The Rain Season 1 Episode 8: Trust Your Instincts Recap and Season 1 Review/Analysis

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Simone stands between her father and Rasmus, and the world and Rasmus.

In episode 8, Simone and Rasmus are reunited with their father at the Apollon headquarters, and the survivors reach the wall that separates the quarantine zone from the world, but nothing else goes as planned. The survivors face new and unexpected challenges at the Apollon headquarters, and have to make some difficult decisions, but they get some good news, too.

At the start of the episode, Thomas drives the survivors toward the grounds of the Apollon headquarters. The 100 foot high wall isolating the quarantine zone can be seen in the distance as well.

Simone remembers when her father charged her with taking care of Rasmus. He told her that Rasmus was the key to it all. In the present, she tries to put her hand on Rasmus’ shoulder in solidarity, but he cringes forward to shake her hand off.

The Apollon headquarters is an underground facility. Before anyone is allowed out, the truck is sprayed with a decon solution. Then Simone and Ramus are sent to see their father, while the rest are sent to a slightly larger version of the bunkers. They’ve already had enough of bunkers, but reluctantly do what they’re told.

Frederick meets his children in a large open area inside the facility. Simone goes to him first. He reaches out his hands to touch her face, but she pushes him away and punches at him, crying. A nurse comes in, and Frederick gives instructions for the way he wants both of his children examined. No one has paid attention to Rasmus for several minutes, so he faints. He quickly has a crowd around him. Frederick has Rasmus taken to an isolation room for tests, and sends Simone to a different room to wait.

The new bunker is nicer than the old bunkers, with live plants and a bowl of fresh fruit, but it still makes the group nervous. Martin encourages them to stay hopeful, while Patrick points out that their rifle has been taken away.

I’m not sure how they can delude themselves that Apollon will be remotely safe or trustworthy, after watching the test videos where the Apollon scientists sent the father and his 8 year old daughter to their deaths. It will appear safe and comfortable until their time is up, just as it did for the test subjects.

Simone lies in bed and remembers back to a time not long after their mother died. Rasmus was feeling especially rebellious. He refused to take a shower, and told Simone she wasn’t his mother, so she couldn’t boss him around. Simone had had enough at that point. She grabbed him firmly and told him to stop pretending that their mother wasn’t dead. Simone was the only one there, and she was in charge. Baby Rasmus cried adorable tears and broke Simone’s heart.

Present day Simone watches the rain from her new bedroom. Frederick comes in and asks her if Rasmus is on morphine. He tries to comfort her, telling her that she’s done everything she could for Rasmus. She doesn’t accept his comfort. She insists that he has no idea how she raised Rasmus, whether she was kind and attentive or harsh and abusive.

Finding Frederick alive and living a normal, comfortable life, as if the rest of his family never existed, is getting to Simone. She’s lived on the hope that her father was alive, but never thought through what that would mean.

Simone demands answers from her father. He looks at the surveillance camera on the wall, signals to her to be quiet, and leads her out of the room.

Lea gets some good news for a change.

Lea looks through the supplies in the pantry, and finds Jean’s coat on the floor. She walks through the bunker looking for him, and finds him in the bathroom, alive and naked! They hug. He tells the others that he thought the Strangers were going to kill him, but then they told him they’d found what they were looking for. Martin and Patrick apologize for running away when the Strangers captured him.

A nurse brings in little plastic cups with pills and a pitcher of water. She tells them they need to take vitamin supplements. Patrick, Martin, and Leah are suspicious, and insist the nurse take one first. She does, and pretends to come down with the virus after she takes it. Jean says she did that to him, too, when she brought him his “supplement”. They must keep a dummy capsule in each batch. The other 3 can’t think of another reason to argue, so they take the pills. The whole thing is presented exactly like the “supplements” that the Strangers were tricked into taking, with the nanocapsules that will activate the virus in their systems if they try to leave the zone.

