‘The Strain’ Recaps

Ep. 1 “Night Zero”

the-strain-600x400

The night we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived.  The Strain debuted its pilot episode, “Night Zero”, tonight after many months of teasing us with grotesque images of worms coming out of eyeballs everywhere we turned.  As an already huge fan of Guillermo del Toro’s work, I was more than excited to hear that a tv series was coming out that he was a part of.  Adapted from the vampire novels written by del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the first episode of the series (also directed by del Toro) set up a story that will hopefully keep us grossed out and entertained for some time to come.

While I won’t spoil the episode for you, the briefest synopsis I can reveal without giving key plot points away is that after a plane lands in New York with all passengers dead, we’re introduced to Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his questionable hairpiece.  Goodweather is sent with his team by the CDC to investiage a possible virulent outbreak on the plane.  On the other side we have resident, old dude badass Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley); Holocaust survivor/pawnbroker who you know has deeper knowledge of the terror that’s looming.  Not to mention we’re introduced to Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) and Thomas Eichorst (Richard Sammel) who have different but equally ominous missions they’re on.

This episode was shot fantastically with del Toro’s frequent use of amber and deep blue colors that fans are familiar with in his previous works.  With so many Twilight‘s and True Blood‘s, we’ve become jaded by recent tales of vampirism in film.  That’s where The Strain flips the script; we’re not shown sharp teeth and sparkly skin, but a contamination.  A little bit of old with a little bit of new.  There were a few hiccups in the beginning, taking almost 20 minutes to get to the -ahem- “juicy” stuff.  Establishing Goodweathers relationship (or lack thereof) with his ex and son don’t seem as developed yet, but that’s okay, guys, we’re only on the pilot episode.  With time, these minor faults could improve!

Let it be known that there are several (AWESOME) scenes that are gorey and icky.  I’ll just assume that those of you reading are totally okay with that, because why else would you be here?!  I was particularly fond of a squeamish scene involving the medical examiner with Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” playing on a radio in the background.  Thanks for ruining that song for me, guys!

Not a fan of gore?  Well, the episode offered plenty of frights and general spookiness.  Bloody, scary fun aside, the episode all comes together in the end and by the time the credits rolled I was asking if it was time for a new episode already!  If The Strain keeps going in the direction it’s going (including more character development) and lets the pace continue to pick up this show is sure to be a major hit.

4/5

Ep. 2
“The Box”

Jack-Kesy-The-Strain-Episode-2-570x294

Last night we saw the second episode of FX’s new t.v. series The Strain created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  “The Box” delved a little more into the development of the characters and the outbreak itself.  As well as seeing a few glimpses into the transformation of the vampire contagion.  And we’re also introduced to a new character whose profession will surely play a role in this vampire-driven show.

By now you’ve realized that other than the bad guys and Setrakian (David Bradley), we’re the only ones who know that this “virulent” issue that left a plane of over 200 people dead is a little more sinister and comes from a 9′ wooden box with ominous carvings on it.  Oh, did I mention that 4 of those 200+ dead folk in the plane woke back up and are walking around with humming in their ears, bloodshot eyes and are sue happy?  Especially Joan (Leslie Hope)and Gabe (Jack Kasy) who are starting to feel a little…off and bloodlust-y.  Yes, that’s right!  Releasing these people from quarantine despite Eph’s (Corey Stoll) wishes should provide some entertaining and dire effects.  Clearly, downgrading this mysterious “plague” to a mechanical failure is the best choice because of the implications that could arise from messing with the higher powers’ moolah.

As previously mentioned, “The Box” brought new player in the game, Vasiliy Fet (Kevin Durand).  Still a semi-mystery to the audience, what is known is that Vasiliy is an exterminator that delights in his cats and making sure swanky restaurants take care of their pest problems.  He’s tall, handsome and makes you chuckle a bit in intimidation;  I like him already.  It’s obvious that he’ll soon play a major role in The Strain.

This episode revealed a lot more about Eph’s personal life, especially his alcohol addiction and looming custody hearing for his son.  Sadly, I still don’t find myself invested in these aspects of the storyline.  They feel a little forced (of course, a workaholic/alcoholic father just looking to spend time with his son and pine for his wife) and boring, to be honest.  A little more screen time with him and Nora (Mia Maestro) playing catch up with what danger the audience already knows is far more entertaining.  His hair piece is still pretty hilarious, as well.

