Photo: COURTESY OF NETFLIX
The post-pilot flashback in the second episode of the demonic resident The series is not on the grand scale of the demonic resident films; it’s pretty typical for a show to back off and slow down after a first episode. But both timelines of this two-way story are certainly regressing after some seemingly bolder narrative developments last time.
In 2022, for example, Billie is definitely not dead. Turns out Billie’s zombie dog injury is more of a bite to the shoulder than a tear to the neck, and while it looks dire, Wexler makes the call for Jade to bring her sister home while he hides his presence in the labs. Umbrella to his boss.
Meanwhile, in 2036, Jade Swan’s plunge into crimson zombie hell isn’t that big of a mic drop, either; she lands roughly but not badly hurt, and Umbrella’s crawlers struggle to keep her alive as zombies surround her, until a deus ex machina pulls her to a momentary safety. Yen, the driver of the vehicle that saves Jade, survives only long enough to inform Jade that Umbrella is after her and that helping her could ruin it. He is then eaten by zombies and Jade drives off in her car. This leads her to Dover; So far, her hero’s journey through a zombie wasteland vaguely resembles the tour itinerary of an ailing British indie-rock band.
There are some great tracking shots as Jade energetically hides through the way to Dover, which looks like a slum, which is evidently under Umbrella’s control-cut-surveillance. The episode reveals a bit more about the factions glimpsed on a digital map in the first episode: Umbrella controls certain territories, while there is a reference to “brotherhood territory” controlled by another group. Jade sets out to find someone named Barry, who has helped her with some previous trips and can presumably offer some guidance in getting back to her family. In her direction, she only finds her wife, Melinda.
The sequence in Melinda’s apartment reinforces the show’s bona fide horror while affecting a somewhat cuter writing voice than the first episode. In a classic side story from the zombie world, Melinda has been babysitting a zombified Barry (as well as, apparently, the bathroom). saw) in his apartment, chained and fed a succession of cats. The ensuing conversation about finding out information about Barry’s connections suddenly gives Jade a more sarcastic effect (“Okay, yeah”), culminating in a pointless button in the scene. After retrieving a logbook from zombie Barry and killing him in the process, she bids Melinda a farewell: “The cat thing? super fucked up Whether this is meant to underscore the horror or provide comic relief, the same principle applies: These things are most effective when not explained in dialogue. This cheap sarcastic tone is echoed when the Umbrella guy on Jade’s trail pays Melinda a visit, where he takes the time to throw oatmeal cookies and you walk past a woman he’s supposed to silently interrogate. These bits of dialogue are relatively minor in the scheme of things, but they still leave a bitter aftertaste rather than a lingering sense of horror. A shame because the chained husband and the grimy bathtub full of cat bones satisfyingly explore the shadowy corners of this semi-functional apocalypse.
At least that aspect of the 2036 story offers a more sociological angle on the demonic resident world, with a reoriented society still in its own ruins, sadly and vainly trying to imitate the old ways before people are trampled and shot by Umbrella’s thugs. In the 2022 story, the evil of the Umbrella Corporation feels more than a little predetermined. With her suspicions aroused by the incident at the lab, Jade seeks out her classmate Simon, the only Umbrella teenager who can bypass the company’s firewall. She learns more about an incident where an animal bite caused disturbing changes (and eventually death) in an Umbrella employee. A recovering Billie seems to fit the description of the effects and any given specification of “returned bad” from a horror movie: her little dog no longer trusts her, and when a stranger notices the dog running away from her and tries to protect the animal, Billie impulsively covers it.
This stuff moves pretty fast, but it’s terrifyingly familiar. Even Wesker, who initially seems like he’ll take advantage of Lance Reddick’s ability for a morally ambiguous threat, gets a pretty tedious hand of “good man forced to do bad things” when the show reveals Umbrella honcho Evelyn Marcus (Paola Nuñez) is urging the fast track of his drug Joy against his warnings. He agrees because he has some medical condition that can only be temporarily resolved with regular blood infusions provided by the company.
Earlier in the episode, Wesker assures his daughters that whatever infected Billie doesn’t require them to mask around her: “It’s not like COVID,” he says, in the show’s first acknowledgment of the real and inevitable pandemic. in which it is being released. . It was probably too late to rearrange any demonic resident episodes about COVID-19, and it’s questionable whether that would be a welcome development. Do we really see a demonic resident series for contemporary scathing commentary? Yet there is something bland and boringly reassuring about this episode’s depiction of a festering evil; it creates a strange kind of impatience, at least in the 2022 scenes, for the T-Virus to spread and do what we know it’s going to do. No, it’s not like COVID; right now, it’s much more familiar and predictable than that.
• Once again, director Bronwen Hughes does a good job of extracting drama from the images when the writing doesn’t quite get there. Billie’s self-examination of her injuries in a bathroom makes evocative use of blurred focus and reflected images.
• Great Detail: Jade’s digging around for more information on Umbrella includes a look at a common snippet of corporate policy: Naturally, Umbrella has a much-vaunted “green policy.”
• The episodes are currently two by two in reference to porn, which is what Simon assumes Jade wants to bypass the firewall to access. Plot hole! Would Umbrella really have that many employees who would agree not to view Internet porn? Doesn’t it sound like Umbrella would provide their own officially released porn?