‘The Midnight Membership’: That Ending Defined and Season 2 Standing


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 Membership (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 massive, existential concepts. To not point out that tantalizing cliffhanger, which we might hoped can be answered with a season 2.

Sure, that is foreshadowing the disappointing information on The Midnight Membership’s future. Let’s focus on that and every part else to know in regards to the present within the spoiler-packed part under.

Warning: Spoilers forward.

Will The Midnight Membership get a season 2?

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

Regardless of fairly favorable critiques (together with CNET’s personal), The Midnight Membership managed solely a three-week run in Netflix’s high 10 seen exhibits chart, by no means claiming the No. 1 spot. What additionally appears prone to have factored into the choice is co-creator Mike Flanagan’s manufacturing firm Intrepid Footage selecting to go together with Amazon Studios as their subsequent TV residence, signing a multiyear cope with Prime Video, with their contract with Netflix coming to a detailed.

Thankfully, Flanagan stated at a Netflix press occasion (by way of Elite Every day) that he is ready for cancellation and would drop solutions to any lingering questions on Twitter. “We did not reply among the greater questions of the season — these solutions exist, however had been meant to be for the following season,” Flanagan stated. If there is no second season, he’ll “put [the answers] up on Twitter.”

At the least there’s one ultimate Flanagan challenge on the way in which to Netflix, after the stellar The Haunting of Hill Home, The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass. The Fall of the Home of Usher, primarily based on works by Edgar Allen Poe, will possible hit Netflix in 2023, with lots of Flanagan’s favourite appearing troupe set to look, 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 different to the medical institution.” However this philosophy modified for the more severe because of Ballard’s obsession with 5 Greek goddess sisters all linked to therapeutic. She created the Paragon cult, their hourglass emblem drawn from Historic Greece’s symbols for Earth and air.

Finally, Ballard and the cult delved into historic rituals involving blood sacrifices. However, in 1940, certainly one of these rituals went badly flawed. All the opposite grownup members died from poisoning. Ballard was the one survivor, claiming she collected the flawed 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. Whereas 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 through 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 “instructor”) — the all-too pleasant founding father of Good Humor Wellness, a naturopathic firm sourcing elements round Brightcliffe — is basically ex-Brightcliffe affected person Julia Jayne.

Like Ilonka, Julia was additionally recognized with thyroid most cancers within the throat as a young person. She based The Midnight Membership 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 along with her for per week, throughout which she taught Julia the methods of the Paragon. She known as Julia her “brilliant woman” — the identical title Julia/Shasta offers Ilonka. Ballard and Julia spun a narrative round what actually occurred. Within the police stories Ilonka reads, Julia disappeared from Brightcliffe for per week. She returned in full remission and stated, “It was due to this place, that she discovered one thing right 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 data as Ballard did for her. In response to Stanton, Julia’s preliminary restoration comes all the way 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 forest

Samantha Sloyan performs the mysterious Shasta.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

What’s Dr. Stanton’s true identification?

Simply when there is a sense of acceptance and calm inside Brightcliffe Hospice, Dr. Stanton reveals within the ultimate cliffhanger scene that she — like most of the different most cancers sufferers — is bald and wears a wig. Besides, when she takes her wig off for the evening, 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?

Identical to the numerous tales informed in The Midnight Membership, you possibly can interpret the which means behind Dr. Stanton’s look in a number of methods.

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

However Julian is seemingly 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.” Now not a believer within the Paragon technique, she hid her connections to the cult. Perhaps she’s nonetheless bald as a result of she too was recognized with an sickness and has accepted that the one motive she’s nonetheless alive is because of luck. “The factor about Julia and different individuals I’ve met through the years is … they can not settle for that they had been simply fortunate,” she tells Ilonka.

Perhaps, after her son died, Stanton fostered real good intentions behind beginning the hospice, offering a spot the place the terminally sick can “concentrate on residing” whereas giving herself objective within the course of.

A 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 unhealthy?

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

Regardless of every part Stanton has stated about caring for her sufferers as a physician, she would possibly nonetheless be utilizing the Paragon’s strategies. Why else has she stored the basement in the identical state because it was through the time of the commune? Perhaps Julian remains to be alive in some kind. To maintain 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.

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

Who’re the outdated ghosts?

Within 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 appear fairly darn much like the 2 ghosts who hang-out Ilonka and Kevin, named within the credit as The Mirror Man and Cataract Lady.

On this scene, Stanton listens to the identical outdated music that performs at any time when Ilonka travels again in time. The music — Come The place My Love Lies Dreaming — consists by Stephen Foster and was printed in 1855. The outdated newspaper clipping says that the New Freelan Property was completed in mid-1898 and that it is “actually a marvel of structure.” (This contradicts Ilonka’s analysis — she says the home was in-built 1901.) Perhaps this musical connection is meant to recommend 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?

One other idea is Stanton may need some type of cope with the resident ghosts. On the seashore in episode 5, whereas celebrating Amesh outliving the day he was alleged 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 outdated girl with the cataracts “retains speaking about how she’s hungry, she’s ravenous.” Natsuki then shares that her mom informed her a narrative a couple of “factor,” an “eater of years” or “the years eater” which appeared like an outdated girl. It was present in locations the place individuals had been going to die and it will eat the years they might have had. “This place can be a feast,” Natsuki says of Brightcliffe.

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

Is ‘The Residing Shadow’ Dying?

Or may it’s Julian?

Perhaps Stanton managed to maintain Julian alive because of the Paragon’s strategies, nevertheless it got here at a value: Julian now exists as a type of in-between being. Each Anya and her ex-roommate Rachel talked about seeing The Residing Shadow shortly earlier than their deaths. The parable of The Residing Shadow has been handed down via generations of The Midnight Membership, its presence felt so long as there are sufferers round to probably hold it and the opposite ghosts effectively fed.

Or possibly, 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 issues. I see issues. These whispering voices … [are] virtually screaming at me,” Ilonka tells Kevin. She initially thinks the voices are her personal instinct spurring her to analyze Julia Jayne’s previous, however possibly 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 screen

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

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Any Easter eggs?

You wager! Flanagan likes to pepper in satisfying Easter eggs all through his exhibits and The Midnight Membership — 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 Membership’s title card seems to be to be impressed by Christopher Pike’s novel, aka the supply materials. One of many editions makes use of an identical 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 reality: Episode 1 of The Midnight Membership broke the Guinness World Report for “most scripted soar scares in a single tv episode” with 21 cases 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 fireplace

The Midnight Membership convening within the library.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Is The Midnight Membership primarily based on a real story?

Sure! The story of The Midnight Membership is predicated on Christopher Pike’s younger grownup novel of the identical identify. The tales the members of The Midnight Membership inform one another are drawn from Pike’s different novels, together with The Depraved Coronary heart, Gimme a Kiss, See You Later, Witch, Street to Nowhere and The Everlasting Enemy.

Pike drew inspiration for The Midnight Membership from a real story. In 1993, a younger most cancers affected person requested him to jot down a narrative about her and the children in her ward, who had began a “Midnight Membership.” “They’d meet at midnight and focus on my books,” Pike stated in a Netflix press launch. Pike gave Ilonka Pawluk a Polish identify in honor of the younger affected person, who additionally had a Polish identify. Sadly, 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. Whereas 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 via VFX magic. In response to a Netflix press launch, the Zoic Studios results group scanned a home in Maine because the VFX foundation for Brightcliffe’s gothic exterior.

Supply hyperlink