‘The Midnight Club’: That Ending Explained and Season 2 Status

The newest chapter of Mike Flanagan’s horror sequence on Netflix follows a hospice for dying youngsters, haunted in additional methods than one. The Midnight Club (co-created with Leah Fong) is sensitively written and masterfully detailed, with Easter egg references to Flanagan’s earlier works and an unpredictable thriller folding in huge, existential concepts. Not to say that tantalizing cliffhanger, which we would hoped can be answered with a season 2.

Yes, that is foreshadowing the disappointing information on The Midnight Club’s future. Let’s focus on that and all the pieces else to know concerning the present within the spoiler-packed part under.

Warning: Spoilers forward.

Will The Midnight Club get a season 2?

The verdict on that appears fairly grim, sadly. According to The Wrap, Netflix will not be renewing the younger grownup horror sequence for a second season.

Despite fairly favorable critiques (together with CNET’s personal), The Midnight Club managed solely a three-week run in Netflix’s prime 10 considered exhibits chart, by no means claiming the No. 1 spot. What additionally appears more likely to have factored into the choice is co-creator Mike Flanagan’s manufacturing firm Intrepid Pictures selecting to go together with Amazon Studios as their subsequent TV dwelling, signing a multiyear take care of Prime Video, with their contract with Netflix coming to an in depth.

Fortunately, Flanagan mentioned at a Netflix press occasion (through Elite Daily) that he is ready for cancellation and would drop solutions to any lingering questions on Twitter. “We didn’t answer some of the bigger questions of the season — those answers exist, but were meant to be for the next season,” Flanagan mentioned. If there isn’t any second season, he’ll “put [the answers] up on Twitter.”

At least there’s one remaining Flanagan mission on the way in which to Netflix, after the stellar The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass. The Fall of the House of Usher, primarily based on works by Edgar Allen Poe, will possible hit Netflix in 2023, with a lot of Flanagan’s favourite performing troupe set to seem, together with Carla Gugino, Samantha Sloyan, Rahul Kohli, Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas and extra.

What are the origins of the Paragon cult?

The origins of the Paragon cult are all recorded in a diary that was stored by the cult chief’s disillusioned 16-year-old daughter,  Athena. Athena wrote that the commune was began in 1931 by her mom, Regina Ballard. After Ballard’s husband died of pneumonia and her son of polio, she started a brand new age well being philosophy — “a naturopathic alternative to the medical establishment.” But this philosophy modified for the more severe due to Ballard’s obsession with 5 Greek goddess sisters all linked to therapeutic. She created the Paragon cult, their hourglass emblem drawn from Ancient Greece’s symbols for Earth and air.

Eventually, Ballard and the cult delved into historical rituals involving blood sacrifices. But, in 1940, one in every of these rituals went badly fallacious. All the opposite grownup members died from poisoning. Ballard was the one survivor, claiming she collected the fallacious elements for his or her tea. When the police found her, she now not had hair. A tattoo of the hourglass image was seen on the again of her neck.

After the Paragon tragedy, Ballard was despatched to a psychological establishment. Her home remained empty till it was bought by Dr. Georgina Stanton in 1966. While we see present cult chief Julia Jayne go to Ballard within the ’60s, it is not clear whether or not Ballard remains to be alive throughout the ’90s.

Igby Rigney as Kevin standing in an elevator behind Iman Benson as Ilonka, who's holding a lit match and crouching down over strange markings on a basement floor

Igby Rigney as Kevin and Iman Benson as Ilonka within the creepy basement utilized by the Paragon cult.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

What precisely occurred to Julia Jayne?

It ought to have come as no shock that Shasta (sanskrit for “teacher”) — the all-too pleasant founding father of Good Humor Wellness, a naturopathic firm sourcing elements round Brightcliffe — is de facto ex-Brightcliffe affected person Julia Jayne.

Like Ilonka, Julia was additionally identified with thyroid most cancers within the throat as a youngster. She based The Midnight Club in 1969, then later found Athena’s journal within the Brightcliffe library. She tracked down ex-Paragon cult chief Ballard by impersonating a hospice care nurse, visiting Ballard’s forwarding addresses from the psychological establishment till she discovered her.

Ballard, seeing Julia’s ardour, agreed to let Julia keep together with her for every week, throughout which she taught Julia the methods of the Paragon. She known as Julia her “bright girl” — the identical title Julia/Shasta offers Ilonka. Ballard and Julia spun a narrative round what actually occurred. In the police stories Ilonka reads, Julia disappeared from Brightcliffe for every week. She returned in full remission and mentioned, “It was because of this place, that she found something here and it cured her.”

