Manifest came back for the second season with a gunshot and a bang. The first, the main cliffhanger from the Season 1 finale, revealed who was shot when the gun Zeke and Jared were wrestling over went off. The second brought back a character no one thought they would see again, adding back in a facet of the show some thought the series was letting go. But out of all the characters who died or disappeared, the last one anyone expected to see back was Vance. So who is Vance on Manifest? He's the heart of the show's NSA angle. Warning: Spoilers for Manifest Season 2 follow.
The bad news was it was Michaela who took the bullet. But her time in the hospital recuperating came in useful. It left her brother, Ben, on his own to work out the latest "calling" of "Save the Passengers" on his own. And it gave the series a chance to time jump forward.
By the time Michaela's back to work, Ben's got tabs on a white van stalking many of the passengers. That includes the Vasiks, who Michaela discovers have just gone up on the missing person board on her first day back.
The good news is the Vasiks are fine, they're just reacting badly to their own callings. But the white van is still following them. Worse, after Ben talks the Vasiks into heading back home, the white van suddenly turns up at his place. Ben races out of the house and confronts the mysterious vehicle. He pounds on the windows, bangs on the sides until the door flies open and he's yanked inside.
Inside the van is someone Ben never thought he'd see again: NSA Director Robert Vance.
When Flight 828 landed, Vance was the first one to question the passengers. Ben and Michaela initially suspected he was the enemy, the face of a government conspiracy about their plane. But that turned out to be the wrong end of the stick. Vance was just as much in the dark, conducting his own investigation into a different agency trying to cover things up.
That X-Files angle was one of the things that made Manifest such a treat, turning it into Lost-meets-X-Files-meets-This Is Us. But then Vance was killed during the raid on the government-sanctioned Singularity Project, back during the Season 1 fall finale, "Dead Reckoning." With Vance gone, the government conspiracy investigation angle fell apart, and Ben was left without an inside partner on his hunt for answers.
But now Vance is back, telling Ben, "You’re not the only one who can come back from the dead." So what happened? Did Vance fake his death? What has he been doing all this time? At least fans can cheer that whatever comes next, the government conspiracy angle is back on for Season 2.