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The Entire Manifest Timeline Explained

Easily one of the more indefinable shows on television, "Manifest" is a strangely moreish mix of science fiction, fantasy, religion, suspense, and primetime soapiness. Revolving around a plane full of passengers that disappear for more than five years only to resurface with strange abilities that seem to be straight from the good Lord herself, the series has amassed such a fandom that Netflix brought it back after its initial cancellation on NBC, with "Manifest" Season 4 premiering in November 2022. Between the show's incredibly complicated lore, side quests, dropped storylines, and partner swaps, there's a lot to keep track of during the drama's four-season run, from Stone family shenanigans to Jared's many lovers.

Fortunately, you don't have to tap into the Divine Consciousness or recreate Ben Stone's (Josh Dallas) complicated evidence wall to keep everything straight because we've got you covered. Break out your best sapphire and prepare to emotionally tear off your glasses because we're breaking down the entire "Manifest" timeline.

Ancient history

As the series progresses, the Stone family is able to trace their story's origins back to ancient history through the Callings, which frequently depict details found in mythology and Biblical text. Since the Divine Consciousness seems to be timeliness, omniscient, and omnipresent, those who encounter it are able to tap into these moments.

The first known event in "Manifest" is the Great Flood, a cataclysmic deluge recounted in Judeo-Christian mythology as well as many other faith traditions. Although it is not known how the events surrounding the flood unfolded, the mysterious Project Eureka is gifted a petrified piece of 6000-year-old driftwood infused with Omega Sapphire and peacock DNA that Saanvi (Parveen Kaur) concludes is from Noah's ark. The presence of the sapphire and the ark's unique properties indicate that the ark traveled into the Divine Consciousness much as the passengers of Flight 828 would do several millennia later. At an unknown period in Ancient Egypt, the Last Trial parchment foretelling is also created.

Olive (Luna Blaise) and TJ (Garrett Wareing) later find clues connected to the Oracle of Delphi, the professional title of an Ancient Greek high priestess who lived sometime after the 14th century B.C. She also learns that the Biblical Ten Commandments are connected to the Omega Sapphire, implying that the tablets were given in connection to a Calling. Closer to the modern era sometime in the 16th century, Yusuv Al-Zuras' ship is swept into the Divine Consciousness where he and his crewman observe Flight 828 flying through the sky.

The fateful Flight 828

The Stone family's journey toward their intersection with the Callings begins with the 2002 birth of twins Cal (Jack Messina in Seasons 1 — 3, Ty Doran in Season 4) and Olive. The kids grow up close, and the family is devastated when Cal is diagnosed with leukemia at only 6 years old. In 2013, after years of battling the disease with no remission in sight, the family decides to take a break from everything and give their family one last happy memory while accepting the inevitable. Ben's parents and sister Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) join them on their journey. When the return flight home is overbooked, the family splits up, with Ben, Cal, and Michaela traveling together on the later Montego Air Flight 828. But when the flight doesn't land, the passengers' families eventually come to terms with their deaths and move on with their lives as best they can.

When the plane lands five-and-a-half years later to be quarantined under a government investigation, its occupants are stunned to learn that so much time has passed since they have no sense of lost time and have apparently not aged in the interim. It is later revealed that during the missing time, the plane flew into the Divine Consciousness, leaving the passengers with a lasting connection to its omniscience. The passengers are released after 36 hours only to learn that their loved ones have moved on and little is left of the lives they knew before disappearing.

The Callings begin

Shortly after landing, the passengers begin to realize the strange experience extends far beyond missing time. Fortuitously, Cal's cancer has not progressed during his absence, and the family soon learns that during the time they were missing, research from one of the 828 passengers, Saanvi, has been developed into an advanced pediatric cancer treatment. Although Cal is initially rejected by the study, Saanvi advocates for him and he is eventually approved.

Almost immediately, the passengers begin to experience Callings — hallucinations compelling them to take certain actions. Michaela and Ben hear their own voices directing them to a metalworking shop where they trespass and locate two girls who have been abducted and are being held captive. Later, 20 of the passengers and a crew member follow a Calling to their airplane, and upon arriving, they witness its spontaneous explosion. Understandably, this causes the NSA to dig deeper into the passengers. As the passengers begin to pick up the pieces of their lives, Saanvi discovers an unusual biomarker in Cal's blood and, later, a similar biomarker in her own blood. The revelation causes her to begin using her medical knowledge to research the physiology of the passengers.

