TV Recap: Manifest – Keeping Secrets …

“Unclaimed Baggage” (Episode 104)
October 15, 2018

In last week’s episode, we found Kelly’s killer, Ben added security to his house, and Michaela conquered her fears and drove again. If you aren’t caught up on the episode, you can read the recap here.  We didn’t meet any new passengers from the flight, but let’s recap who we know:

  •         Michaela Stone: police officer whose fiancé married her best friend while she was missing, Ben’s sister, hearing voices since returning
  •         Ben Stone: Michaela’s brother and father to Cal, hearing music and voices in his head since returning
  •         Cal Stone:  Ben’s son, Leukemia patient – condition hasn’t changed in 5 years due to flight, treatment from Saanvi’s research may cure him
  •         Saanvi Bahl: Doctor, working on cancer research, led to breakthrough on cancer treatment 5 years prior, right before the flight.
  •         Radd: Went to Jamaica to play for philharmonic, left son behind
  •         Kelly Taylor: Gave interviews with reporters, shot at end of episode 2

Now for this week’s episode…SPOILERS AHEAD!

The episode starts off with Director Vance taking Kelly Taylor off their list of passengers.  He is still looking for connections between the other 19 passengers that were at the hanger when the plane exploded.  They hold on a picture of the flight attendant, whose name is Bethany (Mugga) we’ll learn, and cut to a flashback of her on the plane. The pilot tells her they are getting diverted and law enforcement will be meeting them.  Panicking, she grabs a blanket out of one of the overhead compartments and stuffs something from her purse into the blanket.

Cut to present day. As Saanvi’s walking out of an elevator, Saanvi sees something walk by her.  She notices wet footprints on the floor behind it. When she turns around, she sees a stone statue come to life.  A bit startled, she regains composure when a coworker asks her if she is ready to go. Saanvi asks her coworker about Dr. Feldman, a neurologist, and her coworker tells her that he is still here and head of the department now.  Saanvi tells her coworker to go ahead without her and that she is going to see him.

MANIFEST — “Unclaimed Baggage” Episode 104 — Pictured: Parveen Kaur as Saanvi Bahl — (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers)

At the Stone house, Ben cooked breakfast and Grace is surprised.  She sees an open folder of newspaper clippings on the table and asks if he is scrapbooking.  The articles in the folder are all about Flight 828. Quickly, he puts the folder away and brushes it off to just being a pack rat.  Grace tells him that Cal wants to spend an extra day at the lake with his grandfather and he says that’s fine. Olive comes into the kitchen.  Still finding it difficult to connect with her, Ben asks her about her plans after school. She mentions that grandpa is giving her driving lessons, but Grace tells her that she will have to reschedule.  Seeing an opportunity to spend time with his daughter, Ben offers to take her, but Olive doesn’t want his help. Clearly defeated, Ben doesn’t understand what else he can do with Olive. Being the ever-supportive wife, Grace tells him to give it time and he will learn to speak “Olive.”  

“You are doing fine.”

At the station, a detective tells Michaela that there are bagels in the break room.  She tells him not to tell Harrington because she doesn’t want to get stuck in a car with him for 6 hours with garlic breath.  **Is she seeing the future, now? How did she know she was going to spend 6 hours in the car that day…or is that just a routine day for her? [Ed. Note: I got the impression that’s her normal partner].**  The chief drops some exposition about a big bust going down today. Important to remember that we’re told this ATF’s operation, no moves are made by NYPD without ATF’s say so. Just in case that becomes important later. The chief also assigns Michaela with Jared for the day; Harrington’s out with a broken pipe at his house.

Saanvi found Dr. Feldman and is discussing her MRI scan.  She presented it to him as a patient of hers, who is experiencing visions.  He tells her that it’s consistent with someone experiencing hallucinations and offers a comparison of the homeless person in room 810 that was accosting people on the street.  He has similar brain activity but the areas are more pronounced. We’re looking at early signs of schizophrenia. Saanvi leaves the office and sees the wet footprints in the hallway. Like a horror movie victim begging to be killed, she follows the wet footprints to room 810. Just as she approaches, the homeless patient comes out raving. 

