Netflix’s ‘Manifest’ follows the story of a group of passengers whose lives are changed after the plane they boarded takes a time jump of five and a half years. The world is already a different place for them, but things get weirder when they get mysterious visions that help them save lives and avert disasters. The passengers call these visions the Callings, the origins of which are related to the mysterious disappearance of Flight 828. The Callings become an essential part of the story as they help the passengers figure out what’s happening to them. In the fourth season, they suddenly stop, leaving the 828ers nothing to go on with. Why does that happen? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
Are the Callings Evil?
When Angelina Meyer gets a Calling, her parents think she is possessed. Unlike other passengers, they don’t consider it a sign from the Divine to help those in need. The Meyers believe the Callings are from the Devil and must be stopped. Later, another 828er, Adrian, has similar thoughts about them. He believes that the Callings have deluded people like Ben into believing that they are good when they are evil.
According to Adrian, the Callings help the passengers with the good things to gain their trust. When they become their blind followers, the Calling can show them anything and get them to do whatever it likes. Because the passengers believe that the Callings always lead them towards good things, they will never question their motives. Over time, this is precisely what happens as Ben Stone and his friends start to trust the Callings above everything.
Despite the 828ers’ blind devotion, the Callings never really lead them to bad things. Whatever bad comes out of them is due to the interpretation of the passengers. People like Ben and Saanvi use the Callings to help people and get to the bottom of the truth. But people like Angelina and Eagan use them to manipulate people and profit from others’ pain. Considering this, we can say that, like any other tool in man’s hand, the Callings can be used for good or evil. The Callings are not evil; the people who use them to do bad things are.
When the passengers find out about the Death Date, the Callings become instrumental in helping them with averting or, at least, surviving it. Through the Callings, they get symbols like the peacock, the twins, and the volcano, among others. The Callings also shows them the way to keep the Lifeboat afloat. Every Calling is the chance to save a life, do a good deed, and outweigh the bad acts committed by 828ers like Angelina. Through the Callings, the passengers learn about the Glow, which shows they are all connected. Whatever happens to one happens to all, whether surviving the Death Date or losing the Callings.
Why do the Callings Stop?
In the fourth season, Angelina has a shard of the Omega Sapphire embedded in her palm. When she is caught, the NSA tries to get it out. They want the sapphire for themselves and exploit it for their purposes. However, when they try that, the sapphire dissolves in her blood. It disappears from her palm and flows inside her entire body, making it impossible to get it out of her.
When Ben finds out about it, he uses it to stop Angelina once and for all. He tries to inject her with the same serum Saanvi used to stop her Callings. Despite Saanvi’s objection, Ben does it, but the results are not as expected. Instead of harming Angelina, the serum seems to enhance her abilities. When she cries out in pain, it is heard by all the passengers, no matter how far they are from her.
When the scream stops, Angelina still has the powers of the sapphire, but the rest of the passengers, except Cal, lose their Callings. At first, they think the Callings have stopped, but later, Saanvi discovers that they are still there, but the passengers seem to have lost the ability to receive them. It’s like Angelina’s scream tuned out their antennas, and they cannot catch the Callings anymore because they are not on the same frequency.
There is no way to fix this problem, but the Callings are still out there, and Cal can access them because he has sapphire in his Dragon scar. When he first tries to access the Callings, he is flooded with them. He learns to channel them individually by sitting on a passenger’s seat. He does it for as long as he can, but it exhausts him, and slowly, the Callings start to fade until they stop coming.
Cal gets the last Calling just a few days before the Death Date. It could be that he had overworked himself and exhausted his ability to access the Callings. They could still be out there, but Cal, like other passengers, cannot get in touch with them anymore. Another reason behind their disappearance could be that with the Death Date just around the corner, solving more Callings won’t make any difference to the Lifeboat’s fate. With the little time they have left, the passengers must make their peace with whatever is in store for them.