Several clues in Manifest signal that the show is truly a time travel story. Since the start of the series, time travel has remained one of the most obvious answers to Manifest central mystery. However, characters like Ben have embraced the resurrection as the explanation for everything they’ve been through.
It should be noted that the entire premise of the series made time travel an option. Somehow, the plane – and everyone on board – returned five and a half years after it went missing. Since none of the passengers on Flight 828 had aged, it looked like they had all traveled back in time. But that was always just a theory about what happened. In the Season 2 finale, the discovery of the tailfin apparently provided proof that the plane was destroyed, meaning it wasn’t lost in time with the passengers. Instead, it’s been heavily theorized that Flight 828 was reverted to its original form several years after it was destroyed. It was believed that the same was true for the other characters who had experienced this strange phenomenon.
As Manifest season 3 continued to delve into its religious ties, the idea of a higher power resurrecting the passengers of Flight 828 started to sound like a really plausible scenario. Even so, some evidence in the show that points to Manifest being on time travel is hard to disprove. Here’s every moment in the series that makes time travel the best possible answer for Manifest greatest mysteries.
Disappearance of Captain Daly Season 1
Apparently Captain Daly believed in the theory of time travel. In Season 1’s “Contrails,” he concocted a plan to recreate what happened to Flight 828 and show the world that the plane’s disappearance was not his fault. After kidnapping Fiona and getting on a plane in a dark thunderstorm, Daly said: “see you in 2024”. Obviously, he believed the storm would warp him and Fiona in the future. Later it was claimed that the military had shot down the aircraft, but authorities’ inability to find the wreckage indicated otherwise. Daly and Fiona’s disappearance was a sign that his plan was a success and the pair were sent to the future. When Manifest returns, the show will have a chance to prove once and for all if Daly’s assumption was right. Since Manifest makes a two-year time jump when it returns, it won’t be long before 2024. If that’s the case, Captain Daly and Fiona Clarke’s return could be imminent.
Al-Zuras Saw Flight 828
The investigation of Al-Zuras resulted in one of the most groundbreaking discoveries of the passengers. In Manifest season 2, it was discovered that Al-Zuras – a 15th century explorer – and his crew disappeared and returned after a period of several years. After disappearing in a storm while at sea, they returned ten years later not knowing what had happened or where they were. Moreover, they experienced the Callings. And just like Cal Stone, Al-Zuras recorded his visions with drawings. Most of what he went through was written in a diary. Interestingly, one of his entries contained a huge time travel clue. While they were away, Al-Zuras and his crew reportedly saw a “silver dragonflying above the ship. Later, the passengers realized through a call of their own that what Al-Zuras had actually seen was Flight 828.
Based on this revelation, it appears that Flight 828 and Al-Zuras’ ship co-existed at the same time and in the same place. Obviously, such a scenario would be impossible without time travel. Al-Zuras seeing the plane likely means his ship was transported to the present or that Flight 828 has returned to the past. A third explanation is that they both went to the same unspecified point in the timeline. In both cases, Manifest “silver dragon“Teasing is meaningless without time travel being involved.
Cal’s Return in the Manifest Season 3 Finale
Hours after hitting the fin and mysteriously vanishing in front of everyone in Eureka, Cal returned five years older in the final minutes of the Manifest season 3 finale. Unless the tail fin magically aged him to 17 (which is hard to imagine), Cal must have traveled back in time. If that had happened, Cal could have found himself in the past or in the future where he could have lived five years of his life away from his family. After that, Cal probably found a way back to his place in the timeline. That alone might explain why he told Grace he knew what they needed to do now. Where – or when – Cal went must have given him a new understanding of how to handle the Callings.
Cal’s return all but confirmed how important time travel is to the show, which is why Season 4 might be the point where the show finally stops dancing around the concept. Cal’s aging is sure to prompt dozens of questions from other characters. He’ll have to explain what he’s done, where he’s been, and more. When these answers arrive, it could lead to a meaningful discussion of time travel and the end of all discussions of divine resurrection.
Captain Daly’s Pilot Uniform
Manifest followed one clue with another when he used his final scene to deliver a shocking cameo to Captain Daly. Inexplicably, Frank Deal’s character appeared in the plane’s cockpit in Eureka and disappeared with the recovered wreckage. At first, this was interpreted as a continuation of his Season 1 story, but two specific details reveal that Captain Daly’s return isn’t what it seems. First off, Daly isn’t with Fiona, who was by his side when he disappeared in “Contrails.” Second, Daly was wearing black when he was last seen, but he’s dressed in his pilot’s uniform for his cameo. This means that the character who appeared in the Season 3 finale must be an earlier version of Daly, rather than the one who disappeared previously.
Daly’s pilot uniform implies that he briefly time traveled to 2021 during the five and a half years that Flight 828’s passengers were gone. This fits with the fact that Al-Zuras saw Flight 828 hundreds of years ago and takes a step closer to erasing any lingering doubts about the role of time travel in Manifest story. Things could get even more complex in Season 4, especially if the two versions of Captain Daly end up crossing paths, which would naturally lead to all sorts of timeline issues.
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