*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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