Horror Television

‘The Strain’ S2 Ep 8-12 recaps

“The Strain” S2E8
“Intruders”

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“Intruders” opens with Eichorst (Richard Sammel) being sweet in the most creepish of ways as he gives Kelly Goodweather (Natalie Brown) makeup tips while she learns to act and look as human as possible for her quest to get Zach (Max Charles) back.  We all remember the scene last season (I believe?) that showed how Eichorst transforms himself every day to look like the slimeball jerk that he is, so it was fascinating to see him “teaching” Kelly the same.

With Eph (Corey Stoll) on his new quest to snuff out Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde), he and Zach head out to meet Jimmy Wu (Ho Chow), who they’re supposed to get a sniper rifle from.  Of course it can’t be that simple when the father/son duo are involved because they stumble on Jimmy’s daughter, Grace (Grace Lynn Kung), and Jimmy himself who has suffered a gunshot wound from someone trying to rob them.  After successfully saving the man via surgery despite Eph not being a surgical doctor, Grace offers them whatever they want to take as payment.  What does Eph walk out with?  ONE rifle.  That’s it.  One rifle.

Palmer’s first scene of the ep opens with him and Coco (Lizzie Brochere) waking up in bed together, presumably having had a night of disgusting sex.  While picking out his clothes for the day, they get into an argument as Coco wants to be included more in his dealings, especially with Eichorst, who she doesn’t trust.  It’s still really hard to believe that her character wants nothing more than a romantic relationship with Palmer, which makes it all the more possible that she could be up to more than just clerical work and boning down with the boss man.  Coco’s feelings are only exacerbated when Eichorst pays Palmer a visit during a meeting with Cardinal McNamara (Tom Kemp) in order to procure the Occido Lumen.  After making her leave the room, Palmer and Eichorst power-play off of each other so well, you’re not quite sure which baddie to root for.

With Fet (Kevin Durand) still feeling spurned by Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas), he and Setrakian (David Bradley) head to meet the Cardinal to put a higher bid on the Lumen.  With the religious man playing Palmer and Setrakian back and forth, it’s like a too-long tennis match just waiting to see who’s actually going to get their grubby hands on this damn book.  With Setrakian not content to wait for the other side to bid again, he decides to take it upon himself to just steal the damn thing.  Before that can happen, Eichorst, who was suspicious of Palmer’s dealings earlier that day, decides to pay the Cardinal a visit himself and find out who is in possession of the book.  The Cardinal, who refuses to give up the info, is then infected by Eichorst which means all the knowledge he has would go straight to the Master, but not before Fet and Setrakian swoop in guns blazing .  After injuring Eichorst, Setrakian finally gets the name of who’s in possession of the Lumen:  the boy from the convent in Austria that Setrkian saved several eps back.

Thankfully we’re treated to more Gus (Miguel Gomez) and Angel (Joaquin Cosio) who decide it’s unsafe for the Guptas to stay in town and make plans to get them somewhere else safer.  After Aanya (Parveen Kaur) tells Gus to go with them, Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones) swoops in and puts the kibosh on those plans and enlists the help of Gus to slay the Master since he was trained by Vaun (Stephen McHattie).  Hopefully they’re more successful than the former crew hired by The Ancients.

The episode culminated in a big showdown as Kelly finally reached Zach at the safehouse but was intercepted by Eph and Nora (Mia Maestro) before she could take him.  It was definitely the highlight of the episode because you felt like something terrible was going to happen but you weren’t sure what.  Although Kelly escapes, it definitely asks a lot of questions about what the group is going to do now that their safehouse has been compromised.

“Intruders” was a lot like a filler episode but also felt like it was finally leading us to the answers for the big questions that this season has been asking.

2.5/5

“The Strain” S2E9
“The Battle for Red Hook”

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“The Battle for Red Hook” mostly focused on Justine (Samantha Mathis) and her rise to badsass-dom as she takes the reigns to save the city in the midst of a major security breach.

The ep opens with Eichorst (Richard Sammel) on a boat dock up to something nefarious as usual, as he offers a random boat owner a hefty sum of cash to take him and 20 passengers from Manhattan to Red Hook safely.

With Eph (Corey Stoll) and Nora (Mia Maestro) (and now the gang) fully aware that with the attack by Kelly (Natalie Brown) means that Red Hook isn’t safe, they decide they need to head down to the checkpoint and inform Justine that the city has been breached.  Before anything can be done, the strigoi attack the electrical substation and shut down the power in the city rendering the UV lights at the barricades useless.  At this point, Mayor Lyle (Ron Canada), who wants all the praise and credit for Justine’s work, bitches out and leaves everyone to fend for themselves for the oncoming attack.

