Welcome back to the world of The Strain. Here you will find exterminators who are wizards with charcoal and probably should have gone into architecture, boyfriends schooled in all manner of jackassery, and patient cabbies who act as getaway drivers and listen to the ramblings of out-of-breath old men (I assume he heard about the exploded house and immediately thought about the insane old man he picked up in the area, but never got a response on his 911 call. Vampire police don’t answer the phone).
This was a better episode than last week. The show is starting to pick up momentum. Some of the characters are finally starting to connect. It’s only a matter of time before all the characters rally around Setrakian and some of these disconnected threads start coming together and stop dragging the show down. The eclipse made its presence felt in this episode as well. About time. We got a lot of good hand-wringing and “end of the world” talk, but I didn’t hear a single person say, “May God help us.” It’s like no one even saw Independence Day.
I think we’ve turned a corner with this episode. I can feel the pace quickening. This was the beginning of some very good things. I know I haven’t quite been rewarded for my optimism in the past, but this one feels different. I want to believe.
1. Matt. I hate everything about Matt. I hate his big stupid face. I hate his, “I’ll go upstairs and call the cops,” move. I hate the way he blinks REALLY hard when he feels insulted. There is one thing I love though, and that’s the fact that he’s stupid enough to confront some hooded vampires that have just fatally wounded a coworker. His temper means that we will hopefully only see him in one more episode, and he’ll likely be a vampire. So long, Matt. We barely had time to adequately hate you.
2. Setrakian and his failing heart. This is a man who is single-handedly mowing down vampires with a silver sword tucked in his cane, but can’t rig up a device to make his medication easier to get to? Surely he has a Pez dispenser in his shop that he can put those pills in, right?
3. Gus. Will his character get better? Hopefully, but I cringe every time he’s on the screen. Here’s a hospital tip: no one wears their scrubs that low.
4. FBI agents watching a bloody, disheveled man stumbling car-to-car and shrugging him off. “Just a homeless guy,” they said, until they had no more throats. That’s pretty much the same thing as describing Damien from The Omen as, “Just a rambunctious kid.”
5. Gus hitting a vampire in the back of the head with a block of wood. It’s not the hitting him that I mind, it’s that the blow appeared to kill the vampire. Last I checked, you can’t kill a vampire with blunt force trauma, and I saw no silver on that block of wood.
1. Fet’s creepy vampire drawing was fantastic, but that entire scene was amazing. He was sitting in the corner of a restaurant with his jacket collar up, sketching silently to himself while other exterminators wondered aloud about the wave of rats rolling through the city. He vaguely resembled Nosferatu with facial hair and a gym membership.
2. The bloody handprints on the wall of the basement that Setrakian was investigating. Bloody handprints on walls creep me out every single time.
3. The language of the FBI agent. This guy killed me.
“I’m not going to dick around with you.”
“If you’re jackin’ us around…”
“I don’t care what fancy medical school you went to.” (This is the equivalent of calling someone “city boy”.)
I’m really going to miss that guy.
4. Fet throwing open the window, killing his vampire boss, then doing the same with his flirty coworker. It was a terrific scene.
Fet had a great episode. Or, rather, Kevin Durand had a great episode as Fet. He can go from jovial to dead serious at a moment’s notice. I’m glad we’ll be seeing more of him. He brought a lot of emotion to this episode.
5. Corey Stoll breaking out his best interrogation room wig. “I need it to say, ‘I know what I’m talking about, but I understand why you think I’m crazy.’ Just something that I can really run my fingers through, ya know?”