By David Renshaw
With its theme of a killer virus and mentions of quarantine zones, self-isolation, and the search for a vaccine, The Rain is a more timely binge than ever.
Though perhaps less escapist than it was when it began in 2018, Netflix’s first Danish show is a twisty and emotional ride that packs in elements of sci-fi, survival, and teen drama action that have brought comparisons to both Dark and The Walking Dead.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the third and final season, streaming now.
What happened in The Rain season 1?
The Rain begins when a happy family, siblings Simone and Rasmus Anderson alongside parents Frederik and Ellen, are forced to hide from a killer virus in a well-equipped bunker. The bunker is provided by Apollon, the shadowy paramilitary and scientific research company Frederik works for.
When Frederik leaves the bunker one day he tells Simone to look after her brother as he holds the key to a cure for the virus. A knock at the bunker door leaves the family in immediate danger, however, and, sacrificing herself for the survival of her children, Ellen is killed by the virus-carrying rain as she tackles the visitor. This leaves Simone and Rasmus alone, forced to raise themselves while waiting for their father to return from the apocalyptic outside.
A flashback shows us a young Rasmus laid up in hospital. His illness is not revealed but the serious nature of it is made obvious, as is the fact that the virus was caused by whatever cured him.
The Rain then takes another leap in time, this time forward six years from the start point. The now teenage Rasmus and his twentysomething sister plan their escape but are confronted by a fellow group of survivors, including former soldier Martin alongside Lea, Patrick, and Beatrice. Together they hatch a plan to travel through the quarantine zone to the Apollon headquarters, via a series of bunkers, and find Frederik Anderson.
This mission brings the group closer as they shelter from intermittent deadly rain storms and defend themselves against an army of survivors, known as “strangers,” who threaten their lives. Rasmus, whose health is the key to finding a cure, bonds with Beatrice (who was previously involved with Martin, himself now falling for Simone) while the group welcomes the geeky looking Jean to their ranks.
The fifth episode of the series sees the group take shelter in a house in the woods. The idyllic surroundings prove a little too perfect, however, and it is revealed to be a cult that sacrifices one member in a monthly ceremony. Wisely choosing to move on from that scenario, the group runs into its next drama when Patrick makes a pass at Simone and is rejected. He angrily pushes her into the rain and urges Martin to shoot her, assuming she is infected. Lea steps into the rain to defend her friend and, when neither is killed instantly, we learn that the rain is no longer carrying the virus.
This news comes too late for Beatrice, however, who contracts the virus after being licked by a dog (animals can carry the virus and not die) leaving a heartbroken Rasmus to carry her corpse to the rest of the group. Depressed over his loss, Rasmus offers himself up to the “strangers” and is captured.
In a flashback it is revealed that the “strangers” were tricked into ingesting the virus by Sten, the head of Apollon, and that it will be activated if they leave before finding an immune survivor. Finding this person would allow the evil Apollon to weaponise the virus and “control the world with the most dangerous disease it has ever known,” Sten devilishly explains.
Rasmus and Simone are finally reunited with their father Frederik but, as we discover in the season finale, while Rasmus is the immune one he remains contagious to others, leading to his father realising his son must be killed. Meanwhile, it emerges that Martin, Lea, Patrick, and Beatrice were also tricked into taking the unactivated virus meaning they too cannot escape. Frederik’s attempts to stop his kids leaving the Apollon HQ are thwarted by Simone who, inseparable from her new friends, takes them with her despite them being unable to leave the quarantine zone.
What happened in The Rain season 2?
The second season of The Rain kicks off in dramatic fashion as Frederik, father to Rasmus and Simone, is shot and killed by an Apollon employee. However, before he dies he hands a set of coordinates to his kids and sets them off for the nearby Roskilde where they can hopefully cure Rasmus and develop a cure for the virus.
In Roskilde we meet scientists Jakob and Fie, formerly of Apollon but now working independent of their evil ex-employers. They begin running tests on Rasmus and discover that his body is entirely made up of the virus. Never one to contain his emotions at the best of times, Rasmus emits a deadly cloud that kills everyone in the room with him, including Jakob. He and Simone hatch a plan to cover up the killing but Rasmus struggles to adapt to his new situation. He becomes deadly whenever he’s threatened, angry or upset and is even passing the virus on to trees – try controlling that as a hormonal teen.
He finds solace, however, with new girlfriend Sarah, Jakob’s sister. She has an auto-immune disease, which draws inevitable comparisons to Romeo & Juliet, and also knows that Rasmus killed her brother. With Apollon’s “stranger” army closing in on the Roskilde base and questions beginning to be asked about the intentions of the rebel scientists, Simone and Fie successfully discover a cure. A dramatic scene in which Rasmus is injected with the cure, only for the virus to fight back, leads to the death of O.G. group member Lea who bravely sacrifices her own life in a bid to save humanity.
Eventually the “strangers” force their way into the Roskilde base and hunt down Rasmus and Sarah, shooting the latter. Rasmus erupts at the killing and goes on a rage-filled frenzy, destroying everyone except Simone, Martin, Patrick and Jean. It’s at this point that Simone realises, finally, that Rasmus is the problem in this scenario and must be killed.
She shoots him but the bullet has no effect on the indestructible teenager. The season closes out with Sarah miraculously coming back to life and joining Rasmus as he fully embraces the dark side and joins ranks with Sten, the Apollon head honcho…