When the passengers of Flight 828 disappeared for five years and returned to a world that had moved on without them on Manifest, it looked like their biggest problem would be readjusting to everyday life. However, their assimilation has been made exponentially more complicated by the Calling, an inexplicable phenomenon that, through cryptic clues, has pushed passengers like Ben (Josh Dallas) and Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) toward helping others.
So far, the Calling has been mostly used for good. But as we've seen with Adrian (Jared Grimes) and career criminal James Griffin (Marc Menchaca), it can also be used for evil--with serious consequences. In Adrian's case, manipulating his followers into believing the passengers can perform miracles led one devotee to hold Saanvi (Parveen Kaur) hostage at gunpoint. And while it's too early to tell what the fallout will be for James, the mysterious man from the van in the Hudson River who used to the Calling to get away with murder, you can expect it to have rippling effects for everyone else.
According to showrunner Jeff Rake, these occurrences are just the beginning as others start to follow in James and Adrian's footsteps and abuse the Calling for their own personal gain.
"We're going to discover that if you choose to go in that direction, there will be severe consequences, and the ripple effect from that applies to all of our passengers," Rake teased to TV Guide.
And it looks like the finale, which airs Monday, Feb. 18 at 10/9c on NBC, will finally start to answer questions about the bigger picture. Rake promised that the episode will "leave the audience with a very important reveal that's going to lay out the structure for the rest of our series."
In a show like this, where clues about the series' overarching mystery are dispersed throughout the episodes, forcing viewers to examine every seemingly innocuous detail, Manifest's boss suggested that viewers should especially pay attention to the Calling and how it manifests.
"Continue to pay attention to those who embrace the Calling versus those who resist the Calling," Rake said. "After the finale, I think a lot of this will be cast into clearer relief for the audience as they start to understand, just as Michaela and Ben and others start to understand, why embracing the Calling has perhaps been so important and what the stakes may be for those who choose to resist it."
Examining how these newcomers handle the Calling may prove essential to understanding this series as a whole.
Manifest's Season 1 finale airs Monday, Feb. 18 at 10/9c on NBC.