We're finally starting to see the bigger picture on Manifest. Monday's shocking Season 1 finale featured a major reveal that sets up the rest of the series while also raising even bigger questions about what it all means.
As we learn more about psychic phenomenon known as the Calling, how the passengers interpret it seems to be more important than the actual Callings themselves. The season finale zeroed in on Griffin (Marc Menchaca), who manipulated the Calling to get away with murder and was ready to expose it to the world as a way of increasing his celebrity. But before he could reveal the Calling, he drowned like he was originally supposed to at the bottom of the Hudson River. It looked like he was being punished for his sins until Ben (Josh Dallas) and Olive's (Luna Blaise) stunning discovery that the survivors of Flight 828 may be living with expiration dates suggested the timing of Griffin's death may have been coincidental after all.
Towards the end of the episode, they both reached the conclusion that the passengers are living on borrowed time--the exact amount coinciding with how long they'd been gone--meaning the passengers may only have five and half years to live. It's a mystery that will continue to unravel as Ben and the rest of the gang try to figure out whether or not their time is actually limited.
But there are more immediate questions that need to be answered, like whether or not the gun that went off in the scuffle between Jared (J.R. Ramirez) and Zeke (Matt Long) ended with a fatality. TV Guide hit up Manifest creator and showrunner Jeff Rake for some answers on that finale cliffhanger as well as what that game-changing reveal about the Calling means moving forward, how Grace's (Athena Karkanis) baby bombshell will affect her marriage to Ben, and what to expect in the probable second season.
You teased a reveal that would set up the whole series and in this episode, we learn that all the survivors may have an expiration date. How does this set the stage for the series? Will it be about them trying to figure out a way to stay alive?
Jeff Rake: It's kind of a metaphorical bomb that drops in the lap of Ben and Grace and Olive in those final moments of the season finale. It is compelling given that Ben reached the calculus in one way while Olive reached it in a different, mythological way. The fact that they reached the same result carries a lot of weight for them but it's still just a theory that will require Ben and others to set out to try to figure out if there are ways that they can confirm this theory that is, in a sense, the worst nightmare for them. And then also, try to figure out if this is their fate, then can it be overcome? Is it sealed or is it something that can somehow be defied? That will be an ongoing question for our heroes for the remainder of the series and that'll drive a lot of their actions in Season 2 and beyond.
That will, of course, lead to a lot of collateral behavior as the word spreads among the passenger community that they may only have five and a half years left. It will lead to a lot of different actions on the part of people who believe. There will be denialists who throw caution to the wind and try to seize the day, so to speak. And that can run the gamut from people trying to check off their bucket list to people deciding that rules don't matter--that laws don't matter--to people deciding this is the time for them to lead the best possible life that they can live. It is going to drive a lot of story both in terms of our heroes trying to stop the clock but also will lead to a lot of questionable behavior that would create a lot of work for Ben and Michaela not only as self-appointed caretakers of the group, but also for Michaela in her role as law enforcement. There will be people within the passenger community who couldn't care less about breaking the law if they feel like they're not gonna be around for so long and so, the proverbial s--- may just hit the fan.
How the passengers interpret the Calling seems to be key in understanding the series so what can you tell me about the Calling? Is it omniscient? What does it want?
Rake: The way you posed the question, 'what does the Calling want?' presumes that the Calling is something. That presumes that the Calling is omniscient. It may be, it may not be. On the other hand, as Ben and Grace theorized, they may have misinterpreted the Calling as something that has a point of view and as something that is inherently intended to be a positive, moral force. Maybe the Calling doesn't have a point of view. Maybe the Calling is just some random powerful tool and it's not about the Calling itself, it's about how individuals choose to utilize the Calling. Is it a tool that can be used for bad just as easily as it can be used for good? And therefore, the significance is what the individual chooses to do with the Calling. That would mean everyone experiencing the Calling may not just be pawns in some larger universal force. They may have much more agency as individuals over the Callings and therefore, it's for them to choose to do with it what they will.
But on the other hand, we see in the season finale that Griffin used the Calling for evil and then dropped dead. So, a core fundamental question in Season 2 and beyond is what is the cause and effect there? Did Griffin die because he used the Callings for evil or did Griffin die because he had been back for 82 hours and 8 minutes and that's the amount of time he had regardless of the actions that he took? Those are two very different interpretations and there are significant consequences for both. Everybody is gonna be looking for more evidence in order to figure out which of those interpretations makes sense. The two interpretations, from a morality standpoint, will lead people in opposite directions and we're gonna see a lot of conflict come out of that.
