• Gisèle Schembri

An Unfinished Manifest

Ever since I was very young, I was obsessed with films, acting and all the sides of filming. I loved acting (and still do), I examine films from every possible front and I even spent quite a few years writing articles about anything related to the film world. My very first professional article was, in fact, about a film sequel that had lost one of its main characters due to the actor wanting out.

However, for all my fascination and even all the times I defended film scenes, twists and events and explained to fans from a technical viewpoint the why something was done or not done in this way or that, I never did do anything related directly to filming for a job.

So sometimes there is still that film or series that enthrals me enough to let me appreciate it without dissecting each and every part of it and to enjoy instead putting all the story together in my head with all the rest of the (sometimes millions of) viewers.

One such series is Manifest (2018-2021). It can’t even be a month since I learnt about it and gave it a shot and oh my, never did I finish a series this quickly!! The one problem is, it doesn’t really finish does it?!

As I got well into Season 3, which is the now supposed final season, my author radar picked up on that there was no way the story was slowly coming to a close. That radar started flashing violently at the beginning of the last episode and the more minutes passed the more I was convinced that there was not enough time left to the end of the season to tie up loose ends let alone totally wrap up the mystery that is the centre of the whole saga.

I usually love being proved right when it comes to things I am knowledgeable of. However I would much rather have been wrong this time than arriving to the final minute of the whole series only to confirm that in fact, the viewer is left hanging with regards to many of the main characters and the plot itself.

I couldn’t believe it, not after three seasons climaxing to something that stopped just short of what I thought might be the resolution to the whole thing. So I googled it, I checked whether filming had finished, whether there was maybe a fourth season coming up, though that also made no sense in my author mind, so close was the mystery seemingly wrapping up. I even hoped that maybe, just maybe, despite the finale-style double episode I had just watched, there was more coming the following week and I had caught up with the show.

The only hopeful (if it could be called that!) thing I found was that the showrunner - Jeff Rake - was just as disappointed as I was (or moreso, given this was his baby). Apparently it is NBC that pulled the plug on a perfectly healthy, 3-million weekly views show and he had had three more seasons in mind. He promised closure for fans so I guess I will have to sit tight and wait for that now. Unless of course, in the meantime I come up with my own conclusions.


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