callings

« Glossary IndexLast Updated: Jan 18, 2019 @ 4:30 pm

Callings are thoughts, visions, sounds, feelings etc. that a character experiences “calling” them to say or do something to improve a situation or make something happen for a purpose they are not always sure of. Characters who have callings spend a lot of time discerning whether they are good or bad, or how to proceed as a result of them. In the process, they are realizing that they have a capacity to manifest something which offers one’s blessings (or curses) as they move from relationship to relationship reaching out and drawing everything together.

The first time the word “calling” is used is at the crime scene of Kelly’s murder when Michaela and Ben are speaking to her husband. After Patrick Kelly told Michaela and Ben that his wife describe her experience as a “calling” (103.6), it became a “shorthand” (cf. 107.16) for  the passengers’ experience.

Episode References

The first hint of the “callings” occur in episode 101.6 when Michaela hears a voice in her head saying, “All things”  just after Grace says, “The universe just gave all of us a do-over. Everything that happened before goes out the window.” Moreover, there seems to be a relation between the callings and Karen Stone’s favorite bible verse,

“All things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28).

The first calling seems to be the one that calls Cal in 105.28 where he sees a bright light out the window of Flight 828, and says, “It’s all connected.”  (It almost makes one wonder if Cal’s name is, in fact, a derivation of “calling”—as the first one called.

Who are the called? (Who gets callings?)

In episode one, when Michaela asks the rector/priest of the church, “How do we know if we’re the called?” he responds, “We know in our heart” (101.24).  It isn’t until episode seven, Michaela is able to realize this for herself (107.26).

As far as we know everyone on board Flight 828 receives callings. Many of them returned to the airport to witness the airplane explode, although they all understand them a little differently. For example, Rad, who hears music playing as does Ben, explains it this way, “For me, music is a higher power. So this music we hear, you and I together, it’s for a reason” (102.5).

What is there purpose?

Most of the callings appear to be sent to help other people. The first calling Michaela receives is when she hears a voice say, “Slower! Slower!’ she tells the bus driver to slow down. If he had not slowed down, the bus would never have been able to stop in time after a boy runs out in front of it (101.11). There seems to be a relation between the callings and Karen Stone’s favorite bible verse, “All things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28).

However, there has been callings in which people have died. Both Kelly (102.24) and Harvey (108.12) have died as a result of their callings.

What does the process of discerning them look like?

It’s messy. Some callings are sent privately to one person. Other callings have a party line feel to them. Here are three examples in which Michaela receives the same call as someone else. Whatever or whoever sent the calling, did they also forward it to Michaela, to assist, or what?

  • First, Michaela and Ben receive a calling, “Set them free!” thinking it was about two dogs (101.15), when it turns out to be about two kidnapped girls, Hallie and Samantha Pyler (101.19).
  • Second, after Kelly receives the calling “Own Your Truth,” she first wants to live a more simple life, e.g. she did not want to wear expensive necklace her husband bought (103.9), she then carries the calling further by talking to media about a conspiracy even though she hated politics (103.9), and finally sees it being connected to the “family business” which extorts illegals working at mall (103.16).  Each of the ways she  understood the calling had its own set of consequences, and offers possible clues as who might have murdered her.  Not overlooking Christine’s “confession” (103.24), we can’t be certain that the government was not connected to her death.
  • Third, when Michaela receives a calling “Save Him!”  by an Angel with wings, she misinterprets it and as a result, she and Jared botch an ATF operation (104.10). Jared takes the blame and is suspended (104.19). By the end of the episode, the true nature of her calling is revealed—the person who needed saving was Thomas (104.22). That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything else that happened beforehand was without merit. There may still be a connection (i.e. “All things work together…”).

How individual characters’ react to the callings has been noted by one critic as follows:  “One nice element of the writing in this series is that the individual characters react to the callings in a way that reflects who they are.

  • As a law enforcement officer, Michaela is trained and expected to act decisively under stress, so when she gets a calling, she picks it up and runs with it.
  • Ben, a math professor, and Saanvi, a researcher, analyze things for a living, so they are more analytical in their reactions.
  • From what little we saw of Kelly, she had a free-floating sense of entitlement and expected to be the center of attention wherever she went, so when she got the call to ‘own your truth,’ her first impulse was to go in front of the cameras and make herself the center of attention.” 1

Who is sending them? What is the connection?

After nine episodes, we have yet to learn how or who is sending these callings. Some viewers see them as some kind of divine interference that is somehow related to the deceased or to angels (both good and fallen). Certainly Michaela thinks so. Others, like Ben, would prefer a more scientific connection. Perhaps the experiments that are being performed on the missing passengers have created a mind to mind communication, that is, a collective consciousness among the passengers, which has taken on a life of its own.1

Michaela has made two attempts to communicate: First, she asks the Angel of Waters statue, “What do you want?” but has so far received no response (104.26). Second, following the explosion, she asks that Jared’s life be sparred. When Jared recovers, she believes it was because she “talked back” to the callings (109.22).

