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Remembering What the Hell Happened on Manifest


Ah, Manifest, the show that really makes a case for never taking an airline voucher in exchange for getting bumped to a later flight. To know Manifest is to stare insanity in the face and say, “Yeah, I’m cool with this.” Manifest is a wild ride that sometimes makes your brain physically hurt and often makes you think, I do not understand this, but I will definitely just go with it. That said, the gist [MAJOR SPOILERS!] is that a group of 191 passengers on Flight 828 experience a brief bit of turbulence that turns out to have been some mysterious location called “the glow” that they disappear into for five and a half years, causing their families, friends and the rest of the world to assume they are missing and dead. As the passengers reenter society, passengers experience strange voices, visions, and religious experiences, all connected to the mysterious disappearance of Flight 828.

All the revelations through the first three seasons are absolutely wild, and the 20-episode fourth and final season will surely be no different. But the great thing about this series is that as it takes its final descent (oh, you are so welcome) and the passengers of the fated flight try to figure out the various mysteries — where they went for five and a half years, why they receive mysterious callings, and how they can survive their impending death dates, on which they will all be judged for their actions — Manifest doesn’t hesitate to provide answers. Part one of Manifest’s fourth season premiered on Netflix last fall, and even then, we were provided with some definitive answers and other developments that seem to set things up perfectly for part two — which arrives on June 2 — to provide a real conclusion. Ahead of those final ten episodes, let’s go over five of the biggest things you should remember from part one.


“The world’s smallest sociopath” remains a menace to society.

If stopping impending doom weren’t enough, this little menace is still out there causing chaos. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

The passengers will have more than one crisis to deal with when season four returns, but perhaps the most pressing is everyone’s favorite psychopath, Angelina. Season three saw Angelina go from captive to nice if a little religious passenger buddy to full villain in record time, culminating in her murdering Grace Stone and kidnapping baby Eden, who she believed was her guardian angel. Two years have passed since season three ended, and Angelina is in hiding. She now refers to Eden as her daughter and believes she is 100 percent correct in having taken Eden (even if killing Grace was a little whoopsie) because Angelina and Eden keep each other safe. It’s God’s will, yadda, yadda, yadda. But even when Ben Stone saves Eden, Angelina remains a threat thanks to a little thing called the omega sapphire.

The omega sapphire is an ancient mythological stone with great power and is vital to our story because the passengers discover it can help them tune in more clearly to their callings. It’s an amplifier, so to speak, and they’ve learned there are traces of it all over important 828 artifacts, including that plane tail fin that showed up in the ocean and that piece of Noah’s Ark they found back in the day. (Remember that whole thing? What a time.) While regular sapphires can do the trick, these ancient omega sapphires have real power. And wouldn’t you know, the gang finds one hidden in the wall of a Masonic temple that was turned into a boiler room connected to the New York City subway. (I know that seems like Mad Libs, but those are facts, baby.) Angelina winds up getting control of the sapphire and does some cute little things with it, like creating awful callings and putting them into people’s heads (the worst is her conjuring up dearly departed Grace and using her to manipulate the Stone family) and taking a church hostage by creating lava rivers and apocalyptic fire. By the end, Angelina believes herself to be an archangel sent by God to destroy evil. Although Cal does his best to try to get the omega sapphire while inside a calling with Angelina, she pulls a shattered piece of it out of the lava with her bare hand and the shard fuses with her body. So yeah, it seems like this woman might pose a little bit of a problem as we wind this series down.


Unfortunately, the 828 Registry Division of the NYPD isn’t just some fever dream.

Oh right, there’s a whole division dedicated to ruining 828ers’ lives. Very cool. Photo: PETER KRAMER/NETFLIX

Another major obstacle standing between Ben, Michaela, et al. figuring out how to save the 828 passengers from the death date is the NYPD’s brand-spanking-new division lovingly referred to as the Registry. Anti-828 sentiment started about as soon as that plane landed five and a half years after it took off, but initially, it was just radical hate groups. Over time, the public’s fear and hate of 828ers has only grown. In season four, we learn it has grown so much that 828 passengers are now required to check in with the Registry every month, most of them can’t secure jobs, and if any of them are caught having one of those freaky-deaky callings, they’re detained. The 828ers are seen as subhuman. While all that is awful, season four, part one, ends with a terrifying development: Angelina uses the omega sapphire to cause a mass mind-meld scream among the passengers, so the Registry is ordered to detain all 828ers until further notice. That’s right, everybody’s getting locked up. The only sliver of hope here is that our pals have two allies on the inside: Both Jared and Drea are detectives within the Registry Division. That’s good news, right? Or at least, okay news?