With the arrival of Zeke and Griffin, does that mean we can expect to see even more new faces as the series continues?
Rake: Yeah, we absolutely will. While Zeke and Griffin established for our passengers that this is bigger than just the plane, the plane is still going to remain a focal point of the series and the passengers from Flight 828 will remain central characters throughout. In Season 2, you can expect to meet more passengers from the plane, other people who are experiencing the Calling, others who are not experiencing the Calling but are still inherent to our story in different ways. And just as we met Bethany and Rad and Harvey and Fiona and others in Season 1, so, too, will we round out our cast with another batch of passengers and find that the lives of Ben, Michaela, Saanvi, Cal and others will be intertwined with the lives of those other passengers in surprising ways.
The episode ends with a standoff between Zeke and Jared before the gun goes off. I know you can't say much but how does that scene set up Season 2?
Rake: I was my intention for some time that there would be a build in the antagonism between Jared and Zeke. It made logical sense to me that these two would be opposition characters. Jared's mistrust of Zeke is understandable. Zeke's defensiveness towards Jared understandable. On top of that, Jared has an almost lifelong romantic bond with Michaela. Zeke had a brand new and yet undeniably powerful bond with Michaela. So all of these factors led to a logical boiling point and that's what we see in the final frames of the Season 1 finale. That's, of course, gonna pay off in Season 2. That bullet that you heard was not a car engine outside on the street. It did not hit the ceiling. We'll come to discover that it found a target and there will be consequences at the top of the next season and consequences that will be long-lasting.
Jared went pretty dark in this episode so is there the potential for him to go even further? Is that something you've thought about?
Rake: I've been trying to play shades of grey in all these relationships. Most of the characters that we've gotten to know throughout Season 1 started the series in a very broken, chaotic, traumatic place and have gradually tried to work their way toward a place of healing. Jared's story has been a little bit different. Of course, Michaela's return was traumatic and turns his life upside down but at the same time, he started the series very even-keeled--a voice of reason. We've seen him kind of unravel over these 16 episodes to a place of exasperation and darkness. Should he survive that gun battle, a lot would have to be resolved before that dark place that he's in starts to lighten up.
We also found out that Grace is pregnant with either Ben or Danny's child. How will we see this trio try to handle that baby bombshell moving forward and does that mean we're gonna see more of Danny in Season 2?
Rake: We will almost certainly see more of Danny in Season 2. One of my goals throughout Season 1 was to take Ben and Grace from a place of insecurity and conflict to a place of unity and cohesiveness and so, you saw the tension start in the shape of a chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon at the top of the series. The writers and I thought about frontloading the idea of Grace's pregnancy early in the season and let that be a challenge that Ben and Grace deal with, even as he's just settling back into life at home. Between the studio, network and writers' room, we came to the conclusion that there was so much going on that might have felt like we were gilding the lily. But now, after we had taken pains to finally get Ben and Grace to a place of understanding and to have summed up their marriage in a way that feels good and real and hopefully long-lasting, this new wrench comes into the equation and that's going to challenge the stability of their marriage all over again.
With the whole story starting to come together, what do you hope to tackle in Season 2?
Rake: There's a lot to tackle next season. I have more chapters to come so I need to drive our relationship stories forward. We need to have a passage of time now that we have this ticking clock of five and a half years. The entirety of Season 1 took place in the short span of six weeks and so viewers can expect that the series will start moving more quickly in terms of moving forward in time, moving characters ahead further in their lives. By that, I don't mean more magical time jumps. I mean just coming back in Season 2 perhaps a little further along than people would expect. And also, trying to move further along from week-to-week throughout the season. You can expect things to move along mythologically, you can expect things to move along scientifically. And you can expect that something's gonna come out of these therapy sessions between Saanvi and the Major. Saanvi has no idea that she just walked into the lioness' den and that's going to lead to some unforeseen and dire consequences by the time we get to Season 2.
Many are wondering why the show hasn't been renewed yet. What have you heard?
