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 drama 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*
This weeks episode is all about Eichorst’s plan with Kelly finally coming together. After weeks of watching Kelly stalk Zach, always just a few steps behind, she finally finds him and the compound. The build up has been long, tense, and the pay out is finally here. We will get to that soon, but first lets see what Abraham has been up to lately.
After last week’s failed attempt to stop The Master, Abraham returns to his quest for the Occido Lumen, the ancient book that may hold the secrets to killing The Master. Abraham spends most of the episode with Fet, whose head is still stuck on Dutch and the return of her girlfriend. They meet with a Cardinal in order to secure the book, only to discover there is a second bidder, Palmer.
While Palmer and Coco’s relationship has taken bounds physically, he is still keeping his involvement with Eichorst and his quest separate from each other. While struggling to keep his quest for the book from both Coco and Eichorst, he makes a mistake and Eichorst discovers his hidden endeavors. They two have a confrontation where Eichorst snakes around the subject of Palmer searching for the Occido Lumen, followed by Palmer trying to push Eichorst’s buttons about not being chosen as The Master’s new host body. Meanwhile, Coco is sent out of the room furious, as Palmer continues to shield her from his evil doings. This scene is pretty great as we see Palmer’s plans start to fall apart a bit. He is losing Coco’s trust and is discovered by Eichorst. The two men are so evil, its absolutely fantastic to see them clash, especially since it is never a clash of physicality, instead its the words and manipulation the two exchange. This scene is also great as Eichorst clearly still isn’t over The Master not choosing him as the new host body.
After Abraham and Fet are turned away by the Cardinal for the book, they make a plan to steal the book from him instead. They return later that night only to discover Eichorst had already beaten them there and had tongue-punched the Cardinal in order to learn his secrets. Abe and Fet are able to scare off Eichorst and to find out who has the book, the alter boy from the nunnery in Austria that Abraham met a few flashbacks ago. Does this mean we will see Abraham and Fet go on a globe trotting adventure? I would pay to see that.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Red Hook, Gus and Angel try to convince the Guptas to leave Red Hook and abandon their restaurant. After they convince them and Gus finally kisses Aanya, Quinlan shows up immediately killing the mood of the room. After a quick stand off between the two, Quinlan explains that he needs Gus’s help to defeat The Master. He also explains that Gus has been marked by The Master and thats why their paths keep crossing. He explains this by detailing how everyone in Gus’s life has been killed and will continue to be killed if he doesn’t kill The Master, including his new love interest. This team up has been set up from the beginning of both character’s storyline this season and I can’t wait to see what the two of them can do together. Still a bit disappointed that they aren’t doing anything with Angel, but Quinlan has made up for it a little bit. In fact, Quinlan has given the show the kick in the pants it has needed this season. Hope to see him interact with more characters as the season continues. Maybe even slap Eph around a few times.
Eph continues to keep the promises he made in the previous episode of never leaving Zach behind and to kill Palmer. He does this by bringing Zach out to a sketchy situation to secure a rifle in order to kill another human. Sounds kind of fucked up, but in the context of trying to prevent a vampiric apocalypse it seems a bit more reasonable. Along the way, Zach tells Eph about a dream he had where his mother came back and was all better. Its clear that Zach is still not fully grasping what has happened to his mother. A point that has been shoved in our faces for a majority of the season. This plot point is the catalyst for Zach being so annoying and its sad that they had to continue it in order to get Kelly’s confrontation in. When Zach isn’t rambling on about his mother there is some good acting and interactions going on, but the moment he brings her up he becomes unbearable. Luckily he his interrupted by a man running out of the black market setting.
Eph and Zach enter the black market seller’s place only to find he had been shot. Zach tells the scared daughter that Eph is a doctor. After Eph and Zach help patch him up, the daughter offers that they can take what they came for, free of charge. So mission accomplished. Eph gets his rifle and saves a life. But shortly after he patches the man up, Eph steals a bottle of pain killers. What is he planning on doing with them? Is he going to add prescription drug abuse to his daily chugging of alcohol? Is he going to use it as a last resort for him and Zach if things go bad fast? Nothing is explained nor does really make sense. Eph is an alcoholic and as far as the audience knows has no history of pill abuse. I guess we will find out in future episodes.
