Last week on The Strain, a close call with evil almost left Dutch and Setrakian out of the game for good. Thankfully, both were recovered by the end of last week, despite the fact that New York seems to be getting worse for the wear. With next week's season finale looming, “Fallen Light” actually takes us into territory that makes this week's episode refreshing yet relevant.
”I know it's hard to believe this, but I never stopped loving you. I still love you.”
For a show that focuses on the impending apocalypse and vampirism running rampant, The Strain had a sequence of flashbacks that felt like a completely different show, and for all the right reasons. We saw the rise and consummation of Eph and Nora's love affair, from the moment they first met to the night Eph's wife filed for divorce. As an added bonus, we got to see Jim Kent alive and well in the early days of the Canary team. Of course, everything came crashing back to the here and now, and that means Eph's dalliance with Leigh Thomas is back in play. They end the episode in a very questionable spot, but they aren't even the biggest heartache of the night.
That honor goes to, surprise surprise, Dutch and Fet. After our hacker was friend rescued from the clutches of Herr Eichorst by the rat catcher she once loved, Ms. Velders decided once and for all that her heart belonged to Nikki. Fet took it pretty well, and his state of near zen about it all was more heartbreaking than if he got into a blow-out fight with her. Of course, the other shoe dropped when Nikki broke Dutch's heart again, as she was seen leaving town with her mother when Dutch came to reclaim her lady love. Look on the bright side, there's one couple that's still got it going on: Eldritch Palmer and Coco Marchand!
”If you do not provide the funds for the Lumen, you will never get another drop of The White.”
The path to the Occido Lumen winds ever narrower, as Elritch Palmer and Abraham Setrakian are both locked into a bidding war with Alfonso Creem's criminal enterprise on Governor's Island. On the Palmer side of the equation, he and Coco tried to defy the orders of The Master – orders which send Eichorst to the auction, with Palmer's credit line open to him. Just when they thought they had him by the short hairs, Eichorst reminded them that they are the ones who still have the hair in this scenario. If they disobey, then they get to die a natural death as they would have without “the Master's gift.”
Setrakian, on the other hand, now has 24 hours to deliver to Creem an offer that could beat Palmer's best price. It also has to be brought in Gold, so it's not like there's any pressure or anything. But the old man has agreed to the price, and he's got The Ancients' blessing and backing for the bidding war. Of course, the catch is that once the book is won it will go straight to Quinlan – who will deliver it to the ancients. As a back-up plan, Mr. Quinlan enlists his greatest human ally as the kill switch – Gus Elizalde. If Setrakian even thinks of double crossing The Ancients, Gus has the order to kill the old man and bring them the book.
”I don't want us to have to fight on the way out. I don't want to lose anybody that we don't have to.“
The bigger portion of Gus' story took place in jail this week, although he was on the right side of the bars this time. With the help of Angel, Gus freed all of the un-turned prisoners from Riker's Island and enlisted their help in hunting some bloodsuckers. Of course, the criminal element being what they are, this didn't go as smoothly as planned – as the last remaining guard was killed, another prisoner challenged Gus' leadership. Both mistakes were paid for in blood, as a vampire attack and Angel's shotgun solidified the rest of the group into a somewhat unified army, much like Councilwoman Ferraldo's Safe Street Initiative. Unfortunately for her, the strength of her own forces might be fractured sooner than we think.
As if enough wasn't going on with Season 2's plotline, a big mystery that might play into Season 3 was dropped towards the end of the episode. With Justine Ferraldo and Mayor Lyle locking horns over the 1% protection tax that she put into place for the Upper East Side, it is the worst possible time for the Mayor to be found dead. Yet there he is, in the morgue with a gunshot to the head, and Ferraldo left as the prime suspect. So now the big question is, who killed George Lyle, and are they in any way linked to Ferraldo's ranks? Something tells me we won't find out next week.
Are Ferraldo's hands as clean as she says they are? Will Eph, Nora, and Zach make it to Georgia in one piece? Whose hands will the Occido Lumen find its new home in? Next week, we board the “Night Train” and find out where Season 2 of The Strain will leave us. We'll see you next week for the thrilling conclusion, but if you're ready for some more fun then head on over to Page 2 for this week's Nitpicks, Notes, and Nods.
NitpicksWe never got the flashbacks into Nora and Eph's past, much less anything dealing with Jim Kent past Book 1. As previously mentioned, the auction was to take place at Sotheby's. Kelly's parents were never contacted, and Georgia was never an option.
NotesFerraldo is being set up by Palmer big time. I don't know how, or what the end game is, but Palmer's promotion of his greatest for to Special Director Of Security for New York has an underlying current of evil to it.
NodsOn another note, Ferraldo looks ready to start taking a turn for the worse with her public image. Setrakian's musing about the usage of the word “Homeland,” as well as the tone of Ferraldo's speech seem to set up a rather Nazi-ish vibe. Come to think of it, what if Ferraldo's methodology is eventually the prelude to what's to come in The Night Eternal?