“It was Bethany. Bethany! The flight attendant.” 

Orderlies plunge a needle in his neck and Saanvi looks seriously freaked out.

Title card

Grace gets a letter from the life insurance company. (But we don’t see her open it.) 

Ben and Saanvi are walking outside the medical complex.  She tells him that she saw something and that the neurologist thinks is a hallucination.  She feels it was more of a signal, similar to the image flash of plane, but it was real. After hearing herself, Saanvi feels like she’s going crazy and Ben reassures her that he is the last person she needs to say that too.  She describes what she saw and how the patient said it was Bethany, the flight attendant. Since Bethany would have access to the cockpit, the flight plan and the captain, Ben thinks she might know something. Saanvi wants to talk to her, but doesn’t know how to get in touch with her.  Ben gives her Bethany’s information and explains that he started a database of all the passengers to see if he can find some pattern. Grace calls Ben and asks him to come home.

MANIFEST — “Unclaimed Baggage” Episode 104 — Pictured: (l-r) Josh Dallas as Ben Stone, Parveen Kaur as Saanvi Bahl — (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers)

Michaela is sitting with Jared in a car working surveillance on a building where they think the gun buy is going to happen.  They see a truck come in, but are told the buy isn’t going to happen until that night. Even though something is blocking the audio, ATF isn’t worried and they have wait for the signal from ATF’s undercover agent.  Since they are going to be stuck for hours together, Jared and Michaela discuss options for lunch. They are laughing and reminiscing about places they used to go to together. The moment quickly became uncomfortable and Jared offered to get coffee.  As he is leaving, he gets a text and Michaela reads it (but we don’t see what it says).

MANIFEST — “Unclaimed Baggage” Episode 104 — Pictured: J.R. Ramirez as Det. Jared Vasquez — (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers)

Ben meets Grace at home and she tells him that the insurance money came in which was a half million dollars and there is nothing left.  She offers to sell her catering business, but he says that they will figure something out.

“I don’t see any way out of this.”

Olive is with her friend, Avery (Jon Viktor Corpuz), shopping and getting her makeup done. After Avery tells her how great she looks, Olive asks the clerk how much the makeup is.  It’s $120 and Olive replies that she will have to think about it.  Avery tells her again how amazing she looks and that she should use her allowance to get it, but Olive hasn’t gotten an allowance for a while and doesn’t want to ask for it.  As they are leaving the store, Olive steals the lipstick. The security guard notices, and stops her. 

Michaela is waiting for Jared in the car.  He asks if he missed anything and she tells him that he got a text message from Harrington thanking him for the tickets to the game (Busted! And not like the pipe …).  Jared tells Michaela that he is concerned for her and wants to make sure she is okay. Michaela pauses when she sees the stone angel too. It says, “Save him.” Misinterpreting the command, Michaela thinks it means the undercover officer is in trouble.  Jared makes the call to go in and try to save him. When they bust through the door, the officer is fine, but pissed. They were supposed to wait for his signal and now they blew his cover.

“I’m worried about you.  I need to make sure everything is okay with you.”

MANIFEST — “Unclaimed Baggage” Episode 104 — Pictured: (l-r) J.R. Ramirez as Det. Jared Vasquez — (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers)

Saanvi goes to visit the flight attendant.  Bethany remembers her as the “laptop girl.” Saanvi wastes no time telling her that she met a disturbed man who said that she did something on the plane.  Bethany seems relieved that she found him.

Cut to Vance’s office.  His colleague brings him a folder with a picture of the man Saanvi and Bethany are talking about.  His prints were on the plane and he was not on the manifest. Flight 828 had a stowaway.  Dun Dun Dunnnn! 