You thought the whole death-date thing couldn’t get worse? That’s so cute.

Take a look at this depression beard. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

All this time, the passengers were led to believe that surviving the judgment coming for them on their death date — June 2, 2024 — was just about them. They knew when that date arrived, all 191 passengers would be judged collectively by whatever higher being is running the show, and if their actions as a whole didn’t add up, well, RIP. But thanks to a calling, Ben & Co. realize the death date doesn’t pertain to just the passengers but to all of humanity. This is an apocalypse show now, folks! Humankind’s fate rests on the Flight 828 passengers surviving their judgment. We have met those passengers, and I am worried. Ben should be sentenced to death simply for having that Sad Dad Beard for as long as he did. Humanity is hanging by a thread!


We now know where the plane went for five and a half years … kind of.

Cal has been in the glow twice. TWICE! Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

God bless Manifest and its unending reservoir of confidence. It’s out here having multiple characters squeal about the Divine Consciousness as if we’re all just supposed to be like, Ah, yes, what a cool reveal. I, too, know exactly what that is. Now stick with me here because, in true Manifest tradition, it’s all connected. (I already hate myself for using that phrase. Just deal with it.) Passenger Henry Kim arrives on the scene with a big dragonlike scar on his arm from a lightning strike in his childhood and the black box from Flight 828. He’s looking for Cal and eventually informs him that Cal is the dragon and transfers his scar to Cal. It’s a whole thing, but just know that the scar has traces of sapphire, at times lights up, and will probably come in handy later. The black box also has some weird stuff happening: There’s a six-second portion at an ultralow frequency with mysterious voices. When Saanvi is able to manipulate those six seconds so she can hear it, she realizes those aren’t just voices — those are all the callings. The callings are on the black box!! How is this possible? The callings were just in people’s minds! And we thought they were flashes of the future? But here they all are, sitting on this “God frequency” on the black box. We had the callings all wrong. Okay, hold on to that information and also to your butts.

Michaela, Saanvi, and Cal get into contact with 828’s co-pilot, Amuta, and finally question him about what he saw when the plane went through that storm and what he thinks happened during these six seconds of voices/callings on the black box. He knows exactly what happened during those six seconds … that’s when they all died. He said they went into a bright, all-encompassing light … or into the glow. (Manifest cannot help but give things cutesy names for characters to repeat as if they were real things.) Cal remembers the glow! He saw it while they were on the flight. THEN when Amuta says the phrase he and Captain Daley used when they talked about what they saw postflight — “the long delirious burning blue” — Cal remembers he was in the glow a second time. That’s where he went in season three when he disappeared after touching the tailfin when he came back five and a half years older. Eventually, they realize “the glow” is Divine Consciousness, or “a heavenly state of all-knowingness.” Basically: It’s a divine, peaceful place where you suddenly know everything past, present, and future. This leads them to another major discovery: The callings aren’t visions of the future at all; they are memories of what they learned while in the Divine Consciousness when the plane was in the glow. For them, it was six seconds; for the rest of the world, it was five and a half years. I swear I haven’t had a stroke, and this is what happened on the show. Or maybe I did have a stroke. I honestly can’t tell anymore.


Not Zeke, you bastards!

I’m still not okay about what happened to Zeke. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Okay, so once all this Divine Consciousness stuff is discovered and they realize Cal’s scar is tied to the prophesied dragon and all the sapphire business, it’s generally concluded that Cal is the key to surviving the death date. The only problem: Cal’s cancer has come back, and he’s dying, fast. He looks … disgusting. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s the truth and I won’t be caught lying when humanity is being judged. Things are bleak. But then, our handy-dandy empath, Zeke, realizes he can not only emotionally take on people’s pain but also physically, I guess? He realizes he’s the only person who can save Cal and, thus, humanity. Zeke loves Cal. Cal saved Zeke’s life, gave him a second chance, and introduced him to the love of his life, Michaela, so making this sacrifice isn’t even a question for Zeke. He makes one devastating phone call to Mick before he does it to tell her how she taught him to “be truly alive.” It is gutting!! Then, Zeke takes on all of Cal’s cancer, saving Cal’s life but ultimately killing himself. This show is such a roller coaster: One minute, you’re rolling your eyes at people taking the phrase “the glow” seriously, and the next you’re weeping because true love has just been murdered!! Manifest better find some way in all the craziness to give Zeke and Mick a happy ending. The Divine Consciousness has to be good for something!!

Remembering What the Hell Happened on Manifest