Who dies in Midnight Mass?
The question of who dies in Midnight Mass is a difficult one to answer for several reasons, most of which constitute pretty major spoilers. So, let me begin this article by getting the obvious out of the way — I’m about to ruin basically everything that happens across all seven episodes since the deaths, and in some cases resurrections, of the people of Crockett Island are integral to the overarching plot and themes. Read at your own risk. Or, read the spoiler-free season review instead, watch the show, and then come back. Up to you.
I’m assuming that anyone still reading doesn’t mind having the show spoiled. So, let’s lay out some general rules, since this, more than most, is a complicated show to break down in terms of character deaths. Almost everyone dies at least once. Most come back in one form or another. So, I’m mostly going to ignore everyone’s “first” death and make a point of highlighting their actual, definitive end. Otherwise, this list would be about 5000 words long. In some cases, especially those when the show itself makes a big point of someone’s “first” death, I’ll give them a separate entry, and I’ll typically reference back to the first death in all cases just for context. Is this confusing? Hopefully not.
Who dies in Midnight Mass?
Although her death doesn’t have anything to do with what transpires on Crockett Island, it is the first we see in the series, and it’s also an integral one to Riley Flynn, who killed her while drunk driving. His decision to return home, as well as many of the decisions he makes once he’s there, are rooted in the trauma and guilt of this experience, so Tara-Beth is worthy of inclusion here.
A lot of cats
Animals do not fare well in Midnight Mass, and cats get an especially raw deal. A big ginger one is savaged in the Uppards — as a midnight snack for the angel, we come to learn later — and by the end of the episode, the entire beach is littered with dead moggies after a storm.
Joe Collie’s dog, Pike, is poisoned after eating a tainted hotdog at the Crock Pot Luck Easter Festival, presumably by Bev Keane, though I don’t recall if the culprit was ever actually confirmed. I’m choosing to resent Bev for it either way.
Crockett Island’s resident drug dealer, Bowl (Bill to his mother), snuffs it after being lured into the angel’s secret grotto. He’s the first of the angel’s human victims that we’re aware of, but his death occurs off-screen.
Joe himself dies at the hands of Father Paul Hill after the latter’s hunger overwhelms him and he gets Joe in a tight embrace that he has to fight his way out of. In the struggle, though, Joe falls and cracks his head open; he dies as Father Paul feasts on his blood. (Just as he was getting sober, too!)
In one of the season’s biggest shocks, its POV character for the first five episodes dies not once, but twice. In the first instance, he’s feasted on by the angel after accidentally discovering its existence. When he reanimates, despite an almost episode-long indoctrination, he rejects the bloodsucker lifestyle and instead decides to sacrifice himself in order to prove to Erin what’s happening in town. They both paddle out in a rowboat together, just like in his recurring dream, and when the sun rises, he burns to ash. In the process, though, he finally finds peace, as a smiling Tara-Beth leads him to the other side.
The town’s ostracised lesbian doctor, Sarah, actually survives all the way until the finale. Several other characters “die” before her, but they all reanimate to be killed again (more on those below.) Sarah’s death is particularly tragic since it occurs moments after Father Paul is, for the first time, able to confess his love for her as her father. She’s tragically shot by Sturge moments later, as she prepares to burn down St. Patrick’s.
After seeing Riley burst into flames, Erin returns to Crockett Island with renewed purpose and enlists the help of Sarah and Hassan to fight back against Father Paul and his inner circle. She’s eventually killed by the angel outside the rec center, but she gets the last laugh. As it feeds on her she clips its wings, and she dies at peace knowing she has prevented it from ever leaving the island.
Hassan, like Erin, is one of the few characters who isn’t reanimated as a blood-sucking Catholic super-vampire. But that doesn’t mean he gets off easy. He’s shot by Bev Keane while trying to set fire to the rec center, and while he gets a poignant moment to pray one final time with his son, Ali, he eventually succumbs to his injuries as the sun rises.
Yes, with the exception of Leeza Scarborough and Warren Flynn, every single other character in the show dies the same way — they’re burned to a crisp when the sun rises, after all being infected in one way or another. Rather than leave it at that, though, let’s just pluck some highlights:
Bev Keane is killed first by Erin in the back room of St. Patrick’s, and then by the sun when it rises — in her final moment she frantically tries to dig herself a shelter on the beach, like the coward she is.
Father Paul and Mildred die together after carrying Sarah’s body to her favorite spot on the island. Paul removes his clerical collar, and they confess their love for one another as they depart.
Ed and Annie Flynn become minor heroes by the end. The former dies for the first time in the church ensuring that Annie and Warren make it out; Annie takes her own life after giving Bev a piece of her mind. But they’re reunited in their resurrection, and they’re two of the only characters who resist the urge to feed. Instead, they hold one another and sing, and eventually, the entire town joins them in song. They burn up together, in each other’s arms, as they spent their lives.