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The Simulation Theory That Changes Everything On Manifest

"Manifest" might not currently have a network, but as far as fans are concerned, the show is far from dead. 

The religious-tinged supernatural thriller that many have called NBC's answer to "Lost" was formally cancelled by the network in July 2021 after three seasons. However, Season 3 ended on a cliffhanger and fans wanted closure. After the cancellation, "Manifest" quickly became the most-streamed show on Netflix, where it remains now — and this led Netflix to consider reviving the series before ultimately passing. Since then, people like showrunner Jeff Rake and star Josh Dallas have kept the buzz going by tweeting updates about the show's status, or just thanking fans for their support (via Yahoo News).

One reason why fans just won't give up on "Manifest" is because the show, through careful writing, has managed to hold off on answering many of the biggest questions it posed from the beginning. Like, why did Montego Air flight 828 go missing, and then return five years later? There's clearly some big purpose, but what exactly is it?

Fans have been trying to answer those questions themselves, particularly in light of the show's unclear future, and one Redditor had a theory that makes a whole lot of sense. And until the fate of "Manifest" is settled, once and for all, theories like this will have to do.

Manifest fans, get ready to have your minds blown

Redditor armchairstormchaser's theory about "Manifest" basically boils down to this: Flight 828 actually just crashed and killed everyone onboard. And everything that happens afterwards is actually taking place in purgatory, where everyone has to reconcile with their pasts before moving on to the afterlife.

The Reddit user pointed out how it's strange that almost every passenger on Flight 828 has skeletons in their closet. Michaela the police officer once killed someone in a car accident. Zeke abandoned his sister Chloe while hiking, leading to her death. Paul is an abusive husband. And so on. While it's possible that this is just a coincidence contrived by the show's writers, armstormchaser thinks that there are bigger forces at work. And when Flight 828 comes back to Earth, it gives the passengers a shot at redemption.

The purgatory theory makes as much sense as any. But then armstormchaser introduced another wrinkle: what if, instead of the traditional Christian version of purgatory, the characters on "Manifest" are trapped in some kind of computer simulation? It's less clear what the purpose of that would be, or who might be behind it. And it's just one of many possible explanations, including parallel universes and time travel, to name a few. But until "Manifest" finds a new home, this and all the other theories will remain just that.