Netflix’s Midnight Mass: The ending explained and all your questions answered


Midnight Mass is a slow-burning thriller with an explosive ending.


After The Haunting of Hill Home and Bly Manor, horror auteur Mike Flanagan is again with one other meticulously layered horror collection to savor. All seven episodes of Midnight Mass are streaming now on Netflix. If you happen to’re studying this publish, you most likely know the present has a excessive likelihood of being the perfect horror collection of the yr.

Midnight Mass sees Riley Flynn, a person haunted by a drunk driving accident, return to his hometown on Crockett Island, the place he struggles to discover a goal in life. Enter the mysterious Father Paul. What are Father Paul’s intentions? Why did he have purple eyes within the collection trailer? Is he the… satan?

Let’s dive into all of the solutions beneath, in full-on spoiler territory.

spoiler alert

Father Paul — is he good or unhealthy?


Any Easter eggs?

A ton. Flanagan followers know {that a} prop novel titled Midnight Mass has been peppered all through the director’s different works, from 2016’s Hush to 2017’s Gerald’s Recreation.

Midnight Mass was referenced in 2016’s Hush

Kate Siegel, who performs Erin Greene, starred within the 2016 horror Hush as an creator who writes a e-book titled Midnight Mass.

“As a result of [Hush] was a low-budget film, we would have liked a narrative that Maddie, the principle character may write — she’s an creator within the story. We wanted a e-book that would not value us any cash,” Siegel instructed Pop Culturalist. “Mike was like, ‘Oh, I’ve this now-defunct concept for a novel referred to as Midnight Mass. I’ve three chapters written. We are able to use that so we are able to use these pages and we are able to use that story.”

She continued, “If you happen to look, there is a screengrab in Hush the place you are Maddie’s pc display and it says, ‘The purple and blue lights of the cop automotive twinkle off the Jesus fish.’ That is the primary shot of Midnight Mass.”

Flanagan and Carla Gugino cameos

One other Easter egg: Flanagan himself seems in a cameo in episode 3. A member of the tour group on pilgrimage within the Holy Land, his character helps to direct the aged, dementia-suffering Monsignor Pruitt. Oh — and Carla Gugino, who starred in Hill Home and Bly Manor, has a quick voice cameo because the choose within the first episode.

The vintage mirror from Oculus seems within the recreation heart

For anybody who’s seen Oculus — Flanagan revealed he embedded an enormous nod to the 2013 horror starring Karen Gillan into scenes set within the recreation heart. The film’s titular possessed, vintage mirror will be seen within the background, sitting on the stage throughout Riley’s AA conferences.

“It is behind them within the profile [shots] on stage,” Flanagan instructed Leisure Weekly. “It is all turning into extremely convoluted, actually related. That is our purpose. I need all of [these projects] to only be a giant ball of rubber bands by the point we’re executed, simply not possible to extricate from one another.”

Is Midnight Mass primarily based on a real story?

Sure and no.

Midnight Mass comes from a really actual place for creator Mike Flanagan and has been cooking for some time. Flanagan was raised Roman Catholic and served as an altar boy at his parishes on Governors Island in New York and in Bowie, Maryland. On this small-town settling, “midnight mass, that was a fairly large deal,” Flanagan stated within the Making of Midnight Mass Netflix featurette.

“Midnight Mass has been in my head since earlier than I had a profession,” he continued. “The thought of a Catholic parish in an remoted neighborhood that seems to be going by way of some form of miraculous spiritual revival — that is what got here first.”

However networks handed on the concept till the success of The Haunting anthology noticed Flanagan obtain the candy inexperienced mild from Netflix.

Flanagan additionally stated that Riley Flynn relies on himself in a method, that he is Flanagan’s form of “avatar” within the story. “Again within the days once I drank, there have been instances the place I felt like the results weren’t going to use to me.”

Flanagan said his other influences embrace Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, Needful Issues and The Mist.


The Flynn household.


Who wears Monsignor Pruitt’s hat and coat?

The determine Riley Flynn chases on the seaside through the massive storm on the finish of episode 1 is, in fact, the Angel in Monsignor’s signature fedora and lengthy coat. When Riley stumbles, it offers the Angel sufficient time to vanish, presumably flying up into the air. Some residents touch upon seeing an enormous albatross sweeping throughout the sky above the island, a nasty omen.

How did the Angel get to Crockett Island?

