Netflix’s Midnight Mass
“Book VII: Revelation”
Directed & Written by
* For a recap & review of “Book VI: Act of the Apostles,” click here.
The chaos has spilled out of St. Patrick’s, thanks to Bev. We see poor Mildred waking up just outside. She’s now much younger and undead, thanks to the demonic angel vampire thing. Inside the church, Father Paul’s back to life, as well. He and Mildred sit together after all that’s happened. Meanwhile, all the angelic vampires of Crockett Island break their way into houses and feed off those who didn’t attend the Easter Vigil, and they offer their blood to those people, creating new vampiric community.
Dr. Cunning, Erin, and a few others are hiding out together. Sarah doesn’t have any answers for anybody, in spite of her experiments. All that’s left right now is violence. The power’s out, there are no phones, and the boats aren’t working. Erin knows the plan is for all the new vampire angels to leave the island, to bring the “contagion” to the mainland. So she figures they have to do some killing, even if the angel blood will keep those vampire things resurrecting from the dead.
The survivors are interrupted by a molotov cocktail thrown through the window by Sturge as he and Bev wait outside. Bev calls to Erin, wanting to talk. Annie urges Erin and the others to go with the remaining kids, to keep them safe, and she goes bravely to speak with Bev, who’s busy staying righteous and racist. She explains to Bev: “You aren‘t a good person.” She has a few more choice words about God’s love, then she cuts her own throat open. Bev and Sturge can’t help themselves, feeding off the blood.
Although I love Midnight Mass it suffers from TOO MANY MONOLOGUES. Great dialogue. Yet dear lord almighty, these people love to talk endlessly in monologues. I expect it from the Catholics, but still! Father Paul’s but one culprit of the monologuing amongst citizens of Crockett Island. I suppose the series was written by 99% men, so, it’s to be expected there’s too much talking and seemingly endless pontificating.
We see the regret and the guilt pouring out of Father Paul. He also lets us in on the big secret he’s hidden so long: Sarah Gunning is his daughter. He and Mildred were together once upon a time, when he was John Pruitt, a monsignor in the Catholic Church who was being sneaky sneaky with a woman, and one who was married at the time. Plenty of heartbreaking context in this scene between Mildred and the priest.
While the priest is weeping the seeds he sowed are being reaped upon Crockett Island. Sheriff Hassan and the few living survivors are nearly attacked when the witness that horrific vampire angel swoop down to snatch up some prey. Then they come upon Mayor Wade and some more of the undead, each of them seeking food, too. Elsewhere, Bev and Sturge are done feeding off Annie, wondering if they should stop the house fire in case it catches the whole island ablaze. She uses scripture to suggest they let it all burn. An absolute maniac.
Bev sees it as “a new flood” while St. Patrick’s will be “the ark.”
Undead Henry and Annie find each other, refusing to let temptation turn them into monsters like everyone else. But can they stop from becoming “an animal that can‘t resist“? Henry thinks it’s possible, in spite of the brutal hunger inside them. He thinks they still have a choice. At the same time, Erin and Sarah are burning the boats and the docks, hoping they can prevent all the undead from going to the mainland. And Leeza, she comes upon the angel feeding, so she and Warren attempt to light it on fire. The thing is full of flames, but it flies into the sky.
Everything must burn, except for St. Patrick’s and the rec centre.
Bev shows Father Paul and Mildred her work. She’s excited to “spread the good word” and let everything else burn. The priest doesn’t like how things have fallen apart with his absence in the rest of the plan. He wants to stop what’s going on, after witnessing so much horrific, bloody madness. He’s angry with Bev, but Bev sees him as a hypocrite, “viper‘s brood.” She’s going to let the priest and Mildred wait outside for sunrise. Then she discovers the boats have been burned.
People start arriving at the church, after the call of the bell, and they’re all lamenting what they’ve done tonight, killing their loved ones. Bev doesn’t have a whole lot of nice words to comfort people. She chastises those who didn’t save themselves with religion before now, like one man weeping over murdering his sons, whom she decides won’t get to come into the St. Patrick’s ark. There’ll be more than a few folks who’ll turn to ash at dawn.
None of this sits well with Father Paul. He wants to bring everyone into the church. He goes inside to find Sarah pouring gasoline everywhere, and he doesn’t want to stop her. He offers to lit it for her, taking the time to reveal the truth about fathering her. Sarah’s murdered by Sturge and this drives the priest to violence, attacking him. Father Paul and Mildred go back into the church to their dying daughter. So he opens his veins and feeds Sarah, forcing her to drink. But Sarah refuses, and she dies. So mom and dad lit the place up and carry their daughter out.
Sheriff Hassan attempts to pour gas on the rec centre, stopped with a bullet to the leg and some racism from Bev. He’s stuck at the hands of a white, vampiric mob, though thankfully they don’t like supposed “dirty blood.” He also has Erin with him, pouring her own gas. She gets attacked by the vampiric angel and her neck is fed upon. Ali ends up with the lighter and tosses it into the rec centre, sending the place up in flames. That spells disaster for all the undead. Sheriff Hassan gets another bullet from Bev when he quotes scripture at her. Erin takes her chance to cut up the angel’s winds while it feeds.
Off flies the vampiric angel trying to beat the sunrise while Erin lies bleeding. She thinks about talking with Riley about what happens when you die. She talks about not feeling afraid, remembering “every atom in my body was forged in a star.” She talks about the self being connected to the world, to the earth, to the universe. She talks about how we’re all connected because we’re all part of the same larger creation of matter that makes up the world: “All things, a part.” Quite a lofty MONOLOGUE (again). I love the way Flanagan has explored religion and spirituality as two separate concepts through Midnight Mass. It’s been a heartbreaking, beautiful, Gothic, and terrifying journey on Crockett Island.
Annie and Ed start to sing a hymn together, joined by others soon. Sheriff Hassan and Ali pray to Allah together on the shore, as the former dies. And the angel vampire congregation prepares for sunrise, cowardly Bev digging a hole in the sand trying to escape her fate.
Moments later, it’s all gone in ashes.
Leeza and Warren see ash on the breeze as her legs are paralysed again.
A stunning end to a fantastic series, despite a few flaws.
Cheers to Flanagan! He’s like the cinematic and TV version of Stephen King.