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Spoilers ahead for Episode 2 of Manifest Season 2, called "Grounded."
Manifest has presented more intriguing questions than illuminating answers throughout its run so far, but the second episode of Season 2 featured a reveal that presents both very good news and some potential very bad news. Yes, in answering the question of the father of Grace's child, Manifest presented a grim possibility for the future, and showrunner Jeff Rake teased what it could mean.
First, the good news! When Ben and Grace decided they needed to find out the paternity of Grace's baby as soon as possible rather than waiting months for the birth, the procedure took a turn for the weird when Grace heard a voice in her head telling her to stop the nurse from drawing blood. Now, if this was early Season 1, there would be reasons to wonder if perhaps Grace was snapping under all the emotional pressure. Since this is early Season 2, the voice in her head can be taken as proof that Grace received a "calling" due to the fact that her child is Ben's.
So, while she might have to deal with some uncomfortable side effects through the rest of her pregnancy, at least Grace and Ben know that Ben is the child's biological father! Unfortunately, Grace quickly saw the potential bad news about the reveal and how it happened. Could the baby have a death date before it has even been born?
Manifest showrunner Jeff Rake weighed in on that very question to TVLine, saying this:
I’m not going to answer that right now, but that’s a compelling situation in Season 2. Are there other unborn kids out there [carrying the marker]? Are there other ways the DNA anomaly could be passed from person to person, and therefore is a potential epidemic of people with depleting life spans?
Unsurprisingly, Jeff Rake wasn't prepared to answer a major question about a Manifest mystery after just two episodes of Season 2 have aired, but the possibility of an epidemic of people "with depleting life spans" is something far grimmer than I for one expected out of the paternity reveal!
The situation is dark enough when just considering whether Ben and Grace's child, as well as any other unborn children of 828 passengers, could have a death date; throw in the idea of the DNA anomaly being passed in a far easier way, and the plot has officially thickened on Manifest. Fortunately, not all of the questions introduced by the reveal will go unanswered in the long run.
Fans won't have to spend the next four seasons wondering if the voice Grace heard was Grace herself having the callings, or just the unborn baby inside of her. (Don't count on it following what exactly The Flash did in a similar situation!) Jeff Rake promised that "gets answered by the end of the season."
Of course, that may mean that the answer will come at the end of the season rather than any time soon. The next episode, called "False Horizon," will see the Stone family struggling to figure out "their mysterious wave of frightening 828 callings," according to the official episode description, while "a shocking and disturbing incident" leads Grace to wonder if a local mother is in danger.
See what all of this means when the next episode of Manifest airs Monday, January 20 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, among the many new and returning shows hitting the airwaves in the 2020 winter premiere schedule.