We Have Manifest Theories That Might Explain WTH is Happening

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TV’s biggest mystery is coming back next month, and the passengers of Flight 828 are frantically working against the clock to get some much-desired answers. 

The series wasn’t forthcoming with explanations to the supernaturally complex mystery on Manifest Season 1, often raising more questions and infuriating the audience. 

Ben  - Manifest Season 1 Episode 1

But following the season finale’s big reveal -- Mic, Cal, Ben, and all the passengers are living on borrowed time -- the characters are now more motivated than ever to find out what really happened to them on that plane. 

Since much of the show is a tangled web of mysteries and conspiracies, get ready for these theories to make your head spin. 

Do you have any theories? Share them with us even if they aren’t fleshed-out fully. 

Theory #1 - This Has Happened Before

A TV Fanatic reader submitted a theory in our comments section last year and based on the extended trailer for Manifest Season 2, and she may be onto something.

User Kate227 believes that the passengers were sent into a “black hole/time vortex” where these events have already played out so the “callings” and visions are warnings from themselves.

Cal Hears a Calling - Manifest

The trailer may support that theory with Ben stating, “the possibility that all of this has happened before, this changes everything.”

She adds that when they reach their explanation date, they’ll return in yet another reality with newer memories and more powerful abilities of inter-dimensional communication.

The goal is to break out of the continuous loop and survive. 

What Happened? - Manifest

Theory #2 - They Are All Dead

Many fans fear that the series is taking a play out of Lost’s playbook and in reality, Ben, Mic, and Cal are all dead.

That would be anti-climactic, wouldn’t it?

Theory #3 - They Were All Dead Before the Flight Took Place

Resurrection for the greater good? Reddit user KellyKeybored theorized that everyone on the plane died at some point in their lives prior to the fated flight.

The government was experimenting with “bringing people back from the dead” in hopes of “going back in time and sabotaging adversaries or even eliminating evil people before they rose to power," thus bringing them back as a test-run.

Saying Goodbye - Manifest Season 1 Episode 1

Theory #4 - A Bigger Purpose

Similar to the plot of “The 4400” and pulling from Theory #3, Redditors believe the passengers were taken into the future and returned in order to save people critical to future plans of prevent something apocalyptic.

Manifest Renewal - Tall

It’s possible it will take all the “saviors” approximately 5-years to complete their task at which point, they will no longer be needed.

Or maybe Cal is the reason they were all saved because he’s destined to do great things in the future.

Much of the storyline does revolve around him being a key of sorts. 

Reunited - Manifest Season 1 Episode 1

Theory #5 - It’s in Mic’s Head

What if it’s all a dream or some form of survivors’ guilt?

Mic has been narrating the story, which means it’s all coming from her perspective or, possibly, her imagination.

What if she’s the only one that survived?

She could be hallucinating while going through life-saving surgery. Or maybe Olive shut down after losing her brother and created this imaginary world where Cal returns as the hero. 

Panic Attack - Manifest Season 1 Episode 3

Theory #6 - Time Warping

This original theory still holds: the plane could have gone through a black hole, which disrupted the time-space continuum.

No time passed for them hence the non-aging, and maybe the event allowed a brief glimpse of the future, so they’re subconsciously warning themselves.

Eventually, and somehow, time will catch up with them, and they will have to die.

Final Destination made it clear that one cannot fight their destiny or cheat death. This could also be a sort of "purgatory" for them. 

Chasing the Truth - Manifest Season 1 Episode 3

Theory #7 - 2024

The pilot and Fiona said “see you in 2024,” and we’re not naive enough to believe coincidences exist since they are jumping into the very year that Cal, Ben, Mic and the rest of the passengers are predicted to expire.

The pilot could have been successful in his efforts of time-traveling and his and Fiona's mission is to save everyone in the future timeline. 

Maybe they’ve found future Ben, Mic, and Cal and that's who is sending them the warnings in the form of “callings.”

Intruder - Manifest Season 1 Episode 3

Theory #8 - Parallel Earths

If I’ve learned anything from watching The CW’s superhero show’s it’s that parallel universe’s exist.

There could be multiple versions of Ben, Cal, and Mic on various Earth’s.

The Ben, Cal, and Mic from this Earth died on Flight 828 as everyone assumed, but the Mic, Ben, and Cal that arrived on Manifest Season 1 belonged to a different Earth (let’s call it Earth 828).

Turbulence - Manifest Season 1 Episode 1

Their plane got knocked off course due to the turbulence and returned to the wrong Earth, which explains a few scenes from the upcoming teaser like Mic having visions of being back on the plane but this time, it’s actually crashing as the Earth flight did.

Or when they see the wreckage of Flight 828, which belonged to this Earth and not their Earth 828.

Therefore, Grace and Olive on Earth 828 are now missing their family members whose plane “disappeared,” but this Grace and Olive aren’t Ben, Cal, and Mic’s family. 

Father Daughter Quality Time - Manifest Season 1 Episode 4

Theory #9 - The Major is Michaela from the Future

One Instagram user pointed out that the Major and Mic look similar and have similar facial features.

The Major got introduced as a villain as she’s spearheading the experiments on the passengers and is very interested in finding out more about the “callings.”

But what if she’s the hero trying to protect them all, especially Cal, to change future events?

A Suicidal Passenger - Manifest

Theory #10 - The Major is Michaela’s Future Daughter

Another Redditor took this theory further by pointing out that both The Major and Mic were wearing the same or similar necklaces.

It’s plausible that Mic passed it on to her daughter, who is The Major in the future.

Could she have been pregnant with Jared’s baby in Jamaica and not known? Could it be Zeke’s baby (we see him and Mic hook-up in the trailer)?

The timeline of Season 1 spans six weeks, which means anything is possible. 

The Major - Manifest

We’ve waited almost a year for Manifest Season 2.

The upcoming season looks more promising and fleshed out with a deeper focus on the mystery and less on the personal storylines.

Though, no worries, we’ll get a resolution to all the love-triangle and baby daddy debates. 

Manifest returns January 6, 2020, so be sure to watch Manifest Season 1 online as a refresher! 

Lizzy Buczak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at CraveYouTV.

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Manifest Quotes

Michaela: I am still the same screw-up you said goodbye to in Jamaica.
Grace: The universe just gave all of us a giant do-over. Everything that happened before goes out the window.

Ben: Why are you fighting this when all it's gonna do is make you happy? That's all we want for you.
Michaela: That was really sweet of you. You must be drunk.