Book VII: Revelation
What happens with the apostles?
Episode 7 of Midnight Mass begins this finale back at the church as Mildred wakes up to reveal that she’s as young as Paul now. Just like the others, she experiences that same strange, ethereal wisps of smoke in her vision. As she steps into the bloodstained church, Paul sits with his head bowed, asking if it hurt.
Meanwhile, all the possessed townsfolk essentially turn into zombies, maniacally chasing after those who haven’t been resurrected. Held up in a house are a number of survivors, including Hassan and Sarah. As this gang talk, they realize that Bev and the others intend to purge this island then leave, bound for the mainland.
Erin realizes, with horror, that if they make it there this could spread like a virus. In order to stop that, she tasks the gang with heading down to the docks and destroying all the boats. If they can self-contain this outbreak then maybe they’ll have a chance. Unfortunately, Bev and Sturge break up their meeting by throwing a molotov in through the window.
Why does Annie kill herself?
In order to buy them all some time, Annie steps out the front door while the others sneak out the back. Bev sees straight through this charade and looks set to leave. Only, she’s taken aback by Annie slitting her own throat, allowing blood to gush down her front. As she doubles over and collapses, Bev is unable to control her urges and drinks with Sturge.
As the flames dance up the side of the house, threatening to consume the entire town, Sturge questions whether they should put it out. Bev decides they should let it spread, likening it to a “new flood” akin to Noah’s Ark. As they stand and walk away, Annie awakens with glistening eyes.
Annie can feel the virus spreading but she manages to find Ed, telling him what’s happened. Both of them find their inner-strength not to feed, instead holding one another just like they did early in the season together at home.
Elsewhere, Leeza tries in vain to shoot the angel which happens to be munching down on a poor victim inside a house. Several gunshots later and the angel continues to feast, shrugging off the bullets. Getting nowhere, Leeza and Warren decide to burn the place down. As they light it up, the creature shrieks and take to the skies, as the possessed townsfolk continue to do the work of God.
What happens at the church?
Church bells rouse them from their feast though, as Bev shows Father Paul the burning remnants of the village before him. Paul is unsure whether this is really just, likening them all to wolves and believing they’re not worthy. Bev is too far gone to believe this though, claiming that priests are the “last test” for her faith and deciding to lead the others instead.
With the church presumed to be the one safe haven and the ark in this fable, Sarah sneaks in the back and looks set to light the place up. After spreading gasoline around, Paul heads in and notices his daughter there. Given he’s actually Pruitt, but a much younger version, he tells Sarah that he’s proud of her and that he loves her. However, Sturge barges in behind him and shoots Sarah in the chest, watching her fall to the ground with a thud.
Paul tries to feed her his blood, ripping his own flesh to allow blood to flow into her mouth, but she simply spits it out, unwilling to turn into one of them and taking a noble death instead.
Who burns the church down?
This singular act of watching his daughter die is enough for Paul to pick up a candlestick and burn the church himself. He scoops up his daughter and takes off, as Bev watches in confusion. As she turns her gaze to the community center, he notices Hassan throwing gasoline over the wood. Before he can continue though, Bev shoots the man square in the kneecap. This horrible woman calls him dirty and a terrorist, pointing out what he’s about to do.
While this is going on, that angel from before grabs Erin and slams her to the ground. As it feasts on her neck. Erin grabs a knife and attempts to clip its wing. There’s a moment where it looks up puzzled, but Erin gently grabs its head and pulls it back to her wound.
What happens to the angel?
The angel eventually flies down to the dock, gingerly, heading west and running from the imminent sunrise. Given we know the sun burns anyone with its blood, it’s safe to assume that this is what’s happening here. But how has it managed to escape the sun while on the little island full of stray cats?
Anyway, we’re led to believe that the angel dies in all this, thanks in part to the slits in its wings Erin has managed to produce. This much is especially true through our final two survivors but we’ll get to that in a second.
As Erin fades from this world, reflecting back on her choices, everyone breaks into a big ol’ song as they await sunrise. As the town burns, Ali and Hassan both praise Allah on the shore.
Who survives at the end?
Through all of this commotion, the two people who actually survive this ordeal relatively unscathed are Warren and Leeza. After burning the angel inside the abandoned building they sneak off down to the shore and use an untouched canoe to drift off to safety.
With all the other boats on the island either burned or destroyed, this is their one ticket out of there. Out at sea they notice the angel flying away and as the canoe drifts off and the sun rises, Leeza reveals that she can’t feel her legs.
Why can’t Leeza feel her legs anymore? What holds the power?
Now, there are two interpretations for these occurrences. One, is that the island itself is full of mysterious healing powers like in LOST. It could be that there’s an energy that’s only available to tap into there and the further away you are, the less effect it has. This could explain what happened to Erin too, although there’s absolutely no explanation given for her miscarriage.
An explanation could well be that the blood she drunk at the congregation could well have poisoned her child and caused a miscarriage. Although the hormone levels are still unable to be explained.
The other explanation is that the power comes from the angel itself. If this angel died in the sunlight, along with all the “apostles” on the island, then it could explain why Leeza is no longer able to feel her legs. And it could also explain why the angel doesn’t go straight for her at the abandoned building either. She’s one of the few people that kept the faith and remained morally “good” through the show too.
The Episode Review
So the “King of modern horror” bows out with a conclusive chapter that crowbars this faith-filled story in with the idea of Noah’s Ark and purging the land. With absolutely no explanation for anything that’s happening, and essentially devolving this into a Walking Dead-lite conclusion with zombies, Midnight Mass stumbles over the finish line.
The final two characters – Leeza and Warren – have had so little screen time that their moments just feel inconsequential by the end – especially Warren. The whole angel shindig is a nice twist but again, it’s something that peters out and isn’t exactly scary, especially after showing it so prominently in episode 3.
The biggest problem though comes from killing Riley off in episode 5. I mentioned it before but he’s really been the anchor for this show, balancing out the devout faith of Bev and Father Paul with a more scientific reasoning. The fact that Erin even dies after him too just goes to show how directionless these past few episodes have been since this occurred, struggling to actually wrap things up in a consistent manner.
Perhaps some people will enjoy the ending, and there’s certainly a lot of thematic weight to this, but in terms of character, plot and pay-off to the big ideas, Midnight Mass struggles with most of this.
The slow-burn essentially peters out with a rabble of plot pieces and tropes that are neither scary nor particularly well-executed. A shame for sure but this has not been one to remember.