As the third episode of Midnight Mass — “Book III: Proverbs” — rolls around, Father Paul has been on Crockett Island for around three weeks. He’s made waves across the small community with the incredible miracle of Leeza, but he’s also harboring a trouble secret that’s on the verge of boiling over.
Let’s take a look at some of the major takeaways from this episode.
Leeza’s recovery and Joe’s new journey
The town is in awe over Leeza’s recovery as she carefully makes her way through the streets on her own two feet. Leeza decides to finally pay Joe a visit, which leaves him shocked when he discovers her standing on the other side of his door. Bravely, in a heartbreaking moment, she finally confronts him over what he’s done. She forces him to look her in the face as she blatantly tells him how angry she is, how upset she is, and how much he took from her. But she also forgives him.
Leeza leaves Joe with some harsh, stinging truths as her parting words, which inspire him to finally join Father Paul and Riley’s AA meetings. Father Paul nudges Riley to take advantage of how much he’s opened up in the past few weeks, encouraging him to try speaking to Joe. Afterward, Joe admits that he didn’t think he’d ever step foot in that place, but he seems happy that he finally did for the meeting.
Sheriff Hassan’s struggle
Sheriff Hassan finds himself at odds with Beverly’s self-righteous dedication to her religion when he discovers that Ali was given a Bible at school. The two have a heated back and forth exchange during a town meeting, which unfortunately doesn’t quite go the way he planned once she wins over half the room going on about the town’s “full-blown religious revival.”
Later, at home, Ali asks his father if he can go and check out St. Patrick’s on Sunday, which Sheriff Hassan outright refuses. Ali, upset, accuses him of never letting him make his own choices — he didn’t get to choose to be Muslim, and he also didn’t get to choose to move to Crockett Island. Sherif Hassan, however, explains his own view on these “mircales” as he reflects back on the devastating pain of losing his wife, Ali’s mother, to pancreatic cancer.
When Sheriff Hassan goes to turn off Ali’s bedside light, he’s startled to see a face with glowing eyes staring directly inside the window of the house.
Sarah has her work cut out for her taking care of her mother Mildred, who doesn’t even know where she is half of the time. Knowing how devout she was before her health declined, Father Paul regularly makes home visits to see her. Clearly those visits have been paying off, because one evening Sarah finds her mother out of bed and standing up on the other side of the room. Sarah’s initial concern melts to confusion when her mother, suddenly very lucid, tells her that she feels like she’s been in a dark place and just finally woke up. The two embrace.
Father Paul is unwell
Shortly after Leeza’s miracle shown in the previous episode, we see Father Paul excuse himself from the service very quickly. He runs to the rectory and throws up blood in the sink. Things continue to get worse as he’s performing another service — to a packed church, courtesy of the miracle — and passes out. Then, after his AA meeting with Riley and Joe ends, he collapses to the floor the moment that they leave the rec center.
Father Paul manages to drag himself to the rectory, where his sink is being fixed while Beverly discusses plans for a community dinner with Leeza’s parents. As soon as he gets inside of the door, he careens into a table and then falls to the ground, spitting up (even more) blood profusely.
He eventually goes still, and it appears that he’s dead, until the cut scenes finally reveal his biggest secret before he sits up gasping for air …
An identity is revealed
Throughout the course of the episode, a story unravels in bits and pieces from a scene of Father Paul sitting in the confessional booth before his first church service on Crockett Island. He speaks to God about how Monsignor John Pruitt was much sicker than the town thought he was when they sent him on his trip to Jerusalem. His oncoming dementia caused him to wander off from his tour group frequently, and he eventually found himself lost in the desert in the middle of a sandstorm.
He took shelter in a cave that had been unearthed from deep beneath the sands during the storm. By the light of a match, he soon discovered that he was not alone, for there was a figure in the corner of the cave (resembling the one that’s been skirting around the island). The humanoid creature, winged and hairless with long talon-like fingernails, began drinking his blood. Then, it fed him its own blood, and Monsignor Pruitt woke up the next morning very much alive … and young … bearing the face of Father Paul.
When speaking of this memory, Father Paul does not refer to this creature as a vampire, but rather he regards it as an angel. He brought the creature back to Crockett Island with him in the chest, though it’s unclear what exactly his intentions were in doing this.
At the end of the episode, we see that the item that Beverly was staring at on the wall in the rectory is a dated newspaper clipping of a young Monsignor John Pruitt. Understandably, she had been shocked to realize that he was identical to the town’s new priest, Father Paul …
Other notable details
- Beverly returns the rat poison to the stockroom
- Warren and Leeza have finally begun to act upon their affections for one another
- Riley is writing letters for those he needs to make amends with
Questions that remain
- Warren caught Father Paul pouring wine from his own flask into the cup for the congregation. Giving what we now know about his identity, do we really think that was wine?
- Should we be concerned that Leeza’s parents are so against the idea of bringing her to the mainland to inspect the miraculous healing of her paralysis?
- Does Father Paul truly believe the vampire is an angel? Did he bring it back to the island thinking the “angel” could heal its residents?
- Was Bowl killed or turned by the vampire?
Midnight Mass is now streaming on Netflix. Stay tuned for our episode 4 recap, and check out all of our recaps here.