Episode 2, The Truth Hurts, begins moments after the end of episode 1. Simone has just discovered Rasmus lying unconscious in the lab at the rebel facility. He’s surrounded by the bodies of the scientists who were supposed to cure him and create a vaccine. Despite the fact that he manifested black veins all over, black viral goo instead of blood and poured out a cloud of black viral smoke only moments before, now Rasmus looks perfectly healthy, with his usual smooth white skin.
Simone pounds on the glass between the observation room and the lab, trying to get a response from Rasmus. After a minute, his finger twitches, then he sits up. Simone wastes no time in creating an alibi for him. She tells him to go to the backroom before anyone else can get there. The alarm is still blaring. Rasmus asks if he killed the others. Simone makes up a quick story. She tells him to say that they dropped a sample and got infected. Rasmus doesn’t remember what happened, but he knows it wasn’t that, and tries to argue with her.
Martin and Fie rush into the observation room. Fie turns off the alarm and tries to take in the loss of almost everyone she had left, including her boyfriend, Jakob. Before either can speak, Simone blurts out that Jakob dropped a sample and got infected, then he infected the rest. Before she could do anything, they all just died.
Rasmus paces around the back room as he listens to their conversation. Simone swears to Martin that he was there the whole time. Martin reminds everyone that they have to clean up and remove the bodies. Fie, who still hasn’t said anything, pulls a lever that sprays something down into the lab to decontaminate it and the bodies.
Rasmus chants, “They dropped a sample. It was an accident.”
Everyone helps bury the bodies. There must be about ten. It seems like out of all the rebels, only Fie and Sarah survived. Lea offers comfort to Fie, but Fie walks away.
Patrick is in a pessimistic mood, and asks Martin if he really believes it was an accident. Everyone who was supposed to create the cure is dead, except for Fie. Martin believes that Fie will be able to find the cure on her own, but Patrick is tired of believing all of the time, with hardly any tangible results to show for it. He wants to understand more about the process and feel more in control. Martin trusts that Fie is enough to help solve the problem. He’s more worried about the way the virus is spreading from people to plants, so that now all of nature is dying.
Fie is depressed and doesn’t believe she can do much to stop the virus on her own. She needs Jakob’s expertise to compliment her knowledge. Simone won’t let Fie give up. She offers to brings Fie her father’s laptop, where he kept copies of all of his original notes for the project. Fie thinks that’s probably their only hope.
Simone stops at Rasmus’ room to tell him where she’s going. It’ll be just her and Martin and they’ll be gone for a few days. Rasmus tells her he’s feeling better, more like himself… He never finishes the sentence because Simone instinctively backs away when he gets too close. She won’t admit that there’s anything wrong between them, yet she locks him in the room when she leaves, still pretending everything is fine.
Simone is turning into her father’s daughter, with schemes inside of secrets.
Patrick sums up their situation when he reacts to Martin: “So, instead of finding a way to extract the nanocapsules from our bodies, you’re going to find a computer at Simone’s childhood home, where there’s a manual for the virus, and then Fie can assemble the cure like it’s an IKEA closet. Bulletproof plan. Can’t you hear how insane this sounds?”
Martin knows it’s insane, but they’re out of options in this insane world.
Patrick asks what the rest of them are supposed to do if he and Simone, their leaders, don’t come back. Martin shocks him by saying that he’s depending on Patrick to help Fie get the base organized again, and to lead if he and Simone are lost.
Simone and Rasmus’ childhood home is about 50 miles from the rebel base. Martin expects it to take a couple of days to walk there. Everyone but Rasmus sees them off when they leave. Rasmus is left asleep in his makeshift cell. The ones left behind are anxious about their fates.
Jakob’s sister, Sarah, goes outside to look at his grave. She remembers when she and her parents were given the diagnosis for her immune disorder. They were told that within 3 or 4 years, a common cold would be enough to kill her. She needs to live in a sterile environment to protect her from the infections she develops so easily.
Sarah’s parents are only concerned about themselves and the impact her illness will have on them. They think her illness was sent to punish them. Jakob steps in and supports Sarah. He promises that he’ll love her and take care of her always. He becomes a doctor for her.
Sarah goes back inside the facility and visits Rasmus. She tells him that she saw her brother die, and she knows he did it. Their conversation is interrupted by Fie.
