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I Finished the Resident Evil Series So It Would Stop Staring at Me on Netflix

Maybe I Don’t Want to “Continue Watching,” Netflix!

Turlough Convery as Richard Baxter and Ella Balinska as Jade (2036)

Turning video games into watchable entertainment has been difficult, to say the least. Some films about video games that are indirect adaptations have been successful, while the ones that are more directly influenced have always left something to be desired. Sometimes, it’s because the fans already know what to expect from a film or television plot, other times, it’s because the adaptation strays too far from the source material. In the case of Netflix’s live-action Resident Evil series, it’s a bit of both and, at the same time, a whole lot more.  

This review will go into detail regarding aspects of the newly released Resident Evil series. If you plan on watching the season, consider this a warning that many spoilers lie ahead. 

The poster for Resident Evil (2022) shows a licker getting his tongue tangled on the title.
Image courtesy of Netflix

Characters and Basic Plot 

Let’s start with a simple synopsis and the rundown of the players in the latest Resident Evil series. The only familiar name noticeable by fans of the game at the onset of the series is that of Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick), looking nothing like the tall-haired, sunglass-wearing virologist turned villain seen in the games. I’m a huge fan of Lance Reddick’s (Fringe) and found this to be the series’ best move, later granting a lovely albeit short-lived easter egg of seeing Reddick as that Wesker version in Episode 7, “Parasite.” Reddick always provides a strong presence when portraying a character, so I never doubted that this role would work for him, but his part in the affair is a different story.  

Wesker joins his boss Evelyn Marcus (Paola Núñez), granddaughter of Resident Evil Zero‘s James Marcus, one of the founding members of The Umbrella Corporation, in the newly built New Raccoon City. Together, they venture into a new pharmaceutical drug launch with the antidepressant “JOY,” a pill that contains trace amounts of the games’ DNA mutating, zombie transforming, and monster-making pathogen, T-Virus. Now located in South Africa, New Raccoon City is a corporate housing destination for the workers of the mega-conglomerate and the new home to the rebellious Jade (Tamara Smart) and the astute Bille (Siena Agudong) Wesker, Albert’s children. The relationship between Jade and Billie becomes the main storyline in Resident Evil. 

At first, things seem pristine in the New Raccoon City environment. The Resident Evil series has removed itself from the game timeline and made a home in a new one starting in 2022, while also showing the decayed remains of the city in a timeline hop to 2036. Adult Jade (Ella Balinska) is setting up experiments in the crumbling debris of what’s left of New Raccoon City she grew up in (cue up Madonna’s “This Used to Be My Playground”). With one false move, Jade cuts herself, sending a swarm of undead barreling toward her and unearthing a giant bloodthirsty bug from deep underground. Funny enough, all Jade needed was a little sunscreen left unrubbed at the tip of her nose to provide a full-on comparison to the geologist in Tremors, both characters engrossed in their scientific research and being attacked by subterranean monsters.  

A giant caterpillar monster
Big ol’ Buggos

Meanwhile, in 2022, Jade and Billie are just getting their bearings at their new residence, adjusting to a new school and their father’s schedule. The Wesker girls have plenty of animosity for their father, Jade especially, though much of it at the start is a little obtuse. Jade honestly seems moody for the sake of being a teenager—anti-everything and raging against the scene. This leads to Billie and Jade having multiple bonding moments, but none greater than their decision to break into the Umbrella lab after Billie sees animals being moved while visiting her father for lunch. Knowing the company is lying about its stance on performing tests on animals, Billie and Jade begin freeing the animals except, of course, the first dog they free is ravenously infected with T-virus and bites Bille. 

Darting forward in time again, Jade 2036 is rescued from a monstrous fate and brought to a marauder location, but the Road Warrior imagery of this part of Jade’s story is only a rest stop. The Marauders find her and alert an Umbrella team led by Richard Baxter (Turlough Convery) to her location. Baxter arrives in a haze of gunfire, killing the camp of scavengers in an effort to capture Jade and leave no witnesses. It’s here we get our first big twist. While Billie bleeds on the floor of the Umbrella lobby, Baxter informs the viewers that Billie is alive and wants to see Jade.  

