Warning: Some spoilers ahead for the most recent episode of Manifest. Be sure to come back to this article once you’ve caught up!
For many fans of NBC’s airplane drama Manifest, Grace isn’t considered the most sympathetic character. But, few can dispute that Grace has been through the wringer, and things got a lot harder for the wife and mother in the most recent episode. Actress Athena Karkanis told CinemaBlend’s own Nick Venable that the events of this episodes have, basically, brought the character to a breaking point. According to Karkanis:
I think it’s a really hard episode for Grace, and it does bring her to a bit of a breaking point, because, like for any parent, of course that’s horrible when your child is sick and let alone extremely sick and dangerously sick. And you know this is a child who has already been sick all the time and she’s already dealt with the fear of losing her son and then lost her son in the most unexpected way. You know in a way that she was preparing herself to lose him, and then miraculously gets him back and has this gift of being re-given her child. And then here she is about to lose him again, so that’s horrible, like you can imagine.
Yeah, remember that wringer I mentioned earlier? Well, after tonight it’s clear that that particular emotional roller coaster of a metaphorical machine isn’t done with Grace just yet. As Athena Karkanis pointed out, she’s already had to deal with her and Ben’s young son being sick, the initial shock of Ben and Cal’s plane going missing, several years of waiting and hoping that they’d return safely, then accepting that they were likely dead and trying to move on with their daughter only to find out, after five years, that they were, indeed, alive, and (even more shockingly) hadn’t aged a day.
The events of the most recent episode saw Cal’s illness take a turn for the worse, and when Grace reveals to Cal’s doctor that she believes his experimental cancer treatment could be the cause, and also asks for him to be given an antibiotic, Cal’s doctor refuses, saying that administering such a drug could have unknown consequences, while Saanvi notes that it would get Cal kicked out of the medical trial that seems to be working for him, and has already saved tons of cancer patients.
Added to this is the fact that Ben and Michaela think Cal’s sudden turn is actually related to all the plane weirdness they know is going on, but neither of them have seen fit to fully let Grace in on any of that, or the work they’re doing to try and figure out just what the hell happened when they went missing. So, it leaves her feeling quite alone, and like one one is listening to her. About this difficult situation, Karkanis said:
And then she doesn’t feel supported, not by the hospital staff, not by Cal’s doctor, not by Saanvi and most importantly not by her husband, who is, you know, operating around not sharing with her what he’s doing. And, of course he’s doing it for the good of the family, but she doesn’t know that. And telling her to not trust her instincts and that it’s some other supernatural thing.
Yeah, Ben. You can’t just throw out the possibility that supernatural freakishness led to your and Cal’s disappearance, return and now his suddenly worse illness and not fill Grace in on the whole shebang! Of course, Ben and Michaela don’t know about all the details yet behind the government (or someone) taking people who were on their flight and experimenting on them. And, this, obviously, adds yet another level to the deepening mystery.
As you might imagine, this is not good for Grace’s psyche. According to Karkanis:
I mean it’s hard, she also doesn’t know what to believe because what’s just happened in her life — her husband and child coming back from the dead — of course that’s going to throw everything off. Like, how do you know what to believe is real anymore? Like your common sense, you can’t trust any of your instincts anymore, and then being left alone to make these huge decisions, which could end up being fatal. That’s really hard. So it’s a really hard episode for Grace.
Man, can we just give Grace a bit of a break, already? Like, how about if Ben and Grace’s ex-boyfriend, Danny, just decide to share her? No…that might actually make her life a bit more complicated, if that’s even possible.
You can keep up with Grace’s mental state, Cal’s illness and the whole mystery surrounding Flight 828 when Manifest airs on NBC, Mondays at 10 p.m. EST.