It’s time to journey back to Scandinavia for season 2 of The Rain, Netflix International’s pocket apocalypse series in which rainwater contaminated by a man-made plague virus has killed almost everyone in Denmark. That country, and possibly parts of the countries it borders, have been closed off in a quarantine zone, while the company which created the virus, Apollon, tries to find the cure. The quarantine zone is a post-apocalyptical hellscape, while the rest of the world continues on as if nothing has happened.
Before the end of season 1, our intrepid gang of survivors, Simone, Rasmus, Martin, Lea, Patrick and Jean, discover that, after 6 years, the rain is no longer toxic. But, as was shown in that other famous viral plague series, 28 Days/Weeks Later, viruses have a way of mutating and spreading when they get a sequel. This was set up at the end of season 1, when Simone and the Scooby gang brought Rasmus, the still-infected patient zero, to their father Frederick’s company, Apollon, on the edge of the quarantine zone.
They aren’t at the Apollon compound long before viewers are shown that Frederick’s partner at Apollon, Sten, evil scientist and CEO of the company, intends to use the virus to hold the world hostage. He needs Rasmus alive and still infected in order to enact his plan.
Frederick, on the other hand, is aware that the virus is mutating and is afraid of Rasmus. The virus’ most recent mutation leads to Rasmus becoming contagious. Frederik decides that his son has to die before Sten can enact anymore evil plans or Rasmus can directly infect more people.
Simone will do anything to keep her brother alive and has gained the trust and loyalty of the Scooby gang, so they break Rasmus out of the heavily guarded facility. But, they can’t get out of the quarantine zone because Apollon slipped tracer nanites into their bodies which make crossing out of the zone deadly to everyone but Simone and Rasmus. Simone won’t leave the others behind, so the season ends with them on the run from Apollon, with a contagious Rasmus in the car.
The season opens on a scene of pre-viral normalcy, showing a parking lot full of shoppers moving to and from their cars. A mother and her young son get into their car, then the mom accidentally backs into another car. She gets out to talk to the other driver. As they argue, The Rain starts. Everyone outside collapses, writhes and dies. The mom’s little boy gets out of the car and goes to her side. After a moment, he too begins to get sick. The virus spared no one.
Simone speaks over this scene, talking about how normal and predictable everything used to be, and how they thought they could grow up and change the world. When the rain came, there was nothing anyone could do. “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”
She continues, saying that even though they couldn’t do anything back then, they can do something now. They’re locked in a quarantine zone with the same people who created the plague. Her brother is the key to fixing things. She just has to make sure he survives. But they don’t have any place safe to hide, so they keep running.
The parking lot switches to the present day. The gang drives by in the Hummer, followed by
immigration Apollon. Rasmus isn’t wearing his breathing apparatus, so they must have discovered that they’re all immune to the airborne version of the virus that he’s breathing.
Patrick, who has finally found his purpose, is driving. He has 5 backseat drivers yelling instructions while he dodges moving and parked cars. The bridge back to Denmark is within site when they reach a roadblock they can’t get around. Simone and Rasmus’ dad, Frederick, is there waiting for them. He demands time to speak with Simone and doesn’t give the female guard who’s with him a chance to say no.
Frederick loudly tells Simone that Rasmus could kill everyone, so it’s imperative that they turn him in. Quietly, he hands her a slip of paper with the coordinates for a secret base where a rebel group can cure Rasmus and use him to find the cure/vaccine for everyone else. He tells her if the rebels can’t help Rasmus, she’ll have to kill him.
As he finishes talking, the female guard, Kira, is warning him that his time is up and he needs to back away. He doesn’t move quickly enough for her, so she shoots him in the back, through the heart.
Watching his father die, and knowing the danger he and Simone are in, Rasmus panics. He gets sweaty and breathes heavily. Then black veins appear on his skin. The guards around him contract the virus and die.
Patrick and Martin use the distraction to steal back their car keys. The entire gang makes it back into the car and they drive away. Rasmus is included, without any protective gear on, even though he was contagious less than a minute ago. Patrick questions if it was the virus that incapacitated the guards, but the others are more interested in escape than skepticism. They ditch the car and run into the woods, letting the empty car continue down the road as a decoy.
