I finished watching season one on 10/16/22. I liked it enough to create a post. Most of these shows start out great and deteriorate over time. I hope this one goes the long run, but with all the main characters destined to time of terminal diseases, we’ll see how this one proceeds over time.
The Midnight Club’s Finale Left Us With a Lot of Questions
Sun, October 16, 2022 at 5:34 PM·4 min read
The finale of Netflix’s The Midnight Club featured several major reveals and a whole lot of spooky moments. The series, which was co-created by The Haunting of Hill House’s Mike Flanagan, follows a group of young adults who decide to move to a hospice following their terminal cancer diagnoses. Every night, they meet in the library to tell each other stories, many of which feature ghosts and ghouls. It quickly transpires that Brightcliffe Hospice holds many secrets, and possible healing properties. Unfortunately for fans, the final episode of The Midnight Club’s first season left us on a huge cliffhanger.
Here’s what you need to know about The Midnight Club‘s twisty season 1 finale.
The truth about Julia Jayne is revealed… probably.
The mysterious woman that Ilonka has been spending time within the woods is, in fact, Julia Jayne. We find out that when Julia disappeared from the hospice in ’68, she didn’t magically get cured in the woods outside of Brightcliffe but instead went to visit Regina Ballard. As we already know, Regina lived at Brightcliffe with her daughter, Athena, in the ’30s, decades before it was turned into a hospice by Dr. Stanton. It’s Athena’s journal that Ilonka discovers and refers to as the Paragon Diaries.
To start, the Paragon was a group of like-minded people with interest in alternative medicine. However, Regina soon developed a dangerous obsession with the Greek Gods and the possibility of achieving immortality. The Paragon believed that by worshipping the Five Sisters, or the five daughters of the Greek God of medicine, Asclepius, they could cure illnesses and live forever. The hourglass symbol that represents the cult hints at their ability to literally stop time.
In the finale’s flashback, Regina tells Julia that she can teach her everything she knows, and suggests that it’s possible to cure her cancer. Now, in the ’90s, Julia is sick once again, and it appears as though she has conned Ilonka to gain access to the hospice’s basement. Once there, she tries to carry out a dangerous ritual that results in several women being poisoned. While Dr. Stanton maintains that Julia is dangerous, in the light of some of the other revelations in the finale, it would seem that the truth is much more complicated.
Anya sends a message.
Anya’s old friend Rhett comes to the hospice. While giving Anya’s belongings to Rhett, Ilonka realizes that Anya’s ballerina statue, which was previously missing one of its legs, has miraculously been fixed. The group takes this as a sign that Anya is communicating with them from beyond the grave, as promised. This gives them all hope that death isn’t the end, and that The Midnight Club will continue even in the afterlife.
Kevin kisses Ilonka.
After breaking up with his girlfriend and finishing Dusty’s story at The Midnight Club, Kevin finally tells Ilonka how he feels about her, and they kiss. Presumably, we’ll see their complicated romance develop more if the show is renewed for a second season.
Dr. Stanton has a secret identity.
Probably the finale’s biggest reveal involves Dr. Georgia Stanton, played by the wonderful Heather Langenkamp, known for her role as Nancy in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Throughout The Midnight Club, Dr. Stanton has been the self-proclaimed “good guy,” warding off evil threats from strangers in the woods and protecting the teenagers from the creepy Paragon cult.
However, the episode’s final scene shows Dr. Stanton in her bedroom, during a strange time warp transporting viewers back to the ‘30s. Old newspaper clippings hint at Stanton’s secret history and her involvement in the cult she’s allegedly been protecting her wards from. We also find out that she has a Paragon tattoo on the back of her neck, which we see for the first time when she removes her wig (which we didn’t know she was wearing).
While we’re given very little information about Dr. Stanton’s actual identity, we are left with some pretty pertinent questions. For instance, is Stanton actually a member of the cult she’s continually told Ilonka to avoid? And is the doctor much older than we previously thought? After all, if she was alive in the ’30s, and a member of the original Paragon cult, Dr. Stanton would be much older than she seems to be in the ’90s. However, the cliffhanger doesn’t offer any definitive answers.
Some fan theories have already suggested that Stanton could be Regina Ballard’s daughter Athena, or that she might even be Athena’s daughter. This would explain why she bought Brightcliffe, and is intent on protecting the hospice patients from its dark secrets. As for when fans will find out whether their theories might be right, co-creator Flanagan said at a press conference in October 2022, “Those answers exist, but were meant to be for the next season. If there isn’t one, I’ll put them up on Twitter, and then at least we’ll all be able to talk about it.” Looks like we’re just going to have to be really patient.
The Midnight Club Ending Explained: What Did That Final Cliffhanger Mean?
Nick Venable – Friday
Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the entirety of Netflix’s The Midnight Club, because we’re getting into the nitty gritty below.
The 2022 TV schedule was taken down some pretty dark and daunting corridors with the release of Netflix’s spooky The Midnight Club, the latest horror series from The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor creator Mike Flanagan and co-creator Leah Fong. An adaptation of Christopher Pike’s 1994 novel of the same name, the series takes place within the Briarcliffe Hospice for terminal youths, and centers on the titular group of teens who meet each night to share haunting and personal tales. And, like any great story, The Midnight Club delivers a hell of an ending.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at The Midnight Club ending, which dropped a pair of major reveals for Heather Langenkamp’s Georgina Stanton and the two elderly ghouls that kept popping up around the massive abode.
Who Is Georgina Stanton Really?
