Albert Wesker is a major source of intrigue in the Resident Evil Netflix series, both for players of the games and newbies to the franchise. From 1996 to now, here’s everything you need to know.
The Resident Evil franchise has a wide-spanning canon. It’s nearing 30 entries in games and expansions alone, and that’s before we get to the animated films, novels, and Milla Jovovich’s hexalogy of movies – the latter of which takes place outside the continuity of the games.
However, the Netflix show directly follows the games, all the way from Spencer Mansion to the snowy locale of 2021’s Village. “The games are our backstory. Everything that happened in the games exists in this world,” showrunner Andrew Dabb earlier said.
That’s all well and good, but it makes one character’s presence a little baffling: Albert Wesker, one of the main villains in the series who’s emerged on the other side of death on more than one occasion. So, let’s break down who he is, what happened to him in the games, and the mystery surrounding him in the show.
Major spoilers for the Resident Evil series and games ahead…
Resident Evil: Which games are canon in the Netflix series?
This is an easy question: all of them. “So like, the village is there. We might not get there ’til Season 5, but it is in our world. We can play with those… as we’re now moving ahead,” Dabb told Comic Book.
As for Wesker, he teased: “I will say there will be a very good explanation of why he is back and why he is the way that he is.”
Resident Evil: Albert Wesker in the games, explained
Resident Evil (1996 and 2002)
Wesker’s debut appearance came in 1996’s Resident Evil, the first game in the franchise. While initially presented as the captain of S.T.A.R.S. and field leader of its Alpha Team unit, it’s revealed at the end of the game that he’s actually a double agent working for the Umbrella Corporation.
His villainy is two-fold: he’d been tasked to lead Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, and other operatives to Spencer Mansion as test subjects against the zombies and other creatures; while he always wanted to steal Umbrella’s research for his own agenda.
After learning his true motives, Chris and Jill release the Tyrant, killing Wesker – not before he injects himself with various serums. In the Gamecube remake, one of Jill’s endings allows him to escape, creating somewhat of a loophole for his future appearances in the series.
Resident Evil – Code: Veronica
Further to Wesker’s Report, a fictional documentary that detailed his plans to sell the Tyrant to a rival company to secure an elite position, Wesker then appeared in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica as a superhuman H.C.F. (Hive-Host Capture Force) agent, working against Umbrella. His powers came as a result of the serum, giving him cat-like eyes and a host of powers, all at the slow cost of his humanity.
In the game, he carries out a raid on Rockfort Island to gain possession of the last remaining example of the T-Veronica virus from its original creator. In an extended release of the game, he threatens to kill Chris Redfield’s sister Claire, but ends up sparing her life.
Resident Evil Zero
In Resident Evil Zero, a prequel to the original game, Wesker reappears in the earlier days of his career alongside William Birkin, one of Umbrella’s top virologists who’d later be responsible for the G-virus. While only a supporting character, it’s revealed that Wesker attended the Umbrella Executive Training School.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is likely the smallest role for Wesker in the series. During the game, Leon Kennedy learns that Ada Wong reports to Wesker, despite her saving him from Jack Krauser, who’d been ordered to kill him.
Wesker had sent Ada and Jack to infiltrate the Los Illuminados cult and obtain a sample of a mind-controlling parasite known as Las Plagas. Ada betrayed him, while Jack was killed, so Wesker had to acquire the sample by other means.
Resident Evil 5
Wesker appears as the main antagonist in Resident Evil 5, working with the Tricell Corporation to create the enhanced “Uroboros virus” and release it into Earth’s atmosphere.
During the game, it’s also revealed Wesker was the survivor of a Progenitor virus variant administration experiment, known as the “Wesker Project.”
Alas, his plan for global contagion is foiled by Chris and Sheva Alomar. While he was at his strongest, he required a constant supply of serum to keep himself alive, and he’s defeated with a fiery death inside a volcano. Chris also fires a rocket into him as he drowned in lava, so it certainly seemed like he was dead.
Resident Evil: Albert Wesker in the Netflix series, explained
Lance Reddick stars as Albert Wesker in the Netflix show, alongside Tamara Smart as Jade and Siena Agudong as Billie, his two daughters, with their timeline taking place 13 years after the events of Resident Evil 5.
As previously noted, this isn’t like Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil movies – the show’s story is part of the overall canon, so there is a bit of mystery surrounding Wesker from the get-go.
Episode 1 follows Wesker and the girls in their first days in New Raccoon City in South Africa in 2022, a utopian compound controlled by the Umbrella Corporation, for which he’s a top-ranking executive.
We see him taking blood samples from both girls, which he then injects into his neck. For the most part, he seems like a mild-mannered dad – until Billie gets into trouble at school, at which point he flexes the Wesker traits we know and love against another parent to make them back down.
