‘Midnight Mass’ Episode 6 Recap: And to Dust We Shall Return


In the sixth episode of Midnight Mass, “Book IV: Acts of the Apostles,” Erin is still reeling from Riley’s fiery death. She teams up with Sarah and her mother Mildred, but it may be too late, because Father Paul has big plans for Crockett Island during Easter Vigil …

Let’s take a look at the major takeaways from this episode.

Erin looks for backup

Midnight Mass Still
Eike Schroter/Netflix

As the morning sun rises, Erin rows back to shore and walks through the town in a daze. She arrives at Sarah’s doorstep, knowing she’s the one person in town who might be able to help her. After telling her everything that happened, Sarah agrees with Erin that her story is crazy, but she believes her. She shows Erin her mother’s blood samples, which immediately catch fire as soon as she places them in the sunlight.

Erin, Sarah, and Mildred sit around the kitchen table and try to understand what’s happening to everyone on the island, and Sarah compares the strange properties of the blood with Erythropoietic Protoporphyria. They also discuss how this would explain why Erin’s baby disappeared from inside of her without a trace.

Riley’s last letters

Before Riley rowed off to his death with Erin, he left letters behind for his parents and Warren. Ed brings these letters to Father Paul the next day, distraught, and he tells him that Riley wrote unsettling things in them. Believing that he’s unwell and delusional, he felt it would be best to give them to Father Paul, along with a letter that Riley had addressed to Monsignor Pruitt.

When Ed leaves, Father Paul opens the letter that’s clearly for him. Riley’s final words to him are, “Remember we are dust, and to dust we shall return.”

Sheriff Hassan’s story

Sarah pays Sheriff Hassan a visit and insinuates that there’s a contagion being spread to the island’s residents — intentionally — at St. Patricks. She plans on taking blood samples to the mainland to get checked out, but she wants Sheriff Hassan to keep an eye on the church in the meantime.

This stirs something inside of Sheriff Hassan, and he finally tells the story of why he moved to Crockett Island. After 9/11, he was inspired to join the New York Police Department. He worked his way up through the force, eventually securing an important, high level position. However, things grew difficult as targeted racism toward himself and other Muslims in the police force became commonplace.

His wife encouraged him to carry himself with dignity regardless, which he did until the day she died. After she passed, he couldn’t handle it anymore, and so he desperately sought out the open position on Crockett Island — a quiet, safe place to live. Sheriff Hassan tells Sarah how he doesn’t overstep in this new posting, and he doesn’t even carry a gun. And yet still there are people on the island who are racist toward him because he is Muslim.

Later, at home, Ali pleads with his dad to join him for midnight mass. Father Paul has a big surprise for everyone. Sheriff Hassan has no desire to go, but after speaking with Sarah, the fact that Father Paul is making such a big deal out of the Vigil is clearly a red flag for him.

A stranded town with no escape

When Sarah, Mildred, and Erin arrive at the docks to take the ferry, Sturge fumbles his way through a series of excuses about how the mayor sent them out to be repaired. Later, the power goes out, and we see that this has all been carefully orchestrated as Wade and Sturge are compromising the power station. They’ve already taken out half of the boats on the island, and Sturge will be taking care of the rest.

Starting at the mayor’s house, members of the town gather in a singing, candlelit procession on the way to St. Patrick’s for the Easter Vigil. Though Sarah, Mildred, and Erin had no intention of going to mass at all, they have no choice but to join in. After all, there’s nowhere else they can go, because the island is 30 miles from shores of the mainland.

During the procession, Sturge also cuts the wires to the town’s cell tower.

Midnight mass(acre)

Father Paul enters the Easter Vigil wearing his gold chasuble. He reflects back on when he wore one on his first day. He clarifies that it was not a mistake, because he was a special day indeed. He admits to the townsfolk that he has lied to them, and finally reveals his identity as Monsignor Pruitt.

Finally ready to share the miraculous gift with them all, Father Paul brings Sturge up for a presentation. Sturge drinks from a cup of water with rat poison in it, and he eventually falls to the floor and dies. The entire room is shaken.

Sheriff Hassan grabs Ali and goes to leave, but the path to the doorway is blocked by the vampire (who looks even creepier donning a gold chasuble). Father Paul is pleased to finally introduce his “angel” to the people of Crockett Island. Sturge wakes up; the resurrection has begun.

Cups full of water and rat poison are handed out to everyone in the room. The blood of the vampire — err, angel — is in everyone’s bodies (courtesy of them taking communion at church), but they need to die in order for the transformation to take effect. Sheriff Hassan is outraged, and he draws his gun (which he decided to carry after all) to bring order to the room, shooting it at the ceiling. He’s pinned to the ground, though, and is forced to watch as his son drinks the poison. (Rahul Kohli’s performance in this scene was incredible.)

Sarah, Mildred, and Erin try to stop people from drinking the poison, but many of them do it anyway. Mildred gets ahold of Sheriff Hassan’s gun and shoots Father Paul in the head, and the vampire roars and grabs her, flying off into the night.

As bodies begin to fall to the floor, it seems that at least half of the room chose not to partake Father Paul’s cult. As the newborn vampires begin to rise, they find that they can’t control their hunger with all of the warm, living bodies surrounding them. And thus an absolute bloodbath commences.

Sheriff Hassan, Erin, Sarah, Leeza, Warren, and Annie manage to escape to the back room, where they find Beverly hiding out. Erin shoots her without much fanfare, buying them time to escape.

When Beverly wakes up, she steps out from the back room to find bodies everywhere and the interior walls of the church covered in blood. She tells Sturge to unlock the doors and let them roam the town, for it is time to spread the gospel.

Midnight Mass is now streaming on Netflix. Stay tuned for our episode 7 recap, and check out all of our recaps here.

Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. If she's not writing or out and about with her camera, she's probably watching anime, nerding out over Star Wars, reading manga, and definitely forgetting to water her plants. And waiting for the Genshin loading screen to pop up. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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