Forget those wolves and visions: The relationship between Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and Jared (J.R. Ramirez) may be the most entangled narrative on NBC’s Manifest — especially now that it’s made more difficult with Zeke (Matt Long) in the picture.
Ramirez, though, has been a fan of every obstacle. “It’s been fun to dive into these crazy circumstances,” he said. “I like the fact that it’s complicated, and it’s just going to get more complicated with this Zeke guy.”
The actor spoke about the relationship on stage as part of a 2019 SCAD aTVfest panel moderated by EW correspondent Ruth Kinane with the NBC drama’s creator Jeff Rake and stars Roxburgh, Ramirez, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, and Parveen Kaur for a discussion after a screening of the next episode.
Karkanis, who stars as Grace, Ben’s wife, also chimed in on Grace’s just-as-difficult love story so far. “I love the messiness of it,” she said. “I don’t know that I would necessarily hope for one outcome over the other. I want it to stay complicated.”
Added Ramirez: “I don’t know that there’s ever going to be a true happy ending here [for anyone].”
That certainly seems true for Kaur’s character, Saanvi, who’s been traumatized after being held at gunpoint in the latest episode. “The recent PTSD is going to force her to deal with whatever happened prior to the flight,” Kaur teased. “It pushes her to have to face whatever she’s going through.”
Still, Rake explained that these issues help ground the show amid its supernatural, sci-fi moments that came with the missing flight that kickstarted all the drama. “It’s so important that everything else in the show play as real as possible,” he explained. “Assuming this one crazy thing happened, how would the real world deal with it? And how would the characters interact? I hope that at home if you watch this show, you’re able to ask yourself, ‘What would I do? Would I react that way?’ That’s how we approach every episode.”
Dallas, though, said he would just love some answers at this point. “I thought starting out it would be a good idea for me as an actor,” he admitted. “Now I just really want to know [what happens next].”
Manifest airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.