Netflix’s ‘Manifest’ begins with the mysterious disappearance of Flight 828. In 2013, it takes off from Jamaica and is supposed to land in New York, but it vanishes in thin air for five and a half years. It comes back in 2018. For the passengers, it was just turbulence that led to a little delay in their landing. But for the rest of the world, years have passed, and things have changed. A group of passengers tries to decipher the mystery behind their disappearance and how it has affected them.
The discovery of the Death Date also changes many things as the passengers discover that their time on Earth is limited. Their quest to find the solution to their problem takes them back to the plane. If you are wondering what happened to it in 2013 and what happens to it in the end, we’ve got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD
What Happened to the Plane?
For four seasons, the characters in ‘Manifest’ wonder why this mysterious event happened to them. Why did they disappear? Why were they chosen to go through all this? Why were they bestowed with the Callings and the knowledge of the Death Date? Was something special about them, or was it the plane? Was there something supernatural about Flight 828?
Dr. Saanvi Bahl deduces that there is nothing special about them. It was all a random turn of events, which could have happened to anyone else on any other plane. They were just a random batch in a divine experiment. In 2013, during its flight, the plane experienced turbulence when the weather got a little shaky. At first, Captain Daly thought it was just another bout of rough weather, but it got weirder by the minute. The black lightning all around charged the plane from every direction, and when Daly saw a blinding white light, he decided to fly it into it.
It was the best decision he could come up with to ensure the passengers’ survival, and he turned out to be correct. Had Daly tried to dodge the light, he could have gotten the plane entangled in the lightning, which would have destroyed the plane, killing everyone onboard. This theory is entertained by Ben Stone when the plane’s tailfin surfaces from the ocean, and one of the passengers, who was shot to death, exhibits the symptoms of dying in a plane crash.
Luckily for the passengers, Daly flew the plane into the Glow, aka the Divine Consciousness. Space and time work differently here, which is how the passengers moved five and a half years into the future. This is also where their connection to all consciousness leads to the Callings they experience when they go back to the normal world. On its return, the NSA keeps the plane secluded to study it, but it explodes.
The plane appears to the passengers several times in their Callings. They often find themselves inside it while accessing a Calling. It becomes the representation of the Glow for them, to which they return in their quest to understand the Divine Consciousness and find ways to beat the Death Date. In its physical form, a part of the plane appears in the third season when its tailfin is recovered from the ocean.
A study of the tail fin reveals the presence of sapphire, which later becomes instrumental in understanding the mystery behind everything happening to the passengers. The tailfin is taken to the secret NSA facility, Eureka, where Dr. Gupta’s team, including Saanvi Bahl, studies it. Their experiments on the tailfin and other objects lead to calamities like earthquakes and volcanic fissures.
When Cal touches the tailfin and disappears, Ben convinces Dr. Gupta to throw it back into the ocean where it was found. In a similar trick, Saanvi threw the fragment of Noah’s Ark into a volcanic fissure to keep it from worsening. Apart from the tailfin, the plane was also in Eureka. After its explosion, the NSA tried to put it back together to experiment and get more insight into the nature of events surrounding it. However, before they can do anything, the plane disappears again after Captain Daly, who had flown another plane into black lightning and disappeared, briefly appears in it, asking for help.
There is no trace of the plane after this until the finale. On the Death Date, Cal connects his sapphire with the fissure in Storm King Mountain where Saanvi had thrown the fragment of Noah’s Ark. Cal disappears, leaving behind a beacon for the rest of the passengers to guide them to the location of the fissure. Once they are all assembled, the crack opens up, and the plane comes out of it. The plane is entirely unharmed, as if it never exploded and never had any harm come to it.
The passengers board the plane and, once again, fly into the Glow. On the other side, they land in 2013, restored to how things should have been in the original timeline. Flight 828 goes back to being a normal plane that flew from Jamaica and landed on time in New York, with a slight hiccup of eleven passengers disappearing mysteriously. Apart from this, everything about the plane is normal, and like its passengers, it’ll probably go back to being its usual self, flying to and fro around the world.