer, a PhD climatologist, a psychic, and a journalist to document everything. In three episodes and about 5 hours, they solved every thing from the mystery of the Manhattan Project to time travel to worm holes and got the $5,000,000 each. The "Manifest" showrunner seems to have a different perspective on SciFi and that is put clueless people in charge of finding answers and fill the "head scratching" time with everyone screwing everyone literally and figuratively.
Saanvi. What do they now do with Saanvi? She's pretty much useless as a problem solver. She, if indeed the Major is dead, is guilty of 1st degree murder. If not, then she is guilt of conspiracy to commit murder in the 1st degree. She, in my opinion, is only good for one thing and that is a creative way to kill her off the show. Maybe a grand "suicide by police" stand off in Times Square. Perhaps a brief love affair with one of the other major characters. Yeah, that's it. Grace has not shown her lesbian side yet. That would be fun. But I digress; Grace has been worked over pretty good in this post. Saanvi, bottom line is useless and needs to be killed off in a blaze of glory.
On another thought about the useless baby, little Eden.Maybe we have another "Black Lightning" event and Eden from the future swoops in to join the team. Maybe she is a PhD astrophysicist or better yet, knowing this showrunner, a beautician.
Thant is all for now.
Thanks @tjlevi and @MaryGrace. Reading your comments are far more entertaining and informative that watching how the show is being portrayed by those responsible for writing the scripts and developing the storylines.
Most of the hate came from "Oncers" who, in their minds, made Ben Stone and Prince Charming one in the same.
In my humble opinion, one of the biggest mistakes made by Jeff Rake and his writers has been their futile attempt to "typecast" Josh Dallas's character Ben Stone as a modern day facsimile of Prince Charming. For me personally, I "loved to hate" the S1 version of Grace more that I could tolerate the S2 Grace. Athena Karkanis is my favorite star on the show; she has my deepest sympathy and apologies for the way her character, Grace, has been developed and portrayed. I agree. As a character, Grace has become a perfect example that illustrates, what the hell were the showrunner and writers thinking?
Saanvi, bottom line is useless and needs to be killed off in a blaze of glory.
Sad but true. For all intents and purposes, Saanvi's character is dead. There isn't enough suspension of disbelief in the entire universe to save Saanvi's character. What the hell were the showrunner and writers thinking? Maybe it was part of Jeff Rake's 6-year plan to kill off Saanvi's character from the very beginning. I agree. If she has to die, let her die in a hellfire-like blaze of glory and not in some off-screen wimpish and emotionless kind of way.
On another thought about the useless baby, little Eden.
Will little Eden Stone experience accelerated grow like baby Isabelle Tyler in The 4400? Maybe in a few months, Eden will be 35-years old and fall in love with Grace's old flame Danny? This could set the stage for Danny to get Eden pregnant where she could then give birth to the Holy Grail. I realize that this is a preposterous idea; but it's still a better idea than having Olive babysit "useless baby, little Eden" while Grace is in bed at Danny's apartment "stroking his hurt feelings," and explaining why it's no longer possible for Eden, Danny, Grace, and Olive to be the family he had always wanted.