Spoilers below for The Midnight Club, so be warned if you haven’t yet watched through the finale.
The Halloween season is a great time to have a Netflix subscription, given the abundance of both original and licensed horror content, and two people who know quite a bit about horror are genre novelist Christpher Pike and genre filmmaker Mike Flanagan. The latter reteamed with The Haunting of Bly Manor writer/producer Leah Fong in co-creating the freaky-yet-emotional streaming thriller The Midnight Club. The series adapts not only Pike’s novel of the same name, but a handful of his other standalone books as well, with a stacked cast of new and familiar faces. The finale ends on some major reveals that add context to a lot of what viewers saw during the season, but without diving into any explanations.
When CinemaBlend spoke with Flanagan and his Intrepid Pictures producing partner Trevor Macy, the writer/director confirmed that while viewers should indeed be able to suss out Georgina’s true identity in those final moments, the first season didn’t lay out all of the puzzle pieces for what everything means. When I asked about not only Georgina, but the reveal of Stanley and Vera Freelan, here’s how he put it:
Let’s break those two reveals down right quick below…
- Heather Langenkamp's Georgina Stanton is presumably Aceso/Athena/Third Generation. Given then tattoo on the back of her neck, her lack of hair, her close connections to the hospice at large, and her mysterious antagonism with Samantha Sloyan's Julie Jayne/Shasta — among other clues — it seems fairly clear that Georgina went through some name changes over the years, as well as presumably being afflicted with an illness of her own. One would assume, if she's Aceso or Athena, that whatever is happening within the walls of Briarcliffe are keeping her from aging naturally.
- The couple who first lived in the Brightcliffe building are the very ghosts that haunt it. As revealed in a newspaper clipping in Episode 5, the building was first built by an industrialist named Stanley Oscar Freelan. And it's in the finale that viewers could finally put names to the ghastly faces that popped up throughout the season, with William B. Davis' Stanley and Patricia Drake's Vera Freelan were the "Mirror Man" and "Cataract Woman" apparitions affecting Ilonka and Kevin.
There are certainly assumptions to be had, and speculation to be discussed, about why Georgina took over the home to use as a hospice for teenagers, what happened in the past between her and Julia, and why Stanley and Vera's unresting spirits are still around nearly 100 years into the building's existence. But those discussions are for another time, or for another season.
Mike Flanagan continued, pointing to the idea that fans of Christopher Pike's novels will have a better route to figuring things out than others, with even just The Midnight Club book itself as a helpful guide. And while fans are certainly hoping that the show will get picked up for a second season at Netflix, the co-creator has already promised to deliver on the answers in full even if Season 2 doesn't come to be. In his words:
If everything is truly cyclical, then maybe we won't technically get a second season of The Midnight Club, but rather a "new" series called The Haunting of Briarcliff Hospice. Or maybe, using the sands of an hourglass as inspiration, it could be called Days of Our Lives. Wait, no, that one might be taken already.
The first (for now) season of The Midnight Club is available to stream in its entirety, and you can find lots of other upcoming Netflix TV shows to watch when you’re done. Or just pop over to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what else is heading to the small screen.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.