Midnight Mass Actresses Kate Sigel And Annabeth Gish Talk Spoilers For The Haunting Netflix Series

It's not easy to hit pause on "Midnight Mass." Though the material is heavy and the story takes its time to unravel, that slow reveal is exactly what makes Mike Flanagan's latest horror series so enticing. What are the secrets of Crockett Island? And what could be the reason for all the strange new occurrences? The arrival of a young, charismatic priest, Father Paul (Hamish Linklater), permanently alters the town and the lives of each and every resident. He brings miracles and with them, an abundance of mysteries with answers that hurt more than they satisfy.

If you haven't already binged your way through the series, we have plenty of reasons why you should, but for those of us still reeling from the haunting seven episodes, there's a lot left to unpack. We've already dug into some of the nitty gritty in our spoiler review, but thanks to the magic of press cycles, two of the series' biggest stars have already weighed in on the big revelations and heartbreaking events of the final few episodes.

Proceed if you dare, there are many spoilers ahead for "Midnight Mass."

The Secrets of Sarah Gunning

Amongst the religious community of Crockett Island are the much less devout, like Dr. Sarah Gunning, a confidant for Erin (Kate Sigel) who plays a pivotal role in the shows final act. Where most members of the church have opted to go along with Father Paul and his ritualistic rebirth plan, Sarah, her de-aged mother Mildred (Alex Essoe), and Erin attend the Easter Vigil in the hopes of saving the townspeople. Obviously, things don't go entirely as planned and the final episodes sees Crockett erupt into chaos. In the mess of it all, Sarah is shot and killed by Sturge (Matt Biedel). Sadly, her death comes moments after realizing the truth of her parentage — Father Paul aka Monsignor Pruitt is her father.

Hindsight is 20-20. The revelation fits squarely into place, along with Sarah's observations about Monsignor Pruitt's tendency to stare at her intensely, as though he knew her secrets. Turns out, what she believed to be judgment was a loving gaze. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gish offered her answer to the question surrounding the mystery: did Sarah always know the truth? Gish said:

No, I don't think she ever knew, and I never played it as such. That would've changed everything. I think there might have been a subconscious, psychic thought about this person [Father Paul aka Monsignor Pruitt] who's shown up. You can see it when he watches how he gives her mother communion in this intimate, tender way. So I think she witnessed that, but I don't think there's any world where she ever thought this, especially with her devout mother. This lends itself more to the beauty of the project because it's so sad. It's so tragic that all those times she thought he was looking at her and judging her, he was actually looking at her lovingly. So it's so tragic, and this is why I love Mike because he never indulges that sh*t. It's just like, "Okay, that's a tragedy we missed."

The tragedy of Sarah, like so many residents of Crockett, was her inability to escape. Like Erin and Riley, she envisioned herself somewhere else, eventually, but lingered for her mother's sake. Of course, thanks to the Angel and Father Paul's communion "wine," Mildred became much more agile than the older woman she first appeared as. For Gish, there was some strangeness when it came to her onscreen parents — both played by actors younger than herself — but their dynamic added to the emotional resonance. Gish shared:

It was bizarre, especially because I've also known Alex for many years through the Mike Flanagan world... Alex and I, in particular, had one scene in our home where she's suddenly alert from her dementia, and there was this connective energy transfer that rocked me to my core. I have an aging mother; she's my best friend. And to play this scene in a world where you can re-meet your younger mother was a beautiful and spiritual experience. It was for both Alex and I — and Mike, too. I had to step away from it for a minute because it was really potent.

The Tragedy of Erin

The magic of "Midnight Mass' is that each character gets an emotional moment in the spotlight, be it a gut-wrenching monologue or tragic revelation. Some get more than a few, including Kate Siegel's Erin, who dies in the sun moments after dooming the Angel. Her death packs an extra punch thanks to an earlier conversation with Riley (Zach Gilford), where the pair prod at one of life's most haunting questions "what happens after you die?"

Siegel delivers the most poignant monologue of the series, the one already making the rounds online and being praised in reviews. The momentousness of the moment wasn't lost on Siegel. As she told Hollywood Life:

"When I received the script, I'm reading this going, 'Oh my, God, this is incredible. Oh my, God, this is incredible.' I get to that line, and I just felt deep terror because I was like, 'How will I say that? How will I get myself to a place where it feels authentic and not egotistical to say that?' Because I wanted to do the speech service. And like most things with Erin, it was a question of stripping away and stripping away my preconceived notions, stripping away my overly flourishing acting choices, stripping away any desire to pretend to be something."

Though this ranks pretty high for her most challenging scenes in the series, it's closely followed by the death of Riley. Believe it or not, they did not actually set Zach Gilford ablaze, requiring Siegel to really use her imagination when the moment finally came. In the same interview, Siegel offered some insight into how the scene went down before the effects kicked in, and how she prepared to deliver that heart wrenching scream.

"That was such a challenge because, as you can imagine, there wasn't anything in front of me. You can't actually set Zach Gilford on fire in order to make a performance happen. So that's one of those rare things where, as an actor, you find yourself doing the type of research that could get you arrested. Like, googling how long will it take to burn a human body? What does burning flesh smell like? [Looking up] cremation videos because I just wanted to know. I figured the emotion will be there. I wanted to know the facts so I could create a real sense of make-believe, and the thing that stuck with me and stuck with Mike Flanagan when we talked about it was how long that would take. So we the audience get to see the moment his skin catches on fire, but the amount of time that would take to turn a healthy human male into a pile of ash is an infinite, unbelievable amount of time. And on some level, Erin never leaves that boat because that's one of those things that you see and you can never unsee."

All seven episodes of "Midnight Mass" are streaming now on Netflix.