Frederick takes Simone to see Rasmus and explains his immunity to her. He says that Rasmus was the first to get the virus, and got it in its pure form. Rasmus has the cure in him, and always has. But Frederick can’t say any more right then. He’s protecting them, just as he always has.

Flashback: Soon after the plague started, Frederick enters the bunker in a hazmat suit. He goes to look at Rasmus, then leaves and cordons the bunker off. He gets back into his vehicle, and shuts the power in the bunker down. His partner is surprised, but Frederick tells him that everyone is dead in there and they don’t need that bunker.

That was the night that Rasmus told Simone he’d seen Frederick/a man in the bunker.

The minute you let your guard down…

Simone at the crossroads. Does she rejoin the group, or stay with her father? She’s with Martin in spirit, but only through Apollon technology.

Present day: A nurse needs to use a swab to take a sample from Rasmus’ mouth, but he’s Rasmus, so he won’t cooperate. The nurse tries to force his mouth open, and others try to help her. He bites the nurse’s hand and draws blood. Rasmus screams for his dad.

Simone has nightmares about all of the people who were killed as test subjects while Apollon looked for the cure that was in Rasmus all along. She uses the tablet that’s in her room to call Martin in the bunker. She’s worried that she’s brought them into a trap. Martin talks her down.

Her father takes her to an isolated spot where there aren’t any cameras. He explains that he never came to get them because in order to use the virus that’s in Rasmus for a vaccine, Apollon would have to kill him. The virus lives in his brain and spinal cord. They have to get out of Apollon before the scientists can do anything to Rasmus. He’s spent 6 years looking for someone else with the same immunity that Rasmus has, but there’s no one. Simone confirms that he killed all those people. He explains that he had to protect his own children. Then he tells her they’ll meet where they met the first time. He’ll get Rasmus.

Flashback: Frederick continues with his work in another bunker. His partner, Bjorn, questions how he can keep working like nothing has happened, when he’s lost his family. Frederick says that mourning serves no purpose. Bjorn doesn’t buy it, and questions Frederick further about Rasmus and how he died, eventually guessing that Rasmus is still alive in the original bunker. Frederick bludgeons Bjorn to death so that he can’t give away Rasmus’ location, then goes outside to be sick. That must have been his first murder.

Present day: Frederick enters Rasmus room and tries to relieve his nurse, but she’s busy dying from the virus. Frederick takes the swab that Rasmus wouldn’t let the nurse use, and discovers that Rasmus is contagious. Of course, he doesn’t tell Rasmus that directly, because he’s the worst father ever. He just tells Rasmus that he can’t help him, and calls Sten to have the facility put in lockdown.

Then he walks away from his son and doesn’t look back. His concern is making sure the virus doesn’t spread. Sten’s concern is preserving Rasmus to use him as biological material in whatever ways are possible. Frederick is still telling Sten that they can’t use Rasmus because Rasmus is his son, but we just saw how much that actually means to him.

Sten says that he’s sending in a team to pick up Rasmus so that they can begin operating on him immediately. He insists that since the virus has mutated and Rasmus is contagious, harvesting his useful parts before he kills them all is the only thing they can do. Frederick reluctantly agrees.

Simone is listening from the shadows. She demands that her father do something to help Rasmus, but he says that there’s no way. She says that he said that there might be a way, but he says there isn’t time. She says, “What if we had time?” He says that he can’t save Rasmus. Simone decides that she’ll save him herself.

The bunker seals up tight without warning, trapping everyone inside. They attempt to break out, but nothing is strong enough to break through. Simone runs to the bunker, and tells them to cover the air vents to get the emergency protocols to open the door. When the oxygen gets too low, the doors will open. They cover the vents and start a fire. It’s another leap of faith, but it works.

Simone finds Rasmus on his way out of his quarantine room. The team that was sent to transport him must not have gotten the message to wear hazmat suits, because they’re almost all dead. The one that’s left runs away when Simone shows up.