Throughout the course of The Midnight Club, viewers are meant to have become endeared somewhat to Georgina, who clearly has a lot of patience, love and devotion to give the potentially endless line of teens who temporarily call Briarcliffe home. Langenkamp sells it through and through, to the point where it’s easy to take her side after Ilonka kept going down to the secret basement, especially after the teen allowed the devious Julia “Shasta” Jayne to perform her poison-centric ritual down there. But there were moments throughout the season where the hospice manager’s behavior rang suspicious, and the finale, “Midnight,” made it abundantly clear that Georgina has been keeping secrets from everyone.
The final moments show her sitting down at a dressing table and pulling off a wig, revealing a perfectly bald head, as well as the all-important five-goddesses hourglass tattoo on the back of her neck. So if we can assume that Georgina didn’t randomly get that tattoo from a wild weekend in Tijuana, then it probably means she’s one of three people:
- Theory #1: Georgina is Aceso. Regina Ballard, the Greek goddess-worshiping founder of the Paragon cult, was seen at one point rocking a completely hairless scalp, complete with the hourglass tattoo. But unless the rituals helped to severely slow her aging process, Aceso is likely way too old, seeing as how she founded the group 60 years prior to the show’s present-day story.
- Theory #2: Georgina is Athena. This one is slightly more believable timeline-wise, and would add context to the “G.B.” carving that Ilonka found on one of the trees surrounding the property. (“Georgina Ballard” would be my guess there.) It would make sense for Athena to go in a completely different direction than her mother where Briarcliffe is concerned, and she would have been particularly peeved about Ilonka reading the diary detailing the events of Aceso’s ritual.
- Theory #3: Georgina is Athena’s daughter. Making the most sense in a world without eternal life, Georgina could easily be Aceso’s granddaughter, with her own set of beliefs and seemingly beneficial motivations guiding her actions.
Regardless of who she is, really, it’s still not entirely clear what her ulterior motives would be in running the hospice, unless she’s the one siccing that ghastly shadow creature on Briarcliffe’s residents, as it went with Anya. Is it possible that when teens die within the hospice, that their life energy (or whatever) is transferred to Georgina? Is it possible she figured out a different ritual that has a far higher success rate than the ones performed by the Paragon and Julia Jayne?
Who Are The Two Older Ghosts Haunting Briarcliffe?
Unlike other Mike Flanagan projects that go hard on the haunts, The Midnight Club isn’t filled to the brim with malicious and broken spirits, but rather has two central spooks roaming its halls and causing confusion for certain tenants. Known only as “Mirror Man” and “Cataract Woman” in the credits — as portrayed respectively by X-Files great William B. Davis and Midnight Mass’ Patricia Drake — the two ghosts appeared only during specific times, and to specific people, implying they’re not your average spectres.
As revealed just prior to Georgina’s wig removal, the duo are actually Stanley Oscar Freelan and Vera Freelan, the husband and wife who brought the Briarcliffe building into existence in the late 19th century. The couple clearly have ties to the building overall, and it appears they may not have lived too long after construction was finished, given they already weren’t spring chickens. But what killed them, and why are they still partially haunting the hospice?
Mike Flanagan revealed to CinemaBlend that the bulk of the story for Stanley and Vera would be told in Season 2, if it happens, but that there are hints about the couple’s story throughout the season, as well as in the epilogue of Christopher Pike’s novel, which ties into the author’s recurring themes of rebirth and life cycles. As far as I can tell, these are the two biggest clues that seemingly link up with those ideas:
- Clue #1: Stanley and Vera only appear to Kevin and Ilonka. While Anya is the unlucky soul who continues being plagued by the mysterious shadow, Ilonka and Kevin’s hauntings are far more personified. Stanley has a penchant for showing up in mirrors, while Vera largely pops up in the secret basement and in the halls during Ilonka’s old-timey visions. Weirdly enough, the most harrowing thing about their appearances is the music and editing, but not so much their behavior, which isn’t all that antagonistic. Considering Ilonka started having the visions that led her to Briarcliffe months before she received her diagnosis, is it possible Stanley and Vera drew her there for non-malicious reasons?
- Clue #2: The Midnight Club novel’s ending. In a scene that echoes other inward-looking moments from Pike’s bibliography, the book in question wraps up on an epilogue set in the distant future, where humanity is split between Earth and the distant planet Treta. The scene centers on a female (Eisokna) set to depart for her new home, along with her new husband (Karlen), but she first experiences a wave of nostalgia that hearkens back to details and events from earlier in the story. Essentially, the takeaway is that Ilokna and Kevin were reincarnated as this future couple, indicating their Briarcliffe journey was but one broken connection amongst other lifelines where they did end up together.
So, how does that play into Stanley and Vera’s existences? I’ll have to get back to you on that one. But one possibility is that Ilonka and Kevin are somehow the reincarnated versions of the industrialist couple, though that would obviously be a weird outcome since their ghosts are still out and about. That could be tied specifically to the house, though, if the spirits are bound to the location by dark magic. Perhaps if Ilonka and Kevin find a way to free them, the ghosts will somehow mesh with the teens, freeing them from their deadly diseases. Or maybe Season 2 will go in a completely different direction, assuming Netflix orders it up.
In the end, Anya’s now-fixed ballerina figurine seems the lone piece of physical “everyone can witness it” proof that someone from the Midnight Club passed on a message from the great beyond. Assuming Georgina didn’t go out and buy a brand new figure to replace the broken one, of course.
The Midnight Club Season 1 is available to stream in full with a Netflix subscription, and that’s the only way we’re going to get answers from a second season, so get to rewatching and telling your friends, family, and the seemingly normal woman who runs the nearby hospice. When you’re done with that, check out all the awesome upcoming Netflix TV shows debuting soon.