“The Box” was definitely an episode dedicated to character development which is totally necessary and can spell disaster if not handled properly.  This episode was able to balance introductory storylines to these characters without feeling rushed.  Seeing more screen time with Gus (Miguel Gomez) is totally pumping me up for his role in the show.  A Mexican gang banger/mama’s boy/errand runner for old vampires?  I HAVE to see how this plays out, y’all.

Don’t worry, I won’t forget the shining characters of this series thus far:  Setrakian (David Bradley) and Eichorst (Richard Sammel).  There is a histroy between these two that dates back to Setrakian’s imprisonment during the Holocaust.  Eichorst is not a good dude and Setrakian wants his revenge one last time.  But for what?  Only time will tell!  Because why not have Nazi’s and vampires in the same show.  The storyline with these two is one that I am the most excited to see the playout because everything all seems to come back full circle to these two men.

With a final tease at the appearance of the The Master, I couldn’t help but reminisce of Nosferatu.  I can only wonder what this looming creature looks like up close and personal! All I can ask after seeing the “The Box” is, is it next Sunday yet?!

 

Ep. 3

the_strain_sagasell_1280x720_302484547647 (Medium)

The Strain aired its third episode, “Gone Smooth”, and it looks like it’s still slowly but surely building up for some exciting stuff to come in the future episodes!  This one took a pretty interesting turn and frankly, left my jaw open in a few scenes!  There was still some shaky character development but the creepy elements continued to shine in this episode.  “Gone Smooth” begins to show us some major transformations and reveals that are helping The Strain settle in just nicely as a show.  And did I mention how freakin’ fun this show is to watch?

From the get-go, “Gone Smooth” opened up with some creepy sh*t and a reveal that you knew but didn’t quite KNOW to what extent.  We were exposed to how truly frightening Eichorst (Richard Sammel) is.  With a pretty extensive makeup/prosthetic scene, it gave a whole new meaning to the term “putting on my face.”  And at the same time the name “Voldemort” kept popping in my head.  There was special care taken in executing this transformation but then Eichorst reveals to himself in the mirror “Soon, no more charade”.  I did a little oohoohoo dance in my seat because whatever he and his Master have planned will no longer require his true self to be kept in hiding.

We switch over to Eph (Corey Stoll) and his hair piece alongside his crew and still, no one knows jack.  Bodies go missing and everyone does a lot of  “Is it you?  It wasn’t me.  Was it you?  Who was it?”  Director Barnes (Daniel Kash) is your typical stubborn head of whatever group of protagonists is on the screen and prefers to just keep his and the CDC’s nose out of whatever the hell is really going on.  With Nora (Mia Maestro), Eph and Jim (Sean Astin) knowing that something is definitely up, Jim continues to make some dirty dealings upon meeting Eichorst.  But we’re shown exactly why he’s betrayed his colleagues; he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Between family and an evil that he can’t compete with.

While a few characters weren’t included in this episode, we were able to focus more on several of the survivors and their slow but sure descent into whatever is plaguing them.  We witness Redfern (Jonathan Potts) make the ultimate transformation and damn, it was badass!  Poor rocker Gabe (Jack Kesy) seemed to get the short end of this stick and don’t let me spoil anything for you, but there’s some definite throwback to a particular Silence of the Lambs scene if you’re catching my drift.  We see Ansel (Nikolai Witschl) in the early stages of his transformation and it’s not pretty.  Bloodshot eyes, bleeding gums, eyeing the hell out of some raw steaks.  This contagion is not merciful in its progression and it’s awesome to see different stages of the process and how it affects each person differently.

Vasiliy (Kevin Durand) makes more of an appearance in “Gone Smooth”.  His character is charming and intimidating (and easy on the eyes).  While he has nothing to do with the Regis flight, CDC or the survivors themselves, he witnesses something with rats (of course) that warrants his concern.  If the rats know something is amiss, maybe it’s time to get the hell out of Dodge!  I’m watching you, Vasiliy.  I think we all know your big storyline is coming soon.  Vasiliy and Setrakian (David Bradley) are really so far my favorite characters and seem to be the strongest.  Seeing Setrakian pull out his old man card to get out of trouble and basically tell Nora “You’re useless.  I’ll take care of this myself” only furthered his badassery.  I wouldn’t mind seeing the old guy take on the vamps all by himself with his trusty cane sword.