The next thing we see is the Kira and another soldier back at Apollon with Sten, explaining that the virus caught them off guard, allowing Rasmus and the others to escape. They tell Sten that the virus has completely taken over his immune system.
Sten: “We can’t control the virus anymore. Unless we find him, we’re all going to die. We have to get him before he learns to control it.”
Because once he learns to control it, Rasmus is the weapon, rather than the virus, and Sten wants something mindless to use against mass populations, not an assassin. The virus didn’t keep spreading out of control once Rasmus turned off the black smoke. It only infected enough people for them to escape. That’s probably what it decided Rasmus wanted, based on his panic.
Rasmus is turning into a comic book villain, with viral superpowers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😘
The gang finds an old army checkpoint supply depot and raids it for supplies. Rasmus spends the time staring at himself in a mirror, which is the most Rasmus thing to do, ever. Simone finds him and asks if he’s okay. He responds, “I feel nothing.” He says it to the mirror.
I’ve missed these two so much. They’re so Shakespearean in their family dramas.
Ever the mediator, Simone reminds Rasmus that their dad tried to help them. Suddenly, Rasmus is full of feelings.
He yells at her that Frederick tried to kill him, after leaving them in a bunker for six years. Rasmus is disgusted that Simone is crying for him.
She sobs that she’s not crying for Frederick, she’s crying for Rasmus, obviously. Their dad gave them a way to save him. Unless they find a cure, he’s dead, doesn’t Rasmus understand that? Rasmus can have whatever feelings he wants, but Simone won’t let him die. Rasmus insists that no one cares if he lives or dies. Simone says that she cares!
Flashback to Rasmus’s nearly fatal childhood illness, for which Frederick developed the plague virus. He was treated at home, instead of a hospital, because of the experimental treatments his father used on him. Simone sits next to Rasmus’ bed, drawing pictures for him. He asks her to draw a picture of him, then falls asleep.
Frederick comes home, already on the phone with Sten. He’s ready to test the virus on Rasmus. Simone watches as Frederick gives Rasmus the first of two 100 mg injections, given 1 hour apart. “The virus should activate within 5 minutes. We should see the results within 10.”
Simone tells Martin more about their dad while she tends to the bullet wound Frederick gave him in the season 1 finale. He’s sympathetic and agrees that she and Rasmus shouldn’t spare much concern for their father.
Martin and Simone take the coordinates to the rest of the group, along with a map and a plan. The coordinates are in a spot near Roskilde, Denmark. Right now, the gang is far enough away from the Apollon headquarters that the guards aren’t breathing down their necks, and quite close to the Swedish coast.
It’s easy for them to make it to the Swedish coastline and find a boat. From there, they sail to the Køge Bay and the Danish shore. We only see a few flashes of the sailing adventure, during the voiceover. Then they walk the ten miles to Roskilde.
As they are walking to Roskilde, Jean finds a strange tree in the woods. They realize that it’s infected with the virus. The tree has black veins on its bark, similar to the black veins that rose to the surface on Rasmus’ skin before he released the virus to kill the guards at the beginning of the episode. Everyone decides to stay far away from it, except for Rasmus, who is drawn to it.
When he gets closer to the tree, we can see that the ground and the surrounding vegetation are also infected. Rasmus holds his hand out near a leaf. The leaf curls toward his fingers. At that moment, Simone comes back to get him. Rasmus follows her.
They walk through a town with a large cathedral, where Lea stops to stare. Jean tells the others to keep going, while he and Lea investigate the church. Lea goes inside and sits down to pray. Jean follows, but he’s a bit distracting when he knocks over things others have left behind. Lea doesn’t mind too much.
Outside of town, the rest of the group find a man and a woman in hazmat suits examining another infected tree. They ask if the scientists can help them, and show them the coordinates Frederick gave Simone. The two scientists insist that they can’t do anything for them and try to turn them away, saying the area is contaminated.
After they finish collecting samples, the scientists use a blowtorch to burn the infected area surrounding the tree. Rasmus feels the fire as if he were the one being burned. He rolls on the ground and screams while Simone and Martin yell at the scientists to put out the fire. They shout back that they can’t.
