The Unraveling of a Final Destination


Manifest is a 2018 series from the imaginings of Jeff Rake. It is a tension-filled dramatic science fiction mystery that took NBC by storm. No one expected the success Manifest would become. Upon its airing, the show drew parallels to similarly categorized content such as Lost, Stephen King’s The Langoliers, and the film Final Destination. However, as it turned out, Manifest was not quite comparable to the others. It was in a league all its own. There was something about how Rake presented his story. The viewing audience was hooked.

Manifest was an undeniable success for NBC. Over 10 million viewers tuned in to the premier, and according to Looper, by the end of the first season, “NBC could brag that Manifest was the most-watched new TV series for the 2018-2019 season in the 18-49 age demographic.” But something happened in the second season. Viewership drastically declined, dropping from 10 million live viewers to 3 million. And by the third season, it was clear Manifest was struggling.


In 2021, NBC made an executive decision to discontinue the series. It was the fledgling viewership that prompted this decision. While it made little sense for NBC to continue airing the series Netflix swooped in. The choice to air the series on its platform effectively reignited interest. The move breathed vitality into the waning fandom and seemed like one of Netflix’s best saves. But despite the apparent success and Rake’s six-season prospectus, Netflix announced Manifest’s cancelation. Those familiar with Netflix understand that shows frequently get the ax. However, the nixing of Manifest agitated fans and sparked fury. And the fans rallied to decry the decision. A #Save Manifest campaign followed. Even Stephen King got in on the action, tweeting a heartfelt plea to save the series.

The voice of the people could not be denied, so Netflix responded. Manifest was renewed for the fourth and final season. Finally, fans could relax, basking in the relief that a fan favorite would finally get a proper closing. On September 24, 2022, Netflix released one of the first trailers for Manifest’s fourth and final season, and it is something. The trailer is full of revelations and clues as to what fans might expect.

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Manifest Season 4 Trailer

The first few moments of the trailer take the viewers on a brief walk down memory lane. Essentially, in the opener, we are back to where it all started, the startling disappearance of 828. And suddenly, the baffling reappearance years later. But beyond that, the featurette expands to hip viewers to the thematic elements, which will establish the action points in the upcoming season.

Given what we’ve seen, season four will focus on five dominant themes: pre-determination, precognition, premonition, connection, and divine consciousness.

Pre-Cognition, Premonition, and Pre-Destination

Throughout the trailer, two prevalent themes that continue to surface through character conversation and interaction are the ideas of precognition and premonition. Precognition is foreknowledge of impending future events via supernatural or paranormal means. The trailer depicts the characters visualizing the future before it is ever shaped. There is heavy symbolism involved, which points to what is ahead.

There are names etched on tombstones, the appearance of dirt and ash straight from a dream, and an erratically floating compass, all of which are premonitory symbols. However, the idea of premonition is also explored through the various characters as each deal with the unsettling feeling of something big on the horizon. Finally, the trailer highlights the idea of predestination.

As Michaela Stone asserts:

“We’re supposed to save the passengers together.”

Or one might consider the continual reminder that none of the matter is by chance, as also highlighted by Michaela. In her enlightened state on the cusp of discovery, Michaela explains to the aviator:

“You didn’t fly into the storm; it flew into us; it chose us.”


Of course, everything is not clear, cut, and dry. But one cannot deny the binding ties between the passengers which drive the mystery. This leads to the overarching theme of connection, one of the grandest themes in the entire series. Throughout seasons 1-3, fans discover, through moment-by-moment revelations, the unifying link among the passengers on the 828 manifest.

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As the trailer shows, this will also be an essential theme in season four and a key to drilling into the foundations and unearthing purpose.

Divine Consciousness

Beyond the concepts of precognition, premonition, predestination, and connection, another significant theme is at play. The trailer teases a more powerful element behind the events of flight 828. And given the hints dropped, it’s a little less likely that aliens have been pulling the strings, as some have surmised. But there is rather a more powerful, divine consciousness leading the charge.

Season four is shaping up to be an exciting journey. The trailer lends itself to a season of more discoveries, depth, death, and questions that we hope to see answered. It is disappointing that Rake will not get to extend his story to the intended six-part teleplay. But, perhaps this one powerful season allowed him to wrap up his story in the most fitting manner possible. At least, that is the hope. Until then, all that remains is the wait. And for those eager for the final take-off, Manifest will embark on its terminal journey on November 4, 2022, on Netflix.

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