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The ending of The Midnight Club season 1 explained

This article contains spoilers for The Midnight Club season 1.

The Midnight Club is finally available to stream on Netflix, but its first season’s finale isn’t nearly as straightforward or clear-cut as some fans might expect. The new series from co-creator and executive producer Mike Flanagan explores a number of compelling mysteries across its first 10 episodes, but while many of them do get resolved throughout The Midnight Club’s debut season, some don’t. As a matter of fact, the closing moments of The Midnight Club’s season 1 finale even unveil a twist that very few will likely see coming.

That said, it’s not like episode 10 of The Midnight Club is an entirely ambiguous or open-ended hour of television. Over the course of its runtime, The Midnight Club’s season 1 finale sees Ilonka (Iman Benson) finally come to terms with her fate by beginning to fill out her preneed with her foster father, Tim (Tim Pawluk), while Spencer (William Chris Sumpter) receives some of the closure he’s long sought when his mother finally comes to visit him at Brightcliffe.

Kids sits at a table in The Midnight Club.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

In the same episode, Ilonka also receives what she believes to be a sign from the other side when she discovers that the broken ballerina statuette that used to belong to Anya (Ruth Codd) has been mysteriously fixed. Later, she and Kevin (Igby Rigney) decide to finally confess their feelings for each other. Altogether, these revelations and moments would be enough to send The Midnight Club off on a satisfying, if melancholy, note. However, The Midnight Club doesn’t wrap up its first season without unveiling one final, game-changing twist.

In The Midnight Club season 1’s closing moments, we see Dr. Stanton (Heather Langenkamp), the head of Brightcliffe, sit down in front of her bedroom mirror and take off her hair — revealing it to have been a wig the whole time. In case that wasn’t odd enough, the camera then pans around to reveal a secret Paragon tattoo on the back of Stanton’s neck. Obviously, this reveal raises a number of questions about Brightcliffe’s seemingly mild-mannered overseer.

Three people in a car in The Midnight Club.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

After all, Stanton takes a hard stance against the Paragon and its teachings throughout The Midnight Club’s first season by frequently admonishing both Ilonka and Julia Jayne (Samantha Sloyan) for their obsession with the former cult. Based solely on that, it seemed fair to assume that Stanton was neither a fan nor a supporter of the Paragon, let alone a secret member of the organization.

The Midnight Club’s season 1 finale throws that assumption out the window and forces us to ask: Has Stanton secretly been a member of the Paragon this whole time? If that’s the case, then what is her relationship to the cult? The Midnight Club, unfortunately, doesn’t offer any answers to those questions. If we were going to make a guess right now, though, it does seem possible that Stanton could secretly be Athena, the long-lost daughter of Aceso (Katie Parker), the woman who founded the Paragon.

THE MIDNIGHT CLUB | Official Trailer | Netflix

We’re told in The Midnight Club‘s first season that Athena eventually turned against her mother when she realized the dark direction that Aceso was taking the Paragon — and all of its members — down. However, all that’s known about Athena is that she disappeared after the Paragon’s sacrificial practices were discovered. Therefore, if it turns out that Stanton is, in fact, Athena, that would explain both why she knows so much about the Paragon and why she was so against Ilonka and her friends attempting to replicate the cult’s practices.

Of course, Stanton could end up being an entirely different character. Either way, fans will, unfortunately, have to wait until The Midnight Club returns with more episodes to find out the truth about Dr. Stanton’s mysterious link to the Paragon.

The Midnight Club season 1 is streaming now on Netflix.

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Alex Welch
Alex Welch is a TV and movies writer based out of Los Angeles. In addition to Digital Trends, his work has been published by…
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