Book IV: Lamentations
Episode 4 of Midnight Mass begins with Sarah examining Erin. When she does a scan, it seems like she’s miscarried her baby as it’s not in her uterus. After taking blood sample, Sarah is shocked to find the vial steaming and catching fire when reacting with the sunlight.
Meanwhile, Bev fusses over Father Paul, getting him soup and cancelling mass to encourage his recovery. With the room bathed in darkness, Paul decides to confide in Bev, given she’s a fellow believer. He admits that something is shifting inside him and according to Paul, he can “feel God.” Could this be the demon/angel thing we saw in the previous chapter?
Well, given the sunlight seems to be burning him too, it definitely reinforces that concept.
Out at sea, Riley joins Ed on the fishing boat. Thanks to his chats with Paul, Ed opens up and admits that he loves Riley but it’s difficult for him to show that. Following their outburst in the first episode, this is at least some progress with their estranged relationship.
Back on the island, Erin and Riley sit together and talk. The revelation that she’s no longer pregnant has completely wrecked the girl, especially given her pregnancy saved her from a miserable and horrific ordeal on the mainland.
Riley meanwhile, talks to her about his dream. Erin is a strange enigma, operating somewhere in that grey area between believer and atheist, and quizzing Riley about what happens when they die. Her middle ground allows her to see both sides of the argument, as Riley scientifically breaks down what he believes happens, including the release of DMT and the flood of memories and dreams.
As Erin speaks her version of Heaven, she decides to go to the mainland to get a second opinion on what’s happening to her.
As day turns to night, Father Paul leaves his house and walks through the grounds, muttering passages from the bible, As he does, he heads over to see Mildred in order to continue their usual Mass session. While this goes ahead without a hiccup, back home Paul doubles over and finds himself struggling. In fact, that evening he even drinks a whole vial of alcohol too.
Mid-drink though, Joe heads over and admits Paul looks remarkably similar to how Pruitt used to during his younger years. Paul tries to talk to him about his alcoholism – and managing to fight against his urges – encouraging Joe to come in for a hug. As he does, Paul refuses to let him go, eventually seeing Joe pull back, smash his head on a table and collapse, blood oozing from his skull. Paul doesn’t call an ambulance though and instead starts drinking this man’s blood.
In the morning, mass looks set to go ahead but there’s a problem. With Joe dead and Father Paul sitting in the corner of the room, blood cakes his clothes and mouth, Bev shows up and decides to get him cleaned up, nonchalant to the entire murder scene. Really? Someone as religious as this is absolutely fine with murder? Anyway, as he shows what the sunlight does to him, Bev concocts a plan of her own.
She leads mass, encouraging Dolly to start singing and keeping the townsfolk busy, while Bev brings Wade into Paul’s chambers. She wants him to dump the body out at sea, hiding the evidence completely.
On the mainland, Erin receives some devastating news. Apparently she was never pregnant to begin with, given the hormones in her body are all ay normal levels. Erin is confused and absolutely devastated, eventually heading back to the island when the doctor gently encourages her to seek psychiatric help.
Riley goes searching for answers with Father Paul, but is crushed when he finds out Joe isn’t in the meeting. Given his sister has passed away (something he revealed to Riley the previous evening), Paul lies to him and claims Joe has gone back to the mainland to see her. This immediately rings alarm bells as Riley realizes he’s lied.
That evening, Paul is visited by the “Angel of God”, who shows up to release his blood into the empty vial sitting atop the table. Riley, still reeling from Paul’s lies, heads over to the community hall and sees this strange demon. As he does, it suddenly pounces on him, proceeding to suck his blood.
The Episode Review
Well, that was a bit of a jumpy ending wasn’t it? Beyond this conclusion, Midnight Mass starts to crank up the weirdness as Father Paul appears to be possessed by this strange demon and the ideas between faith and science begin to blur.
Seeing Erin no longer pregnant is certainly a big hammer blow, and something that reinforces her own beliefs that God works in mysterious ways.
And mysterious is definitely the name of the game here. This series has done well to flirt these ideas of religion and science but it sure does take its time to get there. That’s never a good thing when it comes to horror, and as mentioned before this show is actually closer to a religious drama than a genuinely scary ordeal.
The decision to kill off Riley is an odd one too, given he’s the proverbial anchor holding everything together and is still on a spiritual journey, but we’ll have to wait and see if the “modern horror master” has a master-plan for this or not.