Tag Archives: Ben Stone

Manifest Character Review: Saanvi Bahl

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series ManifestRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Strictly speaking, science is neither bad nor good. It is merely a tool that can be molded to the needs whomever is using it. On Manifest, Saanvi Bahl (Parveen Kaur) is one of the passengers on Flight 828. She is a medical researcher focusing on finding a cure for leukemia. Her laptop is destroyed when the plane is hit by turbulence.

When the plane finally lands five and a half years later, Saanvi discovers that the research she completed prior to getting on the flight has saved lives. She also learns that Cal Stone (Jack Messina) is also cancer free. Curious as to how and why the flight contributed to his sudden remission, Saanvi dives deep into further research with the help of Cal’s father, Ben (Josh Dallas). She also experiences “the callings”, similar to those of other passengers on the flight.

Her work does not go unnoticed. The Major (Elizabeth Marvel) has plans to use the information that Saanvi uncovered. She has the will and the means to obtain the data using less then honorable methods. Saanvi is also targeted by those who believe in conspiracy theories about the people on 828.

If that was not enough, her personal life is a mess. Saanvi was supposed to be traveling with her girlfriend, Alex Bates (Sydney Morton). But Alex never made it to the airport.

To sum it up: There are never one set of challenges in life. Most if not all of us are juggling issues from both our personal and professional lives. It is how we handle what is our plate that matters. What I like about Saanvi is that she forges ahead, regardless of who or what stands in her way. It would be easy to give up, but she doesn’t. Her determination is a lesson that I think we all could learn from.

That is why she is a memorable character.

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Manifest Character Review: Cal Stone

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series ManifestRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

If we are lucky, our childhood is carefree and easy. Unfortunately, not every child is fortunate enough to have such an experience. On Manifest, Cal Stone (Jack Messina) is one of the children whose young life is marked by misfortune. At the age of nine, he is diagnosed with leukemia. He is given every treatment that the doctors can provide. But none seem to work. Facing the possibility that Cal may not live much longer, his parents, Ben and Grace (Josh Dallas and Athena Karkanis) arrange a family vacation.

That vacation forever changes their lives. Cal, Ben, and Ben’s sister’s Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) return home separately from the rest of the family due to an overbooked flight. That plane, according to the rest of the world, disappears for five and a half years. Those aboard, after a certain amount of time, are presumed to be dead.

When Cal, Ben, and Michaela finally land, they discover that the world they knew has is not the one they left. He and his twin sister Olive (Luna Blaise) look more like an older sister and a younger brother. His cancer is in remission thanks to the work of Saanvi Bahl (Parveen Kaur), a medical researcher who was also on the flight. He also starts to develop a psychic connection to a man who was on the plane but has since disappeared. These visions open the door to questions of what really happened and why they happened.

If that was not enough, there is an element of danger. When Cal is kidnapped just after his aunt’s wedding to Zeke London (Matt Long), he becomes a useful target to those with ill intentions. Cal is rescued by Michaela and Zeke, but not before Zeke dies and then comes back to life. This opens the door to even more questions about the mystery that is Flight 828.

To sum it up: Cal wants to be a regular kid and do everything that he should be doing at the age of eleven. But fate other plans in mind for this young man. He learns to adjust to his new circumstances, a lesson that is important to learn, regardless of age.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

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Manifest Character Review: Olive Stone

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series ManifestRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Being a teenager is hard enough. Add in the mysterious disappearance and then reappearance of family members only creates more stress and tension. On Manifest, Olive Stone (Luna Blaise) was living a completely normal life up until the age of eleven. Then her family returned from vacation and everything changed. Her father Ben (Josh Dallas), twin brother Cal (Jack Messina), and aunt Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) were apparently killed in a plane accident after the family took separate flights home. Five and a half years later, they have not only survived but have not aged a day.

During that five and a half years, Olive got used to being raised alone by her mother, Grace (Athena Karkanis). She also gets used to the idea that Grace has a new boyfriend, Danny (Daniel Sunjata). Then her father, brother, and aunt come back to the family fold, and everything changes.

Initially, Olive is happy to help her father and aunt figure out what happened to them. But then she becomes angry when her mother gets pregnant again and she is the only one who does not receive callings. Her anger soon subsides when she begins to accept her family for who they are. Olive also starts to date TJ Morrison (Garrett Wareing), another survivor of the flight.

To sum it up: In a sense, Olive Stone is your average teenage girl, with the ups and downs that come with that stage of life. But, in another sense, due to the uniqueness of her familial experience, she is not your average teenage girl. She may not have completely understood or accepted her circumstances, but in the end, Olive knows who loves and accepts her.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Manifest Character Review: Grace Stone

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series ManifestRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

When tragedy strikes, we have two choices. We can either let it hold us back or find a way to move on. On Manifest, Grace Stone (Athena Karkanis) went through what no one should go through: the early loss of family. After returning home from vacation, Grace was told that her husband Ben (Josh Dallas), son Cal (Jack Messina), and sister-in-law Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) were on a plane that went messing.

