TV Corner

Let’s Talk About… The Midnight Club Season One

Hi friends and welcome back to TV Tuesday! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted one of these. I’ve talked about the past 3 Mike Flanagan anthologies on my blog, so I couldn’t leave the newest one out. So, today I’m going to be talking all about The Midnight Club.

Read more: Let’s Talk About… The Midnight Club Season One

This show has really creepy vibes from the get-go. I like how ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ it feels. These group of kids who meet at midnight to tell scary stories, I love it.

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So, this takes place in the 90s where the main character, Ilonka is diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After all the treatments, nothing was working so she looks online on good old Yahoo! (this made me laugh) and she finds a hospice for teens.

I have to say this concept is really cool and interesting. I like that it’s only for teens because knowing you’re dying at such a young age must be a lot to take in; being around people the same age as you in the same fate feels like it would be comforting – at least I speculate it would be.

So her foster father agrees and she moves into this creepy looking place and we meet our cast of characters.

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Right off the bat I think we’re supposed to really dislike Anya because wow is she mean and just angry. I’m curious to see her character develop more.

Of course Ilonka doesn’t find out about the Midnight Club by being invited, she accidently finds it by following Anya.

I like that when they go to tell a story, it’s actually played out.

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Huh, so the real reason that Ilonka chose this place was because of this story she found where a woman, years ago, came to the place and was miraculously cured and now she believes she will be cured and will live… interesting. 

After the first episode I’m really excited to find out where this will go.

Ilonka is really dead-set on finding out about the Julia from the past who suspiciously survived her terminally ill diagnosis.

This has had a very slow build up, but the stories each of them are telling really give a nice background into their character. Some of them are just downright gruesome.

It isn’t until the end of the third episode where the plot starts to gain some real traction. Episodes 2 and most of 3 are more development and growth to the world, the place and characters, but the end of 3 got interesting.

Ilonka keeps seeing this symbol everywhere, an X with the top coloured in, sort of like an hour glass. When she and Kevin take the elevator, she sees it again… this time she can press it and it takes them to a floor beyond the basement. It’s very dark and full of dust and rats… and possibly spooky things.

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All of a sudden, the elevator starts to go up, while Ilonka is still in the room. Interesting, interesting.

I like how they ended that episode on a cliff hanger it felt so terrifying. The elevator does come back down and Ilonka and Kevin make it out… but it does leave lots of questions.

In the basement she finds a journal that Julia kept, a journal about a club she started all those years ago… The Midnight Club.

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So Ilonka keeps finding herself traveling into the past when she’s wandering the halls of the institute – and what I find weird, somewhat interesting, every time she wakes up or comes back to the present… Kevin is always there. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has something to do with all the freaky things they are trying to keep hidden.

I also think that the woman in the woods knows something too. She seems sketchy in too sweet sort of way.  

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She gives Ilonka a clue about finding a book in the library. A book, that’s really a diary, that tells the story of what used to happen in the basement. Athena’s diary tells of her mother’s work, how she started a group where they created natural remedies… but as time went on, those remedies got more extreme, dealing with blood sacrifices. In the end she poisoned everyone to let her life longer… huh… so she used everyone in order to live… interesting.

So, after Athena and her mother left never to be heard of again. It was Julia who found this diary next and now Ilonka believes Julia used some of the rituals to save herself… so now is Ilonka going to be doing some of these rituals?!      

In between all the horror and scary scenes are these soft and sweet ones that really round this series and make it human.

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Something is totally up with Anya. She starts to see scary shadows; she almost dies when she ODs. She has it in her mind that she killed her parents because they were out looking for her when they hit black ice and crashed. We find out that she does have a drug problem. What I do like about how all this came out was that she shares it with Ilonka – watching their friendship build has been special because it’s had so many ups and downs.

When Anya admits she doesn’t want to die (such a vulnerable moment) this gets Ilonka thinking about her mission to leave the place cured… I think she’s now going to try and save everyone too.

At first, I didn’t think we were going to get any rituals because the sixth episode started with their stories and I worried it was just going to be all story so I’m glad it wasn’t. The stories were good, but damn when Anya passes out they truly think they’re going to lose her.

Ilonka to the rescue with the diary. Again, the woman in the woods wants to help her and knows how to help her… she even has the symbol, the Paragon symbol, tattooed on her. She claims it’s not the Paragon because that didn’t work, but I have my suspicions.

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Now, Ilonka needs to get everyone on board… which ends up being harder than she thought. In the end they all agree to help for Anya’s sake (I love how much they’re willing to band together for her, it really shows how much they love and care about her and how much her hard exterior has been there for all of them) … all except one, Sandra doesn’t agree. She doesn’t believe it will work and it’s against her God.

“Damn new girl, who knew your love was so freaky” when Anya says this I burst out laughing, she has easily become my favourite character.

Oh shit, they almost get stuck in the basement but it’s only Sandra come to join them for Anya. That was actually a little terrifying – like how would they be able to leave if they did get stuck?!