Back in bullshit love triangle land, Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) and Nikki (Nicola Correia-Damude) are busy playing house at their aparment seemingly unaware for the better part of the episode that everyone else is fighting their asses off.  Fet (Kevin Durand) goes by their place to let them know their plans and where they’ll be, but instead Dutch and Nikki decide to fight and have makeup sex.  I still find their relationship off-putting for the simple fact that Nikki looks more like a 40 yr old frumpy mom than the girlfriend of some badass babe hacker.

The first attack on the barricades by the strigoi was just a test, but Justine, the gang and a gaggle of armed officers handled it like champs and readied themselves for the next onslaught.  Setrakian (David Bradley) decided he was bored with that situation and wanted to find Eichorst because the Occido Lumen needs to pop its head in at least once every episode.  As I said earlier, Justine rose up and took the bull by the horns in this episode as she fought alongside everyone else with  gun in hand.  She went so far as to drive through the streets with a loudspeaker telling everyone else to quit hiding and come out and fight to take their city back.  She’s proving to be one of the best characters this season.

Before the next attack happens, Fet, Nora, and Zach (Max Charles) head down to the substation to try and get the power back on.  As expected, that task wouldn’t prove to be a simple one when Kelly senses Zach’s whereabouts and heads to the same place to try and finish her mission.  At the same time, the second attack happens but this go-around the strigoi breach the barricades and the checkpoint turns into an all-out war.  Fet and Nora succeed in turning the power on, which restores the UV lights and kills off all the fighting strigoi.  Once again Kelly finds Zach with Fet and Nora and for a second there it looked like one of them was surely going to get infected but some cops come to save the day firing shots at Kelly (and missing everytime, of course) as she escapes.

It seems like Eichorst has luck on his said again when he goes to the safehouse to confront Setrakian but with special ops sniper Eph hiding in another building, it wouldn’t be that easy.  Eichorst chases down Eph and taunts him before Eph takes some shots, wounding Eichorst, but he ends up flying off of a building and escaping…until next time.

The final scene was a promising one as the survivors of the attack at the checkpoint clean up the mess and celebrate Justine as she gives a pretty hearty speech about taking back Red Hook.  Let’s see how long their fortitude lasts.

3/5

“The Strain” S2E10
“The Assassin”

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As the ep title suggests, it opens with Eph (Corey Stoll) and Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) staking out in some random office building with pretty sophisticated gear pointed at Eldritch Palmer’s (Jonathan Hyde) headquarters .  Alright, let’s see some snipin’!  The two main focus points in “The Assassin” were Setrakian’s (David Bradley) ongoing quest for the Occido Lumen and Eph’s killer plan.

After Coco (Lizzie Brocere) stormed off on Palmer last episode, he decides to grovel his way to her ramshackle apartment building to kiss some ass because really, what are the odds that he’ll get another young chick like that again, amiright?

Back in the upper east side, the Mayor (Ron Canada) and Justine (Samantha Mathis) were addressing a group of folks and revealed that while they’d be working to secure that part, she would also start taxing them 1% of their property value.  Naturally that elicited some concern and then some frustration from the Mayor (yeah, the same guy who peaced out when shit got rough).  This could end up bad for her!

I always like when Dutch and Eph have scenes together.  It’s more than witty banter and in this episode, she opened up about her feelings for Fet (Kevin Durand) and Nikki (Nicola Correia-Damude) without sounding like some indecisive twit.  In that she was trying to make Eph feel okay about sleeping around behind Nora’s (Mia Maestro) back when he was in D.C.  It’s starting to give off a brother/sister vibe.  They are equals amongst each other.

But of course, Eph wasn’t not a screwup for very long.  After hearing that Palmer would be meeting with Justine at a specific time/location to dissuade her from her plans, Dutch and Eph decide that’s the perfect moment to strike and snipe.  After setting up on an adjacent building, they wait for Palmer but can’t get a good shot with all the commotion around him.  But instead of being patient, like a good sniper, he takes the shot and all hell breaks lose.  They see blood and think they’ve succeeded and take off running.  What don’t they know?  THEY SHOT COCO, NOT PALMER.  You had one job, Eph.  Later on in the ep Palmer gets the Master to give Coco some of his blood (like what was done to him previously) to save her.  She wakes up immediately and Palmer spills the beans completely to her.  Is she going to be all about this or totally freak and run?

