The following story contains spoilers for the ending of Netflix’s Midnight Mass.
You’ve made it. Midnight Mass, with all of its intense Catholic imagery, chaotic sermons, and blood-sucking, poison-drinking, death-questioning and death-defying horror, goes out not quite with a bang, but with a giant blaze of fire at the end of its seventh episode. And you may find yourself wondering, as the final credits start to roll: what happens next? And most likely, you’ll be thinking that for a long, long, time, because we don’t expect Midnight Mass—dubbed a limited series—to have anything more than this initial run of seven episodes.
Sure, you never quite know. Big Little Lies, for one example, was always planned as a limited series, and eventually returned for a second season. HBO’s Mare of Easttown was also planned as a limited series, but lately star Kate Winslet has been teasing that her murder mystery could also be returning for a second go-around. But for a number of different reasons, we feel pretty confident that our trip to Crockett Island for Midnight Mass is going to be a one-and-done on Netflix.
The good news, though, is that writer/director/showrunner Mike Flanagan tends to re-use many of the same actors in different projects. So while we may never see Hamish Linklater as Father Paul, or Kate Siegel as Erin again, or Rahul Kohli as Sheriff Hassan again, there’s a pretty strong chance we see these performers show up again in a similarly-scary project by the guy who thought all of this up in the first place.
Midnight Mass is not likely to have a Season 2.
Midnight Mass marks Mike Flanagan’s third Netflix series, but you may have noticed that each of them tells a contained story. The Haunting of Hill House was its own story (based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name), The Haunting of Bly Manor was its own story (based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James), and now Midnight Mass is telling its own story (with Flanagan serving as chief writer).
You can also tell from Flanagan’s film choices that he likes to just tell his stories in one fell swoop—Doctor Sleep, for instance, is an adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel of the same name. There are some slight changes, sure, but it tells its story in its entirety over the course of the film. Very few loose ends. Same with Gerald’s Game, and the same with most of his other projects.
Where would the Midnight Mass Season 2 story go?
This is another reasonable question. Part of what makes Midnight Mass such an enriching, engulfing, and engrossing project is the fact that we really get so much dense story, from start to finish in just seven hour-long episodes. That also includes some of the best and most complex characters in any horror series in recent memory. From Father Paul, to Erin, to Riley, to Bev Keene, to Sheriff Hassan, to basically everyone else on Crockett Island, we really feel like we know these people.
And, by proxy then, we also kind of get the full story by the end of the series. We see what’s happened, and we see the aftermath. By the end of the show, too, there also, well, not a ton of characters still left alive. Let’s remember that basically everyone burnt to death once the sun came up—Father Paul/Monsignor Pruitt and Mildred Gunning together, at peace, most of the other Crockett Island residents together, singing, at peace. Sheriff Hassan—who didn’t drink the poison—succumbs to his gunshot wound praying next to his son, Ali, who also burns to death. Bev burns to death clawing for shelter in the sand (in what’s a very cathartic moment, we must admit). Riley had died a few episodes earlier, Sarah was shot and killed by Sturge, and Erin got mauled to death by the angel. Typical stuff.
The lone remaining threads would be Warren and Leeza, who both didn’t drink the poison and escaped from Crockett Island toward the mainland. We learn in the series’ final moment that Leeza no longer feels her legs, revealing that the miracles Midnight Mass depicted were maybe always temporary. Erin, in her dying act, cut the angel’s wings. So while the angel is seen flying away—our lone potential opening for a sequel series—it’s not likely that it made it away before the sun came up.
Look, we’re not saying a sequel is completely off the table. Crazier things have happened. But Netflix and everyone involved has billed Midnight Mass as a limited series, and based on the history of this specific filmmaker, and the way things play out within the show, it would be shocking if it returned.
Flanagan does already have another Netflix series already in the works, though.
Flanagan is already hard at work on his next series, titled The Midnight Club and due to hit Netflix in 2022. The show is based on Christopher Pike’s horror novel of the same name, about a group of terminally ill young adults who meet every night at midnight in the hospice facility in which they live and tell scary stories. When one of them succumbs to their illness, things start getting spooky. As you probably expect.
The show will mostly feature new faces as the young adults at the story’s center, but a few Flanagan familiars will return in recurring roles, including Kate Siegel (who plays Erin in Midnight Mass), Zach Gilford (who plays Riley in Midnight Mass), Matt Biedel (who plays Sturge in Midnight Mass), and Samantha Sloyan (who plays Bev Keane in Midnight Mass). Horror fans should also be thrilled by one bit of casting, which is that Heather Langenkamp—best known for her role taking on Freddy Kruger as Nancy Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street—will be a key part of the show, playing the doctor who leads the facility where the members of the titular Midnight Club live.
So, while we probably aren’t getting any more Midnight Mass, don’t be worried—we’ll be getting more from Mr. Flanagan, and it’s going to come in relatively short order.
Flanagan is adapting an acclaimed comic for Netflix as well.
The main reason Flanagan has been so prolific for Netflix is because in 2019 he signed an overall deal with the streamer. That’s proved fruitful, as he’s since come through with The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass, with The Midnight Club, as mentioned above, currently in production. And while these series aren’t directly connected, it’s nice to know that they at least have some level of connective tissue between them. They’re in the same family.
There’s another show already set to be the next in this “series” for Netflix, as well: an adaptation of the Eisner Award-nominated horror comic Something Is Killing The Children.
We’ll see what sort of changes come in the adaptation, but the series centers on a badass monster hunter named Erica Slaughter (great name) who arrives in a small-town where children are mysteriously being killed by some unknown presence, which may or may not be horrific, mauling monsters. Sounds right up Mr. Flanagan’s alley.
No casting or release date has been announced just yet, but this team seems to work quickly. We’d imagine that after The Midnight Club wraps, we’ll start to hear a bit more about the production of Something Is Killing The Children ramping up.
Evan RomanoEvan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.
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