The long-awaited return of Manifest is almost here, and the Season 3 premiere of the NBC series will air nearly a full year after the Season 2 finale. While the six-year plan for the series means that the first episode back surely won't be an hour packed with all the answers to all the questions of the show so far, one Manifest star recently spoke with CinemaBlend to preview what's on the way, and it's already clear that there's a lot for fans to be excited about.
J.R. Ramirez, who plays Jared Vasquez on Manifest, has a complex task to tackle playing a character who doesn't receive any Callings to directly connect him to the mythology of the series, but fights the good fight as a cop anyway, complete with his strong feelings for Michaela. Speaking with CinemaBlend, Ramirez explained his approach to playing Jared in the challenges that he'll face in Season 3:
I find one of Jared's biggest traits is his loyalty. He's an extremely loyal human being. He's had to go through unimaginable circumstances just like Grace and Olive did. His loved ones come back out of nowhere. Five and a half years is a very long time. So, he's shown that Michaela, regardless of having to stand by and not be able to have that deep connection with the woman he loves, not only that but he had to sit there and watch her get married to another man that just came out of nowhere. It just shows the loyalty that this man has, the compassion and heart that he has.
Jared's undercover work in Season 2 certainly showed a different side of the character than viewers got to see in Season 1, and he didn't lose himself or his dedication in the work that required him to be deceitful. He also hasn't lost his love for Michaela despite everything, including the relatively quick romance with Zeke that was followed by a wedding, when Zeke was expected to die sooner rather than later due to his death date.
Of course, now that Zeke survived his death date in saving Cal, Jared is going to have to deal with Michaela and Zeke's marriage moving forward. Not that he was hoping for Zeke's death, of course! J.R. Ramirez elaborated on the importance of loyalty to Jared in Season 3, directly connected to his feelings for Michaela:
One of the things that I like to think about myself is loyalty means everything to me. And my relationships and my friendships and with my family, and I just try to give it as much heart as I possibly can. So yeah, that's one of the main things that I found in Jared, and you'll see a lot of that this year as well, with the arc of having to have some sort of very, very awkward friendship between Michaela and Zeke and Jared this year and there's a lot of, I guess patience, that happens.
As uncomfortable as the new dynamic with Michaela and Zeke may be for Jared in Season 3, fans are probably in for some great scenes between the three characters! There's not really a "bad guy," so to speak, among them, but just a lot of strong feelings that are bound to get complicated if they start surfacing. Honestly, it would probably be easier for Jared if Zeke was a bad guy!
[Jared] does get a promotion at the end of Season 2. And you'll see him kind of jump into that full on. We saw towards the end of last year that The Major died. And you'll see him in full cop mode. You'll see him just trying to investigate what this death means and trying to find who did it. And at the end of day, it's Michaela. She's always gonna have Callings, and she's always gonna put it on him and he's always gonna have her back and that means he's gonna be quite busy this year, so I'll just leave it there. Now we have Ben as well getting Callings and trying to hit the streets and find these passengers and find what it all means and get himself into trouble and of course Jared's gonna have to save the day, so Jared's gonna be very busy in Season 3.
The death of The Major was a major twist at the end of Season 2; depending on how much headway Jared makes in his investigation, the case could lead him to Saanvi. Although Saanvi didn't mean to kill The Major, the woman still died, and I think it's safe to say that a character like Saanvi didn't just shake it off over hiatus. Still, Jared will evidently also be busy with the Stone siblings investigating Callings in the third season, and he may have to keep a closer eye on Ben as well as Michaela.
Hopefully Jared got to relax a little bit over the time jump, if he's being thrown back into the craziness when Season 3 picks up! Jared's promotion does mean that he outranks Michaela, but according to J.R. Ramirez, fans don't need to worry that it'll cause problems. When I asked if the promotion will bring complications between the two, Ramirez reassured:
No, no, no. At the end of the day, he's in a position with a little bit more power now. So she's going to, just like always, use him to find some answers and help her figure out what all these Callings mean and he will be right there, helping along the way.
All things considered, Manifest has set J.R. Ramirez's Jared up for plenty to do even without getting the Callings himself, and Michaela and Co. will undoubtedly be fortunate to have him in their corner. As for Saanvi... well, it should be interesting to see what Jared uncovers in his investigation into what happened to The Major and how deeply buried her secrets are once he starts digging.
See the whole Manifest crew back in action with the Season 3 premiere on Thursday, April 1 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, ahead of the Law & Order: SVU/Law & Order: Organized Crime crossover event. Manifest set up a lot of plot threads at the end of the second season, not the least of which was the discovery of the Flight 828 tail fin in the middle of the ocean, so be sure not to miss an episode.