The Singularity Project experiments

After their return, the passengers struggle to make sense of their lives. Cal is now more than five years younger than his teenage sister, Grace (Athena Karkanis) breaks things off with her boyfriend to reunite with her husband, and NYPD detective Michaela deals with the pain of knowing her almost-fiancé has married their mutual best friend, Lourdes (Victoria Cartagena). Not long after their return, Grace reveals that she is pregnant, and it's unclear whether the offspring is from her former romance or if it's her husband's reunion baby.

Although Cal hasn't experienced the Callings in the same way as his aunt and dad, the family is shocked when his fever suddenly spikes, and he begins speaking in a foreign language he shouldn't know. Ben, Saanvi, and Michaela soon learn that a group of foreign nationals on the flight may have been abducted after their landing, but when Ben confronts NSA project leader Robert Vance (Daryl Edwards), he realizes the U.S. government is not behind their abduction.

Together, team Stone tracks the missing passengers down to an organization called Unified Dynamic Systems and learns that the organization is experimenting on them. Cal seems to be psychically connected to a Bulgarian national named Marko (Nikolai Tsankov). They soon locate the site of the experiments dubbed the Singularity Project, and free the passengers amid a shootout with the group's security. Almost everyone gets out safely, but Vance is seemingly killed in an explosion while fleeing the secret base.

Daly's disappearance

Like the Stones, Captain Bill Daly (Frank Deal) has difficulty adjusting to his return after five-plus years. As the pilot of Flight 828, many believe Daly knows more than he is letting on and harbors the secret of the flight's disappearance, while Daly believes that some kind of strange "dark lightning" caused a paranormal event. During the original storm, Daly makes a split-second decision to head straight into the lightning, believing it the only way to save lives, but the official records contain no mention of the freaky weather event. After approaching his co-pilot Daniel Amuta Clarke (Leajato Amara Robinson), who also experienced the strange phenomenon, Daly and Ben learn that a meteorologist who also discovered dark lightning was silenced by the powers that be.

Intent on clearing his name, Daly reveals everything he knows about the gamma-ray-producing weather to Ben. He then abducts Fiona Clarke (Francesca Faridany), a neural psychologist and fellow passenger connected to the Singularity Project who believes that human brains can be networked together like a computer system. Before anyone can stop him, Daly forces Fiona onto a plane, and flies it directly into a dark lightning storm front and disappears right in front of the Air National Guard, who predictably cover up the event by claiming they shot the plane down.

Cal saves Zeke

Through her research, Saanvi discovers that some passengers are more sensitive to the Callings and that Cal seems to be the "Holy Grail" for the Singularity Project's leader, the Major (Elizabeth Marvel), due to his superpowered ability to tap into them.

Shortly after Daly's disappearance, Cal also goes missing, and Ben is forced to reveal the truth about the Callings to Grace, believing the Major to be behind his disappearance. His family eventually discovers Cal has taken off on his own to follow a Calling and discovers him at a remote cabin where he is waiting for someone to arrive. When a half-frozen man named Zeke (Matt Long) shows up having lost a year of his life after taking shelter from a blizzard, they save him, but are shocked to learn he wasn't on the plane's manifest. Michaela agrees to care for Zeke and fills him in on the Callings.

Despite blowing up Jared (J.R. Ramirez) and Lourdes' marriage with her unresolved feelings for Jared, Michaela begins to bond with Zeke, whom the Stones believe is somehow connected to Flight 828. Meanwhile, the world is becoming more divided about the 828 survivors. While many believe their landing to be miraculous, others consider them dangerous freaks, and a hate group called the Xers even targets the Stones' home. After a vision of a peacock, Ben begins to suspect the Callings have a connection to mythology. 

A cult and a wolf

After 828 passenger Adrian (Jared Grimes) finds the Church of the Returned — a religious cult that exalts the 828 passengers as miracle workers — a woman named Alice (Grace Rex) abducts Saanvi at gunpoint and demands the doctor heal her husband. Saanvi later sees a therapist for post-traumatic stress, not knowing that the therapist is really the Major working undercover to get all of Saanvi's juicy deets.

At Michaela's place, Zeke has a vision of a terrifying CGI wolf, and Cal experiences the same Calling. Zeke forms a friendship with the younger Stone and helps him understand that his drawings don't cause the future; they predict it. As Cal draws his wolf vision for Zeke, police pull an armed robber's van out of the bay three days after it crashes into the water, only to discover its driver — a career criminal named James Griffin (Marc Menchaca) — is still alive. Saanvi tests his blood, and discovers the same biomarker found in the 828 survivors and Zeke.

After Griffin receives Callings warning of a bomb threat, he uses the information to gain immunity for his past deeds, while the 828ers experience their own warning against Griffin's plan to go public about the visions. But before it can happen, Griffin drowns while standing on a busy Manhattan street, leading Ben to calculate that each survivor has a death date related to the time they were missing. According to his math, the 828ers' death will occur on June 2, 2024.