In Julia’s artwork remedy — stored in her Brightcliffe file — she wrote down the Dewey Decimal System numbers of the place she hid Athena’s Paragon diary within the library, passing on the knowledge as Ballard did for her. According to Stanton, Julia’s preliminary restoration comes right down to easy, unlikely luck — not the secrets and techniques Ballard gave her. Julia returns to Brightcliffe as an grownup to undergo with the Paragon blood sacrifice ritual as a result of she’s sick once more.

Samantha Sloyan as Shasta, holding a walking stick and smiling in a forestSamantha Sloyan as Shasta, holding a walking stick and smiling in a forest

Samantha Sloyan performs the mysterious Shasta.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

What’s Dr. Stanton’s true identification?

Just when there is a sense of acceptance and calm inside Brightcliffe Hospice, Dr. Stanton reveals within the remaining cliffhanger scene that she — like lots of the different most cancers sufferers — is bald and wears a wig. Except, when she takes her wig off for the night time, a tattoo of an hourglass may be seen on the again of her neck, similar to Regina Ballard.

Is Dr. Stanton a part of the Paragon cult?

Just like the various tales informed in The Midnight Club, you possibly can interpret the which means behind Dr. Stanton’s look in a number of methods.

It’s fairly possible Stanton was as soon as a believer within the Paragon’s strategies, even when she would not at present apply them. She was undoubtedly conscious of the Paragon, having acquired their books and teachings after buying the home. Maybe Stanton tried to make use of the Paragon ritual on her sick son, Julian.

But Julian is outwardly now not alive, so the strategy did not work. In a dialog with Ilonka after Julia breaks in, Stanton labels the Paragon’s methods as “sick.” No longer a believer within the Paragon methodology, she hid her connections to the cult. Maybe she’s nonetheless bald as a result of she too was identified with an sickness and has accepted that the one motive she’s nonetheless alive is due to luck. “The thing about Julia and other people I’ve met over the years is … they can’t accept that they were just lucky,” she tells Ilonka.

Maybe, after her son died, Stanton fostered real good intentions behind beginning the hospice, offering a spot the place the terminally unwell can “focus on living” whereas giving herself function within the course of.

A girl standing behind hooded figures screaming in a basementA girl standing behind hooded figures screaming in a basement

Sandra (Annarah Cymone) is not the one one to have ominous visions.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Is Dr. Stanton good or dangerous?

There’s one other manner to take a look at Stanton’s intentions.

Despite all the pieces Stanton has mentioned about caring for her sufferers as a health care provider, she would possibly nonetheless be utilizing the Paragon’s strategies. Why else has she stored the basement in the identical state because it was throughout the time of the commune? Maybe Julian remains to be alive in some type. To preserve him alive, Stanton has been utilizing the home and its particular properties — that is why she goes to nice lengths to maintain Julia and the brand new Paragon cult out of the image.

In this studying, Stanton’s motive for founding Brightcliffe Hospice might need one thing to do with utilizing the sufferers as sacrifices to the gods — or the ghosts.

Who are the previous ghosts?

In the ultimate cliffhanger scene, the digicam pans throughout a framed newspaper clipping from 1898 within the Washington Journal. It features a image of industrialist Stanley Oscar Freelan and his spouse, Vera Freelan, the unique homeowners of the home. They look fairly darn much like the 2 ghosts who hang-out Ilonka and Kevin, named within the credit as The Mirror Man and Cataract Woman.

In this scene, Stanton listens to the identical previous music that performs every time Ilonka travels again in time. The music — Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming — consists by Stephen Foster and was revealed in 1855. The previous newspaper clipping says that the New Freelan Estate was completed in mid-1898 and that it is “truly a marvel of architecture.” (This contradicts Ilonka’s analysis — she says the home was in-built 1901.) Maybe this musical connection is meant to counsel that Stanton is way older than she seems and that her longevity has one thing to do with this “marvel” of a home.

Is Stanton feeding the Brightcliffe children to the ghosts?

Another concept is Stanton might need some sort of take care of the resident ghosts. On the seashore in episode 5, whereas celebrating Amesh outliving the day he was speculated to die, Natsuki speculates that Stanton began Brightcliffe to siphon off the sufferers’ life power into different vessels. Spence additionally factors out that they do not know the place the our bodies of ex-Brightcliffe children go.

