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Why Zeke Is Unique On Manifest

Here's the tl;dr about NBC's hit drama "Manifest" – it's a story about a plane full of passengers disappearing somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean and landing in New York City five years later, with no idea whatsoever that they had been missing for so long and are presumed dead. But the reality is that there's so much more going on, it's hard to describe the show in a few simple sentences. Following along and unraveling the mystery is the main appeal that got 10.4 million people tuning in at the beginning of Season 1, according to TV by the Numbers. And one of those mysteries is Zeke Landon (Matt Long).

Zeke's origin story is similar to what happened to the passengers on Flight 828, but there are a lot of stark differences, too. He doesn't actually appear onscreen until Season 1 Episode 12, "Vanishing Point," under a completely different set of circumstances compared to the other characters. Furthermore, the way his particular storyline develops adds some twists and turns to the overall plot, which has audiences scratching their heads and coming up with some wild fan theories (according to Screen Rant). Let's take a look at Zeke's story, character, and all the reasons why he's such a unique fixture on the series.

Zeke's origin story doesn't start on the plane

The aforementioned "Vanishing Point" episode is where the audience is first introduced to Zeke Landon. He was not on the plane with the other passengers, and he didn't disappear for five whole years like they did. Instead, he went for a winter hike and sought shelter in a cave two weeks earlier, after being surprised by a dangerous blizzard. But after some questioning and conversation, his rescuers discover that Zeke hasn't been missing for two weeks — he's been missing for over a year.

One popular fan theory among "Manifesters" is that Flight 828 disappeared after flying through the Bermuda Triangle (it's so popular, in fact, that TV Guide had to cover it). But the existence of Zeke's character and origin story sorta/kinda turns this theory on its head. The fact that people anywhere in the "Manifest" universe can vanish for extended periods of time, wake up unawares, and then hear "callings" that warn them of future events means that some other supernatural force is likely behind these events, not the nautical legend about a treacherous part of the sea. But without Zeke, audiences would still be speculating otherwise.

Zeke survives his own death date and evolves to develop empathic powers

Another way Zeke is unique is that he manages to escape the fate of his death date and develop a new type of calling. In the Season 2 finale, "Icing Conditions," Zeke rescues Cal from a group of drug dealers and fishes him out of a frozen lake, sacrificing his own life in the process. But his good deed doesn't go unrewarded. When Zeke emerges from the water, not only is he completely okay, but the signs of frostbite that heralded his impending doom were no more.

From that moment on, in Season 3, Zeke's callings were noticeably different from those of the Flight 828 passengers. Instead of seeing traditional visions of the future, he gains the ability to feel exactly what others are feeling. He uses his newfound ability to discover information that moves the plot along and helps him and his friends overcome obstacles along the way. Unfortunately, because NBC canceled the show (as reported by Deadline) before it could have the chance to explain Zeke's transformation, fans may never know exactly why Zeke is so unique compared to the other characters on the show. But if you are curious to know more about Zeke — or "Manifest" in general — the first two seasons are currently available on Netflix. And you can watch Season 3 on NBC or its streaming service, Peacock.