“all good things come to an end”
'Midnight Club' Season 2: Ruth Codd explains why she loved Anya’s return
Ruth Codd, star of Mike Flanagan's Netflix show 'The Midnight Club,' reacts to the show's cancellation and what would have happened in Season 2.
The Midnight Club looked like the start of a new era for prolific horror director Mike Flanagan. A departure from his earlier Netflix fare like The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, it positioned itself as a series about young adults, for young adults.
An adaptation of several Christopher Pike stories, The Midnight Club followed residents of Brightcliffe, a teen hospice, as they traded horror stories. Season 1 just started to unwrap Brightcliffe’s secrets, but Netflix’s decision to cancel the series left a lot of lingering questions. Flanagan released the plans he’d made for the Midnight Club to sate curious fans, and Inverse spoke to the series’ breakout star about what could have been.
Anya’s sardonic wit, clever comebacks, lilting Irish brogue, and matter-of-factness made her a fan favorite. She succumbed to her cancer in Episode 6, but was brought back for Episode 7, which seemed to explore a parallel world where she was miraculously healed.
Ruth Codd was cast as Anya despite no prior acting experience. After she departed, Flanagan teased the possibility of bringing her back. “On the last day of shooting, I knew that even if I did come back, Mike just wouldn't have me back as Anya,” Codd tells Inverse. “because while the show is about ghosts, it is very realistic to life. I'm not a crier, but that day, I was blubbering.”
Now that Flanagan has released the details of Season 2 on Tumblr, we know what was in store for Codd. Every episode of The Midnight Club included stories within the story, re-enactments of tales told by the patients that used the show’s actors, which would have been an avenue for her return.
Ilonka, in an attempt to keep her love interest Kevin alive a bit longer, would begin telling a serialized story over five episodes. It would be an adaptation of Remember Me, one of Pike’s more popular novels and a favorite of Flanagan. The lead character in Ilonka’s story would be played by Codd’s Anya, a nod to the show’s overarching theme of how people survive in the memories of others.
Also included in the post was a reveal that Amesh, Natsuki, and Kevin would die, advances in AIDS treatments would help Spence recover, and Ilonka would slowly piece together the history of Brightcliffe. The strange man and woman Kevin and Ilonka kept seeing would be revealed as glimpses of their past lives as a married couple who first owned Brightcliffe. The series would end with Cheri telling a new group of residents about the Midnight Club, ensuring their memories would live on.
For Codd, reading Flanagan’s plans was cathartic. “I loved that I didn’t come back as Anya,” she says. “I love that I came back through the stories. I didn’t know anything. He didn’t really tell any of us his plans for Season 2. So it was good to get a bit of closure.”
That closure is tinged with sadness. “We’re all quite sad it’s not going ahead,” she says. “But we had such fun, we were all so lucky to be part of Season 1. All good things come to an end, I suppose.”
While it’s not the end of Codd’s relationship with Flanagan, as she and a handful of other Midnight Club stars will appear in the upcoming The Fall of the House of Usher, she understands how frustrating it is to have a series pulled out from under you.
“I wish it was going ahead, I know what it’s like to watch a show and love it, and then it gets canceled,” she says. “Netflix did it to me with Trinkets. I loved it. It’s just really disappointing.”
The bright side is that Flanagan will have more time to focus on other creations. “It’s Mike Flanagan!” Codd says. “He’ll have loads of other projects that [fans will] love just as much. And even if I’m not in them, I will be watching.”
The Midnight Club is streaming on Netflix.