There were some 191 passengers on flight no. 828 on the day it disappeared, and the show creators really played a trick on us by not revealing all the faces at once. Throughout the four seasons of Manifest, we came across different faces whom most of us failed to recognize because these were one-day actors who were brought on set for personal stories revolving around each of them. Even at the end of Manifest Season 4, we were not sure whether it was exactly 191 people who boarded the plane, but let’s just call it cinematic liberty and move on.
Among this crowd, there were two people, namely Captain William Daly and Fiona Clark. They had their episodic stories in Manifest Season 1, and we were certain that their time had ended. But the creators brought them back in Part 2 of Season 4 to tie up loose ends on their character arcs, as these two people had mysteriously disappeared in Season 1. But even though we saw Daly and Fiona again in Season 4, the creators didn’t tell us anything concrete about their fate, i.e., whether they survived the end and came to the 2013 timeline or not. Yet we would love to entertain some possibilities.
Daly had been quite a popular personality, so certainly, the captain of Flight No. 828 needs no introduction here. Fiona Clark, on the other hand, was a neuropsychologist who later turned into a spiritual speaker. According to Saanvi, Fiona believed that all minds are connected and can sync up with one another, and perhaps Kathryn Fitz used her research work to experiment on 11 passengers. However, an interesting fact about Fiona was that she never got any callings, the reason for which was explained in Part 2 of Season 4. According to Olive, Fiona suffered a brain injury in her childhood, and probably because of her trauma, she never had any callings after 828’s return.
In Manifest Season 1, Fiona got some limelight for her conspiracy theories, and that’s how Daly heard of her. Fiona blamed the hurricane or the violent electrical storm for the disappearance of 828, and Daly shared a similar thought; therefore, he didn’t waste a moment to abduct Fiona and decided to fly straight into another violent storm, believing he would witness the Glow once again. However, before he could do so, his airplane was shot down by the US Air Force, and their bodies were never recovered.
The second time we saw Fiona and Daly was when Cal touched the missing tailfin in the Eureka lab, and he disappeared from the face of the Earth. He later returned as a teenage Cal but had no memories of what had happened to him. Later, during a conversation with Amuta, Cal faintly remembered that he had traveled back to the plane, which was probably stuck in the realm of divine consciousness. He also remembered seeing Fiona and Daly there; however, Cal decided to return to the human world because he had foreseen that something bad was going to happen to his mother. Daly tried to stop Cal, which was why he was sent back to Earth for some milliseconds as he appeared inside the restructured 828 flight in Eureka Lab. However, what happened to him after that wasn’t revealed to us until Fiona, Daly, and the missing plane came back to Earth at the beginning of the second part of Manifest Season 4.
In the fourth season, Fiona and Daly were depicted as the two witnesses who would bring God’s wrath upon the Earth. God, or the divine consciousness, had given them the power to destroy mankind with deadly plagues. However, before anything further could be explained about their role or their return from the divine realm, these two people were murdered by Angelina Meyer, and thus, the creators concluded their arcs without much fuss. It wasn’t even revealed to us whether they had to go through the Ma’at scales of judgment or not. However, if we scrutinize certain facts, we could theorize that Daly didn’t survive the judgment, and we have our explanation for the same.
Daly was an alcoholic and absentee father who had hurt his wife and son. In short, he had brought suffering to his own family. The divine consciousness perhaps wanted him to correct those mistakes and go back to his son and wife and bridge the differences, but Daly was so hell-bent on solving the mystery around the airplane that he neglected not only the callings but also his family. If we understand the rules of judgment properly, then Daly never got rid of his guilt, and his heart was as burdened as before. Ben Stone never got the chance to bring about a transformation in Daly, and even in the last moments where he was shot by the NSA, Daly didn’t give up on his arrogance, as he wanted to prove to his son that he was man enough to face the demons on his own. Daly always portrayed himself as an unshakable mountain, ready to prove his worth to the world. But he forgot that seeking help from others sometimes makes us stronger and better people than we were before. There were some life lessons Daly could have learned from the callings, but he chose to be ignorant till the end, and thus, we believe he probably didn’t return in 2013. However, we believe that he was not one of the eleven passengers who turned to ash on the day of judgment. But if that is true, then why didn’t any of the investigators, especially Vance, bring up his name, especially when he was the captain of the flight? The possible explanation here is that the memory of his existence was wiped off from the real world, which means his son doesn’t exist as well.
In Fiona’s case, we saw her walking out of the flight, and Ben Stone even brought her name up as one of the surviving passengers at the end of the series. But why was Fiona given a second chance even when she failed to receive the divine messages? As per the rules of judgment, she shouldn’t have returned in 2013 because she had been spreading rumors about the plane’s disappearance, and it was her Singularity project that was used for some inhumane experiments. She had her share of guilt and never got the chance to lighten her burden. Even in the end, Fiona got stuck in her calling and wasn’t able to take the necessary actions to solve it, as her liver was punctured due to a tragic fall. However, if the divine consciousness had taken her childhood accident into consideration, she probably would have been granted a second chance, but again, we are not sure about the kind of growth she might or might not have had throughout this journey. Her only act of kindness was when Cal went back to the Glow, and she persuaded him to go back to his mother as she needed him more. Maybe that was her act of redemption. The end of Manifest doesn’t give any explanation for her return as well.
We are most confused about Daly as neither Ben nor Mick raises a question on his return, which brings us to our theory: that just like Cal, all the other passengers forgot about Daly’s existence. Well, these are the most likely answers as of now, but if you have any other theories, please do share them with us.