The Reason You Shouldn’t Expect A Second Season Of Midnight Mass

We need to talk about that ending.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Major spoilers ahead for Midnight Mass Season 1. Over the last few years, Mike Flanagan has established himself as Netflix’s king of horror. His debut TV series, The Haunting of Hill House, was the third-most “in demand” horror show when it aired in 2018, right behind The Walking Dead and American Horror Story. The show’s success led to a second installment in the anthology series, titled The Haunting of Bly Manor. And now Flanagan has returned with his third Netflix horror show, Midnight Mass, which follows a small island community that’s beset with terrors when a mysterious new priest arrives.

Like the Haunting series, Midnight Mass is as terrifying as it is heart-wrenching. (In a tweet, Flanagan noted that the show is a very personal meditation on his own religious past and his struggles with alcohol misuse.) The seven-episode drama reached critical acclaimed ahead of its premiere: it has a 95% Rotten Tomatoes score, and IGN described it as Flanagan’s “best work to date.” Still, you shouldn’t expect Midnight Mass to return for Season 2. It was always billed as a limited series, and Flanagan told Entertainment Weekly that the contained season — which took 11 years for him to get greenlit — “was the story I always wanted to tell." Plus, if you’ve already watched the entire season, there’s a fairly obvious reason why the show will not continue: nearly every character dies.

By the time the sun rises in the final moments of Midnight Mass, only two characters have managed to survive: teenagers Warren Flynn (Igby Rigney) and Leeza Scarborough (Annarah Cymone), who are never infected with the vampiric disease spread throughout the island and get away using a single rowboat.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

Though the bloodshed began with the midnight mass, the characters were doomed from the moment the de-aged Monsignor John Pruitt — who goes by the name Father Paul when he arrives — landed on the island with his so-called angel. Found hiding in a cave and sporting leathery wings and a bloodthirsty appetite, the creature is obviously a vampire, but Father Paul claims, at first, that it has to be an angel since it made him young and cured his ailments. So he brings the vampire back to the remote island, and in doing so seals the fate of the entire population of 127 people.

Later, sitting in the bloody church while the converted congregants attack everyone else on the island, Father Paul finally admits the truth. “If I’m honest, and there’s no point in being anything else anymore, it was you. It was you. And Sarah. That’s why I did it. That’s why I put that thing in that trunk. That’s why I bribed and lied and smuggled it back here. I didn’t want you to die,” he reveals to Millie, the de-aged mom of Sarah, the doctor. “Our whole lives have been wasted, just staring across the church. Too scared to come down and be with you. Too scared to tell our own daughter the truth.” But as Millie says, “we made our choices. We lived our lives. She grew up, and we faded away, and that’s how it’s supposed to work. It’s supposed to be over.”

In the end, that statement proves to be prophetic for everyone else. Most of the non-Christians on the island are bled dry by the vampires. Riley’s parents are turned, but manage to resist attacking anyone else. Erin is attacked by the creature, and slices up its wings so it can’t reach the mainland. Sarah is shot, and her parents hold her as she dies. Sheriff Hassan is shot by Beverly, who decides to mirror the Book of Revelation and set every structure but the recreation center on fire. And Ali, the Sheriff’s son, seals everyone’s fate when he finishes what Sarah, Erin, and the Sheriff started. By lighting the rec center on fire, he ensures that not a single vampire will be able to escape when the sun rises.

While it at first appears to be a blasphemous show, in the end all of the Christian characters come together — sans Beverly, who weeps alone, and Hassan and Ali, who pray by the water — and sing “Nearer, My God, To Thee.” They all turn to ash together, with the exception of Warren and Leeza.

There is a possibility that Midnight Mass could continue with just Warren and Leeza. There’s also the fact that they watch the vampire slowly fly away as the sun rises, but we never actually see it burn up. However, it feels like Flanagan has told the story he set out to tell.