That is the end of the first episode and a somewhat hopeful pilot for Resident Evil‘s remaining seven episodes. Telling the story of Jade and Billie as unbreakable bonded sisters in 2022 who have become estranged by 2036 via the two timelines is a great hook. Straddling the timelines commands the equivalence of Lost‘s flashback scenarios where something in the episode triggers a memory that holds relevance to what the characters might be dealing with in 2036. Jade’s homecoming in New Raccoon City 2036 feels like a good place for a memory from the past to trigger, but as the show progresses, the mechanic is instituted without cause. At some point, it becomes more about conveying the flashback story and juxtaposes the timelines without a completely tangible connection to the episodic storyline. The two timelines flop back and forth like we’re really watching two narratives play out from episode to episode, unfolding the season-long memory of why Jade resents her sister. 

Jade Wesker looks into the camera with surprise in the Resident Evil series
Ella Balinska as Jade Wesker (2036)

As the season wears on, it becomes harder to understand the show’s mission in these stories. No parallel or revelatory arc satiates the show’s primary mission. Side characters are few and far between, and the likable ones end up dead just when we hope to see more of them. Jokes are scarce and often flat, but scares are even rarer. For a show based on a pretty fun video game series and pitches a drug called JOY, the show is utterly joyless.  

Digging Deeper 

Something the Resident Evil series could have benefitted from more was perspective changes. The sisters’ narrative is always captured through Jade’s eyes, whose younger self is overflowing with attitude, especially when it comes to pissing off her father. In contrast, Billie’s younger self is more toned down, and given her T-virus infection, it could have been a more engaging story to tell if we were subject to her emotions through her eyes. Sure, we get hints of the transitory elements, the bright lights, loud noises, and hallucinations, but emotionally we’re left in the dark about Billie during this process. Lost was very good at switching characters so we could see stories from the inside and the outside, offering the angles of how people saw themselves and how others saw them.

Secondly, it takes four episodes before we’re even subject to Billie’s fate from the bite at the close of the first episode, which seems like a crazy amount of time to wait given Baxter’s information about Billie wanting to see Jade. I mean, he could have been lying about her, but since Baxter doesn’t exist in Jade and Billie’s 2022 environment, what cause would he have to lie to her? Whatever the reason, it sends Jade jumping off the roof into a horde of zombies (or zeroes because, sure, why not?), refraining from the reunion. A far cry from the relationship Jade and Billie have in 2022.  

Jade stands beside Billie in their driveway
Tamara Smart as Jade (2022) and Siena Agudong as Billie (2022)

Essentially, that’s the fundamental arc of both timelines, seeing how these two have drifted apart over the years. Billie being the doting daughter and Jade being the rebel in her father’s eyes, then watching their paths diverge in a manner contradictory to how we first meet them. Jade 2036 is now a mother to Bea (Ella Zieglmeier) and her demeanor, while still tough, is far less like the brooding child we see in 2022. On the other hand, Billie is actually running the Umbrella corporation using what we assume is JOY and maybe some other alterations to control Evelyn like a puppet in 2036, the way Evelyn managed to manipulate her wife Diana (Emily Child) back in 2022. When we see 2036 Evelyn, she’s aged very well. Not that she couldn’t have taken good care of herself in the fourteen-year interim, but one could theorize this Evelyn 2036 may be a clone. 

Yes, there is a clone storyline, and you can pretty much see it coming from a mile away, so it never feels like a surprise. When Albert Wesker talks about the past, especially when the girls confront him about any Umbrella misdeeds he may have been involved in, he gets a bit reserved. As we later come to find out, there isn’t just one Albert Wesker, and the one we’re following isn’t the one from the games either. The Wesker that died in a volcano in Resident Evil 5 died the same way in the Netflix series. Reddick has a lot of fun creating alternate personalities for Al (Jade and Billie’s father), Albie, Bert, and the original Alber Wesker in the show. When we’re finally introduced to Bert in the series, we get a hint of what this show frankly could have been.  

