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Up in the Air: Unspoiled Manifest Theories & Speculation

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A thread for theories, discussion of plot holes, etc., such as:

On 12/1/2018 at 7:44 PM, fauntleroy said:

Categories of theory:

Timey-wimey:

  • Inadvertent multiverse displacement via wormhole opened above Jamaica. But wormholes are spatial not temporal right? In this case time only, space was static so, a time hole? Many Star Trek variants of this, pick a cool one. Temporal anomalies abound, many threats to the delicate fabric of space-time.
  • They flew right into chronoton particle cloud (!) the result of temporal storm, cause of turbulence. Time distortion at exit a function of er say, plane speed.
  • Inverse temporal toroid, the plane didn't disappear five years they are on 'normal' time and really the rest of the universe 'blinked' forward around the toroid oops! And the intervening time did not actually happen and they only have false memories. It all depends on your point of view. Because time is relative you see. 
  • If they found the time hole maybe they could go back! Well that's not a theory. Again, Kirk and Spock could help here. Still, since there was no spatial displacement maybe the scientists could visit the airspace and send drones through - could still be there?

Consciousness woo:

  • Mass hallucination, subjects actually unconscious, stored in pods (Matrix model) or used as seasoning in large gravy boat at lunch table of enormous alien.
  • Individual hallucination. Ugh not likely! Bob Newhart wakes up, St Elsewhere happened in a snow globe, kind of thing.
  • MIchaela in coma, her dream. I dunno this whole category smells of cheat to me.

Mystic/religious:

  • First of many such events, ongoing effects of God v Satan time fight!
  • Crossover! TARDIS malfunctioned at nearby coordinates after Jamaican vacation and intersected with...Dr returns in Season 6 to give them the choice to go back.
  • The Eyebrows of God. We prostrate ourselves before their abundance and magnificence. I am in their thrall so gonna have to choose this.
Edited by garnetarden · Reason: Updated Title and Tag
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I like your analysis and the way you categorized the theories.  In regards to the Mystic/religious theory, here is what I think:

References to the word "hell" may be significant

In the first 9 episodes, one or more characters in 23 different scenes use the word “hell” at least once. In fact, in 106.14 Jared uses it four times to underscore that something not right is going on. This appears to be more than a cliché. The writers would not have used it four time in a scene unless they were trying to make a strong impact on the viewer that what was going on behind the red door was significant.

In the promo video of episode 10, we hear Michaela say, “What the hell is going on?” That is a question many viewers are asking, too. Are the writers using “hell” simply to express discontent or displeasure,  disregard for conventional procedure and precautions, or is there something more significant going on here?

The writers may be using “hell” in a very creative way of depicting the character’s turbulent state of mind and being (i.e. “Turbulence” , the episode 3 title.) Although the common Christian concept of hell does not involve redemption, the writers might just be using a broader (i.e, a purgatorial) view.

References to the Color Red

A similar connection also exists with the writer’s use of the color red. Is there something going on here which is similar to the way the movie The Sixth Sense uses red to  symbolize “anything in the real world that has been tainted by the other world” (director M. Night Shyamalan), and is used “to connote really explosively emotional moments and situations” (producer Barry Mendel)?

The two biggest ones, of course, are the “red door” of the dairy farm where the missing passengers were taken (episode 106), and the Red Hook warehouse (episodes 108 and 109).  In episode 108, Michaela makes a comment on Grace’s use of “Le Rouge” saying that it “goes with her smokin’ hot eyes (108.19).

Whether the writers intentionally put these instances of red into the story or whether they are just coincidental, remains to be seen. But here are other instances where the color red shows up in the series.

I don't want to post everything, but you can read more in my article Manifest: “What the hell is going on?” Occurrences of “hell”, the color “red”, and “fall” in the Manifest TV series where I give many examples of where the color red is being used.

Edited by 828er

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@828er, although we can't (yet) know whether the repetitive use of the word "Hell" is just a tick of the main writer or deliberately placed, now that you mention it, it certainly does serve to point out that the 828ers of the show have returned to a kind of hell.

 I think the use of red might just be to draw the viewer to the focus of the scene, which, while simplistic, is at least effective.

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I do not think they would do it, but it just occurred to me that this show is somewhat perfectly set up for:

  • The plane was stolen by aliens
  • The passengers were studied or modified in some way
  • The aliens invade
  • The passengers are supposed to be their ambassadors
  • They are torn between are the aliens intentions are good or evil
  • Some work with them and others start a resistance

If I were show runner, I'd turn season 1 into a prologue for a show like V, Falling Skies, or War of the Worlds.

And that may be because I need to update my go to "you think that is out of nowhere and couldn't happen" phrase from "and then the aliens abducted the submarine and took it to outer space" to something more contemporary.

Edited by ParadoxLost
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2 hours ago, ottoDbusdriver said:

My money is on the fact that she is a quadruple agent, working for some organization we have yet to be introduced to that is responsible for the plane disappearing, and likely funded by aliens from the future who have come back in time in order to save Cal because Cal starts a band whose music ends up saving the world. </sarcasm>

I realize your jovial sarcasm extends to the idea of a nesting Russian doll scenario of bigger and bigger bads, but I really don't want extraterrestrials. Even humans from the future is a worn out story that I don't think this show can make fresh. I'd prefer more of a Twilight Zone one-off blip, because that's something this show could handle.

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I don't follow this show anywhere but here and haven't given it a ton of thought so my theory might be extremely lame. 

I kind of like the idea that the plane was already being used by some kind of secret research team (the mind connection stuff) and that it <whatever technobabble experiment they were conducting> collided with some kind of natural phenomenon - with the plane ending up in the weird 5 1/2 year stasis.  That would account for the passengers mental connections and the fact that the kidnapped passengers were being experimented on already - by a hastily resurrected research team.  

