Major spoilers below for Mike Flanagan’s Netflix series Midnight Mass, so be warned!
The origins of Mike Flanagan’s latest Netflix frightfest Midnight Mass go back quite a few years, both within the creator’s mind, and even within his previous streaming projects. And that long gestation period is quite evident from everything that takes place within the seven-episode miniseries, as the story is filled with dense monologues, intricate story details and a similar style of emotionally disturbing plotting that will be familiar to fans of The Haunting of Hill House, its Bly Manor follow-up, and basically everything in Flanagan’s filmography. Like many of those projects, Midnight Mass also leaves viewers with mysteries and details to sort out once the finale’s credits have rolled.
So let’s break down some of the biggest questions we still have after watching Netflix’s Midnight Mass, with the understanding that some of them may be meant to go unresolved. And also understanding that I might have completely read into something the wrong way, which can happen on rare occasions when I accidentally put rat poison in my coffee instead of milk.
Are There Other Areas Like Crockett Island?
In the exposition-filled Episode 3, Midnight Mass delivered the confession and Indiana Jones-esque exploits of Hamish Linklater’s “Father Paul,” soon to be revealed as the age-reversed Monsignor Pruitt. During a sandstorm on a trip in the Holy Land, Pruitt unwittingly stumbled upon a strange ruin and discovered his “Angel,” who was quick to feed on the dementia-stricken priest. Since Pruitt smuggled the Angel to Crockett Island via trunk, I’m guessing that particular creature didn’t start up other vampiric communities up and down the coast. But I’m also guessing that creature wasn’t the very first and only bloodsucker of that particular variety, and the way it allowed Pruitt to feed on its blood made it clear this wasn’t the first time the Angel performed such an act. So in the same mathematical way one can conclude that humans aren’t alone in the universe, one can presume there are other pockets of vampires elsewhere in the world. (Season 2! Season 2!)
Who Actually Killed Monsignor Pruitt?
For all of the information delivered during Episode 3, however, the game-changing scene where Pruitt died for the first time is still something of a mystery. While it seems obvious he was poisoned, was it by his own hand, or was Samantha Sloyan's prim and improper Bev to blame? I could understand Pruitt taking his own life if he was 100% certain that a rebirth was necessary for a true transition to occur, but it's not like we saw the Angel give Pruitt a copy of Supernatural Creature-Crafting For Dummies, so I'm not quite sure where that whole inspiration came from to begin with.
On the flip side, while most evidence points to Bev as the serial poisoner, her motive isn't very clear. It's during the mass where Annarah Cymone's Leeza enjoys her miracle moment that Pruitt first showed signs of poisoning, so Bev would've needed to spike his drink/food beforehand, and thus before she witnessed proof of miraculous occurrences. So any arguments that she aimed to bring about more miracles doesn't quite work with the timeline, even though she herself later implied through Lazarus references that resurrections were on her mind. And if this is just a case of Bev's inner killer coming out as the Angel's blood works through her veins, why wouldn't she have tried to kill the sheriff or Robert Longstreet's dog-mourning Joe Collie before her religious superior?
Why Didn’t Bev Give Sheriff Hassan A Harsher Death?
Midnight Mass offered very few moments in which Bev proved herself to be anywhere near as merciful and pious as she viewed herself to be. But to echo a point from the prior entry, Bev had plenty of chances to kill off Rahul Kohli's Omar Hassan, and she basically did so in the finale by shooting him in the stomach, which presumably led to his death on the beach. But considering how much she hated the sheriff, saying it all right to his face, why didn't she just take him out right there to make sure he would die? Especially after his son, Rahul Abburi's Ali, caused the rec center to burn. Bev wasn't interested in Sheriff Hassan's blood, and while I can't imagine she automatically knew how others would react, no one else drank from him either. That particular character choice makes me even more hesitant to believe she was intentionally responsible for Pruitt's death.
Does God Actually Exist Within Midnight Mass’ Universe?
For all of its monstrousness and violence, Midnight Mass and its most devout characters don't ever truly back away from the idea that God exists, with Zach Gilford's Riley being the main source of atheistic viewpoints. While the Angel that Monsignor Pruitt encounters is clearly vampiric in nature, Pruitt and others continue to see the creature as a beacon of God even after they know what its blood is capable of. So, even if the "miracles" that occurred weren't permanent, is there any plot-based truth to the Angel description? Or, on the flip side, is it possible that Crockett Island, with its history of fires, oil spills and other disasters, has always been a truly Godless place?
Why Didn’t The Turned Churchgoers Do Anything Worthwhile To Save Themselves In Finale?
As someone who often feels like I'm standing on a burning island awaiting a death by dawn, I can understand the kind of helplessness that all the newbie Crockett Island vampires were feeling after the rec center and church went up in flame in the series finale. However, all of those capable and youthful bodies would have been more than capable of using not-yet-burned wood from the various buildings to craft at least a small supply of coffin-esque contraptions to keep themselves safe from the sunlight. Granted, only a small number of people would have survived even in that case, so that would have created more turmoil amongst the group to figure out who deserved to be saved. But still, literally no one made a move to do anything constructive after "boats" and "rec center" weren't viable options.
Why Did Leeza Once Again Lose Feeling In Her Legs?
This question can be answered in either a folklore manner or a biological manner. When Leeza mentions in the final minute of Midnight Mass that she can't feel her legs anymore/again, the moment is more bittersweet than tragic, because it means her "miracle" expired. On the biological side, it can be theorized that Leeza's bloodstream has rid itself of the presence of Angel blood, through the usual processes. From a supernatural perspective, it likely means that Pruitt's Angel died by sunlight before making it back to sun-blocking safety on the mainland, thus reverting the effects of its blood in others. The "kill the maker to kill its minion" idea isn't new to vampire lore, but considering the different ways Flanagan shook up vamp tropes elsewhere in Midnight Mass, it's hard to sink one's teeth into any firm assumptions.
Will Fans Ever Get A Midnight Mass Follow-Up?
While I think most viewers would agree that Midnight Mass is a self-contained story on a literal and locational front, there has already been a small seedling planted for how this universe could continue. Back in Mike Flanagan’s 2016 film Hush, in which Midnight Mass was a novel written by Kate Siegel’s character Maddie Young, it was hinted at that Maddie was crafting a story about Erin called “Sweetwater.” Considering Erin’s fate, one would have to assume this would be a prequel that focused on a certain point from her past, possibly relating to a town called Sweetwater, possibly related to her band using Sweetwater-branded instruments. Here’s hoping Flanagan and Netflix have already cooked up a way to bring that idea to fans.
I could probably think of even more detailed questions about the events that occurred within Midnight Mass, but some things have to be left to faith and faith alone. (Such as hard viewership numbers for Netflix’s lesser-watched series, amirite?) Anyone already needing a rewatch can stream all seven episodes on Netflix now, and can check out our 2021 Fall TV schedule to see when other big shows will debut in the coming months.
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.
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