Martin and Simone try to stick to the back roads so they don’t get noticed. When they stop for water at an old farmhouse, they run into another couple who hold them at gunpoint. After they talk for a minute, the other couple decide they are okay and lower the weapon.
Patrick is taking his new leadership role seriously. He starts by hitting on Fie, then offering his support and services in some vague way. Fie takes his approach in stride and suggests he round up better weapons. This sends Patrick off on an odyssey through the base, searching for the rest of the group and anything that could help them defend themselves.
First he sees Jean and has a confusing conversation that ends with him telling Jean to do what he was already doing. Then Patrick randomly wanders the base, checking everything out. He finds a secret door, disguised as a wall, that hides another whole section of the building and sets off to explore that.
Patrick finds a switch to turn on the lights in the new section he’s found, then he finds a set of rooms that’s been secretly used as an ops center. There are devices, diagrams, videos, computers- everything a rebel spy would need.
There’s also a black skull with a design inside it painted on the walls. Whose insignia is it? Patrick doesn’t pay any attention to the skull. He discovers some sort of large weapon.
Patrick brings the mystery weapon back to the main part of the base, where he runs into Fie. He hasn’t been able to get the weapon to do anything yet, but shows her the parts of the gun. One part turns out to be a trigger that sends out an energy wave and knocks out the lights. The gun works, now that there’s something for it to work on.
Johanne and Klaus, the couple with the gun, invite Simone and Martin into their house for some moonshine and gossip. Klaus tells Martin to fill up his canteen with moonshine. They tell Martin and Simone that the Strangers have stopped arresting and killing people. Instead, they are looking for a boy. Supposedly, if they find him, they can save everything and everyone can go back to their normal lives.
Martin says they shouldn’t believe everything they hear. But Johanne and Klaus want to believe it’s true, that Apollon has been trying to fix things all along, and still can.
The conversation moves to talk of each couple’s relationship. Johanne and Klaus have been together for 12 years. Martin and Simone are a little shy about saying they’re in a relationship, but Klaus says he can tell they’re in love and sings a drunken love song. Martin joins in.
Before long, all four partiers go to bed. Simone and Martin feel safe enough to spend the night. Martin is drunk, but Simone isn’t. He tells her she’s insanely beautiful when she laughs. She worries about Rasmus, but Martin assures her the others will take care of him. She says, “But he would never hurt anyone.” Martin asks what she means, but she brushes him off.
Rasmus asks Fie if she thinks he’s dangerous. Fie says that she thinks he could be the solution. She and Simone are doing everything they can to help him.
Jean finds Lea in the greenhouse with the dying plants. The plants were already dying when they arrived at the base, but it’s Lea’s turn for a meltdown, so she’s sure that it’s a bad omen. She hasn’t been able to get the plants to look any better in the single day that she’s been there. They’re dying because no one takes care of them, just like people do. Jean says they’ll take care of each other, but that’s not enough for Lea. She seems to be looking for experts and authority figures. She doesn’t think they can create new life without more help. She tells him that everyone who would know what to do is dead, and walks out.
Lea tends to look to a higher power for support and direction, whether it’s God or a mentor. She’s all out of mentors now, and God keeps failing her. This looks like it could be the crisis of faith that teaches her how to be a self-reliant adult who trusts her own decisions again, after the gang rape caused a huge set back. She may or may not remain religious, but it would be a good idea for her to stop hero worshipping people, and let them be human. She won’t need to do that so much if she believes in herself.
Simone can’t sleep and goes to the kitchen for a glass of water. She hears Klaus and Johanne arguing in the next room. Johanne is certain that they are the fugitives Apollon is looking for and that Apollon will kill her and Klaus if the don’t turn them in. Klaus says that they’re friends now, it wouldn’t be right to turn them in to the Strangers.
Simone rushes back to the bedroom and wakes Martin up, whispering that they have to leave, now. She goes back out to the kitchen for something and finds Johanne is already there. For some reason Johanne isn’t holding the gun. It’s on the table. Simone and Johanne both reach for it- Simone wins. Klaus comes up the basement stairs holding a pistol behind his back, trying to talk Simone down. Johanne takes advantage of Simone’s distraction to try to throw a kitchen chair at her. Simone realizes what’s happening and shoots Johanne in the chest.