While it’s nice to see giant monsters and some throwbacks to the video game series, characters have to exist at a show’s heart. Resident Evil does very little to get us to like the main characters we spend eight hours with. For the most part, Jade and Billie offer no sway by the end of the season. If they had both been eaten by the two-tailed crocodile, I don’t know that I would have cared. Compound that with the fact that the show frequently lacks the isolative feeling of the video game. There’s seldom any tension or apprehension as characters venture into fearful places or find themselves hunted by creatures.

Billie screams as an infected Doberman drools and snarls in her face
Say it, don’t spray it.

Contrarily, Baxter’s offer to combine forces with Jade in “The Turn” goes a long way. Nearing the end of the chainsaw battles and gunfights as the two attempt to escape the dungeons of the Brotherhood compound left me wanting more from this short-lived team-up. In the four episodes before “The Turn,” Baxter was a bit of a generic lackey with generic “I’ll get you next time Wesker if it’s the last thing I do” lines. When we finally get more than two lines of dialogue out of him that isn’t concerned with shouting at Jade or barking directions at soldiers, he turns out to be a bit funny and unhinged. We begin to see his penchant for chaos as he fights the cultists, and it’s maybe the most fun we have in the season. It felt like a betrayal to have him killed off so soon, just when we were finally getting to know the character. 

My thoughts on Bert are similar to that as well. After escaping the Umbrella compound and meeting Jade and Billie late in the series during “Parasite,” the season’s penultimate episode, Bert fits into the similar character type of Baxter, albeit a little differently. Like Baxter, Bert is a bit quirky and humorous, but it’s because he has the mind of a child trapped in an adult’s body. They explain the cloning process and the sci-fi nonsense that led him to see the world like Robin Williams in Jack, then explain how Umbrella locked him up. The key was all but thrown away when Wesker’s operation (and also the original Wesker) was terminated. Albert, the girls’ father, was allowed outside of a cell by being valuable to Evelyn. My guess, given Evelyn’s demeanor, is he did a lot of growing up quickly, funny given that it’s revealed Albert may only have his girls for their life-giving blood that halts his rapid clone aging process. 

But, back to my point: Bert is fun. The character is a protector with a profound love for Jade, Billie, and endless breadstick baskets, and maybe the most interestingly strange thing to happen in the show outside what the viewer would expect. Though I would argue that the farcical elements of his rendezvous with Jade and Billie come far too late in the season, Bert remains an enjoyable aspect of an otherwise far too stark-toned show about magical drugs and flesh-eating monsters. Jade and Billie are so ingrained in the seriousness of the story that the side characters need to even them out and make them less stoic. But, almost every time we get a character with their own gravitational pull, they don’t stick around long, or it’s the end of the series. It’s like the anti-Stranger Things method, where characters build off each other and improve the ensemble quality. Bert is the only likable side character that survives the events of the Resident Evil series.

Richard Baxter stands center with the red light from his vehicle lighting the area and soldiers behind him
Turlough Convery as Richard Baxter

Simon (Connor Gosatti) has the most bountiful arc in this case, but the audience stays neutral about him for most of the season. Mainly seen as Jade 2022’s will they/won’t they crush, Simon gets the thumbs up when he helps Jade and Billie solve a series of (get this) Resident Evil puzzles set up in their house in “Home Movies.” Left by Albert to guide his children to safety in the event of his death, I almost suspected the entire goose chase of clues would end like the ’90s series Wings’ series premiere with a lesson about family. Right when Simon turns a corner, he meets his fate with a bite from Billie that leads to a headshot from his mom, Evelyn. This act leaves Jade inconsolable with a hard-to-quell bias about family dynamics.