After Ben was unwilling to help Thomas, and in fact, walks away from him, Cal leads him through a subway back to Thomas (105.16). In the episode, Ben receives a calling, “It’s all connected” (105.6) in his head, only to hear Cal himself later verbalize it. Then at the end of the episode, Cal has an encounter with a bright light outside the window of his airplane and again says, ‘It’s all connected.” As father and son, and both having been on Flight 828, Ben and Cal, share a special connection. But so also does Cal with his twin sister (who was on Flight 537). As their grandpa Steve, states, “Being a twin is a heck of a special relationship. You always feel connected, no matter where you are” (105.1).

Significance

Are they curses or blessings? There is a lot of discussion about whether the callings are good or bad. Things that look like mistakes when following callings may not really be mistakes. It might all be part of the plan.

  • The ATF bust:  At first, one might conclude that Michaela made a mistake. But we are also told that there will be a thorough investigation of the event. We might later learn that the bust was going to go terribly wrong (in a way that hadn’t revealed itself yet).
  • Freeing the dogs: Could it have happened that way, so that Michaela had Jared with her for backup when she actually found the girls? Ben wouldn’t have been as effective in a fight, and the police wouldn’t have believed the story as easily about why they just happened to find the girls if Jared hadn’t been there to witness it.

Thus, it’s too soon to judge the results of some of the callings.

Related Scenes w/ references to “callings”

View Synopses
All Things... (101.6)

All Things… (101.6)

101.6 SYNOPSIS:  Michaela has no apartment to return to, nor any belongings. Therefore, her brother Ben and sister-in-law Grace et up a room in their basement. Grace tries to console Michaela, but she is more concerned with calling her fiance Jared. Grace calls what happened "a second chance."
—READ SCRIPT
Slower! Slower! (101.11)

Slower! Slower! (101.11)

101.11 SYNOPSIS:  While taking the bus home Michaela hears a voice inside her head yelling "slower."  She yells at the bus driver to slow down, which he does in just enough time to be able to stop before a boy runs into the street.
—READ SCRIPT
Hearing Voices (101.12)

Hearing Voices (101.12)

101.12 SYNOPSIS:  When Michaela tells Ben about the voice she heard, he tells her to keep quiet or she will be put in a psych ward and have the government do exploratory surgery on her brain.
—READ SCRIPT
Set them free! - I (101.15)

Set them free! – I (101.15)

101.15 SYNOPSIS:  During a run, Michaela sees two barking dogs locked behind a gate, and hears a voice in her head to set them free. Later, hearing the voice again and unable to sleep, she goes back to facility. There she meets up with Ben who tells her that he has been hearing the same voice.  Together they free the dogs.
—READ SCRIPT
Saanvi Fights to Save Cal (101.18)

Saanvi Fights to Save Cal (101.18)

101.18 SYNOPSIS:  A medical team is reviewing trial applicants and come to a consensus that Cal falls outside the trial’s qualifications. This causes Saanvi to take up his cause to Dr. Cardoso that he be allowed treatment.
—READ SCRIPT
Set them Free! - II (101.19)

Set them Free! – II (101.19)

101.19 SYNOPSIS:  After the dogs are found, Michaela and Jared return to the metalworking facility, where she starts to hear the voice again. After searching the lot, she breaks open a door, and frees the two kidnapped girls.
—READ SCRIPT
Passengers are called (101.24)

Passengers are called (101.24)

101.24 SYNOPSIS:  Michaela is in a church and is approached by a priest. She is curious if she is chosen for some higher purpose when Ben arrives. Michaela questions why they were chosen. Later, some of the passengers return to the airport and witness the plane explode on the other side of the fence from them.
—READ SCRIPT
Stranger in the House I (102.2)

Stranger in the House I (102.2)

102.2 SYNOPSIS:  Ben brings home a blueberry scone for Grace who is embarrassed when Ben sees her half dressed. In the kitchen, Ben hears music playing. No one else does. Olive confronts her mom about telling Ben the truth.
—READ SCRIPT
Times Square Music (102.5)

Times Square Music (102.5)

102.5 SYNOPSIS:  While in Times Square, Ben again hears music. He runs into a fellow passenger, Radd, who asks Ben to help him find his son Adio who has been arrested for robbery and put in jail.
—READ SCRIPT
Ben Follows the Music (102.19)

Ben Follows the Music (102.19)

102.19 SYNOPSIS:  Although Grace has bought new LEGO sets for Cal, he  wants his own stuff back. Olive takes Ben to a storage facility where she has kept Cal's toys and tells him she knew that one day he would come back. When Ben discovers scuba flippers Olive tells him about Grace’s secret. He then starts hearing the music again and finds Blake, the jeweler’s son, with a locker full of the stolen jewelry.
—READ SCRIPT
Magic vs. Technology (102.20)