Olive, TJ, and the club fire

Michaela has a terrifying vision of the plane crashing that hints that there may be more to their fateful flight than a delayed landing. After Michaela gets Zeke out of his legal bind over her accidental shooting, they start up an adorable romance. Intent on stopping the death date, Ben begins pouring himself into his evidence wall and learns Vance is alive and secretly working underground for the passengers. And after learning that Grace is having visions because she's 828-prego, angsty Olive gets involved with the Church of the Redeemed.

Saanvi realizes her therapist is the Major and is horrified to realize she's told her everything, including details about the 828 baby. Saanvi starts experimenting on herself with problematic results, and fellow 828er TJ joins the Stones in their quest to solve the death dates, which Grace believes may be reversible. Olive starts up a romance with TJ, and they visit a nightclub where obsessed Returned cultist Isaiah (Olli Haaskivi) tries to kill all of the passengers to induce a resurrection. Although Olive and TJ narrowly survive, Adrian loses much of his flock in the affair. 

Brooding Jared begins hanging around with the Xers, whose recent targets include the Church of the Returned. Realizing his involvement with the group, Michaela visits their hangout and secretly plants a bug. When the Xers nab Zeke, Jared reveals he's been working undercover the whole time, and he and Michaela rescue Zeke at just the right moment.

The Meth heads and Zeke's death date

After the Major finds a breakthrough in Saanvi's 828 research, she has Saanvi fired so she can no longer access her own work. Saanvi tries to force the Major's hand by inducing anaphylaxis, but the antidote vial gets broken in their tussle and the Major dies. In her final moments, the Major reveals that the government plans to weaponize and replicate 828 DNA.

TJ heads to Egypt to research the Callings and find a way to evade the death dates, while Zeke, whose date is fast approaching, begins to experience frostbite and hypothermia. Zeke and Michaela decide to seize the day and start planning to tie the knot. All of that is threatened when Michaela ignores a Calling telling her to release three suspected criminals she's in the process of nabbing. Their leader Jace becomes obsessed with punishing her for her decision.

After the Meth Heads escape their prison transport, they kidnap Cal. Jared, Zeke, and Mick go after him, but Cal runs away and falls into a frozen lake when dark lightning strikes the ice, plunging the Meth Heads into the water with him. Zeke jumps in to save him just as his death date comes due and is resurrected moments later. Later, when police try to recover the Meth Heads' bodies, they find no trace of the three criminals, suggesting that they were resurrected as well.

Angelina and the return of the Meth Heads

As the Stones celebrate baby Eden's birth, somewhere in Cuba, a fishing boat pulls the Montego Air Flight 828 tailfin from the ocean. Ben and Vance travel to Cuba to recover it, but when Ben touches the tailfin, he is thrown back violently with a terrifying Calling of his 828 family members screaming. Elsewhere, Zeke and Michaela are enjoying their Costa Rican honeymoon when a Calling leads them to save a girl named Angelina from her abusive religious parents who, convinced she is evil, have been keeping her trapped in the basement. Zeke and Michaela bring Angelina back with them to stay with the Stones just in time to learn the Meth Heads have resurfaced and are out on the loose.

The Stones plan to hide out at Grace's brother's place, but Olive and Ben are unable to leave the house when the press arrive. Ben, whose hand now glows from touching the tailfin, meets an 828er named Eagan (Ali Lopez-Sohaili) with an eidetic memory. The cops pick up Meth Head Pete. When he and Angelina realize they've met before, the damaged pair start up a romance, but the Meth Heads are already approaching their Death Date. An old parchment convinces Olive that the three Meth Heads are being judged, but even after two of them change their ways, all three die when Jace metaphorically sinks their Lifeboat by continuing his pursuit of the Stones.

Project Eureka

Saanvi, distraught at accidentally killing the Major, realizes she is no longer experiencing Callings. Zeke's Callings are gone too, but he soon learns he's been gifted with a powerful empathic ability that he gladly uses to help others. Vance works his way back into the NSA and ends up heading Project Eureka, a highly advanced secret operation devoted to researching 828-related phenomena. He brings Saanvi on board as a researcher and allows Ben access to the headquarters, where the team has been piecing the recovered wreckage of Flight 828 back together. There, Ben learns that one of the passengers killed by a gunshot wound now has injuries reflective of an airplane crash in the Caribbean.

