‘The Midnight Club’ Canceled: Mike Flanagan Explains Where Season 2 Would Have Ended


“The Midnight Club” concluded with Shasta/Julia Jayne revealing that she was Aceso’s disciple and had re-entered Brightcliffe under the garb of helping Ilonka with her cancer. But Dr. Georgina Stanton confronted her at the right time and prevented Ilonka from an early death. She explained that there was nothing magical about Shashta’s rituals, and it was merely her attempt to counter the cancer that was growing inside her again. Ilonka initially decided to leave the institution because she couldn’t deal with the shame of what she had brought upon the place and its patients. But when she found that the deceased Anya’s ballerina doll had been fixed, she started to believe in the supernatural again. Amesh realized that his motor skills were declining. Sandra went back home because she found out that she didn’t actually have cancer. Ilonka and Kevin finally came to terms with the fact that they were in love with each other. Natsuki, Cheri, and Spencer continued the titular club with the rest of the patients. In addition to all that, Stanton took off her wig in private to reveal that she was a member of the Paragon (the cult that used to reside in Brightcliffe).

Now, as you can see, creator-writer Mike Flanagan, along with his team (that includes Leah Fong, Julia Bicknell, Jamie Flanagan, Elan Gale, and Chinaka Hodge), kept every single plot thread open-ended so that it could be explored in the future seasons. But Netflix continued its ongoing trend of canceling shows after the first season and put a stop to “The Midnight Club,” thereby leaving the stories of its characters untold. But Flanagan is a cool guy. So, he took to his Tumblr account to give us some closure and share what we could’ve seen in Season 2.

The Fates Of Amesh, Ilonka, Anya, Cheri, Natsuki, And Spencer

As per Flanagan, Amesh’s journey would’ve been bleak as his glioblastoma would’ve reached its final stage. He would struggle to finish his stories, and the season would’ve focused a lot on his relationship with Natsuki to let him experience all the love he could during his last few days at the institution. Amesh would’ve accepted his death with grace and bravery. During his final moments, he would be comforted by the Janitor and then taken away by the Shadow that Anya kept seeing right before her death.

Ilonka’s story would’ve jumped between her attempt to reconcile with Julia’s betrayal, her relationship with Kevin, her inevitable demise, and remembering Anya. Ilonka’s serialized fictional story would’ve been based on Christopher Pike’s “Remember Me,” and the main character in that story would’ve been played by Anya, thereby allowing her to live on despite passing away in Season 1. And that would’ve established the show’s main theme: a character’s metaphorical lifespan is increased by the club’s ability to remember them through stories.

After Amesh’s death, a new patient would be introduced who would’ve shared a dynamic with Ilonka that mirrored the one between Ilonka and Anya. Except, this time, Ilonka would be the one cold-shouldering the “new girl” instead of being cold-shouldered. But, just like the evolution of Anya and Ilonka’s relationship, they’d become good friends. Cheri would’ve adapted Christopher Pike’s “Monster” as her story. Natsuki would be the second death of the season. Spence would’ve fought and defeated AIDS because the late 1990s were the time when HIV treatment made a lot of advances. Additionally, he would’ve left Brightcliffe at the end of “The Midnight Club” Season 2, just like Sandra.

Dr. Georgina Stanton’s Bald Head And Paragon Tattoo

In Season 1 of “The Midnight Club,” we saw that Athena had a tattoo of the Paragon on the back of her neck. Based on that, I predicted that Stanton was probably Aceso’s daughter, and she was combining the methods of the Paragon and whatever was inside Brightcliffe to increase her lifespan. Mike Flanagan said that that is the case. Stanton is Aceso’s daughter, and her nickname is Athena. She is the one who wrote the Paragon journal that Ilonka treated as her Bible. She did help the kids get away from Aceso. But, during her initial days, she was a part of the cult, and that’s why she had the tattoo. Flanagan also confirmed that Stanton was wearing a wig because she had cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. No, she had no other sinister reason behind it. She’d fight the disease along with her patients, defeat it, and then continue to help the kids deal with death. It was essentially her way of subverting the negative stamp that the place had acquired because of her mother and the crimes committed by the cult. That’s why she reclaimed the property after her mother’s departure and has been turning it into a beacon of peace and grace. Additionally, yes, that was her initials (G.B. – Georgina Ballard was her maiden name) carved into the woods around Brightcliffe.

