The Strain S1E12, “Last Rites”

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It’s been a rough week, and your old pal Dusty hasn’t had much of a chance to write.  With that in mind, let’s skip over the unwieldy intro and get straight to my loves and hates.

Hates:

1. The stuff with Setrakian’s wife felt really forced.  There wasn’t a ton of emotion, even though I know they were trying to force us to feel something.  Also, Young Setrakian’s face seemed to be made out of wax, which was off-putting.

2. The scene with Dutch and Fet on the rooftop.  They both played that scene as well as they could – and I thought Dutch talking about her childhood was terrific – but I really didn’t feel any chemistry between them at all.  It also ended with a ridiculously clichéd exchange:
“I specialize in passionate, destructive relationships.”
“The best kind.”
So dumb.

3.  Setrakian’s half-hearted apology to the gang about his outburst.  It basically sounded like, “I got too emotional.  My bad.  I’ll try to be better about it or whatever.”  David Bradley has been pretty good so far, but this little speech was really weak.

4. The escape from the pawn shop was entirely too easy.  There were vampires bursting in from windows and doors, yet the back exit was left unguarded.  Eichorst was trying to take out Setrakian and his crew before they became a bigger threat.  I’m supposed to believe that he’s not smart enough to block off all exits?

5. Eldritch Palmer, crying for joy in the rain at his newly gained immortality.  It’s almost like he doesn’t know that it takes Eichorst hours to make himself look somewhat normal every morning.  Let’s see you celebrating when you’re putting on your nose every morning, fella.

Loves:

1. Gus dropping the line, “A plague done broke out.”  Terrible line, but it made me laugh.

2. The vampire lady in the well, speaking to Setrakian in The Master’s voice.  Really creepy stuff.  After last week’s episode, it is obvious that balding vampire women in dresses are a fear of mine.  Seems like a perfectly reasonable fear to have.

3. The initial raid of the pawn shop was terrific (vampires bursting in from the windows), and Boliver showing up to kill Nora’s mother was legitimately shocking (especially given that she is still alive at that point in the books).  I’m not sorry to see her character go, which kind of makes me feel terrible about myself.  “Yeah!  They finally killed that woman with dementia.  About time.  Her terrible disease made me dislike her immensely.”  I’m the worst.

4. Quinlan and his vampire hit squad finally showed up again.  I wanted to see more of them in this season, but, with the season finale next week, it looks like we’ll have to wait until next season to see them in full force.

Final thoughts: Kind of glad this season is winding down.  This episode wasn’t terrible, but it was pretty much like the rest of the season: remarkably inconsistent.  It’s wearing me down.  At this point, I’m ready for the season to be over.  I want them to take stock of the season, figure out their strengths and weaknesses, and come back next season fully loaded.  Here’s to hoping for a big season finale that sets up an improved second season.

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