Rasmus can’t figure out why Simone is keeping her distance. He still doesn’t understand cause and effect or what it means when everyone drops dead who comes near him. She has him put on a hazmat suit. It’s the Strangers’ version, so it has a muzzle instead of a clear mask. Muzzling Rasmus could be a good idea (or a great idea).

The bunker pops open, and the survivors all find each other. Unfortunately, Frederick finds them, too, and he has a gun. We know he’s quite capable of cold-blooded murder. Frederick tries to convince them that Rasmus will kill them all, but after so many lies, no one believes him now.

Frederick points the gun at Rasmus, preparing to shoot him before he can leave to continue spreading the infection. Martin jumps in between them and tries to talk Frederick down. He tries to convince Frederick to stand down and let them go. Frederick says that they don’t know what he’s done, what he’s sacrificed and what he’s capable of. Martin replies that they’ve got a pretty good idea. Now he should lower the gun and let them go. Martin takes a step toward Frederick, and Frederick shoots him in the shoulder. Rasmus stands there, frozen.

Frederick prepares to shoot Rasmus, apologizing as he works up to it. Simone runs at Frederick and shoves him as he fires, forcing him to miss and fall to the ground. Patrick pulls up with one of the Strangers’ cars, and they all pile in.

Rasmus is contagious, Martin is shot, and 4 of them have taken the evil capsules, but they’ve escaped Apollon. They drive to the wall. There’s a gate that’s surrounded by guards, including Thomas. They exchange useful information, like that one side has Rasmus, and that several of them will die the minute they try to go through the gate.

Patrick grabs Thomas and holds him at knifepoint.

Since Simone didn’t take a pill and isn’t contagious or carrying the cure within her, she’s the only one who can leave. The others talk her into it. Except she’s going to drive through the gate, out into the world, with Rasmus in the car. WHAT??? I find it hard to believe that Simone would suddenly be that irresponsible.

She says a tearful goodbye to everyone, especially Martin, who kisses her goodbye.

She starts driving. The guards won’t shoot as long as she has Rasmus in the car. He’s still their only hope of getting out of the zone.

Simone drives forward a few feet, then turns around. She won’t go without the others. She stops and herds everyone else back into the car like a mother hen. It’s adorable. They drive back into the zone. It’s their place, anyway.

Rasmus lies there listlessly. I’ll give him a pass this time. He’s had a really bad couple of days.

After he makes sure the other guards don’t shoot, Javert Thomas tells them that he’ll be coming for them.

Sten holds a supersecret underground, underwater meeting with shady political/business operatives. He uses a holographic cloud to explain his evil plans to continue to use Apollon’s supersecret cloud seeding technology to produce viral plague hot zones for which only Apollon has the cure. Of, course, the world doesn’t know that Apollon created the plague, either.

He’s interrupted by a phone call letting him know that Rasmus has escaped. He tells them to detain Frederick, since he can’t be trusted, and to continue to research mutations of the virus.

Then Sten explains to his audience that he’s found a way to control the world through weaponizing the most dangerous disease it’s ever known. They just need to get Rasmus back.

Ursula Sten just needs Ariel Rasmus to enact his evil plans.


Analysis

Dr Mengele Frederick has to go down as one of the worst TV fathers in history. He experimented on Rasmus as a child, and set loose an apocalyptic plague. Then he killed thousands, including children, as part of his human experimentation program while looking for a cure that he already had. Now, he stands meekly by while his business partner plans to use new versions of the plague to control the world. Frederick supposedly abandoned Simone and Rasmus to save them, but he didn’t do anything beyond giving them the possibility of survival. He had the resources to do so much more, yet he did nothing. And when they were finally there in front of him, he still did nothing. He froze, then agreed to let Sten kill Rasmus, then tried to kill Rasmus himself.

Fun fact: Typhoid Mary was allowed to live out her days in quarantine.

If Frederick was dead, Simone could believe her father died trying to get back to them. Now, she has to face the reality of a father who not only created the plague, but who knowingly abandoned them, seemingly forever, in a plague-ridden world. A father who had the means to rescue them at any time, but didn’t. A father whose idea of protection was to kill thousands of people while ignoring his children. He didn’t even try to send them a message with instructions for when the food in the bunker ran out. He didn’t send someone to get them out of the zone safely. He knew his wife was dead, and just left them, without even a note.

