Book III: Proverbs
Episode 3 of Midnight Mass returns to the church after the eventful service and seeing Paul in the confessional booth. He reveals that Monsignor Pruitt is sicker than they thought and he’s been lying about his health. Pruitt has been suffering from a nasty bout of dementia and it’s only deteriorating further as every day passes. Paul has been lying for the town’s benefit, as Crockett Island witnesses a miracle.
Given Sarah is a doctor, she wants to see Leeza on the mainland to do some tests and figure out how she was able to walk again. Her parents are determined to keep her where she is, unwilling to do more tests. I guess we’re in the dark over what’s happening then!
With Leeza now able to walk, Father Paul hurries to his personal chambers, coughing up blood. There’s no rest for the wicked though, as Riley and Paul have their next session. Much like Sarah, Riley is convinced that Leeza has healed herself. Although it’s rare it can happen. However, Paul must have known this in order to encourage the girl to rise up. With neither giving much away, this conversation reaches a bit of a stalemate.
The next day, Father Paul collapses mid-service. When he regains consciousness, Bev is there to oversee proceedings as Sarah examines him. He’s dehydrated and clearly suffering from some sort of virus.
As we soon learn, it’s actually Joe’s fault that Leeza stopped walking originally. He used his grandfather’s gun to shoot Leeza by accident. This could well explain his drinking too, given he’s consumed by guilt, but Leeza has been hating him all this time. However, standing in his caravan she forgives him for this sin.
With “miracles” gripping the island, there’s somewhat of a religious revival happening here. In fact, Bev manages to convince the different townsfolk to allow bibles to continue being handed out at school. For Hassan, who’s a Muslim, this makes him uncomfortable as he discusses the pursuit of knowledge and the deviations in religion.
Unfortunately, Bev manages to win over the townsfolk during this argument. It also sways Ali too, who confronts his father later that evening and questions his own religion and beliefs. As Hassan shuts the lights off that evening, something seems to be lurking at the window. 52 minutes guys. 52 minutes it’s taken for a horror series to deliver a scare. Good grief.
At the church, the AA meeting between Riley and Paul has been expanded to allow Joe to get involved and join them. It’s actually not until the walk home that he opens up to Riley. His sister passed away several weeks back on the mainland but he’s wracked with guilt for not going back there to see her. Even in death she didn’t want to return to Crockett Island.
Meanwhile, Paul is not in a good way and he doubles over, coughing uncontrollably. He doesn’t have COVID though, and instead seems to be suffering from somethin far worse. As he stumbles over to Leeza’s house, he suddenly collapses on the floor and dies before them, blood oozing out his mouth.
As we cut back in time, we see Father Pruitt descending down into the caves where a winged beast arrives and bites at his neck. As it stands up, looking down at the priest, this creature slits its wrist and forces the priest to drink its blood.
Anyway, after this long monologue, Paul suddenly awakens and draws breath in front of everyone. As the camera pans across the wall, an old newspaper clipping shows Father Paul. This seems to reinforce that Paul is actually a younger version of Pruitt!
The Episode Review
It’s great to see a cameo from the creature in Jeepers Creepers here. It seems like this winged beast is what was on the island and has now descended upon our main characters. But boy does this show take its sweet time to get to the good stuff. And showing the big bad this early in the show as well, in such detail no less, could well come back to haunt this one.
In terms of horror, it’s taken the “Master of Modern Horror” 52 minutes to actually show anything remotely creepy or unnerving. Instead, the show dabbles with numerous monologues and ideas dancing around atheism and religion.
So far this medley of ideas has been a serious slow burn and honestly, there are parts of this show that have been outright boring. This is certainly not a horror, in the conventional form, and instead plays out as a religious drama with thin wisps of suspense.
There will be some who enjoy this of course, but those looking for something genuinely scary will be left disappointed.