The Midnight Gospel recap: Episode 7, ‘Turtles of the Eclipse’

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

Episode 7 of The Midnight Gospel deals with the “death-industrial complex.”

The Midnight Gospel episode 7 begins with Clancy (Duncan Trussell) to the planet Blank Ball. Taking the form of a “creamy” version of himself in the new universe, he begins setting up a waterslide for himself. However, before he can fully enjoy the slide, all hell breaks loose and he ends up meeting Death (Caitlin Doughty).

Death needs a form so she can manifest. After some varied and silly forms, there’s a compromise where Death takes the appearance of the classic Grim Reaper but with a silly eye. After Clancy meets some sinister selves in a mirror, he and Death end up discussing what she called the “death industrial complex.”

The Midnight Gospel: A brief history of death in America

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As they weave their way through the fantastical world of Blank Ball, Clancy and Death discuss things like embalming and its origins in the American Civil War. It turns out death and funerals were a bigger problem back then. Trains began to refuse the task of transporting bodies, as they would end up stinking the place up. So, ultimately, professional embalming was born.

Interestingly, hey initially used arsenic and sawdust to preserve bodies, rather than formaldehyde. Because there was money to be made, embalmers ended up promoting and expanding the trade. Of course, as they discuss details like this, strange things happen to them on a boat ride, and a cycloptic giant throws them around. However, as is typically the case in The Midnight Gospel, the conversation continues mostly unabated.

The Midnight Gospel: Making bodies “safe”

To help popularize their industry, embalmers claimed they made dead bodies safe, and death became a business for funeral homes. In contrast, Death promotes the option of traditional home funerals. As they discuss Death, Clancy mentions that his dad died of the “slow fades” during the sector wars, which will surely be open to interpretation.

Death actually saves Clancy at one point, as he falls over a precipice. She says it’s not his time to die, but that he’ll ultimately die on a “rolly chair.” After contemplating death, Clancy finally gets a hose for his waterslide, but it’s only a brief part of the adventure.

Also, understandably, he throws out his rolly chair when he gets home, and it lands in the wobble where we briefly meet Captain Bryce (Steve Little) from the previous episode. The episode also features the sleeping elevator Emperor (Phil Hendrie), who beats Clancy and company with a scepter.

This episode is obviously a wild and morbid ride, yet it further establishes the series as a comprehensive philosophical entity.  In fact, it’s quite possibly one of the most philosophical shows one could find on Netflix, and perhaps on any other streaming network.  Sure, it can be confusing, but there is a method to the madness and Clancy is usually relatable, to some degree.

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