When they were escaping from Apollon Headquarters, he could have gone with them. He was planning on taking Simone and Rasmus on the run. He could have told them to use his plans and resources. It’s probably just as well, because Sten will torture that information out of him, but it’s the thought that counts.

The survivors need to find one of the abandoned bunkers and the scientists that Apollon thinks are dead, like the cannibal cult scientist, and get them back to work on researching the virus and immunity. But they need some creative thinking involved. Apollon has no idea what they’re doing. They haven’t even seen the virus in its current form or as its evolved within Rasmus & Simone in many years.

Martin seemed to be recovering from his gunshot wound very quickly, just like Rasmus recovered quickly from his knife wound (once the infection was healed). Patrick also had his tooth extracted, and we saw no signs of his face being bruised or swollen. I think the contagious form of the virus that confers immunity also promotes fast wound healing. I don’t know what to make of Rasmus’ infection. I guess the virus is an antiviral and wound infections tend to be bacterial.

The next interesting question is, how contagious is the immunity form of the virus? Did Frederick spend enough time in proximity to Simone to catch it? Is Thomas contagious enough to make the other guards immune? Would that version of the virus be enough to counteract the nanobot plague?

They never got around to doing tests on Simone, since Frederick actually only cares about Rasmus. If they had, they’d find the immunity version. Or maybe he stalled those tests so that they wouldn’t discover that he’d given her the cure as well. He didn’t try to stop Simone and the others from leaving, only Rasmus. Maybe he wanted her to get out because she has the virus in her.

Episode 7 technically should have been Rasmus’ episode. We did spend much of the episode with him and seeing it from his point of view. But, unlike all of the other character episodes, we didn’t get any flashbacks from his perspective. I’d argue that episode 7 was actually Thomas’ episode, and episode 8 was Frederick’s episode. Each of them had flashbacks that explained their history and motivations in those episodes, just like the other characters did in their own episodes.

Every episode was Rasmus’ episode, and none of them were. Rasmus isn’t treated like an independent person by most people, even Simone. He’s her reason for living and she’s not ready to let him be his own person. The others, other than Beatrice, follow her lead. To the rest of the world, he’s the cure. And now, a carrier. Thomas impressed me by being the one person other than Beatrice to sit down and listen to what Rasmus was thinking. But Rasmus also continues to act like a child and benefit from being treated like a child. He shows no interest in growing up. He uses charm and manipulation to make his way in the world.

Rasmus looking especially pathetic, helpless, and like he’s going to faint at any moment. He faints more than any character this side of the 19th century.

Rasmus has gone beyond being a Shakespearean character and moved on to becoming a tragic Gothic heroine, fainting all over the place, being kidnapped and rescued, his life seeming to spiral out control at every turn. The secret of both the Gothic heroine and Rasmus is they that they use that chaos to regain the control of their lives that’s been taken away from them. It may be tragic and scary, but at least it’s their own life, no matter how the consequences affect everyone else. They take control by spinning everything and everyone around them out of control, while they walk through the center, the mostly unharmed eye of the storm.

I’m not sure a character has ever been written who fits the trope of The Load better than Rasmus: The character who must be brought along on the adventure and protected at all costs, despite their apparent lack of purpose, skills or usefulness, and who usually puts the group in constant danger. It’s usually eventually revealed that The Load has a purpose after all. Also known as Too Dumb to Live. From the first time we see him, when he causes a multicar pile up because he can’t sit still in the car for five minutes, until the last time we see him, when he’s become a suicidal, morphine addicted plague carrier and Living MacGuffin, Rasmus roams the quarantine zone accidentally causing death and destruction wherever he goes, while smiling his winning smile, or pouting his little boy pout.