Flashback: Wrapped in cloth is cash and a phone.  Bethany gives it to Thomas (Sheldon Best), the stowaway who is impersonating a flight attendant. The authorities will know he’s not a flight attendant, so she tells him how to escape through the cargo hold. [Ed. Note: I take umbrage with Bethany’s claim that Stewart International Airport is in the middle of nowhere and that security would be lax there. As a regular user of this particular local airport, I can confirm that all she says is technically true but still, it hurt Bethany.]

“And then what?”
“And then you run.”

Back to the present day, Bethany is telling Saanvi that she smuggled him because he is gay and he is her cousin Leo’s boyfriend.  Their friend was beaten to death and they called out the local police for not doing anything about it. After that, they became targets themselves.  Leo had a ticket to leave, but Thomas couldn’t get a passport in enough time, so Bethany smuggled him on the flight. Leo never made it to the US though.  He disappeared a few years after they went missing. In an unfamiliar country and alone, Thomas had to find out on his own that five years had passed. Saanvi offers to help.

“We have to figure out a way to save him.”

At a whiteboard in the basement, Ben starts to play with numbers to figure out how they can get half a million dollars.  He finds a box of pictures of Grace, Danny and Olive. As he hears footsteps coming down the stairs, he stashes the box back on the shelf.  Grace hands him a sandwich and they go through ways to get the money back to the insurance company. Ben compliments her on her banking skills and she is impressed he figured out a way to save the house, her catering company and still make the money.

“That’s some really sexy math.”

They go upstairs and Grace notices a message on her cell phone from Olive.  She asked to be picked up and Ben offers to get her. While he is driving, he gets a call from Michaela.  She tells him that she completely botched an operation and Jared is taking the fall for it. Not feeling comfortable lying about her visions, she wants to come clean.  Ben reminds her that right now they are lying to the NSA and if they start to tell more people, they will be forcing them to lie too. He tells Michaela to talk to Saanvi and have her help make sense of all this.

Saanvi goes to see Dr. Feldman and asks to have a consult with the patient in room 810. He said that no one claimed him , so they are moving him to a state run facility.  Saanvi leaves the office and meets Bethany in the hallway.

“We’ve got a big problem.”

Ben gets to the store to pick up Olive and the clerk breaks it to him that A. she was caught shoplifting and B. Olive’s father already showed up … Oh Hai, Danny! Danny (Daniel Sunjata) walks out with Olive. (Awkward! [Ed. Note: Awkward and a shitty move on Olive’s part. Teenagers are the worst.]) Danny introduces himself, and Ben says that he can take it from here.


When we come back, there is complete silence in the Stone car. Ben has a flashback to when Olive was younger and they were playing with a model airplane in the park. It breaks and Ben turns it into a boat.

“Thanks Daddy, you always make everything better.”

MANIFEST — “Unclaimed Baggage” Episode 104 — Pictured: (l-r) Josh Dallas as Ben Stone, Jenna Kurmemaj as ten year-old Olive — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/Warner Brothers)

Back at the precinct, Jared leaves the captain’s office. Michaela stops him and asks what happened?  He tells her that he is suspended. Michaela doesn’t want him to take the fall for her, but he stops her.  He asks her if she saw something. Lying, she told him it was a gunshot. He refuses to believe that and begs her to talk to someone if she won’t talk to him about it.

“You need help.”

Ben brings Olive home.  He tells her about a time he stole a boomerang. (It’s hard to tell if this story is true or if he’s just using it to connect to Olive.) Olive asks him not to tell mom because she has so much going on. He reluctantly agrees. (When did kids start to make the rules and does he really think Grace won’t find out? [Ed. Note: These two are shitty parents.])  

Saanvi and Bethany create a story to get Thomas out of the psych ward. A nurse stops them and asks if she can help. They tell her that Bethany is Thomas’s mother and she is there to take him home. Suddenly an alarm sounds. A nurse comes over and tells them that means they are on lockdown because a patient tried to escape.  

