Review by Peter J. Mello

Manifest: Season 4

4x04 Go-Around

In a way, I'm a bit glad that this season is seemingly so intent on highlighting that, for all that Ben has accomplished throughout this series, in the end it has all been in service to himself and his own narcissism. This story has never really wanted for characters that were motivated by either a sense of moral benevolence and generosity, or the poignant absence of those qualities; indeed, the writers seemed to have no shame when it came time to scoop from the can of tropes when cooking up their recipe for plots and characters. I never could make sense, though, of why they then chose to make their protagonist such a dark, self-absorbed prick who went to any length to keep himself as the fulcrum through which every other part of the story had to pivot upon.

This isn't to say that I don't find it uncomfortable to watch this show throw their "white knight" so unabashedly under the bus and treat the people who he's claimed to love and be motivated to serve, especially his children, like dog shit. I do, and it is. It simply feels authentic to me that his character would crumble so pitifully when tested to this degree. I can think of no better example of this than his treatment of Vance, who he didn't even respect enough to be honest with about the location he was directed to by Eagan. If anyone had earned the right to make their own choice about whether to participate in the rescue attempt in the face of an adverse Calling, it's him. Instead, Ben sends him on a sleeveless errand to Bum F*ck Egypt for no other reason than making sure he can do anything he wants to accomplish his goal without protest or explanation. Personally, I kind of hope that Ben does something reprehensible in the course of rescuing Eden and ends up bent over in the prison showers nightly right alongside Eagan when it's all said and done.

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