I’m going to try and not delve too deeply into Eph’s family problems because I still don’t care a lot about it.  Jim’s familial issues were more intriguing than this ongoing custody battle with him and his wife.  It doesn’t feel like it’s contributing much, if anything at all, to the main issue at hand and isn’t compelling in the slightest.  The time they’ve dedicated to this storyline could easily be used in one of the more interesting plots.

While there was no Master present in this episode, he was still everywhere.  Inside the “infected” survivors.  This dude is no bueno and I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with what he can do.  The acting is still a tad shoddy but the body horror and the overall creep out factor carries The Strain in its third episode.  Hold on to your wigs because “Gone Smooth” continued to take the show in the right direction.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t make any detours any time soon.

4/5

Ep. 4

“Its Not for Everyone

In this week’s episode of The Strain people are FINALLY starting to get it  as we witness the beautiful union of “Ephraham”.  The gross-out factor in the The Strain just keeps leveling up every episode, particularly in tonight’s autopsy scene.  It was graphic and ew-inducing and I loved every second of it.  The dialogue is still pretty crappy but it’s nothing a few lopped off heads with Setrakian’s (David Bradley) trusty cane sword won’t fix.

Gif from episode 4 of 'The  Strain' courtesy of FX

Gif from episode 4 of ‘The Strain’ courtesy of FX

 

 

It’s Not for Everyone” gave us the awesome autopsy scene of Redfern (Jonathan Potts) performed by Eph/his hair piece (Corey Stoll), Nora (Mia Maestro), and Jim (Sean Astin).  Apparently no one bothers to check on them nor do they think it’s a good idea to call someone more…important?  There were things inside that dude’s body that I wanted no part of.  There were necrotic organs and more fleshy Ken-doll parts (none quite as memorable as Gabe’s, though) and Jim can’t handle any of it.  He not so subtlety may or may not have revealed that this entire cluster*ck maybe possibly might have been his fault.  Woops!

We see a lot more of Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) and to be honest, it fell a little flat.  He and Eichorst (Richard Sammel) are still plotting a vampire world takeover and now it involves a hacker who has the capabilities to slow the entire planet’s internet.  Okay, I’m not sure where this is going but I’ll ride along with you.

Tonight’s episode of The Strain rotated out Vasiliy (Kevin Durand) for Gus (Miguel Gomez), our resident heart of gold thug.  We’re still not sure how his story is going to tie in with the overall show but it was nice to see a little sub-plot for the episode that wasn’t horror-related.  Giving us a little crime drama mixed with ammonia smelling butt juice is a nice touch.  Maybe all of this background is building up to Gus joining the ranks of Setrakian and kicking some ass.

The moral of “It’s Not For Everyone” is don’t be an a**hole.  We see this shining example in the middle of one of my favorite scenes for this episode.  Ansel (Nikolai Witschl) seems to be the only one of the survivors from the plane that knows something horrifying is happening to himself and he needs to protect his wife and children.  In the middle of a pretty sh*tty day after his wife discovers Ansel fully “turned” and locked up in a shed, the dickhead neighbor decides to pay a visit giving her guff about their dog.  She was thinking exactly what we were thinking to solve this little “problem”.  I’ll just let you watch the episode and see.  The things people do for love!

Eph finds himself back at the home of the little French family along with Nora this time where there was another tense attack scene with more mouth “stingers” only for the glorious Setrakian to intervene and kick ass when no one else would.  There was a lot of “hell yeah!” coming from my mouth during this scene.  Nora doesn’t exactly give the best reaction to this  but as Setrakian simply put it: “some brains just can’t adjust.”  And thus was born #TeamEphraham.

As the title of tonight’s episode of The Strain suggests: “It’s Not For Everyone”.  There’s more to like about this series with every passing episode but some of the weaker points might be enough to lose viewers.  Thankfully I’m not one of those people because this episode confirmed for us that the fun has only just begun.

3.5/5

 

 

Ep. 5

“The Runaways”

The_Strain_Episode_5_Kevin_Durand (Medium)

After seeing tonight’s episode of The Strain, all I have to say is WOW.  The sh*t is hitting the fan now!  I think it’s safe to say that “Runaways” just might be the best episode yet!  We witnessed just how crazy the outbreak is getting and a lot was laid out on the table for us to understand better what exactly the hell is going on.  We got more Team Ephraham this episode and really, who is going to complain about the shining new dynamic duo?  One thing is for certain about “Runaways”–the Master’s “plan” is spreading and we’re going to need a whole helluva lot more than two guys to stop it.