Once the fire is out, they talk. The scientists are named Fie and Anders. They live and work on a nearby base where they are trying to stop the virus. It’s safe from Apollon. They are skeptical of Simone and Rasmus’ story at first, since Frederick told the world that his children were dead. But Simone and Rasmus know enough inside information to convince them that Rasmus could be patient zero.
The base is huge and has a military-industrial feel to it. Patrick is anxious on the way in. He says he doesn’t trust this group and would rather wait outside. As the giant metal doors close behind them with finality, it’s hard to fault him for feeling that way.
They reach a room with cameras, where a voice Fie calls Jakob tells her that she can’t bring strangers into the lab. She tells him to scan the group for the virus. The scanner detects that Rasmus is infected, as foreseen. Fie explains to Jakob that this is patient zero. He tells her to bring Rasmus to the lab.
Fie brings Simone and Rasmus directly to the lab where Jakob is waiting. He sends Fie and Simone to an observation room, while he starts collecting tissue samples, beginning with blood samples.
The others are taken to settle into their quarters at the base. Patrick and Martin ask for a tour, since they have questions. Anders shows them around the base and explains that some of them used to work for Apollon, but left when they discovered that Apollon was killing people.
Apollon is searching for them, but the base has an electronic shield which makes it invisible to their technology. There are a drone jammer, wind turbines and solar panels on the roof that were all in place and running when the rebels arrived. They’ve been using them the whole time.
Martin notes that the whole set up is strangely convenient.
Rasmus reports that the virus feels like a burning, sizzling fever that wants out of his body. He tells Jakob that he thinks he infected people, but Jakob says it’s impossible. Rasmus repeats that he just wants to get it out. Jakob says he’ll try to do that.
Jakob’s dismissiveness is not a good sign when working on a one of a kind virus.
Anders shows the rest of the group the dorm and the storage room, where they can get clothes, sheets, towels, whatever. He says they started with 80 people, but now they’re down to 12. Anders says he’ll leave them there, then come back when there’s news.
Before he goes, Anders mention that Jean could pick something out for his girlfriend, Lea. She corrects him, because they aren’t a couple. Whie they look through the stored clothing, Jean remarks that it was funny that Anders thought they were together. Lea reiterates that they aren’t a couple. Jean seems like he’s about to say that they could be, but he loses his nerve.
This is a good time to recall that Lea was roofied and publicly gang raped the night before the rain started. The lingering trauma from that, combined with her devotion to her religion, have made me wonder if she’s a nun at heart. Being pressured into a relationship, especially a physical relationship, isn’t what she needs.
Martin tries to go over various security notes with Patrick, but he’s excited about the clothing now. Martin noticed that the rebels don’t seem to have any guns, most of the locks on the doors are so old that they’d be easy to kick in, if they were locked in, and the security cameras don’t appear to be working.
Jakob runs an initial round of tests and tells Simone that he thinks they can help Rasmus. He’ll know more after he runs more tests. Simone goes into the lab to see Rasmus, who’s looking at a slide of the virus. On screen, the pink cells all slowly turn black. What happens when the mutated form of the virus has reached every cell?
Rasmus tells Simone that he already feels like a lab rat. She says that they all help each other and he’s not a lab rat. This is how he’s going to get well.
Fie asks Jakob what he plans to do next. He says he intends to do a lumbar spinal biopsy. Fie is shocked, because that test can kill someone with the virus. Jakob doesn’t even pause with what he’s doing, he just says that, “Either way we’ll get the virus out.”
Fie argues that they shouldn’t do the test until they can be sure it won’t kill Rasmus, but Jakob argues that they don’t have time to wait. He says that the risk to Rasmus is small, and it’s worth it to get a pure virus sample. Fie says they should at least warn Rasmus and Simone about the risks of the procedure, but Jakob says that he doesn’t want to “unnecessarily alarm them.”
It’s clear that he just doesn’t want to give them the chance to say no.
