In episode 7, everyone’s bad day continues into the next day, except for Beatrice, whose fight is over. Patrick is now a guest of the Strangers, and they’re too desperate, for reasons of their own, to exhibit much politeness or patience with him. Rasmus has cast himself as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and is unable to cope with his beloved’s death, or let go of her body. He’s the same trainwreck that he’s been since the moment we met him, a force of nature who can’t be stopped and feels no remorse. As Simone will try to tell him, the rest just revolve around him, trying to keep him safe, and falling to the wayside as they fail.
The episode begins with the chief Stranger, Thomas, interrogating Patrick about the location of the rest of his group. When Patrick won’t answer, he does a little demonstration of old school interrogation methods. Once upon a time, they used to believe that insanity lived in the teeth, and kept removing them until sanity was restored. He pulls out one of Patrick’s molars, with pliers and no painkillers, to make sure Patrick’s understands.
Lea, Martin and Simone are all cheerful in the bunker until the girls realize that Patrick is gone. Martin explains that he had no choice but to kick Patrick out after what he did to Simone. Before Simone and Lea can react, Rasmus pounds on the bunker door, yelling for help. I thought he’d have palmprint access as well, although I’m not sure he actually tried it.
Martin goes upstairs alone and finds Rasmus carrying Beatrice’s dead, and potentially contagious, body. Simone and Lea follow. Everyone is stunned. Before they can stop him, Rasmus takes Beatrice downstairs, into the med lab. Martin closes the containment doors, sealing Rasmus and Beatrice in. Rasmus is insane with grief, yelling at them, “Why won’t you help her?” over and over.
Martin walks away and sits down in the bathroom, needing some time alone to process Beatrice’s death. Simone is having trouble processing just how exposed her brother has been to the virus, and wants to get him out of the lab. She tries to talk to Martin, but he sends her away.
Rasmus takes out his morphine package to take another dose, but it’s completely empty. Simone puts on the lab version of a hazmat suit and joins him in the lab. She tries to convince Rasmus that Beatrice is dead and nothing will bring her back. Her goal is to get him safely out of the lab. Realistically, they don’t know how long he’s been exposed and should keep him in quarantine for several hours, but no one is thinking straight.
Simone eventually gets Rasmus to accept Beatrice’s death, but then he decides that he doesn’t want to live without her. This is a huge slap in the face to Simone, who gave up her childhood for him and has devoted her life to keeping him safe. She tries to convince him that he doesn’t mean it. He tells her to leave, so she gets up and walks out. Rasmus kisses Beatrice, tells her he’ll see her soon, then leaves the bunker.
Patrick starts talking after one forced extraction (can’t really blame him). He tells Thomas that the others are in the bunker. They have access because of Simone, whose father works for Apollon.
Thomas flashes back to his training, before he was deployed in the quarantine zone. All of the Strangers are being given a pill in a yellow plastic cup, to swallow. Frederick’s colleague, Sten, is speaking to the men through a video screen:
“The quarantine area is a no man’s land. So there are no questions asked to the methods we use. The governments of the Scandinavian countries are unable to solve the situation, which means Apollon operates on is own. But what we do is for the benefit of the entire world. For every disease there is a cure, for every virus a vaccine. The fate of humanity rests on your shoulders. This responsibility can prove too much for a man to take, but we cannot live with the possibility of any of you bringing the virus back into the world. Once you have entered the area, nobody will get out before we have found what we are looking for. We have taken our precautions. The vitamins you just swallowed consist of thousands of small nano capsules. The itchy feeling in your neck is an allergic reaction to this. If you move outside of the area, the capsules will be triggered through satellite, releasing the virus, spreading instantly in the body, leaving no chance of survival.”
Of course one guy has to try it, to prove that it really works. It does, instantly. No wonder the Strangers are so mean and angry. They were lied to and are essentially being held captive and forced to work.
When Simone realizes that Rasmus has left and taken the walkie talkie, she follows him with the drone. Lea stays behind with Martin, who is still in shock over Beatrice’s death.