The episode ends with Billie being bitten by a zombie dog in the Umbrella building.
In the second episode, Wesker finds Billie and asks if she’s been bitten, knowing that she’d be infected with the T-virus. He tells Billie and Jade to flee and covers himself in the dog’s blood before the authorities arrive.
When confronted about the incident by Umbrella CEO Evelyn Marcus – the daughter of Dr. James Marcus who appears in Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles – he claims it was a hack, before focusing the conversation on the rabid dog itself.
Wesker later warns Evelyn that she’s risking billions of lives with Umbrella’s business practices, but she reminds him that he needs her, although it’s not confirmed why.
Wesker once again challenged Evelyn on Umbrella’s plans; more specifically, their rollout of Joy, a new antidepressant which can infect people with the T-virus after 20,000 doses.
Evelyn brushes these concerns off, saying they’ll put a warning on the bottle.
The fourth episode drops a major reveal, one that players of the games already knew: courtesy of an anti-Umbrella snooper, we find out that Wesker died in 2009. The details of his demise aren’t shared, but one can assume it matches up with Resident Evil 5.
Not only that, but there’s no record of Jade and Billie existing whatsoever; no birth certificates, no social security numbers – nothing. This begs the question: where did they come from?
The fifth episode begins with Evelyn bringing Wesker to see Angel, who’s shackled and beaten up. Meanwhile, Jade and Billie enlist the help of Evelyn’s son Simon to hack Wesker’s laptop in a bid to find their birth certificates – and anything else about them, really.
Simon discovers a “dead-drop email” waiting to be sent to Billie on Wesker’s laptop, titled “Forgive me.” In it, he warns Billie that Umbrella is coming for her and she needs to leave with Jade, and protect her. It also gives them a clue to find a bag with $10,000, a gun, and fake passports.
However, they don’t stop there. Using their dog’s paw, they gain access to a stairwell, where they eventually find where Wesker stores their blood.
They also find a box labeled “RC 1998”, after the original Raccoon City, and watch a DVD centered around a woman called Lisa. In the clip, Wesker can be heard shouting: “If she tries anything, shoot the bitch,” before it’s revealed she has a giant eyeball on her back.
After Billie finds a file on her, in which Wesker wrote that she may need to be contained, they accidentally trigger a burn sequence which sets the room alight. Wesker then arrives to disable it, and angrily confronts the girls. Billie knocks him out and ties him to a chair, at which point he reveals both girls were Umbrella experiments from the point of birth.
Wesker ends up killing Angel, but Evelyn then believes him to be working against Umbrella and prevents him from leaving the premises.
In the other timeline, a grown-up Billie tells Jade that he died. However, the episode ends back in 2022, with Wesker held in a room next to someone who says: “Hey bro.”
We open in a lab in the Arklay Mountains in 2005, filled with people who look exactly like Wesker. Then comes a mighty bit of fan service: the Wesker we know from the games, wearing a long black leather code and rocking a pair of tinted shades, walks down the stairs.
When Umbrella soldiers raid the lab, the old Wesker kills one of the doppelgängers before escaping in a hail of bullets. Evelyn soon arrives, asking the new Wesker and someone called Bert: “What the f**k are you?”
Back in 2022 timeline, Wesker reveals to Bert that he’s not been locked up for the past 17 years. Bert is then released to meet Jade and Billie, pretending to be their father.
Evelyn tells Wesker that his cells are dying, and he’ll die unless he helps her. Then comes the major reveal: this Wesker, just like Bert, is a clone of the original Wesker. However, as a result of his impatience, the cloning process was far from perfect, causing him to age to 20 years old in less than six months.
His daughters, with their genetically-engineered blood, are the only thing keeping his accelerated aging at bay. After injecting himself with Jade’s blood, his daughters tell him that they hope he dies.
In the final episode of Resident Evil’s first season, Billie and Jade reunite with Wesker, alongside Bert and Simon. While trying to flee New Raccoon City, Billie accidentally bites Simon, infecting him with the T-virus.
Wesker offers to help Simon so he won’t turn into a zombie, but only if Evelyn lets his daughters go. However, she doesn’t take this option – instead, she shoots her own son in the face.
As the episode draws to its climax, Wesker and Bert work together on a bomb to stop Evelyn and Umbrella. Bert offers to stay to detonate it, but Wesker insists on Bert leaving and experiencing his own life after being locked up for so long.
Before the girls leave him, he hands Jade a note and says: “Find her.” They flee before Evelyn storms in and shoots Wesker – but using his pen, he manages to set off the explosion. Unfortunately, Evelyn manages to cover herself from the fire and is presumed to have survived for another season.
Just before the episode ends, Jade opens the note, which contains information about Ada Wong, who was last seen in Resident Evil 4.
Resident Evil is available to stream on Netflix now.