An emotional rollercoaster, “Anya” will surely break plenty of viewers. It’s the scariest episode so far and the most heartfelt too. This will leave you tearful and terrified in equal amounts. A masterclass in storytelling and filmmaking.
This recap of the Netflix series The Midnight Club season 1, episode 7, “Anya,” contains spoilers.
The Midnight Club start each of their late-night gatherings with an invocation, which they chant like an incantation. But there are no chants in “Anya.” This episode solely focuses on the titular character, who finds herself in a lonely future without her gang of loyal friends to rely upon.
The Midnight Club season 1, episode 7 recap
The magazines in the shop place the year at 1997. Anya is working for a non-descript supermarket chain. Her life is monotonous and predictable. We’re shown her daily routine and dreams of becoming a ballet dancer once more. She has ditched the wheelchair for a prosthetic leg and goes about her sad little life all alone. The only hints of her past come to her at night, midnight to be more specific. She hears a baby cry and static on the radio. Was that Kevin’s voice speaking to her from another world? If so, she ignores it and repeats the routine of the previous day.
In her group therapy sessions she eludes to the ritual, stating that she got a fever from that traumatic event, which nearly killed her but then went and completely cured her instead. It’s called spontaneous regression and it saved her life, but left her entirely numb and painfully alone. She’s barely surviving in this future world, but misses her friends dearly. She tries to contact old friend Rhett, although he isn’t over her previous antics just yet and hangs up.
The subsequent therapy session confirms what we were all fearing, the entire gang are dead. The ritual didn’t work for the others and Anya cannot see a future without them. The therapist tries to comfort her, claiming that nobody is ever really gone. But Anya believes that if they were someplace else, they would have tried to contact her by now. She hasn’t noticed any of the tell-tale signs. Although weird things start to occur that cannot be ignored.
Anya sees Amesh working next door at a video game store. He doesn’t recognize her and phones the police. She then spies Natsuki as Becky and Dr. Stanton as the police. Anya panics and leaves the building, spotting Sandra resting against a wall and Natsuki’s zombie schoolgirl. Dusty arrives next and kills Ilonka/Sheila right before her very eyes. Then she sees Dana in the ballet studio, committing to her blood sacrifice with the devil. Anya is very much losing her mind here and the scene cuts to her lowly apartment. Spence is in the tub, kitted out in his scuba-diving gear from Sandra’s noir. Sandra then dramatically shoots Anya and she wakes in her bed.
The baby starts to cry again and blood drips from the ceiling. The blood forms a pool on the ceiling’s surface and the baby manifests inside this pool. The baby morphs into an adult, then a skeletal figure that reaches down for her. There’s some gorgeous visuals in this frantic sequence, which ends with Anya closing her eyes, praying that this is all a dream.
The radio crackles to life and the Midnight Club communicate with her via this device. Ilonka recalls the events that transpired after the ritual. Stanton found them in the basement and has banned them from using the library. They have been allowed to chat with Anya from the hallway though, which implies that Anya is in the recovery room. It would appear that Anya is in some sort of coma and has dreamt this crazy fantasy world. Natsuki reads a story written specifically for Anya – brace yourselves, it is an emotional affair. The story tells of an idyllic happy ending, where all the gang are cured and live happily ever after in suburbia. Anya marries Rhett and has three children, with the whole lot growing old together. It’s a real tear-jerker that signifies what’s to come.
In reality, Anya has passed away. The janitor cleans out the recovery room once more and Ilonka recalls what a firecracker her roommate was. It’s a heart-breaking moment, the sudden realization that Anya is dead and that the ritual didn’t work at all, if anything it backfired terribly and caused a speedier death. Dr. Stanton is furious with the patient’s actions and considers throwing Ilonka out of the hospice entirely. The roommate is then handed Anya’s ashes and a letter addressed to her.
The Midnight Club meet up that night and Ilonka shows them the box of items and the letter. She reads this letter from Anya, which opens with that invocation, ‘To those who came before, to us now, and to those that came after. Seen but unseen, here but not here’. Anya calls them her family and asks them to raise an empty glass to her passing. Ilonka toasts to their dearest friend and Dr. Stanton abruptly enters the library. She tells the teens that she has always known about the club and has let it go on in secret for decades. Stanton orders them all to go to bed, but Ilonka has other ideas.
The gang hike to the beach and throw Anya a farewell funeral. Cheri plays Green Day’s Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) on the cello and Ilonka scatters her ashes in the water. Another heartbreaking moment in a stellar episode, one that will leave you with goose-bumps.
But the creators aren’t done yet. Ilonka stalks Dr. Stanton inside Brightcliffe’s halls. The doctor places Anya’s photograph on the wall and then makes a phone call in her office. Ilonka overhears her talking of Anya’s passing and the news that one of the patients may not be terminal. Ilonka returns to her room, where she is haunted by a ghost. The ghost chases after her and she locks herself in the bathroom. Another ghost is waiting in the mirror though and Ilonka faints on the spot. This is truly the scariest sequence from the series so far and a nail-biting way to end the show’s best entry yet.
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