RESIDENT EVIL. NETFLIX © 2022
Netflix’s live-action Resident Evil series is officially streaming right now on the service. All eight episodes are addicting and very bingeable, so if you’re excited to watch don’t wait! This is one series you’ll want to go into as unspoiled as possible if you can.
Spoilers ahead for Resident Evil season 1
A genuine labor of love from showrunner Andrew Dabb, Resident Evil features tons of references and easter eggs to the original game series and even the movies. The show has a lot of rewatchability to it because you’re certain to notice new things each time you revisit.
This list is by no means comprehensive as I’m sure I’ve missed some things and will likely go back and update it as I rewatch the show, but fans should find some fun stuff related to the overall franchise below!
The opening scene of Resident Evil episode 1 in 2036 is very reminiscent of the famous bridge scene in the iconic and acclaimed zombie movie 28 Days Later. Jade walks across the bridge and we get a shot of Big Ben and the skyline in the background as she does.
The 2022 timeline takes place mostly in New Raccoon City, but what happened to the old one? The show keeps it the same as the game canon. The original Raccoon City was destroyed in 1998 after a T-Virus outbreak.
Umbrella told the world the area was destroyed (although not the real reason why), but in reality they fired a nuclear missile into the city to destroy it. The show doesn’t go super into detail so there might be some differences from the game’s canon, but overall it’s a similar story.
The Umbrella Corporation logo is an octagonal shape and there are octagons all over the place in Resident Evil, from on picture frames scattered throughout the Wesker house to the silver earrings Jade wears in the first episode.
Jade and Billie’s little dog is named Pablo and while it’s possible this is just a coincidence, it seems likely that the name Pablo is a nod to Pablo Kuntz, the voice actor that voiced Albert Wesker in the games.
Billie and Jade’s fight with the infected Doberman is a direct homage to the original 1996 Resident Evil, the first game in the series. There is a part where a zombie dog jumps out from a glass window and it was considered one of the scariest parts of the game! The 2002 Resident Evil film also featured its own version of that moment and the show appears to pull inspiration from the movie scene, too.
During the finale, Albert gives Jade a piece of paper with a name and address. He tells her that the person the note is a friend and someone she can turn to for assistance. The name is Ada Wong. Ada is a fan-favorite character from the games and an awesome, morally ambiguous spy.
She first appeared in Resident Evil 2 but has appeared in many of the games, novels and even animated films in the franchise. She also appeared in Resident Evil: Retribution where she was played by Li Bingbing. It’d be great to see her appear in the show if it gets renewed and it would mean Jade would have to travel to Japan, as that’s where Ada is per Albert’s note.
The flashback featuring the original Albert Wesker takes place in the Arklay Mountains in 2005, a few years after the 1998 Raccoon City outbreak. Arklay is a pivotal location in the games, featuring multiple times. It’s where Oswell Spencer built his mansion and it’s also where Lisa Trevor is believed to have gone into hiding.
In episode 7, we meet the real, original Albert Wesker who requests an update on the “mind machine” device from one of his clones in a flashback. That device is likely a reference to P30, the chemical compound he used to mind-control Jill Valentine.
Later, a version of P30 was turned into the Scarab machine in Resident Evil: Afterlife. Albert asks about the “chest mount” in the show, which is likely a reference to Jill wearing the Scarab on her chest at the end of Afterlife.
William Birkin gets a shoutout during the show’s first season (maybe more than one) and fans of the games and movies should find the name instantly recognizable. He is a significant antagonist in the series and one of the leading virologists in the T-Virus study.
Birkin also discovered the Golgotha Virus, which is mentioned a few times in the first season, albeit not by name (the inclusion of Lisa Trevor is a big part of the G-Virus mentions in the show). We also see that Evelyn keeps some kind of monstrosity in a tank (that later escapes) and the creature looks pretty similar to an early form of Birkin’s mutation after he injects himself with G-Virus in the games.
In the fifth episode, Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” has special significance to Billie and Jade as part of the scavenger hunt that Albert has created. The symphony appears a few times in the Resident Evil games, including the need to play it to unlock a secret room in the mansion during the first game. It is also featured in Resident Evil 5 and apparently the favorite song of Umbrella co-founder Oswell Spencer.
In Resident Evil episode 5 Jade and Billie discover a truly horrific video on Albert’s computer showing footage of Lisa Trevor. She looks basically identical to her video game counterpart, which is pretty cool. Lisa was an Umbrella test subject and the video shows Albert trying to administer something to her. Just like in the games, Lisa is deformed, chained up, and sports a giant, monstrous eyeball on her back.
Interestingly, Lisa is infected with the G-Virus (Golgotha Virus) in the game, which is known to cause these more extreme mutations. Umbrella developed it as a bioweapon to combat the T-Virus. The show doesn’t mention the G-Virus, but there are hints that it will come into play later, such as the introduction of Lisa Trevor, even if just in video and documents.
Evelyn Marcus is the daughter of James Marcus. James might even be the creature she has stored in a tank that escapes at the end of the season. James is one of the Umbrella Corp founders, so it makes sense that Evelyn would try to follow in her father’s footsteps and legacy.
James is a scientist and brilliant virologist who developed the T-Virus. In the games, Marcus is reborn via one of his infected leech experiments that molds with his DNA, it’ll be interesting to see if that happens on the show.
Albert Wesker was a noted virologist and one of the game’s primary antagonists. In the show, we get a much different version of Wesker, at least until episode 7. Resident Evil introduces the real Albert Wesker and we learn that he actually cloned himself, so Billie and Jade’s dad is a clone, along with several others, like the eccentric Bert.
The “real” Albert shown via flashback in episode 7 looks exactly like his game counterpart, complete with his Matrix/Blade-style outfit—sunglasses, black gloves, long black overcoat, etc.
And then later, Bert reveals that the original Albert died in a volcano, which is a reference to Resident Evil 5 when Albert is killed and shoved into the lava by Chris Redfield and Shiva Alomar. You might also notice that the outfit Billie Wesker is wearing in the final two episodes is very reminiscent of the original Albert Wesker’s costume.
The Lickers are some of the creepiest and most iconic creatures from the Resident Evil lexicon and they get an awesome sequence in the season’s third episode. Some of the scariest moments from the games are courtesy of the Lickers, like a moment in the second game and its recent remake.
RESIDENT EVIL, CR. MARCOS CRUZ/NETFLIX © 2021
The “Chainsaw Man” is a particularly memorable enemy in Resident Evil 4. He doesn’t have a huge part in the show, but they do feature an identical version of the Chainsaw Man in episode 4 while Jade and Baxter are imprisoned by the Brotherhood. In the show, the Chainsaw man cuts up prisoners and feeds them to the zombies… yuck.
The games feature a few giant spiders and they are all terrifying, so when you see the giant spider barreling toward Jade in one of the early episodes of the show, you can thank the games for creating that particular nightmare.
There are alligators and crocodiles in the Resident Evil games but the one we see in the show (weaponized by Jade for The University) appears to be a giant mutated alligator, an homage to the boss fight in Resident Evil 2. The dreaded “sewer” section has the player trying to escape from the alligator in the game, and it’s terrifying.