'The Midnight Gospel' Ending Explained: Is Clancy dead? Heartbreaking finale will leave you hungry for Season 2
Spoilers for 'The Midnight Gospel' Season 1
Netflix's latest animated offering 'The Midnight Gospel' surpasses anything and everything you have ever seen before. Created by Pendleton Ward (of 'Adventure Time' fame) and Duncan Trussell, 'The Midnight Gospel' is an extension of Trussell's very popular 'Duncan Trussell Family Hour' podcast, and a perfectly fitting one too.
Through eight episodes of varying lengths, the series launches an investigation into several topics ranging from drugs, death and enlightenment to meditation practices and life philosophies. Clancy, who is voiced by Trussell himself, is a spacecaster with a malfunctioning multiverse simulator that projects him into space to different planets and worlds from his home on something called the Chromatic Ribbon. In every new world, Clancy meets new beings and together they explore a plethora of subjects. These interviews are accompanied by mindblowing animation by Titmouse.
In his interview with Dr Drew Pinksy, they talk about drugs and meditation. With Anne Lamott and Raghu Markus, Clancy discusses death. He talks to Damien Echols about magic and enlightenment and explores forgiveness with Trudy Goodman. With Jason Louv, suffering, existentialism and rebirth are discussed.
It finally reaches more intense subjects such as death and the cycle of life. The series finale is a heartbreaking, emotionally powerful episode that features Trussell's late mother Deneen Fendig. Together they discuss the miracle of life, the suffering that existence brings to the human life and the detestable pain that death brings with it. The wondrous cycle of life has never before been portrayed with this ease and yet with such hard-hitting poise that it will bring you to tears.
Through eight episodes, Trussell explores subjects that have titillated a universal interest. But in the final episode, he gets extremely personal. Discussing the deep sorrow he felt after he lost his mother to cancer, Episode 8 titled 'Mouse of Silver' is an in-depth lesson into dealing with the loss of a beloved.
It is also evident that Clancy has been avoiding a lot of his problems through the season and refuses to confront them until Episode 6 'Vulture With Honour, where he is forced to face reality. The cycle of life and death is a continuous, ending process and one cannot escape it. But how do you get over the loss of someone, if at all you can?
Trussell's mother has a simple explanation — "you cry," she says. It hurts, there is no doubt about that, but it doesn't always hurt and eventually, the hurt also dissipates. Why? Because underneath the hurt and the pain, you discover what you are feeling is love. And like his mother says, that kind of love never goes away.
The episode is so beautifully made that it will break you and reduce you to tears. And just that like, his mother leaves him — sucked into a black hole that has no known beyond.
By now, the magistrate's police have reached Clancy's simulator. Earlier in the series, he received a warning from a fellow spacecaster about the law catching up with him for Clancy's work. And now, in the finale, they are finally here. As the police get closer, Clancy is still inside the simulator filled with grief over his latest interview. The cops begin destroying the simulator, eventually dying in the process themselves — a massive explosion reduces everything to nothing.
A second-long blackout later, Clancy along with his trusted dog Charlotte is picked up in a bus. Inside, there is every one that Clancy had interviewed through the series and died. He asks his neighbor if he is dead, only to get the response, "Just be here now." And off goes the bus on a hypnotic path.
So is Clancy really dead? Will we get a Season 2?
We do not know yet. In fact, we cannot even predict if there is anything beyond for him. One of the things the series conveys is that it is important to live in the moment. We can only hope to see more of the visual masterpiece that is 'The Midnight Gospel', until then, do not mind us. We are going to rewatch this a couple of times.
All episodes of 'The Midnight Gospel' are currently streaming on Netflix.