Manifest returned this week after a month away for the holidays, ready to dive back into the mystery of Flight 828. Despite the events of Red Hook in the winter finale, nothing has changed for the passengers. Most of the ones who were being experimented on are still comatose, Michaela is still seeing visions and hearing voices she misinterprets, and Ben is still hot on the trail of solving... something. But this week added a new twist to the story. What is the Holy Grail on Manifest? Warning: Spoilers for Manifest Season 1 follow.
The comatose passengers from the lab are now set up in new digs, run by Fiona, and tended to by Saanvi. Autumn came along with them, though unlike the others, she's alert and awake. But her status came at a price. Unbeknownst to the rest of the characters, she actually a mole, working for The Major, planted among her fellow Flight 828 comrades to find out what they know, and what they might have hidden.
Before being planted among them, Autumn was told she could give away small pieces of information. But when talking to Ben, she actually let two big ones slip. The first was the use of a pronoun: Her. The Major is a woman. The second was what the Major seeks: The Holy Grail.
This "Holy Grail" isn't the one out of Arthurian literature. It's a code name. Like most people on a quest of something referred to as a "Grail," Ben and Michaela immediately assume what they're seeking is an object, a what.
But Saanvi is faster off the mark. By the end of the episode, she's realized a "what" doesn't make sense for the Major to be seeking. After all, the experiments being done were on people, trying to find which of them were more sensitive to the Callings than others. They were tracking "relative success" between who could reach out to and who could receive.
The Holy Grail is the one who can experience psychic connections best across long distances. The Holy Grail is a who. Fans already know the answer, even if the Major doesn't. Michaela and Ben do too: Cal.
Cal has been able to recognize the connections between the passengers in a way no one else from the plane has, and the only one to be physically affected by them. The theory is Cal's cancer treatments lowered his immune system, so when the plane went through the storm, he was far more vulnerable to the after-effects
The scene then cuts to Cal, sleeping at home, dreaming of the same vision Michaela has seen in her Callings all episode. Like his aunt, he is trapped in a snowstorm hearing a voice: "Find Her." But unlike his aunt, he can see the scene more clearly. The person speaking is one doing the searching, and the "her" he's looking for is Michaela.
Also, unlike his Aunt, he can feel the cold, as his hands slowly glisten in the warm bed from internal frostbite. Cal may not be the Holy Grail, but he's certainly someone the Major is going to be very interested in meeting.