Klaus is about to shoot Simone when Martin runs into the kitchen and grabs the pistol. Klaus doesn’t let go, so they wrestle over it, with the gun between their bodies. Of course the gun goes off. Klaus is shot in the thigh. He drags himself to Johanne, while Martin and Simone grab their stuff and run.
They stop in the woods after a little while, so that Simone can have an anxiety attack. Martin holds her and reminds her that she saved their lives.
Fie visits Sarah and reminds her that it’s not safe for her to go outside, since it might make her sick. Sarah doesn’t see why it matters at this point. They’re all in the process of dying anyway. Fie just won’t acknowledge that almost everyone is dead and there’s no hope left. Fie tries to say that Jakob wouldn’t have wanted Sarah to give up, but Sarah tells her she doesn’t know what Jakob would have wanted.
Sarah remembers back to when they were trying to evacuate from the area affected by the virus. Her parents were worried that she wouldn’t be able to get through the checkpoint because of her illness. They snapped at Jakob to give her something so she’d pass inspection.
Her parents passed the test for the virus, but Sarah got a false positive. Her parents went on without her, but Jakob stayed in the quarantine zone with her, even though he didn’t have to.
Simone and Martin reach her childhood neighborhood without further incident. She tells him stories about the people who used to live there. She’s still weighed down by having shot Johanne, though. Martin tells her she’ll be able to move on before long. She asks if he’s sure. He tells her that’s what’s so awful about it. After a while, you forget. She did what she had to do. Simone still second guesses herself.
They discover that Apollon has Simone’s old house under guard. Simone goes around the back to sneak in another way, while Martin stays in the front to distract the guards. His distraction involves getting in a firefight with the two guards, which doesn’t seem like the smartest choice. He’s knocked out and captured after a few rounds.
Martin is held in a van. He takes out his canteen and smells the moonshine. He has an idea.
He taps on the window to call someone over. When a guard opens the door, he tells them he can give them the boy they’re looking for. They take him out of the van. He asks for a cigarette, so they give him one. He throws the moonshine onto the lighter, setting the alcohol and one of the guards on fire. He gets away in the confusion.
Simone finds her way to Frederik’s study. She searches his desk for the laptop.
She’s being watched by a sniper. It’s Kira, the guard who killed her father. When Martin starts talking to the guards about Rasmus, Kira is ordered to shoot Simone. But she remembers shooting a woman in the head and can’t bring herself to do it again.
Simone finds the laptop hidden underneath a file cabinet drawer. She checks to make sure it has what she needs, then packs it up again and leaves the house. She meets Martin as he’s running from the guards.
The guards send drones in the air to follow Simone and Martin, but Kira orders them to call the drones back.
Jean finds a depressed Lea laying in bed. He takes her back to the greenhouse and brings her to the cucumber plants, which aren’t quite dead yet. In fact, they’re getting better. Jean says he thought they could take care of the plants together. Lea says that she doesn’t deserve him and gives him a big hug. Jean looks like he’s in heaven. 😌
Martin and Simone have an uneventful trip back to the base, except for when Simone kisses him.
Patrick finds another gizmo in the basement hideout and looks over its paperwork, while Simone tries to find information on the virus on her dad’s computer. Most of the folders have been deleted.
Sarah hangs out in her room and plays with knives. Then she suits up and goes to put Rasmus in an impossible situation. She can’t survive without her brother, so she wants Rasmus to kill her. Rasmus is confused. Sarah explains that she has an immune disorder. Rasmus asks her to leave. She says she’s not leaving until he re-enacts her brother’s murder on her.
Patrick turns the new gizmo on. It has a spot to put your arm through, like a medical device, so of course Patrick puts his arm in. A strange, pulsing blue light flashes inside the device. It pulls tiny particles in his arm to the surface, just under his skin. He removes his arm from the device before the particles are torn out of it.
Sarah punches in the door code and opens the door, while Rasmus repeatedly begs her not to. She tells him she doesn’t want to be alone. By the time she takes a couple of steps inside, the black veins are appearing on his skin and he’s yelling at her to stop. He lets out a puff of black smoke that quickly expands.
Sarah backs out of the room as the black tendrils move toward her. Whatever she thought Rasmus did to her brother, this wasn’t it. This is also the first time Rasmus has had a good look at what’s happening. They’re both stunned and afraid of what this means.
