TV Review – The Rain: Season Two

TL;DR – It builds on the season before and becomes a much more intense show that maybe holds its cards bit too close to its chest.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Rain: Season Two. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Early last year I got a chance to watch the first Netflix show to come out of Scandinavia. The Rain had a fantastic premise with strong characters, overarching story, and design work. Though it was a show where it would have been great to see it take some more risks and chart a more independent course. Flash forward to a week ago and the second season dropped onto the service and at once it captivated me back into this world of post-apocalyptic Denmark.

So to set the scene, one day everyone’s lives in Denmark and at least Southern Sweden changed for the worse. For that day it started to rain, nothing new in Scandinavia, but this time the rains did not bring life, but death. Something we are reminded about in the opening moments of Season Two when we see the carnage once more to give us perspective moving forward. We jump back into the story just when Season One ended with Simone (Alba August), Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), Martin (Mikkel Følsgaard), Jean (Sonny Lindberg), Lea (Jessica Dinnage), and Patrick (Lukas Løkken) escaping from the Apollon headquarters along the barrier wall in Sweden. Just when all hope is lost, Simone and Rasmus’ father Frederick (Lars Simonsen) gives them a location where they might get some help, moments before he himself is killed. So with a plan, they set off for this hidden base, but there could be an even worse danger within because the virus in Rasmus is adapting and changing and it is destroying everything in its path. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

The Rain: Season Two. Image Credit: Netflix.
All the world is on Simone;s shoulders. Image Credit: Netflix.

This is a season that is very much focused more on the characters and their story, as opposed to worldbuilding, though there is still a lot of worldbuilding. The main dynamic of the season is the relationships between Simone and Rasmus on one hand and Simone and Martin on the other. For Simone, the whole world has been put on her shoulders, the only hope for a cure is Rasmus, but then if he can’t be cured he is more of a danger than anything else and she needs to kill him. That is a lot to put on the shoulders of someone, and then get killed so there is no way of helping out. You fell that responsibility, that drive to protect her brother more than anything else, up to and including lying to protect him from the other’s wrath.

On the other side of that equation is Rasmus, whose actor Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen had the really difficult job of depicting someone who is going through a great change but not being able to control it. Also not knowing if he wants the change to happen or not builds real conflict into his character. Everyone is trying to help him, but he is just a kid and he does not know what he wants and there is a mother lode of pressure there. This is why he bonds with Sarah (Clara Rosager) even though he killed her brother. They know what it is like to have their whole worlds decided by other people, even if it is being done for their own benefit.

The Rain: Season Two. Image Credit: Netflix.
For Rasmus there is a real conflict as to his future, both from within and from without. Image Credit: Netflix.

Once again the production design in The Rain is fantastic. While it is easy to get insert shots looking overgrown and untended, where a show like this rises or falls is in those wide vistas. I am sure this was all achieved through a combination of set dressing and digital manipulation, but it really works. The standout was an overgrown amusement park, which makes me wonder if they dressed a location or found an abandoned amusement park to film in. This season the virus in question takes one two different forms. The first is when it exudes out from Rasmus, and this is achieved through some really on point digital graphics through a particle effect that felt like a virus trying to escape. The other form comes from slow destruction on the environment. This is created with a simple black liquid coating all the affected plant life, it might be a simple way of depicting it, but because it triggers those memories of seeing oil spills it always looks like it is wrong and needs to be removed, so quite fitting. To add to this, for this season they had a more or less base of operations set up, which allowed them to spend some time making one location shine and it really did.  

When it comes to the story, I think they did a really good job of raising the stakes when it comes to both the virus and the lives of the survivors. The whole drive of the show is trying to cure Rasmus because there is hope for the world surviving because you can build walls across Sweden and Denmark, but that will only hold off the inevitable for so long. It does overcomplicate the proceedings a little bit with this new secret society but it does all tie together by the end. One of the underpinning drives of the season is Lea bouncing from one leading star to the next and then finding her own voice. This was one of the parts of the season when you started to wonder where they going with this because it seemed disconnected from everything else right up until that moment when it wasn’t.

The Rain: Season Two. Image Credit: Netflix.
As always The Rain excels in the design of this post-apocalyptic world. Image Credit: Netflix.

There was one thing that really started to feel clear throughout Season Two is that this was the middle part of a three act story. Everything in the season was driving forwards to that big reveal at the end that was both a complete game changer that radically shifts the dynamics of the next season. While this leads to a really wow final moment, I really wish the show had not held its cards as close to its chest because it could have used one or two of those big impact moments during the middle of the season rather than all at the end. Though it was a good choice to have the virus manifest itself as the young Rasmus (Bertil De Lorenzi).

In the end, do we recommend The Rain’s second season? Yes, yes we do. While there are a couple of small things that I wish they could have tightened up. It was still a fascinating scenario, one of the best post-apocalyptic shows on TV at the moment, filled with interesting characters                    

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen The Rain yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Rain
Directed by
– Søren Balle, Kasper Gaardsøe & Josefine Kirkeskov
Written by – Jannik Tai Mosholt, Rune Schjøtt, Julie Budtz Sørensen and Simon Oded Weil  
Created by – Jannik Tai Mosholt, Esben Toft Jacobsen & Christian Potalivo
Starring in Season Two – Alba August, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen, Mikkel Følsgaard, Sonny Lindberg, Jessica Dinnage, Lukas Løkken, Natalie Madueño, Clara Rosager, Evin Ahmad and Johannes Bah Kuhnke with Lars Simonsen, Jacob Luhmann, Bertil De Lorenzi, and Anders Juul 

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