Did they get away with it? OF COURSE THEY DIDN’T.  A couple of officers take Dutch away somewhere, leaving Eph alone in his cell and you know shit is not going to end well.  Somehow the station ends up being run over by strigoi and the scene immediately gets intense with Eph pinned against the cell wall and strigoi stingers shooting in and out between the bars juuuust out of reach!  Fet and Nora come in to save the day and that’s when they find out that when Dutch was taken away, she was “delivered” to some hotel. Uh oh!

After Fet and Nora left Setrakian to search his list of names for the Lumen that is now supposedly in the possession of the now-grown boy from the convent in Austria, he goes into the last residence on the list.  Just when all seems hopeless, he notices a few floorboards are flimsy and lo and behold, he finds the damn book!…..and then someone comes up and knocks his ass out.  Ah crap!

The final scene was straight up horror.  It fades in from black to Dutch screaming while being pulled in on some contraption by a chain manned by Eichorst himself.

A lot less filler-y than last episode, “The Assassin” seems like it’s finally getting us somewhere in the storylines that were laid out for this season. Let’s hope it keeps up!

4/5

 

“The Strain” S2E11
“Dead End”

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Holy crap!  This episode was kind of nuts!  It picks up where last week’s episode ended, in the padded room (in a large sealed off part of a hotel) that Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) is chained up in with Eichorst (Richard Sammel).  After bringing in a random cop/security guard and sucking him dry right before her eyes, she asks him what he’s going to do to her.  Creepishly, he answers “Everything”. UGGGGHHHHHHH.

“Dead End” gave us the flashback treatment a lot again but this time instead of a terribly facial-haired Setrakian, we see a human Eichorst back in Germany in 1931.  Just a radio salesman, he was actually a kind, meekish man that seemed like the world wasn’t very kind to him.  Of course, a co-worker of his, Helga (Julie Engelbrecht), likes him and they make plans for a dinner date.  We all know the terrible person he is now as a strigoi and right-hand man to the master, but now we get to see the point when he becomes a part of the Nazi party and it’s kind of a bummer.  At dinner, a member of the Nazis comes in spewing his bull and Eichorst seems enamored with the rhetoric and on the way home with Helga he says some choice words about Jews which upsets her and rightly so…she’s Jewish.  Looks like he nipped that one in the bud!  Later on, as he’s a fully fledged member, he’s called in to confirm or deny that at one point he had a relationship with Helga, who is sitting amongst Nazis crying and begging him to acknowledge their friendship.  Of course, he doesn’t and finds Helga and her family’s bodies hung in the town for the public to see.  Everything about why he is the way he is now is starting to fall into place and make sense.

Now the time has come for Gus (Miguel Gomez) to help the Guptas and Angel (Joaquin Cosio) make their way to safety.  Apparently Quinlan had assured Gus that he’d make sure they make it past the checkpoint and they do.  Just when I think it’s the last of Angel, he leaves the Guptas and joines forces with Gus, yes!  Finally!  Hopefully we get to see those two in some real action before the season is over.

Remember when I said that this ep gets kind of bonkers?  Oh, it gets freaky!  Eichorst is cutting up pineapples and all I could think  was “this dude wants someone’s sexy bits to taste good…” Of course he wants Dutch to eat it because he wants to get rape-y with his stinger and her butthole.  Right when he’s about to chow down, she sprays him with pepper spray she took off of the dead cop and takes off running.  Of course, the part of the hotel she’s in is totally sealed off but with Nora (Mia Maestro), Eph (Corey Stoll), and Fet (Kevin Durand) hearing her screams through the walls, Fet puts his love of explosives to good use and saves the day.  Next to Bolivar’s (Jack Kesy) dick melting off into the toilet last season, this whole Dutch/Eichorst situation came close to being wrong on many levels.

Setrakian (David Bradley) wakes up from his knockout last ep tied up in a chair by none other than the man he’s been searching for, Rudyard Fenesco (David Schaal), the boy he had saved from the convent in Austira.  Fenesco tells him he knows exactly what the book means and hinted that someone wanted to purchase it from him and leaves Setrakian alone and tied up.  Later on we see Fenesco meet with Alonso Creem (Jamie Hector) who happily accepts the business proposition for the book right before the final credits roll.

Can someone just give Setrakian the damn book before he croaks?  Anyone?

With two more episodes left in the season, I really hope at least the majority of the storylines get wrapped up because it seems like a lot of precious time has been wasted on fluff the last few episodes.  That being said, “Dead End” really upped the ante and seems like it’s gearing us up for something crazy!