Fie counters that Rasmus is their responsibility, but Jakob thinks they have a greater responsibility to the people who could be saved with a vaccine. Fie is disgusted that he’s playing God with people’s lives, and doesn’t want any part of the procedure. Jakob feels that as the doctor in charge, it his right to play God.
Now that he’s signed Rasmus’ death warrant, Jakob goes for a walk through the facility, swinging by the greenhouse to nab some veggies, then turning left at the plastic tunnels. He follows them to the isolation ward where his sister Sarah, who has a chronic immune disorder, lives alone.
She wants to catch up on all of the facility gossip, so she asks if he’s really angry with Fie, even though he’s sleeping with her, and if they really let a group of new people in, for the first time in forever. He pretends he doesn’t want to gossip, but he can’t resist telling her there’s a special boy in the group who could make all of her dreams come true.
As they talk, he’s taking tissue samples and doing tests on her. He asks if she needs anything before he leaves. She wants to leave the isolation ward and to see the boy. Jakob tells her he needs to do tests and find the cure, first. He says it like he expects it will only take a few hours.
Fie tells Simone: “We know that the virus enters into symbiosis with its host and we know there’s a connection with all infected organisms. That’s why your brother felt pain when we burned the tree. All our studies have been on animals, so we can’t apply them. But now we have a human, so we can try to see what works.”
Simone: “What’s happening to the trees?”
Fie: “We’re not quite sure, but we know it’s spreading and unless we destroy it, it will probably destroy us.”
Simone decides it’s time to fill Martin and the others in on what’s happening. She finds them in the storeroom, trying on goofy outfits and laughing at each other. They stop when they see her.
Martin asks about Rasmus. Simone says he’s okay, she just wanted to give them an update in case they were worried. Then she leaves the room.
Martin follows to tell Simone that of course they were worried. He tries to apologize, but she tells him he has nothing to apologize for. She wants to have fun, too but she has to take care of Rasmus. Martin asks what he can do to help? She tells him to take off the idiotic clothes he’s wearing, then walks away. Patrick walks by and agrees with her- the outfit does make him look like an idiot.
Martin is left frustrated and confused.
Poor guy. That’s an argument he can’t win, because she’s just unhappy with the hand that life, and her father, dealt her.
Jean finds Lea praying again and makes annoying crunching noises while eating. Then he fake prays with her. She finally tells him they can be a couple if he’ll leave her alone to pray in peace. He happily agrees.
Simone chats with Rasmus before the lumbar puncture. He’s a little nervous, but he trusts the rebels, who’ve been nice to him so far. He understands that there will be some pain with the procedure.
Jakob and Fie call Simone over to show her the map of the virus they’ve made so far. It’s a bacteria inside a virus, inside another virus. Everytime they look at the virus, it’s mutated. But if Rasmus is the source, they can find the original strand and zero in on it. Jakob tells Simone he’s glad she found them, then sends her out of the room. He won’t allow her to observe the procedure.
Never a good sign.
Martin has changed into a more flattering outfit and tries a more sincere apology this time. Then he asks Simone again to tell him what she needs. Turns out, what she needs is some time alone together in the bedroom, or whatever’s passing for a bedroom. When they’re cuddling in bed after making love, Simone asks Martin to promise he’ll never leave her. He promises, and she looks pleased.
Jakob begins the procedure. He’s very controlling, and continues to be dismissive of Rasmus. Rasmus tries several times to tell him that he doesn’t feel well and wants to wait, but Jakob insists that it will only take 2 minutes, then they’ll be done, and that the procedure is supposed to hurt.
Telling you something is supposed to hurt is the sure sign of a terrible doctor. That does nothing to lessen the pain or help you relax. How about a tiny bit of patience and understanding? How about letting Simone hold his hand?
Rasmus begins to panic. Jakob draws a substance from his spine. He calls Anders in to show him that it’s not blood or spinal fluid. It’s thick and black, 100% viral. Anders leaves the door between the lab and the observation room open, the one time someone will do this all episode.
Rasmus develops the black viral lines. A cloud of black smoke pours out of him, filling both rooms. Jakob’s sister Sarah is watching from another viewport and sees the whole thing, but is unaffected by the virus, since she’s breathing through an oxygen mask and tank and wearing a hazmat suit.
