Midnight Mass: Who Is Erin Greene?

September 25, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix
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Midnight Mass: Who Is Erin Greene? contains major spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.


Erin Green’s journey in Midnight Mass from protagonist’s love interest to actual protagonist is certainly an interesting one. Mike Flanagan’s wife and constant collaborator Kate Siegel does career-best work as the character and delivers, I think, the show’s warmest performance. She’s integral beyond the level of the plot because she represents an important point of view. Unlike Riley, whose trauma caused him to lose his faith, Erin’s allowed her to regain hers. And she maintains it even through all that happens, though it remains deeply personal to her and, as expressed in a couple of lengthy but fascinating monologues, manifests in a unique way that certainly extends beyond the prescriptive teachings of Catholicism.

While Erin’s story is ultimately one of acceptance, though, she has a tough time of things on the way there. Let’s break it down.

Was Erin Greene really pregnant? Who is the father?

When we first meet Erin, she’s pregnant. And while she has an obvious romantic connection with Riley that extends all the way back to their childhoods, we know he isn’t the father. So, who is? Well, in an extended monologue exchange with Riley, Erin lays out a lot of her backstory. It includes a very difficult relationship with an abusive, alcoholic mother, and a particularly harrowing incident in which she was forced to hold the birds whose wings her mother clipped. Erin’s mother even states that her own wings were clipped the day Erin was born. This sentiment echoes strongly through Erin’s life and eventually factors into her death, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

When Erin left Crockett Island, she essentially replaced her mother with her husband, another abuser with whom she fell pregnant. Realizing she was suddenly responsible not just for herself but also the life of a child, she left her husband and returned to Crockett Island, reconnecting with her lapsed faith in the meantime.

As for whether Erin was really pregnant — yes, she was. Midnight Mass provides a satisfactory explanation for what happened to the child, but at least at the beginning of the show, she is a mother-to-be and has a healthy child in her womb.

What happens to Erin’s baby?

As mentioned above, when we meet Erin, she’s pregnant with her estranged husband’s child. During a routine check-up, though, Crockett Island’s physician, Sarah, notices something amiss and discovers not that Erin has lost her baby, but that there is simply no baby in her womb. Naturally, she assumes that Erin has miscarried and simply blocked the event from her mind. Erin isn’t having this, however, and goes to get a second opinion from a doctor on the mainland. By then, though, not only is the baby no longer in her womb but there is no longer any biological sign that she was ever pregnant in the first place.

As what Father Paul and the angel are doing is revealed, it becomes clear that what the angel’s blood is doing to the people of Crockett Island is repairing old, damaged cells, healing them, and restoring their youth. But as Sarah postulates in the penultimate episode, a pregnancy is, essentially, a mother hosting an alien organism inside her body. The angel’s blood saw this presence as hostile and attacked it. By the time Erin discovered what was happening and reached the mainland, her blood had already destroyed all traces of the child, as though it was never there in the first place.

Does Erin Greene die?

Yes, unfortunately, she does. But she also manages to ensure that significantly fewer people become victims of the angel than might have had it been able to reach the mainland. But her death is really the story of her life in a condensed form.

Erin is one of the few characters who doesn’t die and reanimate in Midnight Mass. She remains relatively safe all the way until the finale when the angel seizes her as she tries to help Hassan burn down the rec center. As the creature feeds on her neck, she takes the knife she’s carrying and clips its wings, channeling the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother into something good. Since the angel is basically in a trance when it’s feeding, it doesn’t realize what she’s up to until it’s too late. It tries to fly away from the burning island and flee the rising sun, but its wings are so damaged that it can’t escape. Erin dies with a satisfied smile on her face, knowing she has saved many people but also knowing that she is about to visit her vision of the afterlife.

You can stream Midnight Mass exclusively on Netflix.

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