In episode 1, we see a scene by which a mysterious determine enters the pastor’s home. He slides an enormous chest throughout the ground and unlocks it. Unusual occasions ensue. In episode 7, Monsignor Pruitt says that he bribed and lied to smuggle the Angel to Crockett Island, contained in the trunk.

Whats up Mr. Angel.

Netflix/CNET screenshot

What occurred to the cats?

A wild-cat infestation is flourishing on the island, rumored to have been brought on by individuals bringing pets from the mainland. The kitties’ weight-reduction plan has been barely unconventional. Up till the ’20s, residents used to bury their deceased relations of their yards. Throughout a very main storm, the Uppards space of the island would overflow and corpses would wash up on the seaside… and the cats would feed. Considerably helpfully, this infestation is dealt with within the days following the Angel’s secret arrival.

Following a storm, it is not human stays however the useless our bodies of dozens of cats which are discovered strewn throughout the seaside. Their necks are damaged and there is not a drop of blood to be seen. When Warren — Riley’s youthful brother — and his mates sneak out to the Uppards, they’re freaked out by the sound of a damaged twig. If you happen to look intently in the meanwhile, you’ll be able to see the define of the Angel within the wild shrubbery, in addition to the unmistakable two brilliant dots of its piercing eyes. Clearly, the Angel was hungry.

Who’s Father Paul?

Put merely, Father Paul Hill is basically Reverend Monsignor John Michael Pruitt, the longtime island pastor at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. The residents do not acknowledge him as a result of he is about 40 years youthful. The clue to his true identification was dropped early on. In episode 2, Dr. Sarah Gunning’s aged mother, Mildred, who as soon as had a romantic relationship with Monsignor Pruitt (and a baby in Sarah), addresses Father Paul by his actual identify, John, when he visits their home.

The outdated newspaper clipping with {a photograph} of a youthful Monsignor Pruitt.


Is Father Paul the satan?

You’d assume so after that collection trailer. However no, in typical Flanagan vogue, the director brings a spin on a well-known folklore creature. Father Paul is a vampire, albeit a reluctant one, who turns into sick and dies when he refuses to feed on anybody’s blood (he ultimately spurts again to life). He was created by the Angel, the unique “vampire,” who fed Father Paul its personal blood when Father Paul was nonetheless the 80-year-old Monsignor Pruitt, happening pilgrimage for 2 weeks within the Holy Land. When Pruitt returned, his youth restored, he pretended to be a unique priest. Mendacity about who he actually was till his true identification was uncovered by an outdated newspaper clipping hanging on a wall contained in the pastor’s home, that includes an image of his youthful self.

Father Paul closely hints that he borrowed his alias from Saul, an enemy of the Church, who later turns into the Apostle Paul. He tells the story of Saul, who whereas on the street to Damascus to spherical up believers and take them prisoner was met by Jesus. Days later, Saul grew to become a follower of Christ after which grew to become the Apostle Paul.

The place did the Angel come from?

The Angel, aka nightmare gas.


On the identical street Saul was touring to Damascus, Monsignor Pruitt wandered from his tour group. Confused and misplaced within the desert, he was swept up right into a sandstorm. The sandstorm uncovered the doorway to an historic spoil of what Monsignor later believes to be a church. Monsignor stumbles inside — and meets the Angel. With sharp-edged wings and a thirst for blood, the Angel bares a placing resemblance to a vampire.

Vampires. Actually?

Sure. For these anticipating one other ghost story much like Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill Home or Bly Manor, a story of vampires would possibly come as a shock. The place did the inspiration come from? Flanagan, who as soon as served as an altar boy, has mentioned in interviews how he discovered concepts of the supernatural within the Bible itself.

Learn extra: Netflix’s Midnight Mass is not The Haunting of Bly Manor, however it’s a must-see

“It is not possible to separate the Bible as a e-book from horror literature. It has the whole lot in there,” Flanagan instructed Self-importance Honest. “It is overtly and unapologetically espousing supernatural, horrific occasions left and proper. Even the hero of the story — God, the embodiment of affection — drowns the world when he will get offended sufficient within the Previous Testomony.”

What are the connections to the Bible?

“That is my blood, the blood of the brand new and eternal covenant. Will probably be shed for you and for all in order that sins could also be forgiven.”

Father Paul intones this “outdated translation” from a brand new missal “nearer to the unique Latin” throughout his first session taking Sunday mass. It just about units up the remainder of the collection. The drunk driving accident that noticed his girlfriend Beth killed 4 years in the past continues to hang-out Riley. The thought advised is that, by actually ingesting their blood, Riley will be a part of Father Paul and the Angel’s “covenant” and be relieved of his sins.