Magic vs. Technology (102.20)

102.20 SYNOPSIS:  While Michaela and Ben have a debate about magic and technology, Olive just wants to go home.
—READ SCRIPT
Own Your Truth (103.2)

Own Your Truth (103.2)

103.2 SYNOPSIS:  Grace is worried about her family's safety while watching news coverage of Kelly's murder. Ben tells Olive to come straight home from school the next day. Michaela wants to find out what is going on.
—READ SCRIPT
The Crime Scene (103.6)

The Crime Scene (103.6)

103.6 SYNOPSIS:  Ben and Michaela walk past a gathering of "believers" and see the police already have a suspect in custody before gaining entrance into the house.  A short while later, Director Vance comes in claiming jurisdiction and tells them to leave.
—READ SCRIPT
Kelly's Calling (103.8)

Kelly’s Calling (103.8)

103.8 SYNOPSIS:  While Michaela is watching Kelly’s interview, Jared comes and tells her she is going to get into trouble. Michaela then meets Ben outside as they discuss the latest calling: "Own your truth."
—READ SCRIPT
Mr. Taylor's Mall (103.16)

Mr. Taylor’s Mall (103.16)

103.16 SYNOPSIS:  Ben and Michaela make a visit to Kelly's mall and when one of the store employees sees her badge, she flees. They chase her in a backroom where she reveals that many of the store owners are illegal. They learn that Kelly was trying to own her truth and shut down the family business.
—READ SCRIPT
Gray Woman (104.2)

Gray Woman (104.2)

104.02 SYNOPSIS: Things aren’t going to well for Saanvi as she starts to hallucinate watery footprints that lead to an ominous and almost statue-esque person.—>
—READ SCRIPT
Save Him! (104.10)

Save Him! (104.10)

104.10 SYNOPSIS:   Michaela  learns that Jared convinced her partner to take the day off so that he could have time with her to make sure she’s alright. As they start arguing, she sees the stone woman appear in front of her chanting “Save him.” She believes it has to do with their undercover asset and decides to move in on the operation, but it botches the whole mission.—>
—READ SCRIPT
Hospital Lockdown (104.21)

Hospital Lockdown (104.21)

104.21 SYNOPSIS:  At the hospital, Saanvi and Bethany are searching for Thomas and when they find his room, they learn he tripped the hospital alarm. Director Vance arrives closely behind looking for Thomas when a nurse reveals that his mother had arrived to pick him up. Now he’s looking for two people. Saanvi and Bethany exit the hospital where they run into Michaela. .—>
—READ SCRIPT
Who is Gray Woman? (104.22)

Who is Gray Woman? (104.22)

104.22 SYNOPSIS:  Saanvi and Michaela discuss their different visions of the gray woman . To Saanvi, she has wet footprints while to Michaela she had large wings. Bethany connects the two to the Angel of  Waters, a statue in Central Park, at Bethesda Fountain.
—READ SCRIPT
Blessing or a Curse? (104.25)

Blessing or a Curse? (104.25)

104.25 SYNOPSIS:  Ben is concerned about the callings, and says they cannot always be trusted.—>
—READ SCRIPT
What Do You Want? (104.26)

What Do You Want? (104.26)

104.26 SYNOPSIS:  Olive confronts Grace who is still talking to Danny. Jared makes a map of all the locations that Michaela has done something out of the ordinary. Ben and Michaela arrive at the boiler room with supplies for Thomas as he is added to the NSA’s persons of interest list. The episode ends with Michaela standing in front of the Angel of the Waters statue asking “What do you want from me?—>
—READ SCRIPT
In the Boiler Room (105.3)

In the Boiler Room (105.3)

105.03 SYNOPSIS: Ben questions what helping Thomas would mean to their safety. He doesn’t want to risk losing more time and Bethany suggests she take Thomas to a remote cabin up north because this isn’t everyone else’s problem. While Ben is onboard, Michaela feels obligated to help, but as he storms out he’s stopped by the voice saying It’s all connected. —>
—READ SCRIPT
At the Stone's House (105.6)

At the Stone’s House (105.6)

105.06 SYNOPSIS: When Ben decides to spend the entire day with Cal, he hears the voice again. He then asks his son if he ever feels like someone is controlling his life. Cal says yes, but starts naming all of the adults around him. Citing chaos theory, they flip a coin to determine what they will do for the day.—>
—READ SCRIPT
Cal Leads Ben (105.14)

Cal Leads Ben (105.14)

105.14 SYNOPSIS: On the subway, Ben continues to hear the voice as people take photos of them. Cal decides to jump off the train and be a master of his own destiny goading Ben to chase after him. He manages to slip away before saying the voice’s words: It’s all connected.—>
—READ SCRIPT
Blown Away (105.16)

