Despite her role in Manifest season 1, Fiona Clarke wasn’t in Captain Daly’s season 3 finale scene. Played by Frank Deal, Captain Bill Daly sparked a new Manifest mystery when he made an unexplained cameo appearance in the final scene of the season 3 finale. It was always expected that he would be back eventually – but not at that moment, and certainly not without Fiona in tow.
Ever since season 1, there have been numerous questions regarding the fates of Daly and Fiona. In an attempt to prove that he was not responsible for what happened to Flight 828, Daly sought to create what happened that night. After kidnapping Fiona, Daly flew a plane into a dark lightning storm. The military claimed to have shot it down, but the fact that the wreckage was never found created the impression that Daly actually succeeded in his plan to make the plane disappear. Surprisingly, the pilot re-entered the picture when he suddenly materialized inside the cockpit at Eureka. Daly was only there for a brief moment before vanishing along with the recovered remains of Flight 828, thus reviving Manifest’s Captain Daly mystery.
Captain Daly’s presence in the episode has naturally raised questions about Fiona’s whereabouts. She was with him when he disappeared the first time, so there was of course an expectation that she’d return with him. A hidden detail in the finale provides a working explanation for her absence. When Dr. Gupta saw Daly, he was wearing his pilot uniform, which is different from the black attire he was dressed in when he kidnapped Fiona. What this implies is that the Daly seen in the Manifest season 3 finale isn’t the same version of the character who disappeared with Fiona. Specifically, it seems he’s from the time when Flight 828 was missing.
The inclusion of Captain Daly’s pilot uniform in the season 3 finale supports the idea that time travel is at the heart of what’s going on in the show as well as the real reason for Flight 828’s disappearance. It could be that while in the storm, Flight 828 passengers were traveling to various points in the timeline for seconds at a time. What happened in the season 3 finale with Captain Daly may be just one example of that.
Regardless of whether or not that’s the case, it’s likely that Captain Daly’s return wasn’t actually a continuation of his season 1 storyline. As noted above, the disappearance of Daly and Fiona is likely to be followed up on at some point, but what occurred at Eureka in the Manifest season 3 finale looks like something else entirely. As for when they’ll return, Daly said to Fiona, “see you in 2024”. If he’s right about how long they’ll be gone, Manifest could bring them back in the very near future. A two-year time jump has been confirmed, which could help speed up whatever reveals the show plans to offer about where Captain Daly and Fiona went.
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