Rake: I'm sensing a lot of positive murmurs. I don't think that viewers should read too much into the fact that a show hasn't been renewed yet. It always takes a little bit longer when a show is produced by one company and is broadcast on another company's air. That's the case with this show. It's produced by Warner Brothers and it's broadcast by NBC, and they're two different entities so it just takes a minute for terms to be worked out and negotiations to be worked out. The network fights for the show, we do well, a lot of people watch the show and I have a good feeling that we'll be back to continue to tell the story next season.
If NBC decided to pass for some reason, would you consider shopping the show elsewhere? Is that in the back of your mind?
Rake: That's something we would consider. I wanna finish this story and for it to be left unresolved would be as traumatic for me as it would be for the biggest fans of the show. But I hope and trust that it's not gonna come to that.
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This week's The Bachelor started with Colton Underwood still reeling from three eliminated ladies warning him about someone or some people not being ready to get married. Who is it? Is she gonna be the one to make him jump the fence? Read on.
Colton and the girls returned stateside for a visit to Colton's hometown of Denver, where he met up with former Bachelor Ben Higgins for advice. Aw, Ben is so genuinely nice and emotionally intelligent. Unlike Colton, whose niceness is conditional.
Ben Higgins should be a therapist. #TheBachelor— Erin Quinn (@erinquinn_95) February 19, 2019
Tayshia got the first 1-on-1, and she vowed to tell Colton what she thinks about the girl or girls who might not be ready for him. Colton told her that he knew the three bomb-throwers weren't talking about her, which was sweet. And then he started pumping her for information. They were in a mall or something and the background noise was really loud, so I think she said Cassie and Caelynn had been talking about being the Bachelorette after this and weren't interested in being with Colton. Aw, he really likes Cassie! Colton was very upset. During an ITM he was hunched over as if his stomach hurt. I don't know, man. I'm not calling Tayshia a liar, but they film everything that happens. Show us the tapes of Cassie and Caelynn making these comments!
#TheBachelor— ThatBachelorDude (@Bachelor__Dude) February 19, 2019
) ( ) )
\ Every girl is here /___
\ for the wrong / /
\ reasons. /___/
During the dinner portion of their date, which allegedly took place in Colton's very nice apartment, Colton and Tayshia talked about her family and whether they'd be ready to meet him. She said her dad is very protective of her and may be apprehensive, but Colton is gonna have to win him over, because he needs a father's blessing to propose. Tayshia got the rose, so Colton will have the opportunity to show Tayshia's dad his sterling personality. Then she put on his old football jersey and they made out. He said he was falling in love with her.
why is a father's blessing necessary for engagement again??? last time I checked a woman can decide for herself #TheBachelor— Katie Rose (@KayteaR17) February 19, 2019
Caelynn had the next date, which meant there was going to be a difficult conversation. They went snowboarding, but we quickly skipped over that and went straight to the conversation about what Tayshia said. Caelynn denied it, saying she's not here to be the Bachelorette and sees a future with him. "How the f--- would Tayshia know if I'm ready or not?" Caelynn said in an ITM. She said "f--- her" and called her a "stupid bitch." There's that other side of her Hannah B. mentioned! Colton should have asked her who she thought Katie and the other girls were talking about.
During dinner, Colton was very upset. He started crying during his ITM. She reiterated that she was here for him. She said she's falling in love with him. Very different tone than she had when she was talking about Tayshia. She got the rose. You could tell Colton was stressed because he his mic was shorting again because he was so sweaty. (Or maybe his jacket was rubbing on the mic, I'm not sure.) Then they went to Red Rocks Amphitheater and got privately serenaded by a twangy Chainsmokers-looking dude.
"I invited my friend Brett Young" ... Weird flex, but ok.— Katie Hatfield (@TheMinxNextDoor) February 19, 2019
Also, they are TERRIBLE dancers. #TheBachelor
Caelynn told Cassie about what happened on her date -- which concerned Cassie, because what are they going to say about here? -- and then went to confront Tayshia. She was like "wtf, I thought we were friends, why are you snitching?" and Tayshia was like "A) we all agreed it was you and Cassie he should be concerned about B) he asked me and C) you would have done the same."
i hope none of these girls become the bachelorette tbh. i'm over it. except kirpa and that's because we've only seen her for like 2 seconds #TheBachelor— Kristen Fisher (@kfish_lol) February 19, 2019
Colton took Hannah B. to meet his family. His dad was wearing a weird shirt. It was a knit t-shirt with a seam down the middle and very prominent hems and it really accentuated his chest. It was also very long, almost to his knees. Very L.A. t-shirt. Colton's dad was VERY good at talking in soundbites. Too good. I'm suspicious.