MANIFEST — “Unclaimed Baggage” Episode 104 — Pictured: (l-r) Mugga as Bethany, Parveen Kaur as Saanvi Bahl — (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers)

When Saanvi and Bethany reach room 810, they realize that Thomas is the patient that escaped. Wet footprints are on the floor again, but Bethany doesn’t see them. Noticing Director Vance in the hallway, Saanvi and Bethany get out of the building and find Michaela driving up outside. They get in her car and peel away. Vance chases after them, but just misses them as they get away.

MANIFEST — “Unclaimed Baggage” Episode 104 — Pictured: Daryl Edwards as NSA Dir. Vance — (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers)


While Michaela, Saanvi and Bethany are in the car, they talk about the visions they are having and that they are similar, but different.  Bethany puts the pieces of the puzzle together and realizes that the stone angel statue with wet footprints is the “Angel of the Waters.” It’s the statue at the top of Bethesda Fountain.  That is where Leo would have met Thomas.

Grace comes home and is surprised and annoyed that Ben didn’t tell her about Olive.  He realizes that Danny told her and asked if she really ended it with him. She said yes, but he can’t keep secrets from her.  She reminds him that he wasn’t around. He is frustrated that neither one of them can let Danny go and maybe it’s not fair of him to ask that.  

“You have no idea what we’ve been through with her.”

When they get to the fountain, they find Thomas there. He is happy to see Bethany and asks her if it’s really been 5 years and where Leo is? She breaks the news to him that Leo never made it to the US. They need to get somewhere that Vance won’t find them.  Michaela takes them to a boiler room in the mall that Kelly owned. Ben joins them, but doesn’t think harboring a fugitive is the best idea. He doesn’t think following the callings is a good idea.

“I don’t think we have a choice.”  

A montage begins where Danny texts Grace about Olive; Jared marks a map where Michaela had callings about the Plyer sisters, Evie’s mom, and the gunshot; Saanvi is looking at her MRI; Vance adds the John Doe to the Persons of Interest list; and Michaela goes back to the fountain.  She asks the statue, “What do you want from me?”

End Credits.


My biggest take home from this episode is the roller-coaster ride that Ben and Grace seem to be on.  They are okay, then they aren’t. This constant, “maybe they can go on like nothing happened,” is not working. Ben seems so desperate to get things back to the way they were with Grace and also to win approval of Olive, that I’m finding his character obnoxiously annoying.  He needs to do what he does best (math) and figure out what happened to the plane. If that requires the help of science (Saanvi) then so it shall be.

[Ed. Note: Fuck Grace, y’all. Girlfriend is letting men run through their house in this super unsafe time, preaching to Ben about how he’ll never have to meet the guy she was boning for years (but still texting Danny on the regular), and letting her daughter sneak out of the house – literally out a window without a punishment, and then AND THEN, has the nerve to scold Ben for his decisions. And to be sure, he’s making shitty decisions as well but really?!?

They should split. Grace can go be with her heart’s true love, Danny, and Ben could go be with that hottie patottie, Saanvi, who is the only person he really has chemistry for on this show. End of rant.]

I felt the subplots of this story took away from the main story of Thomas.  I wish we learned more about him and Bethany. As a flight attendant, there is so much more of her story to tell and we only touched upon it here. Hopefully we will see more of her.  

I’m a little skeptical of Jared after the last episode.  Even though we saw him tear up Director Vance’s card, I can’t help but wonder if Michaela’s “instincts” will push him over the edge to actually consult with Vance.  Is he truly concerned about Michaela or is he keeping an eye on her for Vance? He’s a detective. He needs to put those skills to use and figure out what is going with Michaela.  He’s got quite a bit of time on his hands now …

Saanvi needs to share the information about schizophrenia with Ben and Michaela, and maybe convince them to get MRIs as well.  This way we can compare all of them and try to understand what that could mean for them.

[ed. Note: You can say you were referencing the “Angel of the Waters” show but you don’t fool me. The ladies were seeing Doctor Who’s Weeping Angels. And, it’s terrifying!]

Episode Score:  I give this episode a 3 out of 5 Casey’s.  It was better than last week’s episode, but the show is moving really slow.

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