'Manifest's Love Triangle: How Should Season 3 Handle Jared, Michaela & Zeke? (POLL)
Near the end of Manifest Season 2, the Stones — the family at the center of the mystery of what happened to the passengers on board Flight 828 when they returned after a five-year disappearance — took the time to celebrate a wedding.
But just because Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) married Ezekiel "Zeke" Landon (Matt Long), who had also "returned," albeit under different circumstances, doesn't mean a love triangle won't very much be part of a potential third season. As Zeke faced the limited time he had left — the returned soon discovered that they'd die in the same manner they were supposed to after the exact amount of time they'd vanished for — he proposed. But then to everyone's surprise, he came back to life after freezing to death, as he would have originally.
Now it looks like the two do have the rest of their lives together, but what will that look like? "Jared is still there," showrunner Jeff Rake reminded us after the finale. So is Michaela's ex-fiancé, Detective Jared Vasquez (J.R. Ramirez), who blew up his marriage (to her best friend) when he and Michaela reconnected upon her return.
Though the second season saw the two men at odds for most of it — it did start with Michaela taking a bullet as a result of the two fighting it out in her apartment — that changed and Jared even tried to attend the wedding. (He left.) While Rake doesn't think Michaela has fallen out of love with her ex or just married Zeke because she thought he'd die, she has been left with "an impossible emotional dilemma."
"Season 3 is about what this triangle can look like," he said. "Can Michaela find a way to love both of these men in different ways? Can these two men be adult enough to maintain a friendship even while they both love the same woman?"
That's exactly what Season 3 should do. It was great to see Jared help out Zeke while undercover with the Xers, a hate group that arose against the 828ers, and everyone worked together when drug dealers Jace (James McMenamin), Pete (Devin Harjes), and Kory (DazMann Still) kidnapped Michaela's nephew Cal (Jack Messina). We've already played out Jared versus Zeke with potentially fatal consequences (the gunshot and subsequent Season 1 finale cliffhanger). We're not asking Manifest to forget that both want to be with Michaela, but let's see the two men actually develop a friendship separate from her. (That being said, it's hard to imagine the two ever just getting a beer at the end of the day.)
It's more likely than not that we'll see Michaela and Zeke still together, perhaps even in a honeymoon phase, and figuring out what his survival means for their relationship in the Season 3 premiere. After all, there can't be too significant of a time jump with the finale discovery of the tail fin of the plane. But that is big enough that it is going to bring everyone together since it will once again cause people to wonder just what happened to those who returned. If that is truly part of the plane, what about the one they landed in (which then blew up)?
It's easy to imagine how someone in Jared's line of work will be part of that storyline, which could mean working with Michaela again. (She did get a new partner in Season 2, but Ellen Tamaki's Drea Mikami remains in the dark about the truth about Flight 828.) And in doing so, perhaps they grow closer, leading to something. It's just unlikely that the NBC drama won't revisit their relationship in a significant way at some point, even if it's just to firmly put it in their past.
Are you rooting for Michaela and Zeke to go the distance? Or would you rather Michaela and Jared get a chance at the happily ever after Flight 828 stole from them? Vote in the poll below.