In the new season of The Strain, the pieces of vampire and human dominance are set to once more battle over the fate of New York. With Setrakian making some interesting allies, Palmer and The Master set their second phase of planning into motion. As the storm gathers, and war seems inevitable, Eph and Nora are fighting to find a cure to the vampire scourge – in hopes of ending the fight before it leaves the city. Of course, it doesn't help that the recently vamped Kelly has been given an army of Strigoi children. Which brings us to the events of tonight's episode, “By Any Means.”
”Of all the evils a man faces, growing old is the one I cannot do anything about.”
Setrakian and Palmer faced off for the first time in years tonight, as Palmer opened the first of a line of “Palmer Foundation Freedom Centers” that would supply the city of New York with food and supplies. All the citizens need to do is give their personal information, blood type included, and they'll be entitled to the supplies they need. Of course, we were given even more background into the history of the two men as we saw another Young Setrakian flashback.
This time, we saw Setrakian's history as a Professor in Vienna 1965. This is where a young Elritch Palmer would meet Abraham for the first time, sending him on a hunt for the wolf's head cane once belonging to Count Sardu. A Nazi hunt and a thrilling chase later, we see him obtain the cane before its promised buyer, Herr Eichorst, could purchase it. While Setrakian may have thought he'd won, we learn it's his actions that set Palmer up with The Master, kicking off the chain of events leading to today.
”There's only one way to solve this problem. Screw the Government, we handle it ourselves!“
A new character emerged this week, as councilwoman Justine Feraldo was introduced telling the top brass of New York where they can put their ineffective plans. Her aim is simple: she wants to seal off Staten Island, and clear it of bloodsuckers, so people can have a safe haven. Her game is that elusive “ground game” that Eph doesn't really play, but that Fet and Dutch are all too good at waging. If only Feraldo would be in the loop regarding their similarly-minded activities, there might be a better chance of securing New York City proper.
Though she'd have to duck out for the post-slaying activities of the exterminator and the techno terrorist, as they came quite close this week--the closest two people can get, really. OK, so they had sex in a swimming pool, and it was kind-of cute to see those two getting closer and wittier with each other. Both are showing a vulnerability that could either be an effective human story, or could slow things down story wise. So far, it's working to the story's benefit.
”Let me be perfectly clear: untreated you will both die slowly and painfully. The virus will re-animate your corpses. It will then seek out and infect anybody you love. Is that what you want?
The search for a cure took an interesting turn this week, as Eph and Nora grappled with the ethics of using live test subjects in their work. After a little bit of misdirection, they finally admit to the McGeevers that they're basically vamped, and the most they can do is serve as human guinea pigs for a treatment to infect the vampires with a strain that will kill them. Though the real moral battle seems to be waged between Eph and his son Zach. The father wants to shield the son, but the son is starting to get a little bit rebellious.
Which really complicates things as we end the episode with Kelly intensifying her hunt for Zach, as she uses her new army of Feelers to do her bidding. Kelly gathers Zach's clothes and feeds them his scent, commanding them to find her son. The mother is hunting her baby, and it might be for purposes other than a mere family reunion.
With Palmer continuing to make himself look like a savior, and Eph's fall from grace picking up speed, things are going to get more and more complicated for both the forces of good and bad. Next week, things are bound to get even more interesting as “Fort Defiance” promises action just in the title alone! If you're dropping off from us for the week, we'll bid you adieu until next week's recap! But if you're ready for some extra innings, then we've got a new installment of Nitpicks, Notes, And Nods waiting on the next page!
There was never a fight to be The Master's new vessel in the books. One person was selected after the events of The Fall's finale, and they were simply made The Master.
Counselwoman Feraldo is a product of Season 2's scripting, but I'll be damned if she shouldn't have been in the book!
Dutch and Fet didn't happen in the books, but that's a natural observation as Dutch didn't appear in the books. Instead, Fet had a romantic entanglement with someone else in the final book, The Night Eternal.
Eichorst was first mentioned in Setrakian's Nazi/Vampire hunting activities in The Fall, around the same time Dr. Dreverhaven. Though his role as Setrakian's so called boss in Treblinka was fulfilled by a different character.
The Freedom Centers didn't exist in the books.
Eichorst v. Bolivar looks to be a fight that we'll get to see in the future, seeing as the former feels he's already been selected for succession and the latter doesn't seem to sit so well with that fact. Though if the video above is any indication, it looks like Thomas will be in a different line of work after Season 2.
Feraldo's tactics seem to be a good precursor to the roving bands of off duty cops that are seen in the first pages of The Fall, clearing out blocks of bloodsuckers. Let's hope her methodology gets them a little further than it did on paper.
The Freedom Centers are also a good indicator of some future events being built into the foundation of the TV series. Let's just say that comment about the blood type runs pretty deep.
Is it just me, or is “Justine Feraldo” an obvious sound-alike to evoke the memory of former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferarro?
Reading Assignment: P. 1 – 73
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