My sister is dead. She died when I was 14 years old.”
That’s what Jade says to her Umbrella stalker turned cellmate (Turlough Convery) at the midpoint of the ominous fourth episode titled, “The Turn.” But at the end of the episode, Jade’s statement seems to beg for an Obi-Wan Kenobi style “…from a certain point of view”. This episode brings to the fore a lingering question in the background of previous episodes: Is Billie’s T-Virus infection status in 2022 supposed to be ambiguous?
The smart bet would be “hell no,” even given the show’s earlier reference to some form of Billie being alive in 2036. The 2022 version of Billie has had violent outbursts, hallucinations, and sensitivity to both light and sound in the past. days after its release. bitten by an infected dog and appears undead. For all we know about the T-Virus, she has a textbook case. However, at the beginning of “The Turn”, she insists on being taken to a high school party, even as she anxiously watches the clock tick down to the three-day mark that is supposed to mark her transformation. . Ella’s sister Jade insists that she will be fine and recovering from an illness that will soon pass, while she clearly thinks the party is a bad idea. (Clear characterization here: Jade is the type of girl who will openly disdain a social gathering and have a much better time than her sister did at said gathering.) But Billie insists, pointing out that her father claimed that they didn’t need to quarantine. It can also be a way to test Jade, who can’t claim that she believes her sister will put others in danger if she too insists that nothing crazy will happen to her at the fateful three-day mark.
It’s reminiscent, perhaps unintentionally, of the kind of COVID-era tightrope walking that might lead someone with a cough not to stay home and self-quarantine, saying, “Well, I just tested negative. What other information do I have? Billie’s father says that she should be fine. Billie’s sister says that she should be fine. No one tells her that she has to isolate herself or worry about becoming a vicious, subhuman zombie. So she goes to the party, she gets upset when Jade’s attention is drawn to Simon and ends up isolating herself anyway (after a sweet skateboard trick that her sister doesn’t notice). Then the amateur reporter Jade previously contacted shows up looking for the Wesker sisters and gives them some startling information: According to their investigation, Albert Wesker has been dead since 2009. And Jade and Billie Wesker, at least on paper, aren’t. exist.
This is probably the biggest twist, or at least one less telegraphed than the one revealed in the final minutes of the episode: the clock ticks and Billie doesn’t transform. she doesn’t die Embrace her sister, alive, regardless of what the data says. The show went from showing Billie marked for death in 2022 as she mentions that she is alive in 2036 to showing her surviving in 2022 and mentioning that she is dead in 2036. The biggest twist, yet to be revealed: If Albert Wesker has been dead since 2009, what kept him alive for the last 13 years?
For now, we have an especially tight and suspenseful episode of demonic resident, although it is one of the longest so far. While Billie escapes death in the past, Jade eludes her in the future. Jade has been captured by the Brotherhood, who seem to control certain territories, and is chatting with their leader, who is… French, perhaps? (The signage at the base of it is entirely German.) Which nationality is “vaguely reminiscent of Gary Oldman in true romance from a fashion perspective”? he is that. While the details of this death cult are sketchy and what we learn is a fairly repetitive horror narrative (a group of people who believe a horrible/fantastic phenomenon was an act of God? You don’t say!), this provides a good opportunity to lead Jade and her Umbrella enemy into some dark tunnels, shooting guns. In other words, this is a bit classic resident eviladding the concept of a T-Virus that has evolved enough to create a zombie queen, which Jade decapitates with a chainsaw.
Turlough Convery’s character has felt like an atonal attempt at dark comic relief in recent episodes, but separating him from Umbrella’s search for Jade and making him some sort of de facto ally makes his rant easier. It also demonstrates the ruthlessness of this undertaking, which makes it feel worthy of its predecessors: in less than an hour, this Irishman goes from mildly annoying supporting character antagonist to true comic relief to gun-toting zombie-killing badass in a terrifying way. particularly blatantly fan-pleasing sequence. (Because I have no shame, in fact, I was pleased with this). That’s not even his final form; by the end of the episode, the zombies have gobbled him up almost as fast as the writers have gobbled up character ideas for him. Here’s something oddly comforting about a zombie show: While there are still some of the aforementioned fatal injury shenanigans, I’m just kidding, it’s a flesh wound (Convery’s character gets shot and is more or less fine, eg ) that have become endemic in genre movies and television, you can be absolutely certain that when a guy is stalked by a bunch of hungry zombies, he really is dead.
However, Billie can occupy a more liminal space. With her family dead on paper, her sister zombie not zombie, and zombies evolving, the series seems to be shaping up to ask a more Romero-esque question than more action-oriented movies: What is the line between being alive? and dead (and undead)? And what is humanity doing to move that line themselves?
• It’s a testament to the force of what comes before that the actual ending of the episode, involving another group (Umbrella, probably?) capturing Jade in 2036, barely registers.
• Oh, also, the reporter, who has roots in Tijuana, is captured by Umbrella and seems ready to make a deal with Evelyn Marcus.
• Jade and Bille’s age is mentioned in an earlier episode, but they don’t particularly read as 14-year-olds, probably because they would both have been around 16 during production. Aging them down is probably an attempt to better square them with Ella Balinska, who is already 25 and playing 28. I’m not trying to pick on anyone’s ages here; I am endlessly fascinated by the strange nexus between young and old where actors and characters can differ by a decade or more.
• New Raccoon City teens attend a party at a construction site that looks suspiciously like a Williamsburg Pool Party of the 2000s.
• This episode also really underpins the bona fide horror of the show. In particular, having Jade wield a chainsaw the same year as the last (and somewhat underrated) Tchainsaw sequel/reboot, reinforces Netflix’s reputation as the go-to streamer for gory chainsaw action.
• So in Resident Evil: The Final Chapterone of the best of the demonic resident In the movies, the infinitely cloned character Dr. Alexander Isaacs has an incarnation who has become convinced that the T-Virus is God’s will and uses the resulting zombies to promote his newfound religious fanaticism. I don’t think that’s what anyone had in mind with the Brotherhood here (I wouldn’t be surprised if the creators of this show were as attentive to older movies as writer/director Paul WS Anderson was to older video games, which is say: not especially), but it’s a great parallel.