Rasmus walks back toward the houses. When he gets close, he radios to the Strangers to come get him. He doesn’t want to go on. Patrick is shocked to hear Rasmus’ voice. He explains to Thomas that Rasmus’ had carried Beatrice’s infected body, so he should be dead by now. Thomas says excitedly to Sergei, his partner, “We might have one!”
They go collect Rasmus, who’s overcome by the combination of self-pity and morphine withdrawal. He goes limp and falls to the ground when they try to make him stand. He won’t answer questions, he just wants to die. I guess he was hoping they’d shoot him on sight for no reason, so that he wouldn’t have to make the effort to kill himself.
I am so totally, utterly over Rasmus. He acts like he’s a 5 year old. When Simone was his age, she became a responsible adult in order to raise and protect him.
They bring him back to their base so they can question him more easily. He gradually tells them about the dog who licked his and Beatrice’s faces. Thomas gives him another dose of morphine to keep him going until they reach Apollon.
Lea rallies Martin to give Beatrice a proper burial. Lea gives her a beautiful eulogy, and Martin gives her a brief one. Simone comes back while they are filling in the grave and joins in, covering Beatrice’s face with a piece of fabric before the dirt hits it. Beatrice gets a burial montage, a moment of silence, and lots of tears. I’m upset that they killed her, but at least she had a proper send off.
Once everyone has had a minute to recover, and a cup of tea, Simone tells them that the Strangers have taken Rasmus and they need to save him. Martin says that it makes zero sense that he’s still alive. Simone says that they still need to save him. Martin replies that he really wants to kick his butt. Simone asks if they could save him first? Lea tells Martin he can kick Rasmus’ butt after they save him.
These are the three most mature people in the plague zone, along with possibly Thomas. They need to turn the quarantine zone into their kingdom.
They send up the drone and determine that their are four other people with Rasmus. One of the Strangers is standing guard and is separated from the others, so they take him hostage first. He tells them that there are three Strangers, three guns, Rasmus, and Patrick.
Martin radios Thomas and demands a trade: Rasmus for the guard. Thomas refuses. Martin says he’ll get back to Thomas the next day. Night is falling and the rain is coming. They go back to the bunker for the night. As Martin is locking the guard in for the night, he tells Martin that they’ll never give up Rasmus, since he might be immune.
Martin tells Simone what the guard said. She thinks that’s crazy talk. Then he apologizes for saying he wants to punch Rasmus. Simone understands that he was upset about Beatrice, because he loved her. Martin explains that he always knew their relationship wouldn’t last. Under normal circumstances, it would never have happened, and it had already ended. He takes Simone’s hand and holds it firmly, letting her know that it’s different with her. She smiles sweetly as he promises that they’ll get Rasmus back. Then she tells him that he has to forgive Patrick. He nods, confirming that he intends to.
The next day, Thomas sits outside with Rasmus, trying to figure him out. Martin radios him to restart negotiations. Thomas has Rasmus insisting he wants to die on one side, and Martin and Simone insisting that he kidnapped Rasmus and is holding him prisoner on the other. Thomas says they all share the same goal- they just want to get out of the quarantine zone. When he gets tired of being the middle man in their group drama, he holds the radio in front of Rasmus, who reiterates that he no longer wants to be in the world. Simone tells Thomas she’ll meet with him at the entrance to Sector 3.
Thomas is the MVP of this episode and is wasted as a Stranger. He should be the psychiatrist and social worker of the quarantine zone.
When Simone and Thomas meet, they argue over Rasmus some more. She wants her brother back, Thomas wants to inject him with the virus to see if he’s immune. Once the Strangers find someone who’s immune to the virus, they’ve been promised that their job in the zone is done and they can leave.
Martin and Lea bring Ivan, the other guard, out. Lea pulls out their syringe of the virus and holds it to Ivan’s neck. Thomas is faced with a real choice now. Simone slowly counts to three. Just as Lea is about to inject Ivan, Thomas caves and has Rasmus brought out. He orders Rasmus to go back to his sister.
