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What would've happened in Season 2 of Netflix's 'The Midnight Club'? Mike Flanagan reveals all

Oh, what could have been...

The Midnight Club Episode 3: "The Wicked Heart"

With Netflix canceling The Midnight Club after a single season, co-creator Mike Flanagan took to social media to voice his regret that the Christopher Pike-inspired series would not be able to wrap up a number of dangling story threads in a sophomore outing. Not wanting to leave fans in the dark about the fate of their favorite characters and unresolved plot lines, the filmmaker laid out the entire plan for Season 2 in a lengthy Tumblr post.

"It's a shame we won't get to make it, but it would be a bigger shame if you guys simply had to live with the unanswered questions and the cliffhanger ending," wrote the director known for modern horror classics like Hush and Doctor Sleep. "I loved making this show, and I am so proud of the cast and crew. Particularly our cast, who attacked this story with incredible spirit and bravery each and every day. But for now, we'll put the fire out, and leave the library dark and quiet. To those before, and to those after. To us now, and to those beyond. Seen or unseen, here but not here. I'll always be grateful that I got to be part of this Club."

Based on the series of novels written by Pike, The Midnight Club unfolds at Brightcliffe, a facility for terminally ill teenagers overseen by the enigmatic Dr. Georgina Stanto (A Nightmare on Elm Street's Heather Langenkamp). As is tradition, the teens meet up at the stroke of midnight to swap scary stories. The anthology was a longtime passion project for Flanagan, who attempted to adapt the source material in college before receiving a cease and desist letter from the publisher.

So what would a second season look like? Flanagan pretty much breaks down the entire plan, beat-by-beat, including who would've died next and how all of those dangling threads would've paid off.

Who would've died next? Amesh (Sauriyan Sapkota), and then Natsuki (Aya Furukawa) later in the season. Last but not least, Kevin (Igby Rigney) would've been the big death at the end of the season. But thankfully, death is not the end (at least not for those on-screen roles). Flanagan reveals Anya (Ruth Codd) would've returned as a character within the stories being told by the Midnight Club, and this is the mechanism he would've used to keep the actors around in future seasons once their "real" characters passed away.

Who lives? Though this is a show about terminal patients, Flanagan reveals one character would've made it out of Season 2 with a better prognosis, leaving the complex and going off to manage his condition and live his life: Spencer (Chris Sumpter). Flanagan explains: "The advancements in HIV treatment in the late 90's would come into play, and we'd see his prognosis change. The HIV cocktail came out in Dec 1995, and we really wanted to explore that. Spence would ride the swell of antiviral advancements, and by the end of the season, he'd no longer be classified as terminal. In the finale of season 2, Spence would leave Brightcliffe just like Sandra did in Season 1, heading off to manage his disease and live the rest of his life."

The Shadow and Death? Death itself would've been revealed to be the janitor character, played by Robert Longstreet, who is only ever seen by the young patients at Brightcliffe. But what about the Shadow? It's the unknown, representing their own uncertainty. Flanagan explains: "As it engulfs someone, in the last moment of their life, it takes them through a place of understanding and catharsis, preparing them for the next step. THIS is what happened to Anya in S1 when the Shadow finally reached her - that's why she fantasized a life beyond Brightcliffe, which ultimately let her find acceptance of her death. It looks different for everybody, depending on their mind-set - because it is simply an extension of themselves. The Shadow is just the final catharsis, a return to our original form - it is a moment of true understanding, and once we experience it, we move on to the next place."

What was up with Dr. Stanton? Turns out the tease of Dr. Stanton (Heather Langenkamp) being bald and having that secret tattoo? Not as dark as it might've seemed. Flanagan reveals Stanton herself is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer herself, but her treatment goes well and she survives. As for her secret identity, here's how Flanagan breaks it down: "Dr. Stanton is actually the daughter of the original Paragon cult leader, Aceso. Her nickname was Athena, she wrote the Paragon journal that Ilonka found in S1. She turned on her mother and helped the kids escape, but because she was part of the cult in her teenage years, she had the tattoo. It was her initials that Ilonka found carved into the tree in season 1 (her maiden name was Georgina Ballard, hence the G.B. that Ilonka finds carved in the tree)."

Who was the Mirror Man and Cataract Woman? Now this one is pretty wild. As suspected, they were Stanley Oscar Freelan and his wife, who originally built Brightcliffe. But why did Ionka and Kevin keep seeing them? Flanagan spills what would've been a season-ending reveal for Year 2: "Ilonka WAS Stanley Oscar Freelan, and Kevin WAS his wife. They've lived many lives this way, and are true SOUL MATES - they always find each other, and they always fall in love. In this life, they knew it would be a short one, so they agreed to find each other in the house they built.  They've been 'remembering' who they are, and glimpsing their former selves in reflections, and sometimes when they look at each other." 

If you were a fan of the show, Flanagan's full breakdown is well worth a read. It's loaded with more details and teases for how they would've expanded on these story beats. It sounds like Season 2 would've been more ambitious than anything in Year 1, and it's a shame we won't get to see it play out.

Now that Flanagan's production deal at Netflix is coming to an end, he and producing partner Trevor Macy have inked a multi-year television agreement with Amazon Studios under their Intrepid Pictures banner.

All 10 episodes of The Midnight Club are now streaming on Netflix.

If you're in the market for more limited horror, the 1990 miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's IT is currently on Peacock.

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