Last week on The Strain, the efforts of humanity were dealt some pretty rough setbacks. With Eph's visit to Washington ending with two deaths, and Kelly getting closer to abducting Zach, the team is in need of some solid footing to secure any future victories. This week, it looks like the team has found the miracle they were looking for, or at least they're approaching it, as this week cements the introduction of a long talked about character as truth. For when humanity is on death's door, it's time to call in “The Born.”
”You are the half breed. Birthed of human flesh, and demon blood.”
Quinlan confirmed! Not only did we find out that the half vampire / half human / all ass-kicker is indeed part of The Strain's ranks, we got to see some of his backstory from both Ancient Rome and Sardu era Romania. It would take a creature who fought as a gladiator, as well as tracked down Sardu all of his life, to give New York any sort of shot at turning the tide of bloodsuckers in the city – and now we've got him! Though if his first meeting with Professor Setrakian and Vasilly Fet is any indication, it's not going to be an easy alliance between humanity and The Born.
You see, Setrakian and Fet were operating on one of the dearly departed Mr. Fitzwilliams' tips about the real estate purchases The Stoneheart Group had been making. Sure enough, they discovered the current nest of The Master – which was also the site where his army of Feelers were created at the beginning of the Season. While Mr. Quinlan, and the audience, were ready for a big battle of swords and seconds, it was all for naught as Fet tried to cave the building in on The Master and Eichorst. Naturally, he failed, and Quinlan basically told the humans to stay out of his way as he'd take it from there. To be fair, Fet was going through a lot at the time, and if his mind weren't so clouded, he might have been able to tell Setrakian that this wasn't the way to go.
”Mr. Fet. Your romantic worries have no relevance at this moment. None at all.”
While we were all rooting for Fet and Dutch as a couple, it looks like those days may have come to an end. Just as quickly as we were introduced to the couple playing around in bed, like kids in a romantic comedy along comes Nikki – Dutch's previous girlfriend / “track star” who ran away from the convenience store in Season 1. It turns out all of those things that went missing from the apartment were, more than likely, stolen and used by Nikki to support her holing up. Of course, just as Fet's affection for Dutch is clouding his hunting and social skills, Dutch's love for Nikki is influencing her to go back to her original lover and cast Fet to the side.
Love seems to be working out rather well for Eldritch Palmer though, as he and Coco Marchand continued to do their dance around each other, finally ending up where all involved may have predicted – in Palmer's bedroom. Apparently, if you want to woo your speech writer, PR wizard and real estate guru, all you have to do is take her on a helicopter tour of New York, have a couple of fancy dinners during a time of crisis, and show that you actually have a heart for the first time in seven or eight decades. The strange thing is, while Palmer is hiding his ulterior dealings from Ms. Marchand, and he's still an evil old bastard, it's endearing to see him with Coco. Though one can't help but suspect that Ms. Marchand has motives of her own – although they certainly can't be as bad as that of Eph Goodweather.
”I'm gonna kill Eldritch Palmer.”
Freshly returned from a botched visit to Washington D.C., which left his bio weapon in hands friendly to The Stoneheart Group, Eph had a wound in his shoulder as well as his ego. So, of course, it's time to make friends with some Kentucky Bourbon at a local hole in the wall bar near Fet's place! The good doctor eventually does make it back to base, and learns about his ex-wife's rather spirited meeting with his current companion and son. Father and son have some difficulty wrapping their heads around the fate of the woman they both love, but ultimately Eph promises to redouble his efforts to protect his son. Which means it's time to kill the man responsible for everything that's come to pass – even if it sounds vaguely familiar to recent events that failed miserably.
“The Born” has brought Season 2 of The Strain to both a very interesting and a very banal point in the season's arc. While the team seems a bit sloppier than usual and this week's episode seems to suffer even for fans who like a slow burn, character-driven pace, there are moments that really sell why we still watch The Strain halfway into the second season. With Quinlan's origins being teased, and his character coming more into the forefront, it hopefully shouldn't be long before we see a return to form for the series.
If you're dropping out about now, join us next week as we cover episode 8 - “Intruders.” However, if you're still thirsty for the juice of a couple particular animals that we revisit each week, sink your teeth into this week's Nitpicks, Notes, and Nods.
NitpicksQuinlan's story is told in Interlude I of The Night Eternal, where Senator Sertorius is mentioned as having a “passing” interest in the Dark Arts. Seems as if the good Senator has received an upgrade for TV.
NotesWith Cable TV being all about spin-offs and continuing the brand, I can't help but wish that FX, Guillermo Del Toro, and Chuck Hogan would develop a limited series about Quinlan's origins and his life throughout the centuries leading up to today. His backstory was one of the best moments of this week's show, and there's plenty of details from his origin story that haven't been fleshed out.
Are they seriously going to have another character try and take a run at Eldritch Palmer? We've already tried this with Gus, and it didn't really work.
NodsQuinlan's origin is much like that of Blade, which is something Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan must have known when they wrote it.
Reading Assignment: None This Week