Fie watches as Simone goes through folder after folder on the laptop. She finally finds the one with the notes on the virus, including the viral map they were hoping for. The laptop has everything they need to cure Rasmus and create a vaccine. Fie finally has some hope for the future.
At the Apollon building, Sten, Kira and one other guard watch Simone, Fie and Martin through the camera on Frederik’s laptop. Sten’s remarks that thanks to Kira’s quick thinking with the drones, the rebels have led them right to their living room. Kira says that she doesn’t know the exact location of the rebel’s building yet. But we’re shown that she has the rebel skull insignia tattooed on her arm.
OMG, Apollon has the tesseract and is using it to create technology. I wish we’d seen more of what was in the rooms Patrick found.
Rasmus spends the episode in his underwear, showing off his ridiculously perfect complexion. His skin is so creamy and white that it glows, making him him look angelic and highlighting how monstrous the black veins and swirling black smoke look. When he puffs out the virus, it reminds me of when puffball fungi release their spores in a cloud of black dust. Exactly what is Rasmus becoming?
The characters were all in existential crisis mode in this episode. To illustrate their unstable mental states, the camera work and editing were choppy for much of the episode.
The rebels’ skull insignia. Fie doesn’t seem to know anything about the rooms Patrick found and what’s in them. She also didn’t warn him off exploring certain parts of the facility. Was there a secret radical group within the group at the compound? Have they infiltrated Apollon, or has Apollon infiltrated the rebels?
This episode’s title referred to the truth, but its themes were really about identity and a sense of belonging and security. Characters did face various truths about themselves and others, but to me, the standout feature was the number of emotional meltdowns. Besides Sten, who hardly counts, since he thinks he’s literally God, Martin might be the only character who kept his cool throughout the episode. Everyone else had an existential crisis of some sort. They questioned who they are, why they’re still on this earth, who they can trust, and if it’s worth it to continue the struggle of living. Everyone found a reason to keep living, or at least didn’t find a strong enough reason to give up.
Lea questioned her ability to adapt to living in one place again and farming instead of foraging. She’s not sure she has it in her to build a new community after so much loss. I think the greenhouse reminded her of the cannibals’ farm, where she grew close to, then lost, a mother-figure. Lea is a caretaker who provides support to others without having to be asked, a valuable trait in high stress situations. Jean proved in this episode that he can be sensitive to her needs and take care of her in return, giving her the promise of the stability she needs.
Patrick started the episode by questioning how the group would function without Simone and Martin. He was worried they’d fall apart, as they have in the past. He solved the problem of his own impulse control when it comes to others by isolating himself while Simone and Martin were gone.
Patrick is proving useful doing recon and any of the hard work that requires bravery and loyalty. He’s also willing to do grunt work, which you have to respect. He’s finally figuring out who he is, and beginning to learn how to achieve balance and self-control.
Jean, on the other hand, has defined himself through caretaking and whatever group he’s with for as long as we’ve watched him. I fear he doesn’t want to look too hard at himself because he accidentally killed the deaf girl and thinks it makes him a bad person. Lea’s personality is well-defined, so by latching onto her, Jean can define himself by her, take care of her, and feel good about himself again.
He didn’t melt down this episode, but he was trying very hard with Lea, to the point where I think he was actually panicking inside. Her response to him at the end seemed to build him up inside, so maybe they can save each other. I love the idea of the two of them operating the greenhouse, and using that as the foundation for building a peaceful community, but I doubt they’ll be able to stay, now that Sten knows where they are.
Fie and Sarah are both adjusting to the sudden loss of almost their entire group. It’s a big deal. Fie alternates between hope and despair, whereas Sarah looks to her past to find meaning. Her brother Jakob made many sacrifices for her. He was her touchstone and reason to go on, just as it is with Simone and Rasmus. Without him, she’s alone in the world and slowly dying. Sarah is intrigued by Rasmus, who is her mirror image, but she’s also suicidal. Fie, on the other hand, gets the information she needs to stop the virus. She could save everyone, but she also has an Apollon target on her back.
Martin is happy, but his happiness is doomed, because Simone is lying to him. That is the truth that will truly hurt. Everyone in the group has trusted her to be honest with them, especially about Rasmus. This is a huge lie, since it involves a mass killing. It’s hard to say what would have happened if she’d told the truth in the beginning. Now, the fear of Rasmus will be compounded by their inability to trust Simone.