When Zach and Eph return, Zach goes back to playing his video games while Eph and Nora go upstairs. After updating Nora on what happened on their adventure and how Zach is giving his “Mom might be ok, Abraham might be wrong again” speech Nora confronts him on what happened in DC. She explains to Eph that it was the wrong choice to leave Zach behind and risk his life on a failed mission. Eh breaks down and finally opens up about what happened in DC, how his trip cost the lives of four people, how he killed his boss, and even though he doesn’t say it, Nora figures out that he cheated on her. Nora once again to proves her role as the emotional rock of the group, but even so, this information gets to her. The moment is interrupted by the sound of Zach talking to someone.
Its Kelly, in full make up, talking to Zach convincing him to let her in. The entire scene between Zach and Kelly reminds me of classic horror films where the evil is outside talking to the protagonist. A great moment indeed, that Zach ruins again by shouting at Eph that his mother is ok now. Eph tries to stop Zach, but its too late and Kelly invades the compound with her two remaining Feelers. After a scuffle, Nora hits Kelly in the face with a hanging hook, ripping off some of her make up. Zach sees this, and just before Eph’s bullets can hit Kelly, her last remaining Feeler jumps in the way taking the hit. The episode ends with Kelly running out the door and Eph chasing after her, only to find an empty street. This scene has been built up since the reintroduction of Strigori Kelly, and it paid off! Kind of. With every great scene we have had with Strigori Kelly to get to this point, we have had to put up with Zach being annoying as fuck. Hopefully all this will pay off over the next few episodes as Kelly’s role will have to be adjusted as her main mission has failed. Zach’s role will have to change to and hopefully for the better as he now has proof that his mother is dead and replaced by an evil creature. If he continues to cling to the idea that his mother can be saved it will kill the show, as there is no need to continue it. Either way, this scene was fantastic and I can’t wait to see the fall out.
Tongue-Punch of the Week:
This week’s tongue-punch happened off screen, but was awesome none the less. Eichorst tongue-punched the Cardinal in order to get him to have access to who has the Occido Lumen. This is great as most of the tongue-punches we have seen in the show were more in a defensive or offensive tactical maneuvers. Rarely have we seen a tongue-punch used for the sheer purpose of extracting information. This also leads to Abraham having to give the most convincing speech about the morality of good and evil before cutting off the head of a high ranking Cardinal in the Catholic church. Badass.
Best Action Sequence of the Week:
It goes without competition that the show down between Kelly and The Feelers VS. Eph and Nora was the best action sequence of the week. Not only did Eph redeem himself as a vampire killer by taking out one of the Feelers Lost Boys style, but Nora proved herself as a bad ass vampire killer herself. She was able to hold her one when fighting the three strong Strigori and saved Eph’s life, helping him to get the kill shot on Kelly. Now Kelly is without Feelers and we have a couple more awesome Strigori deaths to add to the tally. Great stuff.
This week continues The Strain‘s upward rise in overall quality for the season. Everything is coming together as character’s roles are falling apart. Its all making for a fun time. Kelly finally invading the compound was the highlight of the episode, but there were many great moments. Gus and Angel’s interactions are starting to become interesting, even if they aren’t going anywhere. Eichorst and Palmer have a great chemistry of hatred even though they have to work together to achieve their goals. Not sure what they are doing with Coco yet. She seems like she could either be wicked into Palmer or trying to infiltrate his organization for sabotage. Zach will hopefully get past the idea that his mother can be saved and start participating in what is happening around him. Seriously, the bubble that the show has put him in needs to end. And after seeing the preview for next weeks episode it looks like everything is about to hit the fan. I can’t wait.
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 “The Battle For Red Hook.”