Netflix has been investing a lot in teen and post-apocalyptic dramas. In the past couple of months itself, the streaming service has released shows like ‘The Society’ and ‘Black Summer’, both of which focus on a world that doesn’t resemble the current world in any way. Last year, it aired its first Danish show, ‘The Rain’, another post-apocalyptic drama with adults, relatively close to teenage, at its centre. The show was well received and with the second season, it has strengthened its position as a serious audience-attracting series. If you haven’t yet seen it, catch both the seasons on Netflix.
Summary of the Plot
‘The Rain’ is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious virus has killed almost everyone. In the first season, we see two kids, Simone and Rasmus, left in a bunker by their father, Frederick. For six years, they stay inside it, while the world outside is destroyed by the virus that their father had created. They are eventually found by a group of survivors, with whom they take a journey to find him.
The first season gives us a backstory of all the main characters and what they had been like before the rain killed everyone else. The dynamics of their relationships with each other are explored and both, Simone and Rasmus, develop strong connections with the group. We are also introduced to the new world order where it is “every man for himself” scenario and people kill each other for food and water since the rain has contaminated everything else. We even meet a group of people that have adopted a cannibalistic way of life! I think that was the lowest point for humanity in ‘The Rain’. By the end of the season, Simone and Rasmus reunite with their father and they discover that Rasmus contains the original form of the virus. This means that either is the cure that will save the world or the one who will destroy it.
The second season begins with the group running away from Apollon, the evil scientific organisation for whom Frederick worked. The last scene of the previous season gave us a hint that the people who run Apollon don’t want Rasmus just so that they can concoct a cure. They are actually trying to weaponize the virus, and if they have both, the disease and its remedy, then there is nothing to stop them from becoming richer and more powerful. The second season sheds more light on the nature of the virus and how it has assimilated itself with Rasmus. The group tries to find a cure for him after Frederick is shot dead by Apollon’s army. Meanwhile, they discover startling things about the experiments at Apollon. By the end of the second season, the virus completely takes over Rasmus’ body, and they become one invincible force.
What’s the Virus in ‘The Rain’?
The whole concept of ‘The Rain’ rests on the existence of a virus. But what is this virus, where did it come from and how come it kills everyone else but not Rasmus? The show has answered many questions in its two seasons, but there are some that still remain a mystery. Let’s have a recap of all that we know about it.
When Rasmus was little, he fell very sick. His father was a brilliant biochemist and he used all his resources to find out a cure for his dying son; otherwise, what’s the point of having all that knowledge. It’s safe to say that the virus wasn’t exactly created for Rasmus. Apollon had already been working on something that could cure any disease. They were looking for something that would save humanity. (And the next time you hear this line, start running in the opposite direction and never stop!) The thing that Fredrick had created was still in its early stages and no human testing had been conducted.
Frederick knew his son was doomed, either way, so he decided to check it on him. Miraculously, it worked. Rasmus was well again and Apollon got the thing they wanted. Now, if you want something distributed to a whole country, how do you do it? You either put it in the food or water. Apollon decided to use the rain to infect the people with the thing they thought would make them stronger. However, the exact opposite happened. As soon as people came in touch with it, they died. What’s worse is that they infected others as well.
Whether Apollon knew of it before it released the virus or realised their folly after the deed had been done is still a mystery to me. Considering the people running this organisation, I don’t trust them with the fate of humanity. With the impending devastation, Frederick knew that they would come for his son now, so he hid his children in the bunker and let them be that way. Until they got out and found their way to him. By this time, he had realised what the virus actually did and how dangerous Rasmus was with it. So, he warns Simone to either find a cure or kill her brother.
Now, about Rasmus’ immunity. At first, I thought it was something like a vaccine. You are injected with a weak form of a disease so you can develop stronger antibodies to fight it. Perhaps it was something similar for Rasmus. Maybe the virus was weaker when he was injected with it and that’s why he could survive it. However, by the end of the second season, it became clearer than ever that the original form was actually the strongest. It had been continuously mutating within Rasmus’ body and began to show its form when he was going through an emotionally difficult phase.
Beatrice’s death triggered something in him which gave a kick to the virus and it began to have its effect, which only worsened with time. Had he been injected with a cure earlier, perhaps, it would have worked. But by now, the virus was too advanced to be stopped. Moreover, Rasmus could actually control and target it as a weapon now.
So, yeah, this show just turned from a post-apocalyptic drama to the one about people with superpowers. There was another person who had been given the cure. Martin and Patrick saw that man explode in the lab of the Apollon facility where they were trying to find a solution to the problem of the magnets in their blood. It was this incident that tipped them off about the true effects of a “cure”, but before they could tell Simone about it, it was too late. Keep in mind, that person didn’t survive the cure but Rasmus did. What is so special about this boy anyway? (Except the cheekbones to die for!) My theory of antibodies fell down the drain when I saw the ending.
