This recap of the Netflix series The Midnight Club season 1, episode 3, “The Wicked Heart,” contains spoilers.
You may have already found the formula for The Midnight Clubthe story moves at a brisk pace, as each teenage patient becomes the focus of their own specific episode. The Midnight Club season 1, episode 2 focused on anya (Ruth Codd), with her own tragic story. In “The Wicked Heart” Kevin (Igby Rigney) stars, telling his own midnight tale. It’s a clever setup that helps push the story forward and brings some authenticity to our cast of characters.
The Midnight Club summary of season 1, episode 3
The third chapter begins a few moments after the end of the previous one. Ilonka explains her visions to new friend Kevin, talking about the old-fashioned modified hallway. Kevin practically calls her crazy, blaming the drugs for her old visions. Insulted, Ilonka (Iman Benson) goes back to her room and unpacks Julia’s files. Inside are mysterious designs featuring unusual symbols and the same repeating set of numbers. The symbol is the same one Ilonka saw on the tree, that of an hourglass, but the numbers are decidedly cryptic.
In the morning, she asks her roommate Anya if she knows anything about the symbol or unique numbers. Anya makes a sarcastic comment and says she doesn’t care. She admits that she is in a bad mood because today is family day and no one is coming to visit her. Ilonka offers to introduce her to her own adoptive father Tim, who is visiting for the day.
At the breakfast table, we see glimpses of Midnight Club members’ interactions with their visitors. Natsuki (Aya Furukawa) sees photographs of her father. Sandra’s family prays, amesh (Sauriyan Sapkota) worries his parents won’t be able to travel from India, and Spence’s father makes excuses so his mother can’t join them. Then we spend some time with Kevin’s family. His mother wants Kevin’s younger brother to carry on his legacy, but Kevin just wants him to make his own discoveries and follow his own path. Ilonka is also introduced to Kevin’s family, but mistakes Kevin’s girlfriend for her sister. It’s an awkward exchange and Ilonka rushes to find her father.
After the family visits are over, Natsuki goes to read more of her stories to Tristan, a patient who is quarantined in the recovery room. When she starts chatting, there is strangely no response. Natsuki finds Tristan dead in the recovery room bed. This is the first real death in The Midnight Club, yet Mike Flanagan doesn’t seem interested in dwelling on this character’s heartbreak. Maybe teens have grown accustomed to this side of the hospice experience or are doing their best to ignore it. Either way, Tristan isn’t much more thoughtful.
Kevin and Ilonka discuss the family visit and Julia’s case privately. He hates how his mother describes him as the perfect student, the perfect son. While Ilonka details his findings. She has a presentiment of all these discoveries and wishes to deepen them. Kevin downplays his findings, however, calling them a distraction. These two are really at odds with each other in this episode. Kevin seems happy to go with the flow, although Ilonka wants answers immediately.
At the midnight gathering, Natsuki tells the others that she had a vision of Tristan for a split second after they passed away. Anya ignores this observation, blaming a problem in her medication. She forces the others to agree with her that it wasn’t a sign from the other side, just Natsuki’s imagination getting the better of her. Then it’s Kevin’s turn to tell a scary story. Her story, like Anya’s, reflects the character’s mental state in a revealing and open way.
Kevin’s story is about Dusty, a perfectly average student, who takes care of his mute mother on his own. Dusty learns by chance that Nancy will be home alone for a few days while her family is away. He breaks into her house and kills Nancy in her sleep, bludgeoning her to death with a hammer. He buries her in a cave alongside his other victims. This serial killer has been pretty busy, though the urge to kill is only aided by demons whispering in his head, perhaps controlled by his creepy mother.
Dusty leaves his business card, a smiley face on Nancy’s bedside table. The members of the Midnight Club laugh at this repeating pattern and so Kevin changes the symbol to that of the hourglass, just as Ilonka pointed out to him. Dusty is haunted by all of his victims, who silently scream at him wherever he goes. It’s a deceptively unnerving visual that Flanagan repeatedly uses to the utter discomfort. Dusty befriends a new girl called Sheila, who is ironically played by Ilonka. Sheila worries about Nancy’s disappearance and contacts the police.
Kevin abruptly ends the story there and then announces that his story is to continue. The club members angrily leave, with Kevin and Ilonka left alone together in the library. She seems annoyed that he stole her symbol for the story, though it triggered a memory for Ilonka. She remembers where she has seen the symbol before. They go to the “owned” elevator and she finds the symbol under all the floor buttons. When she presses the hourglass button, nothing happens, but if she presses the basement button at the same time, the elevator kicks in. The daring duo head to the basement, where darkness awaits them.
The episode ends with Ilonka exploring the basement in the dark. She falls on matches and sees the hourglass logo on the floor. The clever elevator comes to life and brings Kevin back up, against his will, leaving poor Ilonka alone in the dark. She lights another match and sees a dark figure walking towards her.
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