The Season 4 premiere Manifest on Netflix gave 828ers — that is, longtime fans of the twisty supernatural drama-mystery series — a lot of new things to chew on. There was a two-year storyline time jump, physical changes for an array of known characters, and some major plot revelations. SYFY WIRE went directly to creator/showrunner Jeff Rake and series stars Melissa Roxburgh (Michaela Stone) and Josh Dallas as Ben Stone to unpack the unexpected start to the season.
If the first 10 episodes of Manifest Season 4 left you screaming, crying, and fearing for fictional humankind, you’re not alone.
Picked up by Netflix after its NBC cancelation in 2021, Jeff Rake’s supernatural drama is back for its fourth and final season. And with their Death Date approaching, the stakes are higher than ever for the passengers of Montego Air Flight 828.
Manifest’s final season is broken into two parts, with the first 10 episodes premiering on November 4, and the final 10 dropping at an unknown later date. Though there’s still hope for the series to deliver a satisfying end with Season 4, Part 2, the midseason finale left us with several grueling cliffhangers.
Since Season 4, Episode 10, “Inversion Illusion,” was packed with non-stop chaos, we thought you might need a detailed episode recap. Read on for Decider’s breakdown of Manifest‘s Season 4, Part 1 ending. But be warned, major (more major than THE Major) Manifest Season 4 spoilers are ahead.
The midseason finale wastes no time letting us know who stole that sapphire. We see Angelina (ugh!) strutting down a city street with a bloody head and the stone glowing in her hand. With each step she takes, the sidewalk cracks behind her, foreshadowing the dire destruction she’s capable of unleashing.
We cut to Zeke and Michaela waking up, and the cherry blossoms above them are gone. Instead, Michaela sees ash over Zeke’s head, and says, “I thought saving 191 souls was overwhelming, but if the fate of the lifeboat determines the fate of billions of people, then what do we do?” Zeke says, “Whatever we have to,” and the two share a moment more precious than that freaking sapphire. Meanwhile, Eden asks Ben to see her mommy, Eagan is in the emergency room, and Cal is in a hospital bed at home coughing. Chaos!
With Cal’s health rapidly declining, no one wants to leave his side, but he begs his family to snap back into action before it’s too late. “Guys I’m dying, but you know who else is? All of you. You have to keep trying. What if the sapphire can save me? Mom would want us to keep pushing — to keep fighting,” he says. They get to work, but Zeke (who’s still recovering from being shot in the leg by Angelina’s dad) hangs back and helps keep Cal comfortable.
As Zeke sets up old family photos for Cal, Michaela finds a triggering one of her and Evie. “What idiot downs a double Manhattan and gets in the car and drives? It’s unforgivable,” she says, but her rant is cut short when she gets a call from Detective Vasquez, who’s finally working closely with 828ers at the Registry, and still in a no-strings-attached relationship with Drea. Jared and Michaela head to the hospital to meet Eagan, where they learn Angelina has the stone. Michaela has a Calling of a dark angel that shatters into stained glass, then she finds Angelina’s prayer book, which reads, “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.”
Michaela and Ben find Angelina in a church where lava is flowing through the floor. She’s praying under an image of a faceless angel, saying she’s the chosen one. After seeing a group of children trapped among the lava, Michaela grabs her gun and tells Angelina it’s over. “It will be soon, for all of you. God has chosen me…I’m an archangel sent to bring vengeance upon the evil and to lead the righteous to salvation,” Angelina replies. Ben tells her she’s just another sad, lost, lonely member of the lifeboat awaiting judgement, and as Michaela tightens her grip on the gun, Angelina uses the sapphire to trick her with a false Calling. Angelina makes an image of Evie appear before Michaela, which flusters her so much that she drops her gun into the lava.
While Angelina is harnessing the power of the sapphire, Cal’s scar sample in Saanvi’s lab glows blue, as does the scar on his arm. Cal recalls Henry telling him he’s a dragon and uses his powers to create a Calling of his own for Angelina. The two appear on the plane together and Cal tells her she’s destroying any chance they have of saving the lifeboat, but she doesn’t care and tries to toss him out of the plane. She uses the sapphire to create an imagine of Grace, who urges Cal to give up his fight. Cal sees through the stunt, grabs the sapphire in Angelina’s hand, and fights for it until it shatters. When Cal comes out of the calling, he realizes his time is up and asks Zeke to call his family so he can say goodbye. When Zeke overhears Olive saying she knows Cal is “the dragon” who can save humanity, he flashes back to his own death day and remembers how Cal did everything he could to help him survive. (We know where this is going, Zeke. And we don’t like it!)
Back at the church, Ben and Michaela save the hostages, and when Ben goes back in to save Angelina he sees she’s been crushed by debris. Authorities raid Saanvi and Vance’s lab by order of Dr. Gupta, and all 828 passengers are being locked up until further notice.
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