Well, the Dawn Saga has concluded with Midnight Whispers, and boy, was it a ride.
We went full circle from Longchamp to Cutler to Longchamp all over again, as Christie may have officially freed herself from the curse of that blasted Cutler family and found something akin to happiness.
But, of course, happiness always comes at a cost, and it was major.
Is it possible to live happily ever after in the V.C. Andrews Universe? It doesn’t seem like it.
And this final installment was a perfect reminder as it was riddled with darkness and death, including of our treasured Dawn and her beloved Jimmy.
Obviously, this series isn’t a stranger to dark themes. It practically relishes them at every conceivable turn, frequently gearing toward the melodramatic.
But off, this was a dark one, as we learned bits and pieces about the family’s past, and we had to watch Christe fight for her life against her lecherous Uncle Philip and spineless Aunt Beth.
Christie had a good thing going for her for some time, so that’s something. She at least got to make it through most of her life, living in a privileged, well-adjusted, loving, supportive family and minimal scars.
Midnight Whispers had some editing issues. It started with how they dropped us into this random point in Christie’s life and then relied so heavily on exposition to carry most of the story.
With the long, convoluted history of V.C. Andrews’ Dawn Saga alone, let alone all the other tells, one barely batted an eye over the fact that somewhere in time, Christie started dating her step-uncle Gavin Longchamp.
Sure, some of this franchise’s appeal is watching the forbidden, and many notch posts of inappropriate relationships actually play out in front of us. We can’t always have romance, I guess.
Gavin Longchamp was a bit one-dimensional, despite Emrik Lopez’s admirable attempts at bringing the character to life.
Gavin had that Longchamp charm and swagger if the motorcycle and that chain around his neck didn’t make that clear. Oh, I see you, sir.
It was hard to get attached to the character or their romance when it mostly felt like background fodder in an aimless chapter of this saga.
But he definitely had his brother’s goodwill and “Captain Save a… Wholesome Blond” quality. It’s a Longchamp superpower.
Presumably, one of the best things about their romance is that if she inevitably ties the knot with her Step-Uncle now that her actual uncle is locked away and not chasing after her, she doesn’t even have to change her name.
She’s destined to be Christie Longchamp for the rest of her life, and she doesn’t even have to abide by all that Cutler nonsense and the hell that name brings.
The Longchamps weren’t particularly cursed so much as humble, working-class folk with a penchant for trouble here and there, save Fern, who is a hellish anomaly not worth claiming.
Did any real good even come from her learning her twisted family history at the Meadows?
It didn’t feel like we learned much of anything we didn’t already know or couldn’t guess, and we already saw much of what Christie pieced together.
But her learning the truth didn’t seem to have much bearing on how she operated since Christie already recognized that anyone who wasn’t her parents was batshit cray.
Instead, we borderline got another rudimentary albeit classic Lifetime fictional piece about a young girl trying to escape the sexual assault of her obsessive uncle.
Frankly, Dane Schioler is too good at playing this crazed, entitled, creepy guy, and I fully expect to see him in similar Lifetime movies.
This dude is tailor-made for this specific genre and could be deep in his bag with these roles. He has that Lifetime antagonist role down pat. More, please!
The film peaked when our girl Dawn died in a blaze of glory and love with Jimmy in that resort inferno after Philip clocked Jimmy in the head with a wrench in the boiler room, like a live-action game of Clue.
Rest in peace, baby girl. You died way too young, looking every bit of a teenager despite playing 33, but alas, I appreciate they didn’t do anything too drastic to age up her, Jimmy, or Philip. My ego couldn’t have taken a hit if they got too crazy.
I’m still mad that the Longchamps got blown to bits when Beth was right there.
I hate to be that person who would sacrifice a woman’s life for a hot dude, but Beth was the worst, and they could’ve kept their family problems within their inner circle instead of spilling over into the Longchamp bubble, dammit.
In fact, this movie sucked for making me advocate for violence against women. In hindsight, things might’ve been better if Philip had killed Beth and gone down for it.
Goodness knows she had no sense of sisterhood solidarity by laying by and allowing her psycho husband to sexually assault a teenager in the next room.
And her own violence against Christie was abhorrent.
And a girl shouldn’t have been practically feral when Homer snatched Fern up.
Homegirl somehow managed to make The Craft her entire personality five years before it even came out, and probably just needed a good old-fashion ass-whooping.
Her lack of sympathy when she learned the real reason Christie fled Philip was abhorrent and yet not all that surprising from a girl who cried abuse to manipulate Jimmy into taking her in and proceeded to give Dawn holy hell during Twilight’s Child.
The Meadows were creepy, even with electricity, and Charlotte and Luther were happy out of their minds.
It wasn’t surprising to learn that the devil’s child Charlotte supposedly had was actually a biracial son with Luther. Emily and all of her pseudo-Christian, sexist, racist evil bullshit would freak out about her sister having a child with a Black man.
And they implied that the family was paying for sins from slavery. And hey, a girl won’t knock a generational curse in the name of justice.
But throwing all these things out into the atmosphere felt silly when they didn’t amount to anything or lead anywhere.
Finding out that Lillian got sold to Big Daddy Cutler for the Meadows was just an errant story that supposedly explained away why Lillian was hardened broad.
But all of it felt like random things from the book thrown at us to pad this story further for a movie that didn’t feel like it needed to happen.
If they chose to end the story with Midnight Whispers instead of tossing us that Darkest Hour prequel, they could’ve just left things at Twilight’s Child, alluded to Dawn and Jimmy’s death at the end with a flashforward or something and left things there.
Watching Pedo Philip lose his mind over accidentally killing the woman he obsessed over and harassing his niece to the high heavens sucked.
And it felt like manufactured contrivances to have Zaddy Bronson unavailable and unable to take Christie and Jefferson in.
They teased that he and Christie were like “two peas in a pod” and that man was basically aware of all the family’s nasty, dirty secrets.
The man knew damn well that Philip was a creep and that his wife was a jealous, wounded woman with a vendetta, and that the twins were evil spawn children.
It also didn’t make any sense that Dawn and Jimmy wouldn’t have any will or paperwork to address what happened to the resort or, more importantly, the kids if anything happened to them.
Why wouldn’t Tricia take them in or something? Even if she brought them back to her home in NYC and arranged for them to have supervision, it would’ve made more sense than leaving them with Philip and his wife.
And as much as a girl enjoys laying eyes on Joey McIntyre, especially since he stopped looking like a Ken doll in the more recent installments with the blond hair, Christie seeing her father again didn’t amount to much either.
But so ends the V.C. Andrews Cutler Saga. Was it everything you wanted it to be and more?
Which V.C. Andrews series do you hope they cover next? Sound off below with all of your thoughts.
If you haven’t already, you can check out all of our V.C. Andrews reviews here at TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.