Meanwhile, the 2036 plotline introduces Jade’s boyfriend Arjun (Ahad Raza Mir), their base of operations on a freighter, and some other low-key side characters, all of which we’re with for episodes and yet never get to know. One of these characters also dies as a direct result of Jade’s hubris in creating a bio-shield that makes her invisible to the Zeros. Maybe it sounds interesting, but this part of the storyline is akin to playing too many hours of one storyline in a game and asking you to catch up on the other missions before going any further. The 2022 timeline becomes more dominant, and the 2036 part becomes witheringly dull.

Now, I’m all for killing off characters, but to do that effectually, the audience has to feel for them. Ned Stark in Game of Thrones is the perfect example of how to do it right. For starters, as the character synonymous with the show, you never saw his death coming; also, he was well-liked immediately and had a nine-episode arc to cement his personality. Baxter and Simon are not in the Resident Evil series long enough for us to feel this way about their characters, and though we still have Bert if there is a second season, he’s arguably going to have to change for the girls if Albert doesn’t make it. 

Happy, Happy, JOY, JOY 

A hand holds a dose of the Resident Evil series drug, Joy
Warning: not yet approved by the FDA.

The Resident Evil series presented a unique opportunity to do something thematically that could have struck a chord with the world. Umbrella is known, probably globally at this point, as a metaphor for evil corporations. Umbrella Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1968 and went on to sell medical equipment and, oh yeah, ruin people’s lives by turning them into monsters. Umbrella is the pinnacle of terrible, and in this crazy, greedy world we live in, where pharmaceutical companies promote pills for everything, even opioids, Umbrella feels like an exciting way to tell a story about speaking truth to power.  

Unfortunately, the JOY plotline never fully develops.  

Great things can indeed come from terrible tragedies in the scientific world. Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium only to have them adversely take her life. However, because of her, we have successful cancer treatment methods. Umbrella invented the T-virus, and thanks to them, today we have a pandemic…I mean JOY. Umbrella isn’t known as forward-thinking so much as it is for looking for more money from its shareholders. JOY is supposed to be the last antidepressant the human race will ever need, and it sounds like it will be. As it might initiate the eventual fall of New Raccoon City, should we get more seasons.

a holographic teddy bear introduces the marketing campaign for "Joy for Kids"
Joy for Kids: The kindler, gentler zombie drug

Kidding aside, we only see JOY in action once. For a momentous harbinger of doom, JOY is relatively nonexistent in the series. Besides a few key meetings where Albert points out the potential for catastrophe, JOY is a bit of a McGuffin. It’s a catalyst for Albert to be in the South African Raccoon City at the start and the reason for Simon to join Jade and Billie at Umbrella at the end of the season after learning that his mom Diana is being dosed by his mom Evelyn. Beyond that, JOY doesn’t exactly come up, despite it cascading the posters and the trailers of the Resident Evil series’ marketing campaign. 

What sucks most about that is how great the idea of JOY is. The phrase “pill-popping zombie” has been around a long time, but the company’s profit margin becomes the agent of destruction that could end the world. Add in JOY’s extra benefit of easily manipulating its prescribed population and imagine the potential. The series could have had another trial user like Diana, forgetful and happy cooking a second dinner, suddenly wake up covered in blood somewhere else, not knowing how or why they got there. I think the series missed the boat on JOY’s potential, especially in terms of raising tension.

A blind spot JOY may have in the plot is in reference to “the Tijuana incident.” Not a lot is provided about what was happening at that Umbrella site, other than a contained T-virus outbreak. We know JOY didn’t start it. Journalist Angel Rubio’s (Pedro De Tavira) interview with Susana Franco (Lea Vivier) at the start of “The Turn” reveals her husband contracted “cannibal disease” after being bitten by an animal in Umbrella’s lab, just like Billie. A video Jade watches at the lab shows the event as well. What we don’t know is whether the facility just moved its resources from that site to the New Raccoon City site, though we get that sense given Albert’s relocation to South Africa.  

