Now while this is another non Christmas related list, the release of Mike Flanagan’s new series is getting closer so why not look back at his most recent adaptation: The Midnight Club? Adapted from the Christopher Pike novel of the same name, the Midnight Club is yet more proof of Flanagan’s horror credentials. As usual it’s full of great performances, really well done jump scares and horror and also surprising amounts of dark comedy for a horror show. Anyway, I digress but before I get into the list properly here is some history about the show.
The Midnight Club is a series on Netflix which aired in 2022 for 10 episodes in its first season. As mentioned in the introduction, The Midnight Club is an adaptation and amalgamation of a Christopher Pike novel of the same name. So what is the show about? Basically it’s about a group of terminally ill kids living in a hospice who tell each other scary stories. Now the stories are incredibly meta and I’ll probably touch on those more in a bit… Anyway, the other major part of the series is that the titular Midnight Club have made a pact. What is this pact? The first one of them to die must try and contact the others from beyond the grave. Now that is a mad Mike Flanagan premise. So with potentially more series lined up on the horizon, why not review the first series in anticipation of future ones? So without further ado, let’s get into the list properly now.
10: Midnight (S1, E10)
Starting at the end of the series? How very novel of me… Anyway, kicking off the best Midnight Club episodes is the series finale: Midnight. So what makes this episode so good? Well, firstly Kevin concludes his story which has been building for several episodes. Also, we see just how close Ilonka was to death at the hands of Shasta until the prior episode’s cliffhanger is revealed. Also, there’s plenty of development between Kevin and Ilonka both romantically and also in terms of their visions. Now these visions are surely not to hint at a second series are they?
9: The Two Danas (S1, E2)
I forgot there was one Dana let alone two…. Now awful segue aside, what makes this episode so good? Well firstly it introduces the idea that all is not as it seems at Brightcliffe thanks to it formerly housing a cult named Paragon. Now there’s the Mike Flanagan we know and love. Anyway, the stories told at Midnight Club include Anya telling a story about a ballerina making a deal with the devil. Oh also, Ilonka has a vision which will definitely not be important later on…..
8: Gimme a Kiss (S1, E4)
Now you’d probably think there’s going to be some romantic development in this episode you’d be right. Just not the two characters you’re thinking of….. Because instead of Ilonka and Kevin, it ends up being Kevin going to his girlfriend’s, Katherine, prom. How lovely of him. Anyway, other highlights include Midnight Club members Sandra and Spencer fighting and then reconciling over Sandra’s story. Oh the story was a detective noir. Also, Ilonka cracks what the 292.13 means so yeah I did say it’d be important later as it leads her on a search for a book with a symbol on it. Oh yeah Anya then sees a shadow and collapses to leave a wonderful cliffhanger…..
7: See You Later (S1, E5)
So this episode really ramps up the stakes with it being the halfway point of the show. How far do the stakes go up? Well it involves five goddess worship, blood sacrifice and cult survivors diaries. So yeah it gets pretty mental in this episode. Also there’s some lovely character development for Ilonka as she uses CPR to save Anya after the cliffhanger in the prior episode. On top of this there’s more visions, a great midnight club story about a gamer getting to an unwinnable war game. Oh also there’s more great development for Anya and Ilonka as Anya finally admits she’s scared of what the shadow symbolises for her future. So a very good episode all in all….
6: The Eternal Enemy (S1, E9)
Now I’m sure if you’ve got this far in the series, I’m sure you can guess what the eternal enemy is in question. So what makes this episode so good I hear you asking? Well firstly, it reveals whose cancer has regressed from the ritual which tried to save Anya. Oh also, Kevin and Ilonka are both revealed to have been having the same visions as each other. This definitely isn’t convenient at all…. So the next Midnight Club story is about a college student whose VCR records news from the future. Now also there’s the small matter of Ilonka getting talked into a ritual to heal her cancer which I’m sure will end well for here…..
5: Witch (S1, E6)
Well we’ve got a very self explanatory episode title at the halfway point of the best Midnight Club episodes. So what makes this episode so good? Well firstly Kevin continues his story about the teenage serial killer. Oh also there’s another story from Ilonka as she tells the story of a modern day witch who uses her magic to help her friends. That can’t possibly be foreshadowing anything for later in the episode…. Oh also Ilonka needs to consult the friendly witch in the woods about helping save Anya after she collapses and is on the verge of death. Oh and I haven’t even mentioned the whole Tristan thing……
4: Road to Nowhere (S1, E8)
Now why would this episode be on the Road to Nowhere? Well because just as it looks like Ilonka is going to get answers from Doctor Stanton she is sworn to secrecy. That is until she literally tells two other Midnight Club members about it, Sandra and Kevin. Oh I should probably mention what the story in the Midnight Club is. This time it’s a story about a girl who picks up some hitchhikers. And I’m sure that story will only end well for the girl…..
3: The Final Chapter (S1, E1)
Kicking off the top three best episodes of the Midnight Club is the opening episode: The Final Chapter. Now while you may call it ironic, it’s actually quite a poetic name. Simply put, the opener immediately throws us in the deep end. After collapsing at a party, it’s revealed Ilonka has terminal thyroid cancer thus leading her on the path to Brightcliffe. This is the hospice which is where the Midnight Club gathers. Honestly this is a great introduction to the series as it quickly brings the audience into the world without hand holding them excessively.
2: The Wicked Heart (S1, E3)
Narrowly missing out on the top spot in the best Midnight Club episodes (so far) is The Wicked Heart. Now why is this episode so good? Well, after stealing a former patient’s file, Julia, Ilonka finds drawings with a symbol. Oh and the number 292.13 but I’m sure that’s not going to be important later down the line. Anyway, the Midnight Club story this episode sees Kevin tell the club about a teenage boy who is a serial killer. Now this triggers Ilonka’s memory so much that she and Kevin investigate the basement where she sees a ghostly figure. How spooky…..
1: Anya (S1, E7)
And the best episode of the Midnight Club is…. Anya. Now apart from Anya being easily my favourite character in the show what makes this episode so good? Well firstly Doctor Stanton catches up to the Club’s activities after lord knows how long. Anyway, we also see the aftermath of the ritual to save Anya and Ilonka overhearing a curious conversation Doctor Stanton is having on the phone. And if that’s not enough there’s a wonderful dream sequence and another emergence of the ghost Anya has been seeing only this time with a man’s ghost too. Oh and I’m sure the woman’s ghost saying she’s hungry will never come up again…..
What are your favourite episodes of the Midnight Club? Let me know in the comments below!