Wednesday, February 20, 2019

"Manifest": "Estimated Time of Departure" is a matter of karma



The recent episodes of NBC’s “Manifest” are certainly interesting.  (No connection to Jack Conte’s idea of “manifest observable behavior”, or maybe there is?)

In episode 11, “Contrails” (Jan. 14), Bill flies a stolen plane in circumstances similar to the original disappearance, and this one disappears with dark lightning, too.

A hiker gets lost and returns one year later without realizing it.

A getaway robbery truck is pulled out of the East River and the driver (Griffin) comes back to life, from drowning. He then has a “calling” that helps prevent a terror bombing in Times Square.



But in the season finale, “Estimated Time of Departure” it gets weird.  Griffin, outdoors, suddenly starts vomiting water and finally collapses, dead.  Ben and Olive calculate that Griffin died exactly as long after his “rescue” as he was under water.  Using inductive reason, Ben (Josh Dallas) wonders if that means that the flight 828 passengers will live exactly 5-1/2 years, until June 2, 2024.   

The underlying concept seems to be that everyone who came back with a “calling” would have died otherwise, and has as many years given as they were kept in “detention” by whatever agent held them. They all have “expiration dates”.

I have wondered about a “Matrix” type of solution.  That is, in my own novel, the major characters have been found as characters in a unpublished book by one of them, by a brilliant college-age hacker. The novel projects the idea of a pandemic which makes some people very gifted so that they can escape Earth (with the “angels”) and start a new world, while the “leftovers” all have futures severely compromised by the epidemic.  In the novel, a CIA asset has befriended the hacker (because the asset is a closeted gay and attracted to the hacker) and starts to track whether the unpublished novel is coming true.  

So maybe the characters who get “abducted” and have “callings” will all be found in someone’s fictitious unpublished novel.
 
We don’t know what NBC plans for season 2.

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