The Strain: Fort Defiance Review

Mostly everything is good in the vampire-infested hood. Here's our review of the latest episode of The Strain...

As the world’s most badass exterminator Vasiliy Fet told Dutch on this week’s episode of The Strain, Fort Defiance was a famous part of New York where the colonists made a stand and held off the British during the American Revolution. Well, this week, defiance was the overarching theme of The Strain as many members of our cast took a stand and stood defiant-sadly, not all of them were our heroes.

Before we get into all that, I got to call the show out on something. Holy shitballs, is Zach freakin’ annoying. Not in a Walking Dead season two Carl Grimes sort of way but in a someone please smack this kid and feed him to the nearest vampire kind of way. Yeah, he lost his mom, yeah, Eph is a workaholic absentee father who handles test tubes (and bottles of vodka) with more love than he does his son, but if the show is trying to build viewer sympathy for ‘lil Zach, his contentiousness and sullen fits of anger ain’t helping. Zach is becoming a genuine liability to the team and a plot albatross to the narrative. I don’t want to see all of Eph and Nora’s good works undone by a kid especially when his anger is neither relatable or believable. I swear, every line this kid spits out is done with an entitled sneer on his little puss. It ain’t working.

But that’s the only character hiccup the series currently has because everything else is all good in the vampire-infested hood. So back to the defiance thing. Eph and Nora stood defiant as they continued to develop the aforementioned plague. The old woman patsy –err- I mean brave volunteer died before she was able to transfer the plague into the vampire population but the hubby was doing much better and seemed ready to be patient zero. Of course, ‘lil Zach is probably going to toss the poor old guy into sunlight or something and F whole thing up the A, but as it stood now, it’s a good plan and one that could have the Master on the ropes.

Of course Fet stood defiant as well and his defiance served as an inspiration for Dutch, who tried to reconcile her feelings for her ex-girlfriend. Last season, we saw Dutch’s ex escape from a pack of vamps -not to be seen again. This week, we saw a missing person poster bearing the ex’s visage. Dutch went to investigate despite the fact that the ex stole a ton of Dutch’s hacker gear and cash. What Dutch found was the mother of the ex who basically cursed the very air Dutch breathes. I guess something hardcore went down between Dutch and her lover before the plague hit. The girl’s mom made it clear that it wasn’t the homosexual relationship that she had a problem with, so what did Dutch do to command such ire? Whatever it was it shamed her, but Fet would not see the bad in Dutch and his defiance of spirit allowed her the inner strength to go on. And he was rewarded through a little bit of the ‘ol oral sex marking this week’s episode of The Strain as the first TV series to ever feature a BJ in an exterminator’s van in the midst of a vampire outbreak. History folks, history. 

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Much less sexy was the defiance of Abraham Setrakian. Every week, it seems we discover more about Setrakian’s defiance and inner strength and the sacrifices he continues to make in order to bring down the Master. Since I began recapping the show, I have referred to Setrakian as an octogenarian. Turns out, I was wrong as it was revealed this week that Setrakian is, in fact, 94-years young. How is this possible, you ask? Well, it was revealed that Setrakian has a method to distill the vampire worms, liquefy them, and turn them into eye drops via which he maintains his youth. Now imagine, dripping vampire worm juice into your eyeball in order to live long enough to bring down the Master. That’s dedication. That’s defiance. It turned out, each time Setrakian took the drops, he almost died. This week, Nora was there to revive him and she learned the secret of the Nosferatu eye drops showing that the always private Setrakian is now trusting his new comrades.

Setrakian regained his strength because of his defiance towards nature but Gus remained strong. This week, Gus and his gang of vampire vigilantes tried to take the fight to the Master by kidnapping Eldritch Palmer.  Sadly, Palmer stood just as defiant as Gus and sprung his trap on the gang of vamps. As they busted into his building, Palmer revealed that his office was equipped with UV lights that took out the vamps. Now, ever since Gus met the lead vamp vigilante, I thought big things were planned for this gang. They were always so capable and kickass, but now, they are dust and Gus will have to serve the Elders alone. It was a shocking moment to see the good (?) vamps go down so easy, but one that resonated.

We also briefly got to meet two new characters the Fitzsimmos brothers, two firefighters from Staten Island who were reunited this week.

As for Staten Island itself, that is where we really saw some defiance as the whole borough is now vampire free thanks to the leadership of the ballsiest city councilwoman ever -Justine Faraldo. Faraldo got all Game of Thrones and hung the decapitated bodies of some dead vamps on the border of the Island. Essentially New York has become a war zone and Faraldo is the first member of the city’s government that seemed to realize that. Let us hope that Farlado meets up with our band of heroes soon because she has the defiance it takes to match Eph, Fet, Nora, and Setrakian. 

Good stuff this week besides the ponderous bratty nonsense of Zach 2.0. 

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3.5 out of 5