‘Manifest’ at NYCC: Ben’s Grief Beard, Love Triangle & More About Fourth & Final Season
Cast members Josh Dallas (Ben), Melissa Roxburgh (Michaela), J.R. Ramirez (Jared), Matt Long (Zeke), Parveen Kaur (Saanvi), Luna Blaise (Olive), Ty Doran (Cal), Holly Taylor (Angelina) and Daryl Edwards (Vance) and creator Jeff Rake were at New York Comic Con to tease what to expect in a panel moderated by Jim Halterman.
“We went back to exactly where we always planned to go,” Rake said. “The first thing [Netflix] said to us is continue the story, keep going where you always intended to.”
Read on for everything that was revealed about what’s still to come.
Ben’s grief beard: With Baby Eden still missing after the two year time jump, Ben is “in a really dark place,” Rake teased. “He’s sort of stuck in this grief pit and this profound anger, and that’s the thing about anger is it begs to stick around and robs you of your beauty and you end up pushing the people you love the most away,” Dallas explained.
While his friends and family are still there, “he can’t really connect with them, so he pushes them away. He also pushes the Callings away. As far as he’s concerned, they have given him nothing, they have only taken from him, so he is fully, fully absorbed with trying to find Eden. … It’s grief beard all the way.” (The beard is also real,)
That leaves Michaela to captain the lifeboat alone, so “there’s a lot of tension between the two of them,” Roxburgh said. That puts a lot on her plate.
The love triangle isn’t going anywhere: Michaela married Zeke as his death date was coming, and Jared had expected him to be gone as a result. But then Zeke survived his death date. And now that two years have passed, Michaela, despite what Jared last said, is still with Zeke. The triangle “is not gone, and that plays all throughout the season,” Roxburgh teased.
Zeke’s empathic powers are evolving: “It really is his identity now,” Long said. “I don’t think he really knows who he is without it. It’s a really dangerous position to be in.”
Jared’s working on himself: “Jared needs new friends,” Ramirez said of his character, who was demoted. “He took some time to work on his feelings with a particular person. He’s got a sense of lightness this season that I feel like hasn’t been there. It makes me feel like he took the time to really work on himself and move on from the situation. This family is his family, so he’s there getting in trouble and making sure he helps them along the way. It’s complex and complicated.” Plus, “the relationship with Jared and Zeke … is really refreshing.”
New love for Saanvi? “Saanvi loves her work. Saanvi is always science-ing somewhere,” Kaur said. “It’s complicated.” As for a new love interest, “wait for it,” Rake teased. She will be working closely with Vance this season, doing what she does best: trying to figure out what happened.
Complicated sibling dynamics: Cal is back, having aged five years after disappearing. And expect to see Cal and sister Olive getting off to “a rocky start,” since she’s blaming him a bit for everything. Still, “Olive and Cal really have a beautiful relationship this last season. They really become the Gemini twins,” Blaise previewed.
Flashbacks! We will see what happened in the two years that passed off-screen, via a lot of flashbacks in the first run of 10 episodes, Rake said. They’ll be spread out throughout the first part of the final season, with everyone getting their own episode, so that by Episode 10, we’ll understand what happened to everyone.
Putting Ben & Cal’s relationship back together: Cal returns, and he’s “supposed to have all the answers,” Doran noted. “He just wants to help so badly and can’t figure out how to put the pieces together. He can see them but can’t figure out how to solve this mystery.” Furthermore, he can’t be himself because “his whole life is a secret.” According to Dallas, Ben and Cal are “kind of in the same headspace. They both don’t know how to connect with one another and they’re trying, but there are things that are stopping them from doing it. A bit part of it is Ben deep down blames him for Grace’s death. … As their relationship carries on through Season 4 and through the end of first part, you’ll start to see it evolve and change into something different and hopefully something better and stronger.”
Another new lair for Vance: In Season 4, we’ll see Vance “doing what Vance does. He’s investigating,” Edwards said. And yes, that includes another new lair for him. Expect to see him in scenes with Saanvi and Ben, but also with people he’s never worked with before. Plus, we’ll find out more about his personal life.
Is Angelina a villain or just misunderstood? Taylor kept saying the latter, but “she just keeps doing bad things. … I think she is a little evil, but at the same time, she thinks she’s doing the right thing genuinely.”
A sad final season? According to Roxburgh, Season 4 is the saddest because of the relationships. “People maybe won’t die as much, but the relationships are really, really, really sad.”
Dallas on Manifest vs. Once Upon a Time: “There’s a lot less leather. There are definite thematic things that are similar between the two characters and two worlds, but definitely the way they navigate them is completely different and yeah, a lot less leather and capes.”
Manifest, Season 4 Part 1 Premiere, November 4, Netflix