Jim : Story arc

Jim's story begins in the deserted hospital, and after that, he learns a lot about the Rage virus and the world affected by it, as well as human nature. He also meets several people that will become really important to him.

Before the outbreak

Very little is known about his life before the outbreak of the Rage Virus. He lived with his parents in Deptford, London and he worked as a bicycle courier. One day, while he was riding a package from Farringdon to Shaftesbury Avenue, a car hit him and left him comatose. While he was in coma the infection has spread.

28 Days Later...

28 days after the outbreak, Jim wakes up in an abandoned hospital, naked and alone. This is where we first meet him. He leaves the hospital and wanders around the deserted London, confused. It is obvious something horrible has happened.

He's desperate to find other people, and he eventually does; but they are more than meets the eye. They are the Infected, filled with rage and violence. He manages to escape and eventually finds other survivors: Selena and Mark. They inform Jim about the infection and the outbreak. Apparently, not just London, but the whole UK and possibly world is affected.

The next day Selena and Mark take Jim to his house, only to find out Jim's parents have committed suicide, hoping that Jim would never wake up and see what has happened with the world. Jim is devastated, but there is no time for mourning: Infected break into the house and attack him. Mark and Selena manage to kill them, but Mark is injured and (probably) infected, so Selena kills him quickly. Jim is horrified, but Selena explains that an immediate action is needed in these matters. She also points she will kill Jim in a heartbeat should he become infected.

Selena and Jim continue alone. They travel through the city and reach an apartment complex. Once again, they are attacked by the Infected, but a man named Frank saves them. Frank takes them to his apartment, where he lives with his teenage daughter Hannah, and offers them a place to stay. Jim likes Frank and Hannah, but Selena warns him about the fact they might slow them down, which is the only thing that matters. Jim seems reluctant to adopt this kind of behaviour. At this point, he is still really scared and somewhat naive, and unable to cope with the tragic events around him.

A journey to the military base

The next day survivors decide to travel to Manchester where help from the military is supposedly waiting for the survivors. Soldiers on the radio even promise a cure for the infection. The trip to military base is not a smooth one and they have to escape the Infected several times. At one point, Jim is forced to kill an infected child and it makes him feel horrible about himself and the whole situation.

Later on their journey the group makes a camp on a field, where they eat, drink and relax. That night Jim has a nightmare about being left alone, which is his biggest fear. The next morning, they arrive to the military blockage near Manchester, but it is abandoned. It is where Frank becomes infected by the blood from a corpse. Jim knows he has to kill him, but hesitates. At that moment, the soldiers appear and shoot Frank, taking the rest of the survivors to a mansion in the woods.

Soldiers' hospitality

It is revealed that there aren't as many soldiers as they hoped there would be - nor as many survivors. But the soldiers give Jim, Selena and Hannah food, clothes and a place to stay. It's where Selena breaks; she is desperate and reveals her gentle side. It is revealed Selena is anything but a heartless killing machine. She shares a kiss with Jim, but quickly storms out of the room.

Later, Major West gives Jim a tour of the mansion, showing him an Infected they keep in chains. As major West explains, they are starving him, to see how long can infected live without food. It is their partial "answer to the infection", and the full plan is soon revealed: soldiers intend to capture Selena and Hannah and use them for sex (and possible repopulation). Learning it was their plan all along, Jim tries to escape with the girls, but is captured along with a disobedient soldier, Sergeant Farrell. While in cell, Jim learns from Farrell that what they thought about the infection was a lie; there is no global infection: only the Britain is quarantined.

Soldiers take Jim and Farrell into the woods to execute them, but Jim manages to escape. While in woods, he sees an airplane and realizes Farrell was right; there is no global infection. It is when Jim starts his spree proving himself as not only capable of dealing with the circumstances, but also practicing violence and rage to those who dared to call themselves human.

In the house, in a heartbeat

While soldiers prepare to rape Selena and Hannah, Jim rushes back to the mansion. He releases the infected soldier onto the remaining soldiers and the chaos starts. Some soldiers are killed, and others are infected. Jim breaks into the mansion, searching for Selena and Hannah. He finds Selena with Mitchell.

He takes Mitchell by a surprise and then violently beats him up, smashing his head onto a wall and thumbing his eyes out. This murder is so violent that Selena believes Jim is infected. She grabs her machete to kill him, but hesitates. Jim notes it took her more than a heartbeat, which makes Selena realize Jim is not infected and they kiss passionately.

After rejoining Hannah they escape the mansion. During their escape major West shoots Jim but the trio manages to escape.

The end

There are several versions of the following events. As shown in the theatrical ending, Jim survives the wound and 28 days later, he wakes in a bed inside of a cottage. Selena and Hannah have made a huge cloth banner that spells out "HELLO" so they could attract attention. A jet approaches and they hope their message has been seen. Their future is unknown, but this is usually considered a happy ending, and it's the only one in which Jim survives.

However, in the original (now alternate) ending, Jim dies. Selena and Hannah take him to an abandoned hospital where they try to save his life. While Selena performs a procedure, Jim hallucinates about the car accident he had before the outbreak of the virus. When the car in the hallucination hits him, Jim dies. Selena and Hannah leave his body in the hospital and leave. The director and screenwriter both expressed this to be the "true ending" of the film, because it brings Jim full circle. It is the most logical ending of the story, since he starts and finishes the story in a bed in an abandoned hospital.

There's also a radically different ending, that takes the story in a new direction from the film's midpoint. In this version, survivors never meet the soldiers, but take infected Frank to a medical research complex, in which Jim sacrifices himself by giving Frank blood transfusion.