As expected, the scenes with Eph (Corey Stoll) and Setrakian (David Bradley) are the ones I look forward to the most and this episode didn’t disappoint.  Over a plate of eggs and toast, Setrakian drops a lot of knowledge bombs on Eph regarding his personal history with the Master. The flashback scenes to Poland in the 1940’s (and seeing Nazi-fied Eichorst) were shot really well and gave us more than a few glimpses into Setrakian’s introduction to the vampire.  And the smartest thing anyone has done when an outbreak of a vampire strain hits your town, Eph mentions that in order to get the CDC to take this seriously, he’ll need to film them taking out one of the infected.  Back at Ansel’s (Nikolai Witschl), we see the tag team slice and dice and dammit, it never gets old!  Oh, but don’t think they’re BFF4L because Setrakian tells Eph “if you are infected, I will not hesitate to release you.”  Yow!

We’re transported to the home of survivor Joan Luss (Leslie Hope) where she seems to be the last in the transformation line as she just seems to be suffering from a case of the bloodshot eyes and children sniffing.  And as expected, she’s still a b*tch!  The nanny wants no part of this hot mess and doesn’t intend to let Joan’s kids see it either.  If the guys turning makes their junk fall off, what happens to the lady parts?  Hmmm…..I ask the hard-hitting questions here at HMU.  Speaking of junk, Gabe (Jack Kesy) has officially become one of “them”.  The body count around him is steady rising, and it’s only a matter of time before Team Ephraham is after you, buddy!

One of my favorites was back on in “Runaways” tonight–duh, Vasiliy (Kevin Durand)!  Since seeing the rats escaping in droves from the tunnels, he knew that only meant one thing: a bigger predator was looming.  And Vasiliy got a personal firsthand experience with just what kind of predator was lurking in those tunnels.  It was scary and intense and I need to see more.  Now can we get him to join Eph and Setrakian?  Team Vasephraham?  No?

We get to see a little more emotional side from Nora (Mia Maestro) as she visits her Alzheimer’s inflicted mother in the nursing home that she’s been busted from trying to escape from (again).  It’s a bit of a tear-jerker….UNTIL VAMPIRES SHOW UP.  This is the moment when you realize that things have gotten completely out of control and there’s a real serious problem afoot.  In the same note, Eph’s impromptu autopsy with Jim (Sean Astin) and Nora didn’t go unnoticed and some not-too-happy people with the CDC are after him.  Now it’s not just the vamps he needs to be worried about.  A jail cell doesn’t seem very appealing when people are turning into blood-sucking monsters.

There was so much plot advancement and information reveals in “Runaways” and now everyone knows what we know.  The only question left for them is kill or be killed?

5/5

 

Ep 6. “Occulation”

thestrain_sea1ep6

Holy wow!  From the opening scenes I knew this episode was going to bring us into some craziness!  From the beginning we see an outside shot of the Earth with sounds from various radio stations it seems of people ranting and raving about the impending solar eclipse and the internet being almost non-existent.  2014 is shaping up to be a rough year!  This episode took us by the hand and dragged us along into some pretty uncomfortable stuff.

From the get-go Eph (Corey Stoll) is a very wanted man.  I mean, who knew performing an unauthorized autopsy on a man with an unknown infection would be a bad idea?!  But we finally get to see Eph’s ex-wife stand up to her annoying ass boyfriend.  From what we’re shown, Homeland Security has some pretty incriminating evidence on him regarding Redfern (Jonathan Potts) and they are none too pleased with him.  In custody, Eph still wants to TEXT his son?  Ever heard of the “one phone call”?

Vasiliy (Kevin Durand) knows what’s up and is not taking it too lightly, which is a lot more than we can say for his co-workers.  If that man shows me a sketch of some spooky sh*t he saw underground, I wouldn’t take his words with a grain of salt!  Remind me to call on pest control when blood sucking parasites start taking over the world.  Vasiliy uses his previous knowledge from last week’s episode of these “monsters” and uses it to his advantage.  He’s becoming more and more of a badass every week!

Jim (Sean Astin) is still in ass kissing mode and manages to warn Nora (Mia Maestro) in time before the feds jump on her case, too.  The “vamps” aren’t the only people she needs to be worried about now, apparently.