4/5

The Strain” S2E12
“Fallen Light”

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This was the penultimate episode to the finale of The Strain, and while it was fun and geared us up for what I hope to be an exciting end, the show still seems to be fleshing out storylines and characters that should have been close to wrapping up by now.  And not just because the season ends next week.  That being said, there was still several really good aspects to “Fallen Light”.

The ep opened with a flashback to 2005 with a hairful Eph (Corey Stoll) and -yay!- Sean Astin’s character, Jim, who we sadly lost last season.  At a conference for diseases, of course, we get to see how Nora (Mia Maestro) and Eph meet and Jim’s hesitation to have Eph hire her on because he obviously knows his friend is going to want to bang her.  It was nice to see a character who I wished had lasted longer in the series, it would have been interesting to see how he would have progressed.

We find out that Zach’s (Max Charle) grandparents are still alive and now Eph is torn between sending him off to stay with them or keep him around to….leave him alone more?  Honestly, save us all the trouble and ship him out or kill him off.   It’s harsh but his character offers nothing to the show other than a storyline that is taking too damn long to conclude, especially with an unlikeable character like Zach.  I will say that I might have gotten a little misty eyed when he was on the phone with his grandparents and started crying.  As much as we hate him, can you blame him for being a little shit?  He’s lost his mom forever, his dad is a negligent alcoholic, and as far as he knows the rest of his family and friends are dead or strigoi.  For his sake, hopefully he gets to his grandparents safely and stays there.

Eph and Nora meet with Justine (Samantha Mathis) to ask for permits to leave the city and to fly to DC to get the reacting agent for the bio-weapon they want to recreate.  Justine agrees to get them a facility to do that.  With the finale next week, I’m afraid they won’t have enough time to recreate it for this season.  It seemed like the weapon took a back seat for filler.

Speaking of Justine, she found herself getting screwed from all sides this episode when the Mayor (Ron Canada) tells her he’s going to make sure she has to resign because of her whole taxing the rich folks stunt.  Well, that doesn’t last long because a detective informs her that the Mayor has been murdered.  Of course now the detective thinks it came from her party and now we have another mystery to figure out.  Wait, do we care about the Mayor at all?

With the Mayor mysteriously dead, Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) approaches Justine and says he’s pulled some strings to get her the role of “special director of security for NYC”.  Of course his whole motivation is to use her role to his advantage and provide them with weapons courtesy of Stoneheart, thus making him even more rich.  I have a feeling she’s going to be making a deal with the Devil on this one.

Thankfully this episode got right to the point with Fet (Kevin Durand) and Dutch’s (Ruta Gedmintas) on again-off again relationship and proved what an ahole she still is even after almost having her butthole eaten to death and having him save her.  She decides she’s still going to stick with her frumpy girlfriend, Nikki (Nicola Correia-Damude), who turns around and dumps her ass.  So, hopefully that storyline is done and over with.  Or maybe Fet will go start smooshing with Nora, and then Eph can sit in the corner and cry because he’s a dumbass.

Setrakian (David Bradley) and Fet meet up with Creem (Jamie Hector) for the Lumen.  Of course he wouldn’t just hand it over because Palmer is still offering bids on it.  He suggests the two oldies “bid it out” at his place the next day.  That’s when Setrakian and Fet meet with Quinlan to get some gold from the Ancients and make a weird deal to give them back the book aftewards?  Who knows.  WILL SOMEONE JUST GIVE SETRAKIAN THE GODDAMN BOOK SO WE CAN MOVE ON FROM THIS STORYLINE???

The scenes with Gus (Miguel Gomez) and Angel (Joaquin Cosio) proved to be the better parts of this episode.  With Gus tasked to find people to fight alongside him as “Sun Hunters” for Quinlan (Rupert Penry-Jones), him and Angel break intro Rikers Island to enlist the aid of his former fellow inmates.  Naturally, this isn’t one of the smartest ideas off the bat but Angel takes care of it real quick with a shotgun and shows his badassery like we’ve all been waiting to see.  Not to mention we see a return of the silver crucifix knuckles!  The hard part isn’t even close to over, when Quinlan tells Gus that the Ancients don’t believe that Setrakian will return the book once he comes into ownership of it, and his new mission is to convince him to give up the book and if he doesn’t…kill him.

Despite it’s flaws, I still really enjoyed “Fallen Light” but I’m also worried that the season finale next week will try to rush to wrap up the storylines because so much time was wasted on plot points or characters that weren’t  necessary.  Are we not going to see any conclusion this year with Kelly (Natalie Brown) and her hunt for Zach?  Were fleeting moments of the Master (Jack Kesy) really all we’re going to see??  I’m a little worried about it all.

3.5/5

 

 

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