Will there be backlash to the spiritual elements of the story?

We’ll have to attend and see, however it looks like there will probably be.

How did the miracles occur? (Scientifically, talking)

Father Paul was secretly mixing the sacramental wine within the cruets with the blood of the Angel. This blood — containing a virus, enzyme, a brand new kind of cell or perhaps a parasite, Dr. Gunning theorizes — has been altering the cells of people that drink it. Dr. Gunning, who’s been analyzing Erin Greene and her mom’s blood, which sizzles and catches fireplace within the solar, explains: “So there’s this blood dysfunction referred to as erythropoietic protoporphyria. EPP. Quite a lot of these myths most likely got here from EPP. Folks with it are extraordinarily delicate to mild, to the purpose of burning and blistering within the solar. And really anemic.”

She theorizes that their blood — and certain the as soon as wheelchair-bound Leeza’s — incorporates “one thing that repairs broken cells, is violently photosensitive and causes an insane anemia. A determined starvation for iron. Iron in blood.” Because the ratio of this an infection within the blood will increase, the bodily alterations develop into extra pronounced.

Why does Erin lose her child?

Although Mildred Gunning’s youth is restored and her dementia remedied, Erin loses her child. That is how Dr. Gunning explains it: “Hypothetically, a being pregnant is an alien presence in a human physique. Quite a lot of processes happen to cease a mom’s physique from attacking a fetus within the womb … however hypothetically, given how aggressively this factor alters the physique, its response to a fetus could possibly be equally aggressive.”


Dr. Gunning.


What occurred to Erin and Mildred Gunning’s blood?

Dr. Gunning’s checks on Erin’s and her mom’s blood present a glimmer of hope that everybody can return again to regular. When Dr. Gunning locations samples of their blood within the solar, the contaminated half burns away, leaving their regular blood behind. As a result of the ratio of the Angel’s parasite remains to be solely at hint quantities of their methods, Dr. Gunning causes, they could be capable of cross it by way of, much like what occurs once you ingest alcohol. “Earlier than a sure level, if we cease taking it in, possibly our physique can push it again out. Filter it out, the best way it does every other dangerous substance, if it is not an excessive amount of.”

What occurred between Mildred and John Pruitt?

In episode 7, because the vampiric townspeople run riot, Mildred Gunning and John Pruitt sit contained in the church, ruminating over their days in love and the miracle of getting a second likelihood to be collectively, as a household. It is implied that Mildred and John had an affair through the warfare, however Mildred selected to not disrupt her household together with her then husband, letting her daughter Sarah consider he was her father. However Sarah’s actual father, as she finds out simply earlier than Sturge shoots her, was John.

What different incidents have occurred on the island?

Unusual issues have occurred earlier than on Crockett Island. In episode 7, Sturge says that in 1984, the entire island “burned to nothing.” Every part — besides the church. When the cats wash up on the seaside, Mayor Scarborough informs Sheriff Hassan that in 2002 a flock of starlings fell out of the sky. “By no means did get a satisfying reply. A lot of theories. Lightning, noises, illness. Entire pile of dolphins as soon as too… Greater than a dozen and so they had bites lacking.” It will get worse. Three years in the past, an oil spill noticed all of the fishermen’s catches spoiled. Then got here a rat downside, pantries invaded after the rodents’ common fish meals supply was polluted (at the least, in keeping with nosy priest’s assistant Bev Keane).

Throughout these occasions, for the reason that island neighborhood was established within the 1800s (in keeping with the outdated newspaper clipping within the pastor’s home), the island’s inhabitants has diminished. “We was lots of, now we’re simply dozens. This is not a neighborhood anymore, honey. It is a ghost,” Riley’s mother Annie says.

These occasions play into Father Paul’s concept that “we are inclined to dislike mysteries. We really feel uncomfortable not understanding.” Additionally they paint an image of a forsaken city that, in keeping with Father Paul, wanted the Angel to reserve it with its guarantees of rebirth, second possibilities and everlasting life.


Joe mourning the lack of his canine, Pike.


Who killed Pike the canine?

In episode 1, when Bev Keane passes by Pike on the native retailer, she jumps on the sound of the canine’s bark. She scolds Joe Collie for letting his canine snap at her. Joe tries to elucidate that that is simply Pike’s method of claiming hiya, however Bev declares Pike a “menace,” implying the identical of his proprietor. Joe is the outcast city drunk after unintentionally taking pictures the mayor’s daughter Leeza and paralyzing her legs.

