Netflix’s Resident Evil is now out and although it’s not based on any of the games, it does connect to the games. Resident Evil is basically a sequel to a bunch of the games, albeit it’s relatively selective about the ones that it chooses to pull from. This is mostly due to the fact that Albert Wesker is alive in the series and he “died” in Resident Evil 5. It’s hard for the series to lean too hard into Resident Evil Village or something more recent since Wesker is uninvolved with it, even if Umbrella at large has some tie to every game in the mainline series. With all of that said, for those who haven’t played the games or need a bit of a refresher, we’ve tried to establish how the Netflix series connects and calls back to the games.
The biggest plot point, aside from Albert Wesker being a-ok all these years later, is what happened in Raccoon City. The TV series takes place in an idealistic town called “New Raccoon City”. It’s basically the manifestation of the “What society would look like if…” meme that features an image of a perfect futuristic city. New Raccoon City is located in South Africa and is far away from the original city which was nuked off the face of the Earth, but that’s not public knowledge because it was a giant disaster. Raccoon City was essentially ground zero for the Resident Evil universe and was the setting for the first three Resident Evil games (though the first game is more on the outskirts of the city).
Ultimately, Umbrella was responsible for a virus getting loose in the city, creating monsters and zombies. It was intended to be contained by destroying the city, but obviously there are more Resident Evil games and now a TV show, so the problem remains. To most of the characters in the show, they’ve been told Raccoon City was destroyed by a big gas leak and there was nothing more to it beyond that. Of course, Jade and Billie find out that this was a big cover up later, but that’s not the only big revelation.
In episode 5, the two sisters investigate their home while Albert Wesker is gone to try and find clues about what’s really going on. After finding a secret basement, they discover a video recording of their dad in traditional Albert Wesker attire in some sort of prison with an Umbrella agent. It’s then revealed that he’s there to see Lisa Trevor, an iconic and tragic character from the first game. She was kidnapped along with her mother and aggressively experimented on by Umbrella, leading to her mother’s death. Lisa’s reaction to a strain of a virus granted her superhuman strength, but further experiments caused her to deteriorate. She eventually began ripping off faces and collecting them, not dissimilar to someone like Leatherface. It’s likely the footage seen in the Netflix series is just yet another example of Umbrella testing things on poor Lisa.
Albert eventually catches Jade and Billie in his secret lab and begins to steadily reveal information to both them and the audience. By the end of the series, it’s revealed that the Albert Wesker we’ve been following is not technically the one we saw in the games… he’s a clone! What a twist! That part is new to the Resident Evil lore, so we won’t go too deep into it here, but the “real” Albert Wesker was burnt alive in a volcano at the end of Resident Evil 5. He died in battle with Chris Redfield and Sheva Almoar after exposing himself to Uroboros, a new virus strain.
The only other truly significant connections to the games, aside from some Easter Eggs like Resident Evil 4‘s Chainsaw Man making an appearance, are major characters being referenced. Ada Wong is the most significant as Albert sends his children to see her in Japan at the end of this season. It’s unclear who will play her or how she will fit in, but she is a spy and pops in and out of the various games. She’s often the one who ties up loose ends, shines more light on some of the mysteries and conspiracies in the games, and is a general badass. If a season 2 of Resident Evil happens, it’s likely she’ll be a standout.
Dr. William Birkin is also mentioned at a few points in the show and he’s basically the one we can thank for… everything, really. Aside from Umbrella as a general entity, he’s responsible for the Raccoon City outbreak as he injected himself with the G-Virus and became a mutated beast while also breaking vials of the T-Virus, unleashing it on rats and the water supply, causing a large outbreak.
Finally, Evelyn Marcus’ father, James Marcus, is mentioned quite frequently as a person of power at Umbrella. Marcus is one of the founders of Umbrella, but was essentially ousted and erased from the company’s history after he took things a bit too far in his experiments. It’s certainly a bit ironic given where Umbrella ended up and the state of the world post-James Marcus.
With all of that said, Resident Evil has a lot of callbacks and connections to the games despite it appearing to feeling completely unrelated on the surface. Whether or not the series will have the opportunity to go forth on expanding on these ideas remains to be seen. If this show gets multiple seasons, it doesn’t seem out of the question that series protagonists Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy could appear, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Have you watched Resident Evil? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.
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