Midnight Mass & The Inversion of Personal Truth (Light Spoilers)
Midnight Mass is a stunning work of art, which could have easily worked as a stage drama, as it does as a limited series.
But for me, there is a much simpler reason it stuck out to me and stayed with me long after its seven-episode arc…and that’s the subtlety and eloquence in which the entire town of Crockett Island is guided away from its moral center and into the death cult of their spiritual polar opposite.
It’s not unlike things we’ve seen in the media time and again, especially recently, with people committing terrible atrocities en masse at the behest of a religious, political or other figure.
But the problem is that it’s often too easy to separate ourselves from the “blind” and “delusional”.
Midnight Mass makes no such distinction.
Because we could just as easily become them.
What we see is a tight-knit community with a clear identity, some tension but a loving and level-headed nature, devolve into chaos.
This happens as the inhabitants begin to take things on blind faith, rather than questioning their spiritual leaders (Father Paul & Bev Keane).
A collective delusion takes over…So that even when the blood is gushing out of a human body in front of their eyes they are still convinced they’re doing God’s work.
It’s important that I emphasize that any sort of belief can stand in place for religious piety here. At its base belief is personal. So whatever grounds you, be it a belief in a deity, science, or anything else is part of your core values.
At some point in Midnight Mass the line between the inhabitants’ selves and the perverted and inverted versions thereof blurs so as to be indistinguishable. They are brainwashed with their consent but without their true awareness. Which is as fascinating as it is frightening.
How can a person willingly submit to losing everything they stand for…To the point where the very symbolic ritual foundations of their practices are uprooted, yet still they don’t question it?
But if we take the supernatural out of this drama, this internal struggle has more relatable parallels than we think.
Midnight Mass is a modern-day morality tale which shows us that when belief comes at the expense of our self, our psyche and rational thought, it is, as is often the case, a recipe for disaster.