Last week on The Strain, the eclipse finally occurred and the equilibrium in the game has changed. Vampires are slowly but surely taking over, and the window for defeat is shrinking.
”This is New York City. Weird shit goes down out there all the time .”
Tonight's episode was a perfect example of what happens when you stay true enough to the book to please fans, while at the same time adding enough new material into the mix to be different. The difference mostly comes from the latest installment of the Young Setrakian Chronicles, as we learned that none other than Abraham himself carved the intricate coffin that The Master would call home.
And the order came from none other than Thomas Eichorst, who we get to see in his last moments of humanity towards the end of the war. Even when both were human, the two men had an adversarial relationship that sounds like it would have led to friendship if the war's ideologies weren't tearing them apart. It's something we also see in the present day, as vamped-out Eichorst leads Abraham, Eph, and Nora on a wild goose chase through Grand Central Station.
”If that God you believe in really existed, what do you think he'd think of you?”
Gus Elizade and his best friend Felix are in jail now, and time's running out for the latter as the infection is coursing through his veins. As the two of them are thrown into a holding cell, the police clearly care less than even a little bit about Felix's condition, which is going to make for some sorry/dead police officers in an episode or two down the line.
Jim Kent is another case of redemption in the works, as his cooperation with Eph and company puts him at odds with his wife, but starts to make good with the rest of his former team. Of course, he wasn't all that convincing to Eichorst or Eldritch Palmer as an extortionist. However, this does lead to his wife leaving without him, and Eichorst later condemning her to death after Jim tries to trap Eichorst for the team.
”Do not touch her. She is corrupted.”
We close tonight with the second coolest moment of the evening, which was the appearance of a rival clan of vampires. Clad in SWAT gear, these vampires actually help Joan Luss' nanny, Neeva, save her children. The urging of her daughter Sebastiane to return the children to their rightful home is what put them all into danger in the first place, and she pays with her life for suggesting such a horrific option.
The stakes are getting higher with The Strain, and they're even higher than they were in the actual book! There's a lot to talk about with the book versus the show, so if you'll please follow us to Nitpicks, Notes, and Nods, we can get started.
Nitpicks- You're actually not going to be getting any nitpicks out of me this week. The changes that were made enhanced the show's portrayal of events from the books, and it's exciting to see which elements from The Fall show up now and which they're saving for next summer. (Congrats to FX for renewing The Strain for another year.)
Notes- Tonight's episode is, again, a great example of selective adaptation and addition to a pre-existing story. Joan Luss's husband, for the most part, met the same fate he did in the book. Meanwhile, Setrakian was never the man who crafted The Master's coffin and Eichorst wasn't as important to the story at this point in the books as he is in the show. Yet here we are, in a mix of alteration and adaptation, and it's making things REALLY exciting.
Nods- The Vampire SWAT team you saw at the end of this week's episode actually plays a much larger role in the plot of The Fall.
Reading Assignment: p. 331 – 401; basically, it's time to finish the book.
The Strain is back next week with Creatures Of The Night! So get all of your Rocky Horror Picture Show jokes while you can.