Brightcliffe Hospice was hiding more secrets than even The Midnight Club could fully reveal. The ghost story explored several creepy mysteries at the hospice, but its biggest twist came in its final moment. Spoiler alert: Don’t read on until you’ve finished The Midnight Club. Although the finale didn’t fully explain why Dr. Stanton has a Paragon tattoo on her neck, it seems like a pretty sound theory to conclude that Dr. Stanton was actually Athena all along, and The Midnight Club was hiding the clues in plain sight. Need some convincing? Let’s dive into all the details pointing to this big connection.
As Ilonka discovered through reading Athena’s journals that were hidden in Brightcliffe’s library, Athena was the daughter of Paragon leader Aceso who ended up stopping her mother’s bloody healing ritual and getting her arrested. In retelling the story to the Midnight Club, Ilonka emphasized that Athena was never found after the Paragon disbanded, and her real name was unknown.
Turns out... her name might be Georgina Stanton. After the last shot of the season revealed the hospice’s head doctor has a Paragon tattoo on the back of her neck, a lot of Dr. Stanton’s previous actions started to make a lot more sense.
So many details from throughout The Midnight Club seem to point to Dr. Stanton actually being Athena, the escaped Paragon cult member who returned to the scene of the crime to try to make Brightcliffe a better place by turning it into a place of true healing — or at the very least, comfortable, medically sound palliative care for terminal patients. A big early clue is how flustered Dr. Stanton got when Ilonka showed her Athena’s journal. Stanton became uncharacteristically emotional and quickly confiscated the book — a possible indication of her connection to the diary.
There’s also Dr. Stanton’s mysterious animosity with Shasta, and her dismissal of all the “magical” natural remedies the healer endorses. Once Shasta reveals herself to really be Julia Jayne, the former Brightcliffe patient who became Aceso’s successor in the ways of the Paragon, it’s clear Dr. Stanton must know much more intimately about the dangers of the Paragon than she let on. If she really is Athena, Stanton would obviously be intent on keeping Shasta away from Brighcliffe to avoid any more fatal Paragon rituals.
Finally, Dr. Stanton seemed to hint at her true identity quite a bit through her words and actions. In Episode 6, she gave Ilonka some pretty telling advice: “People can become so obsessed with death they ruin their lives.” That’s a bit of wisdom Stanton probably learned from watching her own mother’s fall from grace, since that statement pretty much describes Aceso’s life story to a T. Probably most telling of all, Stanton was also the one to interrupt Shasta/Julia’s ritual in Brightcliffe’s basement, just as Athena did Aceso’s back in the day. Not only is this parallelism significant, but there’s also the fact that Stanton somehow knew the ritual was going on... and seemed to know exactly how it worked as well.
Since series creator Mike Flanagan revealed he has plans for a second season of The Midnight Club, this Stanton/Athena reveal may actually happen in due time. But until it’s officially confirmed, fans will just have to keep combing through the first season for more clues.