‘Manifest’ Star J.R. Ramirez Says Jared Deserves ‘a Damn Happy Ending’ After Season 4

Manifest” may be a show of miracles, mysteries and — as of Season 4 — the looming apocalypse, but it’s just as much a series about love, relationships and family. As for those first two, perhaps no “Manifest” character has been through the relationship ringer more than Jared, and star J.R. Ramirez hopes his character’s journey finally leads him to happiness when final 10 episodes of “Manifest” Season 4 arrive on Netflix.

Michaela’s would-be fiancé before Flight 828, Jared has since run a gauntlet of failed relationships, including not one, but two controversial love triangles centered on his unwavering love for Mick. “I always joke around that Jared needs some time by himself because he has a really hard time keeping a woman for more than two weeks,” Ramirez said.

But the first half of the final season — which picks up two years after the shocking Season 3 finale, in which Jared once again poured his heart out to Michaela — introduced a changed Jared: humbled at work, centered within himself and, seemingly, finally moving on from Mick. “I just hope the guy gets a damn happy ending, a happy ending at the end of it all,” Ramirez told TheWrap. “He deserves to be frickin’ happy.”

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(WARNING: There are spoilers through the “Manifest” Season 4 Part 1 finale below.)

Jared seems to be in a good place this season. He got to do two years of healing that the audience didn’t see, so how do you think of where he’s at this season?

You know, to be honest with you, it was my favorite Jared. I’m very attached to this character. Always have been, from the beginning of it all. And I just find I find this season, over any, it’s been my favorite Jared to play so far. I think Jared has had, like you said, these two years. We start two years after the last moment and you saw him kind of, again, confessing his heart out to this woman. He just doesn’t learn, he just does not learn. [laughs]

But I love him so much this year because I just feel like he’s had a year of reflection. He’s had some time to really kind of put everything in perspective, and you kind of noticed that in his way of being this year. There’s not that kind of edge or chip on his shoulders. I think a lot has to do with the fact that he’s just really taking time to work on himself.

He is obviously very much engaged and committed to helping these passengers, these 191 people. I think it has to do, too, with the fact that he’s been helping these passengers figure out this crazy kind of ticking time bomb that is the death date. The fact that he’s helping these people that may only have a specific amount of time left to live, I think it’s really kind of put perspective in his life and what really matters; and family is the throughline of what really moves this character forward, all the way to the end. It’s all about you know, the people he loves in his life and what he’s doing with his life. He wants kids and what does that all mean? Is there space for that? You know, there’s a lot. You get to meet his family. I mean, there’s so much going on this year.


From a performance perspective, what about that mental state made this your favorite version of Jared to play?

I just feel like there was so much to kind of navigate this year, when it came to all that. I love the fact that they were they were able to bring in a little flavor of what Jared’s background was, you know, to be able to go in there and speak some Spanish with — Carlos Gomez plays my dad, just a fantastic actor, has been around forever. And we just like we were able to kind of sit there and talk to Jeff about you know, where is Jared from? That makes a huge difference. We never really established where this man was from. He’s like, making Cuban. I’m Cuban. So is Carlos. So we sat there and tried to Cubanize as much Spanish as we could and make us feel like really authentic, and just to bring that little flavor and spice of our culture onto “Manifest” is just, it was so rewarding and I’m so happy that was able to do that.

But on top of that, you know, yeah, there’s — the later block gets crazy, the first 10 — it gives you a lot of information, and then the last 10, it’s just, the stakes are even [higher]. It just moves really well this year and the stakes are through the roof.

I was gonna ask you about that family dynamic, I loved seeing how warm and supportive his father was and getting that glimpse into Jared’s foundation.

Again, I think they just did a beautiful job at allowing this family to be rich. Or, you know, there’s an aspect of Hispanics– I can only speak for myself and my culture and the people that I know, but there is an aspect of family that always sits at the top. No matter what dysfunctionality a family has, be it Hispanic or whatever, we’re extremely family-oriented culture, you know, and to be able to kind of see that and support that.

I’ve had that, it’s funny because I’ve had that growing up. I wouldn’t be here without my mom or dad and it was very much true to how I grew up, how they wrote this man., how they wrote the protection and support and love that his father had for him no matter… You know, there was always going to be some sort of obedience and direction to show his son, but he’s always gonna have his back, which is constant with my dad with me. When they brought the whole thing to us and I read Episode 6, I was it was one of the most exciting things I’ve been able to do on the show. And I look back at that to say that the truth behind it is there’s a lot of they brought a lot of truth to the culture, you know? So it was really great.