ETA:  I'd be good with replacing the natural phenomenon with aliens.  I'm easy there. :-)  But a huge no for them already being dead or anything like that. 

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1 hour ago, tessaray said:

I kind of like the idea that the plane was already being used by some kind of secret research team (the mind connection stuff) and that it <whatever technobabble experiment they were conducting> collided with some kind of natural phenomenon - with the plane ending up in the weird 5 1/2 year stasis.  That would account for the passengers mental connections and the fact that the kidnapped passengers were being experimented on already - by a hastily resurrected research team.  

I like this^

1 hour ago, tessaray said:

I'd be good with replacing the natural phenomenon with aliens

but not this^
but maybe I'd better be prepared for possible aliens, since they give explanations a carte blanche/anything goes way for the writers to unpaint themselves out of a corner.

Edited by shapeshifter
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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

but maybe I'd better be prepared for possible aliens, since they give explanations a carte blanche/anything goes way for the writers to unpaint themselves out of a corner.

To be honest, I'd prefer human technobabble with a possible dash of timey-wimey over aliens or mystical/spiritual.  If you think about it, an airplane is a perfect place for shenanigans, because for the most part it would be in international air space and it's an enclosed area where the subjects can't just get up and leave.  They could even use some kind of subliminal suggestion to affect who would volunteer for the second plane.  And human beings are always messing with things they don't understand, with unintended consequences.  

Also, the show so far doesn't feel like a setup for aliens, so there's that. 

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Cal's probably the chosen one, and there was a prophesy that "This child shall save us" so an underground group that goes back centuries followed instructions to aim an ancient stone of energy toward the sky at a particular moment, so that was the bright light that Cal saw out the window.  

The reason the plane disappeared could literally be anything, and that ironically makes me care even less.  I can't think of a possibility that I would even want to watch.

I suppose if they want to keep the show interesting, by Season 4, the flashbacks could be Ben, Michaela, Cal and the rest of the plane passengers exploring an alien universe they lived in for 5 years and then got amnesia before coming home.

Edited by Camera One
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Maybe the plane is in real time and the rest of the world was accelerated by five plus years. lol 

I really don't want it to be aliens, but I'd take that over some kind of spiritual/god explanation. 

I do like the idea that the plane was already part of an experiment. Having Ben, Mick and Cal as last minute additions is most interesting in this scenario. Did they need more subjects? Did they anticipate those three coming on board? Did their addition screw everything up? I would guess the later, and that they weren't supposed to be added to the flight and once they were something went wrong. Obviously Cal is the linchpin. I'd guess something to do with his cancer. So now the experimenters want to figure out why. 

IDK. So far nothing really makes sense and I do fear we're going to get some spiritual shit about how we are all connected and we all need to come together blah blah for the greater good. Which, while a good message, we should all be more understanding and whatnot, I don't need a sci-fi-ish show telling me this through stupid voices telling morons to blindly do weird things to save each other. 

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On 12/8/2018 at 9:35 AM, Mabinogia said:

I do like the idea that the plane was already part of an experiment. Having Ben, Mick and Cal as last minute additions is most interesting in this scenario. Did they need more subjects? Did they anticipate those three coming on board? Did their addition screw everything up? I would guess the later, and that they weren't supposed to be added to the flight and once they were something went wrong. Obviously Cal is the linchpin. I'd guess something to do with his cancer. So now the experimenters want to figure out why. 

This makes sense--probably more sense the real plot reveal will, heh.
 

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Thank you for the much improved thread title, @garnetarden.

Various speculations copied over from Page 2 of the 1.16 (finale) thread, beginning with the best-written one and then more or less in order on that page:

21 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

My guess is that none of the three got killed, but the bullet went through the window and hit some hapless redshirt across the street in Apartment 828.

On 2/20/2019 at 8:14 AM, Clanstarling said:

I do think Michaela being pregnant before the disappearance would be more interesting than your average "who's the daddy" plot. Of course, she would still be pregnant - given that only 6 weeks have gone by.

On 2/20/2019 at 9:05 AM, shapeshifter said:

Since it has only been 6 weeks, how about this: Michaela is pregnant (how long were they in Jamaica? 2 weeks? She could be 8-10 weeks pregnant—or less in Manifest time) which is discovered when she is taken to the hospital for the gunshot wound, which is a pretty standard TV trope.

.

Speaking of pregnancies and Manifest time (MfT?):
Grace says she's about 6 weeks pregnant.
Flight 828 returned 6 weeks + a couple of days ago (Nov. 4 - Dec. 11).
Unless obstetrics is different now than when I was having kids (which it could be) "6 weeks pregnant" means 6 weeks from the start of the last menses, with ovulation typically occurring 2 weeks later, and conception occurring from the moment of ovulation until up to 5 days, but typically within 1-3 days, with a sperm having been deposited anywhere from 1 week before ovulation to 5 days after, but, again, typically not that long.
So, it could easily be Ben's baby.
But: "Rake: We will almost certainly see more of Danny in Season 2" (tvguide.com/news/manifest-season-1-finale-jeff-rake).

On 2/20/2019 at 8:25 AM, icemiser69 said:

The bullet most likely hit Michaela and she could be  (but won't be) put in a coma until her expiration date.  

On 2/20/2019 at 4:49 PM, green said:

So I don't think God is involved but it would be hilarious after 5 years of this show to see that it is their mother who started the whole thing originally.

On 2/21/2019 at 6:57 PM, judyri said:

So if the Major is posing as a therapist, then the 'kind' doctor must be in on it? Or she found out about the appointment and sent the real therapist packing?

or the real therapist is in a shallow grave somewhere.
The Major should at least have framed forged PhD diplomas on her wall, but probably not necessary on this show.

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