Who’s going home?
Episode 10 of The Midnight Club starts with us in 1968 where we finally see what happened to Julia Jayne. After leaving in the middle of the night, she finds a woman called Regina, who happens to be Athena’s mother. She also tried a ritual but despite seemingly being successful in her endeavour, she’s ostracised from the group. She sees light in Julia and decides to teach her what she knows.
We then cut back to the present, where Shasta gets away while Stanton phones an ambulance to try and get help for these women. In her office, Stanton tells Ilonka that Julia has been arrested several times over the years, mostly for trespassing, breaking and entering and also harassment too. She’s not happy with Ilonka for going behind her back, but Ilonka points out that Julia was cured and this ritual was the reason for that. Stanton bites back, claiming that Sandra and Julia just got lucky with their misdiagnoses.
Ilonka makes a big decision and decides to leave Brightcliffe and head home. At the same time, Amesh starts to slip. He’s got a blind spot in his vision which seems to be like a moving shadow coming closer to him. He’s also struggling with his motor skills too. He’s clearly scared as he tells Natsuki all of this, but there’s a bright side – Amesh’s parents are coming.
Meanwhile, Spence’s parents show up to see him, with his mother giving him a massive hug, which is really nice to see. They also meet Cheri too, who claims that they’re engaged, which of course is a joke.
Does Rhett and Anya get closure?
Upstairs, Rhett arrives to pick up Anya’s things. Apparently Ilonka tried phoning him before the funeral but he didn’t pick up. The reason he’s there now though is the obituary. She wrote it herself but Rhett admits that she really knew what Anya was like. Anya also fixed the ballerina statue before she passed, which feels symbolic for the girl fixing her internal issues.
Ilonka eventually confronts her father when he arrives. She decides she needs to do a preneed, and even has a whole list of things ready for when she passes away. She’s ready to face up to this now after an entire season of putting it off.
How does Kevin’s story end?
Kevin breaks up with Katherine, before heading in with the gang ready for that night’s Midnight Club. Ilonka shows up late, just as Kevin decides to finish his story about Sheila and Dusty.
Within the story, Sheila kills Dusty’s mother, breaking the hypnotic stranglehold on him. It also has the knock-on effect of allowing all the kids to ascend to heaven.
Strange green gas comes out of Dusty’s mother and infiltrates Dusty himself. Picking up the hammer, he’s controlled by these nasty spirits… until he stabs himself with the hammer. Sheila has no choice and she swings hard at Dusty’s behest, knocking him out… but sparing him enough to throw Dusty into a psych ward where he lives out his days.
Cheri and the others aren’t too enthused with this story and comes up with an alternate ending, deciding to blend everything we’ve heard over the season together. Does it make sense? It doesn’t matter, but what does matter is that the story takes on a nice, happy ending.
How does Midnight Club season 1 end?
When the story ends, Ilonka speaks to Kevin about his story, pointing out that Dusty’s fate does not have to be his own. He won’t be alone all this time. Kevin also has something else to say – he likes her. But given the pair of them are going to die, Kevin admits that’s no reason for them no to live. And the pair kiss.
As the episode closes out, we get a couple of answers – but even more questions, which we’ll get to in a sec. The camera follows Dr Stanton down to the main hall, where she locks the door and heads back to her office. On the way, we pass a picture frame which confirms who the old man and woman we’ve been seeing actually are. They’re Stanley and Vera Freelan, who both built the house.
Stanton heads into her office and takes off her wig, revealing herself to actually be bald. She also has the Hourglass symbol on the back of her neck too, leaving plenty of question marks over this series.
The Episode Review
So what about Cheri’s past? Did we learn anything about her this season? What happened to Shasta? What happens to all the kids? And why was this billed as a horror when there’s been very little of it this season?
In a way, you can see Flanagan’s formula across all these shows and there’s at least a solid theme running through each of these stories. I know a lot of people enjoyed Bly Manor and Midnight Mass, but each of those had a solid idea but not much execution on the horror front.
Bly Manor focused on love while Midnight Mass tackled religion. Midnight Club, by comparison, focuses on death and you’d think with a premise like that, it would actually pave way for some pretty frightening scenes ala. Haunting of Hill House. Instead, what we get is something that’s barely as scary as a Goosebumps or Are You Afraid Of The Dark story.
Don’t get me wrong though, the show has been visually good and the creative way we’ve seen all these stories play out is a nice way of framing this idea of mortality and our own existence.
The characterisation has been excellent for some of the characters, with Anya by far the best of the bunch. Unfortunately when she passed away, it also opened a massive hole in this show, with the other characters failing to fill that gap, thanks to a lack of characterisation.
Spence, for example, has a really poignant story but yet we had to wait for episode 9 before seeing that. Why didn’t he get his own tale about being shunned by society, perhaps riffing on the idea of invisibility to play out as an allegory for him not being seen. Things like this could have worked well, rather than feeling like an afterthought thrown in at the end.
Ultimately though, Midnight Club has been a bit of a misfire. Sure, there’s some nice moments and a couple of good jump scares but beyond that, this series is another divisive entry in the Flanagan catalogue.
You can check out our full season review for Midnight Club here!