Manifest Season 4 has been officially cleared for takeoff, in the form of a supersized farewell run on Netflix.
News of the big “save” came on, yes, 8/28 (and at 8:28 am PT) — more than 10 weeks after NBC grounded the supernatural-tinged family drama following a cliffhanger-filled Season 3 finale.
The series’ fourth and final season will span 20 episodes, to be split into parts to be determined.
“What started years ago as a flight of fancy deep in my imagination has evolved into the jet engine journey of a lifetime,” showrunner Jeff Rake said in a statement. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned the worldwide outpouring of love and support for this story, its characters, and the team who work so hard to bring it all to life. That we will be able to reward the fans with the ending they deserve moves me to no end. On behalf of the cast, the crew, the writers, directors, and producers, thank you to Netflix, to Warner Bros., and of course to the fans. You did this.”
At that time of the series’ broadcast cancellation, Rake told fans, “I’m devastated by NBC’s decision to cancel us,” adding: “That we’ve been shut down in the middle [of a planned six-season run] is a gut punch to say the least…. You deserve an ending to your story.”
In the weeks that followed, Rake would reassure Manifesters, “We’re trying to find a way to conclude the series. Could take a week, a month, a year” — all as he angled to find someone to A) finance at the very least a wrap-up movie, and B) offer a home to same.
Netflix’s deal with Warner Bros. includes all previous seasons, to premiere on the streaming service around the world in the coming months.
Throughout its “limbo” stage, Manifest stayed airborne in the pop culture conversation — by ascending and topping the Nielsen streaming charts, and also by claiming the No. 1 spot on Netflix’s popularity poll for a near-record 27 straight days. It was after the latter feat that rumblings grew louder that a beyond-last-minute save was in the works.
“Since its premiere on Netflix in June, Manifest has proven very popular with our members,” Bela Bajaria, Netflix Head of Global TV, noted. “Jeff Rake and his team have crafted a beguiling mystery that has viewers around the world on the edge of their seats and believing again in second chances, and we’re thrilled that they will bring fans some closure with this final, super-sized season.”
With the show now saved, you have burning questions — several of which, at our request, were emailed to TVLine. They include….
FOR STARTERS: WHY DID 828 DISAPPEAR?
TVLine reader Sindhuja got to the heart of the matter, emailing us to wonder, “What exactly was the reason for the plane’s disappearance?” TVLine reader STL similarly cut to the chase with a sweeping, “What force/entity was responsible for the whole missing/returning plane, callings and supernatural occurrences?”
And while we suspect that the series would hold off on resolving that central mystery until closer to the end of its ideally six-season run, dollars to donuts says we get something resembling a firm answer in the barely-secured Season 4 on Netflix.
The questions from Sindhuja and STL, though, suggested that who/whatever made 828 vanish also was responsible for bringing it back. But….
WHO/WHAT BROUGHT 828 BACK?
Echoing the burning Q we all have had since the series’ very first trailer hit the Internet, Shane says, “My No. 1 question for Manifest is: Who or what brought the crew and passengers back?” — which with its specific phrasing raises the question: Were the 828ers brought back by the same entity that disappeared them in the first place? Or was some second entity “course-correcting”?
WHY MONTEGO AIR FLIGHT 828?
As TVLine reader Stacy put it, “Why was this plane” — as in Montego Air flight 828, traveling from Jamaica to New York — “selected to disappear?” Indeed, we have been so bogged down with the why, how and at whose hand, it has seldom been wondered why this particular flight. Upon 828’s mysterious return, we have learned of others who vanished and later returned with no time passed, so what makes these people targets?
DID THE 828ERS DIE AND 'COME BACK'?
Season 3 of the supernatural drama, in particular, planted several seeds for the theory that those aboard Flight 828 — as well as, for example, the Meth Heads who drowned beneath a frozen lake — indeed died, but were somehow resurrected, years later but at the same age. “Did they die and come back?,” TVLine reader Tiffany asks. “Why did they not age a day?”
But wait, before we lock into the whole death thing….
IS THIS SOME 'PARALLEL UNIVERSE' THING?
In the wake of Season 3’s assorted clues that the 828ers in fact perished and then came back, TVLine reader Laurelnev wrote, “Was this death/reanimation, or a multiple/parallel universe thing?”
WHY DID CAL VANISH, THEN GROW UP FAST?
One of the series’ newest mysteries was raised in the Season 3 finale. “Why did Cal touching the tail fin cause him to vanish and age so fast?,” TVLine reader Bernadette asks.
To recap: Cal had snuck off to the top-secret Eureka lab, where he insisted on touching the tail fin. And with a flash of light, he vanished into thin air, much to his nearby parents’ horror. Cal would not reappear until the finale’s closing moments, though five years older aka once again the same age as twin sister Olive (and now played by American Crime‘s Ty Doran).
DID GRACE REALLY DIE?
TVLine reader Denise was among the many worrying about the fate of the Stone family matriarch, who in the Season 3 finale was stabbed by baby-snatching Angelina. When the mysteriously aged-up Cal found his mother on her bedroom floor, she urged her “sweet, sweet boy” to help the family “take care of each other.” But rather than dial 911, Cal told his mom, “It’s OK…. I know what we need to do now.”
This is one burning Q that seemingly has been answered, though. As showrunner Jeff Rake told EW.com over the summer, “It’s too late for Cal to save his mom, but the last thing he tells her, having come back from a mysterious unknown location, is “I know what we need to do now.”
Which is… what?
WILL 'JACHAELA' END UP TOGETHER?
Ah, yes — the simpler issue of sweet romance.
TVLine reader Dana spoke for many by emailing us to ask if Michaela and Jared will romantically reunite. After all, the Season 3 finale ended with newly empathic Zeke sensing there still are deep feelings between the former almost-marrieds. And Jared himself was bearish on whether he could continue dating Sarah, now knowing the 828ers’ role in her mother the Major’s accidental-ish death.
Want scoop on Manifest, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.