Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Ending Of Manifest Season 3 Explained

"Manifest" is an NBC supernatural series that's perfect for anyone who loved "Lost," or for anyone who loves shows with more twists than a bag of pretzels. The series follows a group of passengers from an airline flight that went missing and suddenly reappeared without warning after five and a half years. When the passengers from Flight 828 return, they begin experiencing visions and premonitions about the future that suggest a supernatural and possibly divine cause behind their disappearance. They also try to pick up their lives where they left off almost six years ago. 

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

In the Season 3 finale, the search for answers led to serious consequences for everyone. Michaela, a cop, rescued a Flight 828 passenger named Angelina, whose religious and over-protective parents kept her locked inside their house. But after Angelina's rescue, she fell in with a group of doomsday preppers who came to believe Ben was a harbinger of the apocalypse. In the Season 3 finale's biggest moment, Angelina kidnapped Ben and Grace's daughter Eden, believing Eden to be her guardian angel. Then she stabbed Grace to death and fled with the baby.  

Sadly for fans of "Manifest," NBC decided to cancel the series on June 14, 2021. Season 3 ended on multiple cliffhangers, but unless "Manifest" finds a new home, it's likely those cliffhangers will remain unresolved. So, some of the biggest questions in the Season 3 finale might not ever get answers.

However, here's what the rest of the Season 3 finale really means. 

For Ben, the Season 3 finale shows him what he's really up against

In the Season 3 finale, there are really two big developments. The first, obviously, is the death of Grace.

"Manifest" is a supernatural show with lots of fantastical elements. For many, the unexplained disappearance and reappearance of Flight 828 is a religious event. However, Ben Stone is a college professor who tends to be skeptical, and his search for answers is mostly scientific. For Ben, the death of his wife is a moment that makes him realize he's up against forces, (and people), that are more dangerous than he ever realized. 

Remember that Grace's murderer, Angelina, was a fellow passenger on the plane. The passengers on the plane had various reactions to their ordeal, and Angelina became a religious fanatic — partly because of her overprotective parents, and partly because of the influence of the other fanatics she meets. Angelina is so convinced that Eden is actually her guardian angel that she's willing to murder an innocent person over it.

Showrunner Jeff Rake sold "Manifest" to NBC with plans for six seasons already mapped out. In an interview with TV Line, Rake said he had always planned for Grace to die at this point in the show. Grace's death happens at the literal midpoint of the entire series. If "Manifest" does continue, it's likely that Grace's death would prompt Ben to take a more aggressive approach to dealing with fanatics — and possibly become a bit fanatical himself in the process.

As if he didn't already have enough to worry about.

There's probably a divine plan, but we may never know what it is

The other major development in the Season 3 finale is the second sudden disappearance and reappearance of Ben's son Cal. Briefly, Ben led a research team that recovered the tailfin from Flight 828. Cal touched the tailfin and disappeared. Ben returned the wreckage to the ocean, and Cal suddenly reappeared — but as an adult.

The most obvious explanation is that Ben's meddling with the airplane wreckage caused Cal to age up somehow. That would imply that the plane is meant to be on the bottom of the ocean, which then implies that there's some sort of divine plan in all this. So, what's the plan? 

Assuming there actually is a divine plan, there are lots of questions surrounding it. One thing that's clear is the result of Flight 828's disappearance. So far, the biggest effect of the return of Flight 828 is that it gave nearly 200 people premonitions. If there is a divine plan, that's the most likely reason why the plane crashed.

As for why the Earth needs almost 200 prophets, that's less clear. But it most likely has to do with the cultist theory that Ben is a modern-day Noah. According to one version of the Bible story, Noah actually helped cause the great flood out of disgust at humanity. The show didn't have time to explain why everyone is getting premonitions or why Cal aged up. But since Season 3 introduced the possibility of an impending armageddon – even if it was just a cultist theory at that point–that would be our best guess as to why Flight 828 disappeared: to give the passengers premonitory powers that they can use to save the world. 

Unless "Manifest" finds a new home, we'll probably never know.