We’re once again shown Gus (Miguel Gomez) as he meets up with Eichorst (Richard Sammel) who makes damn sure he is someone you don’t want to refuse an order from.  What has mijito gotten into!  Oh, and did I mention that Eichorst speaks Spanish quite well?  It’s like a big ‘ol reunion because Jim shows up to meet Gus as well.  Doesn’t look like much good can from this as they’re both given ultimatums regarding their and their families fates.  I mean some sketchy sh*t is worth $800, right?

With Eph in custody, he’s pulling out any stop he can to prove to these suits what’s really going on.  These guys want to see him fry for what he’s “done.”  Meanwhile, his ex-wife has the time to sip a nice glass of wine with her straight out of New Jersey Housewives friend (“As far as I’m concerned, eclipse is French for ‘happy hour'”) as they discuss his arrest and why it’s a total “cock block”.

There was a lot of vulnerability in “Occultation” from Eph’s arrest, Setrakian’s failing health, to Vasiliy’s difficult meeting with his father (“Stay for your mother”, “Go, for me”) who he clearly hasn’t seen in some time.  The monsters were galore in this episode.  As badass as they were, I can safely say that Setrakian (David Bradley) excelled, once again, in that department.  Sadly, his failing heart we can’t say the same for.  I will not accept him croaking on us before he can show us his ultimate awesomeness.

Tonight’s episode kicked it up 20 notches more, though I didn’t think it was possible.  “Occultation” showed us that this contagion shows no mercy and is not discriminatory in the slightest.  The action had me on the edge of my seat and opened up an even bigger can of “worms” for the rest of the season!  I can’t even imagine how much more amazing it’s going to get.

4.5/5

 

SEASON 2

Ep 1. “BK,NY”

9564_ori

It’s back! Last night brought us the premiere of FX’s, The Strain‘s, second season with “BK, NY”, and as expected, it did not disappoint (despite a flaw here and there). The episode starts with a prologue (directed by Del Toro) giving us our first glimpse at Setrakian as a young boy in Romania (with a surprisingly American accent) with his grandma as she tells him a tale of a man, Sardu, afflicted with gigantism and a beautiful, silver sword cane (!!!). What follows is a glimpse into the beginnings of The Master and it is pretty damn awesome, and far from over. Those first 10 minutes felt like a true horror story and of course, you could spot Del Toro’s impeccable style from a mile away!

Hoping that that sequence would set the tone for the rest of the episode, we’re immediately thrown back right where the finale of season 1 left off after Setrakian’s (David Bradley) big fight with The Master, which has left the creature with a pretty shitty sunburn and revenge on his mind. On a mission to finish what he started with his giant set of brass balls, Setrakian runs into Vaun (Stephen McHattie), one of my favorites of the series, and his group of stealth fighter vampires. After being dragged into a meeting with the Ancients (and Gus (Miguel Gomez) as some sort of random, human helper tag-a-long?), Setrakian is told that they, too, want to destroy the Master. Are we smelling an alliance happening? Yes, yes we are. Or it could be all the leftover blood from the Ancients’ feeding time (which we get to see, and holy crap, is it messed up and badass).

In less exciting news, we see Eph (Corey Stoll), with a much better hairpiece this season and a renewed drinking problem, and Nora (Mia Maestro) as they are trying to find a cure and generally lacking any good storyline for the time being. My darling Vasiliy (Kevin Durand) is mostly kept busy vampire-proofing their safe house while Velders (Ruta Gedmintas) does whatever it is that she does. There was a recasting of Zach (now played by Max Charles), Eph’s son, this season and I didn’t think it was possible to actually hate this kid more than I did the OG Zach. Let’s chalk it up to this being his first episode, and he still has time to improve but so far he’s about an 8 on the “Carl Grimes Level of Shithead Scale”.

Eichorst (Richard Sammel) and Eldritch Palmer (Jonathan Hyde) are back and working together to secure real estate that must have working drains that can handle large amounts of liquid waste…did I mention that there’s also a busload of blind children involved? This doesn’t spell out good news for them as Eichorst brings us back to Kelly Goodweather (Natalie Brown) whose plans from the Master involve motherhood of a new kind…uh oh!

In addition to the kickass prologue, there was another great action-packed sequence when the group is led by Setrakian to a storage unit he says is filled with supplies and weapons (silver-filled grenades, anyone?) Of course, it wouldn’t be The Strain without hungry vampires trying to attack them in the storage facility which results in a pretty awesome shoot-out- proving once again that the action scenes are where the real meat and potatoes of the show lies.