The other survivors were all punished for their sins, and have come out on the other side as better people, free of guilt and trauma. Patrick had his tooth extracted in biblical “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” justice. Martin and Lea both worked through their guilt and atoned for their wrongdoing. Or perceived wrongdoing, on Lea’s part, unless you count going to a party against her mother’s wishes as worth the horrendous punishments Lea received. Jean avenged the murder of Vilde’s parents and turned himself in to the Strangers to be punished for Vilde’s accidental death. The universe set him free. It’s never really discussed, but Simone raised Rasmus with no thought for herself, partially as penance for the death of their mother.

Beatrice died. The only “sins” we saw her commit were telling unimportant lies. She was also the only woman we saw have voluntary sex. That’s not worthy of being punished by death, or punished at all. She died so that Rasmus would feel pain and act on it. Unlike the others’ punishments, neither she nor Rasmus had any character growth from the experience. ūüėú

Poor Martin. This whole season we’ve watched people talk each other down from murder, and jump in front of guns to stop the killing. Both Simone and Lea stood in between him and murder, and he listened to them. After all of that, when Martin took his turn to bravely stand in front of a gun and talk someone down, he chose the evil, mad scientist and got shot for his trouble. He doesn’t even like Rasmus!! That’s being a great boyfriend and group leader. Simone knew her father has no morals left and would shoot both Martin and Rasmus. She was frantic to get Martin out of the way.

I love the way Martin and Simone’s relationship slowly evolved as his character was influenced by hers, and as she became more used to being out in the world. It was totally organic and earned. They showed us in his flashback that he was a decent person who took a wrong turn. He just needed someone to bring him back. And she was a normal teenager who was an intelligent leader, but who’d then been cooped up for 6 years. She has common sense, she just needed time to adjust to the new reality. Once they met in the middle, they became right for each other.

Thomas is a good, caring man who’s been tricked into a terrible, desperate position and has been handling it with as much grace as possible. Though he’s done terrible things as part of his job, he’s not one of the Strangers who takes the lawlessness of the zone as an opportunity to kill anyone he wants. He’s kept his morality and humanity intact. Like Javert in Les Miserables, he believes in his cause and will be hunting the survivors down, searching for Rasmus so that he can free everyone.

But like Jean Valjean, the survivors have all paid for their crimes, now. Hunting them down and sending them back to Apollon serves no purpose. Sten isn’t interested in curing the people in the zone or letting them out. I guarantee his plan is either to continue to experiment on them, or to kill them outright. What will Thomas and the Strangers do when they realize that Sten isn’t going to honor his side of the deal?

The cannibal cult was a fantasy set apart from everything else, a cautionary tale of what happens when you try to take the easy way out. It was the foreshadowing of what Sten has become, the wizard who’s willing to destroy the world to make himself the richest and most powerful, but has to live in an undersea fantasy land to hide from his conscience and the judgement of the world.

Say what you will about Frederick, he knows what he is, and it’s slowly driving him insane. He’ll either get ahold of himself and join his children or find some other way to help them, or go completely mad and become nihilistic.

Sten, on the other hand, appears to be beyond redemption. It’s not clear whether he knew the virus would mutate into a plague and pressured Frederick to release it for that reason, or if he’s simply taken advantage of the situation that’s arisen. Either way, he’s poised to become the worst mass murderer and world dictator in history.

He’s currently working behind the scenes, amassing power, influence and wealth, doing what he can with the virus until Rasmus is found. Frederick appears to be unaware of Sten’s master plan for world domination, and right now Sten is offering his weapon to others while he remains in the shadows.

But the story is set up to become an epic stand off between good and evil¬†Simone and Sten. Frederick and Thomas are powerful wildcards, as are the remaining Apollon bunker scientists. Sten has wealth and resources, but he was shown in a fantasy bunker, with associates rather than friends. He’s betrayed everyone. Simone was out in the light, immune to the plague, with the cure inside her and surrounded by friends, having made more friends and allies everywhere she’s been. Loyalty and light always count for a great deal in a stand off between good and evil.


