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Out Of Every Plot Twist On Manifest, This One Stands Above The Rest

**Warning: Spoilers for "Manifest" Season 3 below**

Producer Jeff Rake's supernatural show, "Manifest," has accumulated a devoted fanbase and was just picked up by Netflix for a 4th season after being canceled by NBC. The series centers on a group of passengers on Montego Air Flight 828 that land in New York after five years have mysteriously passed and discover that life has changed without them. "Manifest" has thrown its fans on a wild ride with many big plot twists, yet this one from the two-part Season 3 finale titled "Mayday" reigns superior.  

At the end of "Mayday: Part 1," younger Cal (played by Jack Messina) touches the tail fin that has mysteriously resurfaced from the plane that the passengers of 828 were on, then disappears. Elsewhere, at the end of "Mayday: Part 2," an older Cal (now played by Ty Doran) reappears, and it's revealed that he has aged five years and is now 17 years old, which is the same age as his sister, Olive (Luna Blaise). 

Naturally, "Manifest" is full of many twists and unsuspected turns, but this one arguably manifested the most conversation amongst the show's fans.

Cal's mysterious aging raises questions

Since the strange disappearance of Flight 828 and its passengers, Cal has developed something called "callings," which are similar to premonitions. Indeed, it was a private calling that led Cal to enter the hidden government-controlled Eureka project and touch the tail fin. This endeavor came after his parents, Grace and Ben Stone (Athena Karkanis and Josh Dallas), told him that he should just go home.

In a shocking twist that capped off the second part of Season 3's finale, Grace is stabbed by the overzealously religious Angelina Meyer (Holly Taylor), who then flees with baby Eden. As Grace is lying on the floor of her bedroom taking her last breaths, a blurry Cal surfaces out of nowhere and comes into focus. To the audience's surprise, he's obviously much older than he was in Part 1. On a Reddit thread dedicated to this twist, u/hangon_sufferwell inquired, "Why aren't we talking about this? How is he older? Is he now the age he should be if 828 hadn't happened?" Meanwhile, u/Kayninez commented, "I am really curious about what happened with Cal. I'm guessing he's the age as Olive 5.5 years plus the amount of time he's already been back. Also does that mean he no longer has a death date....?"

The fan theory that Cal may be a ghost

The valid questions about Cal's out-of-the-blue age change have no substantial answers yet. However, other fans speculate that Cal is a ghost and only appeared because Grace was dying. After all, his reflection was absent when he passed by a mirror in his bedroom. On a separate Reddit thread about the ghost theory, u/DexterDubs commented, "Or is Cal dead and only there because Grace was dying." And, on another thread about the reflection, u/itszxlda posted, "Anyone else notice that Cal's reflection is missing in the mirror in his room in the last scene? I can't seem to see this point anywhere, and I think it's substantial. Plus, the camera angle makes it seem like a he's floating or something. Is it his ghost? Is it him from an alternate timeline?"

Certainly, keeping in line with the show's otherworldly aspect, Cal experiencing a sped-up aging process after he touched the tail fin and possibly returning as a spirit wouldn't be so farfetched in the world of "Manifest." There still are no straight answers for how this is even possible, but with Season 4 hopefully getting released in the near future, Manifesters will eventually get the resolution they've been seeking.