‘Manifest’: How the Series Could Wrap up Its Twist-Filled Season 3 Finale Cliffhanger

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Peter Kramer/NBC

The season 3 finale of Manifest, what is now the abrupt series finale, ended on a twist-filled cliffhanger. Since NBC’s cancellation, the show seemed like it would find a new home on Netflix. However, that has since been canned, and fans are left with questions upon questions about what happened in those final minutes. The Tailfin’s disappearance in the ocean created a domino effect that fans still haven’t recovered from. With the show getting canceled, it raises the question of whether or not the series could conclude with a movie, like Timeless, or in some other form. With Manifest planned to have six total seasons and only getting three, 828’s story was far from over. Cal’s sudden age-up, Grace’s death, Angelina leaving with baby Eden, and Captain Daly’s reappearance and disappearance were a lot to handle. But just how would those twists in the season 3 finale be wrapped up?

The Tailfin

Peter Kramer/NBC

The Tailfin has been a prominent part of Manifest since its discovery in the season 2 finale. In the season 3 finale, it was discovered that in order to heal Cal, it would need to be returned to where it was found, the ocean. However, when Ben and Saanvi, along with the Coast Guard, take it to the ocean in the middle of a storm, it’s unsafe. The captain wants to turn around, but Saanvi goes out on the deck and releases the Tailfin, falling into the ocean along with it. Ben goes in to save her, and when he does, the Tailfin disappears.

When the Tailfin disappeared, it created multiple scenarios, which we’ll get into, but where exactly the Tailfin ended up and how it would be addressed may never be known. This isn’t the first time the Tailfin mysteriously disappeared, so it’s hard to tell just where it went. However, it’s possible it found its way back to the salvaged plane at Eureka, exactly where Captain Daly reappeared, before disappearing yet again.

Angelina’s Guardian Angel

While 828 passenger Angelina seemed sweet and innocent in the first half of season 3, her intentions were a little clearer as the season progressed. After an earthquake, Angelina got convinced that baby Eden was her guardian angel, so much so that she purposely starts a fire so Eden can save her. That leads Grace to kick her out, but not for long. Angelina comes back in the season finale, and when Michaela discovers that Angelina could be the passenger they should all be worried about and not Adrian, it’s too late. She locks Olive in the basement, stabs Grace, and steals Eden after giving her baptism in the bathroom.

There is no telling just where Angelina could have gone with Eden. Perhaps it’s to somewhere Adrian, Eagan, and the rest of the passengers are. It’s likely Angelina would go somewhere that the Stones don’t know about. It’s also likely that Ben would be going out of his way to find his daughter while grieving over his wife. We’ve seen how over the edge Ben goes for the Callings; with Eden missing mixed with Grace’s death, it would be possible that Ben goes far beyond going over the edge to get his daughter back by burying himself in the Callings even more and going through the passenger manifest to try to get any information on where Angelina could have gone.

Grace’s Death

MANIFEST — “MAYDAY PART: 2”, Episode 313 — Pictured: Athena Karkania as Grace Stone — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

It’s possible that much of season 4 would have centered on Ben’s grief over Grace, how the Stone family is coping. Although we didn’t see Ben’s reaction to Grace, we saw how he reacted when Michaela found Angelina’s bloody prayer book on the plane. It’s likely the two figured out that Angelina would be going to the house, and someone would be in danger since that was the whole point of the Calling. The last thing Cal tells his mother is, “I know what I need to do.” It’s hard to tell just what would happen after Grace’s death. We’ve seen Ben go off the rails for a Calling, but it’s possible he could go even more off the rails following Grace’s death. Meanwhile, Olive will feel just as much of the pain. She was calling out for her mother when she was locked in the basement, so it’s likely Olive would be feeling guilty after finding out what happened and close herself off from her father. It’s a tragedy what happened and a tragedy that we may never see this aftermath.

Future Cal

Peter Kramer/NBC

Something that most fans weren’t expecting but are dying to figure out how and why it happened. The first part of the Manifest season 3 finale ended with Cal touching the Tailfin at Eureka and disappearing. When Ben and Saanvi returned the Tailfin to the ocean, Ben kept looking back to see if Cal would reappear, but he never did. However, in the final minutes of the season finale, it was revealed that Cal is now back, but 17 years old, the same age as Olive, had he not disappeared on Flight 828. So, how exactly would this continue?

Some fans have been theorizing that this is simply future Cal that showed up by Grace’s side. However, it wouldn’t be surprising that Cal has now turned to the age he’s supposed to be. He’s always had a deeper connection to 828 and the Callings, for whatever reason that has yet to be revealed. When Ben and Michaela saw him on the plane in the Calling, he was terrified, but he knew what needed to happen. It’s possible he knew this would happen, and now that he’s older, he’s more capable of handling the Callings. He tells his dying mother, “I know what I need to do,” without ever revealing what that is. And it’s hard to tell how the Stones were going to solve this one.

Captain Daly and Flight 828

As mentioned in our theories article before season 3 of Manifest premiered, Captain William Daly piloted Flight 828 on that fateful night. However, he soon got blamed for what happened, and he tried desperately to figure out what went wrong, where that storm came from. After finding out it had something to do with dark lightning, fed up with everything, Daly steals a plane and Fiona and takes off despite Ben’s pleas. Before security has a chance to shoot the plane down, it disappears. In the season 3 finale’s final moments, Dr. Gupta was met with a reappeared Captain Daly in the salvaged 828 plane’s cockpit, until moments later, when the plane disappeared along with Daly after he pleaded for help.

Likely because of the Tailfin’s disappearance in the ocean after Ben and Saanvi returned it, that accounted for the short reappearance. It still doesn’t answer where Captain Daly was this whole time and whatever happened to Fiona. It’s possible that the plane went to its rightful place, in the ocean, meaning that the theory that 828 did, in fact, crash into the water and the passengers were resurrected is possibly true. If there were a season 4, this obviously would be explored a lot more, especially now that Dr. Gupta believes in the miracle of Flight 828. It’s hard to figure out where exactly the plane and Captain Daly went, especially since he’s not the only one to reappear. Considering Eureka is all about research, it would play a much bigger part in the next season or movie, but it’s hard to do research on a plane that isn’t in your possession anymore.

It’s still possible that Manifest could continue on in some way since there are still so many more stories to tell and multiple cliffhangers to wrap up from the season 3 finale. Fans every day are holding on to hope that this won’t be the end of 828 and its never-ending mysteries. The show is still breaking records on streaming, and more people are discovering it every day. There are many ways that the cliffhangers in the season 3 finale can be solved, on top of everything else that has yet to be wrapped up. Fingers crossed that Manifest gets another season, or at least a movie, to conclude this mystery.

In the meantime, check out our Save Manifest article and stream the first two seasons on Netflix, as well as season 3 on Hulu and Peacock.

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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