If you haven’t watched Netflix’ Danish series The Rain, I highly recommend it. On the surface, it’s about a group of young people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world while avoiding a toxic rain that carries an instantly fatal virus. (alas, no zombies) But at its root, The Rain is about relationships, and how being in a high stress environment both builds loving bonds and breaks them down. Some people find this to be a distraction, but I enjoy it. Yes, the characters are in their late teens/early 20’s, but they have interesting stories and are well-developed. Beyond that, I like The Rain because the pacing is swift and there are plenty of gasp-inducing moments. Walking Dead fans will enjoy this show.
Season 2 was just released, and in order for me to review it, I have to reveal spoilers from season 1’s ending. So here is your warning-DO NOT READ below here if you don’t want to spoil season 1 of The Rain!
At the end of season 1, we discovered several things: 1. Simone and Rasmus’ dad was alive, working at Apollon. He had lied to his superiors about his children being dead in order to protect them, which explains why he never contacted them in the bunker. 2. Dad was actually part of the team at Apollon who created the virus, albeit with good intentions. 3.This is the big one-Rasmus is a carrier of the virus! Turns out he is patient zero, and the virus was injected into him as a child to save him from a life threatening disease. 4. Dad isn’t that bad of a guy, but he sure works for them. Apollon wants to get their hands on Rasmus to study, use, and exploit his virus carrying powers. 5. There could be a cure for the virus, but it’s at another facility. 6. Dad wants to kill Rasmus in order to save mankind, but Simone won’t let him. She wants to try for the cure.
Season 2 Picks up where season 1 left off
At the beginning of season 2, we open with our characters on the run, looking for this rogue scientific research facility in Roskilde, which they find. As the scientists at the Roskilde facility work on finding a cure, they discover that the virus in Rasmus is way more powerful than they thought. In fact, when Rasmus gets upset, (“You won’t like me when I get angry!”) the virus oozes out of him as a black gas which proves fatal to anyone who comes in contact with it. As Simone and the others race to find a NEW cure for Rasmus, he begins to fight Simone for control of his own destiny, especially since he’s fallen in love with a girl who lives at the Roskilde facility. The group starts to fall apart, with some believing Rasmus should be turned over to Apollon or killed, versus Simone who remains laser focused on protecting Rasmus and finding a cure for the virus.
Good, but not as good as season 1
Like many second seasons of good dramas, The Rain suffers from the usual sophomore pitfalls: convenient coincidences, shallowly developed new characters, and inexplicable motivations for some actions. I still found the pacing to be good, but there is some repetition of threats throughout this season, from Apollon, from other gun-wielding survivors and from Rasmus/the virus. Season 2 was 6 episodes, but it probably could have been a tight 4 if they cut some extraneous characters and plot machinations. I still binged it, though, and mostly enjoyed it. There were times that I thought I knew where they were going, but they pivoted, and I was glad. As in season 1, season 2 ended with a major cliffhanger that sets us up for a very different season 3.