‘Manifest’ Showrunner Jeff Rake and Star Parveen Kaur on Season 3’s Wild Turns

Parveen Kaur Manifest Season 2 Saanvi Bahl
Peter Kramer/NBC

When Manifest ended Season 2 with Zeke (Matt Long) survived his death date — for all of those who’ve returned, like the passengers from Flight 828, they’re back for as long as they’d been gone — it opened up the possibility that they could beat it.

Zeke had followed the mysterious Callings — the hallucinatory messages that lead the returned to help others — and this has put passengers Ben (Josh Dallas) and his sister (and Zeke’s wife) Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) “in a somewhat optimistic place” at the beginning of Season 3, showrunner Jeff Rake says. (It premieres April 1.) “If we all follow the Callings, perhaps that means we can live too,” he says of their thinking. “It becomes about trying to spread the word to the passengers.”

But because this is Manifest, he warns, expect a twist: “They’re going to discover halfway through the season that it’s more complicated than that.”

As for fellow 828er (and doctor) Saanvi (Parveen Kaur), she doesn’t share their optimism. She’s too “burdened” by everything going on in her life, Rake says of the doctor, who, in Season 2, used science to cure herself of her Callings.

“[Saanvi] is stuck and desperately in search of her path to redemption if there is one,” the showrunner says.

But has she damned more than just herself? “She thought it was just going to be her, then we find out there might be repercussions and consequences for all of us,” Kaur teases.

She also says that Saanvi, after accidentally killing the Big Bad Major (Elizabeth Marvel), “is in this perpetual state of looking over her shoulder.” So, in Season 3, with “everything she does, every advancement she makes, there’s this looming threat that at some point, someone is going to find out and take her away and she’s going to go to prison. How am I going to be able to be of any use once that happens? It’s putting an urgency to her having to figure this out.”

Manifest Season 3 Poster Key Art


That’s on top of her still processing what she did, since only three months have passed. “She’s terrified,” the star continues. “That’s a big secret and a big weight to carry.”

And what makes it worse, Rake points out, is she only has Vance (Daryl Edwards), an ally the 828ers met when he was with the NSA, investigating their return, to talk to about this. No one else knows. “It’s such an oppressive burden that it raises the stakes right off the top,” he says. “Halfway through the season, we come to have an even clearer understanding about why the passengers are back and whether or not they will be able to survive the death date that we’ve been following since the end of Season 1.

What Saanvi comes to deduce when this greater clarity comes out,” he continues, “is the fact she has been guilty of this terrible act could have implications not only on her own destiny but on the destiny of others around her. That ends up driving Saanvi’s agenda for the back half of the season.”

And if you don’t already have a long list of questions you need answered — especially considering the tail fin of the 828ers’ plane, which they supposedly landed in and exploded in Season 1, was found at the end of Season 2 — watch the trailer below. You’ll have many more after.

Manifest, Season 3 Premiere, Thursday, April 1, 8/7c, NBC