Wednesday, October 20, 2021

‘Midnight Mass’ Episode 2 Recap: A Miracle and a Tragedy

In the second episode of Midnight Mass, “Book II: Psalms,” there are exhilarating highs and painful lows for the town of Crockett Island. Mysteries still remain surrounding the young, charismatic Father Paul, though he’s putting in the work to win over the people of the town with his kind words and invigorating sermons (and unbelievable miracles, perhaps). But the real problem is the frightening creature that’s lurking in the dark, unbeknownst to the Crock Pot’s inhabitants …

Let’s review the major takeaways from episode 2.

Crock Pot AA

Midnight Mass Still
Eike Schroter/Netflix

After Father Paul learns that Riley has to travel all the way to the mainland weekly for his mandatory AA meetings, he offers to start a chapter on the island. When Riley shows up at the rec center, it’s just the two of them, but Father Paul has still taken it upon himself to set up a full coffee spread.

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Though Riley appeared to be more of a silent participant in his mainland AA meeting, this isn’t the case with Father Paul, because he doesn’t have much of the choice. The two launch into a heavy conversation, digging deep into the topics of alcoholism, recovery, and religion (and Riley’s lack thereof at this point in his life).

The settlement

In this episode, we learn that the oil company responsible for the disastrous spill years ago approached the residents with settlement offers. Beverly encouraged people to take these payments from the start, even though they weren’t actually all that great when compared to the years of lost wages that the townsfolk had suffered. She then convinced them to donate that money to the church, which was put toward building the rec center.

Joe pointedly believes that Beverly killed half the island with the settlement.

Leeza’s Miracle

Earlier in the episode, there’s a strange moment when Father Paul is walking beside Leeza, and she comes to a stop without warning. She’s staring at Joe and his dog, looking uncomfortable. Then, during the potluck, we finally learn that Leeza was paralyzed by Joe during a drunken “hunting accident.”

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Later, at church, Father Paul approaches Leeza so that she can take communion. However, there’s a calculating look on his face as he takes a step backward. Leeza moves forward in her chair, but Father Paul walks up the steps, further out of her reach. The room is confused and angry on Leeza’s behalf, until Father Paul beckons her forward … and she stands. Shock reverberates throughout the room as Leeza tentatively takes what are likely her first steps on her own since the accident.

The Crock Pot Luck (RIP Pike)

Midnight Mass Still Frame
Eike Schroter/Netflix

Crockett Island has a yearly potluck gathering, which seems to be a happy, cozy affair with music, food, and conversation. However, the mood quickly plunges when Joe’s dog Pike is poisoned and dies. There are several players present that may have had motives, such as Leeza’s parents, who looked angry from the moment that they noticed Joe had arrived. However, there’s also someone who would have cause to target Pike directly: Beverly.

In the first episode, it’s made quite obvious that she dislikes the dog (seemingly for no real reason). And to make things even more suspicious, she was shown handling rat poison earlier in the episode, though she told Erin that it was to control the rats that had become a nuisance after the storm.

She talked Sheriff Hassan in circles when he came to question her, but his conversation with Joe shows that he’s still suspicious of her nonetheless. If anything, he absolutely knows that it was poison that killed Pike.

The creature

There’s an interesting point in the episode where the scene pans out to a wide shot of the island from above. As the camera pulls downward, swooping to and fro, we realize that we’re seeing this from the perspective of something that’s in the air. Whatever it is, it ends up dropping down through the roof of an abandoned home, landing inside with a thud.

Later, Erin hears noises upstairs in her house while she’s downstairs, followed by the telltale crunch of something landing on the ground outside. When she looks out the window, she doesn’t see anything, but the audience sees a quick flash of what’s likely the creature that was seen in the Uppards in the first episode — tall and dark with glowing eyes.

Erin then pays a late night visit to Sarah to make sure that the spotting she noticed in the bathroom is nothing serious. Shortly after she leaves, Sarah’s mother begins screaming for her. Startled, Sarah runs to her, and she tells her that she saw her father (who has been dead for 15 years) looking in at her through the window beside her bed.

The same evening, Bowl is walking by the abandoned house that the creature landed in, and the front door seems to open by itself. He calls out to see who’s there, and his own voice parrots back at him moments later. When he finally goes inside to investigate, the creature crawls out from the darkness in the corner and then rises up to stand at full height. It rushes at Bowl, attacking him, and the front door swings shut.

Other notable details

  • Father Paul tells Riley that Monsignor Pruitt won’t be returning anytime soon
  • Riley, seemingly inspired by Erin’s encouragement, joins his dad and his brother to help out on the boat. He wants to be useful.
  • We see that Erin still struggles greatly with living in the ghost of her mother’s shoes

Questions that remain

  • Did Beverly poison Pike?
  • Is the creature lurking in the darkness related to Father Paul’s arrival? And the trunk?
  • What is the explanation behind Leeza’s miracle?
  • Why did Erin return to Crockett Island if there’s so much pain buried there for her?

Midnight Mass is now streaming on Netflix. Stay tuned for our episode 3 recap, and check out all of our recaps here.

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Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, she's likely reading books and comics or dabbling in creative writing. Otherwise, she's probably yelling about something Star Wars or Marvel related on Twitter @lindyysolo. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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