The middle seam on Colton's dad's shirt is destroying me right now I mean wtf is that #TheBachelor— Angela Flynn (@imdukesilver) February 19, 2019
Hannah B. and Colton had dinner in an airplane hangar. Classic Bachelor move. Hannah said she was falling in love with him still and he was like "mmmm idk." He said he wasn't there with her. Hannah B. really faded into the background after the early season drama, so I didn't feel much about Hannah getting sent home. My thought watching this was "they better not make a cliffhanger out of the fence jump." I NEEDN'T HAVE WORRIED.
Who among us has not worn a suit and brought a woman to an aircraft hangar to tell them we're not ready to look their father in the eye and tell them that we aren't ready to marry their daughter? #TheBachelor— Spencer Dukoff (@SpencerDukoff) February 19, 2019
Then it was time for the group date, which all the girls knew was going to be rough. Four girls, two roses. No fun. They took a choo-choo train out over a bridge, and Colton threw the two girls who didn't get roses off the bridge like Liam Neeson in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Heather threw a curveball and said she knew she wasn't ready and eliminated herself. Colton was like "yeah." It was about a minute of screen time. My head was spinning. The other girls on the date didn't even seem to care that much, because it was pretty obvious that Heather was going home on this date. The train took her away.
Colton and Cassie went off on their own so Colton could get to the bottom of the rumors about her. Cassie said she couldn't explain anything if it wasn't true. From the comfort of my couch, she seemed more emotionally genuine than Caelynn. Then Kirpa went to him and told him what she saw Caelynn and Cassie do with her own two eyes: they got defensive and panicky when Colton gave his speech in Vietnam after Katie left. Cassie was really mad when Kirpa came back, yelling at her about using her time with Colton to talk bad about her. It got pretty heated. Then Colton came over and said he wasn't ready to give out roses yet. Hannah G. was just sitting there like "just give me one already so I can go inside. I don't need this."
During dinner, Colton sat at the other end of a long table from the other three girls. It looked very dastardly. He pulled Hannah aside and gave her a rose off-camera. We heard Hannah laughing, probably because Colton was saying "I know you don't want to be on this horrible date so you can back to the hotel. You are spared." But then, TWIST. Caelynn crashed the date and came to talk to Colton about something. She wanted him to know the truth. There was a time jump, and we didn't see what Caelynn said, we just saw her leave, crying, and then Colton came downstairs and gave Cassie the rose.
So another week with no fence jump. And we don't know what Caelynn said. Why is The Bachelor getting all experimental with the editing all of a sudden? That time-skip was like something out of Breaking Bad. Next week, I guess?
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. Episodes are available to stream on Hulu.
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Nickelodeon is hard at work putting together an All That revival series with original series breakout star Kenan Thompson as an executive producer, but Thompson won't be the only familiar face involved in the project. Because how are you gonna have Kenan without Kel?
Kel Mitchell is reportedly confirmed to appear in the new series when it premieres on Nickelodeon, according to Thompson. "Whoever's down to come do it, we would love to have them in my opinion," the Saturday Night Live star recently told Page Six. "I know Kel [Mitchell's] coming back, and I remember working close [sic] with Josh Server as well. I think all the old cast members should come support the new cast members. That's just how it should go."
Mitchell's reps have not yet responded to TV Guide's request for confirmation of this news.
However Brian Robbins, who co-created All That, seemed very confident that old cast members would reappear in the new version when he spoke to Variety earlier this month about the revival, saying, "This summer, we are going to bring back a lot of the original cast and the cast through the years, and let them introduce the new cast of All That to the world."
Beyond Thompson's confirmation of Mitchell's involvement, no other cast members have announced that they'll be back to make these introductions, but if we had to bet, we'd count on major players like Lori Beth Denberg, Danny Tamberelli and of course, the previously mentioned Josh Server would sign on. Who knows, maybe we'll even get a surprise visit from Amanda Bynes!
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