These Theories About Cal On 'Manifest' Will Make Your Brain Explode

by Ani Bundel

NBC's newest hit show, Manifest, has reeled audiences in with a story that introduces a new strange phenomenon every week. One part Lost, one part Law & Order, and one part This Is Us, Manifest has something for everyone. There's family drama, there are police procedurals, plus freaky unexplained clues that try to explain what happened to Flight 828. But the first clue remains with the son of Ben Stone, Cal, the youngest passenger on the flight. These theories about Cal on Manifest suggest whatever the show throws their way, Cal remains viewers' No. 1 clue for what happened on the plane.

The reasons Cal is a focal point is his "miracle within a miracle" status. The return of the flight, after it went missing for five years, is considered by all to be a miracle in itself. But Cal has cancer, and when he got on Flight 828, there was no cure. He wasn't expected to live until 2014, let alone 2018. But when he landed, Doctors had just begun enrolling clinical trials for a newly-confirmed cure, changing his prognosis from terminal to almost certain survival, and a high rate of living to adulthood.

In short, a miracle. Here are some theories about Cal on Manifest that may give some viewers answers.

Cal Is The Reason The Flight Jumped

Of all the people aboard Flight 828, Cal was the one who benefitted the most from the time jump. At the time of the flight in 2013, Cal had maybe six months to live, tops. It just so happens the plane had not only Cal, but Saanvi on it. She's the woman who discovered the cure for Cal and others like him. And the flight jumped forward in time just enough so that her research was ready for Cal. Moreover, because she was on the flight, it ensured she would be there to make sure he enrolled.

Coincidence? Some fans don't think so. But even though it gives a really good "why," this theory doesn't answer how or who.

Cal Is Really Dead

This springs from the woman in the street who walks up to call and cries "He Is Risen! He Is Not Here." If Cal is dead, then he's not really there. Instead, someone rose up in his place and is inhabiting his body. This would explain why he was so quick to pick up on the rules of the new board game, which freaked out Olive enough to be a salient plot point.

Perhaps that's why he's not afraid of the shadow? Could the shadow be the same creature inhabiting Cal? Could it be... aliens? Or just spirits from the other side?

Cal Is The Embodiment Of Evil

For the very paranoid, there's one more explanation as to why Cal seemed utterly unperturbed by the shadow, and suddenly showed signs of superior intelligence. He's evil.

This also ties into the biblical nature of some of the clues. Not only do we have a lady yelling phrases recalling the Second Coming, but Romans 8:28 is a quote about "All things work together for good." So far, Michaela, Saanvi, and Bethany have done so, while the Shadow has done evil. Cal sees the shadow as a member of his family. Has Evil followed him back from wherever the plane went for those five years?