The Living Shadow And Death

Post Amesh, Natsuki, Kevin, and Ilonka’s deaths, we would’ve seen them talking to the Janitor, who, like in the first season, would’ve comforted them with his wise words. But Ilonka would’ve discovered that the Janitor is, in fact, Death himself. And the only ones who can see him are the patients who are about to die. Stanton apparently has a separate cleaning service, and the rooms are tidied up by the nurse practitioners and not by a lonesome janitor. However, yes, he’s a constant presence in that room who shows himself, equipped with his kind words, to help a soul as they take their last breath.

The Shadow (or the Living Shadow) has been portrayed as a malevolent presence all throughout Season 1 of “The Midnight Club.” But now that it has been confirmed by Flanagan that it isn’t Death, then what is it? Well, Flanagan describes it as the “Unknown” or an amalgamation of the characters in the show who’d come together to give the dying soul some catharsis. Flanagan said that it was the Shadow that allowed Anya to see a life beyond Brightcliffe. That is the period when she was able to accept her fate. It apparently projects a different environment for different characters, with the Shadow being only the exterior of this metaphysical entity. So, if the Janitor is there to finally put the characters to sleep, the Shadow is there to give the characters one last burst of life, I suppose.

The Mirror Man And The Cataract Woman

My theory on the Mirror Man and the Cataract Woman was that they are a version of the “Toshi no Taberu Hito” (“eater of years” or “the years eater”). They are residing in Brightcliffe because that’s the place to consume dying spirits. And I assumed that Stanton had made a pact with them, in which she’d poach souls to them, and in exchange, they’d extend Stanton’s life. I can safely say that that’s not the case at all. Mike Flanagan said that the Mirror Man is Stanley Oscar Freelan (the industrialist who built Brightcliffe and is named after the real-life Freelan Oscar Stanley who made the Stanley Hotel, which went on to inspire Stephen King’s “The Shining”) and the Cataract Woman is Stanley’s wife. And they are glimpses of Ilonka and Kevin’s past lives. Ilonka sees Stanley in the mirror and Stanley’s wife when she looks at Kevin because Ilonka was Stanley and Kevin was Stanley’s wife. Since they are “soul mates,” they’ve found each other and are trying to remember who they are through Kevin and Ilonka.

I know, that’s a bit of a head-spinner. So, here’s Flanagan’s explanation to help you. Stanley (the original one) was dying, so he built Brightcliffe in the hopes that the natural environment would help him fight his ailments. Apparently, it did (which matches the real-life Freelan Stanley’s story). But then he realized that his wife had succumbed to dementia. She’d haunt the halls of Brightcliffe and complain about feeling starved. That’s why Stanley tried to match the indoors of the mansion with the outdoors to make his wife feel like she was traveling through the woods under the night sky. Stanley was the one who drew the labyrinth on the floor to help his wife with her dementia. However, that didn’t work because she developed cataracts. They died loving each other. And since they were soul mates, their spirits left their bodies and continued to take on new personas in every era. This time, it’s Ilonka and Kevin’s bodies that they are inhabiting. When they die, they’re going to leave and meet again as different people. Ilonka learns all this through the Shadow, and she ascends into the cosmos with Kevin, waiting for their reincarnation. That’s beautiful, but it also means that Flanagan is probably a big fan of “Om Shanti Om.”

Final Thoughts

Flanagan says that “The Midnight Club” would’ve ended with Cheri telling this whole story to a new set of patients. The old class would have existed as characters in the stories shared by the new storytellers. And they all would’ve met each other, in one way or another, at the finale. But, unfortunately, we won’t get to see any of that. All we can do is use our imaginations and keep the aforementioned characters alive in our stories. Although Flanagan has expressed his disappointment about Netflix’s cancellation, I hope that it won’t impact the other show that he’s making with the streaming platform, i.e., “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The filming for the drama miniseries started on January 31, 2022, and was finally wrapped up on July 9, 2022. It features a lot of Flanagan’s longtime collaborators, along with some new ones. In addition to all that, it is reported that Flanagan and Trevor Macy have signed a massive multi-year deal with Amazon Studios. They haven’t announced what they’ll be putting up on Prime Video. I can say for sure, though, that it will be filled with chills, thrills, tears, and tons of existential crisis-inducing moments.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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