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Midnight Mass: The 10 Smartest Characters

10 Bev Keane

While her single mindedness and selfish interpretation of faith ultimately lead to a lonely  chalky death on the beach  those same traits allowed her to cut to the deepest emotional fears of the people of Crockett Island. She rules over the town with a restrained religious mania  trapping others into her own fervor. Her power to pull the community away from the edge of reason and towards her extreme beliefs is terrifying and Bev is often more the villain than the vampirism that threatens the total extinction of human life on the island. While she may appear dense at first glance  this only serves to hide her toxic  tactical nature.

9 Warren Flynn
Iggy Rigney as Warren Flynn in Netflix Midnight Mass In just a few weeks, Riley intrepid little brother went from sneaking to the Uppards to smoke pot and pine after Leeza Scarborough to fending off and escaping a mob of fanatically religious vampires with Leena Scarborough. As one of only two survivors of the events of the show Warrens cunning and quick thinking are apparent. He learned both from his brother and his brothers mistakes  rebelling discreetly while staying in the good graces of his family and the community before having the good sense to escape the island by boat.

8 The Angel
Midnight Mass vampire angel monster If patience is a virtue, then the monstrous Angel is, well, an angel. He had to choose his target wisely and in the case of Monsignor Pruitt his gambit very nearly paid off. The Angel appears more beast than man by the time Pruitt encounters him  masking a combination of ancient wisdom and animal instinct. He shapes events and feeds from the shadows as Father Pauls congregation drinks his blood as communion  waiting for the island to boil over in fanaticism and violence. His thrall over Father Paul is the connection to the town  itself a perfect breeding ground for a small army. Were it not for some of the other characters on this list  he very well could have generated a small lethal force to invade the mainland just by gently manipulating a handful of key players.

7 Mainland Doctor
Still of actress Marci T House Distraught about her mysterious miscarriage  Erin Greene sought a second opinion on the mainland  where she meets with a consummate  albeit unnamed doctor. Upon examining Ms. Greene  the doctor finds zero evidence of a miscarriage  or that there had been a pregnancy at all. Her immediate assessment of Erin as a woman in severe need of mental health treatment is a reasonable one considering that the alternative is that vampire blood magicked away her fetus. By all evidence  the doctor is a maternity specialist and knows to stay in her lane when it comes to psychiatric emergencies and the undead alike.

6 Father Paul Hill
Hamish Linklater as Father Paul in Netflix limited series Midnight Mass from Mike Flanagan
Blinded by faith and the miraculous nature of his metamorphosis from the aged Monsignor Pruitt to his assumed identity as Father Paul Hill, the priest is nonetheless an eloquent, convincing orator. He and Riley use the rec center AA sessions as a theological existential sounding board, with Riley often challenged by Pauls literal lifetime of wisdom about faith. While he isn’t able to understand the ramifications of the curse that he brought home with him until it is far too late, Father Paul deftly maneuvers the consequences of his own unstoppable desire up to the point of total collapse. Certainly no hero  he at least comes to understand the importance of his own mortality and resigns himself to death with those he missed spending a lifetime with.

5 Erin Greene
Erin Greene looks shocked in an office in Midnight Mass Erin Greene determinedly left Crockett Island at sixteen to pursue an acting career. While getting a STEM degree may have been a better long-term option  she was right to try to break the chain of toxic abuse in her family and then again to make the hard decision to return to the island to escape another dangerous situation on behalf of her unborn child. Her decision to ignore Riley insistence that she leave the island while she could may have been spurred by a mix of anger  love and revenge, but she proves her tactical and ruthless nature by sacrificing herself to the angel and mutilating its wings in her final moments in a move that cements Erin as the bravest character in the show  on top of one of the smartest. In situations like this it is important for the cold  rational mind to be accompanied by the human desire to save the ones we love.

4 Mildred Gunning
Alex Essoe as Mildred Gunning in Midnight Mass Mildreds miraculous metamorphosis to her youthful self only serves to highlight how much dementia had taken from her by the time the events of the show take place. By the end of the series she stands as a pillar of thoughtfulness and clarity on a hill of ash and blood. Even prior to the effects of the Angel s blood on her body and mind  Mildred can recognize Father Paul as Monsignor John Pruitt the towns long time priest and father to her daughter Sarah  proving that her full wits still reside somewhere inside of her. Mild reds transformation opens her eyes even more  seeing the budding death cult inside her once beloved church before she swears off ever returning.

3 Riley Flynn
Riley Flynn stands in the doorway at night in Midnight Mass. Gripped by guilt grief  and a new existential outlook Riley Flynn returned to Crockett Island after his prison sentence left him with nowhere else to go. In conversations with high school flame Erin Greene and the silver tongued Father Paul Hill, Riley sums up just how much he researched and explored the nature of life, death and meaning. Ultimately  he lands on atheism, but shows humility and reverence when engaging with the people of Catholic faith in his life. He processes his own fear and mortality when faced with both death and a nightmarish alternative, sacrificing himself in such a way as to impart the truth of the situation to Erin in his final moments.

2 Sherriff Hassan

Sherriff Hassan moved to Crockett Island to slow things down and live a quiet life with his son after the death of his wife  but he finds himself butting heads with Bev Keane in her fervent drive to inflict her own beliefs on the town before dealing with the scourge of undead. Exhibiting a deep understanding of the context of Islam and Christianity in history  Sherriff Hassan quotes from both his religion and Bevs own to counter her thinly-veiled Islamophobia. He sees through mayor Wade Scarborough s insistence that the events transpiring on the island could be explained by natural phenomena  suspecting early on that something more was happening in the town. Sherriff Hassan stoic logic stands apart from the rest of the town as he maneuvers small town mysteries with massive consequences.

1 Dr. Sarah Gunning
Sarah Gunning sits at her kitchen table and talks in Midnight Mass In all likelihood  Dr. Sarah Gunning would never have returned to Crockett Island were it not for her mothers failing health  a prime candidate for the brain drain common in dying communities. However  were she not there to witness the violent reaction that infected blood had to light or to then develop a theory calmly and analytically about the spread of the curse, then there may have been no chance to stop the spread to the mainland. While the shocking paternity of Dr. Gunning is revealed late in the series, her body language and demeanor towards Father Paul betrays a suspicion of his relationship with her mother Mildred displaying a deeply empathetic and observant nature that served her well as the general practitioner of Crockett Island

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