Gender Parity

The Rain started out as a female led show with approximate gender parity: 3 female regulars and 4 male regulars. Then they killed one of the female regulars and none of the male regulars, and killed practically every female who appeared on-screen, from Vilde to Karen. At the end of the season, we’re left with 2 women and 4 men among the survivors, and 3 other men set up to be regulars or frequently recurring characters, but no women- Sten, Thomas, and Frederick. Out of 9 characters who appear ready to continue to a potential season 2, that’s a greater than 4:1 ratio in favor of the men. In real life the gender ratio is 1:1.

Plus, the female regular that we lost died under mysterious circumstances, when everyone else in that situation lived. Her death was a total plot device death to motivate Rasmus, otherwise known as fridging*. Her story and character development were unfinished, and we could have sacrificed an unnecessary male for the dead regular, or no one. Rasmus is always upset about something and/or doing something stupid. An argument would have sufficed to set him up to be caught by the Strangers. Beatrice’s death served no purpose.

Why weren’t there more women in general in the zone? Where were the female scientists and Strangers? It’s pure misogyny to cast women mostly as mothers and nurses, plus one token scientist/doctor who’s gone insane over the loss of her family. This a glaring issue.

Women would be at least as likely as men, if not more so, to be able to find food and hide from the Strangers and other attackers. They showed us how likely men were to turn to violence. If anything, there would be fewer men, as they killed each other off fighting over territory and resources.


Review

Somewhere around episodes 3,4 & 5, I fell in love with this show. The characters and the world building are incredibly fully developed for an 8 episode season of 35-40 minute episodes. You’d think we were three seasons in, with how much we already know, but the pacing was also superb, in my opinion. This show was one of the most realistic dystopias I’ve ever seen, with the caveat that there should be more women.

I love that the show gave us action, romance, and horror, but didn’t overemphasize any of it. When they portrayed those aspects, it wasn’t flashy, full of blood and gore, or exploitative. Instead, they let the characters and the setting speak for themselves. The survivors spent most of their time realistically foraging for food, trudging through the woods, sleeping in a different place every night, and worrying about new people.

The look of the show is realistic and gritty. All of the women wear very little make up and have natural looking hairstyles. The characters, even the young attractive ones, wear relatively loose clothing and are covered in dirt, since they can’t use the water to wash. It’s often “sexy dirt,” but it’s still dirt. Only Sten, the evil corporate leader, looks polished and like his world hasn’t changed.

The setting is mostly outdoors, in the woods, and indoors, in the Apollon bunkers. The city was so desolate that it was an extension of the forest. The Apollon headquarters was a larger version of the bunker. The cold sterile nature of the bunkers contrasts with the organic, wild, unavoidably real nature of the world outside. The scientists and Apollon staff aren’t facing reality the way the people outside are forced to everyday. They don’t understand the full extent of the crisis, and that makes Apollon even more dangerous.

The cult and Sten’s aquarium bunker, the two fantasy worlds, took detachment from reality to a whole new level. In both, cultural taboos are being broken that threaten civilization as we know it, despite both having the veneer of prosperity and benevolence.

The sound, light, visual effects and music all play to the overall cinematography and themes of good vs evil, technology vs nature, sanity vs insanity, and action vs reaction vs thought. I loved the pop songs that were included in the soundtrack, especially with the montages. They always added to the story. The visual effect used to show the slowmo drops of rain from above served to make the rain seem even more ominous, as did the ever-present dark, cloudy skies and distant thunder. It got to the point where I wondered why the characters on every show I watch weren’t avoiding the rain!

The show spent most of its time focussing on the relationships between the characters, the issues that the survivors face, the origins of the plague, and the future of the virus. Each episode felt packed with drama, but also had time for the stories and characters to breathe. That’s a testament to how well written the series is. There wasn’t any filler, even though some of it may have felt like it at the time. Everything was foreshadowing, efficiently drawn character development, or world building.