Simone’s whole reason for being has been wrapped up in Rasmus for so long that she can’t fathom a life without him. Keeping him safe is her prime directive, but now it’s reached a crisis point. Before, he was the only family she had, so there was no moral dilemma in choosing him. Now, she has the rest of the group, who have chosen to help her and Rasmus and put themselves in danger to do so.
By lying about what happened to Jakob and the others, she betrayed the rest of the group, who have the right to know that Rasmus is contagious in a new way. It would be understandable for them to feel like she’s been using them when they find out. I don’t think she has, but she needs to decide, soon, whether it’s still just her and Rasmus against the world or if her family includes the whole group, and be honest about it. Her father taught her to do whatever is necessary to survive, but she needs to figure out which she needs more- her tribe or to protect Rasmus’ secrets.
Was It Possible for Simone to Talk Down Johanne and Klaus?
I don’t think so. Johanne must have suspected who they were from the very beginning, and that’s why she lowered her gun and invited them in. She wanted to find out more about them and incapacitate them with moonshine so they’d be easier to capture.
Once they had the lure of money and getting their lives back, nothing Simone could say to them would matter. And once they’d pointed their guns at Simone and Martin a second time, there was no way the whole thing would end with everyone trusting each other.
Simone and Rasmus and Secrets
Simone’s need to pretend things are just fine between her and Rasmus is disturbing. They used to discuss everything and now they can’t discuss an important truth they both already know. In this episode, Rasmus retreats into being a passive child, while Simone hopes that it will all go away on its own if she ignores it.
Simone was always the practical realist and the doer of the two, so to see her stumble like this is scary. If she can’t face the situation between them, it must be dire. She just can’t let herself believe that Rasmus could hurt people on purpose and doesn’t want to believe that the virus could have acted on it’s own or Rasmus could have acted without understanding what he was doing. Any of those 3 scenarios is likely to lead to Rasmus’ death, or imprisonment if he’s cured.
Meanwhile, Rasmus is also still trying to work out what’s happening. He knows he did something to the soldiers, which I don’t think Simone really saw. And he instinctively knows he did something to the scientists. It won’t take him long to figure out that the virus is protecting him/itself.
Rasmus isn’t the type to end the problem with a noble suicide, if the virus would even let him. He’s more the type for a big, dramatic, attention-seeking suicide attempt, that will make everything worse and keep Simone wrapped around his finger. We’ve already seen, twice, what happens when someone tries to hurt him. No one will be executing Rasmus anytime soon.
Rasmus Needs Some Cuddles or the World Will End
When the gang first arrived at the rebel facility, Rasmus was starting to feel safe there, with Jakob as a potential father/brother figure for him to rely on. But Jakob’s initial kindness was a lie that cost him and almost all of the rebels their lives. Their true lack of caring came out during the procedure, as they all ignored Rasmus’ pleas.
Since Beatrice died, Rasmus has frequently been the odd man out in the group, in addition to having his life threatened multiple times because he carries the virus. He and Simone are both feeling a natural pull toward other people, which lessons their closeness. Simone has been lucky that Martin wants her and has survived. Rasmus has experience repeated losses and rejections.
Now, in the course of a day or two, Rasmus has watched someone murder his father, and he’s accidentally killed 2 different groups of people by sending out an airborne form of the virus. Of course he’s angry about his relationship with his father. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t identify with Frederick. Rasmus is hungry for a male role model, but none have shown up and stuck around.
Simone has always been his mother, since even before the plague. She’s the one we see at his bedside in flashbacks, every time, both seasons. Once they were in the bunker, she was everything. Since they left the bunker, their lives have been at risk and unstable. Rasmus is mentally unstable to begin with and needs a stable support system to help keep him on an even keel even in the best of times.
After they left the bunker, Simone and Beatrice alternated providing emotional support for Rasmus. But now Beatrice is gone and Simone is emotionally burned out. The evolving virus has moved Rasmus into a new and scarier place, which no one wants to acknowledge. But he knows better than anyone how scary it’s getting and how hard it is to stop.
Without any human emotional support, but with a sentient virus inside him, Rasmus could start to turn more toward the viral hive mind for emotional gratification. Once he gets used to support from the viral hive mind, which is always available and will never leave him, he might turn away from humans altogether.
Then he’ll become the viral Frankenstein they’ve been building toward all along.
Images courtesy of Netflix.