Billie and Jade hold hands as the Umbrella logo flashes on a monitor
Umbrella loves you(r money)

Franco ends up “disappeared,” believed to be silenced by Umbrella, and though they’ve discredited Rubio as a journalist, he persists. He also inherits a terrible fate, lying on a torture slab for Albert and Evelyn. Umbrella at its absolute finest, torturing journalists to control a narrative in a way that gut-wrenchingly reminds us of what happened to Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  

Themes 

As you could probably tell from some of the intrinsic metaphors that persist within the story about propaganda, cover-ups, brutality against journalists, mega-corporations, and outbreaks, showrunner Andrew Dabb and his team of writers are embedding a much larger concept into the world of zombies and monsters. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and with no checks and balances in place, Umbrella is free to operate as its own government by 2036. Meanwhile, in 2022, we watch events play out with obvious parallels to our own society.  

Consider New Raccoon City, or more broadly, the employee housing for the massive Umbrella headquarters in South Africa. Paternalism is a nineteenth-century practice that seems to be kicking up a lot of steam today, and New Raccoon City is a Company Town that we never see a full view of. Consider China’s “iPhone City.” The Zhengzhou factory complex that makes Apple’s phones also houses its workers and demands a six-day work week, hours upon hours of overtime, and essentially little to no life outside the place. Could this be the direction corporations are shifting toward all over the world? I don’t think it’s beyond reason to think so. But, depending on the company and its political leanings, certain aspects could be manipulated.  

The New Raccoon City
Company Town

The Social Welfare website at Virginia Commonwealth University, which provides fantastic articles on the history of Company Towns, says, “[The] company’s motivations were less ideal. The remoteness and lack of transportation prevented workers from leaving for other jobs or to buy from other, independent merchants. In some cases, companies paid employees with a scrip that was only good at company stores. Without external competition, housing costs and groceries in company towns could become exorbitant, and the workers built up large debts that they were required to pay off before leaving. Company towns often housed laborers in fenced-in or guarded areas, with the excuse that they were ‘protecting’ laborers from unscrupulous traveling salesmen. In the South, free laborers and convict laborers were often housed in the same spaces, and suffered equally terrible mistreatment.” 

Umbrella itself could be a monopoly, in this case, printing its own money and making its own laws. Anyone trying to speak out against the unfairness of this type of oppression would likely be silenced by whatever means they see fit, like Angel Rubio and Susana Franco. As I previously mentioned, I thought about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi at that point in the series. Khashoggi, a US citizen, was vastly critical of the Saudi government. When he arrived at a consulate in Istanbul to collect documents he needed for his marriage, he was murdered and presumably dismembered.  

Khashoggi was banned from Saudi Arabian television and publication in 2018 after criticizing then President-elect Donald Trump as “contradictory” on his stance in the Middle East. What’s more baffling was the Trump administration’s position to keep the intelligence findings under wraps, thereby protecting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from Congressional action (which happened anyway). According to Bob Woodward’s book, Rage, Saudi investments in US military and training meant protecting billions in weapons sales between the two countries. Today, the intelligence reports regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s death have still not been released. 

Angel Rubio is bloodied up, tied to a dentist chait with a gag in his mouth and ear protection on in the Resident Evil series
Pedro De Tavira as Angel Rubio

Governments that can’t take criticism, like Saudi Arabia’s or the Trump administration, are the model for Umbrella. A company that almost went bankrupt before CEO Evelyn Marcus restored it to her grandfather’s former glory and is poised to make damn sure it never happens again. You’d think that after multiple outbreaks, cleanup efforts worldwide, and countless OSHA violations, Umbrella would have been dismantled. Or, like Purdue Pharma, be forced to change their company’s name under a newly established LLC set up to pay victims’ families and the company’s creditors. But, Umbrella quashes any oppositional forces swiftly, snuffing them out or deterring them through disinformation. And people in this universe somehow side with the human violation magnet mega-corporation. 