For five and a half years, Grace raised her daughter Olive (Luna Blaise) as a single mother. Doing the best she could to move on, she started seeing Danny (Daniel Sunjata). Then she heard the news that the plane had landed, everyone aboard was safe and alive. But the happy news of the reunification only complicated things.

Torn between the new life she had been building and the life she had before the flight, Grace has to make a choice. That choice leads her back to Ben, a new baby, and another chance for happiness.

To sum it up: No one goes through life without experiencing a few potholes The question is how we react to those potholes. After grieving, she responds with strength and grit, allowing her and the audience to find some sort of inner peace.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Manifest Character Review: Michaela Stone

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series ManifestRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

When times are tough, belief is sometimes all we have to get by. On Manifest, Michaela Stone has just survived a very strange plane ride. Arriving back in New York City with her brother Ben (Josh Dallas) and nephew Cal (Jack Messina) five and a half years after getting on a flight home from vacation, she finds that her world has changed. Her mother is dead and her now ex-boyfriend Jared Vasquez (J.R. Ramirez) is married to Michaela’s best friend.

Things get complicated when Michaela has to go back to work as a police officer with Jared as her partner. Then the callings come, guiding her to do things that are not quite explainable. This leads her to Zeke Landon (Matt Long), bringing up Jared’s jealousy after they slept together. Eventually, Zeke and Michaela get married.

Through all of this, she follows the callings, believing in their message. While she goes on belief, her brother Ben goes on logic, looking for some sort of connection for what they have been through.

To sum it up: Some may think that believing is hokey or old fashioned. But it is has the power to give us hope when we have none. Michaela’s belief in following what she knows is right leads her to answer the questions in front of her and find the love of her life.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

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Manifest Character Review: Ben Stone

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series ManifestRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

It is amazing how a single moment can forever change the course of our lives. At the point, who we are is divided in half: before that moment and after that moment.

On Manifest, Ben Stone’s (Josh Dallas) journey starts with an ordinary event. Coming home from vacation to his home in New York City with his family, they are greeted with the announcement that their flight is overbooked. Due to the financial concerns with his son Cal’s (Jack Messina) cancer treatment, Ben, Cal, and Ben sister’s Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) agree to take a later flight.

While in the air, the plane hits turbulence. When it finally lands, the passengers are informed that they have been missing for over five years. But while the time has not passed for those on the plane, it has passed for everyone else.

Needless too say, getting back to their pre-flight normal is far from his easy. Ben’s wife, Grace (Athena Karkanis) is torn between her husband and a relationship that has developed in the years since they were separated. Their daughter, Olive (Luna Blaise) is still resentful that her father’s attention was on her brother and has gotten used to being father-less.

On top of that, Ben starts hearing voices (known as the callings), directing him to do things which he is not quite sure about. Pulled into the mystery of what happened on that plane and getting his son back to health, he is not the same man as he was before. He can also be very single minded at certain times, making it difficult to see the rest of the world around him.

To sum it up: Our lives are never static, as much as we would like them to be. Change is happening around us, whether we recognize it or not. It is how we react to that change that shapes us. Ben is one of those characters who is smart enough to recognize that his life is not the same. He knows that it would be foolish to deny what has happened to him, he can only play the cards that he has been dealt.

Which is why he is a memorable character.

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Law & Order SVU Character Review: Peter Stone

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

When it comes to one’s career choice, many are influenced by their parents or other family members. But going into the family business is not as easy as it seems. On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, District Attorney Peter Stone (Phillip Winchester) is a second generation District Attorney. His late father, Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) was also a New York City District Attorney.

D.A. Stone’s introduction to the characters and the audience is via his father’s funeral. He became the District Attorney after the previous D.A. Barba (Raul Esparza) resigned. Like many new relationships, there was some initial tension with the SVU detectives, who were used to Barba and his perspective of the law. But that tension disappeared as Stone became another member of the team.

Over the course of his time with SVU, Stone revealed more about himself than his knowledge of the law. He had a promising career in baseball before an injury forced him to change professions. He has a sister who lived with mental illness, she died in his arms during a police shootout.

In the courtroom, Stone is a professional, but he is also imperfect. He is accused of rape, but the charges are lifted when the real rapist, a friend of Stone’s is arrested. He also was able to take down a rapist who his father was not able to. In his final character arc, he put his career on the line to stage a prosecution in order to win what seemed to be in an unwinnable case. When his plan is revealed, Stone resigned. His heart and his morals were in the right place, even if he stepped over an ethical boundary.

To sum it up: Stepping into the career shoes of one’s parent or family member has it’s own set of challenges. But D.A. Stone is not one to simply stand in his late father’s shadow. He is a brilliant lawyer in his own right and thoroughly human.

Which is why fans still appreciate him, even if his time on SVU was all too brief.

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