Manifest season 4 part 1 was truly jam-packed! And yet, we still don’t know just how the show will manage to wrap up the story with only 10 episodes left. But really, we know if anyone can do it, it’s definitely the creative team behind the supernatural drama!
As many hardcore Manifesters know, creator Jeff Rake’s original plan was to tell the story across six seasons. Though after season 3, the show’s original network, NBC, canceled it. But Netflix swooped in and saved the day!
The streamer ordered a fourth and final season, split into two volumes. Part 1 made its arrival on Nov. 4, a.k.a. the day the Flight 828 passengers landed after having been missing for five and a half years, with the first 10 episodes. We’re still waiting for news about part 2’s release date. Hopefully we get that soon!
In the meantime, Netflix Life had the opportunity to speak with fan-favorites Parveen Kaur and Daryl Edwards. The two actors give more insight into where their characters were emotionally this season, what they’ve learned from each other, and what the stars hope viewers will take away from the beloved series when it reaches its end. Be sure to scroll down to the end for the full video interview as well!
*The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Manifest’s Parveen Kaur and Daryl Edwards react to season 4 part 1
Time jump and flashbacks
Netflix Life: This season obviously had to move at a quicker pace to finish the story. As a viewer, it didn’t feel super jarring, but what was it like for you?
Daryl Edwards: The surprise for me was the time jump. But in a way it was kind of liberating because we got to have a fresh start in a completely new space, with a new set of goals. So it was kind of like starting the show again which was fun.
Parveen Kaur: That’s a good way to put it. I was like, “Oh, two year time jump. I can gain like 10 pounds and it’s fine.”
NL: Daryl, all the characters had flashbacks this season except Vance. Will we get more of Vance’s backstory in part 2?
Edwards: I never thought about that until this moment. Oh my god, you’re right. I’m the character that doesn’t get a flashback. So far. I think the best thing for me to say is that in this second half, you’re going to find out more about Vance’s relationship with his family and the toll that this has taken. But I guess the closest thing you come to a flashback is what you eluded to. The reveal that we had when he’s in the facility with Ben and Eagan and he talks about the fact that his family is broken apart because of this.
NL: Parveen, your character Saanvi went on a real emotional journey in part 1. You could see that in the flashbacks, but also in the present. What was it like for you to tap into those emotions?
Kaur: I think because such a big part of my character’s function on the show is information and moving the plot forward and kind of the science and the jargon element of it. So it is always a pleasure and always a treat for me as an actor to get to explore more of the emotional themes. Because those are the themes that I actually understand. I don’t know what a high-frequency whatever [is]. I do a little research online, but it’s hard to connect to that. And it’s a different challenge as an actor. So for me, anytime I get to do something emotional, I’m almost foaming at the mouth to get to do them at all. I got to do one of the flashback scenes with Josh [Dallas] in his episode. And so that was really nice because you’re being directed by an actor and those were the scenes that you want, to have someone like that in your corner.
Cast supporting cast
NL: What was Josh like as a director?
Kaur: It suits him. He just lit up. It’s like he put on the director’s hat, and that hat just fit him so well. And you could just tell that he was thriving. This is the sandbox that he wants to be in. And that’s infectious.
Edwards: Josh, first of all, is a great director to work with because both he and Melissa [Roxburgh] learned the technical things they needed to learn. But they’re both great actors and they both speak great acting language so they can communicate to you what you need to do to make the choices you want to make in the scene. But the difference between both of them — Josh, every second that you looked at it, you could tell he was having complete fun. And the thing that surprised me about Melissa, she was supremely confident. And I was just astounded at how confident she is as a young person. And she’s meant to direct just like Josh. But Josh, he was like watching a kid in the candy store. They were both wonderful for completely different points of view.
NL: The two of you worked together a lot in season 3 at Eureka, but there was much more 1-1 time between the two of you this season. What was that like?
Kaur: It was awful… [laughs]
Edwards: I adore all of my scenes with Saanvi. And I adore all of my scenes with Parveen. I adore my scenes with Parveen because — who would think that at my point in my career I would be learning from someone? I learn so much from Parveen. First of all, she won’t do anything on the set unless she understands what it’s for, what it means. All those knobs that you see her turning, she will grill people to find out what this does. And she won’t do it until she understands exactly what she’s doing. A lot of times as an actor, especially on TV, it’s just go, go, go. Get it done. She won’t do that. The other thing she taught me is you can rehearse on TV when there’s no time for rehearsal. Pull your partner aside, which is what she did with me. The reason those scenes worked for me is because she said, let’s just get together and rehearse over Zoom. So she taught me that. I love working with Saanvi because Vance has two sons. He doesn’t have a daughter. Saanvi is his daughter. And we travel the entire range of father-daughter relationships. The things that go great and you’re proud of her. You try to help her when she’s trouble. And you tell her to go to sleep. It’s a joy from both aspects.
NL: That was such a sweet way of putting it. Parveen, did you learn anything from Daryl?
Kaur: Daryl has this ability of just making lines sound so natural. Meanwhile, I need to rehearse to make sense of the gibberish that I’m saying and the amount of effort it takes for me to be able to say a lot of that jargon and make it sound truthful and natural is a lot of work. And Daryl, you do that very well. I mean you have the most iconic line in the series: “I think we’ve taken impossible off the table.” Your delivery on things, it’s so legendary. You’re just a legend, Daryl.