The Ending, Explained
The clue about the virus had been provided to us in the first season itself. It was supposed to be a cure for everything. It was supposed to make humans better. The virus that they released on people was some version of the one that Rasmus got. Perhaps this new version was a bit diluted than the original, or maybe something else. I would like to keep my theories to myself until I have further facts to support them. There is one thing that I did understand though. The virus is actually a cure. It saved Rasmus from dying of whatever terminal disease he had. And that’s the thing, right there. Rasmus was cured because he was ill. The people who were exposed to the virus weren’t really ill, were they? They didn’t need a cure.
What does medicine do to you if you take it without falling ill? It makes you sick! And that’s exactly what the virus did. It killed everyone because it was the remedy for the sickness that they never had. I was a bit sceptical about this theory, in the beginning. To be honest, I still am, but lesser now. There is another thing that has given me more confidence in it. And that is Sarah.
Sarah is another terminally ill person we meet in the show. Her immune system is so weak that any minor infection can be the cause of her death. She forms a strong bond with Rasmus, but before they can have some quality time together, Rasmus is cured, Apollon arrives to take him, and they have to run away. In the chaos, Sarah is shot and before she dies, Rasmus kisses her. Alright, I was very sad for Rasmus here. She was the second girl to fall in love with him and die soon after. I thought they were going to make a pattern out of it. No surprise the poor guy was so heartbroken. However, the final twist came when Sarah came back to life, with the virus. So, what happened here? We know Rasmus doesn’t spread it by touch. He had touched Simone but she wasn’t infected. So, then, it must have been the kiss. He infected Sarah before she died, and because she was ill, the virus worked as a cure for her. Now, she is the same as Rasmus. Equally powerful or not, we’ll find out.
A Comparison of the Two Seasons
From the very first episode, we knew there was something special about Rasmus. We have watched enough shows by now to pay attention when your father gives you specific instructions to save your kid brother and says that “he’s the key to it all”. Hence, it was not really a surprise when it was revealed that Rasmus was actually infected. But then, if they wanted to keep it such a secret, I think they would have tried harder. Instead, the first season seems more focused on exploring the dynamics of the group in which people are still trying to get to know each other. The second season, on the other hand, is more focused on the plot itself. It is sharper in its revelations and seems increasingly confident to lay more ground about the things to come, the foundation of which solidly rested on the first season.
While the reduction from eight episodes in the first season to only six in the second might seem like a step-down, ‘The Rain’ shows exactly how it is a step-up for its storytelling. The episodes are fast paced, but that had never really been the problem with this series. The narration is sharp, each episode very thoughtfully constructed and every character getting their own time under the spotlight.
In the first season, one of the major characters, Beatrice, is surprisingly killed. She seemed a bit crooked because of the lies she would tell just to ensure her survival, and how she clearly manipulated Martin when they first met. Her intentions for Rasmus didn’t seem so good, after all. In the long run, I expected her to turn into a villain. However, her run was stopped short well before the season finale. In a similar manner, the second season saw the death of Lea, another important character, whose arc seemed a bit shaky in the beginning. But just when it seemed like it had been figured out, she was killed.
What also makes season 2 season better than its predecessor is the shifting nature of Simone and Rasmus’ relationship. In the first season, no matter what they do, they are always there for each other. However, all of it changes by the end of the second season. In its first episode, we are told that, in the end, she will have to make a choice between saving her brother and destroying the virus. Being the dedicated sister, Simone tries every possible way to save Rasmus, to the point of even forcing the cure on him. Had she known that it would only make things worse, she wouldn’t have thought twice before running away with her brother. But things get worse and Rasmus ends up turning into a supervillain.
What to Expect from The Rain Season 3?
In just six episodes, ‘The Rain’ gives one hell of a ride to its audience. (Tons better than ‘Game of Thrones’ did this season!) Everything has changed now, and the next season is really going to be very exciting. We still have a ton of questions and most of them are about Rasmus. In the end, he left the good side and turned himself over to the dark. He was shot, but his wound healed. He has complete control over the virus, so he basically has superpowers now. But he is with Apollon, and he is angry. What does that mean for the rest of the world?
Speaking of which, will we finally get to see what it’s like on the other side of the wall now? Apollon is going to manipulate the shit out of Rasmus, or at least, they’re going to try. Moreover, now that his own sister tried to kill him, what does it mean for him and Simone? What will their next meeting be like? Do we have a hero in Simone and a villain in Rasmus, now? Also, what about Jean? What’s he going to do? And then there is Sarah, another major player in the game. She already liked Rasmus and wanted to be with him. We know that the virus has a connection to other things that it possesses. That means, there is a connection between Rasmus and Sarah? Will she use it bring him back to them, or will she cross over to join him on the other side? We expect all these questions to be answered in The Rain Season 3.