The Strain Watch: Runaways - The Hour Is Close At Hand

Last week on The Strain, everyone was starting to see just what evil lies in the heart of The Master's plans. Some were immediately ready to stand and fight, while others were reluctant to believe what they were seeing. All the while, The Master and Abraham Setrakian are slowly gaining followers into their confidence, as they build an army for what's to come. With time running out before the pivotal solar eclipse, one side has a better hand than the other, and the bets are all in.

”Abraham, remember the stories I told you? Evil lurks in this world, and I fear we are soon to meet it.”

This week's finest hour is the inclusion of the stories from Abraham Setrakian's youth. We see that he and his grandmother were shipped off to Treblinka, a concentration camp in Poland. Under the rule of Herr Thomas Eichorst (surprise surprise), Abraham learns of a monster patrolling the bunks and draining prisoners dry. A monster that, in the present day, is the sole purpose of his existence. He relates his story to Eph, while telling him about his plan to extinguish all of the passengers from Regis 753.

Eph himself is facing an uphill battle, as he's informed by turn coat turned redeemed colleague Jim Kent that the Stoneheart Group is watching his every move. Even with the video of himself and Setrakan releasing Ansel Barbour, Eph's boss looks to be on the take as well and the internet is so clogged that he can't send the video anywhere. With no one to turn to, Eph takes to the streets. Streets that are becoming more and more unfamiliar.

”Mine! MINE!”

Our survivors (now down to two) are thriving quite well in the world. With Bolivar's transformation being complete, his poor manager Ruby has to make sure that his messes get cleaned up nice and tidy. With his big “Serenade For The Eclipse” concert coming up, he needs to be in tip top shape (and scandal free) to perform. Of course, this mess is a little more than even Ruby is used to cleaning up, as Gabriel is now feasting on anyone who comes near him.

Which is exactly where Joan Luss is heading, as she's returned this week to be a royal pain in the ass to her housekeeper, yet friendly to her kids. It must be those soft... tender necks she's looking at with a new set of eyes (and eye lids!) While Joan isn't feeling so hot, all she can think of is suing the pants off of Regis Air. Naturally, the housekeeper is going to sneak the kids out of her grasp to save them, and from the looks of Joan she's not to far from full transformation.

”Inaction is the greatest evil. We've got work to do.”

Nora's storyline this week involved her mother, who's currently suffering from Alzheimer's and living in an assisted living home. Unfortunately, her mother doesn't want to be in this home, and consistently asks her to take her home from the facility. Nora consistently rebuffs her requests, but ultimately Nora breaks her mother out of the assisted living facility. Before you think the show's going sentimental on you, this was all because a vampire somehow wound up in the facility and started to randomly feed on passers by.

Meanwhile, Vasily Fet found himself in a near fatal situation involving a shit ton of vampires and the sewers of New York. Apparently, the rat population's mass exodus from the subway tunnels is because of “a bigger predator,” which of course refers to the vampiric legion growing in numbers. Which could, in turn, be adding Eldritch Palmer to its numbers – provided they actually come to visit him after his recent (and final) transplant surgery.

This week's episode was a little scattershot, with a lot of different plotlines being jumped back and forth between. With next week's episode taking us into the eclipse, it looks like we'll be treated to another focused evening of entertainment. Fingers crossed we'll get an extended episode like the premiere, considering the eclipse has A LOT of story potential. Thanks for coming back, and if you're ready, just click to the next page for Nitpicks, Notes, and Nods!



The stuff with Nora and her mother is actually from The Fall.

Ann-Marie Barbour never hangs herself in the book. In fact, she breaks a mirror and cuts her wrists.


Peter “Robocop” Weller actually directed tonight's episode, and will be directing next week's episode, Occultation, as well.


An eagle eyed reader/viewer noticed something last week, particularly with the Crispin/Gus situation. While I wrote off Crispin's bad shape as a case of the junky's curse, our reader thinks that he's actually going to turn into a vampire, and become Gus's first vampire kill.

If you're at all familiar with the blog Humans of New York, I'd heavily suggest checking out The Strain's parody site Subhumans Of NYC. It captures the New York that's becoming a reality on the show, and it makes for interesting reading. (It's also a pitch perfect parody of the site, right down to the notes.)

Reading Assignment: p. 185 – 274 (this week and last week intertwine rather well into a nice run of reading.)

Join us next week for Episode 6 - Occultation! I promise!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.