Ben and Saanvi conclude that even if one person in a Lifeboat fails the Death Date, everyone inside of it dies. Saanvi also discovers sapphire — a substance that's also found on Ben's hand and the tailfin — inside the Meth Heads, which causes Dr. Gupta (Mahira Kakkar) to reveal her belief that sapphire is the signature of the Divine. To boot, Eureka has received a piece of sapphire-infused driftwood they believe to be from Noah's ark and learn it was pushed up from the ocean floor by a dormant volcano.

Saanvi almost sinks the Lifeboat

The 828ers see a massive cloud looming over Project Eureka, and after receiving a vision of the passengers burning, Ben becomes obsessed with keeping the 200 remaining members of his Lifeboat afloat, angering some of them in the process. Meanwhile, Saanvi begins experimenting on the driftwood, which causes her eyes to start bleeding. At the same time, a cluster of small earthquakes occur underneath Eureka and the ark fragment disappears for exactly 37 milliseconds. As Saanvi's condition worsens rapidly and her vital signs begin to tank, Michaela urges her to come clean about anything she has been keeping from them. When Saanvi confesses that she killed the Major, her eyes stop bleeding, and her vitals return to normal. After her continued experiments appear to cause serious earthquakes and lava to form across New York, she fakes the driftwood's destruction by dumping it into a lava fissure where it instantly seals the ground.

While Cal and Angelina become closer, the mentally broken Angelina starts to Single White Female Olive, leading to friction within the Stone household. Her obsession with Eden reaches a fever pitch when Angelina sets the baby's room on fire, believing the child to be her guardian angel. Zeke saves the day, but Grace tosses Angelina out of the house despite her protests that she, Cal, and Eden cannot be separated.

Cal touches the tailfin

Ben is arrested while out on a Calling, and the Stones learn that 828ers are getting arrested all over the world. Michaela worries that Saanvi must also turn herself in for her role in the Major's death to save the Lifeboat, but when she learns of Henry Kim's (Clem Cheung) execution and her own censure by the NYPD, Michaela turns in her badge instead of Saanvi. Cal sneaks the increasingly unhinged Angelina into his house, hiding her in his bedroom, and the 828 Stones begin having painful visions of themselves burning alive, which Cal manifests as physical burns on his abdomen.

With the ark fragment gone, Eureka experiments on the tailfin, which Saanvi worries will end badly. Stuck on house arrest, Ben tells Saanvi and Mick they have to destroy the tailfin. Angelina convinces Cal to visit Eureka, and in return he tells her where the Stones keep their hidden house key. When the Stones learn Cal is at Eureka, Olive removes Ben's ankle monitor and places it on herself. At Eureka, Saanvi discovers Cal's burns have worsened and are strangely covered in sapphire. The Stones prepare to leave for the hospital burn unit, but Cal, who refuses to leave without the tailfin, sneaks off, touches the tailfin, and disappears instantaneously. Using drawings found in Cal's room, Ben and Saanvi convince Vance to let them drop the tailfin in the ocean, which causes Cal to reappear, but restored to his original age.

Angelina goes bad

As the Stones are dealing with their Eureka drama, Adrian and Eagan gather the freshly released 828ers and unite them under a common goal — stopping Ben and Project Eureka. Adrian's preaching takes on a darker tone and warns that Ben Stone is a harbinger of the apocalypse, while Eagan parrots his message hoping to stop the government from targeting 828ers. Eagan and Adrian invade Vance's home, where they hold his teenage son hostage demanding proof that the NSA is trying to destroy 828ers but end up arrested for their trouble.

Meanwhile, Angelina sneaks back into the Stone home, and blocks the door to Olive's bedroom before going upstairs. She walks into Grace's room, and stabs Grace to death before baptizing and then kidnapping Eden as Olive desperately tries to get to her mother and sister. A now-grown Cal arrives just in time to hold his mother as she dies, telling her he now knows what they need to do. And back at Eureka, Dr. Gupta looks at the plane wreckage in time to see Daly appear in the cockpit shouting "Help me!" before disappearing along with the entire plane.

Cal's return and the hunt for Eden

Two years pass following Cal's reappearance, Grace's murder, and Eden's kidnapping. The Stones have no leads as to where Angelina has taken the child. Ben is holed up in the attic with nothing but his grief beard and his evidence board to keep him company, while poor Cal struggles with the fact that he is five years older without having actually experienced growing up. He's also receiving his share of cold shoulders from his surviving family members. Meanwhile, Angelina has been hopping around from safehouse to safehouse teaching Eden to think of her as "Mommy." Although disturbed by her behavior, Adrian allows the pair to shelter at his compound where he and the 828 cultists have taken up residence.

