‘The Midnight Club’: Mike Flanagan Addresses Ilonka & Kevin’s Special Bond

Iman Benson and Igby Rigney in 'The Midnight Club'
Spoiler Alert
Eike Schroter/Netflix

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 1 of The Midnight Club.]

If you’ve tuned into Mike Flanagan‘s latest Netflix series, The Midnight Club, you’re familiar with some of the unanswered questions Ilonka (Iman Benson) and Kevin (Igby Rigney) that linger after the finale.

And if you haven’t tuned in, now is a good time to stop reading because we’re delving into spoiler territory.

Unlike past Flanagan series on the streamer, The Midnight Club doesn’t wrap up every detail and instead, ends on a big cliffhanger, leaving viewers with questions about the characters, and what the revealing of certain secrets could mean moving forward. Although the show hasn’t been renewed for Season 2, Flanagan has confirmed The Midnight Club was written for television with the intent of continuing the story.

'The Midnight Club's Igby Rigney and Iman Benson

(Credit: Eike Schroter/Netflix)

One storyline we hope to see more of is the explanation behind Ilonka and Kevin’s bond, and why they’re the only two individuals being seemingly terrorized by two old ghostly figures. As the Season finale episode reaches its final moments, viewers finally are clued into the identity of the ghosts when the camera pans to a framed newspaper article hanging on the Brightcliffe hospice’s walls.

According to the headline and accompanying photo, the figures belong to industrialist Stanley Oscar Freelan and his wife Vera Freelan who were the first proprietors of the estate at which Brightcliffe hospice now houses sick and dying youth. The bigger question is, why do Kevin and Ilonka keep seeing them?

The Midnight Club Season 1 Newspaper Stanley Vera

(Credit: Netflix)

In the Christopher Pike book on which this story is based, one theme discussed is past lives, and when we inquired about the subject during a chat with Flanagan and collaborator Trevor Macy, Flanagan hinted that it is a possible tie-in to Ilonka and Kevin’s connection. “Well done,” Flanagan told TV Insider. “That theme is huge with Pike, and if you haven’t read The Midnight Club book, the epilogue of the book is very important to us. That’s as much as I can say about that.”

Make what you will of Flanagan’s response, but there were certain observations to be made regarding the ways in which these ghostly figures appeared to Ilonka and Kevin and how Ilonka was introduced to Brightcliffe. In the premiere, Ilonka attends a college party and goes into the bathroom after coughing up some blood. When she looks up into the mirror after cleaning her hands, she comes face to face with a creepy old man staring back at her from the mirror before passing out.

'The Midnight Club' ghosts Vera and Stanley

(Credit: Netflix)

What follows are flashes of Brightcliffe, an image of Kevin sitting on a bench facing the ocean, and hooded figures within the estate. The bizarre thing is that this takes place months before Ilonka researches the hospice home after she’s given a devastating diagnosis. When she looks up the home on the internet, she’s treated to another flurry of images, this time featuring the old woman’s face, Kevin again sitting on the bench, and more hooded figures. Although viewers see both visions occur within minutes, it’s been months and months for Ilonka, and the reminder of Brightcliffe seems to have triggered something in her.

When Ilonka arrives at the home, she meets Kevin who is sitting on the bench in the same position as her visions, only this time its daylight. There’s a sense of deja-vu as she introduces herself, saying that she might sound like a freak, but she feels like they’ve met, and at first Kevin agrees that they’ve met until they realize they haven’t.

Throughout the season, Ilonka sees the old lady around the hospice, and a few times she’s displaced by Kevin. There are also moments when Ilonka is transported through time, which is an experience Kevin also admits to having, but none of the other members of The Midnight Club corroborate. When Ilonka and Kevin finally discuss these experiences of seeing the old people with each other, Kevin mentions seeing the old man mostly and the old women sometimes, whereas it’s the opposite for Ilonka who sees the old lady more and mostly sees the old man in the mirror.

Could Ilonka and Kevin’s souls be tied to Stanley and Vera? And could there be a role reversal happening as Ilonka’s tied to Stanley’s ghost and Kevin’s tied to Vera’s? Kevin’s red robe seems to be a visual cue to the possibility as when the old lady appears in color, she’s donning a red shawl. Only time will tell if (and hopefully when) the show is renewed for Season 2. But what do you think of the theory? Let us know in the comments section, below.

The Midnight Club, Streaming now, Netflix