5 Huge Midnight Club Questions Answered By Creator Mike Flanagan After Netflix Cancellation

All the teen characters in The Midnight Club
(Image credit: Netflix)

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains big story details about The Midnight Club, so unless you are caught up on all 10 episodes, proceed with caution.

In addition to his wonderfully spooky movies, Mike Flanagan has given us some of the best horror TV shows on Netflix in the form of both frightening installments of The Haunting Collection and the equally heartbreaking and harrowing Midnight Mass. However, unlike those titles, his most recent project for the platform, The Midnight Club, was not intended as a miniseries — as one might infer from its cliffhanger ending — but has, essentially, been relegated to such after not being picked up for a second season.  

While this will not be the last of the filmmaker’s collaborations with Netflix — he has an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher in the works — it does not make it any less difficult to accept that we have seen the last of this beautifully told ghost story based on the novel by Christopher Pike and set at a hospice for terminally ill teens. Luckily, Flanagan kept his promise to spoil his plans for the second season had it not been picked up in a lengthy post on his personal Tumblr blog. The following is a breakdown of all the answers The Midnight Club Season 2 would have provided to your questions about Season 1.

Georgina without her wig in The Midnight Club

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who Was Georgina Stanton Really?

There was horror royalty on Netflix’s The Midnight Club cast in the form of legendary Scream Queen Heather Langenkamp as Brightcliffe Hospice founder, Dr. Georgina Stanton. However, we learned she had secrets of her own in the final shot of the season finale when she removes a wig that revealed the Paragon cult symbol tattooed on her bald head. Season 2 would have confirmed that she is the daughter of cult leader, Aceso — a fact that she was ashamed of as Flanagan explained in the following Tumblr blog excerpt:

She hated what her mother became, and the atrocities of the cult. She reclaimed the property after her mom was gone, and wanted to change it into a place that celebrated life. She was trying to undo her mother's legacy and leave something behind that was beautiful.

We also would have learned that her real name was Georgina Ballard, which would have answered whose initials Ilonka (Iman Benson) found carved into a tree (“G.B.”). As for the reason behind her wig: Stanton she was secretly undergoing chemotherapy. Eventually, her cancer would have successfully gone into remission, making the fates of her young patients even more challenging to witness.

William Chris Sumpter on The Midnight Club.

(Image credit: Netflix)

What Characters Would Have Died And Survived In Season 2?

Mike Flanagan envisioned that the beginning of The Midnight Club Season 2 would focus heavily on Amesh (Sauriyan Sapkota) as his glioblastoma worsens and, soon, makes him the first of the group to pass this season. Natsuki (Aya Furkawa) — with whom Amesh was sharing a romance that blossomed over the course of Season 1 —  would be the next one to die, followed by both Kevin (Igby Rigney) and Ilonka in the finale.

Spencer, however, would be seen in the final episode leaving Brightcliffe. A new treatment following the introduction of the “HIV cocktail” in the mid-1990s betters his condition to no longer be classified as terminal. The last member of the original cast at the end of the series would be Cheri (Adia), now joined by a new group of friends to whom she tells a story that incorporates the memories of the original Midnight Club.

The characters of The Midnight Club seated around a table

(Image credit: Netflix)

What Christopher Pike Books Would Have Been Used For Season 2? 

Speaking of stories, the chilling tales the memorable characters in the titular Midnight Club tell each other are actually based on other novels by Christopher Pike and Season 2 would have continued that motif. The first story of Season 2 (as told by Ilonka) would have been an adaptation of Remember Me — the story of a young girl trying to solve her own murder, who would have been portrayed by Anya actor Ruth Codd. 

In addition to helping Ilonka come to terms with her own death, the ghost story — which Flanagan says was the thing he was most excited to explore in Season 2 — would have been stretched out into five chapters as her way of encouraging Kevin to “stay alive a little longer” as she falls deeper in love with him while his condition worsens. We also would have seen Cheri finally telling a story, which Flanagan admits had not been fully decided on, but could have been based on 1992’s Monster, in which a young woman reveals to her friend the bizarre motive for murdering two party guests.

Ruth Codd on The Midnight Club

(Image credit: Netflix)

What’s Up With The Janitor And Shadow Ghost?

Robert Longstreet — a frequent collaborator of Flanagan’s also known from the Midnight Mass cast and Doctor Sleep — made a couple of brief, but memorable, appearances on The Midnight Club as a janitor seen cleaning up after Brightcliffe patients have passed. However, did you notice that Ilonka was the only one who ever really saw him? That is because the janitor is really the embodiment of Death itself, which Ilonka would discover as he offers her comforting words at the moment of her passing in Season 2.

This means, of course, that the ominous shadow that haunts Brightcliffe was not the Grim Reaper as some fans might have assumed, but — as Flanagan’s Tumblr post explains — is really a spiritual extension of the patients themselves. To be more explicit, the Shadow — taking inspiration from the aforementioned Remember Me — engulfs someone during their final moment and provides them some catharsis and understanding of the afterlife, preparing them for what comes next. This would explain what happened to Anya when she experienced what her life post-Brightcliffe would have been like and the experience would be different for each member of the group.

Newspaper clipping about Stanley and Vera Freelan in The Midnight Club

(Image credit: Netflix)

How Did The Older Couple Connect To Ilonka And Kevin?

Through Ilonka’s experience with the Shadow, she — and we — would have learned the story behind the ghostly couple haunting her and Kevin. Ilonka is actually the reincarnation of the man who built Brightcliffe, Stanley Oscar Freelan — named after the builder of the real-life inspiration for the Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s The Shining — and the soul of his wife lives on in Kevin. Flanagan mapped out an explanation of their heartbreaking story — involving Stanley building the cliffside home to successfully outlive his prognosis and his wife developing dementia — that we excerpted here:

She would wander the halls, looking for him ("Darling!") and would even forget to feed herself ("I'm starving...") and she eventually refused to leave the basement. Heartbroken for her, Stanley painted the walls to resemble the woodland view, and the ceiling to resemble the night sky, so that it would be a little more beautiful for her.

Flanagan then mentions how the labyrinth-style pattern on the floor was inspired by a common method to help curb dementia symptoms and that Stanley’s wife also developed cataracts. Also, the reason these visions of the older couple appeared so frightening and distorted to Ilonka and Kevin was because they were struggling to remember their past selves. This also explains why they seem to have familiar feelings for one another when they meet in the first episode because they are destined to be together in each new life they inhabit.

Well, if I ever needed another reason to be saddened by Netflix’s cancellation of The Midnight Club, Mike Flanagan just gave me several. To look on the the bright side of it all — which, I suppose, is part of the message of this series — I am always down for more brilliant stories from one of horror’s greatest modern auteurs and, now that he has partnered with Amazon Studios (according to Deadline), it looks like there will be plenty more to look forward to beyond.

Jason Wiese
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.