While the themes are well embedded and bleak, I would have liked the show to have been slightly bolder in how it pumped its propaganda. Let’s see an Umbrella news network spreading more lies about Angel Rubio or incidents happening in the city. Show us how sunny and warm it is in the fallout of the original Raccoon City, an event swept under the rug by Umbrella and the US Government. Tell people Jade and Billie’s break-in at Umbrella was just a hoax.

From Game to Film to Netflix 

I kept thinking of something Michelle Iannantuono, director of indie video game film Livescream, said regarding making a video game adaptation work for film during an interview earlier this year,  

Albert Wesker stands in black leather and sunglasses
Lance Reddick as Albert Wesker | He would have made a good Blade.

“You just have to approach it in the right way, and you have to stay focused on character and story and not get too distracted by the fact that there are interactive elements or that there’s this pre-existing universe or pre-existing way that people want to insert themselves into the universe. Just focusing on really interesting people doing interesting things. People, when they make video game movies, get very distracted by that for some reason, and I don’t know if it’s just because people who are making video game movies just don’t understand video games or their appeal.”

Michelle, like me, is also a fan of the earlier Resident Evil films that featured Milla Jovovich as a new character in the RE universe. Many complained about the film franchise’s lack of connection to the game, but those films were all huge box office successes on a worldwide scale. Though their plots may not differ much from a superhero film, most of the movies have an enjoyability factor in how over-the-top they can get. The franchise’s fifth entry, Retribution, is basically a fun-with-clones Resident Evil movie with an Escape Room aesthetic and easily my favorite entry of the franchise’s sequels, which is presumably why I enjoyed the Wesker clone room and Bert storyline of the series as much as I did. 

Netflix’s Resident Evil series nixes the films entirely, but the fandom will applaud the easter eggs that fit the game series into the show’s backstory. The latest film in the RE universe, 2021’s Welcome to Raccoon City, also found some success in this, focusing on the set pieces, characters, and story of a direct adaptation but somehow forgetting to make the movie entertaining in the process. Netflix’s Resident Evil veers away from the direct influence of the game by moving away from the timeline, a move I applauded when I first discussed the show’s trailer releases, yet it suffers the same fate. After three weeks of seeing it in my “Continue Watching” queue on Netflix, I finally decided to finish the series so Netflix would stop bugging me about it. I avoided it after an episode and a half, completing a Film Festival and binge-watching FROM, Chapelwaite, and Shining Vale on other platforms instead,

Sure, there are things I like about it. The acting is excellent, the way it fits into the universe is wonderful, and the visual effects look incredible. In contrast, I think many of the characters are one note, and the narrative doesn’t do a good enough job, in either timeline, to make you lean toward liking or hating characters. The oppositional Jade and Billie storyline in 2036 is a bit of Star Wars family opera. We’re supposed to see Jade 2022 as the opposition to her father and family, then see Billie in 2036 having become the outlier. That also makes it weirder in 2022 that Billie is the one that chooses family in the storyline when it would make more sense that Jade shakes her fatherly defiance before having her heart torn out by Billie biting Simon. It would have also been satisfying to see her make a morally transformative decision before watching the person she trusted in that arrangement let her down the most. 

Simon talks on his cell phone in the Resident Evil series
Connor Gosatti as Simon Marcus

My biggest criticism here, which is becoming my biggest criticism with many titles caught up in the streaming wars, is having a quality concept ruined by the need for quantity over quality. While some platforms like Shudder and Screambox often buy indie properties already made and distribute exclusive streaming rights, Netflix is different and produces much of its own content. As I said earlier, the pilot episode of the Resident Evil series is actually pretty good, mainly because I don’t judge a series based on its pilot because of how often pilots attempt to jam things in to impress the people that may be interested in picking up the show. So, maybe the content strategist was duped this time after ordering the series. That still wouldn’t explain the rash of middling films and series we’ve seen released under the Netflix banner recently. With a multimillion-dollar property like Resident Evil, the show could have received a green light on name alone. Regardless, this should have been a home run with the potent horror elements the games and films have been purveying over the last three decades. 