The characters were all well cast. I don’t know if any of the actors are stars in Scandinavia, but even if they are, they earned their roles here, instead of just being cast for their ability to bring in an audience. Every actor melted into their role.

Alba August as Simone,¬†Lucas Lynggaard T√łnnesen as Rasmus,¬†Mikkel Boe F√łlsgaard as Martin,¬†Jessica Dinnage as Lea, and¬†Lars Simonsen as Frederik all had especially complex roles which they brought nuance and subtlety to. Alba August is luminous as Simone, the beacon of hope.¬†Mikkel Boe F√łlsgaard believably grows from a scared boy into a strong leader and partner.¬†Jessica Dinnage portrays a huge range of emotions, from the lowest lows, to a deep love and gratitude, to an incredible strength, and she makes us feel it all flowing from Lea’s heart.¬†Lars Simonsen also portrays a range of emotions, from cold and clinical to scared and on the edge of insanity. He walks a knife-edge through out the season as a man who wants to save his family and the world, and ends up saving neither. Lucas Lynggaard T√łnnesen plays Rasmus as his father’s son, walking that same knife-edge of insanity, while the audience and the world wait to see which side they’ll each fall toward.

Lukas L√łkken as Patrick adds an element of chaos, but makes him likable and understandable, so that we root for him.¬†Sonny Lindberg as Jean is the good guy with a guilty secret, and we root for his sweetness and likability as well.¬†Angela Bundalovic gave Beatrice a warmth and complexity that added unique elements to the group and will be missed. There were times when she alone was able to understand the others’ motivations and smooth things over.¬†Bundalovic played Beatrice with a playfulness combined with underlying tragic seriousness that was captivating.

This show is what The Walking Dead was in its first season, and has wished it could be ever since. The Rain did more with their cannibal story in 1 episode than The Walking Dead did in a season of foreshadowing and fighting Terminus. But if what you actually want to watch is grosser and grosser zombies (or whatever other random monster), you won’t find that here. This is the story of people living through an apocalypse as it happens, and occasionally the story of how they die. There are lots of dead bodies, but they aren’t the focus and they don’t get the majority of the budget. The characters are as likely to talk their way out of a situation as they are to fight.

That said, unlike The Walking Dead, we know the basics of the science behind this plague, but the science doesn’t always make sense and isn’t applied consistently. It’s maddening to see the way water is approached vary constantly. Very few science fiction shows are able to make their science make complete sense, so I’ve given The Rain some slack on this. Also, suspecting that some characters have developed immunity and/or the water may not be as toxic any more would explain some of the plot holes. Hopefully this will be addressed further in season two, if we get one.

My other issue with the season is the fridging of the women and the overall lack of women in the quarantine zone, which I’ve written about above. The show needs to come into the 21st century and realize that women can be survivors, soldiers and scientists, not just mothers, nurses and victims.

The fridging of Beatrice in an unalterably permanent way is especially egregious because Jean benefitted from the equivalent male trope, Dead Men Defrosting. In other words, women are a lot more likely to stay dead than men, just like we saw on this season of The Rain.

Overall, this is a great show for science fiction fans who want to watch a dystopian universe with substance and depth. It doesn’t have the gloss, action and gore of a higher budget show, but it makes up for it with efficient writing, world building and character development. The cast are all fantastic in their roles, so that it’s hard to imagine anyone else in their places. I’m looking forward to seeing where the world expands to in season 2.

Grade for the season: B+

(Would have been an A or A-, but I don’t take kindly to killing almost all of the women and keeping the few that are left in roles left over from the 1950s.)

ETA: Some of the science and plot twists are explained in this in depth interview with The Rain co-creators Jannik Tai Mosholt and Christian Pota.

 

*Fridging-¬†named for the trend in comic books, which was noticed when a female character was murdered and stuffed into a refrigerator for her boyfriend to find. It’s widespread in all forms of media, though comic books get written about the most, because comic book fans created the website Women in Refrigerators.

Tunefind.com lists and links every song from The Rain season 1 and most other shows.

 

Images courtesy of Netflix.

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