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The Parallel Earth Theory That Changes Everything On Manifest

It's been a wild month for fans of the show "Manifest." First, the series landed on Netflix and became one of its most-watched shows ever. Then, the series was canceled by NBC after its third season finale aired, leaving viewers in suspense after a cliffhanger ending. After negotiations to save the show, Netflix rejected a fourth season, making the series seem dead on the runway. 

However, the show's creator Jeff Rake told Entertainment Weekly he hopes to resolve the story in a feature-length movie. However, no network or streaming service has yet agreed to take on the project. "I've encouraged Warner Bros. and my agents to continue conversations with Netflix, and anyone else for that matter, another platform who may be interested in stepping up," Rake said. 

Rake also said he planned the story to run for six seasons, which might be a challenge to condense into a single feature. "I am personally sketching out how to consolidate the back half of the series into a much more streamlined, cut-to-the-chase two-hour finale that would distill all of the hanging chads of the series," he added. "There is a huge appetite for people wanting to know what's that end of the story, what happened to the passengers, what ultimately happened to that airplane."

While the future of "Manifest" is still uncertain, that hasn't stopped fans from speculating about what caused the passengers on Montego Air Flight 828 to disappear for five years, only to return unaged with side effects such as The Calling to deal with. Social media users have bounced numerous theories, but there's one that could explain it all.

The plane was switched with another from a parallel universe

The concept of parallel universes as a plot device isn't a new one for comic book fans or TV and movie viewers. The CW's superhero shows have embraced parallel Earths to initiate and resolve numerous storylines, and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" also relied on the concept. TV Fanatic recently explored possible explanations for what happened to the passengers in "Manifest," and suggested one of the most plausible solutions is that the passengers of Flight 828 come from a parallel universe. 

The theory could explain a lot. When the dark lightning occurred during the flight, it could have caused the airplane and passengers such as Ben (Josh Dallas), Mic (Melissa Roxburgh), and Cal (Jack Messina) to switch with their parallel counterparts from another earth. The airplane wreckage found in Season 3 belonged to the plane that did crash on an alternate earth. This anomaly could also explain why the passengers have had visions of crashing during the flight. It would also mean that the Ben that returned to his wife, Grace (Athena Karkanis), and daughter, Olive (Luna Blaise), isn't the same Ben they knew. 

This theory could also give meaning to the death dates as depicted on the show. The reason each of the passengers will die in five and a half years is because the universe is correcting the anomaly and the parallel timelines will merge. This could mean the passengers are meant to be switched back to their earth and reunited with their true loved ones, but this doesn't explain what happened to Zeke (Matt Long), who was meant to die of frost bite but survived his death date. If Zeke returned to his parallel earth, the Zeke that remained on the "Manifest" earth should have then died. 

While the parallel universe theory is still a possibility, there are too many plot holes that still need to be explained. Let's hope creator Jeff Rake succeeds in giving fans a conclusion, and sooner rather than later.