The story is captivating and the creature effects are pretty impressive. That’s not to say there still aren’t kinks that desperately need to be worked out, especially in regards to the dialogue and the staleness of some of the characters. The saving grace really is the action and a couple of the main cast but in order to be successful for years to come, they’re going to need to step their game up. At the end of the day, The Strain‘s premiere was satisfactory in kicking off what I’m sure is going to be an exciting season.

4.5/5

 

Ep 2. “By Any Means”

The-Strain-Season-2-Episode-2

Sunday night’s episode of The Strain put away the gross-out moments and instead focused on the storylines involving Eph (Corey Stoll) and Nora’s (Mia Maestro) quest for a cure and Setrakian’s (David Bradley) unending search for the Occido Lumen, which is believed to contain information on how to destroy The Master.

“By Any Means” begins with Eichorst (Richard Sammel) and Bolivar (Jack Kesy) discussing The Master’s inevitable transformation as he searches for a new body to inhabit. Hinting that he, himself, might become the new Master, Eichorst reminds Bolivar that his followers must remain loyal to whoever is chosen. I foresee a battle for power in the near future.

Kelly Goodweather’s (Natalie Brown) blind, dirt children have arosen and are probably the creepiest additions to the show so far. Crawling around and making clicking noises like the monsters from The Descent, the kids are now at the behest of their new momma; who, in one quick neck snap, shows that even as a creature of the night, she’s still the shittiest mother. The dirt kids have one job to do: sniff Zach’s (Max Charles) shorts and find him, so presumably Eph and Kelly can have more custody battles.

Setrakian is less crotchety this season as his thoughts are mostly consumed by finding the Occido Lumen, forging alliances with the Ancients, and probably trying not to die before he can figure it all out. “Well, Stacey, were there any flashback scenes in this episode?” Why the hell wouldn’t there be? We’re taken to 1960’s-era Vienna where Setrakian (complete with still-shitty makeup effects) is teaching at a university and is met by a younger, wheelchair-bound Eldritch (Jonathan Hyde). Eldritch believes the Master’s cane is somewhere in Vienna and tasks Setrakian with finding it. Finally getting to the roots of Setrakian/Palmer’s relationship (or lack thereof) will hopefully add another level of intrigue to thei storyline.

One of the better storylines this episode involved Fet (Kevin Durand) and Dutch (Ruta Gedmintas) who go out strigoi hunting together in order to try and clear out every building for a “safe zone”. Great idea, but really, will it work? Just like last week’s awesome shootout scene, “By All Means” gave us an even better fight scene that was visually awesome (the obvious CGI didn’t even take away from it) with slow-mo decapitated heads flying in the air in great detail. Since season 1 no one was really sure if the two sexy-accented people would eventually do the deed (a la Maggie & Glenn) or team up and become an ass-kicking pair of friends (a la Michonne & Rick), and tonight’s skinny dip in a pool clears that question up for everyone. I’m all for a love-filled subplot between the two, but let’s not forget what’s really important: being awesome and killing strigoi.

As mentioned earlier, the other “couple” in the series, Eph and Nora, are busy trying to find a cure by informing the couple, who were infected in the storage facility last week, of their fate. Shaming them into being experimented on before they eventually die, Eph’s character is still not any more likeable than before. Especially now that he’s swigging vodka any chance he gets (do we really want this dude trying to save mankind?). Norah is constantly playing the “Should we do this? Is this right?” game with herself, so I’m not sure how she managed to stay alive this long.

Zach shows up at some point just to be a snide little shit, thus making him more unlikeable than he was before. I wouldn’t be too offended if the dirt kids got a hold of him and he went away…

Setrakian realized that in order to find the Occido Lumen, he needs to first find out if it ever got into the hands of Palmer. At an opening for a food distribution center funded by the Stoneheart Group, the two come face to face where they have an old man battle of words. Palmer cuts deep and lets Setrakian know he still has his wife’s heart (y’know, the one in the jar), prompting him to vow that once his job of destroying the Master is done, Palmer is next.

It seems like a possible cure and the Occido Lumen are now the driving forces for this season of The Strain, let’s just hope at least one of them delivers!

3.5/5

Max-Charles-in-The-Strain-Season-2-Episode-3

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?

3.5/5

Advertisements

1 reply »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s