“Gimme a Kiss” features a fun homage to film noir and possibly the scariest ending yet. This is a series highlight, with heart-warming moments mixed in with the downright chilling. The Midnight Club is one of those shows that you just have to watch at night with all the lights off.
This recap of the Netflix series The Midnight Club season 1, episode 4, “Gimme a Kiss,” contains spoilers.
The highly religious Sandra (Annarah Cymone) takes center stage in “Gimme a Kiss” as the gang investigates the hospice’s secret basement level, and Ilonka (Iman Benson) continues to unravel more of the many mysteries Brightcliffe has to offer. It’s the best episode yet as the showrunners blend multiple genres and playfully homage film noir with Sandra’s specific tale.
The Midnight Club season 1, episode 4 recap
Last time we saw Ilonka, she was trapped in the basement, with a shadowy figure approaching her. Moments later, Ilonka witnesses the ghostly entity once more before Kevin (Igby Rigney) comes to her rescue. They later return with the whole gang and plenty of flashlights to explore this dark lair further, with the extra light uncovering more mysteries. They find beautifully painted walls, floors and a starry night’s sky on the ceiling. They even discover the original Midnight Club’s journal. This roster contains names, dates and story titles, with the founder being none-other-than Julia Jayne herself. Sandra starts to freak out when she finds cultish gowns and ritualistic knives. Most of the gang bow out here, but Anya (Ruth Codd), Kevin and Ilonka stay put. They read more of the book, which contains entries coated in blood and that all-important hourglass symbol.
At group therapy, Dr. Stanton (Heather Langenkamp) notices the deflated atmosphere and ponders why the patients appear so exhausted. Sandra tries to fill the silence and tells the doctor that we are collectively mourning Tristan still. Her conversation descends into religious propaganda and her words provoke an angry response from Spence. He explains how he was a church-goer and then his friends and family disowned him once they found out about his sexuality and diagnosis. Spence states that Sandra’s faith ruins families and ruins lives.
Ilonka goes exploring some more, inspecting the tree with the hourglass symbol carved into it, again. She meets Shasta (Samantha Sloyan) once more and the mysterious woman passes Ilonka her products. Shasta runs a company called Good Humor Wellness, selling natural medicines and lotions. They discuss the markings and a possible cult called The Paragon. Shasta points out a CCTV camera in the trees, hands over her phone number and then advises Ilonka to check out the medicinal section of Brightcliffe’s library. It’s another unusual encounter, I’m not quite sure I trust this Shasta character just yet. There is something off-putting about her.
Kevin prepares for his girlfriend’s prom and the gang wish him well, waving him off as he leaves in a limo. Spencer (Chris Sumpter) is his usual pessimistic self, predicting that the prom attendees will turn Kevin’s appearance into a pity party. Spence then goes to the nurse for his bloods to be taken. He shows Mark (Zach Gilford) a fresh lesion that has sprouted on his arm and they discuss his future prospects. As Spence passes Tristan’s old room, he hears a speaker crackling and a ghostly voice reaches out to him. Spence tries to enter the room to validate these horrors, but the door is locked. He calls for Mark and the door opens instantly. Is Tristan reaching out to Spence from the other side or is something more sinister at play?
The Midnight Club meet once more and Kevin recounts his prom experience. As expected, everyone said how brave he was and Kevin was crowned Prom King. Silence falls as Spence enters the room, he makes everyone aware of the fresh lesion on his arm. Kevin comforts his friend and Sandra offers to tell a story. Spence and Sandra’s earlier argument muddies the atmosphere, but she is allowed to proceed. Sandra tells a detective story. This is shot in black and white, with the cast of characters performing the roles just like we have come to expect.
Sandra narrates this ode to film noir, introducing the high school characters, with Mark playing the VP and Dr. Stanton as Detective Fisher. In this story, two teenagers are dead and one is presumed missing. Alice Palmer (played by Sandra) recounts the events that led up to this unfortunate end. The Midnight Club’s stories always mirror the character’s real lives and Sandra throws in a tale of homosexuality and revenge, much to Spence’s dismay. The story ends with Sandra’s character apologizing to Spence’s and this is then repeated in real life. Sandra says that you can’t love God and hate love, apologizing herself and on behalf of those who have wronged Spence in the past. It’s a heart-warming moment, which ends with Amesh instigating a round of applause. Spence kisses Sandra on the forehead, gesturing that all is forgiven.
The club members disperse, with Ilonka and Kevin being the last to leave for a change. Ilonka realizes that Julia’s strange numbers are actually references to the Dewey decimal system and they find a book that falls under the 292.13 label. This unassigned, mysteries book carries the hourglass symbol on its cover. They rush back to Ilonka’s room to tell Anya the good news, but she has other things on her mind.
Episode four ends with the biggest scares yet as Anya takes the elevator alone. She pops another morphine pill and drowsily maneuvers down the corridor. Her wheelchair brings her to the entrance to Tristan’s old room and she hears whispers all around her. Petrified, Anya rushes home and locks herself in her room, but a shadowy figure is waiting there, ready to attack. Ilonka and Kevin enter finding Anya in her upturned wheelchair. And if I am not mistaken, the shadowy evil is still there, lurking in the corner, watching this all unfold.
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