June 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Midnight Mass “Book II: Psalms”

Episode Two

For a series that closed out its first episode with a lot of dead cats, there sure seems to be a slow creep to whatever is coming next.

I fully approve of that, by the by.

So, what killed the cats?  I mean, I saw something kill a cat or two in the premier.  The hurricane didn’t kill all those cats.  And what is it?

Well…it can fly from the looks of things.  It lands on rooftops like some sort of much creepier Santa Claus, so it may be the Krampus.

Given the emphasis on religion, I think Krampus would be a bit out of left field for a series like this.  I’m not saying I wouldn’t approve.  Heck, if anyone could somehow pull that off, Mike Flanagan seems like the guy who can do it.  But man, the Krampus…wait, it’s Ash Wednesday in this episode, so that’s a bit different.

Heck, until I find out otherwise, I may just refer to the thing as “Krampus” anyway.

Regardless, most of this episode is fueled by the sort of religious desperation and misery that a dying town contains.  The town drunk, Joe Collie, loses his dog to poison.  He suspects religious type Bev, and yeah, Bev seems like the kind of person who wouldn’t feel too guilty about poisoning a sinner’s dog.  Her righteous talk to the new town priest, Father Paul, shows she sees herself as righteous while Collie’s own beliefs reveal that she was the driving force to take the oil company’s settlement, and that went to her and perhaps indirectly to the church.  Considering the town is dying, that says something.  As for Bev’s chat with the sheriff, she basically suggests that since she stored all her rat poison in the school for the town’s use, anyone could have done it, and she says as much in such a cold, calculating way while even going so far as to say the sheriff himself could have done it.  Given she doesn’t seem to care for the Muslim sheriff, that sure does seem awfully passive aggressive.  I get the impression that if there is a human villain on the island, it’ll be Father Paul, but Bev would be a most willing associate to such a person.

But this is still a set-up episode.  So, sure, let’s get some light (and effective) flirty talk between Riley and Erin, show Erin worrying about her unborn child after spotting some blood in her underwear, and show Riley try to help out on his father’s fishing boat.  He’s trying, but perhaps the best moment for the episode was when Riley attended his AA meeting with Father Paul.  Given there’s only a few dozen people on the island, it’s just the two of them, and while Father Paul (obviously) endorses belief in God, Riley just can’t.  He’s seen too much to believe there’s a good, divine plan out there.  Not just because he killed a young girl while driving drunk, but also because of the oil spill and a whole host of other things.

Heck, if the dog-poisoner gets away with it…

It’s hard to really answer those sorts of ideas, so Riley may not be so susceptible to whatever is coming, and there’s a hint of that by episode’s end.

By then, two mysterious things happen.

First, the mystery figure grabs the island’s resident drug dealer, so that may be the first human victim.

And second, Father Paul seems to get the mayor’s wheelchair-bound daughter out of her chair and walking again as some sort of miracle.

Yeah, that could cause some religious fervor.