The Rain season one was a resounding success with the Danish Netflix series, in my opinion, quickly becoming the best post-apocalyptic series on TV. Best-watched in Danish with English subtitles, it featured top-notch character development and made you feel for the characters in their rather harrowing situations.
Season two brings back almost everything that worked for the first and delivers a strong season that clocks in at a mere six episodes, down from the first season’s eight. Where season one was more of a straight-up survival series in a post-apocalyptic world; this season more-so takes the form of a cat-and-mouse hunt, with some superpower exploration playing a part. As the virus continues to get stronger in Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), the group try to find a cure, while Apollon get closer to finding them.
This season returns with six episodes and a much slower and more subdued pace than the last. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, however, it is jarring at first as a certain pace was set up last season and isn’t followed through with this time around. It has to do with the fact that there isn’t a lot of moving around in these six episodes. The story is largely stuck to one location and so without the constant rush and urge to keep moving from place to place, it does result in the six episodes feeling quite long. Despite the slow pace there is still a building sense of tension to the season. It may not be as heightened as the first, but it is steadily building tension through to the last two episodes where the whole thing jumps up a couple of notches.
The story is good though. As I mentioned, it’s not about navigating the world whilst trying to survive the rain anymore. It’s more about testing the loyalties of this group of friends when it becomes aware that the virus is getting stronger, Rasmus is becoming more dangerous, and they must choose whether to protect themselves or Rasmus. The pace emphasises this and lends itself to the focus of the story this season. It does drag a little between big moments here and there which leads to sequences feeling overly long and like it’s taking too long to move forward. But where the slow pace leads to some dragging and dull moments, it allows for a lot more time to focus on developing characters and relationships, which is fantastic.
The first season was exceptional predominantly due to the incredible character development and relationship development that was built through every episode. It really got you to instantly care about every one of these characters, understand their backstories and who they are, and have you feel genuine emotion for them. This is built upon further in this season with every episode containing a great deal of emotionally engaging character moments, none of which I’d dare to get rid of. The thing driving me through every one of these episodes is the emotion and the connection felt with the characters established in season one. It’s such a strong connection the series draws between the audience and its characters that it keeps you invested even if the story takes some dips.
The relationships and development, of Simone (Alba August), Rasmus, and Martin (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) especially, are the best and most engaging of the season. They get the most screen-time and the way their relationships ebb and flow from episode to episode is gripping stuff. Jean (Sonny Lindberg) and Lea (Jessica Dinnage) are pretty sidelined for the first two to three episodes with only a couple of moments between them. Going into the latter half however, it pays off as they have plenty of really nice moments that become highlights for the season. Patrick (Lukas Løkken) gets some likeable redemption in this season, but he’s still pretty dumb and not the character who you’d root for the most in the group.
Unfortunately, none of the new characters make much of an impact in the season. New character Sarah (Clara Rosager) has some pretty nice moments with Rasmus and they have a connection that grows. She doesn’t have a whole lot to do though prior to the last two-or-so episodes but the story makes up for it in the end. Fie (Natalie Madueño) is ok, although there’s nothing about her character to resonate with so she sort-of floats through the season. However, Kira (Evin Ahmad) is a new character who I actually found really intriguing and wanted to know more about. But you don’t get a lot of her which is a major shame. You get some of her backstory and she gets more involved as the season comes to a close but more of her would have been very nice.
When it comes to the performances, the uncontested best performance of the season is Alba August. She is the strongest link and commands every bit of attention whenever she is on-screen. Every line of dialogue is delivered with force and emotion and she never has a dull moment. Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen gets a lot more to do in this season and he delivers with a thrilling performance filled with raw emotion. He really stands out alongside August and has a few memorable dialogue-driven scenes. The rest of the performances are good to very good. Some of them, through inexperience, come across as though they’re acting in some scenes and it’s a little distracting. Sonny Lindberg, Jessica Dinnage, and Lukas Løkken have a couple of these moments but for the majority they’re pretty good.
In the end, The Rain comes with another strong season that capitalises on well-written characters, engaging character development, and strong lead performances. The story this time around is paced a lot slower and, as a result, drags a little in some moments. But it’s not a major flaw as the character relationship progression in the mean-time is top notch. This is still the best post-apocalyptic series on TV despite a slight drop and should be checked out.