There was so much going on in this episode of The Strain that I’m not sure the series is ready to handle just yet. Especially with some already weak story lines, it’s probably not the wisest decision to add in new ones just yet.
The opener for this episode wasn’t f*cking around. Two police officers make the mistake of running into Bolivar (Jack Kesy) in a dark alley while he’s lugging around a giant rolling suitcase of “the Master’s resting ground.” One of them decides to stick his hand in the bag and, well, I think we all know what happens next. After the other cop snatches Bolivar’s wig (OH HELL NO, GURL), naturally, he is pissed but what happens next I’m not sure we’ve seen any of the strigoi do yet. A vampire “war cry” could pose a new threat for the normal folks.
Eph (Corey Stoll) and Nora (Mia Maestro) are still hard at work trying to perfect their “good plague” to save mankind. With one half of the experimental duo now dead, they’re counting on the last vamp to see if transmission of the virus will work.
On another Eph-related note, I feel like the character of Zach (Max Charles) had to be written as a joke. He is easily one of the most UNLIKEABLE characters I’ve seen in a long while. I will go so far as to say he’s worse than Carl Grimes was in the early days of The Walking Dead. I’m still baffled that he has yet to grasp the concept that his mother is a VAMPIRE; he decides that trying to take a bus to Queens in the middle of the night because his mom “probably misses him” is a good idea. As if that wasn’t bad enough, after Eph tries to explain to him the process of their job and finding the cure, the little shit proceeds to trash the lab and smash (probably, but hopefully not) valuable research. I don’t even want the writers to fix his character, I just want him gone.
Setrakian (David Bradley) roams the streets one night and decapitates a vamp- but that’s not the end of the story there. He scoops some of their jizz blood and worms into a glass jar. But why?! Well, after pulling some mad scientist stuff and boiling it all into a solution, he uses a dropper and puts that mess right into his eyes. After Nora finds him half-dead (or so she thinks) and resuscitates, she forces him to spill the beans and we find out that Mr. Old Man Badass is far older of a man than we expected.
Gus (Miguel Gomez) is now being trained in the art of strigoi combat by his new squad for a top-secret plan they have: kidnap Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde). But back at Stoneheart, Eichorst (Richard Sammel) enlists Bolivar as a “guard” to Palmer, who is against it but has no choice. When the group is finally acting out their mission, they didn’t anticipate Palmer to have tip-top security in the way of UV lights in his office…woops. I’m actually a little annoyed that we didn’t see as much of Vaun and his vampire-hunting squad as we should have. With them now gone, how will the deal with Setrakian and the Ancients go? What the hell is Gus going to do now?
Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) and Vasiliy (Kevin Durand) now have a nauseating “love story” arc and I’m just hoping the flirty one-liners and implied blow jobs are kept to a minimum because I need to see some more tough, badassery from them again. Adding another plot element to Dutch’s story, she finds out her ex-girlfriend (and the bitch who stole all of her money and took off last season) is missing through flyers posted by said ex’s mom. Dutch visits the mom who blames her for everything that happened to the daughter. I see this all playing a major role in which way her and Vasiliy’s relationship will go.
“Fort Defiance” treats us to some returning and new characters which are proving to be interesting if written right. We see Palmer’s ex-right hand man, Fitzwilliam (Roger R. Cross), travel to Staten Island to visit his brother, Curtis (Kevin Hanchard). That’s all we know for now, but hopefully it gets good. We were introduced to Councilwoman Feraldo (Samantha Mathis) last week, but this ep gave us more of her as she has now declared Staten Island a “plague free zone”. She proves this by showacasing a fence with the bodies and decapitated heads of strigoi that will stand tall at the harbor to remind people that this island doesn’t take any shit. The mayor of New York is so impressed that he tasks her with cleaning up the entire city, as long as she shares the credit with him of course. This doesn’t seem like it’ll go as smoothly as they think.
All in all, “Fort Defiance” felt a little cramped considering they didn’t even touch on every storyline. Maybe taking Zach out of the equation might help…no?