Often the word “hell” is used to express discontent or displeasure, and therefore, many consider it an abusive word. In other cases, it may be used to express disregard for conventional procedure and precautions.1
In the first 9 episodes, one or more characters in 23 different scenes use the word “hell” at least once.
- After Michaela pokes a hole in one of the front tires of the police car, he says, ‘Mick, what the hell?”
- Then, after replacing the tire and they drive away from the security guard, he says, “Mich, what the hell? That guy had an automatic weapon.”
- Then while Michaela is pointing her camera and taking pictures of a woman and a man approaching a red door to a barn, he says, “Mich, what the hell is going on?”
- And then when a man comes out of the red door, he says for a final time, “Michaela, what the hell’s happening?”
This appears to be more than a cliché. The writers would not have used it four times in a scene unless they were trying to make a strong impact on the viewer that what was going on behind the red door was significant.
The writers are using “hell” in a very creative way of depicting the character’s turbulent state of mind and being (i.e. “Turbulence” , the episode 3 title.) Although the common Christian concept of hell does not involve redemption, the writers might just be using a broader view (i.e, a purgatorial) or as a way to describe the “living hell” that the characters are experiencing. For more in depth discussion of this see the glossary entry for the color red.
References to the word “fall”
One of the background songs used in episode 3 is “Hurt Fall” by Twisted Box. It is the lead song on their album “Goddess” (2013) which also contains songs titled, “Supernova”, “The Fallen Will Rise”, “Our Last Stand”, “Fight for Life”, and others.
These songs all seem to have connections with Manifest. In episode 105.17, after Michaela visits her dad and opens up to him about missing her mom and seeing the life she could’ve had with Jared. Her dad tells her to go for it, saying, “I mean, if I’d been on your plane and come home and found your mother with some other man? I’d have fought like hell to get her back.” Is Michaela and the others on Flight 828 involved in a “fight for their lives”? Is this their “last stand”? Having fallen will they “rise”? Even “supernova” seems connected to the bright light that Cal sees looking out the window of the airplane (105.28).Endnotes:
- c.f. John Lawler’s comments on linguistics here.
In religion and folklore, Hell is an afterlife location, sometimes a place of torment and punishment. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as eternal destinations while religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the Earth's surface and often include entrances to Hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include Heaven, Purgatory, Paradise, and Limbo.
Other traditions, which do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward, merely describe Hell as an abode of the dead, the grave, a neutral place located under the surface of Earth (for example, see Sheol and Hades).