February 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The Midnight Club “The Two Danas”

Episode Two

Look, I know Mike Flanagan likes to work with the same actors many times over, but as soon as Ilonka met that Shasta woman in the forest, I was a bit wary since she was also Bev Keane, the controlling religious fanatic in Midnight Mass.  Sure, she seems like a harmless old hippie, but I can still be suspicious.

Oh, and the hospice may be more sinister than it first appeared.

So, as I see it, there are basically two storylines going for this episode and, I am guessing, for most episodes going forward.  One is the series plotline of whatever Ilonka and the other teens are discovering about Brightcliffe.  The other is the episode-only story being told by one of the youngsters to the others.  This series is, as far as I know, aimed at a more Young Adult audience, so it maybe doesn’t have to be quite so intense.

And that more or less tracks.  Mike Flanagan actually does know how to put something spooky together, so I wasn’t too worried about that.  There are some scenes here that are genuinely tense and spooky.  Brightcliffe might be haunted, and it turns out Ilonka isn’t the only one seeing things as her anti-social roommate Anya also saw something like a shadow with glowing red eyes.  Between that and what looked like some sepia-toned time travel, I am fairly certain there’s an interesting story behind it all.

You know, one that might include a cult that was cocky enough to call itself “Paragon” and the fact Dr. Stanton seems to be covering something up.

But since Anya is also seeing things, I think it’s appropriate the episode takes a look at the angry young woman who lost a leg to bone cancer.  See, Anya comes across as mean.  She’s short-tempered and isn’t much interested in anything Ilonka offers her, and she likewise tells off others, but she also doesn’t want anyone giving HIV positive Spencer a look of pity.  And why wouldn’t she be upset?  She’s got just as much of a death sentence as the others, but it looks like she’s been there the longest (six months if I remember right), plus she’s seen multiple roommates come through with weird techniques to try and recover from whatever is killing them, all unsuccessfully, and I’m surprised more of these kids aren’t like her, frankly.  And that’s without the whole “she lost a leg” thing.

Naturally, she tells a story where a ballerina that looks to be played by the same actress gets an offer from the devil who looks an awful lot like Dr. Stanton.  It’s simple enough:  the girl, Dana, wants to both practice and be a good girl but also go to a rave and act like a normal teenager, so the devil basically sets it up so she can be in two places at once, allowing both to experience both the life of the good girl and the one who does the whole sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll thing.

Turns out that’s a bad idea.  The one that gets to party gets hooked on drugs, ruins the other one’s life, and one shoots the other.  Which one doesn’t much matter.  Oh, and the survivor lost a leg.

Say, how significant is it that Dr. Stanton is the devil?  For a minute there, I thought Heather Langenkamp was getting a chance to play Freddy Krueger after a fashion…

So, yeah, the ongoing plot is fine and all, but I think I might be more invested in the stories. That could change.  After all, it does make a certain amount of sense that Flanagan would hook the audience with the stories while gradually building up the main plot.

But to find out, I’ll have to wait and see.

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