It's different for me, I know, because I'm used to death. Hell, everyone I knew died before any of this shit even happened. You still haven't completely come to terms with it, but you will. It sounds fucked up, it really does, but you just get used to losing people. I just want you to know that I'm not being a bitch for my own sake anymore. I'm being a bitch so I don't lose you too. I don't know if I'd ever get used to losing you.
Manila Shea is a main character in Eden Rising. A former rhythmic gymnast who performed in the Olympics for her home nation of Australia, Manila retired after an injury and became a renowned sports journalist. Under the pretense that the world would pick itself back up after the spread of the virus and that she would receive a handsome pay, Manila was hired by Ed MacPherson of the United Nations to write about the condition of the United States and interview survivors. Here, she was captured and sold as a sex slave to The General. Tactful and incredibly sneaky, Manila talked her way out of being a sex slave and into doing more things for the group, proving her worth on the outside. Ever since she started taking care of orphaned teen PJ Shamp, the pair had been secretly planning a revolt against The General.
When Tom's group arrived, Manila and PJ saw their chance to put their plan into action by teaming up with them briefly. When The General's regime fell and the tyrant was killed, Manila and PJ permanently joined Tom's group, slowly but surely become trustworthy allies and friends. Upon arriving at Eden, Manila wanted to make a little extra money working for the Touch Star security company, and got caught up in a dangerous web of lies thanks to Leigh Vega.
A tough-as-nails cool chick, Manila is a woman of few words, who is more capable of writing out her feelings than outright saying them. Also an excellent athlete, Manila is known for her fiery determination and allure. She has an intense fear of death, and is willing to do whatever she can to save her own skin.
Because she has always been alone throughout her life, Manila was never used to caring about others. Many found her selfish, which was true to a point, but it was only because that is how she was raised. She always had the philosophy that if she kept her distance from people, she'd be less likely to get hurt. But in acting as PJ's foster mother, empathy and love have begin to grow in her heart and she now finally has someone to care about other than herself.
Manila grew up in Australia, but it is known that she had family in Thailand.
Before the outbreak, Manila was once a rhythmic gymnast who participated in the Olympic Games. Manila became so wrapped up in the intense training that she began to ignore any outside influence--whether it be friends or family. Her mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, and her situation was serious. She didn't set any time aside to visit her and by the time she brought home the bronze medal, Manila returned home to discover that her mother passed away.
Due to an injury that hindered her athletic abilities, Manila retired from the sport for her second passion; journalism. She was a successful sports journalist until the outbreak hit.
The outbreak hit while Manila was on assignment in Taiwan. Taiwan cleaned up quickly and managed to control itself. Manila was hired by the United Nations to return to the United States and write a report on how the country's clean-up efforts are going. She was instructed by Ed MacPherson, a U.N. representative, to return to France with her report when she was done and the book was to be sold and all profits were to go to Manila. Believing the world would rebuild itself and that the book sales would propel her to new opportunities, Manila flew back to the United States.
Here, she lived with a group of survivors at a casino located at a Native American reserve. These people took care of her and taught her to stop being selfish and to grow as a human being. She was gifted with a pair of moccasins by the casino's leader, Nina, who wanted to prove to Manila that she didn't have to be selfish forever. The casino was overrun by Christos, a slave trader, who murdered Nina and captured Manila. A tyrant called The General took great interest in Manila, trading supplies for her. She became one of his favorite sex slaves and was locked in a dungeon/recreational torture chamber that was once a tunnel of love for a carnival, a place called Valhalla. It was here that Manila was nearly forced by some of the Jugulators to have sex with the under-aged Ash, though The General stopped this from happening.
Manila wanted to prove herself a worthy soldier for The General, and thus she murdered Christos in cold blood by sneaking a piece of shrapnel in and slicing his jugular. The General was convinced that she was a selfish, cold human being and began training and trusting her as a result.
Some time later, Manila encountered a woman at a construction site. The woman was bare foot and freezing in torrential rain. Manila showed compassion by giving the woman her jacket and the moccasins she was gifted by Nina at the casino. Manila's compassion in turn ironically led to the death of the woman. Her son was hiding and was instructed to hit any strangers in the head with a rock. Not recognizing the figure in the rain due to the harsh weather and the unfamiliar rain coat and moccasin shoes she wore, the boy beat his mother over the head with the rock until she was dead. Slowly realizing what he did, the boy passed out.
Guiltridden, Manila could not abandon the boy. She instead brought him back to camp. Other than providing his name, PJ, the boy couldn't recall much of anything that happened as he suffered from post-traumatic amnesia, and believed that his mother disappeared. Manila led him along with this lie, hoping to continue blocking out his memories, her form of protecting him from the brutal and tragic truth.
Sometime later, PJ regained his memories and started holding a grudge against Manila for hiding the truth from him. The two began to hatch a plan for taking over the tyrant's camp and murdering him, tired of living under such harsh conditions.
When Tom's group arrived at The General's camp, Manila and PJ instantly drove them into their plot for overthrowing The General. It all came to fruition, and when everything fell into chaos and The General was finally dead, the pair joined Tom's group and fled with them.
Arriving at the airport with Tom's group, Manila began cementing herself as PJ's guardian. The two went through their tough moments together, as PJ's epileptic hallucinations kept bringing back memories of his mother's death. The two fought over the soldier Michael, with PJ wanting to shoot guns with him, and Manila found him to be a bad influence on the boy.
