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Welcome to The Strain-ger Talk, where each week we breakdown and discuss this week’s new episode of FX’s The Strain. We will be going over major plot points, the game plan from both sides of the upcoming war, best action moments, new types of vampires, and of course the Tongue-Punch of the Week! If you missed last week’s talk then CLICK HERE! Apologies for this weeks being a few days late, but sometimes life gets in the way of talking Strain-ge. Now a lot of ACTION happened this week that we need to cover, so without further ado, lets talk some Strainge!

*MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! IF YOU DO NOT WANT THIS EPISODE SPOILED THEN STOP READING*

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Breakdown:

Holy crap this episode ruled! The show has made tremendous bounds in overall quality over the last few episodes and this week is no different. After his promise to kill Palmer a few episodes ago, Eph puts his plan into action with Dutch by his side. The scene leading up to the attempt is great as we learn Dutch is helping Eph as an attempt to distract herself from her relationship problems. I am glad the show is taking the time to give Dutch a moment to talk about what she is going through, having to choose between Nikki and Fet. She is torn between the two loves of her life and describes choosing between the two as if she is choosing between which arm to cut off. Without moments like this, Dutch would just seem like a villain in Fet’s story. Instead she is treated with respect and given the time to develop her character.

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On the other end of the binoculars, Palmer is trying to salvage the only relationship he has ever had with another human being. He goes to Coco’s apartment to try and win her back. After convincing her to come back to work, they return to Palmer’s office. This gives Eph and Dutch a chance to listen. In the middle of Palmer and Coco fighting a bit more in the office, the mayor walks in. He asks Palmer if he can convince Feraldo to end her demands of the rich paying for safety. Palmer agrees and leaves to meet with her where she is having her town meetings. Eph finally has the place to take the shot.

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While Eph and Palmer get into their respective positions, Councilwoman Feraldo is fighting back against the mayor. After her bloodied success in Red Hook, the mayor is forcing her to move her operations to the rich neighborhoods. The only motivation being that he wants their support for his re-election. She uses the open forum as a chance to fight back and demands that the rich give 1% of their money in order to receive her “clean up” services. She states that it is a small cost as the residents of Red Hook took up arms risking/sacrificing their lives for their neighborhood. Feraldo is quickly becoming one of my favorites on the show as she continues to fight one of the biggest up hill battles. She seems more determined than ever in her quest to take back the city. As great as she is on the battle field, she is proving to be even better on the political side by taking on the single-minded mayor. A big threat to her political campaign of taking back the city is about to take form in Palmer. Luckily, Eph is there to stop him.

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Palmer and Coco show up to the Councilwoman’s forum in order to persuade to end her demands against the rich. Meanwhile, Dutch and Eph get into the position up on a nearby building to assassinate him. Eph is impatient as he tries to get a clear shot of Palmer. Dutch tries to calm him down, reminding him to breath and be patient. Body guards and others keep stepping in and out of Eph’s line of fire. He takes a deep breath and finds an opening. He takes the shot. Palmer immediately drops to the ground with his body guards covering him. Eph looks to the wall behind Palmer and sees blood. Dutch and Eph run to try an escape the cops. In the chaos Palmer gets up, untouched. He looks behind him and sees:

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Eph missed Palmer and shot Coco instead. Palmer spends the rest of the episode demanding Eichorst to get The Master to save her. She survived the gun shot, but is in a coma and suffered brain damage. His only hope to bring her back is if The Master decides to save her. Eph and Dutch are arrested and brought to jail. While siting in the cell, Dutch is suddenly taken out of the police station. Palmer soon enters the empty room. Eph is shocked and angry to see that he failed his mission. Palmer tells him that he shot an innocent woman in his place. Eph is broken to hear that he shot an innocent, but does not regret pulling the trigger. After a heated talk, Eph drops the bomb on Palmer that The Master wouldn’t want to share his kingdom with anyone. A thought that Palmer seems to have given little attention to, always believing himself to being a partner in The Master’s plans.

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Meanwhile, Abraham continues his search for the Occido Lumen with Fet and Nora. They have narrowed their search to four possible apartments. After searching two and arriving at the third, they hear about the attempt on Palmer’s life and that two suspects have been arrested. Fet immediately makes the decision to go and rescue Dutch and Eph while Abraham gives his trademark “Nothing is more important than killing The Master!’ Nora and Fet leave Abraham to go and bust their friends out of jail. Abraham continues his search solo.

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Meanwhile, Palmer’s wish is granted as The Master revives Coco. Why did The Master give into Palmer’s demands? Is it to distract Palmer from the idea of The Master betraying him? What better way to distract Palmer than giving him what he wants. The added bonus being Palmer now has to tell Coco all about his plans and evil doings. His challenge will be having to convince her to side with him now that everything is out in the open. I think The Master is using Coco as a pawn to use against Palmer if he needs to. We will find out in future episodes if this is true.

