By: Rachael Carmichael
In “The Rain,” a Danish post-apocalyptic series, a group of survivors fight to keep their humanity and search for hope in their newfound dystopia. Two siblings, Simone and Rasmus Andersen, are forced to take shelter in a bunker with their parents when a deadly virus sweeps through Scandinavia by rainfall. The siblings’ father is a scientist who works for the corporation Apollon, who created the well-equipped bunkers. He leaves his wife and children in search of answers. After a short while, Simone hears someone trying to get into the bunker. Thinking it is her father, she opens it, revealing a stranger who has been exposed to the virus. Knowing her family will be infected if he touches them, their mother quickly tackles the stranger and she too gets exposed to the rain and dies. While the idea that nature can turn against humans is hair-raising, the fall of morals within mankind becomes more sinister in this series. However, ultimately, “The Rain” shows that those living in a dystopia continually rely on hope to help them cope with their dystopian conditions.
With both parents gone and no knowledge of what is going on outside of the shelter, the siblings only have each other for support. Isolation still seeps into their lives, being left alone for six years after their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance. As they prepare for their journey above ground, a group of five survivors come in search for food and shelter. After being forced out of the shelter by covered vents that cut off their oxygen supply and held at gunpoint, the siblings quickly realize that their once normal world has been replaced with one where the strong and clever make it out alive. Survivors struggle to hold onto their humanity, doing whatever it takes to survive. In this new survival-of-the-fittest environment, Simone is tasked with keeping her brother and herself alive. In order to assure their safety, she convinces the strangers that she knows where all of the other Apollon bunkers are, which will keep them alive. The other group hesitantly invites them to travel with them to another bunker where Simone discovers her father’s possible whereabouts.
During their journey through Copenhagen, Lea, one of their new group members, believes that Simone is a symbol of hope and calls her “their guiding star” (“Avoid the City”) in the third episode, proving that even though their world is in shambles, there are still glimpses of light to be found in darkness. The loss of hope, as well as the potential for it, brings people together. While the group only has each other and feels like they are not able to trust anyone else, the idea of finding a better life reminds them why they continue to survive.
The development of friendships and love interests in the face of isolation leaves the characters feeling more whole again. Simone and Rasmus have found a new family among the other survivors, showing that blood is not the only thing that makes people family. Even with the destruction of the world, their livelihood has become a little easier, more bearable, and worthwhile. The desire to survive and rebuild their world motivates them not only to find answers about the destruction of Scandinavia, but also to heal themselves. The demons of each character’s past are brought up throughout the series, showing how the dystopia has affected them in different ways. They use each other to not only help them move forward from external destruction, but internal as well.
Prodigious corporations, like Apollon, want extreme power. While they are living a utopian life with the hopes of inevitable fame and fortune, those outside of this corporation are living in a hellish dystopia. They live their lives in fear, kept in the dark by their enemies. Watchers will see that Apollon’s need to be a hero is not justly obtained. Simone’s group become the heroes when they take action after believing Apollon may be the cause of the genocide. Even though the survivors do not have answers as to what they should do next, they continue to focus on living to the best of their abilities. They refocus their new goals, finding hope in other things that will keep them determined to continue living. Sometimes the only thing victims of a dystopian world can do while they wait out the vile treatment is to survive and continue dreaming of a better future. There is strength in numbers and sometimes that’s enough.
Christian Potalivo, Esben Toft Jacobsen, and Jannik Tai Mosholt, creators. The Rain. Miso Film, Netflix, 2018.
“Avoid the City.” The Rain, season 1, episode 3, May 4th 2018, Netflix.
“Keep Your Friends Close.” The Rain, season 1, episode 6, May 4th 2018, Netflix.