After Michael's group of soldiers try to kill the survivors, PJ and Manila partake in a shootout that ends in all of the soldiers' deaths. Four months after this event, PJ and Manila's relationship is a lot better. Manila began to worry when Gwen took over as the group's leader, coming to Tom with worries that her form of food distribution wasn't fair and she was catering more to her friends than anyone else.
When a saboteur attacks the airport and murders Phoebe and Regis, Manila and Sidney head outside to investigate and chase down the perpetrator. Manila is stabbed in the gut by the perpetrator and discovered by Sidney, who is in turn stabbed herself. Sidney dies from her wounds and turns into a zombie, put down shortly thereafter by Gwen, while Manila is still alive but unconscious. She is brought to the Last Chance Society in hopes that their doctors will patch her up. Manila survives her surgery and manages to make it back to the airport and board the rescue plane to Eden.
Manila was part of the Touch Star security team, making it her duty to protect and serve inside the dome's walls. But the pay and support was meager, so she began working odd jobs for Séverine Bangalter behind the backs of everyone at Touch Star. She worked external missions outside the dome - strictly against protocol - to gather ancient artifacts and art, in Séverine's attempt to start preserving human history. To further her tangled webs, Manila was dragged into "Operation Snapdragon", a mission sanctioned by Leigh Vega, to retrieve a bomb from a manufacturer in Italy. Manila initially refused, but PJ and Declan's lives were threatened by Leigh, who revealed her malicious intentions to her. Manila, who was doing all of these odd jobs for the money to support her awkward family of PJ, Declan, and herself, felt she had no choice in the end.
Using the crushed remains of a curare plant as a formula, Manila drugged a young man named Nicola, who was the younger brother of a maid to the bomb manufacturers, Celia and her husband Giovanni. Manila manipulated the maid, a woman named Solange, to switch out a real bomb for a decoy in exchange for the antidote to save her brother's life from the paralyzing poison. Manila and her partner Ike went to retrieve the antidote with help of their outside contact, Anton, who brought them to Zoe, a mysterious hermit woman. After a showdown, Manila shot Zoe dead and stole the supplies she needed for the antidote. When she and Ike returned to Solange's house, she and her brother were murdered by Celia, who discovered the woman sneaking around their home and stealing the bomb. Manila shot Celia dead, retrieved the bomb, and returned safely with Ike to Eden.
Though "Operation Snapdragon" was a success, Manila was haunted by the deaths of people who didn't need to die in retrieving it. She went to return home, but was knocked out with a rag of chloroform by someone and held captive, gagged and bound to a chair inside a room full of security cameras, with the bomb she retrieved for Leigh under her chair. Her captor, Touch Star CEO/founder Ed MacPherson, demanded to know why Manila was sneaking around outside of the walls of dome, and suspected terrorism due to her sneaking in a bomb. Manila told MacPherson about her missions for Séverine, something MacPherson suspected, but said that the bomb was the doing of Leigh Vega. Because he was so hooked on trying to usurp Séverine as "the Director" inside Eden, MacPherson skimmed over reference of Leigh and simply focused on mention of Séverine. Growing frustrated with MacPherson's childish attitude, Manila began to insult him. He beat her up and left her on the floor in the room, suggesting he was running out of options with her and she might have to be killed. She grabbed a bag he brought for her, pulling out PJ's lucky sock. She held it in her arms and sobbed on the ground.
Chandra attempted to murder Manila to get rid of "loose ends", but Gareth interfered, shooting Chandra just in time. Chandra fled the scene, and Gareth took Manila to the clinic to get medical help. At the clinic, Manila had a bittersweet reunion with a grief-stricken PJ, who just had to put down a zombified Declan. Manila used the philosophy she learned from Nina and the other folks at the Native American casino, that giving is the best way to heal yourself. So to get happiness, PJ could give it. He went to his room in Declan's suite, gathered laser tag equipment he built himself, and Manila suggested to Rory that he surprise his fiance Kitty and marry her in a laser tag-themed wedding. The wedding was a success, and offered a great distraction for PJ's brain, giving him the opportunity to cut loose a bit in the wake of all of the recent tragedy.
- Manila is the only character to have her name in an episode title.
|Season One appearances|
|Every New Beginning Come from Some Other Beginning's End||Next, or: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Love the Back-Up Plan||Cacophony||Cutthroat Jugulators and Crying Little People||Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (As We Know It)|
|D.O.C.||Equivocacy||Birthday||Death March, Part I: Tunnel of Love, and Dismembered Limbs, Among Other Gory Things||Death March, Part II: Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?|
|Season Three appearances|
|Snapdragon||Jiang Shi||Let's Go to Commercial, or: How I Got Laid in a Pretty Pink House||Where in the World Have You Been, Manila Shea?||You Won't Like Tomorrow|
|Tomorrow||It's Turtles All the Way Down and the Bottom Is Oh-So Close||Funeral||The Mourning After||Serpentine Fire|
|Season Four appearances|
|Let's Deal the Cards Again, Part I||Let's Deal the Cards Again, Part II||Halcyon||Bury the Hatchet|
|Converge||'Tis Pity She's a Dead Whore||Our Mutual Friend||The False Knight on the Road and the God-Why-Don't-You-Love-Me Blues|
|Show Me Your Teeth||Shadowboxing||I Just Wasn't Made for These Times||Mad World|