Mike Flanagan’s latest Netflix series Midnight Mass premiered on Sept. 24, 2021, and over a week later, it’s still what everyone is talking about. Flanagan, whose previous hits include The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and Gerald’s Game, knows how to mix the right amount of emotion in with his scares. His work often leaves the audience pondering the more critical questions in life, and Midnight Mass is no different.
[SPOILER: This article contains spoilers from Midnight Mass.]
What happened in that dark cave in Jerusalem?
In Midnight Mass Episode 3, viewers get a glimpse of what’s behind all of the unexplained mysteries happening on Crockett Island. In a flashback, viewers see Monsignor Pruitt’s trip to the Holy Land. With his old age and failing health, the priest somehow makes his way into a cave in the desert. It’s there he discovers a winged beast with glowing eyes that attacks him.
As he starts reciting the Lord’s Prayer, his mind settles on the word “angel” because of the creature’s wings. As he’s dying on the cave floor, the monster uses a claw to slice open one of its wrists. It feeds the old man its blood.
The Father’s blind faith convinces him the creature is an angel
It makes sense that in his dying moments, the priest’s mind does whatever it can to grasp the situation that’s happening. However, most of the audience might think, “That is 100% a vampire … not an angel, sir.” The monster having wings doesn’t make it an angel, but the creature can bring him back to life.
The Bible mentions angels many times, and almost every time, the person who sees the angel is scared. This happens in the books of Genesis, Daniel, Matthew, Luke, and Acts. Perhaps, the priest in Midnight Mass thought of this when he was being attacked.
In a selfish but understandable move, the priest smuggles the monster back to his home on Crockett Island. There he uses the creature’s blood, mixing it in with the communion he gives to his congregation. Miracles start to happen, and Father Paul’s (Hamish Linklater) desperation to heal the mother of his ill-conceived child, Mildred, is part of the reason he refuses to see what the creature really is.
‘Midnight Mass’ ends in an actual bloodbath
In the final episode of the series, Father Paul, with the help of the forever-awful Bev Keane (Samantha Sloyan), presents the monster to the congregation as an angel. This is right before they hand out cups of poison to everyone so they can die and be resurrected.
In the Christian faith, the Bible is pretty clear that no one gets to live forever. The Father is so desperate in his attempts to heal Mildred, though. He somehow thinks the winged monster is God’s way of doing this.
This creature sucks the blood from its victims. It brings people back to life with its blood, and those who drink the monster’s blood start craving blood themselves. In other words, they become vampires.
Not once is that word uttered in the seven episodes of Midnight Mass. It’s possible that vampires don’t exist in this universe, similar to how The Walking Dead never uses the word “zombie.”
But the more likely explanation, and the underlying theme of the entire series, is that the community’s blind faith caused them to stray away from what they’ve learned about their whole life. As Catholics, they believe in the Bible and its rules. However, they suddenly ignore all of that because they’re tempted to eliminate the fear of death forever.
Flanagan has gone into detail about the inspiration behind Midnight Mass. Growing up as a Catholic, many rituals like drinking the blood of Christ reminded him of vampires. Midnight Mass is more than a simple vampire story, though. It’s a story of grief, determination, and ultimately having faith in what’s right no matter what the rest of the world is doing.
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