I am a huge believer that a Resident Evil series can kick ass, but I don’t know if a second season is going to right this wrong way vessel. I always thought a quirky, left-of-center approach might be the right way to adapt the games into a satisfying series, creating a mystery through other characters within Raccoon City and possibly giving it the Twin Peaks small-town vibe by having the Umbrella mystery unfold around the townspeople. Or, maybe focus similarly on the people working at Umbrella. With a more Umbrella-centric Raccoon City, that idea gets slightly more paranoid because the whole town knows the company is watching. 

Final Thoughts 

I don’t know where Netflix’s Resident Evil series goes from here. After eight episodes, where maybe four could have sufficed, I can’t say I’m all that impressed or hopeful. I respect the themes, and I think there’s some fantastic work done by the actors throughout the show, but the story is a bit of a slog, using full episodes, even the ones with giant spiders and Lickers as filler, bereft of the fun of the games and the film series. If I were to offer suggestions as a fan of this universe, it’s this: start over next season.  

A man with a potato sack over his head holds a chainsaw in the Resident Evil series
This guy and Jack Baker from RE:VII should chainsaw fight.

Like the Resident Evil games, begin with a new protagonist and have an untold tale develop around the events of what transpired in New Raccoon City during or just after Jade and Billie’s departure. Link the escape of Evelyn’s “special project” in 2022, which may be Resident Evil 2’s William Birkin or someone who suffered a similar fate, to the next group you follow. This show may work best as a series of anthology season installments that tell interweaving tales with an over-arcing narrative. It didn’t take three months for the events of Season 1’s 2022 storyline to transpire, did it? Season 1 may not be the series’ American Horror Story: Murder House, but it doesn’t mean that can’t be achieved in the world that’s already been created, should Netflix bestow the green light to a second season. Plus, we all know Netflix cancels anything contiguous and loves anthologies (see: Love, Death, and Robots; Black Mirror) so tell them it’s an anthology series. 

Next, determine your characters’ complete season arcs as if they’re not getting another season to tell it in. The Season 1 finale leaves a lot of cliffhangers with Billie stealing Bea from Jade in 2036 and Albert sacrificing himself for his family, though Billie suggests he dies closer to 2036. But make the surviving characters ancillary, people we learn about or bump into in the next installment while telling a new story from another perspective. Build audience favorite characters with cheeky dialogue and poor judgment, something relatable, or bring Baxter back as a clone…I mean, why not? Convery was superb. Kill him again next season too. He can be Resident Evil’s Kenny McCormick. Honestly, how many times did people rise from the dead when you worked on Supernatural, Andrew Dabb? 

A giant Crocodile approaches Bea
Where’s Leon when you need him?

Maybe next season, you start with a lowly janitor cleaning the 2036 lab at Umbrella when he sees Billie bring Bea in for testing and decides to go rogue while flashing back to his childhood at another Umbrella base. Then, like how Chris Redfield and Ethan Winters meet on the chopper in Resident Evil VII, who’s to say this new character doesn’t run into one from last season? This show has the potential to create new narratives and tie everything together, but what’s more remarkable is watching it set up an epic horror story that joins characters you’ve already built in the timelines. Realize that you can create a Justice League of next-gen Resident Evil heroes and villains if given a chance. After two or more seasons, you could have the whole bunch team up, finding each other with the hopes of bringing down Umbrella.  

I don’t know; maybe that’s Dabb’s idea already, though I can’t say it gives me a lot of confidence to resent watching something I was looking forward to. I’d be willing to give the show another try if these end up being season-contained and adjoining stories. Catching the many connections to the games got me through many episodes. Creating standalone seasons with ties to the first could be similarly entertaining. Plus, it may be the only way to convince Netflix to renew for Season 2, given the poor reviews the show has received and equally abysmal audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Fans have likely already moved on.

The Resident Evil series is currently streaming on Netflix. At the time of this writing, a second season has not been announced.  

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Written by Sean Parker

Sean lives just outside of Boston and loves all things horror.

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