Edwards: I think the challenge that all of us have on this show is that the things that happen in this story are fantastic. And they’re happening in the real world. And I think the challenge that we all have, with each other’s support we’ve all lived up to the challenge, I believe is in internalizing and saying, “Okay, how would my character react if this unbelievable thing happened?” And I think that’s kind of the strength of the show, or any show that deals with this kind of genre. That if you can look at these actors and if you can believe what they believe.
A key, reactive moment that was almost cut out
NL: I love how Vance had to hold Saanvi back when it was revealed Dr. Gupta betrayed them. I always joke that if that was me, Vance wouldn’t have been able to hold me back.
Kaur: They cut it out and then I made them put it back in. I found out that they cut that moment out because they thought, I don’t know who it was. Someone at Netflix I’m sure, thought it was too big. In the edit they cut it out [and] I called Jeff and I was like, my first big ask. I think it’s my only ask of the entire season, where I really advocated for myself and for Saanvi and said no, that moment needs to be there. I mean, to be betrayed twice like that. It’s very loaded. And I know that it was a big choice, I was nervous. It’s just the rage towards Gupta but also the internal rage of — twice? This happened to me twice?
Edwards: There’s nothing better than playing a betrayal I think. And not only was it a betrayal, it was a betrayal with armed troops. It was such an invasion into our space. I loved it. It was so much fun to play.
NL: When the Registry and Dr. Gupta came in, Saanvi had to destroy the research. Was all of it destroyed?
Edwards: You’re going to get so many answers in the second half. I think everybody’s questions are going to be answered and perhaps that’s one of them.
Favorite scenes in season 4 part 1
NL: Was there a scene that you read on the page that you couldn’t wait to act out?
Kaur: Mine was seeing Cal for the first time after he becomes “big” Cal.
Edwards: It’s the scene when Ben shows up at the Bird’s Nest and he looks like crap and he’s asking for another favor and I kind of don’t want to do it.
NL: I love it when you play reluctant Vance. You can see it on your face that you don’t want to help, but know you will.
Kaur: He’s such a sucker. He’s such a sucker for all the Stones, all of us. He just loves us too much.
NL: The characters don’t learn that the Death Date applies to the whole world until episode 10. So why do you think Vance has been so dedicated to the Stones this whole time?
Edwards: I think that Vance is so reality based. If it’s real, you can see it, you can quantify it, you can measure it, and you can arrest it. And now, through Ben and then his exposure to the Stone family and then to Saanvi, he’s learning that there are things that can’t be quantified. And he held onto that belief through Eureka. And then suddenly, Noah’s Arc jumps up. And this is another one of those moments where he’s discovering the Callings are real. I think that I have to have this alliance and this allegiance to them because this is a world I don’t understand, I cannot believe, and yet I know it’s real. And they’re my tether to it. And the other part to that is, I don’t think Vance has been the greatest dad or the greatest husband. And he has discovered through adversity that he has this other family. He has Saanvi as a daughter. He has Ben as a brother. And I think that he’d probably never admit it, but that means a lot.
Manifest actors talk the end of the series
NL: You’ve now finished filming the entire season. Did it surprise you where your characters end up?
Kaur: I was really just trying to stay open to whatever it was. So I wasn’t letting myself go down any type of what ifs. So I wasn’t expecting it.
Edwards: I was completely surprised. We did a table read and our director and showrunner pointed out something that I had missed and I was more shocked. I think you all are going to be rocked by the ending. I really do.
NL: What do you hope viewers remember or take away from the show?
Kaur: I feel like our show has tapped into this sort of magic. There’s this thing where everything just kind of works. And if it was any other show, I don’t know if they could pull it off. It just has this je ne sais quoi about it where you watch it, and all the places that it takes you and the heart of it and the mystery and the procedural aspect of it. It’s like all these elements you would think would start to maybe clash. But the cohesiveness of it all is really amazing. And I think it’s something we hadn’t really seen, which is why I think coming onto Netflix was the best thing to ever happen to us, because of the way it needs to be viewed. It needs to be binged. Because it’s just all so encompassing. You kind of have to enter the world and stay in it for a period of time. You can’t kind of come in and out. But once you’re in it, it’s just so magical. It’s also just really cool to be part of this longer conversation about where TV is going, and how TV is being viewed. Our show was very much a marker of, it didn’t work here in this space but oh my gosh, it thrived in this space. And there’s such a discrepancy. So what does that say about what audiences want nowadays? It’s really cool to be a part of that conversation.
Edwards: Everyday on the set, all of us were aware that the reason we’re back is that the fans of the show brought us back. And our writers and the actors, none of us wanted to give into fan service because we felt that would be cheating. But [what] we did want to do is to deliver the best possible story that we could for them. So nobody phoned it in and that’s one of the reasons that we were so aware that we had a responsibility to the people that brought the show back. So I think if you’re a fan of the show, if you’re a new fan of the show, if you’ve never heard of the show, watch the first half and I think you’re really going to be surprised, in love, saddened, horrified, and inspired by the second half.