The Strain S1E10, “Loved Ones”

Strain Poster 2

Do you remember the end of “For Services Rendered” when the pack of vampire hunters showed up?  I sure do.  I rubbed my hands together and proclaimed, “Here we go,” to no one in particular, because my life is a non-stop party.  I love that storyline in the books, and I was excited to see what they did with it on the screen.

We have now seen three episodes since that reveal and we haven’t seen them since.  It’s a curious decision.  The show has been fairly spotty, but they’re sitting on gold with vampires hunting their own kind.  That should have been a step to something great.  Instead, they’ve thrown it aside from the time being with a, “Nah, we’re good right now.”  Will they show up again soon?  If nothing else, they’re bound to make an appearance in the season finale, which is only a few episodes away now.

Hates:

1. Zach.  Or, rather, the actor that plays Zach.  He really gets on my nerves.  When he celebrated connecting to the internet by pumping his fist and saying, “yes,” I gritted my teeth and made an angry sound.  You see what you made me do, Strain?  You made me hate a child.  I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

2. The fact that Setrakian let Eph go off to find his likely vampired ex-wife by himself.  “You must be prepared for what you find,” Setrakian warned him.  He realizes that Eph was incapable of killing a man he declared “dead to me,” right?  What makes him think he’ll be able to kill a woman he still loves?

3. Dutch walking right into Palmer’s building, knowing full well he has cameras, and also knowing that he knows who she is.  She had very little chance of getting in and out unnoticed.  And why did she do this?  “I don’t like being taken for a ride.”  I’m hoping her dramatic exit from the pawn shop signals her exit from the show, but I can’t see us being that lucky.

4. They keeping bashing us over the head with the, “you’ll come back for the ones you love,” fact about these vampires (in the books, those people are referred to “Dear Ones”).  I get that it’s important, but I wish they would be a little more subtle with it all.
That’s one of the main problems with this show, and a trait it shares with The Walking Dead: there’s no subtlety.  If there’s something they think is important, be ready to hear about it multiple times per episode.  “In this scene, Kelly will hold a picture of her family.  We’ll zoom in on Zach, then her face, and then she’ll say, ‘Where’s Zach?’  Maybe we should go back to the picture after that, or have her drop it or something.  The people need to know!”

5. Eph’s volatile personality.  Being a milk-swilling genius apparently means acting like an ass for no real reason.

Loves:

1. Vasiliy Fet: Ladies Man.  Everywhere he goes, ladies just swoon.  I assume he goes into the sewer, gives a smile and a wink, and female rats walk right up to him and allow him to bash them into oblivion.

2. I know I’ve seen the poster a thousand times, but watching that worm crawl into Kelly’s eye was still remarkably gross and creepy.  I don’t like eye worms.  Not. One. Bit.  Still, that was a well done scene.

3. Kelly’s aim with her stinger.  Got a child with her first try.  Kelly 1, Matt 0.

4. The horrors of Diane’s basement.  That had a couple really great moments.
Vampire Diane opening her eyes in the basement and raising her head was really creepy.  It reminded me of Helen in the basement of Night of the Living Dead.
Eph putting a bullet in that kid’s head was a legitimately tough scene to watch.
Still…dude…STAY AWAY FROM THE VAMPIRES YOU JUST KILLED.  Worms crawling around and everything.  You know what they can do.  All it takes is one.  Just stay away, man.

Final thoughts:

Some decent scenes, and it sets up some cool stuff for later, but this episode didn’t do much for me.

The extremely talented LC Fremont does weekly write-ups of this show over at The Horror Honeys.  She’s a tremendous writer and a good friend.  Read her take on this episode here.
CC also has terrific write-ups over at Bloody Good Horror.  She’s wonderful.  Read her take on this episode here.
I wish my own write-ups were as good as the ones they do every week.

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