Blown Away (105.16)

105.16 SYNOPSIS: Ben continues to chase Cal through an abandoned subway platform, and through a grate in the wall that leads him to Thomas. Cal introduces himself and says Thomas’ name even though they’ve never met. Ben questions how Cal could have known.  —>
—READ SCRIPT
Cal's End Game (105.23)

Cal’s End Game (105.23)

105.23 SYNOPSIS: Ben questions how Cal could have known where this place was and starts to get a bit angry. Thomas diffuses the situation and lets Ben talk to him about his concerns. He asks why Bethany isn’t there and Thomas proclaims she never showed up. —>
—READ SCRIPT
Spider Web (105.27)

Spider Web (105.27)

105.27 SYNOPSIS: Michaela finds Ben in his garage where he’s creating an information board about everything revolving around Flight 828 stating that they might have a voice in their head, but Cal has something different.—>
—READ SCRIPT
Time for Answers (106.16)

Time for Answers (106.16)

106.16 SYNOPSIS: After escaping the facility, Jared wants more information from Michaela and she comes clean about everything: the visions, the riddles, the government and the facility. Lucky for her, Jared believes her and says she isn’t alone. Michaela debates going back to the facility to investigate what is going on because other law enforcement isn’t to be trusted. —>
—READ SCRIPT
It's Not Over (106.24)

It’s Not Over (106.24)

106.24 SYNOPSIS: Director Vance is told that all the passengers are accounted for, but he is suspicious. He heads upstate to the facility. Michaela, Ben and Saanvi discuss the events of the day and Ben decides the best course of action is to find Marko. Vance arrives to find the place has been cleared out except for a fresh bloodied bandage. The episode ends as Unified Dynamic Systems sets up their new base of operations with Marko and the other passengers as the lead scientist tells his superiors that they will be back up and running in no time.—>
—READ SCRIPT
Heartbeat Calling (107.10)

Heartbeat Calling (107.10)

Michaela and Jared receive a radio call from dispatch that there has been a shooting. While Michaela is performing CPR on Enrique, a barber who was shot, she receives a calling (i.e., a heartbeat, and it is not Enrique's).
—READ SCRIPT
Weirded Out (107.13)

Weirded Out (107.13)

Although Michaela turns her head when Jared and Lourdes kiss, she denies being "wierded out" being invited to dinner at Lourdes' house. Later, when they discuss and instance when Evie in 6th grade wanted revenge not justice, Michaela hears a heartbeat which calls her to leave before dessert.
—READ SCRIPT
Suspect Tracked (107.22)

Suspect Tracked (107.22)

While Michaela and Jared are looking for the suspect, Michaela hears the heartbeat which leads her to the exact location of where the suspect is robbing an elderly man.
—READ SCRIPT
Heartbeat Connection (107.24)

Heartbeat Connection (107.24)

When Michaela returns to the barbershop she again hears the heartbeat which leads her to a photo Carlos has of her. Carlos tells that after she died in the accident her heart was donated to him so  he could live.
—READ SCRIPT
Ben is given a sign (107.26)

Ben is given a sign (107.26)

Michaela and Ben discover that Cal drew a picture of Carlos with Evie’s heart, showing how connected he is to everything that is happening to them.
—READ SCRIPT
"Don't Lose Him" (108.6)

“Don’t Lose Him” (108.6)

Michaela gets another calling, "Don't lose him." Is this a reference to Jared who had just teased her about coming in late to work? Or a man from flight 828 who Captain Riojas says wants to jump off the roof of Freedman College?
—READ SCRIPT
Failed Call (108.13)

Failed Call (108.13)

Michaela tells Ben on the phone that she failed the calling.
—READ SCRIPT
Michaela's Worry (108.22)

Michaela’s Worry (108.22)

Back home from their date, Grace tells Ben not to wait too long before bed. While Ben and Michaela update one another about the day's events, they worry what might happen next, as they both told Grace and Jared about the callings.
—READ SCRIPT
Points of View (108.26)

Points of View (108.26)

Grace finds Ben's note hat he is running an errand, and smiles watching her children. From her point of view, everything is good. Michaela fears losing Jared, and Ben fears the worst, too. As experiments on Marko/Cal have started up again, we'll have to wait until next week to see who has reached the point of no return.
—READ SCRIPT
Calling Connection (109.22)

Calling Connection (109.22)

Ben and Michaela while in the boiler room remember Vance. Michaela thinks he died because Ben told him about the callings. She says the only reason Jared did not die, is that she talked back to the callings. Ben tells her that we don't have control. No magic or prayer or callings can make it better.
—READ SCRIPT
Endnotes:
  1. Baby M at Doux Reviews
Categories: Terms
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