3 Easter Eggs Found in Riley’s Room in ‘Midnight Mass’ That Hint at His Character’s Storyline

If you’re ready to kick off the Halloween season with some seriously spooky content, we highly suggest you check out Mike Flanagan’s latest Netflix series, Midnight Mass. The limited series touches on everything from religion to monsters to grief and is one that will surely leave you thinking about it long after you finish the last episode. Flanagan is known to hide Easter eggs within his series like The Haunting of Hill House, but the clues in Midnight Mass are a bit different.

[The article contains spoilers from Mike Flanagan’s ‘Midnight Mass.]

Riley stands in his bedroom with a poster of 'The X-Files' hung above his chest of drawers in a production still from 'Midnight Mass.'
A poster of ‘The X-Files’ hangs behind Riley in ‘Midnight Mass.’ | Cr. Eike Schroter/Netflix

Who is Riley Flynn in ‘Midnight Mass?’

Riley is one of the main protagonists in Flanagan’s latest supernatural series, Midnight Mass, and is played by Friday Night Lights’ Zach Gilford. Riley returns home to the small town of Crockett Island after serving time in prison for killing a teenage girl in a drunk driving accident where he was behind the wheel.

Most of the residents on Crockett Island are very religious, but Riley lost his faith during his stint in prison. The guilt he felt from taking a life caused him to ultimately turn away from his Catholic upbringing altogether. His parents force him to attend mass with them on Sundays, but he spends most of his time talking to his childhood friend, Erin Greene.

RELATED: ‘Midnight Mass’: These Books in the Bible Coincide With Each Episode of the Netflix Series

The clues to the overarching themes of ‘Midnight Mass’ are found in Riley’s bedroom

Riley had moved away from Crockett after high school and only returned after getting out of jail. His bedroom still looks the way it did when he left. The posters on his wall were all hit movies in the ’90s when he was in high school. However, they serve a bigger purpose to the audience.

Above Riley’s chest of drawers is a poster of Dana Scully from the popular sci-fi series, The X-Files. The show revolved around two government agents investigating supernatural and paranormal events that most people aren’t privy to. Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) balance each other out as Mulder is the believer while Scully is the skeptic. Throughout the series, Scully struggles with her belief in religion and the paranormal. She always offers up a more logical explanation for the situation at hand. The poster represents Riley’s skepticism that’s similar to Agent Scully’s.

There’s a Se7en poster above Riley’s bed. With the Catholic themes running throughout all of Midnight Mass, it’s easy to look at the poster and think it’s just a nod to the religion in the movie. The poster could represent something else, though. In the movie Se7en, a person uses their religious zealotry as their reasoning behind the murders. Does that sound familiar? If you’re thinking of Bev Keane in Midnight Mass, you guessed it. 

RELATED: ‘Midnight Mass’: Answers to 5 Burning Questions About Mike Flanagan’s Latest Netflix Series

Why ‘Scream’ might be more than just a scary movie in this universe

Finally, there’s a Scream poster on one of Riley’s bedroom walls. Despite Father Paul believing the monster that attacked him in the cave in Jerusalem is an angel, Riley sees something different. Everyone else on the island is blinded by their selfish desires to heal themselves and their neighbors. They believe God would do this. Riley, however, recognizes the monster for what it is. It’s a vampire, and people bitten by vampires have specific rules to follow. Even though Riley knows the rules, he chooses to break them and doesn’t survive. This could be compared to the characters in Scream who know all the “horror movie rules” but still don’t manage to survive the movie.

Midnight Mass did a great job taking a familiar horror tale about vampires and telling it from a different perspective. The limited series is currently streaming on Netflix.