Mike Flanagan’s new series “Midnight Mass” blends Christian mythology with vampirism into one gruesome package. Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford) is a guy recently released from jail who returns to his homeland of Crockett Island in search of tranquility. The mysterious Father Paul (Hamish Linklater), the town’s old Catholic priest, Monsignor Pruitt, arrives at the same time.
Nothing, however, appears to be as it appears. Father Paul soon confesses that he is the same Monsignor Pruitt as before. Pruitt was bitten by a vampire while on a trip to Damascus when he mistook an angel for an angel. Father Paul returned to Crockett to share this “gift” with his parishioners after his vampirism reversed his aging and converted him to a younger version of himself. However, by doing so, he unleashed forces that he and practically everyone else could not control.
“Midnight Mass” delves into topics such as religion, atonement, avarice, and religious fundamentalism to produce a frightening and ultimately depressing tale in which people, not vampires, are the actual demons. Let’s start with the ending, which has a lot to digest.
Midnight Mass – Official Ending Explained | Netflix
Father Paul: Not quite the show’s antagonist, but near enough.
The dangers of religious faith are a significant issue in “Midnight Mass.” Faith may quickly devolve into radicalism if not handled wisely, with fatal consequences. Father Paul is a perfect example of this.
When Father Paul returns to Crockett Island, he begins administering the vampire blood to his parishioners through their communion wine surreptitiously, and the vampire blood begins to rejuvenate them all. Most of the locals, headed by Bev, believe Father Paul’s assertion that everything is a gift from God (Samantha Sloyan). Bev soon believes that Father Paul is the second coming of Jesus and that her job is to broadcast the “miracle” to the rest of the world. Father Paul then stands there in awe as Bev leads her devoted followers in the murder of the locals who stand up to her.
Father Paul, on the other hand, was motivated by self-interest. He confesses to having an affair with a local named Mildred (Alex Essoe) and fathering the town doctor, Sarah, in the last episode (Annabeth Gish). Mildred would drink the vampire blood and become younger, allowing them to have the life they never had. It’s already too late when Father Paul admits his guilt and attempts to stop Bev. He is labeled a false prophet by Bev, and he becomes one of her many victims.
The main fault of Father Paul wasn’t the affair; it was his belief that he could manipulate the faith of his followers without repercussions. He may be sympathetic, yet he is still capable of doing horrific crimes, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Riley achieves redemption, although in vain.
Riley, who murdered a lady in a drunk driving accident, is another character in “Midnight Mass” who is seeking to atone for a previous transgression. Riley’s faith was shaken as a result. He’s ceased thinking that God is essentially good, unlike his fellow Crockett Islanders. Riley is one of the first persons in the community to detect his vampirism signs. He could go all Bev and believe his vampirism is a miracle if this happens. Rather, he sees it for what it is: a curse that must be reversed. And he can only accomplish so by sacrificing himself.
Riley tells his childhood friend and love interest Erin (Kate Siegel) that he loves her on a boat, which is one of the show’s greatest surprises. He’s burnt to ash as the sun rises. This convinces Erin that the town’s vampirism pandemic is real, motivating her and the other few remaining holdouts to stand up to Bev and her horde.
The character arcs of Father Paul and Riley demonstrate how people deal with previous failures in different ways. Father Paul is continually looking backward, believing that he can “correct” his mistakes no matter how they affect others. Riley, on the other hand, concentrates on how to live his best life now. He provides Erin and other non-zealots their sole hope of survival by sacrificing himself.
But, in the end, it’s a moot point.
Bev is the true tormentor.
The “angel” (really a vampire) that Father Paul brings back from Syria is the genuine monster in “Midnight Mass.” Bev, the show’s genuine villain, is a complete human being. Bev symbolizes the repercussions of faith misuse if Father Paul represents faith misuse.
She’s the local church nitpicker when the program begins. She’s been the town’s most fervent Catholic for as long as anybody can remember. She takes the appearance of vampirism as “evidence” of God’s existence. (Of course, this was encouraged by Father Paul.) She quickly turns into a zealot. Bev’s overall aim becomes obvious in the season finale.
She believes vampirism is a divine gift and wants to transform everyone into a vampire, whether they want it or not. She then plans to spread vampirism to the mainland, and eventually the entire planet. Erin and the other holdouts eventually overcome Bev by torching the island’s two remaining structures, the church, and the rec center, leaving them with nowhere to hide from the sun. However, the harm has been done.
People like Bev have a long history in religion, both intentionally and involuntarily attempting to convert others. Countless individuals have been slain by people like Bev, and the Crockett Island victims are the most recent vampire-flavoured example.
Is the final scene hopeful…or not?
Only Zach’s younger brother Warren (Igby Rigney) and Leeza (Annarah Cymone), the mayor’s daughter who was severely disabled in an accident, are still alive on Crockett Island. Leeza was able to walk again after drinking vampire blood earlier in the season.
However, Leeza’s paralysis returns as Warren and Leeza row away from the island in a canoe. It’s an oddly hopeful moment; she may not be able to walk, but it doesn’t imply vampirism will spread to the mainland. Warren and Leeza are also symbols of hope for the future. They’re spared because they’re the youngest and most innocent of the Crockett Island victims, and they get a second chance at life.
However, it isn’t all good news. Erin had slashed the vampire/wings angel earlier. The children watch as the angel/vampire tries to flee Crockett Island as the sun rises. The vampire does not appear to have a chance of escaping. The vampire, on the other hand, is never seen to die overtly.
That was a conscious decision, according to Flanagan. “The angel represents corruption in any religious system, not vampires or horror,” he told Den of Geek. “Fundamentalism and fanaticism are both represented by this symbol. This isn’t going away anytime soon. For a brief moment, you could drive it out of your neighbourhood. You may deliver it to the morning with the hope that the polluting ideology will vanish. This, however, will not be the case. For that reason, the angel could never die in the programme.”