An alarm goes off in the facility. Simone goes to check on Rasmus and finds that he looks completely normal, lying unconscious and mostly naked on the examining table. Everyone else in the lab surrounds him on the floor, dead.
That went well.
These viral labs all need much better ventilation systems.
Rasmus appears to be a Nightblood now, but the unusual thickness seems to build up just before he releases the smoke form of the virus.
I still maintain that Simone is immune to Rasmus and her immunity has evolved to mutate in tandem with Rasmus’ viral mutations. Her immunity is contagious and airborne, which is why the entire Scooby gang is still alive. Otherwise, according to the shows own rules, they should all be dead, since they spend so much time close to Rasmus.
Simone’s conferred immunity must take a certain amount of time to take effect, during which time Rasmus can kill you. Eventually, I want to see Simone producing a lighter colored smoke to counteract Rasmus’ black smoke. And I want to see someone take a blood sample from Simone for once.
This season is 6 episodes, as compared to last season’s 8. The cuts can already be seen in the jump from Martin explaining the plan, straight to the gang having almost reached Roskilde, with just a few flashes of the journey in between. There was at least one, if not 2 episodes worth of material to be mined from stealing a boat and crossing the water, especially given the virus’ affinity for water.
Does the virus live in saltwater? Are saltwater creatures infected? How would the virus in Rasmus react to being on the water instead of on land?
The virus moving from only infecting the animal kingdom to also infecting the plant kingdom is kind of a big deal. At the same time, the virus appears to be somewhat sentient, and the psychic connection draws infected beings together. What happens when a number of infected beings get together?
I have little doubt that Rasmus will eventually figure out how to consciously mutate the virus so that it can heal others the way it initially did him. That way he can heal Sarah. But will he be able to control its mutations beyond that? Will he carry multiple mutations at once, to use as he sees fit? If he uses the virus to heal, will that version continue to mutate?
Will the infected plant, animals and humans have a hive mind? Will they have Rasmus’ mind? Is he the king of the virals? How much have Rasmus and the virus taken on each other’s characteristics in the last 6-7 years? How much will the virus listen to him?
Totally have to agree with Patrick and his skepticism of the rebel base. This show has me so creeped out that I assume everyone they meet is either from Apollon or more cannibals. These guys struck me as metaphorical cannibals. Jakob certainly was.
The rebels also clearly have deep and current ties to Apollon. Nevermind the technology. The quarantine zone isn’t that large an area. In six years, the rebel base should have been found by patrols, many times. Someone is keeping the patrols away and probably also helping restock the rebels with supplies. The only other places that have been so well stocked have been Apollon and the cannibals. Just think about it.
Someone also had the money and inside knowledge to set up a state of the art field lab before the disaster struck. That probably means that someone at or very near the top of Apollon was already working against Sten and Frederick when they released the virus and that person had recruited an entire underground organization to work against them. Or, this is the site of a secret side project for either Sten or Frederick.
If Frederick was working with the rebels, he and Kira could have faked his death, both to allow him to escape Sten’s clutches and to provide a distraction so the kids could escape. She shot him ridiculously quickly and for basically no reason. Since he was unarmed, one of the soldiers could have dragged him away from Simone instead of killing him. Either they faked his death, or Sten ordered Kira to find a reason to kill Frederick.
It seemed out of character for both Simone and Martin to trust the rebels to do an invasive procedure on Rasmus without one of them observing. I guess we’re supposed to believe that they’d reached a breaking point and had to take a minute for themselves, while they assumed he was in good hands. After all, Frederick had recommended these people? He’s not actually the best character reference.
Why was Jakob in such a rush to do the lumbar puncture, and why didn’t he care about killing the source? It doesn’t make sense to be so cavalier about killing Rasmus, after searching for him for years. They might need more tissue samples and it would be a good idea to observe the continued evolution of the virus. Surely they could have taken a day to brainstorm some safety procedures so that Rasmus could make it through okay.
But they didn’t want to put any of the gang in the room when he released the virus, which would either show us definitively what their immune capabilities are or kill them.