The Midnight Gospel Season 1, Episode 4 recap: Blinded by My End

The Midnight Gospel - Courtesy of Netflix
The Midnight Gospel - Courtesy of Netflix /

Episode 4 of Netflix’s The Midnight Gospel is about forgiveness and slaying monsters.

Ready for another trip from The Midnight Gospel? Clancy (Duncan Trussell) always appears to be. This time he heads out to Mercurytaville, where there are maximum harmony and hedonism. He even utilizes an erotic avatar.

There’s a small problem, however: As so often happens, Clancy ends up in the wrong universe. Also as usual: Because of the breakneck happenings of the animation (which are better understood by observation), we’ll focus more on the philosophical themes scattered throughout the episode.

Instead of pleasurable hedonism, Clancy encounters Trudy the Love Barbarian (Trudy Goodman). After using a love arrow to sever the arm of someone named Cornelius (Johnny Pemberton), she heads off with Clancy to avenge the recent death of her boyfriend, Gerald, by the evil Prince Jam Roll (Pauly Shore). What else is the episode about?

The Midnight Gospel: Forgiveness

Like other episodes of The Midnight Gospel, this episode deals with philosophy. Trudy and Clancy talk about forgiveness, including how you don’t need to love your enemy in order to move past a transgression. Sure, they discuss all this while doing things like riding a neon-green horse-like creature named Cassiopeia, but that’s part of what makes it a wild ride.

Trudy highlights an interesting quote from Rumi: “Drink all your passion and be a disgrace. Close both eyes to see with the other eye…” On that note, Trudy suggests that we have “sonar” for people who are deeply listening to us.

As an interesting contrast, the two adventurers encounter what could be called “honey money creatures,” which may have hidden meanings into the other themes of the episode (and the series in general). Are they suggesting that love, sweetness, and material gain complicate life’s adventure (just a guess)?

Who is Trudy Goodman?

According to her website, she is the Founding Teacher of InsightLA, and she encourages meditation. In this episode of The Midnight Gospel, her character mentions a place that encourages homeless people to write down and share their experiences. She also says she didn’t mean to start a center, but sort of fell into it. She also is very attentive to Clancy’s opinions.

For example, as a bunch of crazy stuff happens, Clancy mentions how he once severely bored a guy by yapping about his modular synthesizer, and that he regrets that the guy died one week later in a car accident. Basically, he regrets wasting the man’s time so close to his demise. On that point, Clancy asks about cultivating listening skills.

Where it gets complicated

Clancy and Trudy discuss mortality and fugue states (a condition familiar to Breaking Bad fans). To acquire a potion to revive Gerald’s corpse, Trudy tricks a witch named Sarah (Maria Bamford). After the witch babbles about milking a crow for the necessary magic, she accepts a baby from Trudy in exchange for the potion. However, rather than a typical baby, the child is actually a bomb — meaning Trudy tricked the witch.

The battle with Prince Jam Roll

After discussing how “deep listening is our connection to the universe,” Trudy finally has a battle with Prince Jam Roll. She is a true and valiant warrior, but it doesn’t prevent her from losing an eye from one of Jam Roll’s spinning blades. Jam Roll also turns out to be more genuinely monstrous than anticipated, as legs spring out of his eyes and he eats people, places, and things with his butt.

Ultimately, good triumphs over evil (or something like that). Jam Roll is at least semi-defeated, and Trudy saves her decapitated boyfriend with the potion. Unfortunately, Jam Roll gets back into action by the time Clancy leaves, leaving that misbegotten planet to an uncertain fate. By the time Clancy plants a magical rose, the murky message is that forgiveness is tricky but worthwhile for peace of mind (or something like that).

What are your thoughts on The Midnight Gospel? Let us know in the comments!

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