Warning: Spoilers for *_The Strain _are in play. If you haven't watched "The Traitor," please bookmark this story and come back once you're current.*
Tonight was the penultimate episode of The Strain's fourth and final season, and boy did it feel like it. Everyone's cards are now on the table, as one major character's true colors were revealed, and by the end of the episode, the biggest showdown of them all reached peak imminence. And all that's on the line are New York City, the fate of humanity, and whether or not the thermonuclear device on Manhattan Island actually hits its target. If the ending of tonight's episode, "The Traitor," is any indication, the series finale is going to be one crazy bloodbath.
We're down to a limited number of players this week, and after two very intense interrogations that took up most of tonight's proceedings, Eph Goodweather and our merry band of heroes found themselves on the streets of New York City, ready to lay nuclear wasted to The Master's current nest within the Empire State Building. This is literally the moment The Strain has been building towards, with Eph, Fet, Dutch, and Gus manning their van, while Quinlan was ready to use the detonator to send his father sky-high. Of course, since this is The Strain, the odds are slim that it'll be that simple.
Sure enough, the final moments of tonight's episode saw the once-empty streets flooded with Strigoi soldiers ready to tear the team limb from limb. And, as Quinlan learned, The Master actually vacated the Empire State Building earlier than expected. In fact, he was able to find his way to our heroes' base of operations, leaving Zach Goodweather's crush, along with another horde of Strigoi, as a going away present for his more virtuous son. Signing off with a promise that he and Quinlan will fight it out, bloodsucker to bloodsucker, The Master proceeded to order his minions to take their best shot at the man we've come to know as "The Born."
It was all part of a ruse that was engineered last week, when Zach was returned to his father. In fact, one of the two big interrogations that The Strain engaged in this week was with the young Goodweather boy, who was recovered by his father, but obviously not immediately trusted. That other interrogation involved the now-deceased Sanjay Desai, who was ready to sell out everyone and anyone he could in order to cover up for leaking The Master's location to Quinlan, Fet, and Dutch. When The Master arrived at the heroes' base, he saw right through Desai's lies and took out both him and his wife; not before the cowardly hospital administrator tried to sell his life mate down the river for protection, though.
For anyone wondering who "The Traitor" in this week's episode was, it's none other than the character everyone loves to hate, Zach Goodweather. He not only led The Master to the heroes' base that contained his own father -- thanks to a self-inflicted cut on his thumb and some light bloodshed -- but he's also the one who ratted out Sanjay for that character's treachery. That said, the folks behind tonight's episode of The Strain really did have us going, as there was some serious doubts on whether or not Zach had genuinely succumbed to the Strigoi cause. By the end of tonight's episode, there was no question his villainous turn was legit, and it's going to be part of why the final episode next Sunday just may be the most explosive Strain yet.
For four years, there has been a dance between the humans and the vampires, and The Strain has not let either side off too easily, slowly building to the moments we'll see unfold in a week's time. We've lost a lot of friends, but a good number of villains have bitten the dust as well. With all bets off as to who'll live and who'll die, The Master and humanity each have one last move on the board. That last move just happens to be a Hail Mary of all-out warfare, which means that while tonight laid the foundation for the series finale, the last hour of the show's lifespan just might tear the world apart beneath that foundation. Let's just hope that whoever wins, it's a finale to remember!