In episode 9, Ilonka says that the ghostly previous girl with the cataracts “keeps talking about how she’s hungry, she’s starving.” Natsuki then shares that her mom informed her a narrative a few “thing,” an “eater of years” or “the years eater” which appeared like an previous girl. It was present in locations the place folks have been going to die and it could eat the years they might have had. “This place would be a feast,” Natsuki says of Brightcliffe.

Maybe Natsuki’s proper. Maybe Stanton actually is feeding the Brightcliffe children to the ghosts in change for some sort of profit or life power for Julian.

Is ‘The Living Shadow’ Death?

Or might or not it’s Julian?

Maybe Stanton managed to maintain Julian alive due to the Paragon’s strategies, however it got here at a value: Julian now exists as a form of in-between being. Both Anya and her ex-roommate Rachel talked about seeing The Living Shadow shortly earlier than their deaths. The fable of The Living Shadow has been handed down by means of generations of The Midnight Club, its presence felt so long as there are sufferers round to probably preserve it and the opposite ghosts properly fed.

Or perhaps, in the long run, the shadow actually is the manifestation of the children’ premature ends.

Why does Ilonka have visions?

Is it as a result of her drugs is making her “see stuff” as Kevin says in episode 3? Or is it as a result of the home and its ghostly residents are calling to her? “I hear things. I see things. Those whispering voices … [are] practically screaming at me,” Ilonka tells Kevin. She initially thinks the voices are her personal instinct spurring her to analyze Julia Jayne’s previous, however perhaps it is actually the ghosts reaching out to a brand new sufferer to feed on.

A young girl in a school uniform holds her hand up in a creepy way with dark wispy smoke covering the bottom half of the screenA young girl in a school uniform holds her hand up in a creepy way with dark wispy smoke covering the bottom half of the screen

Natsuki (Aya Furukawa) within the first story we hear from The Midnight Club.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Any Easter eggs?

You wager! Flanagan likes to pepper in satisfying Easter eggs all through his exhibits and The Midnight Club — co-created with The Haunting of Bly Manor producer and author Leah Fong — isn’t any exception.

  • The cool slanting graphic design of The Midnight Club’s title card appears to be like to be impressed by Christopher Pike’s novel, aka the supply materials. One of the editions makes use of an analogous font for the title on the entrance cowl.
  • The Lasser Glass, a possessed vintage mirror that featured in Flanagan’s 2014 horror Oculus, may be seen within the basement room in episode 4 a bit over a minute in, partially hidden beneath a fabric cowl. This Easter egg additionally seems in Flanagan’s 2021 horror sequence Midnight Mass.
  • This is not actually an Easter egg, however a enjoyable truth: Episode 1 of The Midnight Club broke the Guinness World Record for “most scripted jump scares in a single television episode” with 21 situations of the basic horror trope.
Adia as Cheri Ian, Igby Rigney as Kevin, Annarah Cymone as Sandra, Iman Benson as Ilonka, Aya Furukawa as Natsuki, Ruth Codd as Anya, Sauriyan Sapkota as Amesh, Chris Sumpter as Spencer all sitting around a table, in a library, next to a fireplaceAdia as Cheri Ian, Igby Rigney as Kevin, Annarah Cymone as Sandra, Iman Benson as Ilonka, Aya Furukawa as Natsuki, Ruth Codd as Anya, Sauriyan Sapkota as Amesh, Chris Sumpter as Spencer all sitting around a table, in a library, next to a fireplace

The Midnight Club convening within the library.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Is The Midnight Club primarily based on a real story?

Yes! The story of The Midnight Club relies on Christopher Pike’s younger grownup novel of the identical title. The tales the members of The Midnight Club inform one another are drawn from Pike’s different novels, together with The Wicked Heart, Gimme a Kiss, See You Later, Witch, Road to Nowhere and The Eternal Enemy.

Pike drew inspiration for The Midnight Club from a real story. In 1993, a younger most cancers affected person requested him to put in writing a narrative about her and the children in her ward, who had began a “Midnight Club.” “They would meet at midnight and discuss my books,” Pike mentioned in a Netflix press launch. Pike gave Ilonka Pawluk a Polish title in honor of the younger affected person, who additionally had a Polish title. Unfortunately, regardless of his greatest efforts, Pike was unable to complete the e book earlier than she died.

Is Brightcliffe Hospice an actual place?

The Brightcliffe home itself would not really exist. While a portion of the home’s facade was arrange on the filming web site in Pitt Meadows, Vancouver, nearly all of the outside was created by means of VFX magic. According to a Netflix press launch, the Zoic Studios results crew scanned a home in Maine because the VFX foundation for Brightcliffe’s gothic exterior.

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