On the Crock Pot Luck festivities in episode 2, Pike is discovered useless, having apparently ingested a poisoned scorching canine. Erin remembers that Bev, who’s additionally a trainer, was appearing nervously with a canister of rat poison she had easy accessibility to from the college retailer cabinet. If you happen to return to a couple moments earlier than Pike is discovered useless, a hand and the hem of a floral gown flash previous the pet, revealing a scorching canine now discarded on the bottom. That very same gown is seen worn by Bev Greene just a few scenes earlier as she peruses the meals choice.

Who’s Harpoon Harry?

A spot on the island referred to as the Uppards is rumored to be haunted by Harpoon Harry, a useless fisherman who “harpooned children for his or her meat.” Actually, the story was instructed by older children to forestall their youthful siblings from following them to their favourite ingesting spot. This story each builds environment and supplies misdirection for the actual risk preying on the individuals of Crockett Island.

What occurs to Crockett Island and the Angel in the long run?

Ultimately, Bev and Sturge’s plan to burn down all of the buildings — to create a “new flood” with the church because the arc for the “good residents” — backfires. After Monsignor Pruitt sees the destruction he is brought about and after Sturge shoots his daughter Sarah useless, he angrily units the church alight. Then Sherif Hassan, with the assistance of his son Ali, burns down the recreation heart. With Erin, Sarah and Mildred having already burned the rest of the massive boats, this leaves no shelters in any way on the small island for the vampiric townsfolk to cover beneath and escape the solar. Nor can they unfold their contagion to the remainder of the world.

Leeza and Warren are the one two to flee to security, their blood not contaminated sufficient to see them flip to cinders. They row out into the ocean in Erin’s canoe, the place they see the Angel try to flee, however its wings — shredded in Erin’s final dwelling act — are already failing it. Warren factors out that the Angel is working from the dawn, however it’ll should make it 30 miles to the west to achieve security, when it could possibly barely fly. “No, I… I do not assume it could possibly [make it],” Warren says, making it fairly clear the Angel is toast.

The pair stay within the canoe, because the island burns within the distance, watching the dawn flecked with falling ash. Leeza, with a small snigger of aid, says she will be able to now not really feel her legs, the contaminated blood fading from her system. The 2 youngsters will presumably watch for the subsequent ferry to reach on the island to avoid wasting them.

Will Midnight Mass get a season 2?

Brief reply: No.

At the least, it is extraordinarily unlikely. Following the success of 2018’s The Haunting of Hill Home, it was introduced firstly of 2019 that Flanagan and longtime producing accomplice Trevor Macy (they have been working collectively since 2013’s Oculus) have a multi-year take care of Netflix to develop new collection solely for the streamer.

The prolific creators went on to serve up the second installment of The Haunting anthology and Midnight Mass was introduced as their subsequent mission. In July, 2019, Deadline reported that it might be a seven-episode collection and, after that ending, it appears fairly definitive it was solely supposed as a miniseries.

Plus, Flanagan is extremely busy.

What’s subsequent for Mike Flanagan?

If you happen to have been hoping for extra of The Haunting, sadly, the wait continues. Whereas Flanagan has stated he is open to a different chapter of the anthology, he has to search out the right piece of literature to reimagine first, simply as he did with the earlier two ghost tales.

The Midnight Membership

He is additionally extraordinarily busy busting out extra content material for Netflix. Filming has reportedly wrapped up on The Midnight Membership — a restricted horror thriller thriller collection unrelated to Midnight Mass. An adaptation of Christopher Pike’s 1994 younger grownup novel, it follows a gaggle of terminally ailing younger sufferers who collect collectively at midnight to inform scary tales.

The collection will incorporate a number of different of Pike’s novels and have Zach Gilford, Samantha Sloyan and Matt Biedel, who performed Riley Flynn, Bev Keane and Sturge respectively in Midnight Mass, together with a number of extra of Flanagan’s rising appearing troupe. In contrast to with Midnight Mass, Flanagan will direct solely a few episodes (it is not but been introduced what number of there will be).

The Fall of the Home of Usher

Then got here the massive information on Wednesday that Flanagan can be adapting Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the Home of Usher for Netflix. Additionally incorporating different works from Poe, the restricted collection will run for eight episodes, 4 of which will probably be directed by Flanagan. Nonetheless ready for any launch date bulletins.