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We get to see a little bit of the sexier side of Jared, thanks to Netflix and his new relationship with Drea. I liked how that relationship was handled, especially in the sense that it wasn’t used as a way to cause conflict between Mick and Drea. But, since Jared is so family-forward, where do you think his head is at with Drea, since she is so no-strings-attached?

First off, I love Ellen [Tamaki] to death. She’s incredible. She’s such a talented actress and just so great to play off of. She’s become a dear friend. And it’s just it was really fun to play, to see where it was going because it’s another thing I had absolutely no idea [about]. I kept myself pretty much out of the loop since the show started, but specifically this last one. I had no idea where it was going. I had no idea where my end was. You know, I sat down with Jeff at the beginning of season, but I told him “Don’t tell me a lot like I don’t want to know.” So I had no idea what was gonna happen with the course of this Jared/Drea arc, so to speak.

Obviously, Jared has always — I always joke around that Jared needs some time by himself because he has a really hard time keeping a woman for more than two weeks. And I find him to be a good guy. I don’t know what he’s doing wrong in that department. [laugh] I love everything about the whole Jared and Drea thing I love that it wasn’t sprung on people right away. They let it… they milked it, they let it you know, organically take place.


And I think I think more than anything, Jared obviously has gone through so much when it comes to the relationship with Michaela when it comes to being there, having to work with her, having to see her all the time, navigate these other women that have come into his life. I think, like I said before, this year is about reflection. This year is about what really matters — that is family and it’s about, you know, putting all his chips into helping these people with this death date and what that all means. And organically you will see something arise with Jared and Drea that I think is just beautifully put together and people won’t see it coming. I didn’t see a lot of what’s to come with that whole situation between Jared, Drea, Michaela, Zeke, everything — a lot of it you don’t see it coming. So it organically kind of happens.

Yeah, man, I hope I just hope the guy gets a damn happy ending; a happy ending at the end of it all. He deserves to be frickin happy. Took me a while to say because I didn’t know where it was all going. After Season 3… I’ve talked about it. People were like, “Does he deserve a happy ending?” And I was like, “Yeah… yeah?” And now, he deserves a darn happy ending. You know, he’s a good guy who has had everyone else’s heart and best intentions at the forefront, and he deserves to be happy. So hopefully he gets it.

We talked about how he’s in this better place for most of this season, but obviously, Zeke’s death is pretty upending for that dynamic. So at the start of these first 10 episodes versus at the end, how does that impact that mental you know, that state of stability and confidence?

Yeah, we will see right off the jump, these two characters having to interact, and they’re written in a way where I feel like the reality is that they both want the same thing: they both want the best for her. They obviously both want her and only one can win, and they both put it out there, but when it comes down to it, it’s about wanting the best for Michaela.

And that also … how can I say it? There’s a sense of understanding between both of them, and love and respect, that kind of nourishes this blossoming understanding between each other, so to speak. I don’t want to say friendship, but an understanding that you’ll start seeing, you’ll see a few scenes this year of Zeke and Jared and again in a very different light.

So when everything happens at the end of the first block… Jared never wanted any pain for Michaela, he never wanted to hurt Zeke. He never wanted any of that, he wanted things to work out between the love of his life, between his soulmate and just, you know, Mr. Rake had something else coming. But he never wanted anything bad for him. So when everything kind of happens towards the end of the block, again, he will just, especially where he’s at right now, it is about making sure that she is taken care of, that she knows he’s there, and that they work together for the greater good of these people and the death date. They have a very massive task at hand, so it’s not so much… Like I said, I really like Jared this year. I feel like the first season, that was very much about making sure Mick understood where he was and what he wanted. And this year is about him and it’s about, you know, how he can help and what’s next for him and his life?


I haven’t seen the final 10, but something I really love about this show is there’s such an attention to humanity and grace, so knowing that he established that unlikely understanding with Zeke, I’m sure he’ll be grieving in his own way, and I just can’t imagine that his reaction is going to be like, “Now’s my time, I won!”

Absolutely not. No, absolutely. They couldn’t do it that way because that’s the beauty of what “Manifest” is. It’s family first. And I think that’s why it’s connected with you know, so many families have sat down with their families, with their sons and daughters and binged our show. Because there’s this sense of — there’s all this sci-fi and incredible high stakes and all this stuff, but at the root of it all, it’s about family, it’s about love, about relationship and about what it means to be able to come together and figure out this these crazy, unimaginable circumstances that happened. But the root of what makes “Manifest,” in my opinion, is this family that we’ll go through all the way to the last second.

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