Last week on The Strain, we witnessed the vampiric infection make itself known in the survivors of Flight 753. With Gabriel fully turned, and Joan on her way out, it looked as if The Master's plan was gaining steam. Tonight's episode had the most intense dispatching of a vampire that we've ever witnessed, and it wasn't even the beginning of the madness on display tonight. While I was really hoping for the episode to be an extended length run like the Pilot, the show continues to entertain with just an hour under its belt. As communications go fuzzy, and our heroes are on the run, it looks like everything is falling into place for the darker side of the equation.
”The way the news is going in New York these days, this could be the end of the world.”
The eclipse reigned supreme, but only for the last three minutes of the episode. Still, as it was in the book, the temporary dark patch was a pivotal moment for the New York's strigoi population to surface on the streets and start to run amok. Unfortunately for Eph Goodweather (who was hunted and captured by the FBI,) the Medical Examiner from Night Zero was the only thing that could convince the agents that the vampires he told them about were real. As the remaining agent faded away, Eph told him plainly, “I tried to warn you.”
Someone who did seem to take his warning serious was his ex-wife, Kelly, who told her little boyfriend off after he ratted Eph out to the feds. With her ex-husband's warning to take Zach to Vermont in her head, she and her son settled in to watch the eclipse, and assumable leave the city to stay with her mother. This naturally angered her boyfriend Matt, who fought with her before he left the house for a night shift of inventory at Sears! Of course, not even retail shops are safe from the undead menace, as two hoodie clad figures vamp'd one of his co-workers, and looked like they were ready to take him as well.
”While we wait for the world to change, I need you to last me a few minutes more.”
Thomas Eichorst continues to be one of my favorite villains of modern history, what with his consistent shit-eating grin and his well groomed appearance. Even when he's draining some random sap he has locked up in a playroom that probably makes Christian Grey uncomfortably hot, he's clad in a red and black bathrobe, so as to civilize himself even when his nose is off of his face. Of course, Herr Eichorst still has business to attend to, and that business is handled by Gus and Jim Kent – the two guys that thought they were out, only to be pulled back in. That job was, of course, disposing of Doyle Redfern's body, thus completing the conspiracy that's made Eph and Setrakian look like madmen.
Abraham Setrakian had another one of the best moments this week, as he slayed an entire family (AND A PRIEST?!) of vampires, but narrowly survived with his life as his heart condition was flaring up and he lost his medication. This is the most fragile we've seen the old vampire hunter, and it's definitely an indication that he needs to be careful, or else he's not going to make it to the end of this journey. Thankfully, by the end of the episode, he has Eph turned to his side, as well as Nora and her mother hiding out in his basement. With the non-believers converted, the elder hunter starts to talk about a new plan he has against the forces of evil.
”You can fix crazy, man. You can't.”
Ever since last week's events, Vasily Fet is a man haunted. Seeing the vampire hordes growing underneath the streets of New York has still scarred his mind, and that horror comes home to roost as he returns to work with his fellow employees already turned. This is where the most horrifically awesome dispatching of a vampire comes into play, as Fet opens the blinds and roasts his newly turned boss. They hit you with an awesome jump scare, and then linger on the frying vampire as he burns! Of course, the moment doesn't last as Fet has to also burn his flirtation/colleague who mans the desk. Hell of a week to tell us she had a kid, too!
Which, naturally, prompts Fet to have the most backstory in tonight's episode and visit his parent's house. While his mother is out food shopping, he runs into his father. The two don't have the best of relationships, and we learn that Fet's parents look down on his job as a rat catcher. The man who could have been an architect is going to be one of our last lines of defense, and yet he can't get his father to take his mother and leave New York. The next couple of episodes should be interesting, as the vampires are going to become bolder with their moves that they make, and humanity is going to be losing quite a few members in its wake. Doom and gloom out of the way, it's time to sharpen your swords with another installment of Nitpicks, Notes, and Nods!
NitpicksA plot line dealing with astronauts on the International Space Station started to crop up in the book at this point, but it doesn't in the show. The stuff with Fet and his father was never in the book. Kelly's annoying friend was never in the book, and Kelly was written slightly more on the manipulative side, while Matt was kind of dopey and neutral. The arrest of Gus this week was originally how he was supposed to meet Setrakian.
NotesThe rearranging of events in the books is actually working quite well so far. The occultation was more of a foreboding signal in the book, but in the show it's a pivot point. Enough vampires probably got out into the world to turn enough people to tip the city into darkness. Kelly's stereotypically rude friend from Queens is annoying me. I'm hoping she gets vamp'd soon, as all she's here for is to talk in a stereotypically New York accent and tell Kelly “you go, girl.” Kelly's been given A LOT more character in the show than she has in the book, and if she'd just been given the room to breathe and make this realization herself, it would have meant more. Speaking of annoying, I hope the kids in the Amazon Fire ads get vamp'd rather quickly too. All of the startup money in the world can't stop the strigoi!
NodsEichorst's plaything is exactly the sort of ecosystem we'll be seeing in The Night Eternal seasons of The Strain.
Reading Assignment: Nothing new, but if you want you can revisit the eclipse on pages 77-93.
Join us next week for Episode 7 - For Services Rendered!