Why Manifest's Michaela Should Be With Zeke Instead of Jared, According To Matt Long

Josh Dallas as Ben Stone Matt Long as Zeke Landon and J. R. Ramirez as Jared Vasquez on Manifest Sea

Matt Long just joined NBC's Manifest as mystery man Zeke Landon. He and Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh) instantly recognized each other -- he from a picture of her that he was drawn to, and she from a recent Calling about him. Turns out, Zeke was stuck in a cave during a blizzard for what was two weeks to him but a year for everyone else. It was a smaller-scale version of the five-plus-year time jump of the Flight 828 passengers.

Matt Long told me he doesn't know what the future holds in terms of the potential love square of Michaela, Zeke, Jared (J.R. Ramirez), and Jared's wife/Mick's BFF Lourdes (Victoria Cartagena). But he thinks it's pretty clear why Michaela should pick Zeke over Jared:

I'm curious [what will happen with] that myself. Of course, thinking about myself, if it does happen then I think she should end up with Zeke, obviously. I mean, Jared's already married. Her and Zeke have got a lot of things in common and experienced similar things in their lives.

In the penultimate episode of Season 1 -- Episode 15, "Hard Landing," airing this Monday, February 11 -- Jared finds out about Zeke and his connection to Michaela. According to Matt Long, that gets ... tense.

When I meet Jared, it starts off tense and I don't understand why, because I don't know their history. Then Ben [Stone, played by Josh Dallas] lets me in on what has happened between them. So Jared is automatically jealous of me and suspicious. Suspicious because he just gets a vibe from me, because I've had this dark past, and then jealous because Michaela spent so much time with me and she didn't answer any questions about why she was away with me. And also because Michaela and I both experience Callings and he doesn't, so that makes him the odd man out.

Yeah, it does seem like Michaela and Zeke have a deep connection that could threaten what Jared wants to have with Michaela.

Jared and Michaela in Manifest Season 1 Episode 15

There are some fans who are still pulling for Michaela and Jared to be together, but others who don't like the way he handled the situation with Lourdes -- in that he didn't handle it. In the previous week's Episode 14, Jared dodged Lourdes' questions about their relationship, so Lourdes confronted Michaela. Michaela's face basically gave everything away, and the women argued in the street.

Jared wasn't happy that Michaela told Lourdes about them, but it's about time someone was straight with Jared's own wife. Yeah, Jared had proposed to Michaela right before she got on Flight 828, and for Michaela no time had passed, but for both Jared and Lourdes, more than five years has passed. Some fans are blaming Lourdes for violating girl code, but what is Jared violating to try to have both women at once? He didn't have to marry his almost-fiancée's best friend, and he really didn't have to cheat on his wife behind that BFF's back.

So Manifest adding Zeke to the mix takes some power away from Jared and turns it from a love triangle into a love square. Manifest does love a love square, just ask Ben/Grace/Danny/Saanvi. (Although, where is Danny lately?)

Manifest has been a big hit for NBC but as of right now the network has yet to renew the drama for Season 2. So for now, we just have Episode 15, "Hard Landing," airing Monday February 11 at 10 p.m. on NBC, and the Episode 16 finale, "Estimated Time of Departure," airing February 18. Here's what else is airing on TV during midseason 2019.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.