A Complex Family Drama Is At The Heart Of Netflix's Resident Evil

When you think of "Resident Evil," what's the first thing that comes to mind? Horror? Zombies? Those mediocre action flicks starring Milla Jovovich? You'd be right on the money with any one of those, not to mention the critically acclaimed video games they were all based on.

But one thing you probably won't think of is a family drama.

Sure, the long-running horror series has seen plenty of family tension, especially when it comes to "Resident Evil 7" which took protagonist Ethan Winters into the sick and twisted Baker homestead. Netflix's new "Resident Evil" TV show takes a very different approach to the horrors in the family home, as it explores the relationship between "Resident Evil" regular Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick) and his two, previously unmentioned daughters. Taking the franchise in a shocking new direction, the show heads to New Raccoon City and follows the complicated relationships between Jade (Ella Balinska/Tamara Smart), Billie (Adeline Rudolph/Sienna Adugong), and their dear old dad, Albert.

"It's got [Infected] dogs and giant caterpillars and crazy stuff, but at its heart, it's a family story," showrunner Andrew Dabb told Tudum. "Every good story is about family, so it's not groundbreaking to say that. It's a story about a family going through something extraordinary, which is the end of the world. What did that family look like before that happened, and how does that family change through that crucible and look on the other side?"

Obviously, it's not quite that simple, with Wesker's ties to the iconic Umbrella Corporation explored throughout the franchise ... and once again in the TV series. But long-time fans might be surprised by the very different approach the show takes.

Spoilers for "Resident Evil" season 1 follow.

It's all about family ... and what that means

One of the key aspects of "Resident Evil" is not the zombies, the T-virus, or the heavily armored Umbrella Corporation lackeys. No, it's far more about family and what that means ... and how far you will go for the ones you love. And that's not just the sisters — that goes for Albert, too.

"Resident Evil" plays out across two different timelines — one set in the present day, while the other gives us a glimpse into the future. It turns out, that future is far more compelling when there's some family trauma playing out via an apocalyptic event.

"The present-day story is, to a degree, a coming-of-age story, not just for the two younger girls but also for Albert," said Dabb. "You're seeing people change in a way and grow in a way that I hope is compelling."

Obviously, things don't stay the same — the family dynamic is pushed to its limit as the story progresses through the present-day storyline, with the sisters confronting their father as the true horrors of his work at Umbrella come to light. And it turns out those horrors have a lot more to do with the family than they realized.

It turns out that Albert Wesker is, well ... not the real Albert Wesker at all. He's actually a clone of the original, with several others made to work on research together at a secret facility. Our Albert's kids? They were made to save him — their blood is the cure for the side-effect of rapid aging that was built into the cloning process. Sure, it's one hell of a reveal. But it's also a gut punch for the sisters who've seen their whole world fall apart over the course of a few days.

The truth about Albert Wesker

Essentially, "Resident Evil" is all about one man: Albert Wesker. Or rather, his clone.

But while the sisters were created to fulfill a desperate need for survival, it seems that this Wesker isn't quite as cold-hearted as the original. It turns out that Albert is pretty fond of his children after all, sacrificing himself in the season finale to allow Jade and Billie to escape.

It's the family's last chance to reconcile their differences in a moment we've waited for since the show began. But while they both get to hug their father one last time, the difference between the two sisters is already starting to show. Actress Sienna Adugong says that's largely due to their relationship with Albert. "Both Billie and Jade have completely different relationships with their father. I think Billie plays peacekeeper, and she often needs to [be]," she said.

Albert's secrets and lies are key to understanding how the family dynamic evolves, but it's more because of the fallout than the actual conspiracy. As the sisters pick at the corner of their family dynamic, it's not long before they find out what's been hiding beneath the surface.

It's a shocking reveal, of course ... but it's more devastating when you consider the impact it has on their family. Albert's secrets were the driving force behind a lot of Jade and Billie's behavior — and they were right. Now, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children. Forced to head off on the run with only their cloned uncle to help them, it's time for Jade and Billie to stand on their own two feet.

It's this final moment that really connects both present and future storylines, as we find out exactly how Jade became so self-sufficient ... and what happened to Billie.

Sisters doing it for themselves

Where "Resident Evil" really shines is in the relationship between Jade and Billie.

It's clear that Albert hasn't been the best dad in the world, what with his work-life balance skewed towards burying himself in his research. That just makes Jade and Billie even closer, as the two have come to rely upon one another — and that makes the future storyline even harder to swallow.

"In the present-day storyline, they're kind of all they've had their whole lives," explained Dabb. "They're fraternal twins, they grew up together, their dad was probably not the most present guy in the world and they kind of have each other and that's it."

Unfortunately, it doesn't stay that way ... and at some point in between the two timelines, the sisters clearly have a difference of opinion.

"Obviously in the future, that relationship has changed quite a bit. And it's gone from, 'I will do anything for my sister' to 'I want to kill my sister, and I want to get away as far from my sister as possible,' and the why of that is part of the mystery we're exploring in the future storyline," Dabb said.

Unfortunately, it remains a bit of a mystery even by the season finale, with "Resident Evil" presumably returning to the Wesker twins to reveal how they got to this place in season 2. Again, it feels as though Wesker will be involved somehow. After all, his relationship with Jade and Billie was very different, and those tensions will likely come back to bite them later on. Whether or not the two sisters will reconcile their differences once more remains to be seen. But with Jade's daughter whisked away by Umbrella, and her sister at the head of the company, this twisted family dynamic is only going to get even more complicated.