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While the others run to his rescue, Eph’s quiet stay at the police station is interrupted by a group of Strigori. As the tongue-punch fest ensues, one of the officers locks himself in the cell with Eph. After everyone else in the room is taken out by the Strigori, they turn their focus to the two men in the cell. Eph and the officer have to keep back to the wall as the tongues are inches away from their faces. Shortly after the officer is tongue-punched, Fet and Nora come in to clean house.

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Nora once again, proves to be way more bad ass than most of the men on the show.

After freeing Eph, they find one surviving cop. The group begins to question him where they took Dutch. It turns out she was taken off site to a hotel. This is a huge blow as Fet becomes filled with rage, something that will blind him in upcoming battles. Ultimately Dutch’s fate is left uncertain as the focus returns to Abraham’s quest for the Occido Lumen.

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After searching the other three locations, Abraham enters the last apartment. He tears the place apart and finds nothing. Just as Abraham gives into exhaustion and frustration, he finds the book. He opens the pages, and we get out first glimpse at the legendary book.

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As a long time fan of the Evil Dead series, I have a huge love for old and creepy books. The Occido Lumen does not disappoint. Each page is filled with drawings showing a lot of what we already know about the Strigori. This is a beautifully put together piece that will awesome to explore. Abraham can’t help himself but look through the pages. He drops his guard as he explores the book that he has spent most of his life searching for. His time with the book is shortened by a blow to the back of his head. As he struggles to retain conciseness, the book is taken from him and the camera fades to black.

With a black screen, the silence is broken with the sound of chains. Chains being reeled in. The camera fades back into the image of taught chains being pulled. Slowly it is revealed who is at the end of the chains:

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Dutch’s screams fill the room as she struggles against the one reeling her in.

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The camera pulls up to show Eichorst’s feeding room as Dutch continues to scream. Roll credits.

Tongue-Punch of the Week:

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This week had no tongue-punches for most of the episode. It was getting down to the final few minutes and I was worried we would get no tongue-punches. Then, suddenly, we were treated to the most tongue-punches tongue-punch fest ever! Left, right, all around tongue-punches galore! The fight in the police station gave us so many great tongue-punches it was hard to choose. Ultimately, the award goes to the cop who was tongue-punch next to Eph in the jail cell. It was close, personal, and if the others hadn’t shown up in time it would have had Eph locked in a cell with a Strigori with no weapon. Man, I would have paid money to have seen that struggle.

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Best Action Sequence of the Week:

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Earlier in this season I talked about some chase sequences that fell a bit flat in their execution. So when it came time to finally have Eph attempt an assassination on Palmer, I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t work. But thy pulled off the sequence with a lot of tension and build up that lead to a great chase. Even if we knew Eph was a bad shot, they were still able to play out the scene perfectly and left me second guessing the entire time.

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Final Thoughts:

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As we near the end of the season the show continues to get better and better. This episode ended on such an intense down note, it was beautiful. Glad to see the development of female characters in the previous episode continue as we see Nora and Feraldo continue to fight their battles. Feraldo is more determined than ever in her quest to take back the city. She isn’t showing her fears as she takes on the mayor in his quest to protect himself. Nora continues to step up and fight the good cause, giving us one of the most badass shots of a Strigori having its head cut in half. Dutch was given more screen time this week as she opened up about her complicated love triangle. I am also glad to see a bi-sexual character being portrayed in a way that isn’t demonizing. Her problem isn’t that she is selfish in picking her lovers. Her love for Fet and Nikki, though different, are both strong and its tearing her up. But she is still able to put her problems to the side and focus on the mission.

Even Eph has a bit of redemption in this episode. He has been wavering this season on his dedication to the group and his own problems. Even though he fails his assassination attempt, he still stands up to Palmer and keeps himself a live when he is caught in the cell. We also see in this episode Abraham’s unhindered quest to kill The Master sets him back again. His stubbornness will be the death of him. I can’t wait to see what Eichorst has planned for Dutch and to see the group rescue her. Will Abraham get out of the apartment alive with the Occido Lumen? Will Dutch be saved? What is happening with Coco and will The Master use her as a pawn? What will Gus do to get the Guptas out of the city? WHO THE FUCK IS WATCHING ZACH!?!?!?! Find out as the final episodes continue.

What did you think of this episode?  Do you agree with me or think I am wrong? Let us know in the comments and we will see you next week with “Dead End.”

Next Week Preview:

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More Screen Shots:

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