How do the Passengers Time Travel in Manifest, Explained

Image Credit: Peter Kramer/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Manifest’ begins with a time jump of five and half years when a flight that was supposed to land in 2013 disappears and reappears in 2018. While the rest of the world has moved forward, the 191 passengers on the flight haven’t aged a day, for whom it was only a few minutes delay. The passengers spend the next five and half years trying to figure out what happened to them and where they had been for more than five years.

The search for the truth takes them on a tumultuous path that tests them physically and mentally. They go through many ups and downs but stick together because all of their fates are connected. In the end, when the Death Date arrives, they board the same flight and take another jump in time. How does that happen, and what does it mean for the passengers? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD

How do the Passengers Travel Back in Time?

Image Credit: Peter Kramer/Netflix

When Flight 828 goes missing, the authorities look for it everywhere. It doesn’t arrive where it was supposed to. There is no evidence of it exploding mid-air because there is no debris anywhere. If the plane crashed, some part of it would have been found. Instead, it disappears as if it never existed. For the next five years and a half, the world tried to solve that mystery, but for the passengers on the flight, it all amounted to just a few minutes.

On the way, the plane crossed paths with a blinding white light. When it entered the light, time stopped for all the passengers. Later, the passengers discover that they had been in the Divine Consciousness, aka the Glow. This place is beyond the plane of existence of normal humans. For the rest of the world, time moves forward at a steady pace. But in the Glow, there is no fixed direction of time. Everything exists and happens here at the same time.

In the second half of the fourth season, Zeke, who died after saving Cal, appears to Michaela. She is in the real world, but he is in the Glow. They cannot touch each other, but they can communicate with each other. Zeke tells Michaela that time works differently here. In this place, he can see all the moments that he has lived. He talks about the times when he and Michaela crossed paths and almost met. The time when they were strangers, the time that they met, and the time they spent together, all exist here simultaneously.

Apart from his own life, Zeke also has access to the general future. In the Divine Consciousness, everyone’s past, present, and future exist together, which means that a person in the Glow can access someone else’s memories and find out what’s to happen in their future. When Flight 828 was in the Glow, all the passengers had access to their moments and memories, which came to them as Callings when they were back on Earth. All of this proves that time is fluid in the Glow. If it can take the passengers five and a half years into the future, it can also take them eleven years into the past.

Image Credit: Peter Kramer/Netflix

When the Death Date arrives, the passengers board Flight 828 once again. As the world is decimated, the passengers face judgment for their actions in the past five and a half years. Eleven passengers, including Angelina, explode from within and turn into ash because they’d committed heinous acts, endangering the survival of the Lifeboat when the rest of the passengers were trying to do good things to stay afloat.

When the judgment is done, and the rest of the passengers are spared, the Glow appears again. Amuta flies the plane into it, and once again, the passengers land in a place that exists beyond time. This time, when they land, they are back in 2013, which is where they should have landed all those years ago. They discover that the world is safe and their loved ones, who had died in the other timeline, are alive here. In a way, this is a clean slate for all the passengers and their chance to live the life they were robbed of when the plane disappeared.

While ‘Manifest’ answers many questions, there are some mysteries that go unaddressed. We know how the passengers lost more than five years, but why did that happen? Who sent them into the Glow? Who created the Divine Consciousness and chose the 191 passengers to go through this tumultuous turn of events? Who judged them for their deeds and decided whether or not they should explode?

Because there is no specific answer, we can say that it was done by God. God sent the passengers of Flight 828 into the Glow and took them from 2013 to 2018. God tested them for the next five and a half years and decided who was worthy of getting a second chance at life. God punished eleven passengers and sent the rest back in time to 2013, rewarding them for all the good they did, giving them a chance to spend their lives with their families as was originally intended.

Read More: Does the World End in Manifest?