That ritual scene was longer than I thought it would be; they go through each of them burning something that means the most to them, then cutting their hand so they can put a drop of it on Anya’s head.

When Anya asks who the last blood sacrifice is from, why doesn’t Ilonka just tell her it’s from the woman in the woods? See, I think something is off here.

They chant and Anya begins to see something, then cliff hanger… but of course.

What a trippy episode… are we led to believe that the ritual didn’t work?!

At first I thought we were getting a flashback of Anya… then it felt like the future, after she’d lived from the ritual and everyone else died… but then she starts to see all of them – their stories come to life… and then we learn that she’s actually in the sick wing… dying.  

ANYA DIED?!?!?! I AM UPSET! I’m going to miss her; she had become my favourite character.

So the point of the Paragon was to try and turn the hour glass around, the hour glass of life, which makes sense. I like the symbolism of it all.

The mini funeral they have for Anya was touching – they sang Green Day and spread her ashes in the lake.

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Kevin had to be the one who ruin it and tell Ilonka that all of them there are already gone… woof that was brutal.

I think the owner of this hospice, Stant

on knows more than she’s letting on about the ritual they performed. We do see her talking on the phone saying they might be sending someone home… so Anya died so someone could live? OR is Anya the one who is going to live?! And they pretended she died?! I have questions.

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So the only thing we have to go on is that it’s possibly a girl going home. And I still question the woman in the woods because she basically asked Ilonka to steal the diary she used for the ritual… to do one of her own?

Also, of course Ilonka thinks it’s her going home and of course, the woman tells her she’s glowing more so it must be her… get out of here.

There was a line in one of the stories, where this guy is supposed to be in a band and he says ‘what kind of name is Chad for a lead band member’ – was that a dig at Nickelback?!

Episode eight was more emotional than anything else as we learn more about these characters as they progress in their journey towards death. It really brings into focus the moments we have while we’re living and how much they matter.

Are we led to believe that Kevin is seeing things too? Ilonka hears something coming from the basement; she goes to check it out, there’s an old lady; just as we’re about to find out who it is… it turns into Kevin, who then says, ‘not again’. Interesting.

Alright, so it’s Sandra who’s going home – that wasn’t who I was expecting but I’ll go with it.

It’s definitely not who Ilonka thought. It’s one thing to tell the group that the ritual worked and someone is going home, it’s another to tell the group you think it’s yourself. Like how selfish can you be? Then she yells at Kevin’s girlfriend for being insensitive about him dying and what’s putting him through… get out of here, girl. She’s getting on my nerves.

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So she runs out to the woods to woods lady where she finds out that she’s actually Julia and she knows that the ritual works because she’s living proof. Ugh. I’m really not liking how this is turning out.

Now Julia wants Ilonka to let her into the basement so she can perform the ritual to save Ilkona… this is going to end badly.

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Didn’t I say it was going to end well? Julia starts this ritual that Ilonka notices is different from what she performed. Then she questions what she’s about to drink, oh and guess who shows up to stop the whole thing? Stanton… and tells Ilonka not to drink the ‘tea’. The people that Julia brought (like who are these people?) start to spit up and pass out… are they being poisoned? Dear lord.  

Unless there’s going to be another season of this, this ending doesn’t make sense, or it was a really unsatisfying ending.

Julia gets away, Ilonka is reprimanded and she wants to leave after her second failed attempt at being healed.

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They show us Julia when she was young, still sick, searching for Athena… and she finds her. WAIT A MINUTE… I just came up with a theory as I was thinking this all through… is Stanton really Athena?!?

Let’s back up a second here. So Julia goes looking for her, she finds her and Athena claims she will help Julia. They’ll do the ritual and come up with a story to fool the hospice.

That’s all we get from the past. It goes back to the future where Stanton tells Ilonka that nothing is going on, there is no Paragon, it’s all fake. What she also says is that Julia is sick again and wants to heal herself so she’s doing this to save herself, WHICH makes all of Julia’s motives from the start make sense – how she’s always felt like she’s had ulterior motives… because she has. Also, how would Stanton know Julia is sick again? She would have to have been in contact in some way for her to know.

At the very end, we see Stanton remove her wig and we see the hour glass symbol on her, which means she’s part of the Paragon group and would know everything. My theory that Stanton is Athena stems from the fact that they’ve both hinted at knowing about this ritual… Julia has given Ilkona clues, while Stanton has deterred her from pursuing it, yet always seeming to know what is happening in the basement. Plus, after we got that flashback from the past, something must have happened between the two of them.

I have more questions than I do answers at this point.

Do I like the way this ended, so ambiguous, no, but do I want another season… no I don’t really want that either. I mean, it would be good to expand on this house and the ritual more. I feel like this show spent a lot of time with the stories and the meanings of living life while you can, make the most if it, which are 100% valid and it was good to see, but there was this whole other subplot they were trying to do that felt like it fell by the wayside. After writing this, I believe there is going to be another season. All I hope is that I get some sort of answers to my questions, with a decent ending.

This was a good spooky vibe of a show, but it could be a little boring and slow at times.

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