Film and Entertainment

Film Review: Episode 4 of The Midnight Gospel by Pendleton Ward and Duncan Trussell

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I have been spending a lot of my time watching Netflix series and movies and I just thought that I would share with you guys one of the films I have been tripping on. One of my favorite Netflix original series, The Midnight Gospel. *applause*

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Quick background: The Midnight Gospel is made by Pendleton Ward (creator of Adventure Time) and comedian Duncan Trussell, who is the voice of the main character Clancy Gilroy. In this series, Clancy, a spacecaster, lives in the universe called “The Chromatic Ribbon”. He conducts spacecasts with interviews from different beings on different planets using his multiverse simulator. (Disclaimer: The interviews are real and are from Duncan’s podcast: The Duncan Trussell Family Hour). The series tackles about existentialism, different views on life, death, and other concepts like meditation, mind-altering drugs, and Buddhism.

Now, I know there have already been a lot of reviews about the series but I want to specifically share my insights on my favorite episode (Haha), Episode 4: Blinded By My End, because of how intimate the topic was. I have to tell you, watching this series kind of makes you want to focus both on the interview, you know, what they talk about, and also on what’s happening on screen because both are ironically different from each other.

In each episode, Clancy goes inside the simulator and delivers himself to a specific planet and interviews its people before the planet approaches an apocalypse. On episode 4, Clancy is supposed to go to a planet called Mercurytaville, a lemonade-looking planet where the people inhabiting have achieved full harmony and hedonism. Clancy picks an erotic avatar, goes into the simulator hoping to find orgies in the planet, but instead lands on a medieval-looking planet called Rumi.

He lands into a bar filled with monsters and meets Fred, Steve and a furious and aggressive evil-looking dude who claims he has been sober for days. The irony, right? Haha!

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Clancy is saved by a warrior named Trudy the Love Barbarian who possesses a rose that can cure wounds and can transform into different weapons. But, the thing about her rose is that it kind of uses love to kill a monster. It can turn into a bow and arrow with arrow-heads as literal heads doing kisses. The arrow is shot and gives kisses to the monster. Trudy kills the monster while saying that she forgives him, as if the act of forgiveness and love together is what caused him to die.

Clancy then follows Trudy into the monstrous woods starting their adventure to rescue Trudy’s boyfriend who is captured by the evil Prince Jam Roll. Trudy welcomes Clancy to Rumi, saying that Rumi is a “community of spirits who feel the delight in being the noise while walking down a noisy street”. Those who abandon passion and be the disgrace.

Download The Midnight Gospel S01E04 720p WEB X264-EDHD - ReleaseHive

Trudy claims that although she killed the monster does not mean that she has no heart. “Forgiveness is like freeing your own heart from all the states of grudge and resentment and anger and ill-will”, she says. She explains in the interview while on their journey that sometimes, forgiveness can be tricky and that we need support. Clancy then, compares forgiveness to spiritual pull up bars– you think you could not possibly do it but in time, you will learn how to– and that support is those straps worn that make it lighter and easier to do a pull up.

“We can’t do it alone. You got support.”

Trudy Goodman, The Midnight Gospel

Trudy unravels that when prince Jam Roll has thrown her from his castle on top of a mountain and into the dark woods, she felt alone so she then created the community as support. In their community, they talk about love, mindfulness, and forgiveness. They conduct what she calls “Mindful Meditation” and claims that having support also means being able to understand all about listening.

While rescuing a baby and getting a potion from a witch who eats babies, Trudy talks about listening as focusing your mind on a thing that really matters, which in her case, is company. And gathering all your energy towards that thing. Clancy again tells a story, about someone he met at a party who he gave a boring conversation about modular synthesis, and shares that that man was found dead in an accident a few years after he met him. Clancy feels regret about wasting that man’s time while he should have just listened if he knew that the man was about to die. Furthermore, Clancy talks about how sometimes its hard to maintain listening and giving your full attention to someone and asks Trudy, “how do we cultivate the skill of listening in our own lives?”

Contradictory, Trudy, at that time, was also fake listening as she watches an old man milking a big crow with huge human tits! She then moves on and answers that listening requires a bit of mindfulness. Making one’s self aware of thinking about something else by knowing what is going on in one’s mind.

“You’re not in luck that people shared intimate things with you. It’s because you listened.”

Trudy Goodman, The Midnight Gospel

She claims that fake listening is traced to our lack of comprehension about mortality and that if we did understand how death works, one would have fewer moments of regret about wasting their time to someone without listening, just as what Clancy felt.

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As they go into Prince Jam Roll’s castle, Trudy further defines listening as a practice for life and death and that deep listening is what guards our aliveness. Listening to our own bodies, and to what surrounds our life is what takes us to the present moment of being alive. Clancy also states that “listening is the connection to the universe”, like breathing, and receiving aliveness.

As Clancy ends his interview, the two finally arrives to the castle and rescues Gerald, Trudy’s boyfriend, with the help of the potion. Clancy got drunk because he found a margarita machine, Trudy was almost killed but then she pulls off her last attack while shouting, “Forgiveness is tricky!”

Trudy kills Jam Roll with her rose but then Jam Roll’s butt turns into what looks like a huge skin-colored flower with spikes! It emits green smoke (I’m guessing it was fart) that surrounds the planet. Clancy gets his horn to go back to his simulator just as the planet explodes and deflates the moon. Clancy went home drunk with the rose caught on his mouth.

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If you want to know more and be enlightened about different ideas in life, come watch The Midnight Gospel on Netflix with me. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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