Rasmus trudges over toward his group, as Ivan walks past him. Simone approaches him, and Rasmus tells her that he doesn’t want to go with her. He wants to go with the Strangers, get the viral injection, and then be gone from this world. Simone yells at him to shut up. She finally tells him that everyone has done everything for him. They’ve all died and given everything up to keep him alive.
He looks at her, nods, then walks over to Lea. He grabs the syringe and injects himself with the plague virus. As he does it, he says, “No more dying because of me!”
He collapses to the ground, unconscious, with everyone yelling variations on “NO!” They all go silent, and, because this is a Scandinavian show, they stand over him and look at him, silently, for over a minute. Simone says his name twice, quietly. In an American show, everyone would be running around screaming at everyone else to do something. I love that they let this moment breathe. It’s another powerful moment, as they wait to see if this is the beginning of Rasmus funeral or their salvation.
After that extra long minute, Rasmus slowly wakes up, stands up, and stumbles away. For him, this is a terrible turn of events. Thomas watches him and says, “It’s him. He’s the one.” He and the other Strangers are in awe. Simone, Lea and Martin are shocked and confused. Simone begins to wonder what this will mean for Rasmus when they reach Apollon.
Martin finds Patrick, who is still cuffed. He teases Patrick for a minute, then tells Patrick he’s forgiven, and cuts him loose. Patrick apologizes.
As the survivors are loaded into one of the Strangers’ cars, Simone questions Thomas about what will happen. He tells her that he still wants the same thing that she does, so she can trust him. They’ll all be taken to Apollon. If Rasmus has the antidote in his body, the others will be free to leave the zone if they wish. Simone can decide whether she wants to stay with her brother or leave.
One of the guards kisses Rasmus on his sweaty forehead before closing his car door, saying he’ll save them all. As the truck pulls out of sight, the guard vomits and writhes. Rasmus gave him the virus.
I’m not sure how much Rasmus has ever understood the virus. Whenever contamination is involved, he hangs back, looks blank, and at most argues with whoever is trying to stop the spread. Maybe something in his brain broke when he watched his mother die, or maybe he has learning issues from being terminally ill, then treated with experimental treatments as a child. Whatever the cause, he’s never fully internalized the seriousness of the plague, and doesn’t seem to be able to fully understand the way that cause and effect work. It’s more than just being an immature teenager.
When he and Simone opened the bunker door in episode 1, and the man grabbed him by his shirt, he has to have gotten a few drops of water splashed onto him, but he was fine. That’s probably why he thought Beatrice would be fine, too. And in fact, her body didn’t show the signs of a body that’s died from the virus, like having foamed at the mouth, vomited, and being in a twisted position from writhing in pain. I think the rain was fine where they were, too, but Beatrice didn’t want to wait to die a terrible death, so she killed herself using Rasmus’ morphine. When Rasmus goes to take his next dose, it’s all gone, which he should have known if he’d finished it himself.
Those nanocapsules are controlled by satellite, which means they could be turned off. Odds are, the control panel is at Apollon headquarters. Since the Strangers are slaves, they’re ripe for being turned to the side of the survivors.
I have my doubts about whether Apollon is actually trustworthy, and whether they’ll let anyone who knows the truth about the methods they use inside the zone back into the world.
I keep wondering if Frederick also injected Simone with the original virus. It seems like a lot to entrust your priceless work to the keeping of one willful little boy who’s been in poor health. Maybe she’s immune as well, but Frederick didn’t say anything to anyone about it, not even his wife. By telling Simone to keep Rasmus alive, he also told her to keep herself alive. Maybe the version of the virus that Simone and Rasmus carry has also become contagious as an airborne virus, but only with close proximity for a period of time. Instead of spreading the plague, it spreads the cure. That would explain why they were all able to go out in the rain. They’ve all caught the cure. Thomas also spent hours close to Rasmus as he was interrogating him, so Thomas is probably immune, too. That’s why they can all sit in the car with Rasmus and be safe, even though the injection seems to have made him contagious.
Images courtesy of Netflix.