A Flight to Finish

Cancelled by NBC, and now revived by Netflix, high-flying mystery thriller Manifest returns for a fourth and final season

Cancelled by NBC, and now revived by Netflix, high-flying mystery thriller Manifest returns for a fourth and final season

It’s taken a while to get here, but a fitting end—on its own terms—was aways Manifest’s destiny. 

The drama about an airliner that mysteriously returned more than five years after it vanished—intact, with those aboard completely unaged—took off to a strong ratings start for NBC in 2018, then was renewed by that network for two more seasons. The ratings, alas, went into a tailspin, but when repeats hit Netflix, this Lost-esque thriller put up such record-breaking numbers that the streamer had no choice but to commission a 20-episode fourth and final season. 

As Netflix recently did with the final chapter of another hit drama, Ozark, the farewell season of Manifest is being split into two halves. As of Friday, November 4, fans can binge the first 10, while the debut date for the concluding 10 hasn’t been set. Expectedly, there is much to be resolved given where season three left off. 

ManifestNetflix A suddenly teenaged Cal Stone (Ty Doran), who’d been having prophetic visions of calamities resulting from the plane’s initial disappearance, vanished while assisting the team who literally have been piecing this airborne mystery together. Cal’s flabbergasted dad Ben (Josh Dallas) and NSA Director Robert Vance (Daryl Edwards) are now searching for the kid, as well as the reconstructed plane, which has disappeared again. And that’s in conjunction with another apparent tragedy that’s befallen the Stone family. 

Original cast members Melissa Roxburgh, J.R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Matt Long, Parveen Kaur and Holly Taylor also remain among principal Manifest passengers, while creator and executive producer Jeff Rake co-wrote the first of these new episodes.  

ManifestNetflixThough the start of season four is sure to feature a “Previously on Manifest…” recap, Netflix is likely to experience a viewing bump for some or all of the first three seasons, which have continued to reside on that platform. 

Putting aside the plot, Manifest, as a show, went through its own maze to get to this final destination. With season three ending on a cliffhanger that might have been left dangling forever, Rake publically expressed the hope that Netflix or another outlet would order further episodes. However, Netflix bowed out of discussions with the show’s studio, Warner Bros. Television, which said then that it was giving up on pursuing a new home for Manifest. 

ManifestNetflixSoon afterward, though, talks resumed with NBC. Netflix also then got back in the mix and the streaming service eventually placed a 20-episode order for this fourth and concluding season. While Manifest isn’t the only broadcast-network series to be continued by a streamer, it certainly is one of the most high-profile examples… and thanks to diehard devotees, it’s definitely a case where the fans won.  

The fourth and final season of Manifest is currently streaming on Netflix