Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) has a vision of Flight 828 in “Manifest.” Photo courtesy of Netflix
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1 (UPI) — The cast of Manifest said Season 4, premiering Friday on Netflix, will explain what has happened to the characters in the two years that have elapsed in the story since Season 3.
The show follows characters who were on a flight that traveled five years into the future.
By the end of Season 3, Flight 828 survivor Ben Stone (Josh Dallas) had a newborn daughter, Eden. Fellow survivor Angelina (Holly Taylor) kidnapped Eden at the end of Season 3, so Season 4 shows Ben having spiraled for two years searching for Eden.
“He is in a profound well of anger and grief and he can’t quite see a way out of it,” Dallas told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. “He abandons everything. That includes his family.”
The first three seasons of Manifest aired on NBC. When NBC cancelled the show in 2021, Dallas, 40, began growing his beard.
When Netflix decided to produce a fourth season to conclude Manifest, Dallas and the creators agreed Dallas’ beard could indicate just how far Ben has lost his way.
“It was Ben’s grief beard and it was Josh’s grief beard,” Dallas said. “When we heard we were cancelled after that, I think I went into a period of mourning.”
Ben doesn’t know where Eden is, but Manifest follows Angelina and the now 2-year-old. Due to visions, which the passengers refer to as callings, Angelina believes Eden is her guardian angel.
“She has some good maternal instincts, surprisingly, and she really does care about Eden,” Taylor, 25, said of Angelina. “Angelina kind of attracts danger because she doesn’t make the best choices.”
Another phenomenon affecting the Stone family is that Ben’s son, Cal, who was 11 on Flight 828, suddenly aged from 15 to 20 at the end of Season 3. Ty Doran, now in his mid-20s, takes over the role of Cal from Jack Messina, but finds Ben too obsessed with Eden to care for his son.
“You don’t often get to play someone younger in emotional maturity level than they are physically,” Doran said. “I don’t get to play many 15-year-olds anymore.”
Cal’s sister, Olive (Luna Blaise) was not on Flight 828, so she outgrew her twin brother by five years. Now that he’s suddenly caught back up, it exacerbates the Stones’ family drama.
“The first time she sees him, I think she’s also so scared,” Blaise, 21, said. “It’s traumatic. This girl’s had a lot of unknown in her life.”
Ben’s obsession with finding Eden also leaves other passengers in a lurch. Ben’s sister, Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) is still helping her fellow passengers deal with the impending death date, when all the passengers are expected to die on June 2, 2024.
“[Michaela is] put in charge of making sure that everything is still glued together and doesn’t fall apart before they have a chance to save themselves,” Roxburgh, 29, said. “So she teams up with a few different people but she’s forced to make a lot of decisions on her own.”
When Michaela returned from Flight 828, her fiance, Jared (J.R. Ramirez) had moved on. By Season 3, Michaela had married Zeke (Matt Long), but still has feelings for Jared.
When Manifest returns for Season 4, flashbacks will reveal what has happened between Michaela and Zeke in the previous two years.
“[Zeke] says, ‘We need to have this talk,'” Long, 42, said. “And we flash back to that talk. It’s one of my favorite and most memorable scenes for me personally in the first 10 episodes of Season 4.”
Season 3 also introduced Zeke’s empath powers. Now that Zeke has had two years to practice reading people’s feelings, he’s using them with more focus and intensity.
“He’s able to harness it now and do good with it, but he gets in over this head,” Long said.
Season 4 will air in two parts. After 10 episodes premiere Friday, the final 10 will premiere at a later date.
Blaise said the show will reach June 2, 2024 in its story. After anticipating it for so long, Blaise had a strong reaction to the episode encompassing it.
“It’s really surreal actually, filming that episode where it was June 2, 2024,” Blaise said. “Oh my God, wow, we’re actually filming the June 2 2024 scene.”
Ramirez, 42, agreed the Death Date episode was emotional because it marked the end of the Manifest journey.
“It was really hard reading the last episode,” Ramirez said. “Even those whole nine days [filming the episode], it was a lot of tears and a lot of emotions.”
Dallas and Long said despite the sadness of concluding Manifest, they were grateful Netflix gave them a second chance after NBC canceled the show. Cast member Daryl Edwards, who plays the NSA director investigating Flight 828, said he was surprised how joyous the series finale was.
“I was expecting it to be really sad, but it’s kind of a celebration,” he said.
As Manifest approaches the resolution of the Flight 828 and Death Date stories, Roxburgh said the ensemble of characters converges for the final episodes.
“The beautiful thing about Season 4 is that it’s very connected amongst all the passengers,” Roxburgh said. “There are scenes with more people in them and it really just did feel like one big group. As the passengers were resolving all of it, we were letting it go on our end, so it felt very parallel.”