Despite reports of his execution, it turns out Henry Kim is alive in Shanghai Province, China, apparently undergoing forced experimentation by the Chinese government until unexpectedly teleporting into a cherry blossom orchard with a blinding flash of light. He stows away aboard a cargo ship to New York where he's discovered by Michaela Stone with the help of a Calling. Henry gives Team Stonevi the plane's black box, and helps Saanvi find Callings hidden in the audio file.

The Divine Consciousness and the Compound

Saanvi and Cal listen to the black box and find six seconds of ultra-low frequency sound hiding all of the Callings. While listening to the Callings, Henry Kim's dragon scar appears on Cal's arm. After spotting Captain Amuta at the police station where all of the 828ers now have to check in with the 828 Registry, Michaela learns he saw a "long, delirious burning blue" during the six seconds recorded on the black box. Inside the blue, Amuta, Daly, and Cal, felt a sense of peace that Cal comes to believe is the Divine Consciousness and that it was in that consciousness that the passengers spent their missing five years.

Heeding a Calling, Ben tracks Eden to Adrian's compound, giving Vance a false lead to keep him off the trail. Although Ben is caught shortly after arriving, things get hairy when the cultists begin to argue among themselves. Angelina — who is now completely off the rails — reveals the place is rigged with a fertilizer bomb. The cops show up, and so does Cal, who bravely distracts Angelina while Michaela and Ben free the passengers and Eden. Angelina blows the place up anyway, but Cal walks out of the massive explosion unscathed. Soon after, he begins to realize that his cancer has returned. Although injured, Angelina survives the ordeal, as we see when Adrian picks her up in the middle of the street.

The 828 serial killers

Reunited with Eden, the Stones search for a new normal despite the fact that Eden distrusts her father thanks to Angelina's brainwashing, while Cal's health rapidly begins to decline. His relationship with his father suffers further damage when he continues letting Angelina contact Eden by phone. And like the other Stones, Eden, now a preschool-age child, continues to experience regular Callings. Michaela begins to receive Callings about murdered 828ers, and she, Jared, and Mikami (Ellen Tamaki) soon begin to realize there's a serial killer targeting the 828 passengers. Although Cal is temporarily a suspect in the killings, the real killers turn out to be Angelina's fanatical parents who believe themselves to be doing God's work.

Zeke, now a counselor, continues to take others' pain away as part of his therapy sessions, but it means taking the pain into himself — a sacrifice that comes at great personal cost. The pressure finally gets to him, causing him to fall temporarily off the wagon, but he gets his head straight when he sees Cal collapse. After quietly having some tests run, Cal confirms that his leukemia has returned, and it seems to be progressing rapidly.

The Omega Sapphire

With a mythology tip from Olive, Saanvi discovers the Omega Sapphire — a special type of sapphire that can tap directly into the Divine Callings. Around the same time, she and Ben discover the apparently unconscious passengers from the Singularity Project are being warehoused by the government in a nursing home. Morale at the Stone house declines when Cal's illness continues to progress, and the doctor declares he only has a few days left to live. Things are not much better for Zeke, whose empathic powers have depleted him to the point that he has little control over his emotions. As conditions rapidly worsen for the family, the 828ers also begin to experience apocalyptic visions.

TJ returns in time to help Olive track down the Omega Sapphire, which Eagan, Saanvi, and Michaela find hidden in an old masonic building. Eagan steals the sapphire, but Angelina promptly steals it from him and uses it to create a fake Calling to summon Ben to Grace's grave site. There, she plans to kidnap Eden at gunpoint. The ruse fails, causing the enraged Angelina to target her old school next.

Angelina ushers in the apocalypse

While holding a group of kids hostage at her former religious school, Angelina's rage and the sapphire cause lava to rise up through fissures in the ground, creating a dangerous situation in the sanctuary. Powered by the sapphire, Angelina seems virtually unstoppable to everyone except a dying Cal, who psychically battles her with help from the sapphire in his blood and dragon scar. Although he manages to shatter the Omega Sapphire during the confrontation, giving Mick and Ben a chance to free the kids, Angelina reaches her hand into the lava for a sapphire shard that fuses into her flesh. As she runs away, fissures spread all around her, creating an apocalyptic scene much like the one in the 828ers' visions.

Back at the Stone household, Cal has expended what little life he had in his epic duel with Angelina. After Zeke, who previously spends Cal's final day granting him bucket list wishes and has not left his side during the battle, feels the life drain out of his nephew, he takes a moment to call Michaela and tell her goodbye. In one of the show's most heartbreaking moments, Michaela and Ben arrive home to find a dying Ben and a lifeless Cal. As Michaela weeps over Zeke's body and Ben and Olive over Cal's, Cal awakens, saved by Zeke's sacrifice for a second time.