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Midnight, Texas Postmortem: François Arnaud breaks down the epic season finale

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Sep 18, 2017, 11:02 PM EDT

Hold up, Midnighters, this interview contains spoilers from Episode 10, "The Virgin Sacrifice." If you don't want to be spoiled, turn back now. 

Yes, I know you want to read what François has to say, but I mean it.

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Okay, great. Now that we have that out of the way ...

Last week's episode left us trapped in an out-of-the-way saloon with both inner and outer demons spilling forth into the world. This week the finale upped the idea of demon possession and supernatural fights to a whole new level.

Sure, things have been rectified, for now, but we already know there's a new terror moving into Midnight: tourists.

What did we just watch? How did all of that happen, and what's it like to be possessed by multiple demons at once?

When you have the chance to ask the man at the center of the story what the heck just happened, you take that chance. 

Did you know where that was gonna go before you got the episode? Or is it kind of like, "We’re doing this"?

I had an idea from earlier on in the season. I’d asked Monica [showrunner Monica Breen] for a few tips. I didn’t know practically how that was gonna go down until I got the episode. I sort of like that idea, to fight evil you need to know evil from a first-person perspective. I like that it forces Manfred to be strong enough to let evil inside of him and still be able to maneuver those demons in the right direction. That was a huge night for me.

Literally! I was watching it and thinking that was an intense amount of work.

It was an all-nighter. I remember in post they asked me to do different voices because I did that sort of demon voice on the day and then they asked me to record different voices in post because I’m possessed by different demons, many demons. When I watched last night they ended up using pretty much just what I did on the day. I don’t think there’s much post work involved. So I have these weird contact lenses that are half your eyeballs, and they put Novocaine drops in your eyes before they can put them in because it’s too painful. I couldn’t blink, if I blinked they would just fall into the sand, and we only had one pair, and that was a 20-minute cleanup. But it was great. I had a real Kolkonar monster to act with. That was interesting.

The whole being possessed ... in the pawn shop ... dealing with all the objects and the physical changes in your body, how do you prep for that? What do you do?

You don’t. You just stretch a fair amount and then go for it. You can’t think of how ridiculous it looks. I saw those takes, and it’s a little funny-looking. There’s nothing around you, so you really look like an insane person. Which it must feel like for Manfred as well. It’s really fun physical work to do. Manfred is so awkward with his body in general. You know, he’s not a fighter. I’ve played fighters before, and there are fighters on the show like Olivia and Bobo who have pretty awesome choreographies to pull off. Manfred doesn’t really have any of that. He’s an awkward self-deprecating klutz. It’s kind of cool. 

Manny said "I love you" first ...

[There] was an "I love you" ... I think in Episode 7 when she’s threatened by the fallen angel and they’ve all been kidnapped ... [the angel] sort of forces Creek to tell Manfred she loves him. So, she does say, "I love you," but it’s sort of half-heartfelt. But it’s definitely the first time Manfred is saying "I love you" to Creek.

Was it a goodbye? Did he think he wasn't gonna come back from this?

Well, that’s what she asked him. It’s like when you’re taking a plane if you’re scared of flying. You want to make sure that you leave things on the right note. It’s kind of a forced or accelerated honesty that comes out of moments like this ... but I think he owns it.

It read like that. This may be the last time I see you. I’m getting on a plane. If something happens to me you need to know this.


Do you know if Kolkonar is actually gone?

To my understanding, he’s gone. That’s it. I’m sure there are demons in hell that are after Midnight, since it’s still a place where the veil is thin, but the veil has closed as far as I know.

Can you tell us why Madonna's watching after Olivia all of a sudden?

It’s her father who is paying Madonna to spy on Olivia and control her comings and goings and make sure she doesn’t suddenly vanish. We don’t know how much Madonna is in our lives. She seems to have a lot of affection for the Midnighters, but who knows?

Now that you’ve got a season under your belt of playing this character. What’s been the most satisfying part of getting into his skin? What are you most excited about exploring about him in the future? What do you really want to get into with him?

I was most attracted to Manfred’s reluctant heroism, his sort of deadpan sense of humor. He just deflects constantly. Just his darkness, the way he goes to, I mean, I don’t want to go as far as self-hatred, but his lack of self-esteem, and I think, as we were saying earlier, a lot of doors have opened up for him and he’s free to leave that behind a little bit. I’m really looking forward to exploring his journey as more of a man than a boy. You know? I feel like he’s gained some confidence this season, especially at the end. He’s succeeded in a way. He still seems to be haunted, or he thought he was at the end, but I think he definitely has.

He felt like he owned a part of himself a lot more. That sense of "Okay, this is what I was told I am."

He can be more of a leader in the second season. I think he has a better understanding of his abilities and strengths. Not that he’s cocky, but I don’t think he’s ashamed of what he can do anymore. He has people to back him up.

I love that answer, thank you. Thank you for talking to me about this. The last three episodes were one heck of a roller coaster.

It’s nice, because I don’t really talk to anyone. It’s nice to talk about the latter part of that arc; Manfred’s and the show’s. Thank you. Thanks for taking the time.

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